AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 25 August 2005
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, is covered in the Helpful Information - Astrophotography area.)


Subject:	re: Autostar Suite question
Sent:	Monday, August 22, 2005 20:01:24
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
That black screen is an interesting symptom...
I would suppose that it could be caused by having shuffled
desktop "themes" that left one of the item types black instead of white
(or with a color palette with no entry for "white")
I recommend sending the message you sent to Mike along to Meade.
Include the screen-grabs, since they show the symptoms.

Below my sig is the "where and how to send it" from Meade's
troubleshooting webpage.

have fun
--dick

   1. Microsoft Support Knowledgebase article for troubleshooting:  here

	To report any comments, suggestions, or problems please email us at
	engineer@meade.com
	Please put Autostar Suite in the subject line of your e-mail and
	keep the content specific to reporting any bugs within the software.
	You will not receive a reply to your e-mail.
	Any changes to the software will be posted on this page.

      For problems, please include the following information

         1. Computer Speed (333 Mhz Min)
         2. Processor type (PentiumII Min)
         3. Memory RAM (64Meg Min)
         4. Operating System (Win3.1, Win95, Win NT All will not work)
         5. USB port (1.1 Min)

Subject:	Autostar Suite question
Sent:	Saturday, August 20, 2005 02:20:58
From:	Jason Davis
hello i have a question regarding the LPI / autostar suite package. my
question is, my laptop does not have the RS-232 serial port so what are
my options? is there any way to use USB or am i stuck?  i have heard of
some people running it on thier desktop pc's via the port, but i really
need the portability of my laptop.  another question is concerning the
USB LPI camera......the cable is quite short so i was wondering what are
my options in extending it to reach a desktop computer (or laptop) so i
can control my scope from there and use all the features of the autostar
suite.  also what about extending the supplied "telephone" wires to
reach the computer.  thanks for any info and i love your site.  i have
been coming here for about 8 months but this is my first email.  lastly,
have you ever considered setting this site up as a forum or message
board?  im sure you get tired of posting all these emails.  anyway,
thanks again and keep up the great work.

Jason from Raleigh, NC
Mike here: There are several USB-serial adapters available. See the USB info on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page. However, be aware that there seem to be more reported issues with the Belkin adapter. I use a Keyspan one with my Macintosh systems. You can use a USB extender cable with the Autostar. Similarly you can extend the Autostar cable; see the cable info on the Autostar Info page. As to a forum, please read the Site Guide on the ETX Home Page for the answer to that.

And:

ok i went out and got a usb serial adapter and hooked it up to my
laptop. question......there are 2 cables that came w/ the autostar
suite/ LPI box......one is a flat type "phone cable" and the other is a
round type "phone cable".  i plugged one end of the round cable into the
rs-232 adapter and the other end into the smaller jack on the autostar
handbox.  then i connected the coiled handbox cable to the scope as
usual.  i started up the autostar suite software and set up the comm
port and it connected, so i assume i did that part right. first question
is what is the flat "phone cable" used for ?  meade is terrible at
instructions.  my second question is when i open up the "Telescope /
Protocol / Remote handbox" option from the toolbar, the screen comes up
but the text box is blacked out.  the only way i can see it is if i use
night vision.  i saw on the meade website manual that the text box is
supposed to be white w/ black text.  any clue as to what is causing
this?  i am attaching 2 MS paint files  that i did a "print screen" in
so you can see what im talking about.  btw, i have updated the AS suite
w/ the file from the meade website.  thanks for your help.

photo

photo

Mike here: That sounds like it might have been LX200 serial cable. As to the software problem, be certain you have the latest version. I don't know what was on the CD-ROM but updates are available on Meade's site: http://www.meade.com/autostar/tsguide.html. There is also a FAQ page: http://www.meade.com/autostar/faq.html. Lastly, there are some Autostar Suite articles on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page; you might want to check those out, including the Macintosh article.
Subject:	Re: Autostar Connection to a PC
Sent:	Friday, August 5, 2005 15:58:56
From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
If you're getting the "Warning" message and it disappears after you
click OK, then you probably -are- connected to the scope. From there, it
depends on what you want to do. If you click on an object, you should
get a "Slew Telescope" option in the dialog box and selecting it will
drive the scope to that object. There are a few interactive buttons and
menu options that control how your screen tracks the object, such as
Lock Az/El, Auto Track, etc.

If you want to use the Remote Handbox to control the scope, then -don't-
select Autostar via Com Port.  Select Remote Handbox (F9) and you should
get a dialog screen with options on how to connect at the bottom. Enter
the correct Port # and "Connect". It will take several seconds for
Autostar initialization, then you can use the buttons on the screen to
select whatever you would normally select on the actual handbox.  In
this mode, the Starmap will not display the scope position.

If you want to use both the Remote Handbox and also display the scope
position on the Starmap, you have to use the Network configuration. This
involves starting the Network Server, configuring it, then connecting
via the Network Protocol, then selecting the Remote Handbox. Details for
doing all this are in various places on Mike's site.

I hope this helps. If you need more specifics, let me know.

Mike Hogan

Subject:	minimum comupter requirements for DSI and LPI
Sent:	Thursday, August 4, 2005 13:11:55
From:	Rua, Jose ((DHS)) (JRUA@miamidade.gov)
Thanks again for your site.  I am planning to get a lap top for school,
work and for use with an ETX and the Meade DSI and LPI.

Any recommendations as to minimum computing abilities related to the DSI
and LPI?

Thank you,
Jose Rua
Miami, FL
Mike here: Minimum requirements are on Meade's site. BUT for best performance you will want something way better. Lots of RAM and probably at least 1GHz CPU. USB 2.0 will help (for the future). Also, keep in mind that you also need a RS-232 serial port for the Autostar.
Subject:	Autostar Connection to a PC
Sent:	Monday, August 1, 2005 06:14:17
From:	Lawrence Bilton (Lawrence.bilton@ntlworld.com)
i am having trouble with the autostar suite connecting to my scope, via
serial, i manage to connect to the ASU successfully each time but when
it comes to connecting to it for controlling the scope it just does not
work, i press connect via serial port, it comes up with a warning you
may couse damage if not correctly positioned etc. Then just stops trying
to connect after pressing ok on the warning, Can you help me here mike?
Mike here: What software are you trying to use?

And:

I am using Autostar Suite thhat you get from buying the DSI
Mike here: Depending upon what you doing, this may be a port conflict withing the Autostar Suite of applications. Try using the network option. For more info, see the Autostar Suite pages on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page, both the network article and my comments on using it on a Macintosh.

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Copyright ©2005 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackAug05/autostar_suite.html