If you like the GOTO
ability of the Meade ETX- Meade Autostar Observation System, you will
love the ETX-Autostar PC or PDA Observation System. Instead of using keys
on the Autostar to point the telescope, you can use the PC's mouse or
the stylus of your PDA. From a graphic screen of you PC or PDA you can
point the cursor to a star, click the mouse or tap the stylus, and the
telescope will point to the target star. It is very convenient.
This system can also
find constellations easily. Just look at the computer screen and compare
it to the sky. Click on each star of the constellation, and point the
telescope to the stars in the constellation one by one. Learning astronomy
becomes much easier. You can actually see what Orion looks like now with
the help of the computer screen and the names of all of the stars that
makes up that constellation.
The system can also
find Kochab for NCP alignment. In my case, I cannot see Kochab for at
least 4-5 months out of the year due to the hill behind my backyard. I
use the feature on the computer planetarium program to determine the clock
position of Kochab. This is very helpful with my NCP alignment.
You will need a computer
(preferably a laptop computer), a Meade #505 compatible cable. For you
Palm OS PDA, you need a Palm/Autostar cable adaptor. Either case you need
planetarium software that has telescope control functions.
You must still
use the Meade #497 Autostar to connect to the telescope. The PC
or Palm OS PDA is connected to the Autostar and NEVER to the telescope
directly. It is still the Autostar that control the telescope movement.
The PC or Palm OS PDA just tell the Autostar where to point. Whatever
software on your PC or Palm OS PDA cannot control the telescope directly.
Note: The 505 cable
adaptor has a female DB-9 connector. The Palm/Autostar has a male DB-9
connector. The DB-9 may is NOT interchangeable even with a gender changer.
for PC, Planetarium for Palm OS PDA, are include on the CD of my Guide
Book on CD