STAR Atlas:PRO frequently asked questions - FAQs

How do I set up and use the Argo Navis� (NGC-superMAX�) so it will work with STAR Atlas:PRO and what can I expect to see?

The Argo Navis device is an excellent piece of equipment, which allows users to accurately and rapidly locate interesting objects in the sky. It can also help identify objects of interest.

Used on its own, the Argo-Navis is a great adjunct to astronomical viewing, but used in conjunction with STAR Atlas: PRO, it greatly enhances the viewers range of options while searching the sky and gives access to a significant range of data, not easily otherwise available.

Set up of the Argo-Navis device as well as STAR Atlas:PRO is critical and this essay is to describe one approach to obtaining optimal settings.The following instructions assume that you plug the Argo Navis serial cable from your computer into the Serial 1 port on the Argo Navis.

Setting up and Argo Navis and STAR Atlas:PRO

Both of the following steps are only required to be completed once initially before operation of the equipment.

The Argo-Navis Manual gives all relevant data about preparing this instrument for viewing and accurate set up of the instrument is essential. You can get the latest manual from Wildcard Innovations.

There is one critical check necessary for the device to communicate with STAR Atlas:PRO, the Argo Navis must still be set to it's default Baud Rate setting of 38,400.

If you are unsure you can check this on the Argo Navis:

1. Mode Setup
2. Enter - spin the dial to
3. Setup Serial
4. Enter
5. Serial 1
6. Enter
7. Serial 1 Baud
8. Enter
9. 38400
10. Exit

STAR Atlas:PRO�.
The following steps are needed in STAR Atlas:PRO to install the Argo Navis driver:

1.  Open Star Atlas: PRO.
2.  Click on [Chart Prefs] on the main menu.
3. Click [Program Settings & Configuration].

3 Click on [Telescope Setup] from menu along top.
4 If [Enable] is not active, click on it to enable the Telescope Control System.
5 click the [Select Telescope Driver] button and select <Argo-Navis> from the list.
6 the following COM Port Settings are automatically set to match the default Serial Port settings of the Argo Navis.

Port = COM1:
Baud Rate= 38400
Parity = None
Data Bits = 8
Stop Bits = 1


The Argo-Navis is an excellent instrument in its own right and can greatly expand the astronomic experience, as well as providing a great deal of information. It is very accurate if care is taken in aligning of the instrument.

When used in conjunction with STAR Atlas: PRO there is greatly enhanced viewing.

To enable the two: -

1. First connect the Argo Navis to the telescope and ensure that all cables are correctly positioned (the device will not work if this is not correct).
2. Next, connect the Argo Navis to the computer using the Serial 1 port.
3. After that, align the Argo Navis as per the instruction manual, where you need to identify two stars and enter them into the instrument (if a mistake is made in entering the data it is necessary to turn the instrument off before starting again).
4. Open STAR Atlas:PRO (SAP)
5. click on [Scope] of press Alt-F2 on the keyboard.
8. This will bring up the 'scope menu which has a number of commands. The two you will need to start with are: -
�[Centre on Scope]�
�[Track Scope]�

Center on Scope - clicking on this command will show you where the scope is currently pointing to with great accuracy. Thus you now have a position statement on the Argo-Navis and a pictorial record on the computer.

Track Scope - allows the user to move the scope to objects of interest in the program and these should be then immediately visible through the scope - again with great accuracy. Please note that the Cross Hair which shows you where your telescope is pointing will glide across the chart until it nears the edge of field, after which the chart is re-centred.

To best use this combination when it is all set up, try using the <Locate> command on the main menu and then positioning the Argo-Navis reticle, by moving the telescope, over the item located. This will then allow you to view the object selected, through the telescope.

Setting Up the Telescope Reticle.
The reticle that appears on the desktop during Argo-Navis viewing can be changed from the default, which can be very helpful.
The default is �Cross Hairs� which can easily be seen in red as you look at the desktop.
This can be changed by clicking on the [Options] button of the Scope Control Toolbar which comes up when Argo-Navis is online. When you click on the [Options] button you see a number of possibilities. These include; -

1. Cross Hairs.
2. Eyepiece Field.
3. CCD.

Select [Eyepiece Field] to show, on the desktop, what you should expect to see through your telescope eyepiece. To set up the Field of View see the FAQ �How do I setup STAR Atlas: PRO to display my Eyepiece Field of View on a chart?�.

Select [CCD] if you have a camera attached to your telescope. To set up the CCD Field of View see the FAQ �How do I setup STAR Atlas: PRO to display my CCD Camera�s Field of View on a chart?�.

You may find it useful to play with the �Interval between position updates� button as this will vary the time to see the new view. Too fast and you can seen very little, too slow and you will become old and cold waiting to see where your scope is now pointing.

The default is a good setting to begin with!
Have great viewing! - Dr Ian Buttfield.

Argo Navis Notes for STAR Atlas: PRO Version 6.0 or later

STAR Atlas:PRO Version 6.0 provides real-time tracking of the Telescope pointing position via the Argo Navis, making it now possible to see the telescope position reticle "glide" across the screen when you move your telescope. The Interval between Chart Update (seconds) should be set to 1 second.
see FAQ:

When STAR Atlas: PRO is Auto tracking use the ESC (escape) key on the keyboard to stop Auto tracking. You may still right click and choose Stop Auto tracking from the popup menu.

Back to FAQ Index