This software/hardware package consists of a planetarium/telescope control program, cables to connect your telescope to your PC or laptop, and a Lunar Planetary Imager (electronic camera) for displaying what the telescope sees on your computer screen and saving those images to print out later. The Autostar Software Suite portion of the package works with all current Meade LX200GPS SMT telescopes equipped with the Autostar II hand control, plus any Meade telescope using a #497 Autostar hand controller (such as the ETX-90/105/125 Maksutovs and all LXD-55 scopes with Autostar). It can also be used with older non-SMT Meade GPS scopes made between 10/1/01 and 10/1/03. The package is not available for LX200 scopes made prior to 10/1/01 that did not have a GPS system and Autostar II hand control.
The Autostar software integrates the telescope with your Windows-based PC or laptop computer for an enhanced range of performance features. It includes a planetarium program with a database of 19,000,000 stars and deep space objects to display on your computer screen. It includes all the standard planetarium program display and star chart-printing features for stand-alone use when nights are cloudy. In addition, if you connect the scope to your computer or laptop (using either the supplied DB-9 serial or USB cable), the program lets you click on objects in the sky map display on the computer screen and have your telescope automatically slew to those objects.
You can also automatically generate Autostar Tours of favorite objects with a simple point and click. The software lets you control all Autostar functions from your computer or laptop. You can use it to create observing lists and download them to the Autostar for use in the field when you don't have your computer or laptop with you. You can use it to control your telescope remotely via the Internet. "Talking Telescope" software (included) converts the Autostar text displays to synthesized speech and plays it through your computer speaker. An Autostar Update Tool keeps your Autostar II current by downloading the latest system firmware updates and comet, asteroid, and satellite data from the internet.
The package also includes a Lunar Planetary Imager electronic camera. This electronic eyeball combines the power of an astronomical imager/autoguider with the simplicity of a web cam. It has a VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixel) color CMOS chip for sharp and detailed images. When connected to your laptop or PC, it puts a real time full-color display of the objects being observed onto your computer screen. With a magnification approximately equal to that of a 6mm eyepiece, the Lunar Planetary Imager is designed for imaging the Moon, lunar occultations, planets, star clusters, the brighter deep space objects, and terrestrial targets.
Recommended Minimum System For Installing Autostar Suite:
PC running Windows 98SE with 64 MB and 100 MB free disk space.
USB or Serial Interface.