Meade Controller Support?

All -

After using Gpredict for a couple of years I am moving up to tracking satellites optically.

A pal has an 8 inch telescope and a Meade LXD-55 controller, we have been using Autostar on his peecee for control. I would like to try to drive the Az and El from my Macintosh MacBook Pro. I have Gpredict 2.2.1and Hamlib of course. When I use rotctl --list I do NOT see any Meade entries, does it use some other manufacturer’s specs?

I have not yet tried to drive the mount from the MacBook Pro.

I live in Houston, Texas where the seeing is normally terrible at best and so far we have selected satellites in the hand controller and the telescope does track something. Of course so far we have seen clouds, light from chemical plants, Venus, good stuff like that. However winter is coming and we should have some excellent conditions on the back side of cold fronts.

We could take the conversation to email if needed.

To drive the mount from Gpredict can I select some other driver? If so which?

Charles Phillips
Houston, Texas

Hi Charles,

It looks like that the Meade driver has only become available two months ago and therefore may not yet be available in packaged or distributed versions of hamlib:

By the way, I don’t think gpredict has sufficient resolution in the rotator controller for visual tracking.

My plan is to use Sky At A Glance to select a satellite and the Pass Details to get Az/El for a good satellite. Then position the camera at a good elevation and take a photo as the satellite goes through the FOV. I want stars to be points but the satellite to be a streak. I would like to use Antenna Control (which brings up Rotator Control of course) to position the camera to point at the right part of the arc. Then two seconds before it should go through the FoV, click the shutter for a 15 to 20 second exposure. And try various exposures.

With any luck, the Meade driver might be similar to another one. I might select another driver and it might work with the Meade? In any case I am going to use the Meade hand controller and make sure everything works, before trying to drive the mount from the MacBook.