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Anyone have experience with Autostar Suite?

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6 replies to this topic

#1 dcaponeii

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 07:50 PM

Main question: Is Autostar Suite a viable option for controlling the LX 200 or LX 600 mount? If so, are there any serious pitfalls to watch out for? I plan to just use the software controller in lieu of the hand controller while I work of fixing/replacing the hand controller I have which has begun to have button issues. Any help would be appreciated.

#2 Peterson Engineering

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 02:28 PM

Hi Apollo,

 

Haven't used Autostar Suite for operating the scope for many years, but usually the hand control problems are associated with corroded contacts.  And a relatively simple repair may be found at https://petersonengi...-keypad-repair/  Meade does stock and resell the hand controllers.  



#3 dcaponeii

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 03:37 PM

Hi Apollo,

Haven't used Autostar Suite for operating the scope for many years, but usually the hand control problems are associated with corroded contacts. And a relatively simple repair may be found at https://petersonengi...-keypad-repair/ Meade does stock and resell the hand controllers.


All true and the website is very useful. However the first thing I read about the repair is the removal of the ribbon wedge and ribbon is tricky. Unfortunately Meade are at least 3 months back ordered and I don’t want to attempt repairing mine until I have some other means to control the scope.

#4 dcaponeii

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 07:26 AM

First attempt with Autostar Suite was a flop.  Couldn't get the software to link with the scope.  All cable and comm channel issues I'm sure but I didn't want to mess with it since darkness was approaching.  Looks like I'm going to bite the bullet and see if I can clean the contacts on my Autostar II controller.



#5 michael8554

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:03 AM

Suite connection will be in two parts:

 

Is the Serial to USB converter fully installed ?  No problems shown in Windows Device Manager ?  Should show a Virtual COM Port.

 

Then the correct cable from the converter to the mount RS232 port (NOT the handbox port).

 

IIRC the COM port has to be no higher than COM4 ? Change in Device Manager and select the new COM number in Suite.



#6 dcaponeii

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 11:13 AM

Suite connection will be in two parts:

 

Is the Serial to USB converter fully installed ?  No problems shown in Windows Device Manager ?  Should show a Virtual COM Port.

 

Then the correct cable from the converter to the mount RS232 port (NOT the handbox port).

 

IIRC the COM port has to be no higher than COM4 ? Change in Device Manager and select the new COM number in Suite.

Thanks for the suggestion.  I didn't have time to diagnose the comm port yet but I suspect that I'll find a little yellow triangle for that issue.  I "think" I've installed the serial to USB driver but you are correct until I check the device manager I can't know.  Your memory is correct.  The Autostar Suite comm setup window throws an error message if you try and set the comm port higher than 4.  It should have loaded into comm 1 in any case but I still need to diagnose the whole thing.  The biggest challenge for me is twofold: 1) The roof of my observatory is too low to allow the scope to move with the roof closed (park position is horizontal facing east).  Since I'm not entirely sure how the Autostar suite will operate yet I can't take the chance that the scope might move on it's own.  2)  It's 100 F in bright sunshine during the day making it a pain to work with the roof open in the daylight. (because I'm a woos!)  I'll get it figured out soon, certainly before Meade finally restocks the Autostar II hand controller I'd imaging

 

Yes I got the correct port for the cable BUT, the sequence of events is not well specified in the manual.  Step 1: Connect the cable to both the computer and to the scope.  Step 2: Turn on the computer.  Step 3.  Power up the scope ??? or some other sequence?

 

I watched a video earlier this morning from the guy who's been writing the emulator for use in Android phones and noticed in his video his phone recognized the RS 232 port on the scope and THEN he powered up the scope.  I still have to work through these details.


Edited by dcaponeii, 23 July 2021 - 11:17 AM.


#7 dcaponeii

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 06:36 PM

SUCCESS this afternoon I was able to control the scope from my older laptop. We’ll see how cumbersome it is tonight managing two laptops out there but at least I don’t have to fight with sticky Autostar buttons.


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