Last updated: 23 December 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.)

Subject:	Re:Autostar Suite confusion (AS Suite FdBk)
Sent:	Thursday, December 20, 2007 19:00:36
From: (
The Auto Track option in the Telescope menu allows the Starmap to track
the telescope position, not the other way around. In order to use it,
you have to connect the AutoStar using one of the protocols. The Remote
Handbox option is a separate function, not related to the Starmap. To
use both the Remote Handbox and the Starmap, you need to make two
connections which requires the Network protocol.

Personally, I've found the Remote Handbox to be very slow and erratic.
You don't really need it if all you want to do is select objects and
have the scope "Goto" them. Just pick an object on the Starmap screen,
click on it and select "Slew Telescope". To change objects, first turn
off Auto Track (it turns on automatically when you slew to an object),
then select the new object.
Mike Hogan

Subject:	Autostar Suite confusion
Sent:	Friday, December 14, 2007 15:44:48
From:	Mike Pilgrim (
I've just acquired a used ETX-125EC with AutoStar (#497).  I have my
laptop interfaced and talking to the scope.  In some of the (mountains
of) printed material off the web, I read that I should activate "Auto
Tracking" in Autostar suite in order for the scope to track an object
selected in the suite.  As I view the "Telescope" drop down menu, I note
that "Auto Track" is not highlighted, thus I am at a loss as to how to
activate "auto tracking".  Additionally, in the Autostar Setup Menu (in
the owner manual) I see "Mount" as an option which allows me to choose
between Alt/AZ mount or Polar Mount.  My menu on the hand box does not
present that option.  What am I missing, and where else must I look to
select that I want Alt/AZ as the selected option?  Just today I
downloaded the latest firmware to the hand box.
Mike Pilgrim
Boca Raton, Fl
Mike here: Have you enabled the "network protocol" option in the AutoStar Suite? For some more information that may help you, see the "AutoStar Suite" section on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. In particular, the article on using it on a Macintosh (where I discuss the network option) as well as the other articles.
Subject:	Autoguiding with #506 and #494 Autostar - possible ?
Sent:	Friday, December 7, 2007 08:12:35
From: (
Thanks for your site - it's a real ETX treasure :-)

I've got a question - has anyone ever tried autoguiding with an LPI or a
web cam, using an ETX-80 with Autostar 494, connected to the computer
via #506 cable ?

I've read on your site and elsewhere that the software supplied with
#506 (Astro Finder) is outdated and not AutoStar-Suite-compatible. Some
say also that it has limited functionality.

Does this mean that #506 will not enable me to use Meade LPI or other
cam to autoguide my ETS with AutoStar Suite or e.g. Guide Dog ? I would
like to set up my ETX-80 as a smart autoguiding mount for a Nikon D70
with Sigma 70-300 APO lens for astrophotography. Hence, I would like to
know, whether I must buy a 495 or 497 Autostar, or will it be possible
with what I already have (#494) with the #506 cable.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Lukasz Karpiesiuk
Mike here: The AutoStar Suite does require the #497 AutoStar and the #505 serial cable.


Thanks for such a prompt answer. Do you think the #506 cable will work
only with AstroFinder supplied with it, or it's possible to use it with
Guide Dog or any other astro software for autoguiding?
Mike here: The #506 cable and #494 AutoStar will work fine with many other telescope control applications. If your computer has only USB you will need a USB-serial adapter however. See the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.

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