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

Anyone have experience with Autostar/Audiostar?

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Atlantic Devil

Atlantic Devil

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2020

Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:06 PM

I finally got my laptop connected to my Meade Starnavigator NG-90. It has the Audiostar controller. I downloaded the stuff that came in the disc. Stupid updater says their website isn’t up. So I can’t update my controller. On top of that, it gives you ZERO instructions on how to control the telescope or how to see images from it on your pc. I tried installing Stellarium but that needs a plugin to control your telescope that probably rivals NASA in setting up! Are all telescopes this complicated, or is it just Meade that’s reaming me?!

#2 JohnBear

JohnBear

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 599
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Sandy, Utah

Posted Yesterday, 01:19 AM

 

Are all telescopes this complicated?

Pretty Much.  Didn't the person that sold you the telescope mention that?  shocked.gif  laugh.gif  Don't worry, you are not alone!

 

Welcome to CN! 

 

Be patient. These scopes are fairly complicated and there is a learning curve process involved.  If you want to minimize it, contact a local astronomy club and ask if someone with a similar AutoStar telescope might be available to help you learn how to set it up and use it. You probably have a local member nearby that would be willing to help. I've seen that happen a lot.

 

Doing it by yourself, even with forum support, usually will take some time and involves a lot of frustrating trial and error - But an experienced telescope owner can show you everything you need to know in a minimal amount of time. 

 

You can also google the manuals for the telescope and AutoStar and download them as PDFs.  Unfortunately the Meade website is now useless due to the bankruptcy, but there are several other document sources available - Google is your friend!   There are also some YouTube videos available that might help.

 

Best if luck and clear skies!


Edited by JohnBear, Yesterday, 09:27 AM.

  • Atlantic Devil likes this

#3 sg6

sg6

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,306
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted Yesterday, 01:25 AM

The Meade Autostars and I assume Audio Stars are probably not worth updating. Meade were never into updates that much. So as they say don't lose any sleep over that.

 

Lost about the "images on your PC bit? Does it have a webcam built in?

If it doesn't then not seeing any is not Meades fault.

 

Stellarium is not good for scope control. Meades were around long before the common software and easier to use the handset

 

Control of scope is in a way easy:

Enter your Latitude, Longitude and Times zone as a custom location (CN should make it compulsary to have a sensible location in the user setup)

 

With scope outside to use:

Level the scope base - stick a small level on the flat bit where the arm attaches.

Slew scope round to point towards Polaris - do this accurately DO NOT USE A COMPASS. True North is not magnetic North.

Slew scope tube probably downwards until it is Level - use that level again.

As you have a Mak you have to get both these accurate, very accurate.

 

Now you can supply Date, Time and DST status.

 

Then do the 2 star auto align. With a Mak you will probably have to center stars in the finder first then the main scope.

 

You will need a level, try to find a cross level as they sit on base and tube easier.

Go buy a 32mm plossl or a 40mm plossl - you want as wide a field of view as possible for alignment. I bought a 40mm.

 

Once aligned you can select an object by catagory - say messier objects, pick Messier objects and enter the number, press Enter and the handset displays information, then press Goto and the scope should slew to the target.

 

Your problem, and mine, is the scope as it has a long focal length and so a narrow field of view. Sounds good for stupid magnifications, actually makes viewing difficult and less pleasurable. Believe me an ETX 80 would be a lot easier.

 

An ETX 80 would be a nice easy low power scope, a Mak is a not so easy, difficult high power scope. And people read "high power" and off they go. Marketters really have some astronomers sussed.

 

The only software I have seen control a Meade is MySky (think it was that) and that cost $70-$100. Never seen anything else do it, so seriously doubt Stellarium will ever.

 

As you can see: You enter location data, You Level and North the scope, You supply Date and Time and You center each alignment star. Then the scope might goto the requested target. You do 4, it does 1. Have to question is "Computerised" and "Auto" are really applicable. Then again they are "Goto's" and the Goto part is all they actually do.

 

And print off the menu tree of the handset from the manual. That is a very useful page. But basically Computerised and Auto they are not, only the Meade LS were and they were Auto half the time.


  • Atlantic Devil likes this

#4 MaknMe

MaknMe

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 70
  • Joined: 11 May 2020

Posted Yesterday, 08:54 AM

I update my Audiostar controller often. But only for comets. Other than comets and the ISS, the rest of the sky doesn’t change.

I also create my own tours and download them from my laptop. They are pretty easy to create and download into the Audiostar.

What cables are you using? And did you install the driver for the cable?

The latest versions of the Meade software is on their website.

Also, Meade tech support is a bit slower because of the virus, but they always return emails in 24-48 hours and are pretty helpful. Shoot them an email, they will point you in the right direction.

Maks are great beginner scopes. Mine is small, light and has great optics. I have mine out every clear night. I had mine out over 20 times in July and 20 times in June.

Had mine out last night viewing the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter—woke up at 4:30 this morning to view Mars and Venus.

Edited by MaknMe, Yesterday, 08:56 AM.

  • Atlantic Devil likes this

#5 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,381
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted Yesterday, 09:16 AM

Clearly you are trying to do some form of Astrophotography with your Mak. Otherwise there would be no need to connect a PC to it, or save pictures. It sounds like you had some issues trying to integrate third party products with your scope. And no, Meade doesn’t provide documentation for this as these products are not made by them. It really sounds to me like you need to head over to Beginning & Intermediate Imaging and start a post asking people how to integrate your specific equipment. And be specific, what kind of camera, what kind of computer, what software to interface the scope and PC (apparently Stellarium), etc.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, Yesterday, 09:38 AM.

  • Atlantic Devil likes this

#6 Atlantic Devil

Atlantic Devil

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2020

Posted Yesterday, 09:48 PM

Thanks for the info!

I packed it up and am sending it back tomorrow for an exchange since the tube in the middle doesn’t seem to be aligned properly and is making everything look out of shape.

At this point, I’m not sure if I SHOULD exchange it or just look for a telescope with no electronics and better optics. I’m considering cancelling the Meade and ordering the Orion XT8. I wanted to take pics with the Meade, but camera adapters are sold out everywhere. I can’t win!



#7 jessebear

jessebear

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 147
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2019
  • Loc: Grand Junction, CO

Posted Yesterday, 10:17 PM

I had some issues with a StarNavigator NG102. The manual is less than complete and it took me a fair bit to figure out the alignment process. I also had a defective mount. Meade sent a replacement (wrong model), then sent the correct one about a week later. It works okay but the mount is very light duty and has a ton of backlash. Throw in the very short dovetail on mine and it was not always easy to balance. The altitude clutch would often slip (no matter how tight) and the tube would move, ruining the alignment.

Honestly I ended up just taking the scope off the mount and using it on a manual altaz mount instead. I like the OTA so I added rings and a longer dovetail. The mount (all 3) and tripod are gathering dust.

I spend way more time with my dob. You'd do well with the XT8 but bear in mind that it's much faster than a mak. You can do some limited astrophotography with dobs - mostly lunar and planetary.
  • Atlantic Devil likes this

#8 Atlantic Devil

Atlantic Devil

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2020

Posted Yesterday, 10:37 PM

I had some issues with a StarNavigator NG102. The manual is less than complete and it took me a fair bit to figure out the alignment process. I also had a defective mount. Meade sent a replacement (wrong model), then sent the correct one about a week later. It works okay but the mount is very light duty and has a ton of backlash. Throw in the very short dovetail on mine and it was not always easy to balance. The altitude clutch would often slip (no matter how tight) and the tube would move, ruining the alignment.

Honestly I ended up just taking the scope off the mount and using it on a manual altaz mount instead. I like the OTA so I added rings and a longer dovetail. The mount (all 3) and tripod are gathering dust.

I spend way more time with my dob. You'd do well with the XT8 but bear in mind that it's much faster than a mak. You can do some limited astrophotography with dobs - mostly lunar and planetary.

If there were an award for worst manual, Meade would at LEAST be a runner-up.


  • JohnBear likes this

#9 MaknMe

MaknMe

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 70
  • Joined: 11 May 2020

Posted Today, 12:14 AM

I hope you find a scope that fits your needs and allows you to enjoy this amazing hobby,

My southern skies are crystal clear tonight—best seeing in a month. I have spent the last two hours viewing and marveling at the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter. I am going to bed now. I will be up in 4 hours to view Mars, Venus and hopefully Mercury just before sunrise.

Edited by MaknMe, Today, 12:15 AM.



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