What exactly is LX200?

The LX200 is a serial command set developed by Meade Instruments. It has been adopted by many telescope control programs as an easy method to interface a PC to a Telescope.

Only a small subset of the command set is required by the Star-Mate Interface, and to date the following commands have been implmented..

GR# Get Telescope RA (not fully implemented but needed to allow connection)
GS# Get Sidereal Time (not fully implemented but needed to allow connection)
GD# Get Telescope DEC (not fully implemented but needed to allow connection)

GVP# Get Telescope Product Name (Returns "Starmate")
GVN# Get Telescope Firmware (Returns Starmate firmware version)

F+# Focus Up
F-# Focus Down
FQ# Focus Stop

Mn# Move North
Ms# Move South
Me# Move East
Mw# Move West
Qn# Stop North
Qs# Stop South
Qe# Stop East
Qw# Stop West
Q# Stop All

Download the full LX200 command set here.

What mounts with the LX200 Interface too?

Basically any mount with an ST-4 compatible Guide or Control port will work with Star-Mate.

Some examples include...

  • + Losmandy: G-8 and G-11 (with and without the Gemini box)
  • + Meade: LX-200 & LX-90
  • + Celestron: Nexstar i-series, Celestar 8, & Advanced Series GoTo
  • + JMI NGT
  • + WinCTC Goto Controllers
  • + Tom O. Equatorial Platform.

What Serial Port Settings do I use with the LX200 emulator?

Baudrate: 9600
Start bits: 1
Stop bits: 1
Parity: None
Handshaking: None

What cables are provided with the Star-Mate?
Standard cables are power, and control cable.

What is the Power supply for the Control Box?

8-15VDC is required to to power the Control box. Typically the power would come from the power out port on the drive controller (if available).

© Rob Beck 2011