Last updated: 26 July 2007
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: ETX-90 and Mac OS-X Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 16:38:12 From: Brian R. Propp (email@example.com) What is the best software to use on a MacBook Pro to control the ETX-90? I appreciate your time and advice. Brian R. Propp Loveland, COMike here: See the Accessory Reviews: Software page. I have personally used Voyager III, Astroplanner, and Scopedriver with my Powerbook G4 with Mac OS X.
Subject: Control command of #494 autostar Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 06:44:37 From: Roger Agopian (firstname.lastname@example.org) Following our last discussion, i have acquired the package #506 (sold as NEW) to manage the #494 autostar joined to ETX70-at. Unfortunately, this package countains so old softwares ( as StarryNight Bundle 2.1 and ACP 1.2 dated 1999!!!), that the Starry Night Web site can not upgrade it. Is there any new Meade or other free software (french would be the top) to be used with my new system and equivalent to the couple Starry Night / ACP ? Thank you, RogerMike here: There are many applications that can control the AutoStar. Many are listed on the Accessory Reviews: Software page. There are some others listed in the Software section on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject: Re: astrofinder software cannot communicate with etx90 Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 19:06:32 From: Caroline Visser (email@example.com) Houston, we have liftoff! Yipee!! Autostar is now "unfried" and fully functional ,connectivity has been restored, and, as per your reccomendation I have downloaded Astroplanner, which is awsome!! Thank you sooooo much! Now, if it would just stop raining : ( Anyway, I just wanted to express my gratitude for your assistance! Thanks, Caroline
And this after the above was received:
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) What i would recommend is finding a friend with a desktop PC with a "real" COM port. That will remove many variables from the effort. On that system perform the Safe Load restoration. The "30%" symptom is usually due to some other program in the laptop competing for the serial port (a PalmPilot HotSync program, an infrared keyboard / network seeker, etc). StarPAtch, as Mike suggested, is much better than ASU at grabbing and defending the connection to the Autostar. It may well be able to work on your laptop where ASU fails. (but that doesn't solve the Astrofinder issues). I believe that Meade's own USB to serial adapter is also Prolific-based, so trying -Meade's- driver may help, too. Available here: http://www.meade.com/USB_Serial/USB_SER.html good luck --dick
Subject: astrofinder software cannot communicate with etx90 Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 13:44:32 From: Caroline Visser (email@example.com) Here is the short version. I have an ETX90 with Autostar 497 and #505 Astrofinder software. I have a Prolific USB to serial port adapter to make connection to Compaq Presario notebook with XP as OS. I cannot make a connection due to various com port errors. I have tried Hyperterminal to communicate as per your advice in a similar thread. I''ve tried Netscope to establish a network, and I have tried creating a LAN with the network feature of Astrofinder. (What I did not do is use XP to establish a LAN with Autostar because I do not know how.I) have upgraded the Prolific driver as well.The only other thing I have not tried is testing the com ports with hyperterminal and a serial loopback test to see if my USB port is actually on com 5 as XP believes it to be. Maybe I'll try that tonight. According to XP device manager, there are no conflicts, and the USB to serial comm port is on port 5. The ONLY other serial device I know of is my modem on com 4. I am very frustrated. I suspect it is the USB driver creating a virtual com port that may not be compatible with Astrofinder software. Could all of this angst POSSIBLY stem froum a lousy cable and driver? I wanted your advice before I spend another $50 on another cable only to give myself a $100 migraine. Appreciate your help, CarolineMike here: I know that not all USB adapters work with the AutoStar. I use a Keyspan one with my Macs and that works well. There have been similar successes reported from Windows users with the Keyspan adapters. For some more information, see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Have you tried other software, such as Astroplanner?
Sorry about the duplicate e-mails. My mousepad is a little sensitive lately. ; ) I have not tried other software yet. I will start with the keyspan usb adapter, and then I will try other software if that does not work. Thank you for your help and VERY prompt response!!!!
Well, I seem to have resolved the connectivity problem by reassigning my usb to serial port as com 1. However, with all of the fiddling around I have done I "fried" the hand controler (497). I have started it in safe mode and attemted to use astrofinder updater to rectify the problem, but, each time I try the display fades to black before the download is complete. When the display fades the connection is lost and the dwnload is aborted. The closest I have come to completion is 30%. I think I may have killed it... I think I am going to cry... Any suggestions, other than the obvious?Mike here: I suspect the USB-adapter is causing the timeout and loss of connection. You might try StarGPS software (available from www.stargps.ca); it typically loads the AutoStar ROM faster. You need to put the AutoStar into SAFE LOAD mode again and do the upload.
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