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RCX and MegaStar 5 sky atlas

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#1 p1taylor

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:30 AM

Hi All, Has any body tried to run a Meade RCX with MEGASTAR 5, it has a really big rang of caterlogs in, is its just LX200 DRIVER UP TO IT.

peter

#2 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:30 PM

What is MEGER STAR 5?

#3 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:01 PM

Ah, do you mean MegaStar 5 from Willmann-Bell?

If so then yes, MegaStar-5 will work with the RCX-400 via the LX200 command protocol.

Note that MegaStar 5 is now a very-old 16-bit Windows program with about the same number of celestial objects in it as are in the Autostar-II/III GOTO system so there wouldn't be much improvement over what is already built-in.

Starry Night Pro (or Pro Plus) 6 might be a much more useful and fulfilling program for you.

http://astronomy.starrynight.com/

And if you have an Android/iOS smartphone or tablet, Sky Safari Pro might be even more fun to have out in the field with you.

http://www.southerns....com/index.html

I hope this helps.

#4 p1taylor

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:26 AM

I have Autostar-II, Starry Night Pro, Sky- map pro, but they don't have all the smaller galaxy's caterlogs, or have I missed something.

peter

#5 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:55 AM

I have Autostar-II, Starry Night Pro, Sky-map pro, but they don't have all the smaller galaxy's catalogs, or have I missed something.

peter


Which catalogs are you referring to?

I believe that just about every galaxy visible in a 16" SCT (and a fair number that aren't) are in the existing Autostar-II catalogs. And of course many objects exist in more than one catalog.

But back to your original question about MegaStar-5. Yes, it should work just fine with your scope. You will likely have more problems with that old program on your Windows 8/7/Vista computer and USB serial adapters than you will with LX200 command compatibility.

#6 *skyguy*

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 07:54 AM

Hi All, Has any body tried to run a Meade RCX with MEGER STAR 5, it has a really big rang of caterlogs in, is its just LX200 DRIVER UP TO IT.

peter


Hi Peter,

I used MegaStar 4 to control my 12" LX200 about 10 years ago before switching over to TheSky software. Since the RCX model using the same LX200 Command Protocol, your scope should work just fine with MegaStar.

MegaStar does have a huge database ... however, its user interface and in particular the screen display are outmoded and primitive compared to more recent planetarium programs. Since you already own Starry Night Pro, you'll probably find MegaStar very disappointing.

Since you have an interest in small galaxies ... and Starry Night Pro does include 980,000 galaxies from the Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC) ... you might like to explore the very popular freeware program, Cartes du Ceil:

Cartes du Ceil

It includes 1,664,537 PGC galaxies and has the capability to import catalogs not usually found in other planetarium programs. You can also overlay your own images onto the charts or overlay downloaded Digital Sky Survey (DSS) images. The RCX scopes should work with it, since the program also incorporates the LX200 Command Protocol.

Jim

#7 p1taylor

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:56 PM

Thanks Guys for your info, the catalog I am trying to image is the Hickson, the ones with NGC and IC numbers are no problem it is the others with just RA and Dec that not easy to find, I prefer to use Meade Autostar Suite.

peter

#8 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

Thanks Guys for your info, the catalog I am trying to image is the Hickson, the ones with NGC and IC numbers are no problem it is the others with just RA and Dec that not easy to find, I prefer to use Meade Autostar Suite.

peter


Of course you know that you can type in RA/Dec coordinates directly into the Autostar for GOTO's.

And since the Hickson catalog is only 100 objects, you could even create it yourself and upload it into the Autostar.

And I found this, which looks very useful:

http://www.reinervog...pdf/Hickson.pdf

I hope this helps.

#9 p1taylor

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:01 PM

Thanks Chris I have that and a copy of his original catalog, I did not know you can enter RA/Dec coordinates in and GOTO, is there a menu heading to let you enter it, only just getting to really know how to use Autostar.

peter

#10 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:24 PM

Many people don't realize you can enter RA/Dec coordinates directly into the Autostars. Two years ago I "made the day" for an occultation scientist visiting Hawaii to use the Keck Observatory when I told him how to do it, since he didn't know it was possible.

1. Press and hold the MODE key for several seconds.
2. Use the scroll up/down arrow keys (not the slew keys) to find the RA/Dec display.
3. Press GOTO.
4. Enter RA coordinate.
5. Press ENTER.
6. Enter Dec coordinate.
7. Press ENTER.
8. Watch it slew to your target.
9. Press MODE to exit from RA/Dec display, when desired.

You can use the left slew button and the up/down scroll buttons to change the numerical sign on the Dec value, as needed.

I believe that all Autostar models and firmware versions work the same way but you might find some minor procedural differences.

I hope this helps.

#11 p1taylor

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:33 PM

I will try that next time I have scope going, is it just same on Remote Hand Set, on Remote Hand Set in the list on the left one heading is User Object any idea what this dos.

peter

#12 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:08 PM

Gday Peter

With the ASII firmwares, you can create and load "User Lists"
There is one master list that has a predefined structure
and 20 other individually configurable lists.
You can preload all of these before observing if required.
They will then present data
as though it was a standard database in the scope.
That said, the RCX version of firmware already has
the Hickson catalogue preloaded
( under the Deep Sky menu option )

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#13 p1taylor

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 08:55 AM

Hi Andrew, Very interesting, can I get to enter a User List and check Catalogues it has in, with out being connected to the scope or is that the only way you can get in to the Remote Hand Set of options, it would be really good if you can get to open it in Meade Autostar Suite, you can bring Remote Hand Set up but it will not open.

peter

#14 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:46 PM

Gdat Peter

can I get to enter a User List and check Catalogues it has in, with out being connected to the scope



Not sure if you can enter al the data via the Hbx
but you can certainly see whats in there via the Hbx.

it would be really good if you can get to open it in Meade Autostar Suite



But that requires you to be connected to the scope?????
The manipulation of user data lists is normally done
via the panels in the ASU updater.

you can bring Remote Hand Set up but it will not open.



Dont understand this bit??

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#15 p1taylor

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:37 PM

Hi Andrew, If I just open Autostar on my PC, Remote Hand Set is there in Telescope but will not open, don't bother about that from what I see to do any thing I have to be connected to scope, what is ASU updater.

peter

#16 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:40 PM

Gday Peter

Hi Andrew, If I just open Autostar on my PC, Remote Hand Set is there in Telescope but will not open



I assume you mean the remote handbox in AutostarSuite??
If so, which one are you talking about, as there are 2 of them.
You need to configure your setup to tell ASSuite which port
the scope is on and how you want to connect
as ASSuite isnt smart enough to find it automatically.

what is ASU updater.



Meades firmware update utility
( It is a part of ASSuite or can run standalone )
Basically it is a tool to allow you to update your firmware
but also allows you to enter List type data as well.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#17 p1taylor

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:20 AM

Hi Andrew, I have enclosed a screen shot of Remote Handbox I use for every thing I do, except Focus and set first star for setup in centre of eyepeas to sink on for that I us the Handbox that plugs scope, every thing runs off USB no converters not even the one in the scope, set port in task manager, what is ASSuite is it Autostar Suite afraid no in to all this just using letters, defiantly getting to old for this I think I need push hear dummy list to do things with computers.

peter

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#18 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:48 PM

Gday Peter

The error message suggests that either the selected comport ( 5 in the piccy ) is not valid, or you have got another application connected to the scope before using AutostarSuite ( ASSuite for short )

every thing runs off USB no converters not even the one in the scope,



You cannot talk to the scope via USB directly.
The scope ONLY talks rs232 ( ie serial comms ) so unless you use a USB to serial converter somewhere in the process, you will never connect???

Sooooo, when you plug in the scope,
what com port is it really on seems to be the question.
Meades ASU utility has a "connect" function in it that
will attempt to find a Meade scope by testing all the com ports on your PC.
Maybe try that first to see what port the scope is on,
then set the port Id in ASSuite accordingly.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#19 p1taylor

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:14 PM

Hi Andrew, the error message is only there because scope is not connected did it in house should not have to connect, must have don something totally different to every body, I don't poses a USB to serial converter or a cable to pug in to scope serial socket.

peter

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#20 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:33 PM

Gday Peter

Im confused, how do you connect your scope to the PC then???
( as you mentioned not using the USB converter in the scope either ??? )

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#21 p1taylor

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:03 PM

Hi Andrew, As you can see in the image grey cabal is 12 volts in black one is USB and goes to computer USB and it defiantly dos work, when thou comport numbers till one worked, must be just lucky, because I don't really know what to do with computers.

peter

#22 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:38 PM

Gday Peter

As you can see in the image grey cabal is 12 volts in black one is USB and goes to computer USB and it defiantly dos work,



OK,
that "USB cable" does in fact go to a USB to serial converter built into the scope itself, hence my confusion when you said you werent using the internal converter.
As such, when you connect, you need to determine what com port number that converter has been allocated by the PC, and then use that number in AutostarSuite.
After that, it should work.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#23 p1taylor

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:51 PM

Yes it dos number 5 it as been sins 2006, so how do I enter my Hickson caterlog, so I can do GOTOs, or where do I find the built in one.

peter

#24 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:43 PM

Gday Peter

The built in Hickson catalogue should be in a sub menu under Objects > Deep Sky > Hickson

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#25 p1taylor

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:55 PM

Hi Andrew, thanks, that is reasonably simple, is it possible to view it but not be connected to the scope.

peter






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