Last updated: 31 March 2001

"Expired" Elements

Subject:	problem with satellites on AutoStar
Sent:	Thursday, March 29, 2001 14:29:01
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
To:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
Hi Dick...got a question right up your alley.  This is a peculiar one.

Today I was checking for passes of Hubble and went to my AutoStar which
I loaded with asteroids, comets and satellites when A2.4 came out (still
on v2.1ek) and went into the Object/Satellite and selected Hubble.

I have done this a dozen times (all different satellites) in the past
three weeks.

Today I punched in Hubble which went to the screen top and pressed
"Enter," "ELEMENTS EXPIRED" came up immediately, followed by: "NO PASSES

Well, I thought maybe some parameters had changed that the AutoStar
"knew" would and therefore new loads on Hubble might be necessary...

So I pulled up another , and another and went through my entire list (a
complete download from the A2.4 library when I uploaded last) and every
one of them came back with the same messages!

Just last week Patsy and I had successfully pulled in a couple from the
list with no problems....

What gives?  Have you ever heard of this before?

Now, here's the clincher:  I DID do a "Reset" early last week because I
had a major electrical glitch (the same one that fried my server) and I
thought a reset might be in order then.

So, because of that I decided to see if maybe I had lost my asteroids or
comets (I do not yet have any "User Objects" loaded).  ALL OF MY
ASTEROIDS AND COMETS ARE THERE....they have NOT changed, just the

Well, I called Meade and got a lady who really had no idea which end of
a telescope went "up" and she explained to me that ALL DATA in A2.4,
v2.1ek, was LOST when a reset was done.  I argued with her (politely)
and told her that my comets and asteroids were still there, that only my
SATELLITES had disappeared, or were affected by "Elements Expired."

She said that is correct.  The everytime a RESET is done from here on
out, all ephemeride data that had been entered on upload is lost and
must be re-entered.  Is this correct?  If so, then why did I NOT lose
the comets and asteroids.

HELP!  I want my satellites back!  Is this an AutoStar problem or is she
correct about the reset?  If that is the case that is going to be a
major pain for ALL ETX and LX 90 users everytime they need to reset
because of mechanical problems.

If I need to re-load (if she is correct) I will trust you and do just
that (I hope....)  However I did not want to attempt until I received
the "spoken word" from our AutoStar guru..

Please explain the difference in the AutoStar library between asteroids
and comets and that of satellites that would make the latter disappear
but not the first two.

thanks - more complications of life press on.

From: Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com>)

The satellites are not "gone" from your Autostar
(else, how would it offer Hubble for you?)
They're "expired"... too bloody old!
  (about a year, if i remember correctly)

What it's obliquely asking you to do is update the orbital parameters.

Which you can do in two useful ways, and two useless ways.

Useless number one: reinstall v21eK with A2.4.

  Why useless? becuase Meade packaged in obsolete orbital parameters.
    they don't magically updated them.

Useless number two: fetch the orbital parameters from that tempting
   link on Meade's Support/Download page  (go ahead... try it...)
   They -never- update that stupid page/link...

Now that we've shot those two down, let's move on to useful:

Useful  one: (my usual, for onesy-twosy updates)(also available in
   a variety of formats under Mike's Autostar Info page)
   (if you visit the -newest- sat tracking item there, the below is
      explained... in full (fuller than here))
   Visit  http://www.heavens-above.com
    tell it where you live
      it'll offer a wealth of links, click on "satellites < 4.0 mag"
        it'll show tonight's passes
          click on the time in the cente column for a satellite
             it'll show sky charts for the pass.
  On -that- page, in the upper right-hand corner, is a link to: orbit.
   click it.
 On -that- page, below the globes, is/are the Two Line Elements (TLEs)
  that Autostar wants.  See above mentioned Mike page for how-to-decrypt.

Now hie thyself to the Autostar.
   Select > Object > Satellite >
  whoa.. if it's a satellite the AS already knows about, we scroll up
    to EDIT.   If it's a new one, we scroll down to ADD.
  Press [enter] and (either) select the sat to edit, which brings you to:
    type/edit the name
      enter the numbers.

 That'll give the Autostar fresh numbers, and you're off and rolling

Useful Two: visit an up-to-date satellite TLE site, fetch the file.

 My fave is  http://www.celestrak.com
  There are nasa sites, too... but this one has more stuff.
  Choose the grouping category you wish (visible, amateur,, etc.)
   and use the Save As... feature of your browser (use the other mouse

Copy that file. (backup in case next step corrupts it)
Open that saved file with a text-editor... preferably one which does NOT

Pause and ask thyself: do i want -all- of those to go to the Autostar?

If so, continue.  If not, make a copy, and then edit away the 3 lines
 per satellite you'll find in there (Name, and two data lines) of
  the ones you -don't- want.  (just like Asteroids, just like Comets)

 Connect AS to PC, fire up Updater.
 Click it to [GET ephemerides from Autostar]
  When the dust settles, and you're facing the "main screen",
    drag-and-drop the TLE file you just fetched onto the [Satellite]
     button in the main screen.

 The [SEND ephemerides to Autostar] probably just became available.

Pause and ask thyself: do i want -all- of those to go to the Autostar?
  If you wish, you could now press the [satellites] button, and you'll
 be in the editor... you can choose the ones you want (they'll show
  (handbox) in front of the name if they're slated for Autostardom.)
  ^-- i used parens here in case your mailer misinterprets > angle

If you drop into the editor, clik [finish] to escape back to the main

Ready? Well, even so... now's the time to click
 the [SEND ephemerides to Autostar] button.

And that'll shovel the updated satellite TLEs to the Autostar.

It'll perform a power-up Initialization as you leave the Updater.
You do -not- need to RESET or reTRAIN or reCALIBRATE if the only button
 you clicked was [get] and [send] ephemerides.

Now you see why i like "useful one"... can be performed from scrap of
 paper clenched in teeth in howling gale at observing site...

simple, n'c'est pas?

have fun
And from Clay:
Dick - I knew that if anybody knew, you would.  By the way I just off
the phone with Meade again and talked to a guy in the LX 200 support
group.  He said that "Amy" was totally wrong about that issue, that a
RESET never took away any data except for user information and date,
telescope type, etc.....all parameters in the A.S. library are
maintained as I thought (I have reset too many times and this has never

You explanations of "Elements Expired" is clear and makes perfect sense.
I choose the one-at-a-time into AutoStar approach; what you are saying
is that I can go ahead and dial up the "dead" Hubble for example that is
still showing up on A.S., scroll under it to "Edit" and enter the
parameters right there on the AutoStar from the lines you mentioned?

Thanks again!
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)


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