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Last updated: 20 May 2010
This page is for user comments on Astronomy software for the Windows (including the Meade AutoStar Suite), 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 for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

Subject:	Serialtousb for Mac OSX and using Astroplanner
Sent:	Wednesday, May 19, 2010 14:20:19
From:	Ross Elkins (
I picked up a usb/serial adapter with the FTDI chip set for about $17.
It works just fine with the Autostar suite and updater in a Vmware
machine on my Mac book pro.
I down loaded the MAC driver for the adapter from this site.

I tried it out with the Astroplanner app and it worked! Do you have a
section on using Astroplanner with the ETX on your site or know of one.
Its pretty complicated for a beginner like me but I like the fact that
it has a Mac version. Perhaps you know of a similar but easier to use
Mac product. I get the program to slew my 125, but haven't figured out
how to make it identify my telescope. For example under FOV I can click
get scope and that seems to work but the drop down fields for
"telescope" and "eyepiece" both say "NO".


Ross Elkins
Mike here: See the article "AstroPlanner and the AutoStar" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. It is a little dated but could still be useful.
Subject:	Re: Autostar and "Cartes du Ciel" object sync problem
Sent:	Wednesday, May 5, 2010 01:37:33
From:	Johnny Landgren (
Thanks for Your rapid action,

It might also be worth mentioning that I have recorded a trace file of
the communication and it doesn't make me wiser.  Communication simply
dies after the sync. Command is sent to the autostar so there is now
indication of a confusing command sent from CdC, at least not before the
writing to the trace file stops.


Subject:	Autostar and "Cartes du Ciel" object sync problem
Sent:	Tuesday, May 4, 2010 13:05:12
From:	Johnny Landgren (
I have a number of years guided my ETX / Autostar from my PC with Cartes
du Ciel. Everything has worked perfectly, not least thanks to all the
tips on your site...  But some time ago I begun to synchronize objects
from CdC rather than directly on the Auto Star hand control and have
then encountered the following problem.

When I from CdC select "synchronize object" and then clicks "ok" my Star
Autostar starts to flash (all buttons at about 1Hz) and becomes
unresponsive to either the keypad or the CdC. The only way to break the
flashing is to disconnect the connection between the PC and the Autostar
and wait for about 30s. I then usually can connect again and everything
works fine, including synchronization. Other times, the error occurs
again at the next synchronization.

I have not found a specific pattern that explains this. The problem can
occur at any time and then be gone for hours. Have also tried various
configuration and timeout settings in CdC telescope control panel
without result.

Any thoughts or ideas for solution?

Johnny Landgren
Mike here: It sounds like CdC is sending some command that is confusing the AutoStar. Since I don't use that app (or Windows), I can't help specifically. Hopefully, someone will respond with a solution.

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