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New to me LX200GPS

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18 replies to this topic

#1 Maineiac78

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:58 PM

Hey gang, I picked up a $cheap$ LX200GPS, and it's now the most advanced scope I own. Everything seems to be in working order ie motors sound normal, gps seems to work as it did an automatic alignment. My concern is the hand controller says it's version 1.4. is that something I "need" to worry about, or just roll with it? I haven't taken it outside, as its still cold at night.

#2 Supernova74

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:11 PM

Hi I cannot see of being of any issue to be honest according to Meades website the latest version is 4.2 if it works ok then best left alone I think I would definitely reboot the handset tho to factory settings,calibrate the motors,drive training as might not of been used for a while.



#3 Maineiac78

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:13 PM

Ok cool, I'll check it out as soon as the weather warms. I guess I have time to read up on calibrating motors and drive training. Thanks for the info!

#4 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:26 PM

Gday Maineiac78

Just let it get a GPS fix and see if it reports the correct date.

If not, you will need to upgrade the firmware or turn the GPS OFF

and manually enter date/time each time you turn it on.

If you do choose to upgrade, i suggest you ignore Meades updater

and use the freeware "StarPatch" app to load the patched 4.2g firmeware.

It is the most robust firmware version currently available for the LX200GPS.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#5 nitegeezer

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:30 PM

+1 for everything Andrew said. StarPatch over Meade without question!!

#6 Maineiac78

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:31 PM

Ok great thank you! I'll check to see if all is well with the gps/time. And I will look into that starpatch app. Hopefully that's available to windows 10! I'll also need to dig into what cables I will need as it did not come with any. Thanks again guys for the great info.

#7 Stellar1

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:41 PM

I had an LX200 GPS and used it with a software version which was one down from the current, it worked fine so I figured if it ain’t broke don’t fix it cause we know what happens when software issues rear ugly heads.



#8 Maineiac78

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:47 PM

I will see if all is normal 1st. After reading some posts, it seems the wacky world of usb/serial rs232 is a whole other thing to figure out!

#9 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:05 PM

Gday Maineiac78

To connect/upgrade the mount, you need a properly wired cable.

It is defined as a "Meade 507" cable, but can be made easily if you have the tools.

You need a real COM port, or a suitable USBtoserial ( note true rs232 not TTL ) converter

and then the 507 wired plug.

If you have no cables at all, there are several sites now that sell very slimline

fully integrated units,

ie https://www.ebay.com...R-/393052697852

 

but if you already have a working USB2rs232 converter, making a connection cable is easy.

( Just google "meade 507 cable pinout" )

If you need to buy a converter, it pays to get an FTDI based unit as they have the better drivers.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#10 Maineiac78

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:29 PM

Perfect! I ordered the cable you posted. I won't do any upgrades or anything yet until I have tested it all. But having the cable will be handy if I need it.. maybe I'll at least check out using scope under pc control!

#11 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:34 PM

Gday Maineiac78

 

maybe I'll at least check out using scope under pc control!

You can use my PEC editor to look at a lot of the data in the mount if you want.

http://members.optus...om.au/johansea/

Your firmware is too early to allow a lot of the newer remote handbox commands to operate

but the basics for slewing etc should work.

As to updating, its a painless operation, and if anything does go wrong,

there is a protected safeload mode that can be used to restore a damaged firmware load..

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#12 Maineiac78

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:37 PM

I have so much to learn. Thank you for all the info and guidance.

#13 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:45 PM

Gday Maineiac78

 

Yep, theres a lot there if starting from scratch.

If you have done a basic align etc already, then it would appear the "mechanicals" work

but there were a lot of bugs over the years and a lot of enhancements.

If you want to use PC control at some time, i suggest updating the firmware

will need to be done.

If you just want to runbberneck for a while, you can leave it as is

and the "basic" remote control should stil work.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#14 Maineiac78

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 06:03 PM

Sounds good, I'll "rubber neck" it for awhile to make sure all is in good order before I drive off the deep end :) it will also give me more time to read up on all this stuff.

#15 Maineiac78

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:50 PM

Well, I ordered the USB cable with built in adapter. Installed drivers for it, and are now up and running! I did the starpatch to version 4.2g but will need to wait till nicer weather to bring outside and see if it finds GPS. I also replaced the cr2032 battery on the board, so hopefully that helps hold the date/time. For some reason it seems to be 1 day off every time i power up. I also followed the link to that PEC editor, and was able to use commands through PC control. My next project will to see if I can control scope via a program like Stellarium or something similar. Thanks again for all the support and info!



#16 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:43 PM

Gday Maineiac78

 

Well, I ordered the USB cable with built in adapter. Installed drivers for it, and are now up and running!

Excellent

 

For some reason it seems to be 1 day off every time i power up

If it doesnt get a GPS fix, it will default ti the last date it was used and 8:00PM

until you override it.
 

My next project will to see if I can control scope via a program like Stellarium or something similar.

Have fun.

You might also want to look up and install the ASCOM platform.

That is a program/system that allows all sorts of different software programs to connect to your mount using a standard interface.

You need to load the ASCOM platform first, then a Meade specific driver, and after that, any ASCOM compatible app can connect.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#17 Maineiac78

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:08 PM

Ok great, I'll look into that as well. The scope has a factory microfocuser on it as well, would you know if that can still be in place if I got a video camera eyepiece as well? Or if I should remove it? I'm thinking I want to try and get camera and guidescope stuff going as well.. there is a guidescope port on mount as well I believe.

Edited by Maineiac78, 27 February 2021 - 06:26 PM.


#18 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:35 PM

Gday Maineiac78

 

The scope has a factory microfocuser on it as well, would you know if that can still be in place if I got a video camera eyepiece as well?

Cant see why not. Just get the right adapters and you can do just about anything.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#19 Maineiac78

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:16 PM

Well I brought scope outside today to test the gps after the updates. All is well! It fixed a gps in about 1 minute. I also downloaded ASCOM but still need to play around with it.
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