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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
lx80 to laptop
      #5460868 - 10/08/12 03:49 PM

Any advise would be appreciated. Have all updated software and firmware. Looking for tips to make things easy if possible. I know lx80 has had some issues, but I like the thing. What can I say.

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5460904 - 10/08/12 04:17 PM

Are you looking for information on connecting to a laptop?

I just started but have had no trouble connecting the mount and guide camera using the guide camera's USB cable. I'm using a Meade cable to go from the had controller to a serial/USB converter that I purchased for $10 from Amazon. I have an extra if you want to try it, PM me. The Serial/USB converter attaches via USB to the computer. I've had no trouble with the inexpensive Serial/USB converter yet. It will change from Com4 to Com5 and back from night to night.

For software, I am still trying to get guiding to work but the problems have been user error so far. I use PHD for guiding. It connects to my Orion Starshoot G3 camera I'm using for guiding. The camera is attached to either an 80mm (f/7) or a 100mm (F/6) refractor.

I purchased Nebulosity 3 for image capture and processing but have not gotten to do any of either yet. It is either $40 or $80 and looks to be a great program for the price. There is a nice YouTube tutorial that sold me on the program.

I have a Canon 40D to use for imaging and purchased a Hap Griffin cable to connect the camera to the computer's USB port.

I'm currently using a Windows 7 (64 bit Home Premium edition) laptop. Since PHD and Nebulosity 3 available in Mac native versions, I may switch to the Mac after the initial testing is finished.

The LX80 may not be a good AP mount, but I love mine... so far no legs have fallen off the tripod!


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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5461153 - 10/08/12 07:33 PM

thanks for the info. I will look for some of the software you stated and check out the tutorial. I have tried to do some AP and it really didnt turn out bad. Just slewed to a spot in the sky and started taking pictures. Didnt seem to bad to me. What do I know though. I'm just a newbie at this stuff. Going to try my mount in Alt/AZ tonight. Have really clear skies in New Haven INdiana tonight. Hopefully things go even better tonight. I had talked to some Dave guy from Arizona and he uses his LX80 for AP in the Alt/AZ mode with not to many issues so thats why I am trying this configuration out tonight. Just really looking for info on the programs that come with the audiostar and wanting to know if they are easy to navigate through or if there was any tricks to it. I have all the hook ups I need but thanks for the offer.

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5461159 - 10/08/12 07:40 PM

Greetings Shadowpdiggity....

Your comment: "I had talked to some Dave guy from Arizona and he uses his LX80 for AP in the Alt/AZ mode with not to many issues ....."

Hopefully, that was not me from some time back. Almost sounds like it. Are there two Dave's in Arizona to do Ap in Alt/AZ ??

I have returned the LX80, and replaced it with a Celestron CG5 GT (GEM) with a 6" SCT (also Celestron). I have been out of the LX80 "discussion" for over a month now....

Hope all goes well for you.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5461241 - 10/08/12 08:40 PM

I'm new to this also. Just doing some test of the mount before taking any pictures. Guess I should have just jumped in. I'm in Greenfield east of Indy. New Haven is outside of Ft. Wayne isn't it?

Good luck with the AP. let us see some pics when you get them.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5461268 - 10/08/12 09:01 PM

Greetings Shadowpdiggity....

Very important announcement from Meade on the LX80 Multi-mount thread. Just posted today.


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5461325 - 10/08/12 09:51 PM

Dave, Nice find.
Here is from the Meade4M website.

Posted Today, 04:13 PM

New Audiostar firmware version A3S4 now available.
This firmware release fixes several bugs found in the previous firmware release. Fixes include PEC training and functionality in polar mode, auto guiding using Meade's Envisage Camera software program and compatibility with Meade's new Auto guider Port Module (APM).

Any bugs discovered in this firmware release should be reported to engineer@meade.com. Please put "Audiostar A3S4" in the subject line of your email and keep the content specific to reporting any bugs within the software. You will not receive a reply to your email.

Please note that engineer@meade.com is not a general support line, as all email sent to this address will go unanswered. If you have general questions, please contact our Customer Service Department at (800) 626-3233.

We are also happy to announce that the Autoguider Port Module (APM) that enables Meade telescopes equipped with AudioStar handboxes with the latest firmware update to accept input from standard ST4 type autoguiders for long exposure astro-imaging. Telescope models supported include LX90, LX80 and others. Order product number 07509. Price $39.99.

If your telescope has an Autostar 497 handbox and you would like to add the APM for autoguiding capability, you can replace your handbox with the Audiostar handbox. Order product number 07640. Price $149.00.


I am not a Meade sponser and this totally contradicts what the Meade reps at SCAE event at OPT told me in July. But it is great news, now if it will enable a LX80 to guide well for AP? Hummmm.


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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5461655 - 10/09/12 06:44 AM

I just received a new audiostar in the last 2 weeks. I'll have to check it to see what firmware is on it. Hopefully meade didn't get this fixed after they sent it. Didn't have much luck last time I had to update. And yes it was you Dave Douglas. I hadn't seen your name for a while and. Couldn't remember your last name. Sorry!. And yes New haven is just outside fort Wayne.

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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5463771 - 10/10/12 12:31 PM

Unbelievable. I have to go through all this again my controller a3s1 version on it I hope it goes better this time.

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exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5463786 - 10/10/12 12:43 PM

Wow, I would have expected it to be at least a3s2. Hope you get connected with your PC. If you do, let me know how you managed it. I'm still connectionless, more or less. I can connect with Meade apps, but the Autostar Suite gets port timeouts within about 60 seconds after I slew to something. Once that happens, I have to power-cycle the mount. Going through ASCOM is still a no-go, period.

Jerry


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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: exparrot]
      #5467342 - 10/12/12 08:10 PM

I dont get it. It still wont find controller/ autostar. Is it possible that its the computer itself. I have tried using my wifes computer that is more up to date, but that seems even more difficult since its windows 7. Mine is XP and I just dont get it. I have newest software, new controller, tried 2 different cable sets and still nothing. I have to be missing something. If anyone can give me a step by step instructions for doing this I would appreciate it. It cant be a difficult as its turning out to be. Thanks would not be enough for any help I might receive.

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5467354 - 10/12/12 08:21 PM

What software are you trying to use to connect to the mount with?

You have a serial to USB connector attached to a USB port on your computer? And then the Meade cable with a 9 pin connector on one end and a RJ22 connector (like a telephone handset) on the other end?

Do you have an iPhone? If so, do you have SkySafari?


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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5467764 - 10/13/12 05:39 AM

yes i have all the cables you listed.i had even ordered a second set of cables thinking that the first one might have been bad the first time that meade came out with an updated firmware. not sure that makes since, but i tried so many things that first time that the controller quit working. thats why i have a new controller. i have an android phone that i have skysafari on. not a big apple fan. is there options with having skysafari that i dont know about. i know you can hook up to scope wirelessly but dont want to spend money to do that if i dont have to.

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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5467766 - 10/13/12 05:44 AM

i am using autostar updater and have also tried starpatch. niether one works. by the way. went out this morning at 3am just so i could look at jupitor and the orion nebulae. awesome! if clouds hadnt rolled in i would have tried to get some pictures. maybe next time if i get this firmware updated. lets hope.

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5468451 - 10/13/12 02:54 PM

I have SkyFi that I've used on the CG5 I had before the LX80 and it worked great. All I need to do is make a cable for the LX80 and it will be ready to try out. If you want to borrow it, I'll send it to you... even though you are not an Apple fan. As far as I know it will work with anything running SkySafari.

The only PC software I've used to control the mount so far is PHD. That is a free download.

When you attach the USB cable to the Laptop did you check to see what Com port it was assigned to? I know when I plug it into my laptop it sometimes changes the port between 3, 4 and 5. Having the wrong Com port assigned in the software will stop it from working.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5468455 - 10/13/12 02:58 PM

Quote:

i am using autostar updater and have also tried starpatch. niether one works. by the way. went out this morning at 3am just so i could look at jupitor and the orion nebulae. awesome! if clouds hadnt rolled in i would have tried to get some pictures. maybe next time if i get this firmware updated. lets hope.




Yes, there are some great views at 3 to 5 AM. As soon as I get finished trying to get good PE data I want to get some pics.


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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5469938 - 10/14/12 02:58 PM

Let me know how you make the cable and ill try to make my own. I plan on going through all the setups again today and will make sure I check which port gets assigned. I drove my wife crazy last time I tried to do a firmware update. Hopefully this goes better the second time around.

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5470085 - 10/14/12 04:07 PM

Quote:

Let me know how you make the cable and ill try to make my own. I plan on going through all the setups again today and will make sure I check which port gets assigned. I drove my wife crazy last time I tried to do a firmware update. Hopefully this goes better the second time around.




Here is a link to the pin outs for the cable. It uses an RJ11 on one end (telephone like connector) and an RJ22 (telephone handset) on the other. http://www.southernstars.com/products/skyfi/serial.html

I'm going to try to get to making a cable tonight or Monday to try out. If you want to try it out, PM me your address. I can send it out this week.

I have SkySafari on my iPad and iPod Touch (no iPhone) but do find the iPod Touch a bit small. The interface works better with a larger screen. I did see in another thread that the accuracy of the slews to a different part of the sky were not that accurate. Going a few degrees at a time is fine. I do like it but need to use the PC a bit longer. The PC and SkySafari are mutually exclusive.


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SDTopensied
super member
*****

Reged: 04/25/11

Loc: Atlanta
Re: lx80 to laptop new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5470774 - 10/14/12 11:30 PM

This past week, at the Peach State Star Gaze, I used Sky Safari on my Acer Iconia A500 Android tablet and my HTC EVo smart phone to control my LX80 using a little program called WiFi Scope from Main Sequence Software.

I used a 505 clone that I picked up somewhere to connect the handset to my laptop.

WiFi Scope is a program that emulates the SkyFi box. It's certainly not as convenient as the SkyFi module, but if you already have everything in place (laptop, cable, SkySafari), it's a good way to save 150 bucks.

-Steve


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