Using the Meade AutoStar Telescope
The Meade AutoStar Telescope makes use of a computer controlled mechanism to enhance the functions of the telescope. AutoStar has a computer connection that enables automatic location and tracking of astronomical objects.
How to Use the Meade AutoStar Telescope
If you do not know how or where to begin using a Meade AutoStar Telescope, there are actually only a few steps involved. First, assemble the AutoStar control unit and the telescope. Then attach the coil cord between the AutoStar control unit and the telescope. After you have aligned the telescope, place the drive unit on a flat surface and loosen the locks between the telescope and the telescope’s base. Set the DEC setting circle to 10 degrees.
Try to rotate the telescope and make sure that it is positioned directly over the computer control panel. Continue rotating the telescope unit until the DEC setting is right above the computer panel. If you have done that successfully, you should be able to pick up and mount the telescope and the control base on a tripod or a pedestal pointed at true north. This simple alignment already works for most telescopes, but you can do further alignments as soon as you get the hang of putting things up.
Once you are satisfied with your rig, you can already initialize the AutoStar. The AutoStar unit will lead the operator through a series of different questions about the local time and the operator’s location in order to establish the necessary set of data essential for the operation of the Meade AutoStar Telescope. You, the operator, can access the parameters by using the arrow keys and the number pad provided on the AutoStar control unit.
The control of the telescope is facilitated by the AutoStar computer controller. This controller includes a two-line display and a set of buttons intended for specific actions. These buttons can be used to control the telescope with different tasks such as directing the telescope to a predetermined set of coordinates and the likes. Pressing of the mode button starts the process of identifying the object to be viewed. When the mode button is pressed, the AutoStar unit then lists a database of objects found within our solar system including the different constellations, other deep space objects, satellites, and stars. A rough estimate of approximately 14,000 objects is included in the databases.
Tips and Warnings in Using the AutoStar Meade Telescope
The accuracy of the initial alignment between the AutoStar control unit and the telescope if very crucial in how well it will find targets when it automatically aligns. So be sure that the alignment tot the true north is correct and accurate.
Store the AutoStar in a cool, dry place whenever is not in use. The telescope should be mounted on a reliable and stable level base, like a tripod.