Last updated: 4 August 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, and Deep Sky Imager, DSI, are covered in the Helpful Information - Astrophotography area.)
Subject: RE: Controlling Telescope from DSI "Envisage" softwarew Sent: Sunday, July 16, 2006 03:42:50 From: Jim Beston (email@example.com) I have had another session with the connection problem. To summarise: Connection through Comm 4 allows both control of the ETX via "Remote Handbox" or within the Skymap - I can slew the etx to any point on the map by clicking on it. Therefore the physical connection is OK. Opening envisage software either alone or from the Autostar suite and clicking on "Connect" produces the same error: Invalid IP address No such host is known And, on closing the error box: ConnectError: Server not found. Presumably the IP address is 127.0.0.1 which I have thought is fixed for a windows system - or can I change it. I have created an exception for port 5401. Am I getting confused between two modes of communication? Thanks once more (it will be very satisfying and I hope informative for all when this problem is licked!) Jim P.S. One further thing, If I open up the envisage software alone, there is no facility to set up a communications protocol so this has to be done from autostar suite which I must have open.
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) No, you're still not getting it... Envisage *does* have the capability to connect directly to the serial port... (that's how i run it... i have not started "NetScope" in over a year...) I've attached a screen grab showing the connection choice i use. have fun --dick
And an update:
Well Dick and Mike I think that the light has dawned: You see when I first opened the Envisage software I saw the Tab labeled "Telescope". On clicking on this the telescope controls were revealed. Just above the direction controls was an empty window with Telescope in Bold just above it. So, I did what perhaps a lot of people in my state of ignorance would do and that is to promptly type in the name of the Telescope "LX200GPS". Your screen shot has revealed that this is where you should put the com port address, in my case Com4. I did actually think of this prior to receiving your last mail but I actually typed in Comm4 which was rejected. I currently have my ETX scope connected to my Laptop on my PC desk and in the status box is written Autostar ver:4.0EB Autotrack only. Since clicking on the four direction tabs doesn't seem to move the scope (eg. Slew:N@1 appears in status box when "pressing" N tab)- I presume that control is only by Drizzle? Will this be different when I connect to my Autostar II and LX200GPS ie will I be able to use the various slew sppeds? I have just taken the trouble to look through the DSI manual where. In fairness to Meade (about whom I was having some very uncharitable thoughts) the Com port field (where I had wrongly written the name of my scope) is clearly identified. Anyway Gentlemen, thankyou very much for your help and I guess the lesson I have learn't is READ THE MANUAL!! Too much excitement an impatience - even at age 62! Jim BestonMike here: Yes, reading AND understanding the manual are always valuable.
Subject: re: Controlling Telescope from DSI "Envisage" softwarew Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2006 19:07:03 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) Envisage should be able to connect to the scope if you do NOT have -any- other portion of Autostar Suite talking to it. So set StarMap to Telescope/Protocol "None" and -then- start the imaging process. have fun --dick
Thank you for this, Gentlemen. I shall be having another try in the next couple of days I'll let you both know the outcome. Best Regards, Jim
I have continued to try and connect a 'scope to the Autostar suite to allow control via the Envisage software - using my ETX and basic Autostar controller. This is what happens: 1) PC (Laptop with good connection too internet) connected to Autostar RS232 socket 2) Autostar connected to ETX HBX socket 3) Start Autostar suite (Version 3.23): 4) In Starmap clicking: Telescope, Protocol and Remote Handbox Brings up autostar Control screen . Ticking "Connect" (Com Port =4) Activates Autostar control by the PC which works fine. 5) Autostar Control disconnected & program closed. PC re booted. 6) In Starmap clicking: Communications, Start Network Server Opens Autostar Net Scope: Scope Port = 4 Dome Port =2 (No Dome connected) Set Password & ticking "Listen" Box, Status becomes: "Listening on Port 5401" 7) In Starmap, clicking: Telescope, Protocol (initially "none" is shown as ticked), Autostar by Network, brings up: "Remote Telescope address" (Previously set at 127.0.0.1) Clicking on "Connect" : NO Password prompt comes up BUT Net Scope shows "Connected to 127.1.0.0.1" After a few secs. the communications Error box pops up: "Read Timeout! Attempting to read from an unopened port! Attempting to output to an unlocked port! Lock Timeout Communications Terminated But the warning about moving an unattended scope comes up. After clicking on "OK" Autorstar suite freezes for a few secs then the same Communications error box pops up again. If I try to connect telescope in Envisage (with or without Autostar suite running and with Net Scope connected the connect error: Invalid IP address No such host is known And on clicking on "OK": Connection Error: ServerNotFound is displayed. Other than try this on another PC I'm stumped! I'd be VERY glad of any further advice. Thanks, JimMike here: I think I will leave this one to Dick as he understands Windows networking much better than I since I use a Macintosh for most important things. At work I use a Windows machine but I have a $2B IT group to solve all the Windows problems that come up multiple times a day...
I might be wrong, but I get the impression that you are not that keen on windows! Can't imagine why.................... Jim
Do NOT use the Network server. My suggestion was to use Envisage *only*. Have it directly connect to the telescope using the same COM port which you used for StarMap and Remote Handbox. But **only** have Envisage connected... no other programs (they can be running, but do not have them connected to the scope) This will let you run Envisage. I am 2500 miles from my telescopes, so i cannot test Network Server with a 'real' connection. I will re-read your note and see if anything "leaps" out at me (have you turned off your Windows Firewall?, or at least created an "exception" for port 5401 ?) have fun --dick
Did you mean just boot up, open the envisage software and click on connect without any prior port configuration? I'll try this tomorrow (midnight here now). I must admit I did think it could be a firewall problem so I'll try experimenting with those settings tomorrow also. Thanks for your kind help. Jim
Jim Beston wrote: > Hi Dick & Mike, > > Did you mean just boot up, open the envisage software and click on > connect without any prior port configuration? I'll try this tomorrow > (midnight here now). Well, you may have to -tell- it which port the telescope is on (if i recall correctly, there are tick-boxes and a little window you can type "COM6" in if the number is greater than 4) > I must admit I did think it could be a firewall problem so I'll try > experimenting with those settings tomorrow also. The NetScope system *is* a "network" operation.. so the firewall has to be told to let it pass (or kill the firewall) have fun --dick
Subject: Controlling Telescope from DSI "Envisage" softwarew Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 08:40:14 From: Jim Beston (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have a problem with setting up the connection between my 'scope (LX200GPS) and the new "Envisage" Autostar (V 4.1h) software which I hope that you can help me with. Firstly, the connection between the PC and scope is via a USB/Serial.RS232 adaptor. Via this connection I can control using the on-screen "handbox" in the suite, Furthermore I can also control the Telescope using the Telescope function in Starry Night Pro. It therefore came as a complete surprise when I found that I could not connect to the scope by clicking on the Telescope Tab and then on "Connect" in the Envisage (DSI) software. There are obviously some subtleties about these connections of which I am not aware. From scanning some messages on your site I think I might have to set up this control link by starting the "Network Server" but I haven't got much of a clue about exactly how to do it. Can you advise please? For various reasons, not the least generally awful weather for months, I have not done much observing for nearly a year, but now I am getting going again and, I must admit I have been very impressed with Meade's "Drizzle" software and retirement has given me the opportunity to Stargaze all night now! Kindest Regards and thanks for your kind help, as always. Jim BestonMike here: Yes, you need to set up the "network", which allows the "suite" of applications to talk through the single serial port connection to the Autostar. See the articles "Network Server Capability" and "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Thanks for your reply MIke. I did find an article on your site which detailed setting up the network server Everything did seem to connect but I get a timeout error. I haven't got a clue why I should get this error and I shall investigate further and let you know if I fix it/ THANKS AGAIN jIM
Subject: LPI Imager and Voyager for Mac OSX Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 10:41:39 From: Rori Baldari (email@example.com) Does the Autostar Suite software for LPI and DSI imagers run on Windows PCs only? If so, what alternatives are there for Mac OS X users? I know the Voyager 4 (Carina Software) has a telescope control interface, and can drive ETXs. Can I use this in conjunction with the LPI? Thanks, RoriMike here: The Meade software is Windows only. You can use Mac OS X software to control the telescope (via the Autostar). To use the LPI with Mac OS X, see the article "LPI with Mac OS X" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject: RE: Software for the DSI Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2006 05:40:39 From: Johnson, David A (firstname.lastname@example.org) Yeah, I've tried that with very limited success. I think the coordination of when the DSI software makes the file and when another ftp program moves the file tends to be tricky. Not to mention it uses up more resources. It would be really nice if they just added a few more lines of code and integrated it. Thanks, DavidMike here: True that you don't want to ftp the file while it is still being processed. Suggest the feature to Meade at email@example.com.
Subject: Software for the DSI Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2006 10:49:12 From: Johnson, David A (firstname.lastname@example.org) Currently the software that you get with a DSI Pro has a setting for webcam pages, but this only seems to work if you are hosting your own web server. It will not take an ftp address or an http url to a commercial website. Do you know if they plan to correct this? Thanks, David David JohnsonMike here: Don't know but you can always use another ftp package to upload images.
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