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

Meade Autostar Align without hand Controller?

  • Please log in to reply
133 replies to this topic

#51 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 06 February 2023 - 10:38 PM

Gday Derrol

Firstly, you really need to grab the beta 4.9.9.9 from my site as it has a few enhancements,

but that said, your data is showing you have the GPS rollover bug

( the returned date has a year of 2003 )

so you will need to patch the firmware if you want to use the GPS.

( or replace the GPS lump with a 3rd party unit that doesnt have the bug )

You are getting the warning re "suspect" data as all the sentences are coming

back with a "V" status, ie they dont have enough info to get a fix.

The data shows the unit is getting the time at present, but not the latitude or longitude.

The system uses a 2032 button cell battery in the base to keep the almanac data for the receiver

updated, and if it goes flat, it can take up to 20 mins for the receiver to reload it and then fix.

 

All that said, my app doesnt "automatically" set the mounts date/time anyway

as my app is mainly for diagnostic use.

If your mount wont fix quickly at present,

you can bypass the GPS and enter the date/time manually

which is what you need to do till you patch it, as if it does fix,

it will set the wrong year, and everything will turn to custard.

 

ie If you dont update, you will need to turn your GPS to OFF and manually set date/time.

If you do decide to update,

Meade have released new firmware 4.2L that fixes the GPS bug, but it is full of other bugs

and wipes out all your data if you load it using the ASU ( AutoStar Updater  )

ie dont use Meades ASU :-)

You need to use the freeware "StarPatch" loader

http://www.stargps.ca/downloads.htm

and grab the 4.2g rom and patch and load it in the default settings.

After that, you can check the battery voltage, and if low, replacing the battery

will speed up future fixing.

The battery is mounted on the main board in the base

but if you have a multimeter, you can check the voltage via the left fork arm wiring looms.

Much easier to remove the fork arm cover plate than the scopes base plate

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#52 DerroL

DerroL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 18 Jan 2023

Posted 07 February 2023 - 09:17 PM

Thank you so much. There is a lot to work through. I'll let you know how it goes

Derek



#53 Will2007

Will2007

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2022
  • Loc: The Villages, FL

Posted 08 February 2023 - 08:39 AM

Thank you so much. There is a lot to work through. I'll let you know how it goes

Derek

Derek, It sounds worse than it is; not more than two evenings should see you done.  I needed a 1/16 inch allen wrench (the right-angle kind) to loosen the screws on the bottom, but then all went well - the screws are SMALL, don't drop them!

Will



#54 DerroL

DerroL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 18 Jan 2023

Posted 09 February 2023 - 02:46 AM

I managed the update using StarPatch for the 10"GPS. However, now I cant connect properly to the scope using any version of Andrews scope controler. Sometime it thinks it is an 8" scope and other times it just gets lost as you can see from the attachments. A couple of error messages pop up during the search for the scope.

Any thoughts welcome

Derek

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capture.PNG

Capture1.PNG

Capture2.PNG



#55 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 09 February 2023 - 04:08 AM

Gday Derek

Did you get any warnings via StarPatch????

Based on the fact you were already on 4.2g, updating to the patch should

not have done anything odd.

Does the mount start and align etc properly??

Does it get the date correct via  a GPS fix ???

 

How are you connecting to the scope ( ie proper COM port or USB2rs232 converter )

My app uses very low level comms but some prolific converters have proven iffy

when used with W10 and W11, but that should have shown up prior.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#56 DerroL

DerroL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 18 Jan 2023

Posted 11 February 2023 - 05:42 PM

Hi Andrew,

Just letting you know that my telescope now is able to align and work properly under the guidance of your software. Thank you so much.

I installed a new battery yesterday and last night presto, the GPS data was valid and your software managed the 2-star alignment.

Derek

 

Another question.

So what is the role of the GPS if one uses the stars for alignment?



#57 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 11 February 2023 - 07:07 PM

Gday Derek

Hmmm, what did you do to get it working, as the battery only affects the gps fixing time.

Nothing in your errors could have been caused by the battery.

 

So what is the role of the GPS if one uses the stars for alignment?

It sets an accurate UTC date/time and updates the Lat/Long location if required.

As long as you are happy to enter your site data manually

and set the date/time manually on booting, the GPS is not required

ie its just there to make life easier

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#58 DerroL

DerroL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 18 Jan 2023

Posted 11 February 2023 - 09:00 PM

Hi Andrew,

What did I do to get it working? Not sure and I'm a bit puzzled. It'll be interesting to see if it works again.

I did my recent testing in a single story timber cottage with a metal roof. So perhaps the GPS is not so good inside.

Though, early testing before our first contact was done outside and I had problems then.

I do owe you a beer for the program. Its the first one I found that fully does the job of the handbox. If there is a way to send you a case (or money equivalent) then let me know.

Derek



#59 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 11 February 2023 - 09:22 PM

Gday Derek

I do owe you a beer for the program. Its the first one I found that fully does the job of the handbox.

Meades ASSuite has a full PC based remote handbox as does PEMPro.

 

There is an IOS app called "ScopeBoss" that runs via the rs232 port

https://sites.google...e/scopebossapp/

 

and the latest app is an android one  https://groups.io/g/asiie

that replaces the real handset

 

sooooooo, several alternatives out there

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#60 DerroL

DerroL

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 18 Jan 2023

Posted 14 February 2023 - 02:23 AM

I previously tried the sky safari plus app on my iPhone via the Stella wireless serial adapter to find that it did not do the telescope alignment. I guess I got a bit "gun shy" of trying other costly solutions.

 

Derek


  • aoloaolo likes this

#61 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 14 February 2023 - 02:59 AM

Gday Derek

AFAIK, both scopeboss and ASIIe are both freeware now.

For Scopeboss, there are several reviews on Weasners site

http://www.weasner.c...Boss/index.html

and it appears to do anything you would want for normal work.

As it runs via the rs232 port, it wont allow invoking safeload or the 444 tests

but it will certainly allow aligning.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#62 Will2007

Will2007

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2022
  • Loc: The Villages, FL

Posted 14 February 2023 - 10:03 AM

G'Day Andrew

Several nights ago the seeing was not great, but I wanted to gain experience with my LS200.  Whilst performing alignment, I found the scope was off by several degrees - the go-to star was not even in the finder.

Today I want to understand what is wrong, so using your software, it seems like the scope date/time is way off before performing an alignment (Is there a PCB battery?).  After alignment the date and time are correct, but the GPS is still showing 01-Jul-2003 (Scope Data screen).

Also noted the creation date of the program is 22/12/2021 whereas Derek's header shows 09/02/2023.  Both have the same Ver 4.9.9.9   Any ideas?

 

Thanks, Will



#63 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 14 February 2023 - 04:17 PM

Gday Will
 

it seems like the scope date/time is way off before performing an alignment (Is there a PCB battery?).

There is a battery but it has nothing to do with the date/time.

On booting, the mount reverts to 8:00pm on the last used date

If the GPS is set to "AtStart", it should start fixing immediately.

If the GPS is "OFF" it should ask you to enter date/time

If the GPS is "ON", it just sits there, but wont do a fix until it needs to

ie when you start an align.

I always say use OFF or ATStart, as that way the data is set before you do anything.

 

After alignment the date and time are correct, but the GPS is still showing 01-Jul-2003 (Scope Data screen).

Correct. That screen is showing what the GPS is "reporting"

Our patch merely tweaks this before setting the date/time, but we cant fix the raw feed.

As long as the Date/time on the left side ( Handbox )  is correct, then its working

 

creation date of the program is 22/12/2021 whereas Derek's header shows 09/02/2023.  Both have the same Ver 4.9.9.9   Any ideas?

I dont know there as its only 6 days ago, and i havent changed anything since then.

( My working copy matches yours for create date )

The app uses a windows function to read the exe creation date so maybe he tweaked something

and it reset the date ( vs do a simple unzip ).

Also, i can no longer get to my website to do any changes so the

working copy of my app is now on the IO site files section

but you have to go there to see whats the latest.

https://groups.io/g/.../00_MyScopeApps

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#64 Will2007

Will2007

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2022
  • Loc: The Villages, FL

Posted 14 February 2023 - 11:27 PM

G'Day Andrew,

Rather late here, but exactly how does one set the GPS to AtStart. (Occasionally I can be rather dense).

 

I am pouring a Foster's on the keyboard for you....

 

Cheers!  Will



#65 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 14 February 2023 - 11:35 PM

Gday Will
 

exactly how does one set the GPS to AtStart.

Menu  "Setup > Telescope > GPS Alignment"

 

I am pouring a Foster's

Thats so 1980's :-)

I cant remember seeing Fosters down here for years.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#66 Will2007

Will2007

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2022
  • Loc: The Villages, FL

Posted 15 February 2023 - 09:43 AM

G'Day Andrew,

Interesting in that Fosters is (was?) associated with Australia yet is not available in your area - readily available here in FL !!

Changed GPS setting as you suggested, however date still shows July 2003

I STILL cannot paste a screen capture on this site - too much Fosters?

:-)



#67 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 15 February 2023 - 03:25 PM

Gday Will

Fosters was bought by an international company and is brewed overseas now.

Down here, its now like a craft beer you have to dig to find.

 

Changed GPS setting as you suggested, however date still shows July 2003

Where ????

Press n hold mode for several seconds to get to the alternate menus.

What shows there ????

 

I STILL cannot paste a screen capture on this site

Bottom right of the reply screen box is a button "More reply options"

Press that and the screen adds new functions including a file/image load facility

Just load the image  first using "Browse" then "Attach file"

Click the mouse in the text where you want to embed the image

and click the  "Add to post" link alongside the desired image

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#68 Will2007

Will2007

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2022
  • Loc: The Villages, FL

Posted 15 February 2023 - 04:31 PM

Andrew,

This is what I see after 30 seconds of ON time:

 30 sec.jpg

Note GPS date is wrong as is Handbox date and local time  - which I had reset earlier this afternoon.

 

Thanks, Will



#69 Will2007

Will2007

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2022
  • Loc: The Villages, FL

Posted 15 February 2023 - 04:33 PM

A few minutes later, the HandBx date and time are right but GPS reading same.



#70 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 15 February 2023 - 05:01 PM

Gday Will

My app will post the data it can get

It notes at the top that GPS "may be suspect"

ie the GPS is getting data, but hasnt "fixed"

The "GPS" column on my app shows raw GPS data

so will always show the wrong date,

The code converts the data for use, so until the GPS fixes

the Hbx data will show the current boot status.

ie the mount boots to 8:00pm on the last used date

so you ran the screen dump 1min 38secs after booting :-)

Just the way it works

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#71 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 15 February 2023 - 09:56 PM

Gday Will

Just noticed one other thing.

You are AltAz but how are you aligning??????

I noted from your screenshot that it shows

"Align Data" - "E/W tilt" = 14deg55m  which is almost 15deg ( ie one hour )

Your DST is OFF, but a "simulated" 15deg E/W tilt is equivalent to an error in longitude of one hour.

Can you get a fix then try a manual 2 star align, and once done,

even if it fails, report what the E/W and N/S tilts report

and also confirm if the "reported" LST is correct.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#72 Will2007

Will2007

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2022
  • Loc: The Villages, FL

Posted 16 February 2023 - 08:05 PM

The activity was cancelled, so I ran outside and waited for dark.  After a 2-star alignment (the first was way off), I grabbed a screen capture:

2-16-23.jpg



#73 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 16 February 2023 - 08:27 PM

Gday Will

OK, all the date/time/longitude and LST lines up properly

and the E/W and N/S tilt numbers now look sane.

 

Soooo, after the align, how good are the gotos ?????

( and use stars, not planets or deep sky objects )

 

Also, what align stars did you use ?????

and do you have a XHair EP for centring

 

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


Edited by OzAndrewJ, 16 February 2023 - 08:28 PM.


#74 Will2007

Will2007

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2022
  • Loc: The Villages, FL

Posted 17 February 2023 - 09:24 AM

G'Morning Andrew (Well, here it is AM)

After two star alignment, the goto was perfect, checked against Jupiter and Venus.  I used Serius and Alpheratz for alignment.  Initially, Serius (1st align star) DEC was way off.

No, I do not have a Xhair EP. just "good judgement"  (lol).

 

I thought the 1st align star should have been at least in the 9X50 finder view... Thanks goodness for Telrad (new addition).

 

Will



#75 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,344
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 17 February 2023 - 03:48 PM

Gday Will

OK, if the gotos were good, then its working.

One trick in aligning if you only have a std EP is defocus on the first star.

Centring the donut is much easier.

Then leave it defocussed for the second star and when you slew

it should be in the EP and again, easy to centre.

Once centred, refocus properly.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia




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