AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 27 January 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:	LPI Drivers Download
Sent:	Tuesday, January 25, 2005 17:02:01
From:	Jeremy Scott (supertux1@yahoo.com)
I'm looking to download the Meade LPI drivers for Windows XP somewhere.
Meade doesn't appear to have them on their support site. It's been
awhile since I had to reinstall, and my original install CD is toast. :(
I don't use any other software on the CD other than the drivers. Do you
know where I could get them?

Thanks,

-Jeremy
Mike here: For software piracy reasons (I suspect) Meade only has the updates on their site. But they might send you a replacement CD (if you can prove ownership). Yes, you can blame all the software pirates out there for this.
Subject:	re: Problem with Autostar
Sent:	Friday, January 21, 2005 19:06:11
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
> Black display area with Remote Handbox

That happens with some of the Windows "Themes" color schemes.
Revert to the "default" (blue) Theme, and the display will work.

> 497 Autostar display does not show StarMap GoTo Target

Yes, that's normal.  StarMap is not asking the Autostar to "GoTo M31", 
instead it is just sending the RA/DEC coordinates.
If you have the Autostar displaying the "current RA/DEC", you would
see the motion.  Hold [mode] for 3 seconds, release to see that.

> Shating the port

As Mike said, use the Network mode. 

Meade supplies a Network Server (which solves some other
"issues" i have with AutostarSuite, i.e. who owns the COM port),
so that a near-scope PC can be controlled by a PC elsewhere on a
network.

If you start the Network Server (it's in the
Program Files \ Meade \ AutostarSuite
folder), click it to "Listen"
and then tell the -other- parts of AutostarSuite to
connect via network at address 127.0.0.1
(the universal "loopback" address)
..magic happens

(you do NOT need to be attached to any network to have this work,
but your PC does have to -know- how to talk to the internet)

have fun
--dick
And:
Thanks for the help, Mike and Dick. As usual the Mighty ETX site comes
up trumps again!!

Chris
Derby, UK

Subject:	Problem with Autostar
Sent:	Friday, January 21, 2005 12:56:48
From:	Chris Newsome (chrisnewsome@derbyuk99.freeserve.co.uk)
I have managed to finally link my ETX-105 to my laptop via a #497
Autocontroller through the USB port via a USB/RS232 adaptor and all is
working well. However, I have a few queries with regards to the control
of the telescope/#497 and the software.

Firstly, when the Laptop is connected and talking to the #497
controller, by pressing F9 from Autostar, all the controls work fine,
but I am getting a black screen where the "information"is displayed
above the "Enter" "Mode" and "GoTo" buttons on the laptop/#497 interface
screen. Is this normal? Shouldn't it show what is being displayed on the
#497?

Secondly, when selecting an object from the Autostar starmap and
selecting "SLEW TELESCOPE", the telescope moves to the object as desired
(for example clicking on M51, the scope slews and centres ok). However,
the display on the #497 does not show what the telescope is slewing to.
Again, is this normal?

Finally, when switching between the Autostar and the Hand Controller
interface, you have to tell one application to disconnect the COM port
to the telescope and tell the other application to connect. I would have
thought that any program launched from the main Autostar application
would "hold" the COM port open. Is this a known problem with Autostar or
is it a more fundemental problem with Windows in that a COM port, even
though the same main application is using it, cannot be shared with
another application?

Many thanks for you help in this matter.
 
Kind regards
 
Chris Newsome
(Derby, UK).
Mike here: Although you didn't specify it, it sounds like you are using Meade's Autostar Suite software. If so, then if I understand your questions, they are normal. As to using multiple applications, check out the Networking mode. See the articles "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" and "Network Server Capability" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	Re: AutoStar Suite, Starmap missing Messier objects.
Sent:	Thursday, January 20, 2005 04:07:22
From:	Marbry60@aol.com (Marbry60@aol.com)
Down loading Autostar Update 2 from Meade's site did not do the trick,
however, I did receive the following e-mail.
 
	The Autostar does take alot of fiddling and playing with to get
	a full understanding - one of the reasons that maybe you're not
	seeing all the Messier objects could be that the 'magnitudes'
	under the 'Starmap' fields needs adjusting. Try it  it might
	work, but i'm no expert!
	 
	Regards,
	Barry Morton (Novice Amateur Astronomer!)
 
Yes, it did work, the magnitudes must be set to 'Dimmest' 9.0 for
all Messier objects to be shown.
 
Regards,
Bryan

Subject:	re:  Autostar Remote Handbox Question
Sent:	Tuesday, January 18, 2005 21:28:51
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
> Black Remote Handbox screen

I have vague memories of the problem happening if certain 
color "Themes" have been selected for your Windows Desktop.

Try returning to the "default" theme, and see if the problem disappears.

You might also join the Yahoo group which focuses on the AutostarSuite:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autostarsuite

have fun
--dick
And:
Thanks for the tip. All 3 of my pc's are running WinXP SP2 using the
Silver theme. When I reset them to the default blue the remote handbox
window is white with black text as it should be. After testing the
themes I found XP needs to be in the default blue theme when initally
connecting the handbox but once connected I can change right back to
silver and the display remains normal.

Thanks again,
Bill
And this:
From:	Fernando Campuzano (fcamp@ya.com)
I've also experienced the same problem. Perharps if you change the view
angle on the screen you will be able to see the messages in grey (very
faint) on black. This problem was solved (for me) running the software
with "Administrator" privileges under Windows XP, after which the
messages screen appears anew in white.
Hope this will help you too.

Best regards

Subject:	AutoStar Suite, Starmap missing Messier objects.
Sent:	Tuesday, January 18, 2005 10:10:04
From:	Marbry60@aol.com (Marbry60@aol.com)
My name is Bryan and I live in the UK.
 
I've have not done any astrophotography but when I saw the
advertisements for the Meade DSI I was encouraged to take it up. So in
early Jan 05, I bought it and loaded the software.

The software (version 3.18) loaded with no problems. So I thought I
would familiarize myself with the Starmap functions before attempting
any astrophotography or scope control.

I,m now however, begining to lose my confidencce regarding the software
or its installation.

What I can't understand,not having the computer knowledge, is that only
30% or so of the Messier objects are marked on the starmap. If for
example, M73 is chosen from the Starmap  Menue_Object Selection, the
cross hairs indicate the correct position but M73 is not marked and when
the crosshaire position clicked,_NO OBJECT FOUND is displayed; no matter
how far you zoom in. Yet the File Menue_Images contain all of the
Messier objects and each can be opened and viewed. You can then choose
M4 for example, which is shown on the starmap and the dialogue box
appears,_Show Images etc, is all ok.

All the Messier objects shown on the starmap work ok but the remaining
70% unmarked, the dialogue box, when called up says, NO OBJECT FOUND.

Those that work are quite random eg, between M51 and M110 only M92 and
M93 are OK. M34 to M48 all work with the exception of M40 and M43.

Not being that computer literate, having only taken it up in my early
60's I need some advice off you pros. Can any one help, is it the
software or am I thicker than I thought.

My laptop is a DELL INSPIRON 9100 Pen (R) 4CPU.  3.2GHz with Service
Pack 2.
 
I would be grateful for any advice.
Mike here: I don't know if it will help but try updating to the Autostar Suite Update 2 from Meade's site.
Subject:	Autostar Remote Handbox Question
Sent:	Sunday, January 16, 2005 05:21:23
From:	Bill Dobough (n8nba@hotmail.com)
I just purchased a  Meade ETX-105EC to use when I don't want to setup
the larger 10" SCT. It came with the Autostar LPI and I have one quick
question. When using the remote handbox connected via the com port or a
network, the remote display window is black and I can't see the
messages. All the remote scope controls are working fine but I can't
seem to find a setting for the remote display. I have the Autostar Suite
updated to the latest version 3.18. It came as 3.08 and I have the same
problem with either version. Also the Handbox software is version 33Ef.

Thanks,

Bill
Mike here: I haven't see that problem. There is a new "Update 2" from Meade so if you haven't done that, try it.
Subject:	internet connectionwith meade etx125pe premier edition
Sent:	Thursday, January 13, 2005 16:44:46
From:	NEWOLD (NEWOLD@COMCAST.NET)
Is it possible to make an internet connection with my Pc in my home

and telescope out in the open field?

I am waiting for the new ETX 125 and looking for information on how

to make the connection with and internet connection

Any information will be appreciated.
 
Eli Young aka Newold@comcast.net
Mike here: The Meade Autostar Suite software (bundled with their LPI and DSI) has this capability.
Subject:	Autostar Suite Comets & Asteroids problems
Sent:	Thursday, January 13, 2005 03:11:54
From:	Kevin Wild (kevin@kevinwild.wanadoo.co.uk)
I am not sure if I am doing something wrong or if there is a technical
problem of some sort.  When I use Autostar Suite if i select library
asteroids or comets and then select names in the starmap options box
instead of names or numbers I get all sorts of random symbols and can
make no sense of it at all.  All the other aspects of the survey I have
used so far have operated OK. I use a PC and have the up to date
Autostar suite downloads from the meade site.  Any ideas??
Thanks - Kevin

Subject:	Autostar suite
Sent:	Friday, January 7, 2005 08:22:07
From:	Steven Abba (sabba@hanson-inc.com)
Just a note.  I have been reading your articles and feedback on the
Autostar suite.  By the way, this site you have set up is awesome for
information.

I recently picked up a DS-2000 mount to use with autostar suite. Winter
nights are sometimes the best for viewing but its hard to see when
you're shivering.  So, I am going remote.  Someone may have covered this
already, but just in case they haven't I wanted to let you know.  A
DS-2000 with the 494 handset will work with autostar suite(using the 506
cable set).  The remote handbox will only slew, but the telescope
control panel will work(using the preset speed from the handset).  The
starmap will track and slew as designed however.  I select an object and
choose slew telescope and it goes to the object.  It does seems
necessary to do initialization and alignment with the handset.  Though
the capabilities are limited compared to the 497, it does work.

I have only tested inside and remotely, but I will try astronomical
objects as soon as the skies clear.

Feel free to post this info on your site.

Steven J. Abba
Hanson Professional Services Inc.

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