The LX200 protocol was developed by the Meade company to control the telescopes it produces. It is u. a. Integrated into the Goto mounts, which are operated with the Autostar handheld computer . However, this protocol is also used by other manufacturers for telescope control. Its instruction set is in plain text and is simply structured. Both commands can be sent and the status of the telescope mounting can be queried. Is z. If , for example, a telescope is aimed at an unknown celestial object, the astronomy program of a computer can use the LX200 protocol to query the current position of the telescope and display the celestial coordinates of its target line. But you can also search for the object in a database of the starry sky and center it in the middle of the field of view.
The commands begin with a colon, followed by a letter or a sequence of letters, followed by a pound sign . In the simplest case, these character strings can even be transferred with a terminal program. However, since this lacks the graphic processing of the mount's answers, the interpretation of the partly cryptic answers is difficult.
Not only can commands be sent to the telescope control itself, there are also commands for fan and temperature control and for motorized focusing of the telescope. In addition, the command set provides for the receipt of commands from GPS receivers , so that the manual entry of location coordinates and time / date is not necessary.