Last updated: 31 July 2004

AutostarSuite: Play with the Network Server

Sent:	Tuesday, November 4, 2003 07:51:18
From: (Richard Seymour)
As a part of the AutostarSuite, Meade supplies a Network Server
(which solves some other "issues" i have with AutostarSuite,
 i.e. who owns the COM port),
so that a near-scope PC can be controlled by a PC elsewhere on a network.

If you start the Network Server (it's in the
Program Files \ Meade \ AutostarSuite
folder), click it to "Listen"
and then tell the -other- parts of AutostarSuite to
connect via network at address
(the universal "loopback" address)
..magic happens

(you do NOT need to be attached to any network to have this work,
but your PC does have to -know- how to talk to the internet)

have fun

(mike: for your future AutostarSuite section... ;-)
Mike here: Now if they would just enable IP and Rendezvous on the handset... Of course, ethernet, Firewire, or even wireless IP would be nice...
Subject:	Autostar Suite Networking
Sent:	Thursday, July 29, 2004 23:29:09
From:	Richard Seymour (

How i do network control on a single PC:        R.Seymour/AutostarEtx  7/2004

Things to do beforehand:
 If you are using Windows 2000, run as an Administrator-privileged account.
 Download and run/install the updates to AutostarSuite.
 The Autostar must be running v30b (497) or 2.0e (LX200gps) or newer.
 Plug in all cables, power up telescope, get past time/date/daylight.

(a) open a windows explorer window into 
 c:\Program Files\Meade\AutostarSuite

(b) double-click on NetScope.exe, this is the Network Server

(c) a small window appears. (Status should be "Idle")

(d) in "Scope Port", enter the number of the COM port with the serial cable
(e) have "Dome Port" be a different number
(f) have "Network Port" be 5401
(g) click [set password], give it a short one you won't forget
(h) tick the [x] Listen    choice.
(i) the status should now change to "Listening on port 5401"

(j) Now let's bring StarMap into play:
(k)  start Autostar Suite (Star Map)
(l) on the top menu bar, click on Telescope
(m) in the menu which appears, choose Protocol
(n) in the menu which appears, choose Autostar via Network
(o) a little window ("Remote Telescope Address") will appear
  with two areas for (or with) numbers
(p) put into the Network Address, and 5401 into Port.
(q) click [connect] .
(r) a password prompt will appear, click in the white space and enter the password
(s) click [ok]  

That's it, you're (hopefully) talking via the network.
(and the little server window is saying "Connected to")

Now let's bring up the Remote Handbox:

(t) There are two ways to start RemoteHandbox:
  (t1) In StarMap, choose Protocol->Remote Handbox
  (t2)  ..or: In a Windows Explorer window, double-click on AutoStarCtrl.exe
(u) that should bring up the Remote Handbox.
(v) In the lower right is "Network Address/Port"
(w) In the wider window, put
(x) in the small window, put 5401
(y) tick the [x] Connect  box.
(z) A password dialog box appears.  Enter the same password, click [OK]
(aa) The big window in the remote handbox should say "Initializing...."
 with a lengthening line of periods.  If the line isn't lengthening,
 it's not communicating.
(bb) within about a minute, the Autostar's menu tree should appear
 in the left window, and whatever the Autostar is showing on its Display
 should appear in the big right window (replacing the Initializing)

Error Messages you may see: 
(1)  after (s) above, if a box pops up saying: "Communications Error"
 "Read Timeout!  Communications Terminated"
it probably means that the NetScope server can not establish serial communications
with the telescope.
(2) after (q) above, if a box pops up saying: "Net Error"
 "Network Communication Failed", then either the Network server
is not operating, or it does not have [x] Listen checked, 
or the address or port number you are providing to StarMap is incorrect.

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