Last updated: 28 February 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: LX200 classic Sent: Monday, February 5, 2007 21:36:28 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) What Sync Does (in Autostar Suite/StarMap): (a) It notes the position of the spot you clicked with your mouse. (b) It sends those coordinates to the telescope as a "target" via the Sr and Sd serial commands. (c) It sends a ":CM#" command to the scope. What -that- does is tell the telescope to copy its current internal "target" location information to its current internal idea of "where am i really pointing?". End of SYNC action. Both before and after the SYNC operation, Autostar Suite/StarMap issues :GR and :GD (get scope RA and Dec) every half second to keep track of where the scope is pointing. The scope's idea of where it is can drift over time, even a very short time. How it responds to the SYNC operation may vary from model to model. I ran a test of SYNC with my ETX90 with the program "PortMon" capturing the command and response stream between the PC and the scope. The results were: ------------------ Time(ms) Duration Function Result 300268 0.00433184 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 4: :GR# 300580 0.00000866 IRP_MJ_READ Length 9: 23:17:28# 300583 0.00459975 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 4: :GD# 300587 0.00000559 IRP_MJ_READ Length 10: +03.18:58# 300590 0.01277956 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 12: :Sr23:05:06# 301443 0.00000643 IRP_MJ_READ Length 1: 1 301446 0.01367688 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 13: :Sd+15.14:37# 301450 0.00000782 IRP_MJ_READ Length 1: 1 301453 0.00432318 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 4: :CM# 302542 0.00000782 IRP_MJ_READ Length 34: M31 EX GAL MAG 3.5 SZ178.0'# 302546 0.00416701 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 4: :GR# 305387 0.0000067 IRP_MJ_READ Length 9: 23:05:04# 305665 0.00414131 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 4: :GD# 305668 0.00000615 IRP_MJ_READ Length 10: +15.13:59# 305671 0.00428015 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 4: :GR# 306149 0.00000978 IRP_MJ_READ Length 9: 23:05:04# 306260 0.00419942 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 4: :GD# 306582 0.00000838 IRP_MJ_READ Length 10: +15.13:59# 306585 0.00423154 IRP_MJ_WRITE Length 4: :GR# 306588 0.0000095 IRP_MJ_READ Length 9: 23:05:04# ------------------ Note that the Sr23:05:06# and Sd+15.14:37# (the decimal point is actually an unprintable separator) don't -exactly- match the GR and GD results which are returned one second later: 23:05:04 and +15.13:59 So the "error" is introduced by the *scope*, not by AutostarSuite/StarMap. As to the version question: the -package- AutostarSuite consists of -many- programs. Although it's the 4th update, each program which makes up the Suite has its own version tracking numbering. You've been reporting StarMap's currrent "3.23" level. But if you look at Envisage, ImageProcessor, RemoteHandbox and the other pieces, they each have their own (non-"4") version. So yes, you -are- running the updated copy. have fun --dick
From: Allen Robnett (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks, Dick, for your very informative and complete answer to my questions. It is the ability to get info from people like yourself that make the Internet even more significant than the advent of the printing press. Thanks again, Allen Curiosity is the cure for boredom There is no cure for curiosity
Subject: re: networking ETX Sent: Monday, February 5, 2007 18:51:53 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) You may need to open the firewall on the PCs involved to allow traffic on whatever port/socket you've set in the Network Server (i think 501 is Meade's 'default'). It's under Setup/Control Panel/Network Connections Then click once on the appropriate connection, then choose "Change Windows Firewall settings" from the left task menu. In the Firewall window that appears, click the "Exceptions" tab, then use the "Add port..." button to tell it to allow 501 traffic. have fun --dick
Subject: networking ETX Sent: Friday, February 2, 2007 14:39:00 From: David G. Iadevaia, Ph.D (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have yet to be able to use my ETX 90 remotely over my wireless network. I am using Windows XP home edition and AutoStar Suite. Is there a tutorial explaining each step in configuring the computer to run Autostar remotely? Thanks, David IadevaiaMike here: I don't have a remote tutorial. There are some articles (including the one on using the AutoStar Suite with the Mac) on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page that discuss the Network capability of the AutoStar Suite. How did you plan to connect the AutoStar wirelessly? Bluetooth? If so, you might also want to read the "StarLink Bluetooth Wireless AutoStar Control" on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page.
Thanks for the info. I will check it out. I am hoping to have my students control the telescope from their laptops on the wireless college network. Not BlueTooth. I was wondering if I had to configure the PC someway before I run Autostar. I can not run AutoStar in the Hand Box mode. It just sits there saying Initializing. I can run it in Network mode on the computer that is running Autostar but can not access it from another computer on the network says Server timed out. DavidMike here: Have you tried using any VNC software to control the remote (telescope connected) computer? That should avoid any timeout problems.
THanks. I'll like that. I downloaded VNC 4Mike here: I use VNC on my Macs wirelessly. Works great!
VNC worked perfectly. Thanks for the help.
Subject: LX200 classic Sent: Thursday, February 1, 2007 20:10:06 From: Allen Robnett (email@example.com) We are using AutoStar Suite to control our 12" LX200 classic at Gallatin High School. I have identified our telescope type as an LX200GPS even though it is a classic. The slew control seems to work fine. I am puzzled about the sync effect, though. The LX200 control handset shows a declination that is higher than the AutoSuite value by more than a minute. The LX200 RA is also high, but by only 20 seconds. It seems to me that these should match exactly, regardless of concerns like system time, polar alignment, etc. Any ideas? Allen RobnettMike here: Yours is the first report I've received of anyone using the AutoStar Suite with a classic LX200 so I don't know if this is a known problem or not. Are you running the latest version (4; released a year ago)?
The test version that I have on my home computer was updated with what is called update4 but the Help/About shows version 3.23. I will have to go to school to find out for sure whether I remembered to update the software in the observatory. Thanks, AllenMike here: Probably the latest since it is "Update 4".
As I mentioned before, I have been using AutoStar Suite to control a 12" LX200 classic. I have downloaded and executed the update4 files, but AutoStar Suite/Help/About still says 3.23. I have repeated the entire process, just to be sure. Do I have update4 or not? Allen RobnettMike here: Meade has never been known for clearly indicating versions and updates. I haven't installed the update myself (since I avoid using Windows on my Macs). But if you have done the update you should be running the latest available version.
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