AutoStar Suite Version 4 software

The AutoStar Suite Version 4 is included as standard equipment with each RCX400 telescope. It is a complete turnkey observatory control system, not an added cost extra. The package includes extensions that allow the scope to be remotely controlled through your computer from any web browser - PC, MAC, PDA, or even a cell phone - without software installation on the remote browser. This kind of convenience makes it ideal for teaching environments where lab workstations can operate the scope from any classroom without extensive software setup.

This software package integrates the telescope with a 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 for display on your computer screen. All of the best on-screen display and star chart-printing features of a standard planetarium program are included for stand-alone use when nights are cloudy, or for planning observing sessions. You can enable or disable the Hubble Guide Star Catalog; set the on-screen Viewpoint to go to the current zenith or any R.A. and Dec. coordinate; choose any object by catalog name or number; enable or disable custom catalogs; add new catalogs; set magnitude limits; flip the star map for correct orientation as you observe through the telescope; zoom the star map display from 180° down to tiny fractions of an arc second; adjust label fonts and colors, coordinate grid colors, and brightness and contrast; enable or disable the night vision mode; and more.

In addition, if you connect the scope to your computer (using the supplied DB-9 serial or USB cable), the program lets you click on objects in the sky map that is displayed on the computer screen and have your telescope automatically slew to those objects. You can automatically generate AutoStar Tours of favorite objects with a simple point and click, as well as using the program to keep observing logs.

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. "Talking Telescope" software (included) converts AutoStar text displays to synthesized speech through your computer's speaker. An AutoStar Update Tool in the software keeps your AutoStar computer hand control current by downloading the latest system firmware updates and comet, asteroid, and satellite data from the internet.

You can also use it to control your telescope remotely via the internet. Designed to be the ultimate platform for remote digital astronomy with your Meade telescope, the AutoStar Suite Version 4 contains tools for dome controls, weather sensors, and other functions required for this purpose. You can reach your telescope and dome through a single network connection. You can then communicate via an IP address, using the AutoStar Net Scope program to control the entire observatory over the Internet. This solves the biggest problem in setting up for remote access to your telescope - the problem of your distance from the scope itself. You can be in your living room to control the scope in your backyard, or just as easily, control a friend's system in another country!

The minimum computer requirements for installing the AutoStar Suite Version 4 are a PC running Windows 98SE or later, with a minimum of 64 MB of RAM, and 100 MB of free hard disk space.

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