AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 21 March 2005
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:	cables with dsi
Sent:	Monday, March 21, 2005 05:34:10
From:	Peter Clipsham (prtopteam@hotmail.com)
having just treated myself to a Meade DSI, the cable "#497 autostar
serial cable" fits into an adaptor supplied and then into a  RS232 port
on a computer. On my laptop i do not have a RS232 port, but i do have
plenty of USB ports, does this mean i have to fit a USB to RS232
converter cable to obtain laptop control of my telescope.

Youre web site is still the best by far for info i would be lost without
it.

Best Regards
Pete.
Mike here: Yes, you will need a USB to serial converter. Meade, Belkin, and Keyspan have them. I use a Keyspan one with my Macintosh.
Subject:	LPI Error message, update
Sent:	Friday, March 11, 2005 14:50:22
From:	Ron Kinney (ronkinney@gmail.com)
Upon installing the Meade Autostar Suite, I found that I kept getting a
"Application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135) Click OK to
terminate program" error  message whenever I clicked on images->LPI. A
search for this error message on your site produces only one instance
towards the beginning of 2004.  Your solution was to look at the meade
FAQ page and troubleshooting page.  I'd like to mention that I tried
everything mentioned on the Meade website, but nothing worked.

However, I remember that I did not install the .NET framework during the
Autostar Suite install process because I thought my system already had
it (which it did).  I attempted to install the Autostar Suite a second
time, but this time around, I didn't skip the .NET framework install. 
Sure enough, the program works.  I hope this helps.

-Ron

Subject:	Re: Autostar Suite - "No imagers" message
Sent:	Tuesday, March 8, 2005 14:03:54
From:	Hyde, Andrew (ahyde@lehman.com)
I have installed the autostar and when I select the DSI / DSI Imaging
option the response is "No imagers"

I have windows XP
The system appears to recognise the DSI.  It appears on the device manager.
- However when I select the properties box on the Meade DSi icon it says
"no drivers are installed for this device".
- The driver tab states there is no driver version
- I have a file (ver 1.06) in location c:/windows/system32/drivers/dsiusb.sys
- If I plug the DSI into another USB the system does not recognise it.

Your wisdom is greatly appreciated

Andrew
Mike here: If you have not done so, update to the current version of the Autostar Suite from Meade's site. Let me know.
Subject:	Using LPI over a Network
Sent:	Thursday, March 3, 2005 07:24:05
From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
I know you can control the scope over a network with the Suite through
the AutoStar, but if you select the LPI imaging function on the client
computer, can you change the settings and view the image?  If so, where
are the image files saved, on the Server or Client?  If not, are there
any alternatives? I'm using XP Home Edition which does not have the
Remote Desktop capability, that's only available with the Pro version.

I can't test this right now since I'm waiting for Meade to replace my
AutoStar that was defective out of the box (some of the keys did not
work).  They've had it for over 3 weeks.  Without the AutoStar, you
can't setup the Network Server and connect to it since it looks for a
connection to the AutoStar. Any comments or suggestions would be
appreciated.
Mike here: Yes and No. You can control the Autostar Suite via the network. Which means that all the stuff still happens on the telescope connected PC.

And:

Thanks for the response.  It really didn't clear up things too much, but
fortunately I got my replacement AutoStar today from Meade and did some
testing.  Here's what I found:

You can't do LPI imaging over a two computer network using the AutoStar
Suite network capability.  The imaging feature can only be started and
controlled by the computer directly connected to the LPI. If you try to
start it from the Client (remote) computer, you get an error saying no
LPI found.  Apparently, the imaging function is completely independent
of rest of the Suite and not interfaced to the network.

Even if you start imaging on the Server (local) computer connected to
the LPI, nothing is sent over the network to the Client.

There are at least two ways to get around this.  One is to use the
Remote Desktop capability of XP Pro Edition, which allows control of
another computer over a network.  You can start the Suite and control it
just as if you were sitting in front of it.

XP Home Edition does not have this capability.  In this case, there is a
free package available called RealVNC that does the same thing.  It can
be downloaded from www.realvnc.com.  It takes a little computer savvy to
install and configure it, but it works, as I just finished using it with
my laptop, desktop, ETX125PE (with the LNT removed) and LPI over a home
wireless network.

I hope this helps folks that are planning to do imaging from inside on
these cold nights.  Regards to all.
Mike here: Thanks for the additional info. That's what I meant by saying everything still happened on the telescope-connected PC. And yes, VNC works great. I use it on my Macs for many purposes.
Subject:	re: Autostar Suite Question - length of USB cable
Sent:	Monday, February 28, 2005 21:21:09
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Individual USB cables have a maximum length of 18 feet (6 meters) before the
signal has to be regenerated by an "active hub" (repeater) or similar.
You can reach a maximum of 85 feet with repeaters and a final "normal" cable.
The final link in that chain should be an externally "powered" hub, since
the LPI and DSI both request a full 500 milliamps of current from their
cable.

So for 25 feet, you'll need at least one "active" hub, plus
another 10 foot USB cable.

have fun
--dick
And:
From:	Tom and Lori (lortom7@earthlink.net)
Thanks Mike.  And thanks to your site I am receiving suggestions from
others.

Great site!

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