AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 27 June 2004
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:	ETX -105 and LPI setup
Sent:	Sunday, June 27, 2004 02:16:12
From:	David Frieslander (david@frieslander.co.uk)
I must be stupid! I have a laptop and an ETX105. The laptop has no
serial port, so I purchased a converter so that I could attach the
serial adpater to the USB adapter. However, in the LPI box comes two
black cables, one flat and long the other round and short. The short one
apears to fir into the bottom of the autostar, the long one does not.
Please could you tell me, am I supposed to connect any cable to the
bottom of the EXT105 or just from the autostar to the laptop? If just to
the laptop from the autostar, can you tell me how to get the
autostarsuite to work. I just can't figure it out! From a complete
newbie!

Regards

 David Frieslander
Mike here: As I note in my article "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" (linked from the Helpful Information - Autostar Info page), check the Meade's Autostar Suite Troubleshooting page (http://www.meade.com/autostar/tsguide.html). There is also a new Quick Start Guide on this page, which adds serial cable instructions for the Autostar #497." You might want to read through that article for even more info on using the Suite.
Subject:	autostar suite
Sent:	Saturday, June 26, 2004 05:01:01
From:	neo (jonylucas172@hotmail.com)
i want to ask some questions about the autostar suite that i purchased
yesterday.i have a pentium 3 laptop 256 mb ram and win xp pro.i followed
the instructions and installed tthe autostar suite and the lpi.i did not
install the hubble guide star gatalog.the instalation whent fine .then
problems started.my system crashed.i dowladed the latest version of the
autostar suite from meade site.i run the update.then i try to run the
autostar suite for the first time.i got an error:binary/planets was not
found.it kept splashing on the screen whenever i tried to do
anynithing.i closed the suite and opened it again.after several tries i
had the skymapview.then,after i polar aligned the scope with a two star
allignement i try to conect to the autostar.no ,nothing,zip.i change the
cables and everyting worked fine.(golden rule check the cables even if
they are brand new)lucky i had a extra spare cable and adaptor.i tried
to make some slews and the scope was of by some degrees.then i tried to
sync to antares trough the autostar suite.again it was of for some
degrees.itried the lpi.all worked fine.today i tried to open some images
and i got the same error:images/dso was not found was it is wrong i can
not say.any suggestions?do i have to unistall and install again?and the
acuracy?alone the autostar the acuracy was dead on,but with the suite is
off even on the moon.a .today the system grashed again when i tried to
open an m8 image from the autostar suite library.any ideas?
Mike here: Sorry you've had problems. It should work with XP but since I tend to avoid using Windows I'm no expert. I have run the Suite successfully on my Macintosh using VirtualPC with Win2K. One thought though; have you checked the Autostar Suite Troubleshooting page (http://www.meade.com/autostar/tsguide.html) and the FAQ page (http://www.meade.com/autostar/faq.html)? As to the Autostar itself, have you updated to 3.1Ee and did you reTRAIN DRIVES following the update?

And:

I have 3.1 version in the autostar and I did made a calibrate motors and
train drives procedure in  polar mode which I use the scope.last night
when I used the etx without the pc I could not make an alignment in
polar neither in alt/as.did a reset calibrate and train and all went
dead on in alt/as.the suite does not appear any fault messages when I
open the application and I can find the images today when I try the pc
alone.I thing I should switch to Mac(damn wintel pc.....).now I
understand why Mac have so dedicated users.I will try today and lets you
know.a and by the way tomorrow I am going shopping for g4.

Subject:	Autostar Suite and laptop with only USB ports
Sent:	Friday, June 25, 2004 06:17:23
From:	Nigel Cook (nigel@glanville.nildram.co.uk)
I have just received Meades LPI. To control the scope via computer
requires the use of a serial port. However my Acer laptop doesn't have a
serial port only 3 USB ports. Is there any way I can control the scope
via a USB port using the Autostar Suite.

Thanks for any help.

Nigel
Mike here: I use a Keyspan USB-serial adapter on my Apple PowerBook laptop. They also have Windows versions. Belkin has similar devices for Macs and PCs. Meade has one for PCs only.

And:

Thanks for reply Mike. I'll look into something from Belkin. Can't wait
to get this all up and running. Typical UK summer though, cloudy skies
and rain.

Regards,

Nigel

Subject:	Re: Autostar, LPI and remote LAN access
Sent:	Sunday, June 20, 2004 20:19:24
From:	Dave Jeffries (dj@jeffries.eclipse.co.uk)
Thanks Mike, Dick,
 
Good advice - much appreciated - I was beginning to think I had missed
something major on how this was all supposed to work.

Regards
Dave

Subject:	Autostar, LPI and remote LAN access
Sent:	Friday, June 18, 2004 20:32:24
From:	Dave Jeffries (dj@jeffries.eclipse.co.uk)
Hi, I'm fairly new to all this stuff - got an ETX-90, LPI and autostar -
also lucky enough to have a spare laptop. But I have a fundamental
question about this whole remote access thing...apologies for my
ignorance on this...

I have the ETX-90 connected to the Laptop, the LPI connected to the
laptop. The laptop connected to a Wi-Fi LAN. Now on my main desktop I
can remotely control the ETX-90 through the laptop which is great...but
I can't do anything with the LPI (since it's connected to the laptop
directly and doesn't work remotely). The only way I can see anything is
via pcAnywhere and remotely connecting to the Laptop...now this is where
I get dumb...if I have to use pcAnywhere to remotely view anything from
the LPI then what's the purpose of remotely connecting to the Autostar
??? I could also pcAnywhere to do that. Am I missing something
fundamental about the remote capabilities of Autostar ???

Many thanks for reading this far and humouring me - I'm missing some
fundamental point I'm sure...

Regards
Dave
Mike here: I haven't tried controlling the Suite via my network; I've only used to the Autostar Suite "networking" capability to avoid the comm port conflict with its separate applications. Have you updated to the latest version (3.16a)?

And:

From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
You've asked a perfectly valid question.

First, the built-in "remote control" is also the only way to -share- the
control of the Autostar amongst the various portions of the Suite itself.
For that alone, it's handy, even on a single system.

For the full-and-truly-remote question, I think the only half-answer
 that makes any sense is "cost".

The other half-answer is that AutostarSuite still lacks some useful
features, such as remote LPI imaging.  At times i get the impression
it was written by more than one person, and they didn't communicate
very well.

I (for example) don't have pcAnywhere, so the AutostarSuite
-does- give me remote control without added expense, but without
the ability to see what the LPI is doing.  On the other hand,
if i were doing remote control, i'd probably have additional
resources at hand, such as different imaging systems. 
(How does SAC or SBIG do it?)

For folks with Windows XP (and some other versions), there's 
"NetMeeting" (free download), which at least lets you -see-
the camera output remotely... 
add the Suite's inherent remote control, and you've
got everything but LPI-based Autoguiding.  

For adding remote autoguiding, Windows XP gives you the Remote
Desktop feature, which approaches pcAnywhere's (and Timbuktoo
on both PC and Mac) level of control.

have fun
--dick
Mike here: VNC would also work then. I use it for managing my local Mac OS X server box (not running the Mac OS X Server, but the client). VNC is, of course, available for most all OSes.

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