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autoguiding the lx90 with phd without the 909

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  • spraudp
    Niall, In PHD, what selection do you make for Mount ? I am assuming the following: 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox. 2. No APM909. 3. No
    Message 1 of 23 , Aug 1, 2009
      Niall,
      In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
      I am assuming the following:

      1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
      2. No APM909.
      3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.

      [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]

      The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?

      BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?

      Regards,
      Pieter Strauss
    • autostaretx
      ... POTH is a part of ASCOM. It s an intermediate program which allows mutiple programs in your PC to speak through the single serial cable. The
      Message 2 of 23 , Aug 1, 2009
        --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
        ...
        > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc.
        > Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through
        > the handbox?

        "POTH" is a part of ASCOM. It's an intermediate program which
        allows mutiple programs in your PC to speak through the single
        serial cable.

        The program/driver that *talks* to the Autostar is the Meade
        driver (ASCOM has two, one for lx200gps, the other for Classic
        and Autostar/ETX/LX90).
        If you are going to use POTH, you tell POTH to use the Meade
        driver, and then you tell your programs (such as StarryNight)
        to use POTH.

        The "drivers" are now a separate download from the ASCOM site.
        You download the common package, and then selectively download
        the drivers you need/want.

        Envisage does NOT use ASCOM... it has its own built-in drivers.

        good luck
        --dick

        >
        > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
        >
        > Regards,
        > Pieter Strauss
        >
      • Niall Saunders
        Hi Pieter, Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I
        Message 3 of 23 , Aug 2, 2009
          Hi Pieter,

          Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.

          It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.

          Cheers,

          Niall Saunders
          Clinterty Observatories
          Aberdeen, SCOTLAND


          -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
          >
          > Niall,
          > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
          > I am assuming the following:
          >
          > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
          > 2. No APM909.
          > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
          >
          > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
          >
          > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
          >
          > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
          >
          > Regards,
          > Pieter Strauss
          >
        • spraudp
          Niall, That would be wonderful. Regards, Pieter Strauss
          Message 4 of 23 , Aug 2, 2009
            Niall,
            That would be wonderful.
            Regards,
            Pieter Strauss
            --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Pieter,
            >
            > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
            >
            > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            > Niall Saunders
            > Clinterty Observatories
            > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
            >
            >
            > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Niall,
            > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
            > > I am assuming the following:
            > >
            > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
            > > 2. No APM909.
            > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
            > >
            > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
            > >
            > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
            > >
            > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
            > >
            > > Regards,
            > > Pieter Strauss
            > >
            >
          • denebola1973
            So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much
            Message 5 of 23 , Aug 2, 2009
              So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.

              Eh?

              Thinking of changing up as well.

              Thanks for all these great posts!

              -Mark.


              --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
              >
              > Niall,
              > That would be wonderful.
              > Regards,
              > Pieter Strauss
              > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Pieter,
              > >
              > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
              > >
              > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
              > >
              > > Cheers,
              > >
              > > Niall Saunders
              > > Clinterty Observatories
              > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
              > >
              > >
              > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Niall,
              > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
              > > > I am assuming the following:
              > > >
              > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
              > > > 2. No APM909.
              > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
              > > >
              > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
              > > >
              > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
              > > >
              > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
              > > >
              > > > Regards,
              > > > Pieter Strauss
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • spraudp
              Mark, and all, I ll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed. PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software. Nebulosity is their
              Message 6 of 23 , Aug 3, 2009
                Mark, and all,
                I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.

                I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.

                So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.

                I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.

                Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.

                Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!

                PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.

                Pieter Strauss

                --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@...> wrote:
                >
                > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                >
                > Eh?
                >
                > Thinking of changing up as well.
                >
                > Thanks for all these great posts!
                >
                > -Mark.
                >
                >
                > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Niall,
                > > That would be wonderful.
                > > Regards,
                > > Pieter Strauss
                > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Hi Pieter,
                > > >
                > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                > > >
                > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                > > >
                > > > Cheers,
                > > >
                > > > Niall Saunders
                > > > Clinterty Observatories
                > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > Niall,
                > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                > > > > I am assuming the following:
                > > > >
                > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                > > > > 2. No APM909.
                > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                > > > >
                > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                > > > >
                > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                > > > >
                > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                > > > >
                > > > > Regards,
                > > > > Pieter Strauss
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • denebola1973
                Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and
                Message 7 of 23 , Aug 5, 2009
                  Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?

                  -Mark.


                  --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Mark, and all,
                  > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                  > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                  > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                  >
                  > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                  >
                  > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                  >
                  > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                  >
                  > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                  >
                  > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                  >
                  > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                  >
                  > Pieter Strauss
                  >
                  > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                  > >
                  > > Eh?
                  > >
                  > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                  > >
                  > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                  > >
                  > > -Mark.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Niall,
                  > > > That would be wonderful.
                  > > > Regards,
                  > > > Pieter Strauss
                  > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Hi Pieter,
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Cheers,
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Niall Saunders
                  > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                  > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Niall,
                  > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                  > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                  > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                  > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Regards,
                  > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • spraudp
                  Mark, Don t know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar
                  Message 8 of 23 , Aug 6, 2009
                    Mark,
                    Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection. I don't know if there is anything that uses a pc serial to 909 "CCD" port.
                    Still waiting for clear skies to test my PHD/Shoestring GPUSB box/909 port combo. When I do, I'll try to do an A/B -- Envisage guiding using the handbox vs PHD guiding using the 909.

                    Pieter
                    --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                    >
                    > -Mark.
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Mark, and all,
                    > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                    > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                    > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                    > >
                    > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                    > >
                    > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                    > >
                    > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                    > >
                    > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                    > >
                    > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                    > >
                    > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                    > >
                    > > Pieter Strauss
                    > >
                    > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                    > > >
                    > > > Eh?
                    > > >
                    > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                    > > >
                    > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                    > > >
                    > > > -Mark.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Niall,
                    > > > > That would be wonderful.
                    > > > > Regards,
                    > > > > Pieter Strauss
                    > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Cheers,
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Niall Saunders
                    > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                    > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Niall,
                    > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                    > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                    > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                    > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Regards,
                    > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • lynol1000
                    Mark, No, the RJ12 on the 909 is an ST4 input and has nothing to do with RS232. It is a very simple input. Pin 2 is GND and pins 3 through 6 control the
                    Message 9 of 23 , Aug 6, 2009
                      Mark,

                      No, the RJ12 on the 909 is an 'ST4' input and has nothing to do with RS232. It is a very simple input. Pin 2 is GND and pins 3 through 6 control the directions. To get the 909 to send commands up the AuxBus to the 497 you short one of the 3,4,5,6 pins to pin 2. As long as it is asserted it will send the given direction up the AuxBus.

                      There is also the companion to the 909 available now, a USB to ST4 adapter:
                      http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/guide_output_web_1/guide_out.htm

                      Works via ASCOM on PC's and natively supported on MAC PHD.

                      Gene

                      --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                      >
                      > -Mark.
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Mark, and all,
                      > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                      > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                      > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                      > >
                      > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                      > >
                      > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                      > >
                      > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                      > >
                      > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                      > >
                      > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                      > >
                      > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                      > >
                      > > Pieter Strauss
                      > >
                      > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                      > > >
                      > > > Eh?
                      > > >
                      > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                      > > >
                      > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                      > > >
                      > > > -Mark.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Niall,
                      > > > > That would be wonderful.
                      > > > > Regards,
                      > > > > Pieter Strauss
                      > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Cheers,
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Niall Saunders
                      > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                      > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Niall,
                      > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                      > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                      > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                      > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Regards,
                      > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • Niall Saunders
                      ... Hi guys, Sorry, but I have had rubbish weather since making my promise . Tonight is like last night, but tomorrow may be OK Cheers, Niall
                      Message 10 of 23 , Aug 6, 2009
                        --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Mark,
                        > Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection.

                        Hi guys,

                        Sorry, but I have had rubbish weather since making my 'promise'.

                        Tonight is like last night, but tomorrow may be OK

                        Cheers,
                        Niall
                      • denebola1973
                        Gene, So I need the GPUSB black box for the APM909 clone, right?
                        Message 11 of 23 , Aug 6, 2009
                          Gene,

                          So I need the GPUSB black box for the APM909 clone, right?

                          http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Imagers-Shoestring.asp?p=0_10_5_0_5_10


                          -Mark



                          --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "lynol1000" <lynol1000@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Mark,
                          >
                          > No, the RJ12 on the 909 is an 'ST4' input and has nothing to do with RS232. It is a very simple input. Pin 2 is GND and pins 3 through 6 control the directions. To get the 909 to send commands up the AuxBus to the 497 you short one of the 3,4,5,6 pins to pin 2. As long as it is asserted it will send the given direction up the AuxBus.
                          >
                          > There is also the companion to the 909 available now, a USB to ST4 adapter:
                          > http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/guide_output_web_1/guide_out.htm
                          >
                          > Works via ASCOM on PC's and natively supported on MAC PHD.
                          >
                          > Gene
                          >
                          > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                          > >
                          > > -Mark.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Mark, and all,
                          > > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                          > > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                          > > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                          > > >
                          > > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                          > > >
                          > > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                          > > >
                          > > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                          > > >
                          > > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                          > > >
                          > > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                          > > >
                          > > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                          > > >
                          > > > Pieter Strauss
                          > > >
                          > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Eh?
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                          > > > >
                          > > > > -Mark.
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Niall,
                          > > > > > That would be wonderful.
                          > > > > > Regards,
                          > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                          > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Cheers,
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Niall Saunders
                          > > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                          > > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > Niall,
                          > > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                          > > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                          > > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                          > > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > Regards,
                          > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • lynol1000
                          Mark, The GPUSB works well with the 909. There are other options available. With the full clone it also accepts a simple USB to TTL serial cable here, no other
                          Message 12 of 23 , Aug 7, 2009
                            Mark,

                            The GPUSB works well with the 909. There are other options available.

                            With the full clone it also accepts a simple USB to TTL serial cable here, no other black box required:
                            http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TTL232R
                            or
                            http://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtf8aSAtgR7DpPMdam%2Fwe00
                            Contact me if you are interested in this option

                            Since the 909 I have also added a USB to ST4 adapter that works with any scope that has an ST4 input, including the 909. You can build your own (all info required is on the project site including HEX files for the PIC), or offered is a bag of parts or fully assembled and tested.
                            http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/guide_output_web_1/guide_out.htm
                            Performs same function as the GPUSB

                            Gene

                            --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Gene,
                            >
                            > So I need the GPUSB black box for the APM909 clone, right?
                            >
                            > http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Imagers-Shoestring.asp?p=0_10_5_0_5_10
                            >
                            >
                            > -Mark
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "lynol1000" <lynol1000@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Mark,
                            > >
                            > > No, the RJ12 on the 909 is an 'ST4' input and has nothing to do with RS232. It is a very simple input. Pin 2 is GND and pins 3 through 6 control the directions. To get the 909 to send commands up the AuxBus to the 497 you short one of the 3,4,5,6 pins to pin 2. As long as it is asserted it will send the given direction up the AuxBus.
                            > >
                            > > There is also the companion to the 909 available now, a USB to ST4 adapter:
                            > > http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/guide_output_web_1/guide_out.htm
                            > >
                            > > Works via ASCOM on PC's and natively supported on MAC PHD.
                            > >
                            > > Gene
                            > >
                            > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                            > > >
                            > > > -Mark.
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Mark, and all,
                            > > > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                            > > > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                            > > > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                            > > > >
                            > > > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Pieter Strauss
                            > > > >
                            > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Eh?
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > -Mark.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                            > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > Niall,
                            > > > > > > That would be wonderful.
                            > > > > > > Regards,
                            > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                            > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > Cheers,
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > Niall Saunders
                            > > > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                            > > > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > Niall,
                            > > > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                            > > > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                            > > > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                            > > > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > > > Regards,
                            > > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                            > > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > > >
                            > > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • denebola1973
                            Great, thanks Gene!
                            Message 13 of 23 , Aug 7, 2009
                              Great, thanks Gene!


                              --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "lynol1000" <lynol1000@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Mark,
                              >
                              > The GPUSB works well with the 909. There are other options available.
                              >
                              > With the full clone it also accepts a simple USB to TTL serial cable here, no other black box required:
                              > http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TTL232R
                              > or
                              > http://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtf8aSAtgR7DpPMdam%2Fwe00
                              > Contact me if you are interested in this option
                              >
                              > Since the 909 I have also added a USB to ST4 adapter that works with any scope that has an ST4 input, including the 909. You can build your own (all info required is on the project site including HEX files for the PIC), or offered is a bag of parts or fully assembled and tested.
                              > http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/guide_output_web_1/guide_out.htm
                              > Performs same function as the GPUSB
                              >
                              > Gene
                              >
                              > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Gene,
                              > >
                              > > So I need the GPUSB black box for the APM909 clone, right?
                              > >
                              > > http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Imagers-Shoestring.asp?p=0_10_5_0_5_10
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > -Mark
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "lynol1000" <lynol1000@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > Mark,
                              > > >
                              > > > No, the RJ12 on the 909 is an 'ST4' input and has nothing to do with RS232. It is a very simple input. Pin 2 is GND and pins 3 through 6 control the directions. To get the 909 to send commands up the AuxBus to the 497 you short one of the 3,4,5,6 pins to pin 2. As long as it is asserted it will send the given direction up the AuxBus.
                              > > >
                              > > > There is also the companion to the 909 available now, a USB to ST4 adapter:
                              > > > http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/guide_output_web_1/guide_out.htm
                              > > >
                              > > > Works via ASCOM on PC's and natively supported on MAC PHD.
                              > > >
                              > > > Gene
                              > > >
                              > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                              > > > >
                              > > > > -Mark.
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > Mark, and all,
                              > > > > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                              > > > > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                              > > > > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > Eh?
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > -Mark.
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                              > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > Niall,
                              > > > > > > > That would be wonderful.
                              > > > > > > > Regards,
                              > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                              > > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                              > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                              > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                              > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                              > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > Cheers,
                              > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > Niall Saunders
                              > > > > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                              > > > > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                              > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                              > > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > > Niall,
                              > > > > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                              > > > > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                              > > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                              > > > > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                              > > > > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                              > > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                              > > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                              > > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                              > > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > > > Regards,
                              > > > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                              > > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • swoliver
                              Hi, Just connect the handbox to your pc with a suitable rs232 cable and usb to serial adapter,(unless you have a serial port on your pc), start PHD, (you will
                              Message 14 of 23 , Aug 8, 2009
                                Hi,
                                Just connect the handbox to your pc with a suitable rs232 cable and usb to serial adapter,(unless you have a serial port on your pc), start PHD, (you will need to install ascom software and drivers from ascom website for PHD to see the scope) and connect guide camera to guide scope, and away you go it is as easy as that trust me i use this method all the time. forget 909 waste of time and money.
                                Regards

                                Stewart




                                --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Mark,
                                > Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection. I don't know if there is anything that uses a pc serial to 909 "CCD" port.
                                > Still waiting for clear skies to test my PHD/Shoestring GPUSB box/909 port combo. When I do, I'll try to do an A/B -- Envisage guiding using the handbox vs PHD guiding using the 909.
                                >
                                > Pieter
                                > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                                > >
                                > > -Mark.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > Mark, and all,
                                > > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                                > > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                                > > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                                > > >
                                > > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                                > > >
                                > > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                                > > >
                                > > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                                > > >
                                > > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                                > > >
                                > > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                                > > >
                                > > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                                > > >
                                > > > Pieter Strauss
                                > > >
                                > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                > > > >
                                > > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Eh?
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                                > > > >
                                > > > > -Mark.
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > Niall,
                                > > > > > That would be wonderful.
                                > > > > > Regards,
                                > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > Cheers,
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > Niall Saunders
                                > > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                                > > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                > > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > > Niall,
                                > > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                                > > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                                > > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                                > > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                                > > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                                > > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                                > > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                                > > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                                > > > > > > >
                                > > > > > > > Regards,
                                > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                > > > > > > >
                                > > > > > >
                                > > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > >
                                > >
                                >
                              • spraudp
                                Stewart, Thanks. However, one of the questions on the table -- which Njall is researching for us, is Which protocol do you select in PHD to connect to the
                                Message 15 of 23 , Aug 8, 2009
                                  Stewart,
                                  Thanks. However, one of the questions on the table -- which Njall is researching for us, is "Which protocol do you select in PHD to connect to the 497 handbox?" Under "mount", at the top of the PHD screen, you have several choices: ASCOM, GPUSB, etc. Curious minds want to know.

                                  Regards,
                                  Pieter
                                  --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "swoliver" <swoliver@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Hi,
                                  > Just connect the handbox to your pc with a suitable rs232 cable and usb to serial adapter,(unless you have a serial port on your pc), start PHD, (you will need to install ascom software and drivers from ascom website for PHD to see the scope) and connect guide camera to guide scope, and away you go it is as easy as that trust me i use this method all the time. forget 909 waste of time and money.
                                  > Regards
                                  >
                                  > Stewart
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Mark,
                                  > > Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection. I don't know if there is anything that uses a pc serial to 909 "CCD" port.
                                  > > Still waiting for clear skies to test my PHD/Shoestring GPUSB box/909 port combo. When I do, I'll try to do an A/B -- Envisage guiding using the handbox vs PHD guiding using the 909.
                                  > >
                                  > > Pieter
                                  > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > -Mark.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Mark, and all,
                                  > > > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                                  > > > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                                  > > > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Eh?
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > -Mark.
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > Niall,
                                  > > > > > > That would be wonderful.
                                  > > > > > > Regards,
                                  > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                  > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                                  > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                                  > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                                  > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                                  > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > Cheers,
                                  > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > Niall Saunders
                                  > > > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                                  > > > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                                  > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                  > > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > > Niall,
                                  > > > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                                  > > > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                                  > > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                                  > > > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                                  > > > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                                  > > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                                  > > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                                  > > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                                  > > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > > > Regards,
                                  > > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                  > > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > > >
                                  > > > > > >
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • spraudp
                                  Fernando, Thanks for clarifying the issue. I went back to Dick s answer, and from it would never have come up with the series of steps you detail below. --
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Aug 8, 2009
                                    Fernando,
                                    Thanks for clarifying the issue. I went back to Dick's answer, and from it would never have come up with the series of steps you detail below. -- That's not to fault Dick's answer! Will try it out the next time I get a clear night...

                                    Regards,
                                    Pieter Strauss
                                    --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "fcampuzano25" <fcampuzano25@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > The answer to this question was gave by Dick in the first reply to this thread.
                                    > -From http://ascom-standards.org install the Ascom Platform.
                                    > -From the same site, install the driver for Meade Autostar #497 (current version is 5.0.3).
                                    > -In PHD, under mount, select Ascom.
                                    > -When you are going to configure the scope in PHD, and if you want to have the capability to drive it also (for instance, for slews) from another software compatible with Ascom (such as Starry-Night), select the POTH Hub in the Ascom chooser droplist.
                                    > -In the POTH configuration screen select the "Meade telescope and focuser" driver.
                                    > -Do these same selections when configuring the other software (Starry-Night, etc).
                                    >
                                    > Fernando
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Stewart,
                                    > > Thanks. However, one of the questions on the table -- which Njall is researching for us, is "Which protocol do you select in PHD to connect to the 497 handbox?" Under "mount", at the top of the PHD screen, you have several choices: ASCOM, GPUSB, etc. Curious minds want to know.
                                    > >
                                    > > Regards,
                                    > > Pieter
                                    >
                                  • lynol1000
                                    Please make sure you have the latest ASCOM drivers for Meade and version 5.0a and be sure to click the check box for pulseguide. If you do not you will end up
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Aug 8, 2009
                                      Please make sure you have the latest ASCOM drivers for Meade and version 5.0a and be sure to click the check box for pulseguide. If you do not you will end up with the old lx200 guide commands which are 'go' go followed by a 'stop'. The pulseguide add the capability to tell the 497 up front how long to move in any particular direction, us to 2000ms I believe.

                                      If you are using ASCOM 4.1, download the Meade drivers from the PHD website as the 4.1 standard drivers do not support pulseguide to a 497.

                                      Gene

                                      --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "swoliver" <swoliver@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Hi,
                                      > Just connect the handbox to your pc with a suitable rs232 cable and usb to serial adapter,(unless you have a serial port on your pc), start PHD, (you will need to install ascom software and drivers from ascom website for PHD to see the scope) and connect guide camera to guide scope, and away you go it is as easy as that trust me i use this method all the time. forget 909 waste of time and money.
                                      > Regards
                                      >
                                      > Stewart
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Mark,
                                      > > Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection. I don't know if there is anything that uses a pc serial to 909 "CCD" port.
                                      > > Still waiting for clear skies to test my PHD/Shoestring GPUSB box/909 port combo. When I do, I'll try to do an A/B -- Envisage guiding using the handbox vs PHD guiding using the 909.
                                      > >
                                      > > Pieter
                                      > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                                      > > >
                                      > > > -Mark.
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Mark, and all,
                                      > > > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                                      > > > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                                      > > > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > Eh?
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > -Mark.
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > Niall,
                                      > > > > > > That would be wonderful.
                                      > > > > > > Regards,
                                      > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                      > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                                      > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                                      > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                                      > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                                      > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > Cheers,
                                      > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > Niall Saunders
                                      > > > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                                      > > > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                                      > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                      > > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > > Niall,
                                      > > > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                                      > > > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                                      > > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                                      > > > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                                      > > > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                                      > > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                                      > > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                                      > > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                                      > > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > > > Regards,
                                      > > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                      > > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > > >
                                      > > > > > >
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • swoliver
                                      No you have to download the Meade LX200 classic and Autostar driver from the Mounts drivers section on Ascom s website, this driver works with all LX200
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Aug 9, 2009
                                        No you have to download the Meade "LX200 classic and Autostar" driver from the Mounts drivers section on Ascom's website, this driver works with all LX200 type and LX90 scopes and all scopes with a 497 autostar handbox, then when you bring up box in PHD to select mount you choose "LX200 CLASSIC AND AUTOSTAR" "OR MEADE TELESCOPE AND FOCUSER", driver, They both should be listed and both do work.

                                        Job done should now connect to scope and give guide commands, in properties box of driver make sure the box is ticked that says "use newer pulse guide commands"

                                        Oh and of course make sure you download Ascom software first from here:

                                        http://ascom-standards.org/index.htm

                                        then install, and then the driver from there site for meade scope from here:
                                        http://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm

                                        it is the 8th driver down the list,
                                        DO NOT USE THE GENERIC LX200 DRIVER IT WILL NOT WORK

                                        this is the important bit to get PHD to talk to your scope downloading this driver.

                                        Hope all this helps

                                        Stewart


                                        --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Stewart,
                                        > Thanks. However, one of the questions on the table -- which Njall is researching for us, is "Which protocol do you select in PHD to connect to the 497 handbox?" Under "mount", at the top of the PHD screen, you have several choices: ASCOM, GPUSB, etc. Curious minds want to know.
                                        >
                                        > Regards,
                                        > Pieter
                                        > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "swoliver" <swoliver@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Hi,
                                        > > Just connect the handbox to your pc with a suitable rs232 cable and usb to serial adapter,(unless you have a serial port on your pc), start PHD, (you will need to install ascom software and drivers from ascom website for PHD to see the scope) and connect guide camera to guide scope, and away you go it is as easy as that trust me i use this method all the time. forget 909 waste of time and money.
                                        > > Regards
                                        > >
                                        > > Stewart
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Mark,
                                        > > > Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection. I don't know if there is anything that uses a pc serial to 909 "CCD" port.
                                        > > > Still waiting for clear skies to test my PHD/Shoestring GPUSB box/909 port combo. When I do, I'll try to do an A/B -- Envisage guiding using the handbox vs PHD guiding using the 909.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Pieter
                                        > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > -Mark.
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > Mark, and all,
                                        > > > > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                                        > > > > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                                        > > > > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > Eh?
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > -Mark.
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                        > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > Niall,
                                        > > > > > > > That would be wonderful.
                                        > > > > > > > Regards,
                                        > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                        > > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                                        > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                                        > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                                        > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                                        > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > Cheers,
                                        > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > Niall Saunders
                                        > > > > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                                        > > > > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                                        > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                        > > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > > Niall,
                                        > > > > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                                        > > > > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                                        > > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                                        > > > > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                                        > > > > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                                        > > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                                        > > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                                        > > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                                        > > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > > > Regards,
                                        > > > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                        > > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > > >
                                        > > > > > >
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                      • swoliver
                                        And to answer your question yes you select Ascom using the method i described. sorry i missed this off my last post. Stewart
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Aug 9, 2009
                                          And to answer your question yes you select Ascom using the method i described.

                                          sorry i missed this off my last post.

                                          Stewart



                                          --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Stewart,
                                          > Thanks. However, one of the questions on the table -- which Njall is researching for us, is "Which protocol do you select in PHD to connect to the 497 handbox?" Under "mount", at the top of the PHD screen, you have several choices: ASCOM, GPUSB, etc. Curious minds want to know.
                                          >
                                          > Regards,
                                          > Pieter
                                          > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "swoliver" <swoliver@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Hi,
                                          > > Just connect the handbox to your pc with a suitable rs232 cable and usb to serial adapter,(unless you have a serial port on your pc), start PHD, (you will need to install ascom software and drivers from ascom website for PHD to see the scope) and connect guide camera to guide scope, and away you go it is as easy as that trust me i use this method all the time. forget 909 waste of time and money.
                                          > > Regards
                                          > >
                                          > > Stewart
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Mark,
                                          > > > Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection. I don't know if there is anything that uses a pc serial to 909 "CCD" port.
                                          > > > Still waiting for clear skies to test my PHD/Shoestring GPUSB box/909 port combo. When I do, I'll try to do an A/B -- Envisage guiding using the handbox vs PHD guiding using the 909.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Pieter
                                          > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > -Mark.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Mark, and all,
                                          > > > > > I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                                          > > > > > PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                                          > > > > > Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > Eh?
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > Thinking of changing up as well.
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > Thanks for all these great posts!
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > -Mark.
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > Niall,
                                          > > > > > > > That would be wonderful.
                                          > > > > > > > Regards,
                                          > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                          > > > > > > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                                          > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > Hi Pieter,
                                          > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                                          > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                                          > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > Cheers,
                                          > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > Niall Saunders
                                          > > > > > > > > Clinterty Observatories
                                          > > > > > > > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                                          > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > -- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                          > > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > > Niall,
                                          > > > > > > > > > In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                                          > > > > > > > > > I am assuming the following:
                                          > > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > > 1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                                          > > > > > > > > > 2. No APM909.
                                          > > > > > > > > > 3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                                          > > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > > [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                                          > > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > > The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                                          > > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > > BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                                          > > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > > > Regards,
                                          > > > > > > > > > Pieter Strauss
                                          > > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                        • Peter Vasey
                                          Hmm, Stewart, wasn t it you said it was simpler to use pulse guide than the 909? Using a camera with built in ST4 port, eg QHY5, plug in the cable at both ends
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Aug 9, 2009
                                            Hmm, Stewart, wasn't it you said it was simpler to use pulse guide than
                                            the 909?

                                            Using a camera with built in ST4 port, eg QHY5, plug in the cable at
                                            both ends and set PHD guiding to 'On camera'. Job done. Which is
                                            simpler? ;-)

                                            Cheers, Peter.

                                            http://www.madpc.co.uk/~peterv
                                            Approx. 55ºN, 2ºW (Northumberland, UK)


                                            swoliver wrote:
                                            > No you have to download the Meade "LX200 classic and Autostar" driver from the Mounts drivers section on Ascom's website, this driver works with all LX200 type and LX90 scopes and all scopes with a 497 autostar handbox, then when you bring up box in PHD to select mount you choose "LX200 CLASSIC AND AUTOSTAR" "OR MEADE TELESCOPE AND FOCUSER", driver, They both should be listed and both do work.
                                            >
                                            > Job done should now connect to scope and give guide commands, in properties box of driver make sure the box is ticked that says "use newer pulse guide commands"
                                            >
                                            > Oh and of course make sure you download Ascom software first from here:
                                            >
                                            > http://ascom-standards.org/index.htm
                                            >
                                            > then install, and then the driver from there site for meade scope from here:
                                            > http://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm
                                            >
                                            > it is the 8th driver down the list,
                                            > DO NOT USE THE GENERIC LX200 DRIVER IT WILL NOT WORK
                                            >
                                            > this is the important bit to get PHD to talk to your scope downloading this driver.
                                            >
                                            > Hope all this helps
                                            >
                                            > Stewart
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >>Stewart,
                                            >> Thanks. However, one of the questions on the table -- which Njall is researching for us, is "Which protocol do you select in PHD to connect to the 497 handbox?" Under "mount", at the top of the PHD screen, you have several choices: ASCOM, GPUSB, etc. Curious minds want to know.
                                            >>
                                            >>Regards,
                                            >> Pieter
                                            >>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "swoliver" <swoliver@> wrote:
                                            >>
                                            >>>Hi,
                                            >>>Just connect the handbox to your pc with a suitable rs232 cable and usb to serial adapter,(unless you have a serial port on your pc), start PHD, (you will need to install ascom software and drivers from ascom website for PHD to see the scope) and connect guide camera to guide scope, and away you go it is as easy as that trust me i use this method all the time. forget 909 waste of time and money.
                                            >>>Regards
                                            >>>
                                            >>>Stewart
                                            >>>
                                            >>>
                                            >>>
                                            >>>
                                            >>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                            >>>
                                            >>>>Mark,
                                            >>>> Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection. I don't know if there is anything that uses a pc serial to 909 "CCD" port.
                                            >>>> Still waiting for clear skies to test my PHD/Shoestring GPUSB box/909 port combo. When I do, I'll try to do an A/B -- Envisage guiding using the handbox vs PHD guiding using the 909.
                                            >>>>
                                            >>>> Pieter
                                            >>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                            >>>>
                                            >>>>>Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                                            >>>>>
                                            >>>>>-Mark.
                                            >>>>>
                                            >>>>>
                                            >>>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                            >>>>>
                                            >>>>>>Mark, and all,
                                            >>>>>> I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                                            >>>>>> PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                                            >>>>>> Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>> I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>> So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>> I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>> Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>> Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>> PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>> Pieter Strauss
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                            >>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                                            >>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>Eh?
                                            >>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>Thinking of changing up as well.
                                            >>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>Thanks for all these great posts!
                                            >>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>-Mark.
                                            >>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                            >>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>Niall,
                                            >>>>>>>> That would be wonderful.
                                            >>>>>>>>Regards,
                                            >>>>>>>> Pieter Strauss
                                            >>>>>>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                                            >>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>Hi Pieter,
                                            >>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                                            >>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                                            >>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>Cheers,
                                            >>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>Niall Saunders
                                            >>>>>>>>>Clinterty Observatories
                                            >>>>>>>>>Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                                            >>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>-- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                            >>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>>Niall,
                                            >>>>>>>>>> In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                                            >>>>>>>>>> I am assuming the following:
                                            >>>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>>1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                                            >>>>>>>>>>2. No APM909.
                                            >>>>>>>>>>3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                                            >>>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>> [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                                            >>>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>> The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                                            >>>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>> BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                                            >>>>>>>>>>
                                            >>>>>>>>>>Regards,
                                            >>>>>>>>>> Pieter Strauss
                                            >>>>>>>>>>
                                          • johansea
                                            Gday Peter ... Just for info, the 909 actually pulseguides by definition. In the LX200GPS, the ST4 port is linked directly to interrupt pins on the CPU, and
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Aug 9, 2009
                                              Gday Peter

                                              --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, Peter Vasey <Peter@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Hmm, Stewart, wasn't it you said it was simpler to
                                              > use pulse guide than the 909?

                                              Just for info, the 909 actually "pulseguides" by definition.
                                              In the LX200GPS, the ST4 port is linked directly to interrupt pins on the CPU, and operates in "start on assert, stop on free" mode.
                                              With a 909, the CPU constantly polls the 909 unit and receives how long it was asserted for in the last period. It then converts this "internally" to a pulseguide.

                                              So i guess the argument is more
                                              Should guide commands be sent direct from camera to scope
                                              or via the Handbox serial line.
                                              This makes the decision more a function of what hardware / software is being used.

                                              Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



                                              > Using a camera with built in ST4 port, eg QHY5, plug in the cable at
                                              > both ends and set PHD guiding to 'On camera'. Job done. Which is
                                              > simpler? ;-)
                                              >
                                              > Cheers, Peter.
                                              >
                                              > http://www.madpc.co.uk/~peterv
                                              > Approx. 55ºN, 2ºW (Northumberland, UK)
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > swoliver wrote:
                                              > > No you have to download the Meade "LX200 classic and Autostar" driver from the Mounts drivers section on Ascom's website, this driver works with all LX200 type and LX90 scopes and all scopes with a 497 autostar handbox, then when you bring up box in PHD to select mount you choose "LX200 CLASSIC AND AUTOSTAR" "OR MEADE TELESCOPE AND FOCUSER", driver, They both should be listed and both do work.
                                              > >
                                              > > Job done should now connect to scope and give guide commands, in properties box of driver make sure the box is ticked that says "use newer pulse guide commands"
                                              > >
                                              > > Oh and of course make sure you download Ascom software first from here:
                                              > >
                                              > > http://ascom-standards.org/index.htm
                                              > >
                                              > > then install, and then the driver from there site for meade scope from here:
                                              > > http://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm
                                              > >
                                              > > it is the 8th driver down the list,
                                              > > DO NOT USE THE GENERIC LX200 DRIVER IT WILL NOT WORK
                                              > >
                                              > > this is the important bit to get PHD to talk to your scope downloading this driver.
                                              > >
                                              > > Hope all this helps
                                              > >
                                              > > Stewart
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > >>Stewart,
                                              > >> Thanks. However, one of the questions on the table -- which Njall is researching for us, is "Which protocol do you select in PHD to connect to the 497 handbox?" Under "mount", at the top of the PHD screen, you have several choices: ASCOM, GPUSB, etc. Curious minds want to know.
                                              > >>
                                              > >>Regards,
                                              > >> Pieter
                                              > >>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "swoliver" <swoliver@> wrote:
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>Hi,
                                              > >>>Just connect the handbox to your pc with a suitable rs232 cable and usb to serial adapter,(unless you have a serial port on your pc), start PHD, (you will need to install ascom software and drivers from ascom website for PHD to see the scope) and connect guide camera to guide scope, and away you go it is as easy as that trust me i use this method all the time. forget 909 waste of time and money.
                                              > >>>Regards
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>Stewart
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>>Mark,
                                              > >>>> Don't know. This is an area where I get pretty confused. Njall is going to get back to us on how he uses PHD to guide, using the serial/497 autostar connection. I don't know if there is anything that uses a pc serial to 909 "CCD" port.
                                              > >>>> Still waiting for clear skies to test my PHD/Shoestring GPUSB box/909 port combo. When I do, I'll try to do an A/B -- Envisage guiding using the handbox vs PHD guiding using the 909.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> Pieter
                                              > >>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>>Thanks Pieter, this was very informative. One question, can I use my serial RS232 to RJ12 connection to goto the 909? Do you have to use the black box and what are other options? Does anyone in the US sell them?
                                              > >>>>>
                                              > >>>>>-Mark.
                                              > >>>>>
                                              > >>>>>
                                              > >>>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                              > >>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>Mark, and all,
                                              > >>>>>> I'll chime in with what I think I know, and others can correct me as needed.
                                              > >>>>>> PHD is Stark Labs freeware guiding software.
                                              > >>>>>> Nebulosity is their modestly priced image capture (and processing?) package. You don't need Nebulosity if you are happy with whatever image capture software you are using. I haven't looked into it yet, because I also image with a Nikon D70, and Nebulosity doesn't yet support it.
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>> I became interested in PHD long ago when I asked "What is the CCD port on my APM909? Can't I use it with Envisage for guiding?" I think I was told that Envisage could only connect to the extra port on the 497 handbox via a serial cable, and that if I wanted to use the APM909 port, I would need PHD and the USB blackbox/cable combo from Shoestring.
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>> So why go this route? PHD is free, but the hardware costs around $70. However, I found the serial cable to the handbox made a really unwieldy combo -- I haven't mastered all the cables I have running all over the place, and occasionally yank one out at an inconvenient moment. Also, many folks think PHD does a much better job than Envisage in guiding.
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>> I can get Envisage to guide, but it has trouble keeping up with my mount's movement. Part of this is not being perfectly aligned. So I thought I would try PHD and the Shoestring solution.
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>> Now Njall indicates he can guide using PHD, but connecting to the handbox! A very cost-effective solution, although it doesn't solve my cable problem. BTW, even though PHD is free, the Stark Labs website does allow you to make a donation, which, if the software works for you, I think is a really good idea.
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>> Hoped to find out tonight how well PHD works (using the Shoestring box), but the clouds have rolled in!
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>> PS What else is the 909 for? It has 3 ports: focuser, reticle, and ccd. If you have purchased the Meade focuser (I have), and have an illuminated reticle, (I do), you can plug them into the 909 and control them from the 497 handbox, rather than having separate handboxes.
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>> Pieter Strauss
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "denebola1973" <denebola1973@> wrote:
                                              > >>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>So what are the major advantages of Nebulosity over Envisage? From reading up on it, it seems like it is just more user friendly and does more without as much hoopla.
                                              > >>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>Eh?
                                              > >>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>Thinking of changing up as well.
                                              > >>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>Thanks for all these great posts!
                                              > >>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>-Mark.
                                              > >>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                              > >>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>Niall,
                                              > >>>>>>>> That would be wonderful.
                                              > >>>>>>>>Regards,
                                              > >>>>>>>> Pieter Strauss
                                              > >>>>>>>>--- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@> wrote:
                                              > >>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>Hi Pieter,
                                              > >>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>Apart from the informative reply from Dick, that I have just read, I think I should go out to the Observatory PC and grab some screen shots of how I am using PHD / Nebulosity. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.
                                              > >>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>It might take a day or two, because it might be best to do this 'live'.
                                              > >>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>Cheers,
                                              > >>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>Niall Saunders
                                              > >>>>>>>>>Clinterty Observatories
                                              > >>>>>>>>>Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
                                              > >>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>-- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "spraudp" <pieters@> wrote:
                                              > >>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>Niall,
                                              > >>>>>>>>>> In PHD, what selection do you make for "Mount"?
                                              > >>>>>>>>>> I am assuming the following:
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>1. Cable from the PC serial port to the 497 handbox.
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>2. No APM909.
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>3. No Shoestring GPUSB etc.
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>> [I do have the 909, and just got a GPUSB, and will see if they work ok next time the skies clear. However, I would like to A/B between them using the handbox as the interface and using the GPUSB just for my information]
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>> The Mount list has several items: ASCOM, GPUSB, POTH, etc. Which one should be selected to send the guiding commands through the handbox?
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>> BTW I am experiencing major confusion about ASCOM. I had the latest Envisage etc. installed on my observatory PC, and when I was following the directions to install the ASCOM environment and Stark Labs replacement for the Meade ASCOM driver, there was no Meade ASCOM driver and dll, in the common files/ASCOM/Telescope directory. As far as I know, there was no ASCOM environment on this machine, but guiding through envisage and the handbox did work, although not well. So does Envisage use ASCOM to guide through the handbox, or not?
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>Regards,
                                              > >>>>>>>>>> Pieter Strauss
                                              > >>>>>>>>>>
                                              >
                                            • Peter Vasey
                                              Hi, Andrew, Of course I was referring to the apparent complexity of the setup to pulse guide via a serial line to the Autostar RS232 port rather than directly
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Aug 9, 2009
                                                Hi, Andrew,

                                                Of course I was referring to the apparent complexity of the setup to
                                                pulse guide via a serial line to the Autostar RS232 port rather than
                                                directly through a 909 clone. Almost plug'n'play for the 909 whereas
                                                there are a number of ascom and driver files needed to run via the Autostar.

                                                To be fair, until I got the 909, I guided via the Autostar with a degree
                                                of success using GuideDog and Ascom. Once set up of course it is as
                                                equally transparent as using the 909.

                                                I bought the 909 so that I could guide direct from my SBIG camera -
                                                using the AO-8 only ST4 type guiding is possible. So naturally I make
                                                use of it for my QHY5 camera!

                                                Cheers, Peter.

                                                http://www.madpc.co.uk/~peterv
                                                Approx. 55ºN, 2ºW (Northumberland, UK)

                                                johansea wrote:
                                                > Gday Peter
                                                >
                                                > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, Peter Vasey <Peter@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                >>Hmm, Stewart, wasn't it you said it was simpler to
                                                >>use pulse guide than the 909?
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Just for info, the 909 actually "pulseguides" by definition.
                                                > In the LX200GPS, the ST4 port is linked directly to interrupt pins on the CPU, and operates in "start on assert, stop on free" mode.
                                                > With a 909, the CPU constantly polls the 909 unit and receives how long it was asserted for in the last period. It then converts this "internally" to a pulseguide.
                                                >
                                                > So i guess the argument is more
                                                > Should guide commands be sent direct from camera to scope
                                                > or via the Handbox serial line.
                                                > This makes the decision more a function of what hardware / software is being used.
                                                >
                                                > Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >>Using a camera with built in ST4 port, eg QHY5, plug in the cable at
                                                >>both ends and set PHD guiding to 'On camera'. Job done. Which is
                                                >>simpler? ;-)
                                                >>
                                                >>Cheers, Peter.
                                                >>
                                                >>http://www.madpc.co.uk/~peterv
                                                >>Approx. 55ºN, 2ºW (Northumberland, UK)
                                                >>
                                                >>
                                                >>swoliver wrote:
                                                >>
                                                >>>No you have to download the Meade "LX200 classic and Autostar" driver from the Mounts drivers section on Ascom's website, this driver works with all LX200 type and LX90 scopes and all scopes with a 497 autostar handbox, then when you bring up box in PHD to select mount you choose "LX200 CLASSIC AND AUTOSTAR" "OR MEADE TELESCOPE AND FOCUSER", driver, They both should be listed and both do work.
                                                >>>
                                                >>>Job done should now connect to scope and give guide commands, in properties box of driver make sure the box is ticked that says "use newer pulse guide commands"
                                                >>>
                                                >>>Oh and of course make sure you download Ascom software first from here:
                                                >>>
                                                >>>http://ascom-standards.org/index.htm
                                                >>>
                                                >>> then install, and then the driver from there site for meade scope from here:
                                                >>>http://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm
                                                >>>
                                                >>>it is the 8th driver down the list,
                                                >>>DO NOT USE THE GENERIC LX200 DRIVER IT WILL NOT WORK
                                                >>>
                                                >>>this is the important bit to get PHD to talk to your scope downloading this driver.
                                                >>>
                                                >>>Hope all this helps
                                                >>>
                                                >>>Stewart
                                              • johansea
                                                Gday Peter ... Again, its horses for courses ( as is everything ) If you use Envisage, ( and an LPI/DSI ) you dont need ASCOM Just plug in the serial cable
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Aug 9, 2009
                                                  Gday Peter

                                                  --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, Peter Vasey <Peter@...> wrote:

                                                  > Of course I was referring to the apparent complexity of the
                                                  > setup to pulse guide via a serial line to the Autostar RS232
                                                  > port rather than directly through a 909 clone.
                                                  > Almost plug'n'play for the 909 whereas there are a number
                                                  > of ascom and driver files needed to run via the Autostar.

                                                  Again, its horses for courses ( as is everything )
                                                  If you use Envisage, ( and an LPI/DSI ) you dont "need" ASCOM
                                                  Just plug in the serial cable and go :-)
                                                  Also very simple.

                                                  If you want to use different guide software or cameras,
                                                  thats where the new options become feasible.
                                                  One reason i like the 909 method is it leaves the single comms channel open for "other uses"
                                                  ( i do a lot of testing, so like unfettered access to the comms ).

                                                  Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


                                                  >
                                                  > To be fair, until I got the 909, I guided via the Autostar with a degree
                                                  > of success using GuideDog and Ascom. Once set up of course it is as
                                                  > equally transparent as using the 909.
                                                  >
                                                  > I bought the 909 so that I could guide direct from my SBIG camera -
                                                  > using the AO-8 only ST4 type guiding is possible. So naturally I make
                                                  > use of it for my QHY5 camera!
                                                  >
                                                  > Cheers, Peter.
                                                  >
                                                  > http://www.madpc.co.uk/~peterv
                                                  > Approx. 55ºN, 2ºW (Northumberland, UK)
                                                  >
                                                  > johansea wrote:
                                                  > > Gday Peter
                                                  > >
                                                  > > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, Peter Vasey <Peter@> wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > >>Hmm, Stewart, wasn't it you said it was simpler to
                                                  > >>use pulse guide than the 909?
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Just for info, the 909 actually "pulseguides" by definition.
                                                  > > In the LX200GPS, the ST4 port is linked directly to interrupt pins on the CPU, and operates in "start on assert, stop on free" mode.
                                                  > > With a 909, the CPU constantly polls the 909 unit and receives how long it was asserted for in the last period. It then converts this "internally" to a pulseguide.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > So i guess the argument is more
                                                  > > Should guide commands be sent direct from camera to scope
                                                  > > or via the Handbox serial line.
                                                  > > This makes the decision more a function of what hardware / software is being used.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >>Using a camera with built in ST4 port, eg QHY5, plug in the cable at
                                                  > >>both ends and set PHD guiding to 'On camera'. Job done. Which is
                                                  > >>simpler? ;-)
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>Cheers, Peter.
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>http://www.madpc.co.uk/~peterv
                                                  > >>Approx. 55ºN, 2ºW (Northumberland, UK)
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>swoliver wrote:
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>No you have to download the Meade "LX200 classic and Autostar" driver from the Mounts drivers section on Ascom's website, this driver works with all LX200 type and LX90 scopes and all scopes with a 497 autostar handbox, then when you bring up box in PHD to select mount you choose "LX200 CLASSIC AND AUTOSTAR" "OR MEADE TELESCOPE AND FOCUSER", driver, They both should be listed and both do work.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>Job done should now connect to scope and give guide commands, in properties box of driver make sure the box is ticked that says "use newer pulse guide commands"
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>Oh and of course make sure you download Ascom software first from here:
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>http://ascom-standards.org/index.htm
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> then install, and then the driver from there site for meade scope from here:
                                                  > >>>http://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>it is the 8th driver down the list,
                                                  > >>>DO NOT USE THE GENERIC LX200 DRIVER IT WILL NOT WORK
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>this is the important bit to get PHD to talk to your scope downloading this driver.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>Hope all this helps
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>Stewart
                                                  >
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