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LX200GPS-cant find target

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#1 pgtuck

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Posted 07 April 2024 - 10:04 PM

New to me 10 inch LX200GPS ca't find targets. The scope does all the various align procedures without issue. single star, Two star and align home. When reaching the star targets on each alignment the star is not perfect center but pretty close. After alignment is complete. I enter solar system-Jupiter. I receive message -Jupiter rises 1.23am. At that time the local time was 8:30pm central with -5 set in the UTC setting. At the same time I can see Jupiter about 30 degrees above the western horizon. Same happens if I select Siris. Display sez- Sirris rises at 2:am. It's slightly to the south at 80 degrees up. All settings are set to current times. What am I missing? Thanks in advance!



#2 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 08 April 2024 - 01:15 AM

Gday pgtuck

How are you setting the time????

If using the GPS and it fixes, hold the mode key for several seconds and release.

This will put you into the alternate menus.

Scroll down to the date entry

is it 2024 or 2004???

If 2004, you have an unpatched mount that is hit by the GPS rollover bug.

Short term, turn the GPS to "OFF" and manually enter the date time on booting.

When happy, you need to load the patched 4.2g firmware via the StarPatch site

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

and that will fix the problem

Do not load Meades 4.2L, it will wipe out your data.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#3 pgtuck

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 08:30 PM

Thanks for the info. The clock is set to 2024 with daylight savings turned on. UTC time is et to -5 for my central time zone location which is FT Worth Texas. Current firm ware is 4.2G.



#4 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 08:54 PM

Gday pgtuck

Are you mounted Polar or AltAz?

There is a bug in  polar 2 star aligning if the first star is off by a big amount

but it shouldnt cause a "below horizon" error for planets if the date is OK

and no way should Sirius have got that warning.

Do you connect to a PC at all??? ( ie is that changing the time )

One test to do is after getting a fix

pressnhold mode to get to the alternate menus

scroll to the LST ( local sidereal time ) screen and read out the value

and use a planetarium or PC app to confirm if that is OK.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Austrakia



#5 DAVIDG

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 09:02 PM

 You should leave the UT off set to -6 for the central time zone   and have Daylight save time turn on. The firmware will then correct for Daylight saving time off set. With the UT set to -5 and Daylight Saving time turn on, your 2 hours off from your local time. 

 Also double check your Latitude and Longitude, especially the longitude that it is showing as West  ie a negative value. 

 

                     - Dave 


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#6 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 10:10 PM

Gday David

I suspected his UTC offset is "relatively" OK

as he mentioned the "align stars" were almost centred, and that wont happen with

an offset that puts planets below the horizon when they are in fact above.

Also, the Sirius error is weird for the time location given

as it is near zenith.

Something else very odd is going on, hence my request re an app connecting????

and maybe changing the data

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#7 pgtuck

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Posted 10 April 2024 - 09:00 PM

Thanks for the response. I use the original atuostar hand controller which, appears to work as advertised. I also downloaded the scope boss app and wifi connection. It connected as advertised. dates and times input match. Skyboss  app works exactly as autostar.-2. Autostar hand controller ask; daylight savings , yes/no. Currently yes. Next screen ask UTC offset, to me this same as Zulu time as, I'm a commercial pilot and that's what we use. currently we are -5:00. Again thanks for all the info and, looking for more! 



#8 pgtuck

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Posted 10 April 2024 - 09:00 PM

Additional info: mount is alt /az. Thanks



#9 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 10 April 2024 - 09:55 PM

Gday pgtuck

Re Zulu time, the handset runs 2 internal clocks and these can be confused

if you use an external app to change the time "after" aligning or unparking.

There is a "Timezone" value tied to the site,

and this should always be set to the real ( ie non DST value )

There is a DST setting, and this must be used to toggle as required

There is also a UTC offset thatis clock seconds to add to the GPS time

received by the lump. This should always be zero now as the GPS lumps

build this error into their data now.

The main thing to look at is when you have aligned and are getting

results re "horizon", use the hold mode menus to confirm

1) Local Date/Time is OK

2) Longitude/Latitude is OK

3) LST ( Local sidereal time ) is correct

If an external app has tweaked your data, it will normally show as an error

in the reported LST.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#10 pgtuck

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 09:35 AM

If I understand correct: Prior to starting the align function; Set Zulu (offset time) clock first. Then set local time and time zone. Set DST if required. 

 

Start align procedure. After align is completed check GPS coordinates to make sure they match telescope actual location. 

 

Hopefully I have this procedure correct. Thanks for your help! 



#11 DAVIDG

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 03:34 PM

 You said the firmware is 42G so it the should be patched to fix the GPS roll over bug so it the year should be correct.   If you have your GPS turned on when you turn on the scope after the scope boots up you should get a message that the GPS is looking for data. Once it finds the data which will be your Lat, Long, time date and  year it will then put you  in ALIGN  mode were you choose the type of alignment to do, The only thing that you need to set  is if Daylight savings is in affect and your GPS offset of -6  for the central time zone no matter if Daylight saving time is used or not.  If these are not set correctly, turn the scope off  start again and once the GPS the data found  all should be set correctly.

  If you do not have the GPS turn on, then you need to go to SETUP  and enter the time, date and year  it will  ask for your observing site which should have your Lat and Long. Once that is done you go to ALIGN  and choose the type of alignment  you want.

 

              - Dave 



#12 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 06:41 PM

Gday pgtuck

Set Zulu (offset time) clock first.

Yes and no

The LX200s master clock runs in zulu time

If you get a gps fix, the gps simply sets the clock to zulu time

If you enter/view data "manually", the input screens work in local time

ie if you set the time manually, the code converts it to zulu using

DST, TZ etc and the parallel LST clock is then calculated using longitude.

Sooooo, main test is always let it fix or set the time manually during booting

then confirm the LST using an external datum to confirm its all OK

If you use a serial command to adjust the date/time/longitude "after fixing"

it will screw up the clock synchronisation

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#13 pgtuck

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 08:12 PM

Andrew and, Dave. Thanks for the great information. Sounds like; let GPS do its setup and, verify that lat/long displayed matches my actual. Don’t use serial CMD. Initial boot up showed date of 2004. I did update to correct date. Check clock setting to confirm setup is correct. 



#14 pgtuck

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 08:21 PM

OBTW. When the scope boots it does go to GPS searching and, does show alignment successful.



#15 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 08:32 PM

Gday pgtuck

Initial boot up showed date of 2004. I did update to correct date.

If thats the case ( after fixing ), then you have the rollover bug

and should disable the GPS until you patch the firmware.

 

You can nearly always get an "align success" using stars if you centre the stars manually

but later gotos ( esp Planets / Moon etc ) could still be off.

Sooo, if it does show 2004 after fixing, turn it off and see what happens

when the date is manually entered correctly.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#16 DAVIDG

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 02:38 PM

As Andrew said if your Year is showing 2004 whoever updated your firmware to 4.2G somehow did not include the fix to correct the GPS rollover. I highly recommend you use the free version of StarPatch to update the firmware using the firmware at that site. It has no known bugs and will fix the rollover problem. 

   https://www.stargps.ca/starpatch.htm

 Once the GPS is fixed you shouldn't have any problems with the planets saying they are not visible when they are. As Andrew said in the mean time, go into the Autostar and turn off the GPS and manually enter  the time, date and year. The Long and Lat should still be correct for your site and use  UT offset  -6 and tell it Daylight savings time is in use. 

 

                      - Dave 


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#17 pgtuck

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 11:27 AM

Thanks for the info. Followed the starpatch link. Did not see free software. Did not see software for autostar 2.

Am I correct in thinking, I only need week rollover patch?   



#18 DAVIDG

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 11:48 AM

  On the Starpatch website there is  a link to the free version. The link has instruction on how to update an Autostar including an Autostar II for a  LX200GPS When you download and install it,  the software will ask you what model Autostar you want to update and then give a list of options you can include. Besides the GPS rollover patch there  other options you might want. 

 

                            - Dave 

 

star patch.JPG


Edited by DAVIDG, 16 April 2024 - 11:49 AM.

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#19 pgtuck

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 12:23 PM

Thanks and I have the trial version downloaded. Fist issue. Instructions ask for the hand controller to connect to pc and, hand controller to connect to scope. Hand controller only has one connection port.  Second issue. The usb cable I have (laptop to scope sr port) connects only to scope not hand controller.



#20 pgtuck

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 01:24 PM

Here is the connection diagram for star patch. I can't make that connection. Attached pic.

Attached Thumbnails

  • starpatch connection.png


#21 michael8554

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 01:48 PM

Those are the Autostar 497 instructions, look for the Autostar II Instructions.

 

And you'll need a Meade #507 cable, the #505 is for the 497.

 

Plugged from the PC to the RS232 port on the mount.



#22 DAVIDG

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 02:19 PM

 The instruction for an  Autostar II used with LX200GPS are on the StarPatch website. 

 

https://www.stargps.....htm#starpatch 

 

The computer is connected to the mount and not the handset.

 

                           - Dave 

.

autostar ii starpatch.JPG


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#23 Arcane1125

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 02:43 PM

All,

 

I’ve been following with great interest this topic as I had been dealing with the same issues.

 

I finally got the 4.2G patch installed which solved a lot of my problems. However, whenever I would go through the Automatic Align process, the scope would slewing to the general area of the star. I would complete the align process and then tell it to slew to the Moon. However, again, it would get me close but not get me to center on the moon. Why would it do this?

 

Chris



#24 DAVIDG

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 03:14 PM

All,

 

I’ve been following with great interest this topic as I had been dealing with the same issues.

 

I finally got the 4.2G patch installed which solved a lot of my problems. However, whenever I would go through the Automatic Align process, the scope would slewing to the general area of the star. I would complete the align process and then tell it to slew to the Moon. However, again, it would get me close but not get me to center on the moon. Why would it do this?

 

Chris

  Go into the menu that reads out the position of the telescope. Slew the scope in Alt and AZ more then 15 degrees. Compare what the Autostar shows as how much the scope moved to what is on the analog setting circles. They should agree perfectly. If not you have most likely an encoder issue. If they agree I would do a  Calibrate sensors.  The Moon is not a good target to check the point accuracry. The firmware is using lookup tables for the early 2000's and the Moon has complex orbit. Try a couple of stars.

 

                             - Dave 


Edited by DAVIDG, 17 April 2024 - 08:44 AM.

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#25 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 04:29 PM

Gday Chris

As noted, the mount only uses a cut down procedure to calculate the Moon and Planets

and these can be out by quite a bit at times

( It also uses an 8bit CPU with bitbanged floating point calcs  )

We are also just starting to investigate a new bug with planets than can give "interesting" results

so am not sure yet if this also affects the moon.

Soooooooo, if you want to check accuracy, only ever use stars.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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