AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 January 2006

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: LXD 75 Autoguiding
Sent:	Thursday, January 26, 2006 19:48:33
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
> Old vs. new LPI program

When you install the update to Autostar Suite, it does NOT
remove the original LPI Imaging program.
It removes it as an item in the drop-down menu in StarMap,
but the program itself still exists in/as:
ProgramFiles/Meade/AutostarSuite/LPI/LPI.exe

You can create a shortcut on your desktop to that program,
and good ol' Autoguiding returns to your life (i use it).

have fun
--dick
Mike here: I guess that is why Meade recommends you remove the old Suite before installing the new one.

And:

I don't know why they do that... (habit, i guess)
i have found it VERY useful to have the remainders of the previous
 installation still in place...

have fun
--dick

Subject:	Autostar Suite Envisage
Sent:	Tuesday, January 24, 2006 07:15:01
From:	Kirk Sanders (monelect@ozemail.com.au)
I have been using the Autostar Suite Envisage program for about 4 months
with my Meade DSI camera, connected to my laptop running windows xp
professional. (Pentium 4 CPU, 2.40GHz, 704 MB RAM). I do not control the
scope nor do I connect to it as it is a Skywatcher on an HEQ5 PRO with a
Synta Sky Scan Controller. I use the RTGUI program to "go to" from the
laptop. All has been fairly satisfactory until today.

To start the program I click on Autostar Suite icon, then select Image,
then DSI Imaging and the AutoStar Envisage program opens. Firstly the
MONO box is now checked and greyed out, and the usual COLOR button now
shows Cntrl. If I click on the CNTRL tab it opens the usual white
balance box but nothing is selectable except OK and it closes. I have
uninstalled the Meade software completely using the uninstall program. I
have reinstalled the software and also loaded the ASupdate 3 software
downloaded from the Meade web site but this does not fix the problem.

If I select START, Programs, Meade, Auto Star DSI, the Meade Imaging
screen opens and all is normal and working. But the shadow enhance only
goes to 20 whereby in Envisage it goes to 50, as well as a few other
differences. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get the
Envisage program working again correctly. I have been through your site
(great site) carefully and I can't see any other references to this
problem, and the local Meade dealer says to search the net because as
usual they have not heard of this problem before.
 
Thanks again for a great site
Kirk Sanders, PERTH Western Australia
Mike here: I haven't installed the update (Windows app, you know...) but perhaps someone else will comment on your problem.
Subject:	LXD 75 Autoguiding
Sent:	Tuesday, January 24, 2006 14:20:06
From:	Nick Gliatis (ngliatis@yahoo.com)
Haven't seen much on the web regarding this, I recently upgraded the
Autostar Suite and now under LPI Imaging there is no option for
Autoguiding. The program was replaced by something called "Envisage" and
has something called "Autotracking" which is not the same as
autoguiding. Should I reinstall the old version of the software? I need
something out there that can autoguide this mount and speaks Autostar.

First night out I used K3CCDTools AND the old version of Autostar Suite
and I had this problem where the star would drift in one direction. I
fixed that problem by curing the "rubberbanding" effect and a lose shaft
(one hex bolt was kind of lose).

Second night out it managed to autoguide OK with max errors in RA around
10 arc seconds and STD deviation around 3 arc seconds during 20 minute
guiding. I've been on this for two cold nights now and it's really
getting frustrating. There still were irregular lines almost as if the
mount was fighting  overcorrection which might be an issue with the
settings in K3CCDTools. DEC was a different story.

I had a perfect polar alignment going on but still wanted to try out the
DEC autoguiding function and well, same story. The mount was struggling
and groaning to correct the correction.

Then I started Envisage and the live view was coming and going white
again before I finally gave up.

I did get a nice AVI of Saturn though thus taking advantage of the good
polar alignment ;)

I would appreciate any feedback on this.

Nick

Subject:	IP #
Sent:	Sunday, January 15, 2006 15:31:30
From:	Kris phil (maxwell98802@yahoo.com)
Sorry for bugging you again, I'm new to this, Having a ETX-125 with LPI
and I downloaded the update that Meade has on their site. On the imaging
tab it's asking for a IP#  for the Telescope. The manual I have is for
the Standard LPI and not the updated Version. I have looked and read
everything and everywhere (Meade site)  Drizzle ,(PDF), and can't find
this. Nothing at all on IP # ?   Would you please direct me to the
correct place or is this for something other then the ETX series?  
LX200, LX90   ETC ??

Thanks   Terry
Mike here: There is a PDF file on the update on Meade's site that discusses Drizzle: http://www.meade.com/autostar/update/. It is called "Drizzle Update (PDF)". As to an IP address, see the networking and the Mac articles in the Autostar Suite section on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	re:Autostar to control ETX125 from computer
Sent:	Thursday, January 12, 2006 06:57:21
From:	Stewart Long (Stewart.Long@bcm-ltd.co.uk)
Mark wrote: 
 if I try to get the Autostar
 software to talk to the telescope so that I can control it from the
 computer that does not work. It is connected using the serial adaptor
 supplied with the LPI...

You first need to start the network server in autostar suite. Make sure
you tick the box saying 'listening on port...'. Then start Envisage to
fire up the camera and scope control. Go to connect scope and wait
longer than you think is sensible (!). You will get a connected message.
Ensure you have set the details of what scope you are using in the menu.
You can then control the scope using either autostar or the buttons on
the Envisage screen- very useful when taking images and trying to keep
the target on the ccd of the lpi. Hope this helps,

Stewart

Subject:	LPI/DSi Autoguiding
Sent:	Monday, January 9, 2006 09:13:34
From:	K_Downing (k_downing@comcast.net)
I have a Meade DS80 OTA ring-mounted to either an Meade AR6 or N6 Newt,
plus LPI and DSI cameras.  I hope to use the LPI in the DS80 to
autoguide for the DSI on the 6" scope(s), and vice versa from time to
time.  I cannot fathom how the LPI can autoguide and correct through the
autostar without some sort of calibration or orientation?  In other
words, if the LPI/DSI does not know which way is up, down, left or right
how does it send proper correction/movement signals to the autostar? I
saw somewhere how to setup the LPI and DSI by rotating the camera in the
eyepiece holder to a certain position based upon what type of scope is
being used but even this seems a bit rough for astrophotography. Anyway,
I am stumped as to how to setup either of these cameras for autoguiding
beyond adjusting the rates in the autostar to avoid circle-like,
overcorrected tracking by the LPI. As to using the Autostar Suite
Software, I can most probably figure that out on my own, I just need to
know how the physical setup should be.  Any help you can give me will be
greatly appreciated.

I live in the Pacific NW and the skies have not been clear for a while,
but as I discover how to use all this neat gear together, I will
hopefully be able to share something useful on your site for other
people like me.  Until then, I am a beggar!
 
Best regards and clear skies,
 
Kevin Downing
Mike here: Yes, it needs to start from a known position but I haven't actually done it. As to the Autostar Suite software, I'm not certain what you are asking but there are some Autostar Suite articles on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	Autostar to control ETX125 from computer
Sent:	Thursday, January 5, 2006 13:33:19
From:	Mark Roots (mark@rootsy.fsnet.co.uk)
I have installed the Autostar suite (v2) as supplied with the LPI I
recently purchased. I can get the LPI working (although not all the
features seem to function), however, if I try to get the Autostar
software to talk to the telescope so that I can control it from the
computer that does not work. It is connected using the serial adaptor
supplied with the LPI. Changing to different ports and baud does not
work and I am frustrated now.. can anyone help??
Mike here: Some Autostar Suite packages seem to have been shipped with a bad #505 serial cable. Either contact Meade for a replacement or make your own (see the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page for info). That said, is it only the Autostar Suite software that doesn't communicate or does the Autostar Update also not see the Autostar? For info on testing communications, see the article "Testing Autostar Communications" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.

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Copyright ©2006 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackJan06/autostar_suite.html