Bluestar Adaptor Problems
Starry Night Bluestar Adaptor – Are You Having Problems? Are you trying to connect via a laptop with a built in Bluetooth adaptor? Then have a look below…
The Starry Night Bluetooth adaptor for wireless ASCOM telescope control via your computer is a great concept, but as long as it works.
The tutorial by Starry Night (click here to see) over viewing the Bluestar and its installation is very good. But in my case the Bluestar did not connect like instructed, and no real support is out there to resolve the problem I was experiencing. Perhaps others out there are experiencing the same issue as I did, and I now have the solution.
It's important to firstly clarify the computer equipment that I was using in conjunction with the Bluestar, as this ended up being the main reason for my difficulties. In my case I tried three different laptops, all with Bluetooth connectivity, and these were:
Compaq nx6120 (Windows XP Pro)
Compaq nx6320 (Windows XP Pro)
Acer Travelmate 5625 WSMI (Windows XP Pro)
In each case, each laptop has its own OEM management software for its Bluetooth device, which is designed to help in finding, adding and managing your remote Bluetooth devices.
When viewing the tutorial from Starry Night on the Bluestar, you may find like me, the connection process to be quite different for your laptop. But ultimately, you first have to find the Bluetooth device, then select to pair with the Bluestar, input the standard pairing code: "0000", and the write down the outward COM port. The outward COM port is for use with your astronomy software, and in my case its Starry Night.
Okay, so what did go right:
The Bluestar always appeared in the search window of each laptops search screen, and
The device did pair correctly to each of the laptops.
So what went wrong, and what were the symptoms:
When connecting from the laptop to the Bluestar, connectivity was extremely unstable or impossible to connect to the device,
In many cases, the Windows XP BLUE screen appeared and the laptop then crashed, and restarted. This occurred for each laptop.
The Laptop would freeze when attempting to connect via Starry Night to the Bluestar, and then the system would pop up an error message stating the remote device was not responding.
Updating device drivers for each of the laptops Bluetooth devices made no difference. ASCOM drivers where also up to date.
How to resolve…
This is one of the most simplest fixes I have ever found, but it did take me more than twelve months to figure it out. During this time the Bluestar worked floorlessly as only a USB adaptor.
All that had to be done was to open up the Control Panel, go to "add and remove software", and uninstall the OEM Bluetooth adaptor software and drivers. Shut down and restart the computer. Windows XP will find the hardware and should install its own drivers for the device. You may find that you have to supply the driver if your Bluetooth device is not recognised by XP. But do not install the OEM management software.
Once XP then takes control of the laptops Bluetooth device, follow the Starry Night tutorial, and the connection process should be as described in the tutorial. And Voilà! The Bluestar should now work.
NOTE: You should reset the Bluestar before you start the connection process again (LED flashes fast), and once you successfully complete the pairing process, the LED should flash slowly. So what happens to the LED once you connect to the Bluestar via the Starry Night software, the LED turns off.
Since this, the Bluestar has worked every time perfectly. I'm now off to buy my Meade wireless Autostar II!