Last updated: 19 May 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:	SlackBash Software
Sent:	Saturday, May 19, 2007 07:32:07
From:	John Sokalski (
Love your site! I was wondering if you have ever tried out or know of a
piece of software called SlackBash. It is readily available on eBay and
claims to train and adjust autostar drives move effectively and easier
than the conventional way.
John Sokalski
Greenfield Park
Quebec, Canada
Mike here: Nope, never heard of it before.
Subject:	Re: Re: Meade #506 AstroFinder+ lead
Sent:	Wednesday, May 16, 2007 00:36:42
Mike - thanks for that.  Checked laptop manual and I/O = 4x USB 2.0
ports; modem RJ-11 port; Ethernet RJ-45 port. Presumably I need to USB
version lead?  I run my 'fixed' LX200 under Megastar control via phono
port [left hand] in base unit.

Mike here: Yep; see that article "AutoStar and USB" I mentioned earlier.
Subject:	Meade #506 AstroFinder+ lead
Sent:	Tuesday, May 15, 2007 01:27:42
I'd like to congratulate you on your brilliant and informative ETX
homepage.   I've acquired an EXT-70 with Autostar #494 and am having
some DSO imaging success as posted on CloudyNights under 'Meade ETX
forum'.  However I wonder if you can help me with a couple of problems? 
The CN forum said you may be able to help;-).

I've a copy of Meade #506 Astrofinder software [dated 2000] for 'Meade
ETX-60/70AT for Autostar #494' complete with phono lead. I've loaded the
software on my XPHome laptop but when scope, lead etc are all connected
and 'live' I get an error msg 'telscope not found' and changing Coms
port etc doesn't help. Any advise?

Secondly I'd like to use the lead to update the Autostar [as stated in
the downloaded Meade manual for ETX-60/70AT] via the Meade website but
advised on CNs forum it can't be done.  Can it and how?  I'm confused by
the Meade software download site.  Hope you can advise.

best regards
Maurice Gavin
Mike here: First off, does your computer have a real RS-232 serial port? If not and you have a USB port you need a USB-Adapter. However, not all work reliably with the AutoStar. See the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page (I use a Keyspan one myself with my Macs). Second, the #494 AutoStar can not be user-updated for its software although it can be updated with comets, asteriods, etc. For more on updating objects see the AutoStar Info page.


Thanks Mike for your prompt reply and explanation.   The Meade cable
fits my laptop but I'm unsure if it's a 'real' RS-232 serial port.   I
may upgrade the #494 with asteroid/comets data as quoted as I follow
these objects.
Thanks again for your definitive help.

Maurice Gavin
Mike here: Keep in mind that the modem port is NOT a RS-232 port.

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