Last updated: 30 June 2002
Subject: The ghost is Scrolling it... Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 20:45:25 From: email@example.com (Tim Sheets) Though I have frequented, and greatly enjoyed your fabulous site since well before I got My ETX-90EC over two years ago, this is the first time in a very long time I've written. Tonight, I went out for the first time in weeks. Clouds finally broke. Anyway, I had a fairly poor Alt/Az easy alignment, but I don't think it should cause this problem. After an object was in the field of view with GOTO (M57 in this case), and I attempted to center it in the FOV, the scope scrolled back to the original GOTO location. I moved it again, and sure enough, it scrolled back again. Have you heard of this behavior? What might I do about it? I realize this is probably already somewhere on this site, but with the incredible amount of info, I would never find it. Thanks, TimMike here: Glad you like the Site. Thanks. The behavior you are experiencing is known as "rubberbanding". RETRAINING the drives will usually fix it.
Subject: 505 Cable Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 17:24:06 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marvin & Tina) I have tried to make a the 505 cable as described on your site with no luck. I have the ETX 125 scope with the 407 autostar. I would like to download updates. Any suggestions? MarvMike here: The cable info is correct and has been used successfully by others. Can you describe the problem and your computer system in more detail?
I built the cable using a phone handset cord and a serial plug from radio shack. wire 1 to 3 wire 2 to 2 and 4 to 5. When I connect it to my computer, starry night or astronomer's control panel do not find a scope connected. As far as the autostar goes it starts the test every button. When it finishes it says PIC failure V13 C001. Any suggestions to what I am doing wrong or the error I have?Mike here: Sounds correct. So check your connections and be certain the serial port is not in use by other software (Palm Hotsync, fax, etc.). But that error code bothers me; the software should only report a connection failure.
And from our Autostar expert:
From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) Ahhh... very easy to diagnose: you have the signal wires from the Autostar short-circuited. You are seeing the "factory test" which the Autostar performs if, upon power-up, it "receives" the same character that it sends out (an "X") during initialization. (i should add the PIC Failure V13 message to the self-test instructions which form a part of: http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_testing.html ) So either the handset cord or the serial adapter have a short circuit. (or your PC's serial port is "echoing" what it receives back out, but i've never seen that in the past 10 years) You can test -which- one is the guilty party by (a) plug the handset cord into the Autostar... but NOT into the adapter Power up the Autostar... key test? Bad cord. (b) if the power up in (a) was normal (asked you the date), power down, plug the adapter onto the handset cord, but NOT into the PC. Power up.... key test? bad adapter. (c) is (b) didn't get the key test, start the Autostar Update program on the PC, attact the adapter... try a "connect" or [retrieve] Good luck --dick
Subject: ETX home position Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 12:33:31 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Roy Faiman) I'm not sure I understand the Autostar manual clearly enough reguarding the "Home position" for my scope. After each time I put the scope in this position, it slews and stops in some strange angle whilst looking for a star in "easy align" mode. Help? Thanks again... RoyMike here: There are several alignment and home position tip articles on the Autostar Information page. Check those.
Subject: Re: Supercharged scope - changing location Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 1:22:20 From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) To: John Hello John and congratulations on the scope! It truly is a great scope and Tim took excellent care and pride in it. No, you will NOT have to do a reset! The quickest and most accurate way of entering a new location is to go to SETUP/Site....and select Tim's location; then press ENTER and scroll down until you get to "ADD"; this will bring up CALIFORNIA as the first option; scroll until you get to YOUR state (Press ENTER) and then scroll to the closest city listed in the database to YOU and press ENTER again; that will place that city in the locations (SITE) file for you. Now to change that select that new city by pressing ENTER and scroll down until you get to EDIT and press ENTER again, at which time you are prompted to change the name; do so if you like; ENTER it and scroll down (lower right scroll key) to the next Edit Entry which is LATITUDE and press enter. At this time it shows the Lat. for the city you just selected...if you press ENTER, the cursor starts blinking and you can change to exactly your latitude. The next EDIT is Longitude! This automatically will set you time zone, etc., so that there can be no error in that! Good luck! Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod firstname.lastname@example.org Arkansas Sky Observatory www.arksky.org ----- Original Message ----- Hello Dr. Sherrod, I purchased a used supercharged ETX125-EC scope and have just received it (unfortunately, tonight the skies over the western Chicago suburbs are overcast and threatening storms - figures !) I purchased the scope from a gentleman (Tim, you might remember him as he is from AR) who had your supercharge service done very recently (May of this year). I have read much about your service, and frequent Weasners Mighty ETX site - I am very excited to have found a scope that you have worked on used. If you don't mind, even though I myself didn't order the supercharge service from you, I'd like to pose a quick question: Tim's location is obviously much different than mine. If I change the observing location via Autostar, do I have to do a complete reset of the scope ? I wouldn't think so, but thought I should ask. If I don't need to do a reset after I modify the observing location, do I need to re-train the drives ? Thanks much, - John
Subject: Training Drives and Percent Az/Alt Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:48:02 From: email@example.com While following Clay Sherrod's Reset/Initialization/Training procedure outlined in the Tech Tips, Part II, it instructs one to set some nominal (or small) percent AZ and Alt values BEFORE training the drives (Fig. 2b). I'm assuming it means it's OK to set relatively SMALL percentages before the training (??) In an archive message thread of around Feb. 26, 2001, "Re: Percentages and Training," it is implied (I think) that one should set the percentages AFTER the training. In my case, I am setting the percentages AFTER the training, since they are fairly large percentages (50%). Is this the correct sequence to set them? I left them at the default 1%; trained the drives; then increased the percentages to reduce the "wind up" time for the two axes. Is this the way it should be done? Thank you in advance for your help and excellent advice. I don't know how long we'd flounder around without these published procedures. (In fact, I don't even SEE any reference to the Percent Az/Alt issue in Meade's instruction manual on their site.) Thanks again. Art KotzAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Clay Sherrod) Art - that procedure is absolutely perfect; the only time it is really necessary to have a "bit" of value in the Alt-Az percentages is if you have a serious delay in either axis going into training the prevents the scope from moving immediately upon the training commands. But to set the values AFTER training is completed is perfect! Good question! Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod email@example.com Arkansas Sky Observatory www.arksky.org
Subject: Is this "Rubber Banding?" Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 9:13:15 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks again for the great site! I've looked through the archives, etc. and am not quite sure if I'm experiencing "creep-after-beep," "rubber banding," or whatever. I have an almost unused Feb 1999 vintage ETX-90EC, but with a new Autostar 497, running Ver. 2.2E (I had to practically stomp on the pushbuttons of the original Autostar to make them work -- right out of the box, yet). I removed most of the slop from the dec axis ala Sherrod's et al posts. I've done the reset, calibrate, and careful train on the unit. It can "goto" fairly well, but after slewing to some keypad-chosen object, if the object is, say at the bottom of the FOV, and I use the arrow keys to move it to center, the dec drives move it back to the original "goto" position (bottom of FOV). It will keep doing this until I give up on it. Is this the infamous "rubber banding," or is it the "creep-after- beep," or what? I didn't notice if it is restricted to the dec axis (I use it in alt-az, and so far, the RA part of the "goto" puts the object in the center of the FOV). I gather, if it is rubberbanding, I just need to try more resets, calibration, and careful training.(?) BTW, is the Ver 2.2E the "version from hell," or is it OK? I'd just as soon get one thing working before adding upgrades to the "pie." I have some more questions and comments, but I'll post them separately, to keep the S/N up. Thanks for any help. Art KotzMike here: Returning the original position is the "rubberbanding". I'd strongly recommending upgrading to the current version (but don't forget the reset, retraining).
Subject: Autostar problem Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 5:10:23 From: email@example.com (Chris Prarie) First, thanks for hosting such a site! After looking over all your information I decided to make the jump and bought a ETX-105 a few months ago. Anyways, the reason for this e-mail is a problem I am having with my Autostar. Everything was working fine until the last time I took the telescope out. Now, when I turn the scope and Autostar on (using battery power), I can manually control the scope with the keypad, no problems... Then when I try to do an easy align, the scope slews to a star, but I then lose control of the scope (I can not move the scope with the key pad any longer). I switched out the Autostar for the controller that came with the telescope, and had no problems moving the scope... Also I can power the scope off then turn it on with the Autostar, and the same problem occurs again... Any ideas? Also, I have not updated the Autostar, nor made any other modifications to my setup. Thanks, ChrisMike here: I suggest replacing the batteries; they may be too drained for Autostar operation. Let me know if that helps.
Well I lower my head in embarrassment... Changed the batteries and all is good!!
Subject: Autostar help Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2002 21:58:50 From: Uey2348@aol.com I emailed you several questions about the ETX in the past few weeks, and thanks for the info it helped a lot. Anyway, I have an autostar, and follow the procedures listed in the manual and your book on how to align it properly, a couple of questions though. 1. How do I get the text to slow down so I can read it? 2. When I align it using the recommended method and search for, like the moon, it says it is below the horizon, when it is clearly out? Any info would be great. Gene Kenney, PN2/USNMike here: Use the up/down scroll arrow keys to change the scrolling text speed. Check the date/time/daylight savings settings in the Autostar; incorrect entries can result in below-the-horizon or other errors, especially on objects that change over time (moon, planets, etc).
Subject: Re: Autostar Tracking Backwards? Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2002 18:56:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tony & Bridgette Leff) G'day Mike, Thanks for your reply... After discussions with Dick Seymour, it seems there is nothing wrong with the Autostar after all. The mistake was mine...I was expecting the RA reading of the autostar to mirror the Southern Hemisphere RA reading on my setting circles. Anyway, Thanks for all your help. Regards, Tony
Subject: re: A couple of questions - if I may. Sent: Friday, June 21, 2002 23:06:08 From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org All LXD55 owners should be aware of (and/or join) the Yahoo LXD55 discussion group. It's at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LXD55telescopes/ and has dozens of messages per day by LXD55 owners and users. > Will the 3.51 updater work with my Autostar 497? Yes, it is Meade's ONLY updater for the current firmware. If your Autostar is not already running v25Ea, then you will need/want to download that file, too. The Updater can do it for you. > If so, what other patches would you recommend? that you be using 25Ea. I have written a patch kit for it, (on Mike's site in the Autostar Info section), but you really do NOT need to patch to enjoy and use the scope to its fullest. have fun --dick
Subject: Using the AutoStar Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 1:24:28 From: email@example.com (roy faiman) I trust you are well and hope you are not too tired of people like my self, bothering you endlessly... I now have the Autostar in hand (got it yesturday!). When I align the scope using one or two stars, as stressed out in the menu, the alignment is far from being correct (I used Spica and Regulus), and when I tryed to Sync. it, it would'nt stay on the star, but drifted els where. What can be doen? PS I use the telescope from my apprtment and don't have view of Polaris nor to any of the stars used by "Align: Easy". Thanks again, Roy Faiman.Mike here: Check all the settings (date, time, location, daylight savings, telescope model, mounting mode). If that doesn't help, do a RESET, CALIBRATION, and TRAIN the drives from the appropriate menus. You also might try stars further apart. You can also "fake the alignment"; if you can start in a good HOME position, just try accepting the Easy Alignment stars as being centered even though you can not see them.
Subject: Re: Autostar LST dual value report Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 23:20:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: WB6MCW@aol.com > Does the LX200GPS behaves more like a LX200 or like Autostar? I've never played with a Classic LX200, so i can't answer from experience. But i suspect the answer is "like Autostar"... since the computer chip is the same, and a lot of the programming is byte-for-byte the same. Conversely, a lot is -not- the same. PEC, for example. > I understand it used Autostar II. ...and i wonder what that implies to you? Since Meade hasn't "defined" (in their advertising) what an Autostar II -is- (other than 3.5x more memory), it's kind'a fuzzy. I can see many esoteric differences under the hood, but the family resemblence is strong. > I have StaryNight Pro and I don't see a telescope connection. Is there > another version? There are at least three versions, but all share the same method of reaching the telescope: they depend upon a -different- program. My "bundle" edition (comes free with ETX70's) has Astronomer's Control Panel (ACP) to perform the speak-to-telescope function. Along the top line of menu items in SN's screen is "Telescope", which activates the connection (by starting ACP in the background). I believe SNP can also make use of ASCOM drivers, but i don't know. I rarely use my laptop for scope control... it's not my style of observing. > Why after alignment successful and having the LX90 goto OK for a > while, after a couple of hours it goes-to the wrong place? Difficult to guess... one bad SYNC can blow the rest of the evening. (if you're running in High Precision mode... NEVER [mode] during the slew to the "guide star"... sever misalignment will ensue. At least it's easily fixed by doing a Setup/Align operation. > I use high precision and spiral search to center the objects and > then press enter and hold to sync. Is sync used several times ruining > the alignment? You use the Autostar's High Precision -and- still need to Sync on the final target?? High Precision -is- SYNC, just semi-automated.... every slew to a guide star is a Sync operation. > Also I use the STV for guiding, does the calibration/tracking ruin the > alignment? I'm lost... what's STV? But genericly, Autoguiding and tracking do *not* adversely affect alignment... all of those inputs are processed by the Autostar, so it knows what it's doing. > I believe I understand the steps for alignment and the coordinate > system but is there a place (book, web site) to really learn how the > Autostar or the LX90 goes about alignment at a deeper level? No. Well, maybe. To my knowledge, Meade hasn't divulged what algorithms they're using, except in the disclosures in the Patents issued for Autostar operation. Those are numbers 6,304,376 and (i forget the second). You can access them through http://www.pto.gov by either a numeric lookup or searching for "Meade" as assignee. > I don't expect to learn all the tricks and bugs that you learned in > many years but it may help to communicate and understand better > about the equipment I have. That chunk of the code is convoluted enough that i've never been able to follow it (my analogy is "like trying to understand the growth of a forest by looking at the vein pattern on a few leaves"). Even figuring out when they're calling "Cosine" is difficult, and figuring out which data are being fed to the Cosine is nearly impossible. Although i'd find it intellectually interesting to trace, it's beyond my abilities (and patience). have fun --dick
Subject: A couple of questions - if I may. Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 12:48:45 From: email@example.com (David P. Sherfy) I have a new LXD55 scope. Will the 3.51 updater work with my Autostar 497? If so, what other patches would you recommend? Thanks a lot for the help - you have a great site! SherfMike here: According to the info on Meade's site, the updater should work.
Subject: etx 125ec astro telescope Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 7:51:25 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ernie duncan) i bought a etx 125 several years ago and still can not get the electronic go to controller to work correctly. when used it tries to push the scope down between the mounts. there is a scale with numbers (two sets one on base other vertical) i do not know what these numbered scales are use for. the set up for polar view etc never makes reference to these numbers. please help or advise. thank you. completely lost in space ernie duncan e-mail email@example.com ps the scope does work i can find jupiter etc the moons around jupiter are clear and the rings around saturn are good. the scopes i had as a child in the 70"s did not find these. have a great day ernieMike here: See the Autostar Information page on the ETX Site. There are a lot of alignment and HOME position tips there. Once you've looked at some of those items and have tried to make things work, if you are still having a problem drop me a note with specifics. As to the Altitude (DEC) scale, if it doesn't read correctly, see the item on the FAQ page. But you really don't need to use the scale with the Autostar.
Subject: Re: autostar Sent: Monday, June 17, 2002 14:49:19 From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Mike L > I have downloaded the ASU; problems with th 25 EA - do I need it? Would it > be downloaded when I try to update my 495? Yes, you will eventually need it. Yes, the Updater can download it for you. The Updater can also download it -without- having your Autostar attached. I do NOT recommend having the Autostar hung in the "Downloading... do not turn off" mode while you're trying to have a (near) megabyte arrive across the wires. Simply start the Updater (without attaching your Autostar), and click the [update now] button. It will notice the absence of Autostar, and provide a box with two menu slots: one is "what kind of Autostar?" (497, or ETX) The other is the "where to get the code?" choice. If you answer "497" and "Internet", it will bring over the file for you, and leave it in the proper folder (ProgramFiles\Meade\ASU\Ephemerides) Then, after that's successful, you can connect your Autostar, do the two-finger power-up, and then tell the Updater to [update now], this time choosing the Local file option. > problems getting 25ea What kind of problems? good luck --dick
Subject: Docs for Autostar 2.5? Sent: Monday, June 17, 2002 8:36:15 From: email@example.com (Donald Davenport) Just upgraded from 2.0. Is there documentation (either here or at Meade's site) that explains the new features (Max Elev, Min AOS, etc.) in 2.5? Simply wouldn't do to have any bell or whistle remain unused if I can help it. Thanks, Don DavenportMike here: The LX90 docs (see the FAQ page on the ETX Site) seem to have the most complete info but it is now out-of-date (the last time I looked).
Subject: Autostar Tracking Backwards? Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2002 21:42:12 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tony & Bridgette Leff) I'm hoping you may be able to help me with a problem. I'm trying to convert my 10" LX50 for use with a 495 Autostar. I have installed the R.A. motor up to the existing worm gear in the telescope, and the Autostar seems to work fairly well...except..the telescope seems to track in the wrong direction (i.e west to east). First, some background info. that may or may not be relevent. I live in Brisbane, Australia (ie. the southern hemisphere). The scope is permanently mounted on a pier, and polar aligned to the south celestial pole. The autostar is set up for Brisbane, and selects stars in the southern hemisphere. If I change the sign of the azimuth gear ratio, the telescope tracks in the right direction, but the R.A. shown by the autostar, corresponds to the R.A. reading on the Northern Hemisphere setting circle. Can you offer any advice on what may be causing this problem, and how to get around it. Kind Regards, Tony Leff
Subject: I need your help with my ETX Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2002 15:38:44 From: email@example.com (Jason Inamoto) Hello I recently bought a ETX -90EC telescope and I am having trouble with it. This is my very first telescope and I don't really understand the instruction manual. I have read it many times, but I still don't understand it. The part that I don't understand the most is training the telescope. I think the instruction manual talks too brief on it, so can you please elaborate on the subject? Thankyou. Jason Inamoto PS Also, do you know if there is any way I can get my hands on a Japanese version of my instruction manual? Because I am having a very hard time comprehending the words in the English instruction manual.Mike here: Training the drives with the Autostar is simple (if you don't use the Autostar then drive training is not required). You train in both axes, one at a time. Pick a stationary distant object or you can use Polaris at night (if you can see it). Follow the Autostar menu prompts. Center the object, press ENTER, the telescope slews in one direction and then back, recenter the object using the indicated Autostar slewing arrow key and press ENTER once centered. The process repeats for the other direction. Repeat for other axis. For a Japanese version, see this web page for contact info: http://www.meade.com/authdlrsintrnl/Japan/1317.html.
Subject: GPS use Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 17:45:30 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (drew) Im just wondering (gears turning, light bulbs lighting) I see that there are a few Hand held GPSr's(Global Positioning System recievers) that have a 3-axis electronic compass as well as "Live" Barometers/altimetor. These units use the ASCII lingo to comunicate with a PC as well as NMEA hardware. My question is...... Would you think it possible to Connect and set your location on the autostar units to match your exact location/altitude? Also: would you think it possible to mount the GPSr on the OTA and have the Autostar unit receive data from the GPSr via laptop/pda to help control the scope. I know that it would be hard for the angle to be determind by The GPSr but the "true" pointing relation of the OTA would be Accurate (set to true north on the GPSr). DrewMike here: There is software that will take the input from a GPS and then pass the location info to the Autostar. Which one it is escapes me at the moment but I do recall one for the Macintosh. As to whether that would be THAT MUCH more accurate remains as an exercise for the interested reader!
Subject: Autostar update from ver 2.0 Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 11:05:47 From: email@example.com (David Volpe) The web sight and scope are truely mighty! I have an ETX-125 and an Autostar handbox. The software version is 2.0. I have read a fair amount about updating the software yet am still confused about what I specifically need to do. This may have a little to do with the fact that I have two toddlers that refuse to give me the time to study up on the subject. Sorry to bother you with such an elementary request, but even as I write my 3 yr old is pouting because I'm preventing her ffrom playing Blue's Clues on the (MY)computer. PLEASE HELP! I'm suffering data overload, and don't know where to start! 1. Where can I purchase the cable to connect my PC to the AUTOSTAR. 2. Do I need any special software to update? If so where can I get it? 3. There seems to be a lot of downloads to choose and various patches, what order should I use? Like many you've helped, I'm trying to get that perfect "ETX GO TO" you've refered to. Ultimately my goal is to do some astrophotography. No I have to make a PB&J. Dave. PS. Will your book be available Barnes&Noble or Books a Million, or should I use Amazon.Mike here: See the article "How to use the 3.x Updater" on the Autostar Information page. It is fairly straightforward to update the Autostar. You can either make a cable (info on the Autostar Information page) or buy one from your favorite Meade dealer. Don't worry about patches (yet or at all, depending upon your level of experience); just enjoy using the current version. As to the book, BN has it online. Don't know if the local stores have it yet.
Subject: oeps! Sent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 6:58:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I think I just f*cked up my autostar!!! I was fabricating my own autostar extention-cable and I think it had a false connection because....it doesn't do nothing anymore!(Only the Autostar, my scope (ETX-125) still works with the standard handcontroller) What do I have to do? Go to the nearest Meade dealer and let it fix by Meade or ...do you know another solution? How can I safely make my extention-cable?I used a class5 network cable, RJ45 plugs and a special tool to bring it all together! Greatings, Kris BELGIUMMike here: If you mean it doesn't the Autostar doesn't come one when the ETX is powered up, yep, you probably fried the Autostar. You can either return it for a repair/replacement (and pay a lot) or buy a used one (eBay; elsewhere). As to a long Autostar cable, see the info on the Autostar Information page.
Subject: Polar alignment Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 23:09:56 From: email@example.com (ken w anderson) I am in need of advice. Ive had an Etx for a couple of years and have used it successfully to produce some astrophotography pics. Its that time of the year when you can really get out . Once I set up my scope and go thru the 2 star alignment in polar mode and walaa it zips right past the star and completely to the opposite side of the sky. Im pretty sure ive set up correctly, so what might the problem be? Attached is a pic of my scope in the polar home position and the RA is turned clockwise until the hardstop and then backed up to a fork over the computer control panel.
Im sorry i did turn it counterclockwise.My mistake in the way I wrote this to you.Mike here: See the article anyway.
OK I just did a simulated test and now it works. I just dont get it.Mike here: Somebody once said "practice makes perfect".
Now I seem to have a new problem. I was able to get the stars to align in polar mode and when I would input a stars name it would get fairly close, but I would still have to adjust a little to find the mark. Once the autostar would give me a message alignment successful I thought I was ready. I inputted the moon and it started to move but it rolled past close to the same track parralel to the moon. Is this because my initial alignment is not perfect?Mike here: Your latitude adjustment on your tripod might not be accurate, your site location in your Autostar might not be accurate, your time might not have been accurate, and if you are not running a reasonably current Autostar version, the Moon's position might not be as accurate. So, check all those.
Subject: Autostar LST dual value report Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 22:42:44 From: WB6MCW@aol.com I'm having a problem with my Autostar. After "align successful" if I read the value of LST from the paddle using MODE, arrows,etc, I get a value of say 08:15 which is the correct value as per other sources. Using HyperTerminal and the command #:GS# I often get a completely different value, say 23:19 Sometimes it reports the same value but often it is different. This behavior causes problem in linking to TheSky and I don't know how to solve or explain it. I got a second paddle and the problem persists. The LX90 and Autostar seem to work fine but i cannot get a link to TheSky due to the fact that a different value is reported by #:GS# Any ideas?? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Carlos firstname.lastname@example.org http://members.aol.com/wb6mcw/index.htmAnd from Dick:
> I'm having a problem with my Autostar. Ahem: which firmware version? (Setup > Statistics > (scroll up) ) Are you Polar or Alt/Az mounted. (i suspect Polar) Whenever reporting/suspecting an Autostar problem, -please- include that information. > ... value of LST from the paddle using MODE, arrows,etc, > I get a value of say 08:15 which is the correct value as per > other sources. > > Using HyperTerminal and the command #:GS# I often get a completely > different value, say 23:19 > Sometimes it reports the same value but often it is different. > This behavior causes problem in linking to TheSky and I don't know > how to solve or explain it. I think i can -explain- it (and i'll try my v25Ea later)... In older versions of the firmware, the displayed LST used to be "strange", too. What they were -really- showing was the RA value where the RA (or Az, if Alt/Az) axle "pierced the sky". It's the value calculated during alignment. After years of confusing us, they finally made the -display- simply show the LST as determined by time of year and local time. (longitude). I'll bet that the :GS# value is still the Calculated-from-alignment one. If you are Polar mounted, the -tinyest- error in Polar Axis alignment can yield -any- RA value (since they're all converging there). If you are Alt/Az mounted, the alignment-LST error is much less, just a measure of the east/west tilt of the base. Quick tests: "fake" an alignment.. just let it slew to the targets and press [enter]... if the :GS# and the LST agree, that's because it thinks the base is level. But i'll go play with it, too... it's been a long while since i looked at that particular thing. have fun --dickAnd:
From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) WB6MCW@aol.com wrote: > Thank you for your response. > You are the first one that come up with an answer. > I'm using version 25Ea and I'm Polar mounted. The swami guessed the mounting.... > Either using a "Fake" or real alignment, sometimes it gives the right > LST value and some other days it doesn't. Some days your Wedge is pointing a little -above- the pole (and LST agrees with :GS#) and some days your Wedge is pointing elsewhere. Next test (at night): deliberately -drop- your polar-point (i.e. decrease latitude angle, increase tilt of base) to definitely -below- the Pole... Align. The :GS# should be about 12 hours off. > Actually, the paddle display has the correct value of LST > consistently. Yes... since (i forget the version... 20-something) they've substituted a longitude-based number for that display. So it's right. > It is the value returned from HyperTerminal (#:GS#) or TheSky that is > often wrong and prevents linking the PC to the LX90. > Most frustrating... > Do you know any way to go around this so that I can link to TheSky and > use these programs? Is there a way to convince the program to -not- require sync between the PC clock and the Telescope clock? Otherwise, the work-around is to be sure that your Polar Alignment is at least an arc minute "above" the pole... or that the Autostar thinks it is (so if you're aligning on Arcturus at the moment, err a little bit to the south of it (i think)... ah another daytime test... do a Polar One Star align on Arcturus. When the slew gets there, burp the Down (south) key, press Enter. See if the :GS# is correct, or 12 hours off. If it's 12 hours off, repeat the test, but this time burp the Dec Up. The "burp" can be a -very- short keypress at a slow speed. I'll be looking into it over the next few hours. It might be fairly easily patchable... but it might not. It depends upon how they do it... But it's easily -fixable- ...at Meade's end... Send a note with "autostar virmware 25ea BUG" in the title, and a description of the problem, and the desired solution, to firstname.lastname@example.org They may not -answer- (directly)... but the bug may disappear... have fun --dickAnd more from our Autostar expert:
I've duplicated your situation in my ETX90... v25Ea, too. I'll try the LX200gps later. I have sent a note to Meade about it. > Arcturus is below the horizon now and I can't get to align on one star > using it. > I will have to wait a few hours. I'll try tonight both tests. I was using Arcturus as an example of a near-zenith alignment star. Many others would serve... having it near the central meridian (the line going from the pole directly overhead to due south) is handy since it removes accidental east/west effects. > I've been trying to work this out with Daniel Bisque and he contacted > someone at Meade. > So far they have no idea what the problem is. Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it... It was an old syndrome of the Displayed value, too. I can only think of one or two people at Meade who would've been aware of it at all. > Can I share your comments with them or you prefer to keep it just to > us. Maybe they can make changes to TheSky or the Autostar. Any bugs i find should be spread as far as useful... certainly tell 'em what's happening. As i said, i've already sent a note to Meade... and i'll dig into my disassemblies later for further checking. Although do-it-all-for-you programs (such as TheSky) are useful and fun, there -are- times when you need/want to break their little fingers tonot -do- certain steps (often to get around Meade firmware). "Sync" is a good example of pitfalls. So is: The classic LX200, LX90 and new LX200gps all have some slight quirks which means that "one size" of control program cannot work -all- of them. (example: during a slew, the LX200 reports rough distance-remaining by sending a number of special characters. The LX90 only sends -one- of those characters, irregardless of distance to travel. I haven't checked the LX200gps yet on that one...) have fun --dickAnd this too:
> It's great that you duplicated the situation yourself. > I was feeling very lonely and unbelieved ? even though Daniel is looking into it, and contacted Meade? > I tried your suggestions but I believe that I didn't get the results > expected, maybe because I'm "parking" in between and that may carry > some of the alignment parameter with it. That's exactly what it does... > Earlier today when Arcturus was visible I tried one star alignment on > Arcturus, above and below it (about 3 degrees - more than a "burp" I > guess) I am also a fan of "kick it HARD to see it wiggle..." > and in all cases the LST values were the same correct ones on the > paddle and from HyperTerminal. Arcturus was at 34 degrees altitude, > not near zenith. So I didn't duplicate the experiment as you indicated. Well, you did... i -should- have said "central meridian", but lazily typed "zenith" > Just now I aligned with two stars setting the latitude above and > below and got in both cases different values, the paddle had the > correct LST (14:11) and Hyper Terminal reported a different one (2:14). > The difference being as you indicated 12 hours. Maybe I didn't go past > the celestial pole enough. Even two arcminutes should be "enough". When i did my quick-look, the values were different by a few minutes (i didn't play much with it yet), not by hours. Equivalent to your Arcturus test. But they -were- different. > LST (14:11) and Hyper Terminal reported a different one (2:14). Something which bit me on the LX200gps was that they were showing the LST in AM/PM values! So 14:12 showed as 2:12 PM I hadn't -noticed- the AM/PM when i was reading it, and was SURE it was 12 hours off... I don't think the LX90 does that (i forgot to check). > Daniel Bisque suggested to change the value of MaxSideralDiffSec in > the register from 10 minutes to a higher value to allow a larger > difference in the LSTs. I changed it up to 86400 sec (=24 hrs) but > didn't help and TheSky still didn't link. Does it see the telescope at -all-? What happens if you tell it it is connected to an ETX90 (for example, if that's offered as a separate choice)? > I believe that we are finally making real progress. I hope so... > I've been reading your valuable posted material on the Internet for > some time and followed your suggestions regarding tuning the telescope > and Autostar. > Does your new book cover the LX90 also? It's Mike Weasner's book, with a few bits from me, and a lot from Clay Sherrod included. Much is spefically directed at the ETX90, but the LX90 can be considered as an 8" ETX90 (an ETX200 ?) So all of the -operational- guides apply fairly directly. The "what you can see" becomes "what you can see MUCH BETTER" have fun --dickAnd continuing:
> One thing I don't understand is why to connect the Autostar it ask so > many questions and checks so many parameters. Connecting to the LX200 > is fast and doesn't ask any questions besides COM port. The LX200 is more wiloling to be -told- what to do than the Autostar. The Autostar is not programmed to accept complete re-alignment from the rs232 serial port. The LX200 was probably programmed with the idea that the PC was better equipped to direct the operation. The Autostar was programmed with the idea that -it- would control the telescope, and the PC would merely suggest target coordinates. Finally, add in the possibility of a bug (in this case the LX90's idea of "LST") and things break. Once Meade (or a patch) fixes the :GS#, it'll work properly (or find the -next- problem). I'm surprised that other folks haven't hit this... TheSky must be particularly picky about coordinating LST's (i have no idea -why-). It really has no need to do so... (StarryNight works OK.. you just tell it once not to try to SYNC the telescope) > Like I said before, if I use LX200 instead of Autostar > it connects and points exactly where the telescope is pointing at. > Unfortunately, from then on other things like slews does not work > properly, perhaps because the command code is different. The command codes are the same ... except that the Autostar does not -perform- all of the codes an LX200 does. a fix will arise, i'm sure... --dick
Subject: ISS tracking Sent: Friday, June 14, 2002 21:45:20 From: email@example.com (Cary) Yeah I was playing around with it tonight and was able to get the accurate time for the ISS to come over my horizon and the etx started slewing in the wrong direction then went to the direction that the station was coming over the horizon. Sure enough we saw it come over and it counted down the AOS, but then it went -1 -2 -3 etc. and it did not track it. I know this is advanced to track a satellite but would went wrong?Mike here: From the "Tracking ISS" article on the Autostar Information page: "...and start counting down the seconds until the expected passage. Press enter when you see the satellite cross the crosshairs." You said it started counting down but did you press ENTER?
Yes I did and it did not move.Mike here: Well, as Dick Seymour has noted many times, getting some experience with the satellite tracking is usually required before you get successes. Keep working at it.
Subject: RE: RE: Autostar updating Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2002 7:49:33 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cary) I love your site, I have been trying to find out how to train the drives, but even your site still has me clueless on how to do it properly. I guess I am telescope stupid since I just got mine this week. I was able to align it to alt/az and get some what close to 'goto' accuracy. Can you give me basic steps for a beginner on training drives? I have to wait until July 10th until I get my cable in the mail so I'll be unable to update the autostar until then, many thanks to you in advance. CaryMike here: TRAINing is simple. Just follow the Autostar prompts. Select Setup-->Telescope-->Train Drive. Select Altitude (or Azimuth). Read the help information that appears. It basically says to center a stationary distant object in the eyepiece (the higher the power the more accurate the training will be). Press ENTER when centered. The telescope will slew away from the object. Press the indicated arrow key to recenter the object and press ENTER when you have recentered the object. The process repeats in the other direction. The select the other axis (Azimuth or Altitude) and repeat the process. That's it!
Question Since I have a EXT-105 when I scroll through the telescope setup options to train the drive I noticed that it registred my model at a etx90. I tried to change it to EXT-125 since the ext-105 is not an option. I can not get it to stay or save the information I selected, it rolls back to EXT90. Is this a faulty unit or am I doing something wrong? Please note: I am hitting the 'enter' button when I choose ext125. Maybe I need to update the firmware. I wonder if Meade has the option in the new firware for my scope. Jut wondering. Thanks, wish you lived in the south, I'd love to meet ya some time :) Cary atlantaMike here: Selecting the ETX-125EC is the right thing to do with older Autostar ROM versions. If you do update you'll get the ETX-105EC selection. And once you select the model it is stored; the display just shows ETX-90EC first when you go back to setup the model.
Oh ok so it is actually saving ETX-125, it just shows the 90 everytime I go back in? Makes sense. I will update the ROM when I am able, once again thanks.
If I have a ext-105 I have the 497 autostar right? I threw out the box and I'm trying to make sure.Mike here: The ETX-105EC does not come with the Autostar; it is an extra cost item. If your Autostar has a numeric keypad it is either a #495 or #497. But the #495 can be upgraded to a #497 using the Meade Autostar Update software. However, a new purchase of an Autostar with a keypad is likely to be a #497.
I am going to upgrade my firmware when I can other than retraining re-initializing the drives etc. Is there anything else I need to do to track satellites?Mike here: See the satellite and space station articles on the Autostar Information page.
Subject: alignment and motor fault problems Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 3:27:27 From: email@example.com (Bob Rose) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Edward, You may have already learned this. In Alt-Az the autostar wants the alignment start to be between 30 and 65 degrees above the horizon and about 90 degrees apart. You mentioned Arcturus. From my latitude it is a bout 70d by 9:00pm and the autostar will not pick it. You could use Spica and Regulus. Motor faults can be caused by a number of things. Running into a hard stop is one of them. Like Mike says Reset, Calibrate, and Retrain. One other thing to watch out for is battery condition. You can find this out by pressing the MODE key for about 3 seconds then using the scroll keys (arrows at the bottom) to get to the battery percentage. bob rose email@example.comAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) >I think I've read on the website (it doesn't seem to be mentioned in >the manual) that if I type an up or down arrow key after Autostar >picks a star to slew to for Easy Align, this will over-rule the >selection and Autostar will pick a new star. I'll give it a try. That is correct... you are given up to ten choices, brightest first. If you have a good landmark for a North reference, you could do an Alt/Az One Star alignment... it depends upon the accuracy of your initial Home position for its accuracy. Depending upon your latitude, and the time of night, Arcturus can certainly move into, and out of, the "computationally difficult" part of the sky... Meade uses the Tangent function as part of their math, and that goes to infinity if the scope is pointed straight up. -close- to straight up it can overpower the accuracy of the rest of the math. (that paragraph should not be taken to imply that the Autostar cannot GoTo objects located exactly overhead... it can) >About the Motor Unit Faults, the instructions you give below are very >clear but appear to disagree on one point with the manual. >I had understood from the manual that the power panel should face >North (underneath the telescope barrel), When you re-read the manual, it will say "west". Or refer to the text on Clay Sherrod's page http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/etx_tuneup3.html just below figure 3-c. (numbered item (2)) And Mike's text on http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_home.html West. >but you write that the power panel should face West (with the barrel >North). Are you sure on this point? Sure as sure can be... The programming expects to be able to swing to due west (Az=270), when moving counterclockwise from North. The -only- time when the power panel goes elsewhere is if you are setting up in Polar Mode in the Southern Hemisphere... then it goes on the East side. But that's the only excetion. For Northern Hemisphere Piolar, and both hemispheres' Alt/Az: West. >If so, this might account for most of my MUF's since they were >almost all (or all) with the telescope trying to point West >- maybe it couldn't rotate far enough that way if the panel should >have been West and wasn't. I am going to check the manual again but I >think I read it carefully! Listen to your own experience, too... the grinding sounds of the motors are trying to tell you: "Move it West, young man" >My power supply consists of 8 AA batteries - do you have any idea what >battery percentage is safe? My ETX90 gets erratic below 68% (70%= ok, 65%= wild slews) I usually use a RadioShack 500ma power adapter (adaptaplug "N") (5.5mm outside, 2.5mm inside) with a loooong cord. 1000ma (1 amp) would be better. When i am not near a wall outlet, i use the AA's. For my LX200gps i am using an automotive "Jump Start" battery unit. have fun --dickAnd:
From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) Edward Witten wrote: > Many thanks for your message. > The reason I was not using Easy Align was that Autostar tends to pick a > star that is > hidden behind trees at my observing site. I think I've read on the > website (it doesn't > seem to be mentioned in the manual) that if I type an up or down arrow > key after Autostar > picks a star to slew to for Easy Align, this will over-rule the > selection and Autostar will > pick a new star. I'll give it a try. > > At any rate, last night, after a Reset, the two star alignment worked > fine using > Vega and Arcturus. > > About the Motor Unit Faults, the instructions you give below are very > clear but appear to > disagree on one point with the manual. I had understood from the manual > that the power > panel should face North (underneath the telescope barrel), but you write > that the power > panel should face West (with the barrel North). Are you sure on this > point? If so, this > might account for most of my MUF's since they were almost all (or all) > with the telescope > trying to point West - maybe it couldn't rotate far enough that way if > the panel should > have been West and wasn't. I am going to check the manual again but I > think I read > it carefully! > > My power supply consists of 8 AA batteries - do you have any idea what > battery > percentage is safe? > - Edward Witten I think the answers to both of your problems are fairly simple: (or complex) (a) two star alignment: you're either choosing bad pairs of stars, or the encoders are misreporting... although the latter should get a Motor Unit Fault here, too. Whenever Two Star is giving you "alignment failed", it means that the stars are either way different in spacing than the Autostar thinks they should be, or they're too close together (or in mathematically ambiguous places) for the algorithms. In your case, i'll bet it's that Arcturus is too high. Why not try an Easy Align? Let the -Autostar- choose its stars. The Autostar's choice criteria are: between 20 and 65 degrees elevation at least 30 Az degrees apart the ten brightest which fit that selection (exclude Polaris). (b) MUFs and hitting the stops. You didn't specify your firmware version, but that shouldn't happen for any version newer than 2.0 **IF** you power up at the correct position. Read the manual (or Mike's site) and you'll see: Place base on table (or whatever), power panel on west side. Unclamp the Az clamp, and spin the forks counterclockwise until they hit the stop (which should point you vaguely WSW). Now spin the forks about 120 degrees CW until the Declination scale is above the power panel, and the barrel is pointing due north. Level the barrel. NOW power up. For the rest of the evening, you shouldn't hit the stops (unless -you- manually slew into them). If you're still getting MUF's, by all means Setup > Telescope > Calibrate ... it only takes a few seconds. And suspect your power supply. good luck --dickAnd this:
I really appreciate your giving these detailed explanations. I think they'll help a lot. Edward Witten
Subject: re: Autostar Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 22:36:50 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: email@example.com I'm going to have to contradict Mike on this one... (although the links he suggested are correct) The 494 is -not- compatible with the ETX90ec. The 495 requires reprogramming before it will operate one. Only the 497 (or a reprogrammed 495) can operate the ETX90ec. The 495's and 497's have numeric keypads. The 494 does not have a numeric keypad. You can reprogram the 495 yourself, even if it refuses to operate the telescope at this time... if you wish instructions, feel free to inquire (i womn't bury you with words at this moment) have fun --dickMike here: My error on the #494; I misread the page.
Subject: Re: alignment and motor fault problems Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 21:26:23 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward Witten) Many thanks for the prompt and helpful response, After the Reset and Recalibrate, the problem with two star alignment disappeared - it worked fine on the first try. I didn't run into any Motor Unit Faults tonight, but I think it may take longer to see if this problem recurs. Edward Witten (after a little more practice, I'll write again about whether I am having MUF's)And in response to the original question (further down the page):
From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) I think the answers to both of your problems are fairly simple: (or complex) (a) two star alignment: you're either choosing bad pairs of stars, or the encoders are misreporting... although the latter should get a Motor Unit Fault here, too. Whenever Two Star is giving you "alignment failed", it means that the stars are either way different in spacing than the Autostar thinks they should be, or they're too close together (or in mathematically ambiguous places) for the algorithms. In your case, i'll bet it's that Arcturus is too high. Why not try an Easy Align? Let the -Autostar- choose its stars. The Autostar's choice criteria are: between 20 and 65 degrees elevation at least 30 Az degrees apart the ten brightest which fit that selection (exclude Polaris). (b) MUFs and hitting the stops. You didn't specify your firmware version, but that shouldn't happen for any version newer than 2.0 **IF** you power up at the correct position. Read the manual (or Mike's site) and you'll see: Place base on table (or whatever), power panel on west side. Unclamp the Az clamp, and spin the forks counterclockwise until they hit the stop (which should point you vaguely WSW). Now spin the forks about 120 degrees CW until the Declination scale is above the power panel, and the barrel is pointing due north. Level the barrel. NOW power up. For the rest of the evening, you shouldn't hit the stops (unless -you- manually slew into them). If you're still getting MUF's, by all means Setup > Telescope > Calibrate ... it only takes a few seconds. And suspect your power supply. good luck --dick
Subject: alignment and motor fault problems Sent: Monday, June 10, 2002 20:59:35 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward Witten) I purchased a new ETX125 about a month ago, and I am having two problems with it. I successfully carried out two star alignment (Alt-Az) about five or six times, so I am sure I understand the procedure. However, lately, the last dozen times I've attempted two star alignment, after I center the scope on the two stars (after the scope has slewed to their approximate locations), the Autostar immediately replies, ``Alignment Failed - Check Stars.'' The two stars I used were very bright ones (like Vega and Arcturus) and I am really pretty sure I have the right stars. I'd like to point out that the Autostar doesn't pause for ``Calculating,'' it just immediately says ``Alignment Failed - Check Stars.'' Is there any aspect of finding the telescope's home position, prior to the two star alignment, that has to be done with great accuracy? The other thing that has happened is that on some of the five or six occasions when I did get successful two star alignment, after I viewed a number of objects, the scope got stuck and Autostar reported ``Motor Unit Fault.'' This frequently happened with the scope running into one of the hard stops - I am not sure if this was always so. Also, it always or almost always happened when I was trying to look at an object that was to the West. Thanks for any help, Edward WittenMike here: Lets start with the simple steps. Do a RESET, select the right telescope model, and then reCALIBRATE. If that doesn't help, reTRAIN the drives. Let me know what happens.
Subject: Re: Question Regarding ETX90 Autostar Spreadsheet Sent: Monday, June 10, 2002 5:44:00 From: email@example.com (Martyn Edwards) To: Anonymous If you look at cell A20 in the spreadsheet in http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/opt-train.html what I'm trying to do is get you to move away from the target by moving up and left - it doesn't matter how far - and then move back toward the target by just tapping right and down. It's the last bit that's important - you need to come onto the target by just using the right and down keys. If you overshoot then move back up and left and re-approach using the right and down keys. The reason is that when the motors reverse direction they will take up the backlash first (in other words the scope is not going to move until this backlash is taken up), and it is this backlash that I'm eliminating by asking you to move up/left before bringing the scope back to the target by moving down/right. By doing this in four directions (i.e. the instructions in cells A20 to A23) the spreadsheet calculates an average for the individual azimuth and altitude settings. This whole thing is then replicated a further three times with different training values, from which the spreadsheet can then calculate a best fit straight line to optimise the training values. Have a go and, after you have entered all the data, take a good look at the graphs at the bottom of the screen - these should be straight lines. If they aren't then either you've made a cods of entering the data, or one or both of your drives may be slipping or sticking. Hope this helps, Regards Martyn Edwards ----- Original Message ----- > I was looking over your spreadsheet and I got somewhat confused. > > It told me to slew 'up left' and then the comment told me to return to > target by scrolling in one direction. Do I scroll in one direction to the > bottom and to the right to return to target? What exactly should I do? > > Thanks.
Subject: autostar Sent: Monday, June 10, 2002 4:04:14 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Clare Brannigan) I have a ETX90C telescope,I am told the autostar is for the DS series, are these compatible.Mike here: The Autostar #494, 495, and 497 work with both the ETX-90EC and the DS models. See the Meade Autostar Update page for more info.
Subject: Mount Check error Sent: Sunday, June 9, 2002 10:40:15 From: email@example.com (Jim Wilkins) My Autostar 497 has developed a "Mount Check" error. My backup Autostar, using the same firmware, has no such issue. Any ideas on what could be the problem? Thanks, JimAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) Try doing a "Calibrate " operation on the ... whoops.. you didn't say "Motor Unit Fault", you said "Mount Check". -That- message appears when you are trying to move above/below the travel limits for the scope. Reselect your Telescope's Model (of, if it's 25Ea, play with Setup>Telescope>MAx Elev ) doing that resets the internal travel limits to factory defaults. (which vary from model to model.. an ETX90 is +90, -20 degrees) have fun --dickAnd an update:
I reselected both the telescope model and the max el limit. I am now in Autostar bliss. Thanks, jim
Subject: etx125ec Sent: Sunday, June 9, 2002 7:31:55 From: email@example.com (Richard Romansky) I have hade my scope for over a year being able to do basic alignment and focus mostly on the moon. Now that the weather is nice I want to get more outside. I am looking for instructions very very basic set 1, step 2 etc. It is mounted to a heave duty tripod. WE are lost as to how to begin the alignment for tracking-- I have the auto star attached but instructions are vague (to me) as to which instructions to begin with--the controller that was included or the auto star controller. Can you point me in a direction?? Many thanks Beverly Massillon OhioMike here: See the Autostar Information page; there are alignment tips there.
Subject: Autostar slewing speed Sent: Friday, June 7, 2002 13:01:55 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark McBurney) Wonderful site. Just ordered the book. A question for you: Is it possible to reduce Autostar's GOTO slewing speed (and thus the noise from the motors)? Pressing one of the number keys mid-slew aborts the GOTO and I haven't found a way to change the default speed. I have a #497 Controller at v.22E. Grateful for any help. Regards, MarkAnd from our Autostar expert:
From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) This is something i've tried to patch in the past, and have been completely unsuccessful... However, the LX200gps offers this feature, and i hoped to be able to figure out a way to modify that code to fit the 497. I looked at it a month or so ago, but it was very complex in that area. So, for the foreseeable future, no. (at least not by me) have fun (if noisily) --dick
Subject: Autostar #495 & #497 Sent: Wednesday, June 5, 2002 20:30:37 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Sergey F. Volokitin) Today, i'm update #495 to #497 ver25Ea. All work fine, but i can't find LX90 model in the "telescope model" menu. Why? -- Best regards, Sergey F. Volokitin St.Petersburg, Russia email@example.com http://www.skyland.narod.ruMike here: You have to connect the Autostar to a LX90.
Subject: usb to serial adapter Sent: Wednesday, June 5, 2002 6:48:08 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joe L. Smith) Great site, allot of info! I bought your book and it really helps. I am having trouble concerning the Meade 07507 usb to serial adapter cable. I am running windows xp home and have installed the driver software as described in the instructions. I con not seem to get the ASU software to recognize the autostar 497 when using this cable and the Meade tech's have been no help at all. They seem to not know about this cable that they are selling! Do you know any one that may be able to help with this? The ASU and autostar work great using the serial port but my laptop doesn't have a serial port. I am really wanting to use the starry night software to control my EXT 105. HELP! Thanks ..........Joe SmithAnd an update:
Finally got the Meade usb to serial cable working! Go to the manufacturer (Prolific Technology) at www.prolifictech.com and download the latest driver. Be sure to un install the old driver first. Hope this helps.........Joe
Subject: Re: Autostar Question Sent: Wednesday, June 5, 2002 0:46:13 From: Johnvicini@aol.com Is the numeric keypad better to have?? Should I try to get the 495 instead?? sorry for bugging you, John ViciniMike here: The keypad is handy since it allows direct entry of numbers. With the #494 you have to scroll through numbers to select them. But a keypad is NOT required.
Subject: Autostar Question Sent: Tuesday, June 4, 2002 1:08:46 From: Johnvicini@aol.com One last question about the autostar Hand-controller. I was sent the 494 instead of the 495 and you mentioned it would work. What then is the difference if any?? I havent opened the 494 box yet, was the 495 an upgrade?? thanks!! JohnMike here: There are significant differences in the #494 and the #495/497 Autostars. The #494 does not have a numeric keypad; the others do. Currently the #494 can NOT be updated to a newer ROM version; the others can. The #494 will NOT work with the ETX-90/105/125EC models; the others will.
Subject: questions Sent: Monday, June 3, 2002 12:39:19 From: email@example.com (N O V A) I have owned my ETX90EC for about 2-3 years. I've been busy over the past year and haven't used my telescope too extensively. Now I see that my Autostar is way outdated and I am unsure if my motors are trained accurately. In fact, my Autostar is still the 1.2 version. What updates for the Autostar do you think are the most important that I should get? What are some of the more important guides I should use to help upgrade my telescope and train the motors correctly? Secondly, how should the telescope be set up again? Is it when you turn the telescope all the way to the left as far as it can go and then turn it back around 270 degrees? After doing this should it be pointing north or south? Please give me your answers along with some suggestions and ideas as soon as possible. Thanks.Mike here: I strongly suggest you upgrade to the current Autostar version on Meade's site. You may have to put your Autostar into SAFE LOAD mode (hold down the ENTER and SCROLLDOWN keys and then power on the ETX); later versions of the Autostar ROM will automatically put the Autostar into Download mode. Once you've upgraded the Autostar, do a RESET, RECALIBRATE, and TRAIN the drives on a distant object. With the control panel on the west side, and the tube rotated counterclockwise to the hardstop, it is a rotation of about 120 degrees back to North. For more on the Autostar and alignments, see the Autostar Information page.
Subject: re: Desperate need for original software Sent: Friday, May 31, 2002 23:08:28 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: email@example.com What version do you really want? What language? (and, for curiosity, why?) The 2.0 versions are still Multi-language Fixed language versions only started with v2.1 Old versions (before 21) will not recognize the LX90 German versions of newer firmware are available on the German Meade distributor's website good luck --dick
Subject: re: Solar Viewing Sent: Friday, May 31, 2002 22:57:50 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: email@example.com The Sun-as-Asteroid method still works in all Autostar firmwares. --dick
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