Last updated: 31 December 2003
Subject: re: First - Thanks, then a question... Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 18:01:43 -0800 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org To run USB over fifteen feet (5 meters) you need "active" USB extender cords, or a hub, every 15 feet. Members of the Yahoo autostarsuite group report good results stringing 4 of them together to reach 60 foot lenghts. The LPI is only a USB 1 deviuce, so both USB 1 and USB 2 extenders will work. Extenders are reportedly available for about $10 per cord, but i do not know where. (BestBuy was mentioned, but i have not verified that) have fun --dick
Subject: First - Thanks, then a question... From: "Mike Beasley" (email@example.com) Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 14:19:46 -0500 I wanted to say thankyou for your very helpful website - it has been a blessing. Thanks for your good work - I know that it is a great help to many, including myself. I do have a question about the Lunar Planetary Imager (with Autostar) that I purchased to use with my ETX 125. I do not have a laptop computer, but I have several desktop machines in my house. I was hoping to be able to use one of two options in order to place the telescope in my frontyard or backyard, while being connected to an in-house computer: 1. Use longer cables (I would need about 30 feet - frontyard and backyard) or 2. Some wireless solution (wifi or bluetooth - if this is even possible - I'm not sure that it is). The idea of buying a laptop just for this application is - well, beyond my finances and stewardship. I may need to return the unit otherwise. Thanks in advance for your help. Psalm 19:1-2: 1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. M. J. BeasleyMike here: You can use a long distance cable for the Autostar (see the cable information on the Autostar Information page). You would also need a long USB extension cable and there might be a problem on length. Best bet is to buy a low-end and/or used laptop. I'm testing out the Autostar Suite right now on my Apple PowerBook 17". I'll have a lot more to say on this when I complete my evaluation.
Subject: Re: autostar suite Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 20:02:32 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (BullFox) Well, I got it to work like its supposed to, actually pretty neat, just to darn cold to go outside and use it, my wife sez with all the money I spent I ought to show more dedication. Anyway, problem was I had the control cable plugged into the aux port on the mount instead of the extra socket on the hand paddle. Duh! As soon as I got the plugs right, it worked like a charm. The instructions don't say anything about where to plug what into what. The instructions are not anywhere near as explicit as what comes with the telescope. When I find my ear muffs, I'll send you some pics.
Subject: autostar suite Sent: Monday, December 8, 2003 21:28:09 From: email@example.com (BullFox) I cant get my laptop to communicate with my LXD 55. I'm using a Belkin USB to serial port converter and the cables that came with the Autostar suite. When I try to connect using the com port protocol it just times out. the LPI seems to work ok, but I cant control the telescope at all. Any suggestions? Thanks, Steve BullMike here: Was there a driver with the USB converter? Does the Autostar Update Application see your Autostar? I don't have the Autostar Suite yet but I can control and update the Autostar via the Keyspan USB converter on my Macintosh.
Subject: Problem with Autostar Suite software Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 17:26:38 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ed) I received the Autostar suite with the LPI imager the same week my scope crashed. Well while my scope was at Meade, I played with the software. Conclusions are that you are going to need a fast computer with a lot of memory. I tried to run the Autostar Suite on a Pent 466 with an OS of 98 (2) and it would run but very slow. The local Best Buy had a sale on 2.4 GHz Toshibas ($500) and the programs run fine (no com port but I used a comm to usb hardware and driver and that reassigns a comm port to address a USB port). I do get an error message in the Suite program when moving about the star map of: "Error Message Not Enough Memory To Save Last Bitmap : GetLastError return 0" It comes in a small pane and does not seem to cause problems with the program. I will call Meade but I have to put aside about an hour on hold. In the mean time, can anyone help? Running a Toshiba Satellite A15 2.4 GHz, XP home, with 3/4 Gig of memory. Ed Brentnall
Subject: LPI and Win 2000 Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2003 14:24:56 From: email@example.com (Barry and Janice Cooke) Have had no joy in getting LPI to operate with Win 2000 ( have failed on 2 different PCs running Win 2000 both with the latest builds from MS). Is this a well known/not so well known problem that LPI is not supported for Win 2000? regards BarryMike here: The only thing I've seen (besides comm errors) is the FAQ on Meade's site: http://www.meade.com/autostar/faq.html. As Dick Seymour noted previously, there is a troubleshooting guide http://www.meade.com/autostar/tsguide.html and an update http://www.meade.com/autostar/UpdateAsSuite.exe.
Subject: Autostar Suite and earlier Autostar ROM version From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) AutostarSuite will NOT fully work with 26ed! It will slew, it will focus, but the full-function Remote Handbox will not work properly (i'm pretty sure about this, but i have not personally -tried- it.,. but i've seen postings by other who have) have fun --dick
Subject: Meade LPI Imager Woes Sent: Friday, November 28, 2003 12:42:08 From: Kevin.Roberts@NBPCD.com (Kevin Roberts) I know you hear this all the time but WOW, YOUR SITE IS AMAZING! It has made this hobby that much more enjoyable. I recently received the Meade LPI imager and installed the software on my Laptop (which has plenty of power and space). However, when I open the Imager section of the Autostar Suite, it says "Meade LPI not Found. Reconnect LPI and Try Again". I know the camera is functional because when I open the Kodak Imaging program and select camera as source of input, a blurry image from the LPI appears. It is simply not being recognized by the Autostar Suite program. Meade hasn't returned my calls yet so I'm sending this note in hopes someone had and solved a similar dilemma. Keep up the awesome work Mike. And thanks to all who've contributed tips etc. Kevin Roberts Thunder BayMike here: I haven't yet received an Autostar Suite but it sounds as though something is tying up the serial port. Check for fax software, Palm HotSync, etc.
Subject: Update to Autostar Suite posted by Meade Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 12:36:46 From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) At: http://www.meade.com/autostar/tsguide.html there is a troubleshooting guide +plus+, at the top of the page, a link to an update to AutostarSuite itself. Specifically: http://www.meade.com/autostar/UpdateAsSuite.exe Do a "Save As..." on that file, and then run it on your PC to patch (at least) StarMap. have fun --dick
Subject: LPI - AutoStarSuite Competition / Contest Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 17:09:27 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dan and Lynn Snyder) I love your site and have been an avid reader for 4+ years. I thought you might be interested in this for your readers / contributers. Recently I proposed a "Contest / Competetion" for the new LPI Imager on the new Yahoo AutostarSuite group. Here it is if you want to use it. OK All, With the AutostarSuite / LPI - we now have a nice new tool in our astronomy kits. Let's put it to the test and see how well it does in various Telescopes. I propose we submit our "photographic evidence" in the form of a LPI Magnitude attainment test wrt the visual magnitude limits and resolving powers (Dawes Limits) for telescopes of various aperatures. Telescope Limiting Magnitudes & Resolutions Aperture Visual LPI Theoretical LPI Inches Magn. Magn. Resolving Resolving limit attained Power Power attained " 3.00 12.6 _____ 1.52 _____ 4.00 13.2 _____ 1.01 _____ 5.00 13.7 _____ 0.91 _____ 6.00 14.1 _____ 0.76 _____ 8.00 14.7 _____ 0.57 _____ 10.00 15.2 _____ 0.46 _____ 12.50 15.7 _____ 0.36 _____ 14.00 16.0 _____ 0.33 _____ 16.00 16.2 _____ 0.29 _____ This kind of a competetition/contest would not only be fun, but also define the limits of LPI perfromance. Who knows, maybe Meade will donate a Scope to the best performances in each aperature class! So lets dig out our Doublestar Catalogs and Crater lists. And may the Best LPI'er prevail ! Dan Snyder, Cloudy Seattle Astronomer Thanks, and Have a Great Day! Dan and Lynn Snyder
Subject: Autostar Suite and LPI Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 12:49:25 From: Lrv64@aol.com As I thought, the day I received the LPI and Suite, it happened to get cloudy and started to rain! BUT the good thing is that I have had a chance to upgrade to ver 3Ee with no trouble. Installing the software and drivers for the LPI and the Suite was pretty straight forward, no problems to report. I do not have a serial port on my laptop, so I bought a serial to USB adapter at the local Radio Shack. I installed the drivers for the adapter first, then when I verified everything seemed to be OK, I went ahead and installed the Suite. One suggestion to anybody doing this upgrade. First make a complete backup of the hard drive, just in case! Then prior to installing ANYTHING set a restore point if you are using Win XP. AFTER you have taken these steps follow the instructions provided for everything you will be installing to the letter..... I have found that having a complete backup is the best solution to any problems you might encounter, you can smile if you run into any gremlins and restore your hard drive to a pre installation state and start over. An even easier solution to problems would be using GO BACK-- used to be produced by Roxio, now I am not sure. IF you have problems with any installation of anything, or even if you get a VIRUS, you can just GO BACK in time to before you started having problems, going back is a lot faster than having to reinstall windows and everything else! My backup program is DRIVE IMAGE, which I use to burn CD'S with the image. My only complaint with Autostar Suite is that the documentation is in Adobe Acrobat format, and I have to print it out using my ink and paper, I guess that is just one way to increase the bottom line, and keep Autostar Suite profitable for Meade. Now all I have to do is learn how to use the software and camera! I will be keeping you posted and send pictures if the weather clears this weekend!
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