AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 14 May 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:	LPI/DSI USB to Serial Adapter
Sent:	Thursday, May 12, 2005 08:11:47
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
Anyone looking for a less expensive alternative to Meade's adapter might
want to check out "buy.com".  They are currently offering an adapter
from IOGEAR for $16.99 with free shipping.  P/N is GUC232A.  This is the
best price I've seen for this kind of device.  Also, a good place to
find inexpensive USB and Ethernet extension cables is
"sjgreatdeals.com".  For example, they have AXIS USB 10 ft. extensions
for less than $2.00.

I have no affiliation with any retailer.  I'm just on a tight budget and
have a lot of time on my hands for 'net surfing.

Regards,
Mike

Subject:	DSI
Sent:	Wednesday, May 11, 2005 03:05:11
From:	GORDON CAMPBELL (gxc0746@btopenworld.com)
Thanks for your help. I had already tried the upgrade and read the
trouble shooting notes on the Meade website. Then I hit on a solution
which may be of use to others with my problem.

It seems that the driver will only work with a specific USB port. I
found that by trying different USB ports, I found one that worked. This
was port 1 on both my desktop and laptop computers although the DSI did
work on all the ports of my USB hub without problems.

Thanks again,
 
Regards,
 
Gordon
Mike here: Sounds like a power problem. Not all USB ports may have sufficient power.
Subject:	DSI
Sent:	Tuesday, May 10, 2005 12:02:38
From:	gxc0746 (gxc0746@btopenworld.com)
I have just installed the Autostar Suite which went well. However,
installing the driver (dsiusb.sys) for the DSI camera, resulted in a
hanging Wizard. I contacted my supplier who said this was a known
problem for laptops and reqired a driver update. I have installed the
latest upgrade for Autostar Suite but this has not solved my problem. I
have searched the Meade web site but I cannot find an update for the
driver. Incidently, I have installed the software on my desktop - same
result!

Can you (our your friends) tell where I can download the driver update
or offer some advice?

With thanks,
 
Gordon
Mike here: Have you tried the troubleshooting tips on Meade's site (http://www.meade.com/autostar/tsguide.html) or updated to the current version (http://www.meade.com/autostar/update/)?
Subject:	Autoguiding with Autostar Suite
Sent:	Monday, May 9, 2005 20:37:46
From:	dmcleod999@comcast.net (dmcleod999@comcast.net)
I noticied in the read me file of the latest patchkit (v 33EI) from Dick
Seymour that Autoguiding can be activated for the Autostar 497. Does
this Autoguiding work with the Autostar Suite ? If so, does the
Autoguiding patch work the same way as the Autotracking feature of
Autostar Suite ? Recall that Autotracking will use the same image for
tracking and acqusition. With Autotracking, no off-axis guider or second
camera is needed.

I have tried Autotracking with the 497 and Autostar Suite;  and
discovered Autotracking does not work. Guiding commands from Auto Star
Suite move the Telescope in the opposite direction. I have opened an
issue with Meade on the Autotracking problem, and I am waiting on a
reply.

I currently use a MEADE ETX-105 / UTC with a Autostar 497 in Polar Mode,
and a Meade DSI.
 
Great Site
Dennis
And:
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
What my patch does is allow Autostar Suite Autoguiding in Alt/Az mode
for all models of telescopes.

Meade's (unpatched) firmware provides Polar Mount autostar suite 
autoguiding (A.S.A.) for all polar-capable models, but only provides
(allows) Alt/Az A.S.A. for the LX90.  

My patch skips that "what model?" check, allowing all models to A.S.A.

The issues you're seeing with A.S.A. and your Polar-mounted ETX
can be arising from many different places:
(a) the A.S.A. has to "learn" which way your scope moves.  There's
 a "Reset Cal"  button which commands the Autoguiding program to
 -test- the telescope to see which way it will move with respect
 to the guiding commands.
(b) your scope's Drive Training and  Percentages have to be correct
 (or undercorrecting) for the (a) test to get the correct answer.
 Also, if it's windy during the test, the A.S.A. test can get the
 wrong answer.

have fun
--dick
And:
Thank you for the quick response. From your E-Mail, I can use
Autoguiding with a 497 in Polar mode. Taking this a step further, and I
can use a single DSI for Autoguiding and Image Acquisition at the same
time, correct ?

Sorry to be "thick-headed", I have through the DSI manual so many times
I can quote chapter and verse. The manual states you need an Off-Axis
Guider and a second camera and an Autoguider (Meade Pictor)
for Autoguiding.
 
Thanks again
Dennis
And:
>Thank you for the quick response. 
>From your E-Mail, I can use Autoguiding with a 497 in Polar mode.

Correct.

>Taking this a step further, and I can use a single DSI for
>Autoguiding and Image Acquisition at the same time, correct ?

Yes, no, maybe... not exactly

(i'm answering this from hearsay, i haven't -tried- it with the DSI yet):
The DSI does not "autoguide" when it's seriously taking images.
What it does is take a frame (of whatever duration you specify).
Then it takes a short frame, and issues guiding commands based 
upon that short frame.
Then it takes another (possibly many-minutes) imaging frame.

In a true autoguiding situation (two cameras, one dedicated to
guiding), the guiding camera is -continuously- adjusting the scope.

In the single DSI situation, the image can drift during the long frame,
and the camera will -not- tell the scope to move during that frame.
Then the guiding frame happens, and the scope can recenter the target.
(or, to be more precise, the DSI will send a guiding command which
-may- center the target, but it won't know for another two frame timings)

There is an "autoguiding" usage (where guiding and image-grabbing are
simultaneous), but i've only used it with the LPI, and you again run
into the problem of long exposure frames mean less precise control.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	Using Meade Autostar Suite with a laptop
Sent:	Wednesday, April 27, 2005 15:25:25
From:	Bob Hendryx (hendryxfamily@comcast.net)
I want to use my Autostar Suite and LPI with my laptop, so to adapt the
Meade 505 cable went to a computer store and purchased a USB-to-serial
port adapter.  The USB-to-serial port cable was about $30.  The product
came with a small software program that would make the USB port
communicate properly with the comm port on my laptop.  You have to find
what comm port is available on a your commuter (I did ti through the
control panel setting on Windows XP) and then configure the Autostar
Suite to the same comm part.  It took me a couple installations to get
it right, but it is working quite nicely.  Most people probably already
know this, but it was a learning experience for me, so it might be for
others.
 
Best wishes,
 
Bob Hendryx

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