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Mac Software for My LX850


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#1 ahopp

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:37 AM

So, when will I be able to do all my software stuff on my Mac?

I have VMware running on my Mac w/Windows 7, but, would prefer to run everything native on the Mac.

Help please...

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#2 glaceda

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:28 AM

Ahopp,

Can you tell me the width of the 14" OTA? I am trying to get the spacing on a fork mount that I am building.

Dean

#3 MistrBadgr

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:01 AM

Tony,

As far as I know, Meade has never had any software for a Mac for anything.

It is all windows and generally XP.

Bill
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#4 ahopp

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:48 PM

This is a different time, Meade needs to consider all of the Mac users and their needs too.

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#5 ahopp

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:52 PM

The Meade 14" ACF f/8 OTA is 15 13/16" wide measured at the business end of the tube, that is to say, the end of the tube that collects the light.

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 02:23 PM

You might want to look at Astroplanner. It is not the same thing, quite, as AutoStar as a graphics program, but I am pretty sure you can operate your scope with it from a Mac. There is a trial version that is limited with catalogs and gives you a push to buy it, when it starts up, but you can check it out for free.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#7 Cefiar

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:35 AM

I know Stellarium can drive an LX200, but no idea if the interface has changed in any significant way. No harm in giving it a try though.

Have a look at http://www.stellarium.org/ and specifically http://www.stellariu...Control_plug-in
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#8 ahopp

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:37 AM

I was hoping that Meade would at least make their autostar update software run on a Mac, then I would not have to run a windows environment at all. I could run TheSkyX Pro with Camera Add-on and T-Point. This would make me completely Mac native.

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#9 Cefiar

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:16 PM

Yeah. As a predominately native Linux user (have been for about 8 yrs), I feel your pain. :(

It's not that hard to make portable apps that work on multiple platforms. Even if you communicate over serial, there are libraries (eg: Java's librxtx) that work on all platforms.

In fact, Win8 is so much a pain to do some things in, that many software places have started actively looking at platforms like Mac and Linux as alternatives until Microsoft figures out what they're doing.

Anyway, don't want to turn this into a rant. :-

Note: I am not recommending Java, even though that is the path programs like the Arduino IDE went down. It's just an example. That said, It'd be preferable to the stuff we have now (ie: nothing).
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#10 gspie

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:11 PM

Trouble with portable languages - they are fine on multiple platforms (you lose some performance, but in most cases not really noticable, except compute-bound tasks).
BUT --- Device drivers are FARRRRR from portable across platforms. Takes a lot of time to write those buggers (and I use that term loosely ;>) ).

C++ is probably good language, since ity is largely portable -- Java is portable, but you can't write device driversw, and the Garbage Collectors rarely work well which leads to lots of bloat and memory issues over the long run...
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#11 Cefiar

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:39 PM

Device drivers are an issue yes, but from what I can see, most of these devices just present themselves as a serial port, in which cases things like librxtx-java will work fine (for Java that is, serial ports are well known devices in most portable languages however).

IMO, the issue isn't so much driving the scope, but making sure we can update firmware and perform any maintenance functions that are specific to the scope. This would reduce the amount of code running on the platform substantially, and hopefully reduce bloat.

For driving the scope for day to day operations, either you live with the fact that the standard suite runs only on Windows, or you use some other program that is native to the platform that you use to control it regularly (eg: Stellarium, SkyXPro, SkySafari, etc).
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#12 MistrBadgr

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:51 AM

Maybe I don't understand what I know about this, but I was wondering, since this is operated with a AutoStar II would not any program that will run the LX 200 run this scope as well? Surely there are plenty of good programs that will control an LX-200 that will run on a MAC.

As far as Meade coming up with a MAC program for the LX-850, I suspect it is a resources problem rather than a desire issue.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#13 ahopp

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:49 AM

I am really only ofter the firmware updater being MAC, everything else I do is already native mac software.

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#14 MistrBadgr

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:59 PM

Well, I cannot get the updater to run at all on my Windows XP machine. It ran at one point and I used it to track down the device number my LS 8 was using. Not quite sure what it runs on now.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#15 ahopp

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:33 AM

I have the updater running on a virtual machine on my Mac Book Pro, it is running Windows7 in VMware.

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#16 MistrBadgr

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:13 PM

Thanks, Tony!

I am going to dig into things further and make sure I do not have something on my lap top that is getting in the way.

Bill
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#17 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:28 PM

Hello Tony, et. al.

Actually I am a 100% Mac user/developer/etc type. There is hope...

For now I am actually controlling my LX200 (Classic) with SkySafari Pro from my iPad/iPhone via a wifi connection and will be soon controlling it from my MacBook Pro. My understanding is the SkySafari should be able to control basic functions of the LX850 using the LX200 commands (essentially "goto" functions). I will know soon since I learned my 14" LX850 is coming in the next 2 weeks or so (woo hoo!). Who knows, Southern Stars may provide enhanced support for the LX850 down the road.

For camera control (I use a Canon 60Da) Canon does have native software for the MacOS. You can also use Nebulosity - does all the camera control, image stacking, etc.

For my MallinCam Control Software (I have that coming in early next week), I will be using Miloslick's "MallinCam Control" for the Mac.

Worst case scenario I use VMware fusion, but I have not had a need to yet.

The good news with the Autostar and Starlock - you don't a computer for those functions!

Mac and iOS based Astro software is beginning to pop up everywhere due to the massively growing user base. Those developers writing Mac & iOS software have an instant market and command of it. As far as Meade writing Mac based software? Writing software and converting software can be daunting and expensive, which would be tough for Meade right now. However, Meade is beginning to dabble in Apple universe - they just came out with a basic, but fun app, called SkyKey for iOS. It is only v1.0, but a good start!
-- Andrew
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Satellite Development,
and all that...

#18 Cefiar

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:30 PM

I'm waiting for my LX850 to turn up, then I might see if I can actually write a software update program for the Autostar II handsets. I'm getting 2 handsets. One is specifically to rip apart and play with for interfacing purposes, so I can most likely play with updating on one while using the other for "real" work. ;)
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#19 ahopp

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:16 AM

Andrew, As I mentioned in my post, I am running native MAC software for all functions, except, firmware updates. This is what I want from Meade, an updater that runs native on a MAC, then I could get rid of my Windows7 virtual machine.

Tony
____________________________
14" Meade LX850 ACF f/8
80mm Meade 6000 APO
90mm Meade ETX
60mm Focal (First Telescope)
Orion MiniGiant 9x63
Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L

#20 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 05:57 AM

Tony,

Basically writing an application that will upload the code and install it on the autostar/LX850.

BTW, I know these SW updates are important, however in the 21 years I have owned the LX200, and the 14 or so years I have owned the ETX125 I have never upgraded the firmware. I can understand the need and such, but never have done it - they both work fine and do as advertised.

Though I can see Meade sending updates for the LX850 early on, I guess my attitude on this since the updates for me have been rare/non-existent it has been a non-issue. The updates are important, but rare enough I am willing to suffer using the PeeCee for firmware updates. And I am a die hard Apple guy (I even worked for them at one time!).
-- Andrew
World Explorer,
Satellite Development,
and all that...




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