AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 16 September 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:	Re: Autostar - Envisage   Com Port problems (success)
Sent:	Wednesday, September 14, 2005 09:49:22
From:	Dave Wilson (Ziggy2@comcast.net)
I decided to go the 'network' route and I think I've got everything
working (ha).  I think I got the info from your site.

You are correct.  The documentation is really poor.  They should never
let people who develop an application write the docs.  They just take
too much for granted.

You've been a big help and I just wanted to say "thanks".    I might
have some questions about the DSI camera at a later time but you've done
enough for now.
 
Dave

Subject:	Autostar - Envisage   Com Port problems
Sent:	Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:29:43
From:	Dave Wilson (Ziggy2@comcast.net)
I wish I didn't have to come to you with a 'computer' problem but I
don't know where else to turn.

Hardware:  8" LX200GPS / DSI Pro / HP ZD8000 Laptop / Dynex USB/Serial
adapter  (all new) Software: Autostar Suite with the latest update
(3.01)

This is what is happening:

I am able to identify the Com Port where the adapter is attached to the
Laptop.  (I can also change it if necessary)

I open Autostar Suite and goto Telescope/Communications/Comport Setup
and set the Com port to the one used by the USB adapter above.

I then goto Telescope/Protocol and select 'via comm port'.

I get the 'Warning - Warning - Warning' message.....  (so far, so good)

I goto the Telescope/Control Panel and I have control of the scope but
there is a slight delay in starting and stopping.

I goto Telescope/Protocol/Remote Handbox, try to connect,  and get the
message "Error: Port already in use or not present"

(This is the PROBLEM.  I want the Remote Handbox to work.  And......
"Aaaaaaah!"  sometimes it has.  It worked the first time.  And then a
second time after I removed and reloaded Autostar Suite.  When it works
it's very smooth and does not have the delay I feel in the Control
Panel.)

Also, while in Autostar Suite if I goto Image/DSI imaging/telescope I
get the message "unable to open comX", BUT if I close Autostar Suite and
open Envisage as a separate program I have NO problem connecting to the
active port.

Computers......!!!   I know I love them...........:)

Thank you Sir, for any help you can provide.
 
David Wilson
Mike here: In order for multiple apps to use the same serial port you need to enable networking for the Autostar Suite. See the articles "Network Server Capability" and "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page on my ETX Site.

And:

Thanks for your speedy reply.  I've done more searching on the net am
starting to get a better understanding of what is going on.  I didn't
realize they were separate applications.  I thought they all worked
together.  I'm too tired to do anything now but with some luck I should
have things working tomorrow.   Thanks again..
 
Dave
Mike here: Yes, they are separate apps; I address that design flaw in my writeup on using the Suite on the Mac OS X article.
Subject:	Re: Latest Autostar Suite Update
Sent:	Wednesday, September 7, 2005 23:44:38
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
I read the info on Drizzle, but am looking for the User Manual for
Envisage.  Since that's now the default app for imaging, the LPI User
Manual isn't much use.  Also, there's no "Help" tab available in
Envisage as there was for the LPI app.

I found the LPI program is still available in the Autostar Suite
directory and can be run separately, but the convenience of linking to
it directly from the Suite is gone.  I'll probably reinstall the
original version of the Suite, along with the 12/04 update.

Regards,
Mike Hogan
And:
From:	Stephen Bird (stephen.bird@btconnect.com)
Yes, this became a problem when the DSI PRO software (with Drizzle) was
introduced. The standard DSI software did not suffer from loss of the
magic eye focus for the LPI.

Until Meade becomes aware and fixes it, you can use the Autostar LPI
option from the start group:

Start
All Programs
Meade
Autostar LPI
 
Or there is a simpler workaround, and that is to set up a shortcut on
your desktop.

All you need to do is to locate the LPI.exe file and create a shortcut
on your desktop to it.

For XP users, go to My Computer, then find c:/program files/
meade/autostarsuite/lpi/lpi.exe

Then right click the LPI.exe file and choose "Create Shortcut".

Then drag and drop the shortcut to "Desktop".

This will put an icon on your desktop that will take you straight to the
LPI software without having to go via Autostar suite, although you can
still have autostar suite itself open in another window of course, and
use the other modules such as .

The process is similar for Windows 2000, and I have tested the "fix" on
both.

Afraid I don't run Windows 98 anymore so can't say whether it fixes 98.

As to use of Drizzle with the LPI, I'm not sure if it would work, I
can't see why not though. And the advanced features of the Envisage
software do allow two tracking boxes that take out field rotation for
poorly aligned polar mode and alt-az mode apparently, so the features
are nice to have.

As to the manuals, I gathered them all together, taking them off the
CD's and any useful ones from the Meade web pages, and put them in the
Meade start group where they are easily accessed.

Meade eh! Don't you just love them, two steps forward and one step
back!!
 
Regards
 
Stephen Bird
And:
Stephen,
Thanks very much for your input.  I had already found the stand alone
LPI program and set up a shortcut, but my reply to Mike Weasner was too
late to make it into his site update.

In your search for Manuals, did you find one for Envisage? I found some
stuff on the Drizzle technology, but nothing that describes use of the
new tabs and fields in the program and there is no "Help" option in the
program.  I don't have a DSI, but am guessing there is a CD that ships
with it that includes a User Manual, similar to the Manual for the LPI
that is on the Autostar Suite CD that came with my LPI.

As far as Meade, it seems they have the same problem as many other
companies - they have to constantly introduce something "New and
Improved", otherwise they're not "progressive".  Whatever happened to
the philosopy of "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It"?

Regards,
Mike Hogan
Mike here: Or at least give users ALL the info on new features!
Subject:	Latest Autostar Suite Update
Sent:	Tuesday, September 6, 2005 23:00:17
From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
What is the purpose of the latest Autostar Suite Update? From the title,
it appears that it is supposed to provide some additional functionality
for the DSI and LPI imagers but now when I select Image>LPI Imaging, it
defaults to the new "Envisage" application with "Drizzle". From what I
can find on the Meade site, this is primarily for use with the DSI and
no mention is made of the LPI except it can be used simultaneously with
one or more DSI's for some functions I don't need or quite understand.

I don't have a DSI, and had learned the LPI application but am now
befuddled.  There is no "help" option in the new function so I'm kind of
lost.  I was able to get a live image with the LPI, but the "Magic Eye
Focus" aid is blank.

I suppose DSI users are somewhat familiar with the new function, but us
folks with just a "cheap" LPI apparently were overlooked by Meade
engineers when they decided to integrate upgrades into the Suite. It's
like when they designed the PE series and overlooked the fact that an
LPI could not be correctly installed in it.

Enough ranting for now.

Regards,
Mike Hogan
Mike here: I haven't installed the update yet since it requires Windows and I rarely use Windows on my Macintosh. But there is a PDF on the Drizzle technology on the Autostar Suite Update page.

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Copyright ©2005 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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