Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Autostar and TheSky software

Expand Messages
  • species__8472@hotmail.com
    Hi Everyone I was wondering whether the Autostar has a function that can tell you of other objects that are in the vicinity of the current object you are
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Everyone

      I was wondering whether the Autostar has a function that can tell you
      of other objects that are in the vicinity of the current object you
      are viewing?

      Apparently TheSky software can show all nearby objects and you can
      slew to them with the click of a button. Awesome. But you need a
      computer or laptop to do this.

      Does anyone know whether the Autostar has a similar feature?

      Thanks.
      Mario
    • Janet L Miller
      Hiya Mario, As far as I know, the answer to your question would be no. The way to do it would be as you suggested - with a laptop, serial cable to the
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Hiya Mario,

        As far as I know, the answer to your question would be no. The way to do it
        would be as you suggested - with a laptop, serial cable to the AutoStar and
        a good planetarium program. Most of the better ones allow you to use the
        LX200 commands to point and track with your LX90.

        By the way, I like your email address. Voyager is one of my favorite shows
        :o)

        Jan Miller
        Albany, NY
        (remove the clouds from my address to reply by email)


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <species__8472@...>
        To: <lx90@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2001 4:53 AM
        Subject: [lx90] Autostar and TheSky software


        | Hi Everyone
        |
        | I was wondering whether the Autostar has a function that can tell you
        | of other objects that are in the vicinity of the current object you
        | are viewing?
        |
        | Apparently TheSky software can show all nearby objects and you can
        | slew to them with the click of a button. Awesome. But you need a
        | computer or laptop to do this.
        |
        | Does anyone know whether the Autostar has a similar feature?
        |
        | Thanks.
        | Mario
      • species__8472@hotmail.com
        hehe thanks Jan. Actually, you re the first person to comment on my email address and I ve been in all sorts of astronomy related groups! :) Currently I have
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          hehe thanks Jan.
          Actually, you're the first person to comment on my email address and
          I've been in all sorts of astronomy related groups! :)
          Currently I have a Celestar 8, but since my laziness sometimes
          reaches legendary proportions, I really need to get an LX90.
          One day though, I would like to have a set-up similar to this guy who
          posted a review on cloudynights site about his televue binowviewer
          and C-14 controlled by TheSky and a LXD750 mount. This beast of a
          setup would have to be permanently set up inside a roll-off roof shed
          I think. But the views would be something to dream about.
          Take Care,
          Mario.

          --- In lx90@y..., "Janet L Miller" <ragdoll@n...> wrote:
          > Hiya Mario,
          >
          > As far as I know, the answer to your question would be no. The way
          to do it
          > would be as you suggested - with a laptop, serial cable to the
          AutoStar and
          > a good planetarium program. Most of the better ones allow you to
          use the
          > LX200 commands to point and track with your LX90.
          >
          > By the way, I like your email address. Voyager is one of my
          favorite shows
          > :o)
          >
          > Jan Miller
          > Albany, NY
          > (remove the clouds from my address to reply by email)
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: <species__8472@h...>
          > To: <lx90@y...>
          > Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2001 4:53 AM
          > Subject: [lx90] Autostar and TheSky software
          >
          >
          > | Hi Everyone
          > |
          > | I was wondering whether the Autostar has a function that can tell
          you
          > | of other objects that are in the vicinity of the current object
          you
          > | are viewing?
          > |
          > | Apparently TheSky software can show all nearby objects and you can
          > | slew to them with the click of a button. Awesome. But you need a
          > | computer or laptop to do this.
          > |
          > | Does anyone know whether the Autostar has a similar feature?
          > |
          > | Thanks.
          > | Mario
        • rseymour@wolfenet.com
          ... Not exactly... but perhaps close: When you re looking at something, and wish to merely browse the area, lean on the [goto] key for 3 seconds, release. The
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In lx90@y..., species__8472@h... wrote:
            > I was wondering whether the Autostar has a function that can tell
            > you of other objects that are in the vicinity of the current object
            > you are viewing?

            Not exactly... but perhaps close:
            When you're looking at something, and wish to merely browse the area,
            lean on the [goto] key for 3 seconds, release. The scope should start
            its "spiral hunt" (i like Sky & Tele's name: "square dance"), moving
            in ever-widening boxes centered where you started. Press any key to
            stop the motion if you see something interesting.

            Then, choose Object > Identify from the menus, and press [enter].
            There's a chance it'll know what you're looking at.
            By my experience, there's a far -larger- chance it won't know it.
            (the database is 30,000 objects... there are over 250,000 SAO stars
            alone... and countless interesting asterisms, Deep Sky fuzzies and
            other shapes throughout the sky).

            So, in part it depends upon what you're after when observing.
            There's the Starry Night (generic planetarium program) approach:
            travel to cataloged objects and observe.
            There's the beach-comber's approach: observe, and try to identify, or
            delve for more information about, things which look interesting in
            the eyepiece.
            I suspect we all do a mixture of the two, as the mood hits.

            Separate computers/laptops are blest with far larger resources devoted
            to holding and searching large databases. If you consider the laptop
            simply another "Accessory" for the telescope, then the Autostar serves
            as an intelligent "connector" between the two, with the helpful
            attribute of being able to serve as a stand-alone controller when
            you're
            not being quite so "serious".

            The current crop of planetarium programs are usually able to make use
            of far -larger- databases, such as the digitized Palomar Sky Survey
            set... many, many, CD's worth.

            have fun
            --dick
          • Christian F.
            Hi guys, last night I hooped around deep sky obects with high precision turned on (I use my scope in alt/az mount). When selecting objects close at the horizon
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi guys,

              last night I hooped around deep sky obects with high precision turned on
              (I use my scope in alt/az mount). When selecting objects close at the
              horizon I observed that high precision often choses stars below horizon.
              I skip them of course and move on to a star visible above horizon.
              Anyway, I just wondered if some other observed this behavior. Nothing
              serious, but apparently Autostar doen't check for visibility on high
              precision stars.

              Christian
            • Clay Sherrod
              Christian - AutoStar does indeed sync to very accurate readings of what is visible and what is not at any particular time of night (or day) that it thinks
              Message 6 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                Christian -
                AutoStar does indeed sync to very accurate readings of what is visible and
                what is not at any particular time of night (or day) that it "thinks" you
                are observing. If it was locating stars that were below the horizon (it
                first has to calcuate - based on the actual TIME of your command - the
                location relative to your EXACT position, of that H.P. star), then it is
                confused about one of three things:

                1) your exact latitude and (more particularly for rising/setting of stars
                that "should" be visible) longitude on Earth; if you are off a bit, it will
                affect the A.S. knowing what is rising and setting at any particular time;
                if you have entered a "nearby city" that is a distance away, it can affect
                you; check your default under "select/site..." to make sure you have the
                correct entry "entered;"

                2) the exact local time that you entered should be within at least five
                minutes; I always set my watch to within 2-3 seconds of NSTI and start right
                at the minute for greater accuracy;

                3) the entry of daylight savings time (Saturday night would have been "no"
                if using local time and Sunday would have been "Yes") must be correct and
                entered.

                AutoStar has the capability of actually telling you "below" horizon to
                within a minute's accuracy. Sometimes altitude (if you are very elevated
                for example ABOVE or below the "nearest city" your "site" is defaulting to)
                can play a role, but not to a high degree.

                Check all of your "site" defaults and make sure that - right now - you are
                "yes" on DST, and that your entered time is always to within five minutes.

                Also, any skimpy initial alignment (sometimes "1 star" will do this!) can
                result in AutoStar missing your horizons, and many times subsequent GO TO's.

                Good luck!

                Dr. Clay

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Christian F. <chris@...>
                To: lx90@yahoogroups.com <lx90@yahoogroups.com>
                Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001 2:55 PM
                Subject: [lx90] Autostar oddities (High Precision)


                >Hi guys,
                >
                >last night I hooped around deep sky obects with high precision turned on
                >(I use my scope in alt/az mount). When selecting objects close at the
                >horizon I observed that high precision often choses stars below horizon.
                >I skip them of course and move on to a star visible above horizon.
                >Anyway, I just wondered if some other observed this behavior. Nothing
                >serious, but apparently Autostar doen't check for visibility on high
                >precision stars.
                >
                >Christian
                >
                >
                >
                >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                >lx90-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
              • Ray Shapp
                Dr. Clay ... minutes; I always set my watch to within 2-3 seconds of NSTI and start right at the minute for greater accuracy; I m guessing NSTI refers to a
                Message 7 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dr. Clay

                  You said:

                  >the exact local time that you entered should be within at least five
                  minutes; I always set my watch to within 2-3 seconds of NSTI and start right
                  at the minute for greater accuracy;

                  I'm guessing NSTI refers to a time standard.

                  For maximum accuracy, one could re-enter precise time after completing an
                  alignment, right? In that way, tracking has already started and there would
                  be no delay between the entering of the correct time and the beginning of
                  tracking. Is this overkill?

                  Ray Shapp
                  Watchung, NJ
                • Clay Sherrod
                  Ray - the AutoStar clock begins ticking as soon as you Enter the last requestion (i.e., Daylight Savings Time? ); the CLOCK DRIVE of the telescope of
                  Message 8 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Ray - the AutoStar clock begins ticking as soon as you "Enter" the last
                    requestion (i.e., "Daylight Savings Time?"); the CLOCK DRIVE of the
                    telescope of course does NOT begin until the alignment sequence is completed
                    and accepted by AutoStar.

                    If you may have noticed, there are times when - as soon as you press the
                    last "enter" on alignment star #2 and the AutoStar says "alignment
                    successful," there is a very short "burst" of motion in the axes (just the
                    RA if you are in Polar mode); this is the telescope clock drive catching up
                    to the AutoStar internal clock!

                    You actually never miss a beat! NOW....that being said; there is an
                    interval after which (I believe it is about 8-10 minutes) if you HAVE not
                    selected, centered and "entered" your last alignment star to initiate the
                    drives, the AutoStar will tell you that too much time has elapsed....this is
                    ONE reason that we frequently see the "Alignment Failed" warning come up
                    (but not the only reason).

                    So if you delay too long a period (have a cup of coffee, read Sky &
                    Telescope, etc.) after your intialization until the time you finish
                    aligning, the AutoStar "refuses" to be responsible for attempting to catch
                    the telescope up accurately with the AutoStar time.

                    So for most purposes, there is no need to worry about the time...AutoStar
                    does that for you, provided you don't delay too long...

                    Dr. Clay

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Ray Shapp <rayshapp@...>
                    To: lx90@yahoogroups.com <lx90@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001 8:14 PM
                    Subject: Re: [lx90] Autostar oddities (High Precision)


                    >Dr. Clay
                    >
                    >You said:
                    >
                    >>the exact local time that you entered should be within at least five
                    >minutes; I always set my watch to within 2-3 seconds of NSTI and start
                    right
                    >at the minute for greater accuracy;
                    >
                    >I'm guessing NSTI refers to a time standard.
                    >
                    >For maximum accuracy, one could re-enter precise time after completing an
                    >alignment, right? In that way, tracking has already started and there
                    would
                    >be no delay between the entering of the correct time and the beginning of
                    >tracking. Is this overkill?
                    >
                    >Ray Shapp
                    >Watchung, NJ
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    >lx90-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                  • Ray Shapp
                    Dr. Clay and Others 1.) Was my guess right about NSTI? 2.) I hadn t noticed the telescope jumping to catch up with AutoStar time. I ve been entering about
                    Message 9 of 15 , Apr 1, 2001
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dr. Clay and Others

                      1.) Was my guess right about NSTI?

                      2.) I hadn't noticed the telescope jumping to catch up with AutoStar time.
                      I've been entering about two minutes ahead of the actual time to
                      (unnecessarily and erroneously) compensate for the normal delay in
                      completing an alignment. I'll stop doing that now.

                      3.) For most purposes, approximate time is close enough, however, I'd like
                      your opinion about re-entering the Time value after the rest of the
                      alignment is complete.

                      4.) Here's a free time updating service you may find useful:

                      www.locutuscodeware.com

                      They have a shareware product called SocketWatch that updates your
                      computer's system
                      clock every time you logon to any internet site or even when you go online
                      with your mail client. It costs only $10 to register the software. It
                      works very fast and it is capable of making split-second adjustments to your
                      clock.

                      I like it because my planetarium programs use the system clock. It would
                      also be good for use with telescope control programs.

                      Ray Shapp
                      Watchung, NJ
                    • Wayne Chapeskie
                      ... Another freeware NTP client for Windows I have seen is Automachron, http://www.oneguycoding.com/automachron/ Some sort of program; you should be able to
                      Message 10 of 15 , Apr 2, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On Sun, Apr 01, 2001 at 10:16:22PM -0400, Ray Shapp wrote:
                        >
                        > 4.) Here's a free time updating service you may find useful:
                        >
                        > www.locutuscodeware.com
                        >
                        > They have a shareware product called SocketWatch that updates your
                        > computer's system
                        > clock every time you logon to any internet site or even when you go online
                        > with your mail client. It costs only $10 to register the software. It
                        > works very fast and it is capable of making split-second adjustments to your
                        > clock.

                        Another freeware NTP client for Windows I have seen is Automachron,
                        http://www.oneguycoding.com/automachron/
                        Some sort of program; you should be able to sync your clock to within
                        several tens of milliseconds of the stratum 1 servers (these are the
                        ones with the atomic clocks).

                        If you run any version of Unix (Linux, BSD, etc), you should already
                        have an NTP daemon available, either xntpd or ntpd.


                        --
                        Wayne Chapeskie
                      • species__8472@hotmail.com
                        hi dick, Thanks for the info. Was very helpful and much appreciated. take care, Mario. ... object ... area, ... start ... or ... devoted ... laptop ... serves
                        Message 11 of 15 , Apr 2, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          hi dick,
                          Thanks for the info. Was very helpful and much appreciated.
                          take care,
                          Mario.

                          --- In lx90@y..., rseymour@w... wrote:
                          > --- In lx90@y..., species__8472@h... wrote:
                          > > I was wondering whether the Autostar has a function that can tell
                          > > you of other objects that are in the vicinity of the current
                          object
                          > > you are viewing?
                          >
                          > Not exactly... but perhaps close:
                          > When you're looking at something, and wish to merely browse the
                          area,
                          > lean on the [goto] key for 3 seconds, release. The scope should
                          start
                          > its "spiral hunt" (i like Sky & Tele's name: "square dance"), moving
                          > in ever-widening boxes centered where you started. Press any key to
                          > stop the motion if you see something interesting.
                          >
                          > Then, choose Object > Identify from the menus, and press [enter].
                          > There's a chance it'll know what you're looking at.
                          > By my experience, there's a far -larger- chance it won't know it.
                          > (the database is 30,000 objects... there are over 250,000 SAO stars
                          > alone... and countless interesting asterisms, Deep Sky fuzzies and
                          > other shapes throughout the sky).
                          >
                          > So, in part it depends upon what you're after when observing.
                          > There's the Starry Night (generic planetarium program) approach:
                          > travel to cataloged objects and observe.
                          > There's the beach-comber's approach: observe, and try to identify,
                          or
                          > delve for more information about, things which look interesting in
                          > the eyepiece.
                          > I suspect we all do a mixture of the two, as the mood hits.
                          >
                          > Separate computers/laptops are blest with far larger resources
                          devoted
                          > to holding and searching large databases. If you consider the
                          laptop
                          > simply another "Accessory" for the telescope, then the Autostar
                          serves
                          > as an intelligent "connector" between the two, with the helpful
                          > attribute of being able to serve as a stand-alone controller when
                          > you're
                          > not being quite so "serious".
                          >
                          > The current crop of planetarium programs are usually able to make
                          use
                          > of far -larger- databases, such as the digitized Palomar Sky Survey
                          > set... many, many, CD's worth.
                          >
                          > have fun
                          > --dick
                        • Clay Sherrod
                          Ray - Regarding a time sync to keep your computer set, so does the NIST (I typoed on the first message); here is the complete address:
                          Message 12 of 15 , Apr 2, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Ray -
                            Regarding a time sync to keep your computer set, so does the NIST (I typoed
                            on the first message); here is the complete address:
                            www.boulder.nist.gov/timefreq/ . The second entry is a FREE time/computer
                            sync accurate to within 0.9s and you can also readily access your time zone
                            to set a good watch or clock to the same accuracy. Again, I do not think
                            that there is anything to gain by resetting your time once the Autostar has
                            been initialized; it has an internal clock, just like your computer, except
                            when you turn off AutoStar, the clock is also turned off and you must reset
                            the NEXT time you turn it on.

                            Dr. Clay

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Ray Shapp <rayshapp@...>
                            To: lx90@yahoogroups.com <lx90@yahoogroups.com>
                            Date: Sunday, April 01, 2001 9:16 PM
                            Subject: Re: [lx90] Autostar oddities (High Precision)


                            >Dr. Clay and Others
                            >
                            >1.) Was my guess right about NSTI?
                            >
                            >2.) I hadn't noticed the telescope jumping to catch up with AutoStar time.
                            >I've been entering about two minutes ahead of the actual time to
                            >(unnecessarily and erroneously) compensate for the normal delay in
                            >completing an alignment. I'll stop doing that now.
                            >
                            >3.) For most purposes, approximate time is close enough, however, I'd like
                            >your opinion about re-entering the Time value after the rest of the
                            >alignment is complete.
                            >
                            >4.) Here's a free time updating service you may find useful:
                            >
                            >www.locutuscodeware.com
                            >
                            >They have a shareware product called SocketWatch that updates your
                            >computer's system
                            >clock every time you logon to any internet site or even when you go online
                            >with your mail client. It costs only $10 to register the software. It
                            >works very fast and it is capable of making split-second adjustments to
                            your
                            >clock.
                            >
                            >I like it because my planetarium programs use the system clock. It would
                            >also be good for use with telescope control programs.
                            >
                            >Ray Shapp
                            >Watchung, NJ
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            >lx90-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                            >
                          • rseymour@wolfenet.com
                            ... I don t recommend it... although resetting the time after the initial request does affect what time the Autostar uses for planetary and GoTo
                            Message 13 of 15 , Apr 2, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- In lx90@y..., "Ray Shapp" <rayshapp@e...> wrote:

                              > 3.) For most purposes, approximate time is close enough, however,
                              > I'd like your opinion about re-entering the Time value after the
                              > rest of the alignment is complete.

                              I don't recommend it... although resetting the time after the initial
                              request does affect what time the Autostar uses for planetary and
                              GoTo calculations... it leaves some facets -uncorrected-.

                              Among them are the Below Horizon calculation. Although the telescope
                              may point at an object correctly (with a changed time), it will
                              miss-guess the "passes zero Altitude" time... that check uses the
                              -original- time-setting.

                              Which right away tells me there are probably -other- undiscovered
                              places where it's getting it wrong.

                              DO set the clock correctly the first time... it remains fully accurate
                              from then on (i chase satellites... a 5 second variation is -seen-).

                              You can try a rainy-night exercise: get a time-standard running
                              (i use shortwave WWV myself). Turn on telescope. Set date/time
                              to that accurate standard. Now "fake" an Easy alignment... let
                              it slew, twiddle fingers a little bit, press [enter], repeat.
                              Now lean on [mode] to bring up the Status display.
                              Scroll up a couple of times and watch the local time.
                              Go away for a few hours (leaving scope tracking safely, or put it
                              to Terrestrial Targets or unclamp the RA axis).
                              Come back, check clock-drift.

                              --dick
                            • rseymour@wolfenet.com
                              ... OK... this is real... it s a real bug. I ve sent a note to engineer at meade.com As Christian says, for the moment you can work around it by [mode] or
                              Message 14 of 15 , Apr 2, 2001
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- In lx90@y..., "Christian F." <chris@s...> wrote:
                                > When selecting objects close at the horizon I observed that high
                                > precision often choses stars below horizon.

                                OK... this is real... it's a real bug.
                                I've sent a note to engineer at meade.com

                                As Christian says, for the moment you can work around it by [mode] or
                                [scroll] to choose another "Guide" star.

                                --dick
                              • rseymour@wolfenet.com
                                ... Well... i did more testing. Let s elevate that to: Do NOT change the time after starting star-tracking. It doesn t work. Easy test: (just performed, in
                                Message 15 of 15 , Apr 2, 2001
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In lx90@y..., rseymour@w... wrote:

                                  >> 3.) For most purposes, approximate time is close enough, however,
                                  >> I'd like your opinion about re-entering the Time value after the
                                  >> rest of the alignment is complete.

                                  > I don't recommend it...


                                  Well... i did more testing. Let's elevate that to:
                                  Do NOT change the time after starting star-tracking.
                                  It doesn't work.

                                  Easy test: (just performed, in Polar).
                                  Power up, do an Easy Align (if cloudy, just hit [enter])

                                  Now: GoTo the moon. It'll report the RA/Dec of the moon, and
                                  go there.
                                  Now: change the time one hour ahead.
                                  Now: GoTo the moon...again.

                                  If your time change was noticed, the scope should rotate westward
                                  one hour in RA (15 degrees)... which should be pretty noticable.

                                  Mine didn't.
                                  v21eK... ETX90.
                                  --dick

                                  p.s. (since this is a different thread in Egroups)
                                  the high-precision-below-horizon symptom is a real bug.
                                  i've sent email to engineer at meade.
                                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.