Last updated: 28 March 2004
This page is for user comments on Astronomy software for the PC, Macintosh, or Palm OS systems. Items that are more "review" oriented will be posted on the Astronomy Software Reviews page. 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.

Subject: Re: really nice pictures...
Date: 3/26/04, 21:54
From: al hakimov (
Can i control my etx-125 via my laptop, I have ibm thinkpad x22, which
has USB port and for that I purchased usb->serial cable, which I assume
connects to meade autostar input jack(which looks like a phone jack...?)
OS on my laptop is win2000, i read in your site that some people fully
control etx-125 via laptop (serial cable + quickcam/webcam combination
control), how do u all that hook up? I guess it would also remove the
burden of buying those expensive digital SLR cameras...Now that would
really make my day, if u know what i mean... If you could refer me to a
right direction, I would greatly appreciate, thanks again.

Mike here: Yes, you can control the ETX with an Autostar from a computer. You'll need the #505 cable (for the Autostar #497); you can buy or make this cable (see the Autostar Info page). The computer connects to the Autostar. You can control the Autostar with many shareware and commercial products (see the Accessory Reviews - Software page). As to webcam or digital camera photography, see the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page. You might even consider the Meade Autostar Suite (see my article "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Autostar Info page.

Subject: Software Question
Date: 3/11/04, 11:44
From: MWatson (
I have purchased the Meade ETX90-EC and was wondering if you had an
opinion on the best computer software to go with it? I currently have
the SKY level 2 version 5, by Software Bisque. I was wondering if there
is another product out there that would be better? I am obviously
looking for the most robust product, easy to use and best screen
Mike W
Mike here: Although I've never used it, Starry Night Pro has received many good comments. I still use Voyager III (I'm still waiting for the Mac OS X version...). Check out the Accessory Reviews - Software for some (somewhat dated) reviews.

Subject: Alternate telescope control software (info)
Date: 3/7/04, 16:47
From: John Berninger (
I thought your site readers might be interested in this, so I thought
I'd forward it along.  I'm a *very* amateur astronomer, so I don't have
much of a budget - in fact, my purchase of an ETX-125 about 4 months ago
just abot broke the annual budget.  So, I wasn't too interested in
spending over $150 to get computer control of my new toy.

That, and I despise Windows, but we'll not dwell on that.

Fortunately, I found a solution - if you're running Linux, you can
control your scope with XEphem
( through the serial port at no
additional cost - using the instructions on your site, I gained computer
control of my ETX for a grand total of $4.94 (after tax) - the cost of
the telephone handset cord and the serial connector kit.

Technical specifics:

I'm running Fedora Core 1, and had to download the openmotif packages
(runtime and devel RPMS) from, then download
and rebuild the XEphem SRPM from .

If you're familiar with building RPMS, rebuilding this package is a
snap, and once built, it Just Works(r)(tm).

John Berninger

GPG Key ID: A8C1D45C
        Fingerprint: B1BB 90CB 5314 3113 CF22  66AE 822D 42A8 A8C1 D45C

Sit vis vobiscum.

Subject: ETX 125 and Starrynight Pro
Date: 3/4/04, 05:30
I have purchased starrynight pro its version 4.0 and would like to know
if there is any trouble using this with the 125.  What driver do I use
Etc...,  My scope is still at meade getting worked on, so I'm trying to
have everything I need to hook this baby up when I get it back from

Thanks in advance for any help

Mike here: Current versions work fine with the Autostar. I suspect the relatively recent versions should as well. I would think it would be documented in the software manual. You will need a #505 cable and a serial port.

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