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Autostar Suite Communication w/ LX90(Autostar497)

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#1 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 06:22 PM

I have been unable to establish communication between my Dell Lattitude D600 running Autostar Suite and my LX90 w/ Autostar #497. The manual has virtually no information on establishing this communication. Does any one have any advice?

#2 rboe

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 06:44 PM

Are you using a serial cable? I've heard some Dell models handle the serial port "differently" as in too low of a voltage level. The only solution I've seen for that is to switch to a USB serial adaptor and use an USB port.

#3 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 06:56 PM

Ron-

Thanks for your reply. I am using the serial port adapter and RS-232 cable that came with my new DSI. I do have available USB ports in addition to the one required for the DSI. I had thought of that too, except I had no idea that the problem could be power related. The message I keep getting is that there is no connection to the telescope.

#4 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 07:02 PM

Ron-

Sorry, that's the DB-9 to RJ-11 adapter and supplied Autostar 497 serial cable. :crazy:

#5 rboe

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 07:45 PM

I may have jumbled up my memory; but I do seem to recall reading the low voltage levels gave poor signal strength. When dealing with edge detecting electronics like TTL your signal will not do anything if a certain threshold is not reached. This was the issue with some Dells using a certain chip on the motherboard to control the serial port (DB-9).

Only way around it was to avoid the port entirely or purchase a different computer. :D If you buy an Apple like I did you are looking at a USB to serial adaptor anyway. But there are no DSI drivers for the Apple from what I understand - trading one bleeper for another.

One way to test this is to borrow a buddies laptop (non-Dell, I'd recommend an IBM or Toshiba off hand) and then use all the software and cables you have now.

Keep us posted!

And welcome to CN!

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 07:50 PM

If you have connected the serial port you may have to configure your com port, make sure the com port setting in your software is the same com port you are using on your computer.

#7 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 11:41 PM

Ron-
Between using a USB port and another adapter and purchasing a new computer, I think I'd try the USB route first. As near as I can tell, Meade makes no mention of a particular spec on the power of the serial port in its information. Thank you for your help.

#8 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 11:44 PM

I'll check that again too, before I buy hardware or a new laptop.

#9 rboe

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 12:55 PM

Meade shouldn't have to, most DB-9 serial ports are not a problem. Pretty much a slam dunk in most cases.

You can get fairly inexpensive adaptors on the net. I bought mine at the local Fry's Electronics store. CompUSA has them too. Not too sure what you have available locally.

Checking the COM port is a very good idea. Too many times in the past that simple little thing has sidelined the best after getting used to USB and just plugging things in. In the old days it was one of the first things we looked at. :ohmy:

#10 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 04:51 PM

Ron and Googles-

Does this offer any clues? When I removed the serial cable from the DB-9 adapter I noticed a gap in the gold wire connectors in the adapter. Both ends of the serial cable have four connectors. Inside the adapter there are only three. From left to right (press tab slot up) there are three empty slots,one gold wire,one empty slot,two gold wires and three empty slots. Could it be that I am missing a connector and hence no connection? :shocked:

#11 rboe

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 05:00 PM

Maybe. I'm a Celestron guy - no access to your Meade manual. In my manual they have the pin outs of the expected wires. I can't even find mine at the moment. All I can tell you for sure is the the scope does not use all nine connectors. Someting to nail down though.

#12 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 05:20 PM

Ron-

I e-mailed customer support at the distributor where I bought my DSI and plan to call Meade support tomorrow. I'll let you know what I find out. Thanks for your help. :crazy:

#13 Grizz

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:59 AM

Googles asked the question but I didn't see your answer. So I'll ask again. :) Did you set the comport in the Autostarsuite app?

#14 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 10:22 PM

Goggles and Grizz- Checked the com port. It seems to be configured as specified in the manual. I am still following the trail of a missing connector pin in the DB-9 to RJ-11 adapter. I called Meade today. The Customer Service Rep I talked to said he had no idea how many pin connectors were supposed to be present. They had no access to any design information. I was stunned.

#15 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 04:51 AM

The missing pins are most likely Meade trying to goof proof the cable when it comes to support, they most likely don't need the other input slots so the pins are removed, they are trying to dedicate the cable to the software and equipment they make, this reduces conflict with other peripherals, your laptop most likely has a modem in it and that uses a com port even though it does not show in your device manager under com port, you must go to the modem in device manager and it will tell you which com port it is using, the autostar suite default in many cases is com 1 and your modem may also be on com 1, selecting the right com port is one thing but the baud rates must match also, all the parameters must be set for this thing to work, set a fast baud rate for better response time such as 57000 baud and in autostar suit check off 56k as it does not say 57000.

#16 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 10:32 PM

The distributor where I bought my DSI pulled another unit off the shelf and looked at the DB-9 to RJ-11 adapter. Guess what! Four pins in there. We may be on the road to recovery here. :rolling:

#17 rboe

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 10:47 PM

:foreheadslap: Could it be so simple?

#18 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 11:09 PM

We can only hope, Bro. We can only hope. :rainbow:

#19 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 02:49 PM

Dang!!! I thought I had this problem correctly diagnosed. I got the new DB-9 connector from Meade. Same three terminator pin configuration. It must be something else. Back to checking comport configurations. Meade said that it can't be a power issue at the serial port. :confused:

All ideas, suggestions, notions and speculations welcome here! :confused:

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 05:25 PM

Tell me what the settings are in your com port on Windows and your Autostar software (everything), lets walk through this one by one and get you up and running.

#21 rboe

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 12:23 AM

They are correct in that the serial port does not supply power. {b]But[/b] the signal levels do have to be strong enough to switch. Power is really the wrong word since we're talking voltage levels and power would be measured in watts.

While you and Goggles sort out the port settings (an amazing number of options that can be set and any one of them can trip you up) you may want to try the USB serial adaptor and run this mess off your USB port. They can be cheap.

#22 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 05:59 PM

Goggles-

Thanks for your offer of help. :help: Here are the settings:


Autostar Suite
Com port 1
Baud 56k
Flow cntrl none
Stop Bits 1
Data Bits 8
Parity none


Windows
Com port 1
Baud 57600
Stop bits 1
Data bits 8
Parity none
Flow Cntrl. none


#23 Knuklhdastrnmr

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 06:02 PM

That may be the ultimate answer but it's snowing here and the forcast is for continuing Knucklhead Meterological constant type weather for the forseeable. So I think I'll learn whatever Goggles can teach me and if I still can't get it, I'll go the USB route. Thanks for your help.

#24 rboe

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:14 PM

Charlie Hein said he left Colorada as blizzard was set to come in. Maybe you should take up snowplowing as a hobby. Don't sell the scope for as soon as you buy that plow you'll have the dryest winter on record. :D

#25 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 08:47 PM

Ok great for the info, go to your control panel/system/device manager,(1) goto ports(COM & LPT) and tell me what is listed when you press the + and the list drops down,(2) goto the modem click the drop down + and look for Advanced Port Settings, open it up and tell me what COM# is listed,(3) goto your System Information, click on Hardware Resouces and go into Conflicts/Sharing, while in their goto the top where Edit it and click Select All the Copy (you cannot us the right mouse button to do select and copy in this forum), past info back on this thread, then go down to IRQs and Copy & Past that info to this thread and I will have a look at it.


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