AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 August 2007

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade AutoStar Suite. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks. (The Lunar Planetary Imager, LPI, and Deep Sky Imager, DSI, are covered in the Helpful Information - Astrophotography area.)


Mike here: With the release of Apple's Intel based Macintosh systems, it is now possible to run Windows applications natively on Macs. I want to post some information on using the Meade AutoStar Suite application (with or without the LPI and DSI models). (No, I don't have one, yet. iPhone purchase comes first since I have a PowerBook G4 17".) If you have a Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or the Intel based Mac mini or iMac models and have tried one of the following with AutoStar Suite, please send your experiences to me at etx@me.com. I will compile the information and post it. Thanks. Please specify your Mac model, the version of Windows, and which of the following you have used:

Boot Camp
CrossOver Mac
Parallels Desktop
WINE
VMWare
VirtualBox

Subject:	Remote Handbox Text Problem
Sent:	Thursday, August 30, 2007 04:34:07
From:	Tom Perry (trperry@comcast.net)
I've setup my new LX200R 14" to be controlled by my laptop using
Autostar Suite and the Remote Handbox.  I'm using Windows XP.  The text
box on the Remote Handbox is black instead of white.  If I strain and
look at a sharp angle, I can just make out the text.
 
Is there any way I can fix this so the text box background is white?
 
Thanks,
Tom Perry
Mike here: It has been awhile since I've used the AutoStar Suite (it being a Windows application) but I don't recall any display reversal setting.
Subject:	Envisage tutorial
Sent:	Tuesday, August 28, 2007 12:45:08
From:	mail.westnet.com.au (jchaurette@westnet.com.au)
Hi Mike, do you know of a good tutorial somewhere for using Envisage
with the LPI?

Cheers,

Jacques
Mike here: Not directly but check out the AutoStar Suite articles on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info and Helpful Information: Astrophotography pages.
Subject:	How to send command to the LX200 GPS
Sent:	Saturday, August 25, 2007 20:56:39
From:	info@deepskyjam.com (info@deepskyjam.com)
I just read your intereting article about the Meade Autostar Suite Protocol.
But, I would like to know what king of software I need to use to send
command to the LX200 like Netscope.exe

Best regards

---------------------------------

Jacques A.
France, Normandie

Deep Sky Jam Observatory
49 36' 43" N
00 20' 44" W
LX200 GPS 14"

http://www.deepskyjam.com

Subject:	meade envisage
Sent:	Tuesday, August 14, 2007 02:19:52
From:	Renee Ann Wirick (reneeannwirick@yahoo.com)
Is it possible that he is trying to operate the telescope with both
programs at once and one is taking up the port so the other can't
connect?  Just a thought :)
 
Renee

And:

Subject:	DSI tracking control
Sent:	Thursday, August 16, 2007 04:38:00
From:	Henrik van Holthoon (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
Did you in the DSI window (Envisage) into the telescope window put in
your Com port (i.e. com5 for me).  If you can control your scope with
Autostar suite use then this com port for the DSI control as well. You
can not however control the scope from Autostar suite and DSI tracking
control window at the same time.

For this you need 2 serial lines or switch between AS suite and DSI this
means disconnect AS suite and connect DSI control etc. (as I do)

Good luck.
Henrik

And:

From:	Allenjerboy@aol.com (Allenjerboy@aol.com)
That was it. Don't know how I overlooked this in the manuals. I'm really
excited about using this, maybe clear skies tonight.
 
Thanks Again
Jerry

Subject:	meade envisage
Sent:	Friday, August 10, 2007 15:17:14
From:	Allenjerboy@aol.com (Allenjerboy@aol.com)
I'm having a problem with envisage connecting to my scope and am unable
to use drizzle techno. I can control my scope through the planetarium
program.
 
LX90GPS
Autostar version 3.23
DSI II Color
Windows XP
 
Any info would helpful
 
Thanks
Jerry Allen
Mike here: I'm surprised that your AutoStar version is so old for a LX90GPS. I suggest updating it to the current version (4.3Eg) from Meade's site (http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html). That may possibly help.

And:

Wow! I didn't expect a reply so fast! Thanks....
I installed 4.3 after I mailed you earlier and still have the same
problem. Any other suggestions?
 
Thanks
 
Jerry Allen
Mike here: Can you elaborate a little more? Does the DSI work? Remember, a powered USB 2.0 port is required. For some more possible help, see the article "AutoStar Suite Drizzle Alignment" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page and perhaps you might want to either search the Site (using the search box on the ETX Home Page) or read through the DSI articles on the Astrophotography page.

And:

The DSI does work I have used it in "deep sky" mode. USB 2 port is
functional as I can control the scope with the planetarium program I
just can't connect with envisage to control or use drizzle.
Mike here: Have you upgraded the AutoStar Suite using the updater available on Meade4M.com?

And:

I updated direct from Meade customer support. Am I missing some kind of
hardware? Do I need an Auto Guider? Every thing I've read in Meade
manuals is vague at best or written for and by engineers of these
products. I truly appreciate your time and patience and understand why
Meade tech. support doesn't answer the phone. Maybe I'll drive to
California and see if they will answer the door.
Mike here: No, no extra hardware is required. It should work. You can visit Meade during business hours OR try OPT in Oceanside. They should be able to help. In fact, they sell a book on the DSI (http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=6404&kw=dsi&st=2).

And:

I live in NY...was just joking about knocking on their door, turning
frustration into something lighter. Thanks again for your help.
 
Jerry
Mike here: I'm sure someone will respond once I post this message.
Subject:	ETX-60 AT and AutoStar Suite
Sent:	Thursday, August 9, 2007 13:07:20
From:	Steve Hollar (phoneman@hollar.com)
I found an ETX-60AT at a yard sale, unused in the box for $10. Yes, I'm
gloating. It has really got me interested again in astronomy. I'm
attempting to do some simple astrophotography, but, have really run into
snags. I have the AutoStar Suite. It does not control the scope though,
using the cables supplied. I have the original 494 Autostar. I think
I've seen that I need a 506 cable to connect.

My question is, will the AutoStar Suite work using the 506 cable? If I
upgraded to the Autostar 497, do I still need the 506 cable? It seems
the only way to get a 506 cable is to buy the package with the Autoguide
software, which I don't need. Do you know of any sources for just the
cable? I've seen 505 cables sold by themselves. Does this work? Any help
with all of this confusion would be appreciated.
Mike here: The software will control the #497, which uses the #505 serial cable that comes with the AutoStar Suite. I don't think it will work with the #494 even with the #506 cable.
Subject:	Autostar Suite
Sent:	Saturday, August 4, 2007 08:52:53
From:	Roger D Johnson (n1rj@roadrunner.com)
I just received my Meade DSI and found that neither computer will read
the enclosed CD-ROM! Is the program available for download anywhere on
the web?

Thanks, Roger
Mike here: There have been some reports of bad CD-ROMs over the past couple of years. (I hope they are not using Vista now to create the CD-ROM master; I've heard of and experienced directly problems with CDs made with Microsoft Vista.) There is an AutoStar Suite updater on Meade4M.org but it requires that the app be installed. Contact Meade for a replacement CD-ROM.
Subject:	re: Autostar #494
Sent:	Tuesday, July 31, 2007 21:43:38
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Although the DSI (and Autostar Suite) will be able to
command the telescope to GoTo targets, and the StarMap
will be able to follow where the telescope is pointing,
i don't -think- that you will have full autoguiding with
the 494 Autostar, since i don't -think- they support
the new :Mg guiding commands (i could be wrong, i don't
have a "current" 494)

Wwhat version of firmware is it?
Setup/Statistics[enter][scroll up]  to get the full story.
Two digits, two letters.

As Mike said, you will need a 506 cable/converter, not the
cables which come with the DSI... those are for a 497 Autostar

For complex operations like guiding, i recommend a 497 Autostar.

have fun
--dick

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Copyright ©2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/aug07/autostar_suite.html