Last updated: 28 October 2007
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, and Deep Sky Imager, DSI, are covered in the Helpful Information - Astrophotography area.)
Subject: Meade Astronomical Software Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 13:50:43 From: Steven S. Greene (email@example.com) Hope this note finds you and yours all well. When Meade recently replaced the older ETX-60AT that I purchased on eBay, with a brand new ETX-60AT Backpacker Edition, it came with the "Backpack Observatory DVD and Autostar Suite Astronomer Edition" software. I was already familiar with the setup, but very pleased to see that the package included the 45-degree prism lens. Now the scope is setup and ready to go. I hope that I'll join my club this Saturday evening. However, I'm unable to get a handle on the "astronomical software." I'm not looking to hook up my 'scope my computer just yet, as I'd rather learn to use the software first. Otherwise, I'll have it pointing all over the place like a martial arts weapon! I've filled in my location information as best as I can tell. The software loads fine and I'm presented with a huge, very, VERY busy spot of space. However, I have no idea what I'm looking at and being on a Vista Home Premium laptop, the "HELP" dialogue won't load. So any guidance, lecturing and plain ol' help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and clear skies! Steve G. p.s. Does your book cover this?Mike here: Ah yes, Vista problems... As to using the Astronomy Suite software, the article "AutoStar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page will probably get you started. For more Astronomy Suite information see the "Astronomy Suite" section on the AutoStar Info page. The current edition of the book was released before Meade released the software so it doesn't cover it.
Thanks so much. Right now, no Vista problems as of yet. The software all loaded fine, no error messages, etc. But that's why I've decided to learn the software first, before I hook up the telescope. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the reference! Clear skies! SteveMike here: Sorry I was confused. I thought you said the HELP info wouldn't load under Vista.
Got me on that one! Steve
Subject: autostar suite problem Sent: Friday, October 19, 2007 07:52:00 From: LAURA and Ray JENNINGS (firstname.lastname@example.org) How do i get the camera controls to work in the 800x600 mode of my laptop? everything works fine but i can't get the start button to show up in the 800x 600 mode of the laptop. I have a dell with the 12" screen Raylan and Laura Jennings Have a Blessed DayMike here: There have been reports that changing the resolution may help.
thats a problem with the 12" screen Raylan and Laura Jennings
Subject: Telescope controls in Autostar and Windows Home Vista Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 19:50:31 From: Steven Davies (email@example.com) I have Autostar on my Meade telescope and everything works fine (so far as I know, anyway). Everything, that is, except one thing. When I use the telescope controls with my Dell laptop (Windows Home Vista operating system), everything works except the "dialog box" (not sure that's what it's called). You know, the menu shows up along the left side but the box where it lists WHAT you want the telescope to "goto" is black. It doesn't list the Messier object or NGC number or whatever. If I activate the speech function, it will tell me what the box says, but I don't like hearing that voice when I'm out observing. Besides, I want it all to work as intended. Have you heard if anyone else has had this problem and what can be done? Or do you think its a "Vista" thing? Thanks for your time. I enjoy reading your answers to others' questions. Steven DaviesMike here: I presume you are talking about the AutoStar Suite application. There are many Vista problems but this could also be a "resolution" problem. Try changing the screen resolution. For those who have a choice I recommend avoiding Windows Vista at this time. Stick with XP if you have to use Windows. (Personally I avoiding using any flavor of Windows.)
Subject: Re: ETX 90PE - Aotostar suite doesn't see my COM port - PART 2 Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 11:56:56 From: Mathew Damian (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello. Your advice was very helpful, the new adaptor arrived and I finally could connect it to the PC. I also changed the battery and all is fine now (with the LNT), errors are small and predictable. My new problem however, is when I try to update the Autostar. I know my pc sees the telescope, I can command it remotely etc, but when I click on the Update button, autostar suite sais that it doesn't see the telescope's com port, asks me to allow a search for all ports and then sais it can't find any. Is it something related to the fact that all usb ports that I plug it into have a number between 5 and 8? The comm port is named 5, I remember reading something about port #s, but I cant remember exactly. Any input would be great, I'm dying to see the ISS or other sattelites up close!Mike here: I believe the port needs to be in the range 1-4.
I also suspect that, however, as I told you before, all USB ports that I plug it into (I have 6 of them! :( ) give a value between 5 and 8. I can't get it to be 2,3,4... Is there a way to do that?Mike here: There probably is but since I don't use Windows I don't know how to configure Windows Com ports.
Subject: LPI & DSI Sent: Tuesday, October 9, 2007 06:29:36 From: Alan Parker (AlanParker@stroudcol.ac.uk) As I am in the UK I can't get info easily on the latest drivers from Meade as the site does net seem to advertise the fact. I have a new laptop running the Vista operating system and can't get either of the cameras to work, I have uninstalled and reinstalled but still they refuse to operate, have you any news of an update or is there a fix. Thank you for your patience. Regards A Parker PS as usual a truly great site.Mike here: There are known issues with Vista (and not with just the DSI and LPI). Apparently, Meade has not released Vista support as yet.
Subject: re: ETX 90PE - Aotostar suite doesn't see my COM port Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2007 21:04:32 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) You wrote: > though it's all in german and I can't get > english as a language:( Yes, you can... you merely need to update the Autostar to an English version. Plug in the serial cable which came with Autostar Suite, select the "Updater" from AutostarSuite's StarMap's Tools menu, or download the updater directly from: http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html Full click-by-click instructions are here: http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/guide-asu3x.html If you wish to return to the German version, it and many other languages are available here: http://www.meade.de/index.php?id=204 have fun --dick
Subject: Lost my Autostar Suite CD Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2007 13:41:43 From: Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org) Somehow I've managed to lose it. Can anyone tell me where to get a replacement or can get me the software from somewhere. I have an ETX-125 Regards Dave OwensMike here: Contact Meade. I believe the version available online (Meade4M.com) requires a previously installed version.
Subject: ETX 90PE - Aotostar suite doesn't see my COM port Sent: Tuesday, October 2, 2007 10:30:27 From: Mathew Damian (email@example.com) This is my first telescope and I bought it because I thought it would be easyer, but I'm struggling for 4 days now, to no avail. I had to buy a serial adaptor (I really don't know why meade still builds serials, I haven't seen a PC with one in ~5 years). And, of course, Autostar Suite doesn't see anything! It's all plugged up, but it's doing nothing. I've read the thread on Autostar and USB, but in all cases the PC could see it. What on earth can I do? Meade wouldn't even respond to me, other than "you should adress your Meade dealer in your country" - even If I tell them there's no dealer in my country!!!!! This, along with the fact It points with an error of about 20 degrees randomly, makes me think I possibly made the worst decision in buying a meade product. So tell me, is this the end, or can something be done? I am really thinking of returning it. I think the autostar is #497Mike here: First, lets address the pointing error. Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? What have you set as your Site location? Have you properly set the Daylight Saving setting (20 degrees is close to 15 degrees which is one hour in RA)? As to the serial port problem, that article you reference ("AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page) says that not all USB-serial adapters work with the AutoStar. Which one are you using?
I have done a reset, then it asked me for date, time & location. I did the test motor & train drive (though it's all in german and I can't get english as a language:( ). I live in Romania and it only knows Bucharest 44.25N, 26.7E. My coordinates are 46.75N & 23.61E, but I use Bucharest. I could have put the good ones IF i got the telescope connected. The adapter is of the HL brand (made in china:P) and it was the only one I could get, at about 5-6 times the price of a normal adapter. But really, i don't see how such a simple device could impact compatibility. Oh, also, I have to input the date and exact time every time I turn the telescope on. Does that mean something? The ~20 degree error is not constant eg. always to the left. Something it's right, sometimes up etc. If it were constant, it would be an easy fix. I'm really puzzled by this...Mike here: Once you get a good USB-serial adapter you can install the English ROM in the AutoStar. I can't say that your HL brand won't work (too many unknowns including the OS and adapter drivers) but getting one known to work reduces those unknowns. Then you can more easily edit an existing Site to have your local lat/long and GMT offset. That may solve that problem. As to being asked for the date/time, it sounds like the AutoStar is not seeing the LNT module or the LNT module battery is dead or disconnected. There are LNT troubleshooting tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Thank you for the speedy and to-the-point reply. I'll look into it and let you know how it works! Cheers, Matt
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