Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

ETX-60 and AutoStar

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
8 replies to this topic

#1 dymy24

dymy24

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2008

Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:00 PM

I hope to use my ETX-60 (494 handset) with the AutoStar suite that came with my Meade LPI.

I've installed the software onto my laptop, and reviewed the "manual" and quickstart guides for connecting the telescope to the computer.

It looks like I must use the provided network cable and provided serial adapter to connect the telescope base to the computer. Problem is, many newer computers do not have a serial port - my laptop included.

Am I reading the scant instructions wrong? If so, will a simple Serial/USB adapter correct the issue? If not, is there a work-around that a complete novice can accomplish?

#2 Kolenka

Kolenka

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,213
  • Joined: 01 Jun 2008

Posted 11 August 2008 - 02:10 PM

Yes, a USB->Serial adapter will work. My laptops have been the same way for years, and it was all I needed to connect up to my ETX and LX200.

#3 dymy24

dymy24

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2008

Posted 11 August 2008 - 02:30 PM

Thanks much. I'll pick up an adaptor from Radio Shack tonight, and give it a try in the living room. If it seems to work, I hope to get my first image of something moving tomorrow.

#4 Fish

Fish

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 659
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2007

Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:25 AM

Good morning,

Fair warning: if the PC you are using is running Windows Vista, your USB-Serial adapter may not work. I have yet to see one from any manufacturer that is certified to work with Vista.

Regards, Marc

#5 Kolenka

Kolenka

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,213
  • Joined: 01 Jun 2008

Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:54 AM

There are a few that work with 32-bit Vista. Belkin, I-O Data, etc. 64-bit Vista is harder.

Although apparently not hard enough to stop me from finding a list of USB serial adapters where a chunk of them do support Vista 64-bit (the ones using an FTDI chip):

http://www.usbgear.c...s=199&catid=199

http://www.usbgear.c...tid=199,601,461

Cables like these two, as long as they use an FTDI chip/drivers, will work with Vista, 32 or 64-bit.

#6 dymy24

dymy24

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2008

Posted 15 August 2008 - 07:15 AM

Turns out, it doesn't matter.

The Autostar software is designed to access the telescope thru the handset via a network connection. Unfortunately, the ETX60 comes with the 494 rather than the 497 handset, and all the instructions I have specifically warn not to connect to the aux port on the base of the telescope.

#7 cnstarz

cnstarz

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 550
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2007

Posted 16 August 2008 - 08:05 PM

I use my 494 ETX-60 with NOTEBOOK PC and DSI and it works great.

What you need is the USB/RS232 cable with #506 adapter. The handset stays where it is and the #506 connects to the aux port. I have setup pictured in my gallery. There are some good threads deeper in this forum on how to set up your system as well. Also autostarsuite.net is a good source of info.
Cheers,

#8 dymy24

dymy24

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2008

Posted 20 August 2008 - 02:24 PM

I use my 494 ETX-60 with NOTEBOOK PC and DSI and it works great.

What you need is the USB/RS232 cable with #506 adapter. The handset stays where it is and the #506 connects to the aux port. I have setup pictured in my gallery. There are some good threads deeper in this forum on how to set up your system as well. Also autostarsuite.net is a good source of info.
Cheers,


So, according to the website (thanks for the link), I need the #506 cable set and a USB/RS232 adapter (sold seperately)?

Meade #506 AstroFinder Software and Cable Connector Kit: Meade AstroFinder celestial software displays over 10,000 astronomical objects...galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, stars, and planets...on your Windows-based PC, enabling even the beginner to locate and identify objects to observe with the telescope or to print out star charts for use in observing sessions. The Cable Connector Kit (not shown but included with each AstroFinder Software package) permits connection of the ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT or ETX-80AT, #494 Autostar, and PC, for downloading of new software to Autostar or for updating of Earth satellite or other celestial object positions.

The #506 connector cable has an RS-232 serial interface. If your computer has a USB port, you will need the RS-232-USB Adapter, listed in the accessories tab to the left.

#9 cnstarz

cnstarz

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 550
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2007

Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:49 PM

Yes, for the 494 hand controller. If you upgrade to the 497 hand controller you just need the rs232 and the connectors/cables that came with the LPI if any. There is an IC inline on the 506 that is not needed in the 497 handset. Be sure the usb/ nine pin cable says rs232 compliant, some are for PDA's and won't work.
Good luck,


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics