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Firmware updates via Mac?


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#1 marklme

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:38 AM

Newbie here. Close to buying an LX80 (yes, I can wait...). Manual refers to connecting a PC to the mount for firmware updates. Problem is, I don't have a PeeCee - I'm a Mac guy.

Anyone know how if and how a Mac can be used to "manage" the mount/HC updates?

Many thanks.

Mark

#2 TCampbell

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:59 AM

I'm also a Mac guy. Meade has never made software to run directly on the Mac. To use Meade's software, you'd need to get some virtualization software (either VMware Fusion, VirtualBox, or Parallels Desktop) and you'll need to buy a copy of Windows to run in the VM. You'll also need a USB to serial adapter (e.g. a Keyspan USA-19HS will work.)

Lastly, the LX80 will not include the serial cable that attaches the scope to your computer. For this you need to buy or build a Meade #505 cable (for the Meade #497 Autostar and Meade Audiostar controllers.) Note that Meade uses a few different cables so it's important you buy the correct one. You can find schematics online on how to make your own cable (it's fairly easy with a few dollars in parts from any Radio Shack store. I made my own.) Mike Weasner's ETX site probably has the details (weasner.com/etx) as it's the same cable used with an ETX-90 & ETX-125 (but NOT the same cable used with other ETX scopes. Like I said... make sure you're buying or building the correct cable.)

As for that virtualization software... I started with Parallels Desktop. That was a disaster I wouldn't wish on anyone. I've found VMware to be the best. VirtualBox is free, though I never could get it to work with the Keyspan adapter (but then I didn't spend a lot of time trying.)

I bought my mount for my Ha Solar scope, so I need to have this thing point at the Sun. Unfortunately the Audiostar doesn't have the Sun in the database so I'll have to add it (apparently the trick is, you need to define a fake "asteroid" which shares the same orbital path as Earth... only 180ยบ apart so it's on the opposite side of the Sun. This way... when you tell the scope to point at your Asteroid (which you'll conveniently name "Sun") it'll swing to point at an object where the Sun is _always_ in the way. I have not done this yet (I have updated orbital elements on my old #497 Autostar for my ETX-125 and it's the same process, but I didn't own a Mac back then.) I'll let you know if I pick up any tips along the way.

Regards,
Tim

#3 TCampbell

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:19 AM

Just a reply back to follow-up on my progress.

I used VMware Fusion, with Windows XP installed, the Keyspan USA-19HS usb to serial adapter, and a Meade #505 connector cable (or a 3rd party or home-built cable made with the same pin-outs as the Meade #505 cable.) Note there is also a Meade #506 & #507 cable which you MUST NOT USE. Those have different pin-outs and will not work.

I spoke to someone who uses Windows 7 64-bit as the OS and they reported that the software works fine under that (because Microsoft no longer sells Windows XP, so you'll be forced to buy something newer.)

The documentation that came with the Keyspan adapter will tell you to install the driver BEFORE connecting the device. In doing so, Windows will find the correct driver for the device (because you pre-installed it.) If you connect the device first, Windows may try to go find an inappropriate driver.

For me, the device showed up as COM5 (VMware seems to have something mapped to COM1 thru COM4) but Meade's utility was fine with me setting it to COM5.

#4 DogRubio

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:53 AM

I use parallels and an old copy of windows xp it works great.




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