Monday, January 2, 2012

Is it bad karma between Windows 7 Professional and my LX200?

This is a follow-up to my post a couple of weeks ago. I was having problems connecting my HP notebook to my Meade LX200 so I could run AstroPlanner and SkyX Professional software.

Well... not really a "problem".... more than a problem: It just wasn't working. I won't repeat all the steps I took to try to find a solution, but you can read about them here: Problem connecting Meade LX200 to a computer

Since the last post, I received the Keyspan USB serial adapter. It works fine on my old computer running Windows XP. But the new adapter doesn't help my problem with my Windows 7 Professional notebook. Three adapters (Keyspan, Meade, Gigaware); no success.

So far I have eliminated the following possible culprits: bad RS232 port on the telescope; bad RS232 cable, bad or incorrectly wired RS232/Serial adapter; and bad USB serial adapter. I doubt my windows 7 notebook has a bad USB port (I tried all three).

That leaves just one possible reason for the problem: Windows 7 Professional does not like something, whether it is the cables, adapters, or telescope.

Here's my line-up:
  • Option 1: One side of the Keyspan USB Serial adapter plugs into Windows XP computer serial port, the other side plugs into a SoftwareBisque Serial/Rs232 adapter, and an RS232 cable runs from there to the Meade LX200.  
  • Option 2: And, since my XP computer has a serial port (my notebook doesn't), I can eliminate the Keyspan adapter completely, and just plug the SoftwareBisque Serial/RS232 adapter into my XP serial port.
Although option 2 has fewer "parts" and should be more stable because of its simplicity, I've chosen to use option 1. Why? Because I have bought three USB Serial adapters so far and I'd feel foolish if I didn't use at least one of them.

Well, at least I can connect to my telescope using my old XP laptop for as long as it holds up. Not a great solution. but better than nothing.

I'd like to hear if others have run into the same problem. And I'd really like to hear from anyone who has figured out a solution for a Windows 7 Professional computer.


  1. Comment on my post of this article on Cloudy Nights forum: Man! I am in the same boat. Got a new laptop with Windows 7 64bit, for Christmas, and have been trying everything to get connected since then. My LX200GPS was connected from the Meade thru the RS232 to the adapter to the Radio Shack serial to USB cable to a USB 2.0 hub to my old XP laptop.

    I've been download drivers and new ASCOM 6.0. Nothing works. The ASCOM diagnostic does not see any COM PORTS? I've dowmloaded Meade the serial to USB driver, nothing, plus other updates, nothing.

    Like you maybe someone else has had this problem and knows the solution, otherwise it's back to XP.

  2. Comment on my post of this article on the Yahoo Astroplanner User Group from Steve: I don't have your issues but I can say that you need to be sure your drivers for all the adapters are Windows 7 approved and when you install programs
    with Windows 7 make sure you right click and choose "Run as Administrator".

    Forget the fact that your account has administrator privileges as this doesn't matter here, you need to "Run as Administrator" to install and then sometimes use "Run as Administrator" when your first execute the program.

    If you've done all this I have no idea.

  3. Comment on my post of this article on the Yahoo Astroplanner User Group from allen: One thing I will mention since I use Windows Pro 7 at home. You can run this in XP mode if nothing else works. You can download the XP mode software to run on Windows Pro if you don't have it. If I remember correctly, I had to do this a few months ago when I wanted to rerun the Keyspan config software. It wouldn't run on Windows 7Pro but would in XP mode. allen


Please comment - there's lots of room - after all, "The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest." (Kilgore Trout)