Meade Instruments Corporation
Telescopes · Binoculars · Microscopes

Autostar Computer Controller Instruction Manual
WARNING: Never use Autostar to move a telescope to look at the Sun! Looking at or near the Sun will cause instant and irreversible damage to your eye. Eye damage is often painless, so there is no warning to the observer that damage has occurred until it is too late. Do not point a telescope or its viewfinder at or near the Sun. Do not look through a telescope or its viewfinder as it is moving. Children should always have adult supervision while observing.
The diagram on this page shows the six primary categories listed in the Select Item menu of Autostar. See MOVING WITHIN AUTOSTAR to learn how to access these categories.

It is important to understand that menu selections are set in a loop (See Fig. 2). This means that pressing the scroll down key (9, Fig. 1) cycles down through all the available options within a given category, then returns to the first option. Using the scroll up key (8, Fig. 1) cycles up through the options in the opposite order. This ability is a quick way to get to an option that is near the bottom of the list.

Example: When the Select Item: Object menu is displayed and the desired category is Select Item: Setup, it can be reached by either pressing the scroll down key four times or the scroll up key once.



The Autostar database is organized in levels for quick and easy navigation.

Fig. 2: Autostar Select Item (top) level.
Fig. 2 shows the top level of Autostar: SELECT ITEM. The screen displays two lines of information. The top line shows the current level while the second line shows an option that may be picked within that level to lead to the next level down. The scroll keys move up and down within the list of available options, showing one option at a time on the second line of the display.

When the desired option is shown on the second line, press the ENTER key (2, Fig. 1) to choose that option and move down a level (see Fig. 3).

In the example in Fig. 3, the display showing Select Item: Object, becomes Object: Solar System. Object is now the current level and is shown on the top line. Options available within the Object level are shown on the second line, starting with Solar System.

Fig. 4: Using the MODE key to move upward.
If it is desired to leave a level (e.g., the wrong menu option is chosen), press the MODE key as shown in Fig. 4.

Important Note: No matter how many levels into Autostar are travelled, each press of the MODE key moves up a level, until the top level (Select Item) is reached. Once in the Select Item level, press MODE to return to the highest available screen: Select Item: Object.


NOTE: Each menu column on this page works exactly like the examples on page 11 (i.e., ENTER goes deeper into Autostar levels and MODE moves back toward the top menu level. Scroll keys move up and down through the options).


To show how the Autostar menu structure works, the following exercise calculates the sunset time so an evening observing session can be planned.

NOTE: To be an accurate calculation, Autostar must be properly initialized with the current date, time, and location of the observing site. To enter the correct information, become familiar with how Autostar operates by completing AUTOSTAR INITIALIZATION, before trying this exercise.

OBJECTIVE: Calculate Sunset time.

  1. Press the MODE key (3, Fig. 1) several times, until the Select Item: Object screen is displayed.
  2. Press the scroll down key (9, Fig. 1) once to see the option Event in the Select Item menu.
  3. Press the ENTER key (2, Fig. 1) to choose the Event option and move down a level. Event: Sunrise is displayed.
  4. Press the scroll down key once to see the option Sunset in the Event menu.
  5. Press the ENTER key to choose the Sunset option and move down another level.
  6. Autostar calculates the Sunset time based on the current date, time, and location.

    NOTE: If initialization has not yet been accomplished, the calculated Sunset time is based on the default parameters built into Autostar at the factory.

  7. Autostar displays the results of the Sunset calculation.
  8. Press MODE once to start moving back up through the Autostar levels. The first level up is Events.
  9. Press MODE again to move up another level. This is the top level, Select Item.
  10. A final press of MODE returns all the way to the starting point of Select Item: Object.
  11. Proceed with TRAINING THE DRIVE.


OBJECTIVE:Train the telescope motors using Autostar.
WHEN:First time power is applied or after RESET.
NOTE: Use a terrestrial object to train the drive such as a telephone pole or lamppost. Complete this exercise once every 3 to 6 months to maintain the highest level of telescope pointing accuracy.

Training the drive is complete. Proceed to ALIGNMENT to prepare for observing.

Chapter 3: Alignment

Related Topics:

| home | about meade | product information | dealer locator | Meade 4M |
| customer support | investor relations | dealer support |
| employment opportunities | site map |

® The name Meade, the Meade logo, and ETX are trademarks registered with the United States Patent Office,
and in principal countries throughout the world.
Copyright © 2006 Meade Instruments Corporation, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be reproduced in any form without permission.