AUTOSTAR FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 27 August 2007

Welcome to the AutoStar feedback page. This page is intended to provide user comments on using the Meade Autostar #494, #495, #497, cables, and the AutoStar updater software. See the AutoStar Info page for information from Meade and other users on the AutoStar, cables, and software. Send your comments and tips to etx@me.com. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranties on your ETX and accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.


Subject:	AutoStar burnout
Sent:	Friday, August 24, 2007 13:47:34
From:	Dean 'Greyhawk' Boufford (greyhawk_db@yahoo.ca)
I ran across your site while looking for info on a possible burnt out
PCB on my LX90 form a reversed accessory power plug. Can you tell me
where to look for info on this or do you know what I should look for and
in what order? Any help would be appreciated as I'm a total newby to the
AutoStar system. Thanks for any help you can give.

Dean
Mike here: There are some schematics on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page but if you are not comfortable with soldering circuit boards you probably don't want to tackle trying to replace a component on the board. However, are you certain the problem is ON the AutoStar? You could have fried something inside the LX90 base.

And:

I'm not sure where the problem might be. I thought it might be in the
base, myself, since that is the nearest point to the power connection. I
have built several computers but have never had to solder any PCBs but I
maybe have a friend who is an electronics eng. who could do any repairs.
I'll look up the schematics and uncover the boards to see what I can
see. Thanks.

Dean

Subject:	Re: Proc. Trap 4 Error Message
Sent:	Friday, August 24, 2007 12:49:24
From:	Brian Miller (millers18@att.net)
Thank you for the quick response. Sorry for my delayed reply, but I have
been in Los Angeles on business and just returned last night.

Yes I changed batteries twice, and verified they were correctly
installed. I have a #506 serial cable that came with my LPI, so I will
get the scope out the scope and try the "Autostar Reset from Software"
remedy you suggested. I will let you know how it turns out.
 
Again, thank you for all of your help.
 
Sincerely,
 
Brian Miller
Spring Valley, CA  
Mike here: The LPI probably only has the #505 cable and NOT the #506 cable. The #506 cable has a small "cylinder" embedded in it that hold some electronic components. The #494 AutoStar will require the #506 serial cable.
Subject:	Autostar / ETX 125 PE / Looking for a way to free up some memory for more tours
Sent:	Friday, August 24, 2007 08:25:45
From:	julie clayton (manyworldscross@yahoo.com)
Hello;  now that I'm comfortable with my telescope, am working on making
my observing sessions a little easier, meaning not spending so much time
running from scope to flashlight to chart and back again.  I've
downloaded some of Dr Clay's tours, but don't have enough memory
remaining in autostar to download everything I want to.

Is there a way to free up memory?  I probably will never be interested
in observing satellites or comets so am wondering if there is someway to
free up that kind of memory for more tours..
 
Many thanks for the excellent support.
Mike here: You could delete the objects (comets, satellites) currently in the AutoStar's memory but that won't free up much memory. I wonder if there are parts of the code that could be deleted (with a patch) that would free up more memory. For example, you don't use an electric focuser; could that code be deleted? This is a question for our AutoStar expert, Dick Seymour.
Subject:	autostar 494
Sent:	Thursday, August 23, 2007 09:23:04
From:	catyfranci (caty.franci@alice.it)
Good morning, excuses if the I disturb, I would like to kindly ask her
if the autostar 494 are applicable to an equatorial fitting to the
German, with relative change with motor ds. Thanks
Mike here: If you search the ETX Site for "494 equatorial" you will find many references to this, including the solution in the article "AutoStar Models" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page (which was the top search hit).
Subject:	re: Autostar 494 problem
Sent:	Wednesday, August 22, 2007 23:08:16
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Your GoTo problems are probably due to not pressing [enter]
before pressing [GoTo].

For most objects (except during a well-written Tour) you
have not -selected- the object until you tap enter to change:

Solar System
Jupiter

to (press [enter])

Jupiter
(something else, in this case RA and DEC data)

on the two-line display.
For Messier Objects, the display goes from:

Messier Object
M45

(press [enter]) to

Pleiades
M45
----------

Until the object's Name or identifier is on the -top- line,
it's not really *selected*
(planets will have their -current- location calculated at
that moment)

So start pressing [enter] before [goto]

... The "Slewing..." without motion is the Autostar going to the
-currently- selected target, which is probably where you already are...

have fun
--dick
Mike here: Thanks Dick. I keep forgetting that people forget that. I'm so used to doing it myself that it is just second nature to me!

And:

From:	robert schafer (robertschafer119@hotmail.com)
Thanks Mike!   I believe that is my problem.  

robert schafer

Subject:	How do you do a safe load on a Autostar 494 ?
Sent:	Wednesday, August 22, 2007 18:29:30
From:	Wayne Manly (wmanly@chartertn.net)
I had a power failure while updating a Autostar 494.
Holding down the Enter and the Scroll Down Key
during a power up does not activate safe load.
The Autostar 494 had downloaded about 30%
of the firmware in about 40 minutes when the power failed.
Did I kill it ?
Thanks  --  Wayne
Mike here: There is no SAFE LOAD nor user-installable update for the #494. See the top message on today's AutoStar Feedback page for more info.

And:

Thank's Mike -- Your response was Quick !
It was in the process of upgrading from ver 1.0f to ver 4.? when the
power failed.
It was also painfully slow and apparently risky.
My #505 cable would not work but my #506 cable was working -- until the
power failed. I was using ASU ver 4.6.
Thanks for your help -- Wayne
Mike here: I'm surprised that the ASU app even allowed you to start the update using the incompatible version 4 ROM. And a #505 cable won't work with a #494 AutoStar.

And:

The #505 and #506 cable set's are different.
The #506 cable set has a in line electronic module
that is for use with the Autostar 494. It will not
communicate with your PC without it.

Here are some photos comparing the #505 and #506 cable sets
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=4077510&a=32575713
Wayne
Mike here: Yes, the two cables are totally different. As I indicated earlier, the #505 cable won't work with the #494 AutoStar, nor is there any user-installable ROM update available for the #494. The 4.x ROM download from Meade's Site is NOT compatible with the #494.

And:

I looked in the Ephemerides directory of the ASU program I was using
when the the lights blinked. I found Build43eg.rom and Asp7a10gl.rom and
four other *.rom files. I would guess that it was trying to upgrade ver
1.0f to ver 10.? My own Autostar 494 ( A494 ) has ver 11ec which ASU
refused to upgrade. I have decited  to replace the zapped one with a
used A494. I will try any future upgrades using battery power.
Thanks for your help.
Wayne
Mike here: The 4.x ROM files are for the #497 AutoStar (has number keys on the keypad). Do not try to install ANY ROM update on the #494 (no number keys) as Meade has not made any user-installable updates for the #494 available. If you are planning to replace the #494 I would recommend replacing it with a #497.
Subject:	handbox #494 went blank during up date
Sent:	Monday, August 20, 2007 13:30:54
From:	TANTHOFKADE@cs.com (TANTHOFKADE@cs.com)
subject : ETX  70 - # 494 handbox 
I had a power interruption during up dating of my handbox. 
The handbox went completely blank, all action were gone. 

I found some information on your site how to restore the handbox by
pressing some buttoms om the handbox and put the power on but they were
for different handboxes not for a # 494. Is there a way to restore my #494?

I hope you can solve this problem ! 

Thank you in advance 

John Woudenberg from the Netherlands 

E- mail   tanthofkade@cs.com
Mike here: Unfortunately there is no user installable update for the #494 AutoStar. Were you updating the libraries when the power failed? At any rate, the only possible assistance might be the article "#494 Serial interface & Debug Info" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	no communication with autostar
Sent:	Sunday, August 19, 2007 20:40:29
From:	Mary Eberstadt (fifthgearathome@hotmail.com)
I bought a etx 125 from the discovery store, it was a floor unit. The
hand box for the auto star is missing the lnt module in the menu. I have
tried to do the update, but I get a communication error for auto star
not found. I have tried all the com ports to no avail.I'm running
windows XP. I get lost with trying to test the port with HyperTerminal,
it looks like its a program on my computer for a phone line dialing out?
I have looked at other posts on your site for help, but nothing seems to
help. This controller also goes almost blank after its turned on, and I
have to adjust the contrast to see it . Meade is very hard to get
through, any suggestions would be much appreciated, thanks, Andy
Mike here: Several things to respond with. You didn't say if you have a Premier Edition with the LNT or an AT model without it. If not LNT/Smartfinder on the top of the ETX tube then it is not a PE model and so the AutoStar would not find one. If you do have the PE model then have you checked the LNT battery? Does the SmartFinder red-dot come on? As to the comm error when trying to update the AutoStar, does your computer have a real RS-232 serial port (which is NOT the modem port) or are you using a USB-serial adapter? If using an adapter, not all work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. I use a Keyspan model on my Apple PowerBooks under Mac OS X and it works fine.
Subject:	Proc. Trap 4 Error Message
Sent:	Sunday, August 19, 2007 15:07:28
From:	Brian Miller (millers18@att.net)
I have an ETX 60AT with a #494 Autostar that I use for wide field deep
sky observing. I have owned it since 2001 and it has performed well over
the years. However, last night something happened to it and I can't find
a way to correct it. I read my Autostar manuals and articles on your
website and still can't find an answer, so I thought I would e-mail you
and hopefully you can guide me in the right direction.

Last night we had a power failure, and the skies were awesome, so I took
out the ETX 60, put in some fresh batteries and set it up in Alt Azimuth
mode. The last time I used the scope I aligned it in Polar mode, so
during the setup I accessed the "Setup" menu and changed the mount back
to Alt Azimuth. However, I turned the scope off instead of going through
the alignment procedure. When I turned it back on, I went through the
normal setup but when it got to "Align", I got a "Proc. Trap 4" error
message and the Autostar quit responding.

I have been trying to figure out how to either access the "Setup" menu
so I can do a "Reset" or figure out a way to load the Autostar in
default mode to clear up the problem to no avail. The Autostar
initializes ok, but I can't get to the "Setup" menu. The scope slews in
all using the arrow keys so it seems to be an Autostar issue, and not a
telescope issue. After the "Proc. Trap 4" error message, the scope stops
responding to key commands from the Autostar. I even tried holding down
the "Enter" button and the "Down Select" button at the same time at
start up, but this model of Autostar is not updatable so perhaps that
reload function doesn't exist on this model?

I have searched your site for informatin about Proc Traps, and I read
Richard Seymore's article, but it's only an article and doesn't answer
my questions.

Do you think my old #494 Autostar is dead, or is there a way to access
the "Setup" menu and perform a "Reset"? I would hate to spend money on a
#497 Autostar to replace the #494 only to find out the scope is trashed.
 
Thanks for your help.
 
Sincerely,
 
Brian Miller
Spring Valley, CA
Mike here: I did a Site Search on "proc trap 4" and found one article that mentioned low battery power as a possibility but you installed fresh batteries. If you have a #506 serial cable you could try following the steps in the article "AutoStar RESET from Software" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Alternatively you could disconnect and reconnect the AutoStar to the ETX, checking the condition of the pins on the connector and inside the jack. They should not be too depressed or bent sideways. One other thought: are all the batteries inserted the correct way?
Subject:	Autostar and #505 cable
Sent:	Saturday, August 18, 2007 20:39:23
From:	Trkr75@aol.com (Trkr75@aol.com)
I want to start off as most people probably do and that is that you for
this wonderful site. With that said, I was wondering about the cable
that you can use to go from my laptop to my EXT125 it looks like a
network cable.... if so can I bypass the serial adapter and just plug
into my network card? Also if I do need the serial adapter (and the wire
is network cord) can I use any length cord? Thanks for all you help and
all the time you have put into your site. For someone who is just
getting into astronomy you are a god send.
  
Thanks again,
 
Ken
Mike here: It is NOT a network cable but rather a RS-232 serial cable. It HAS to connect from a RS-232 serial port on the computer to the AutoStar #497. If your computer does not have a RS-232 port then you can can use a USB-serial adapter. However, not all adapters work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. I use a Keyspan adapter on my Apple PowerBook with Mac OS X and it works fine.

And:

Thanks for the fast response, I was expecting a few days to hear back
from you but to my surprise I heard back sooner. One last question about
this then I will leave you alone.  The RS-232 cable is that the whole
cable with serial port end on one and the network looking end on the
other, or just the adapter (I tried to find a picture, but can't, see
below) I am asking because I would like to buy one at Radio shack if
possible instead of waiting to order one online. No mead stores around
here. Again thanks for your site it really helps out alot.
 
Adapter = the part that plugs into the computer then cord plugs into that.
Cord= the cord from the adapter to the autostar
Mike here: There is a RJ-11 (not RJ-45, like on ethernet cables) on both ends of the #505 serial cable. One RJ-11 goes into the AutoStar serial's port (not the port that holds the cable to connects the AutoStar to the ETX base). The other RJ-11 goes into the RS-232 serial adapter (DB-9 to RJ-11) but if you make the cable yourself you could bypass that adapter and just put a DB-9 on the cable. For more info on the #505 cable see the AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	Meade Autostar Update Gone Bad
Sent:	Friday, August 17, 2007 15:42:13
From:	Christopher DeTroia (christopher.detroia@gmail.com)
I've recently update my Autostar 497 with the latest update (43g).
Simple, everything went very smoothly. Then after the update was
completed, the 497 now reads "PROC. TRAP 2". I beleave the update
corrupted the 497. The COMM Port will no longer communicate either. Is
there anyway to whip the 497 clean and start over, with out sending it
back for repair at Meade?

Thank you for your support,

Chris
Mike here: You can reload the ROM by following the SAFE LOAD instructions on the FAQ page item "The power went off while I was updating my AutoStar and now it doesn't work. Did I kill it?".

And:

Thank you for the super fast response last night. I was able to reload
the 497 and I'm back on track for a great weekend and I'll see if I get
any good views to send you.
 
Thanks again,
 
Chris

Subject:	Autostar 494 problem
Sent:	Tuesday, August 14, 2007 20:14:03
From:	robert schafer (robertschafer119@hotmail.com)
My Autostar 494 connected to an ETX-80AT will not search for certain
objects even though they are listed in the database.

For instance, when  I search for any planet under the "Solar System"
heading the L.C.D. informs me that it is searching and either moves in
short erratic motions or constantly moves over the same portion of the
sky.  (not in the vicinity of the planet)

It will also have a problem searching for a Messier item but can locate
a "named" galaxy without problems.

When this erratic behavior occurs I hit  the MODE button to stop the
request and choose a familiar star, the scope immediately centers on
this star.

My batteries are fairly new and if it makes a difference, I use the 2
star alignment option during set-up.

Any help you can give will be much appreciated.

regards,
Rob schafer
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES?

And:

Thanks for the quick response.

Yes, I have trained the drive and calibrated motor after resetting
autostar.

While training the drive I was prompted to center objects and during
calibration it only tested motor function by adjusting itself for a few
seconds in both directions.  Should the calibration option be more
involved ?

robert schafer
Mike here: CALIBRATE MOTOR just runs the drives to measure the output of the optical encoders. No user interaction. TRAIN DRIVES counts pulses from the encoders as you slew to center the object. Suggest doing a RESET, then CALIBRATE MOTOR, and then TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes). Perhaps something was corrupted. You will need to re-enter your location and confirm the telescope model and mounting mode is correct in the AutoStar.
Subject:	Autostar Question
Sent:	Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:36:22
From:	Enrique Luis Fuentes (enriquef@cantv.net)
thanks for a great site, been reading it since3 way back when I was
starting with my ETX90 I have a quick question. I live in Venezuela, and
my ETX didnt come with an AUTOSTAR controller I bought it back when it
was "optional" and it didnt seem like a big deal. Back to my question,
is it possible to control the ETX90 from a PC without the autostar using
a cable and the Astronomer's Control Panel (Software) from meade? You
see, there are not a lot of places, (I doubt any in fact) where I can
get the autostar here, and Im exited about the prospect of taking my
laptop and etx on a trip to the amazon im making in about 2 weeks, (no
other place on earth has a cleaner atmosphere). If there is, do u have a
guide to make a d.i.y cable to make the connection from serial to
telescope?

Anyway, I thank you in advance for your prompt reply. And thank you for
a very informative website.
  
Enrique Luis Fuentes.
Mike here: The various software packages control the AutoStar and the AutoStar then controls the telescope. So, yes you need the AutoStar to connect and use a computer with the telescope. Once you get one you can easily make the required #505 serial cable using information on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. NOTE: if your computer has only USB ports and not RS-232 you will need a USB-serial adapter. Not all work reliably with the AutoStar so see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page. I use a Keyspan model with my Apple PowerBook in Mac OS X and it works fine.
Subject:	no tracking
Sent:	Saturday, August 11, 2007 14:46:55
From:	Henrik van Holthoon (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
Hi Jeff if by any change your Autostar [targets] is set to terrestical
you have no tracking you have to set it to Astronomical. Look in the
Handbook it is explained under setup menu.
Good Luck
From:	Jeff Corrick (jcorrick@stoneway.com)
thanks...I'll check.  I have a friend who has an ETX125Ec and will
bring by his standard hand controller, so I can see if mine is toast. 
I'll let you know what I learn.  He also has experience with Autostar.

Jeff 

Subject:	Re: My AutoStar wont light up its controller anymore... ETX-125 PE
Sent:	Monday, August 6, 2007 17:40:18
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
All i can think of is:
(a) the cable has intermittent contacts on one of the outer wires (pin 1 or 8)
-or-
(b) the socket in the Autostar handbox or telescope base has a problem.
 The usual problem is a "cold solder joint" where the socket is soldered
 to the circuit card.  You can open the Autostar and carefully check
 where the socket pins are on the card.  You can ohmmeter between the
 end of the cable and the pins on the card to verify the entire
  pin-cable-pin-socket-solder sequence.  Remember that it is an intermittent,
so some days you will see continuity, and some days you will not.

good luck
--dick

And:

From:	nal Kazak (ukazak@nesli.com.tr)
Thanks for your help.

Here is some more data on the problem. I checked the base of the
telescope, w/magnified glass and it look all ok.

Cable outer pins checked ok. Plus, I made another cable exactly with
same order of the pins on the original coiled cord and plug it in the
base and telescope began moving vertically up and down -on her own- like
she was trying to find an object; slew.... stop. And slew.... stop. Move
opposite direction.

When I touch to the free end of the cord, (touching randomly to exposed
pins, she began slewing sideways also... Accept, when I turn off the
base and plug in the hand box, turn on, NOTHING again. NO movement at
all. Everything seems working up, until the hand box.

I was wondering, if it is possible of "data loss" in hand box, is there
anyway to reset?

I also have problem, that, my computer wont communicate w/telescope
-(com-port)

Well, maybe that's later.

Tonight I will have friend passing by (electronics engineer) and he will
check the cables and pins with ohmmeter and open up the HBX and see if
the socket is ok. If it is anything electronically no problem, (wiring
and soldering etc.) but,

I am only worried if the problem is with the programming. As I read on
your website it is a quite task to safe start -reset or download all
together I am terrified to think about.

I also have to stress that Meade did such good job on optics but left
the rest flimsy. It is like building a formula car with bicycle
breaks...

Thanks again, I will wait for your further valuable advices,
Unal Kazak
Mike here: Other than Dick's suggestions there may not be much more you can do. You could do a RESET using the software from the article "AutoStar RESET from Software" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. But that will require a working communication between the computer and the AutoStar. You could also do the SAFE LOAD procedure but again you need a working communication between the computer and the AutoStar.

And:

>> Cable outer pins checked ok. Plus, I made another cable exactly with same
>> order of the pins on the original coiled cord and plug it in the base and
>> telescope began moving vertically up and down -on her own- like she was
>> trying to find an object; slew.... stop. And slew.... stop. Move opposite
>> direction.
>> When I touch to the free end of the cord, (touching randomly to exposed
>> pins, she began slewing sideways also... 

That is all "normal" behavior.  The circuits in the telescope base
are seeing the electronic noise picked up  "unterminated" wires.
Attaching the Autostar stops the noise (even if the Autostar is not working).

>> I am only worried if the problem is with the programming. As I read on 
>> your
>> website it is a quite task to safe start -reset or download all 
>> together I
>> am terrified to think about.

You can test if it would respond to a "Safe Load" by pressing and holding
both the [enter] and [scroll up] keys , then turning on the power while
holding them.   If the Autostar wakes up and says "Flash Load" and then
"Downloading, do not turn off"  then it can be reprogrammed.
(you -can- turn it off at this time, this was a test to see if it would
wake up at all).

If it does wake up, then you would need to connect it to a PC
(perhaps borrow a half hour on a friend's PC? One with a "real" COM port?)
to reprogram it.  During the reprogramming you do -not- turn it off.

good luck
--dick

And:

Thanks,
We tried test by "Safe Load" -[enter] and [scroll up] keys , then
turning on the power while holding them. It did not respond for several
try...

But, once or twice we got some sign of life, (8-9 numbered buttons
lighted up) but that's all. It didn't wake up enough to say "Flash
Load". We couldn't get to downloading. We haven't seen anything else,
but, lights on 8 and 9 numbered buttons light-up as long as we hold the
buttons down.
Is this considered that there is life in it?
Is it a good or bad sign?

We didn't drop the darn thing or any abuse or misuse. It should not be
so fragile and should have a "reset" button like, even a cheep mobile
telephones have one...

Night before we went up the mountains (1200m/elevation) to keep out of
the city lights. It was little chilly, the temperature was around
(20deg.) than, we drove back home, where the temperature (38deg.) Hot! I
have hard carry-case, I saw some dew on telescope, took it out and let
sit at room temp few hours. Next morning I opened to  see what is inside
of perfectly running thing (against my wife's warnings) ;(

Now, you can imagine the naggings I am going thru every night that we
don't have the AutoStar. I cant blame her; we will be missing some
events like, Perse Showers, no big deal only comes every 130 or so years
of intervals at a time we can always watch it at heavens.

Just went dead. Left us hopeless, even we have all the means of
electronics around.

I haven't noticed any moisture on HBX thou, next night stopped
responding. This is maybe some lesson for some of us can learn. Not only
the telescope needs attention but also the autostar needs caring. I
consider My ETX125PE is useless without Autostar.

I will use my daughters PC has a "real" COM Port, (I have to use my
charm or bribe her to let me use it, after her seeing what I did to my
telescope...)

Is there anything else I can try or should I order a new one? Will new
one work with already confused base?

Thanks again,
Unal
Mike here: First, you can enjoy the Perseid Meteor Shower without a telescope; in fact, a telescope is almost useless for meteor showers. Just sit back and watch the sky! AND you can still use the ETX. Yes, you have to locate objects yourself, using the Setting Circles and by "Star Hopping". And you will have to track the sky yourself. But astronomers did all that for centuries before GOTO systems! As to the AutoStar, it is hard to say what might have happened. Of course, opening it up may or may not have made the problem worse. But at this point you probably have two courses of action: replace the AutoStar OR return the entire telescope to Meade for repair. IF the problem is really in the ETX base then a new AutoStar would have (or might develop) the same problem. So contacting Meade might be the safest solution.
Subject:	My AutoStar wont light up its controller anymore... ETX-125 PE
Sent:	Sunday, August 5, 2007 12:51:37
From:	nal Kazak (ukazak@nesli.com.tr)
I Just purchased (4 Months) ETX-125PE.

All was fine. Accept each time I plug spiral cable and turn it on, it
would never light up at first time. I would than turn it off and try
again, than, it would glow like Christmas tree, fine... And, it did not
function lately after "tonight's best" trip. It would refuse to response
to the commanding for anything else, but manual gazing...

I thought there might be some wire or something might be loose.. (It was
an excuse..)

I did something like most of us.. Opened it to see what the problem is
and also to see what makes it tick... Yes, I know.. It wasn't very smart
thing to do. (If something is working fine, don't try to fix it..)

But I was very, very careful with it-- With cables and all-- And inside
it was fine there were no loose screws, no excessive greasing. I
absolutely did nothing to it, just looked and closed it back. Before I
close it up, I made sure it worked. It did work, all was fine. I didn't
know what caused it to hesitate to light, but, I decided that, I could
live with it.

Took it up to the terrace and plugged. There was power led light on, but
no auto star. Try it again and again... no avail.

It would not start anymore. Even thou the power indicator lights-up ok.
It seems there is no power to the hand-control, it doesn't light up. I
check the spiral cord-ends; they seem to be in order. There was no
visible damage or anything. I also checked with both ends with digital
multimeter it checked ok. I opened the bottom again to see if I screw-up
any cable or connection... Nothing, all was fine.

I live in Turkey and there isn't anyone around for me to ask for help..
Would you please help?

Thanks for advance,
Unal Kazak
Mike here: I have forwarded your message to our resident AutoStar expert, Dick Seymour. His response will be posted on the next Site update.
Thank you, Mike, 
you are a hero! You dont know how much you mean for us... I think I
speak here for all of us who fool around their most loved toys and when
break it, feel bad, but have hope; that, Mike cares.. :)

Kind regards,
Unal Kazak

Subject:	italian firmware for ETX125PE
Sent:	Friday, August 3, 2007 07:32:41
From:	Giorgio Mengoli (gmengoli1@alice.it)
The my new ETX125PE with smartfinder-LNT had the firmware in Italian
before an error cancels me everything, I don't now remember the original
version anymore and I don't know whether to look for for making new
loading.

Thanks in advance of the information

....I excuse for mine ugly written English

Best regards

Giorgio Mengoli
e-mail: gmengoli1@alice.it
Visit my page!! --> http://astrosurf.com/alpha
mirror: http://digilander.libero.it/gm2
Mike here: Check the Meade Europe web site (http://www.meade.de/); perhaps you will find a downloadable AutoStar file there. You can update the AutoStar ROM using software from Meade's site (http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html; Windows only and in English), AutoStarX (http://www.rti-zone.org/macosx_autostarx.php; Mac OS X), or Lin_AutoStar (http://www.rti-zone.org/lin_autostar.php; Linux). NOTE: following the update do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES for best performance. You will need a #505 serial cable; you can easily make one using info on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. If your computer has only USB you will need a USB-serial adapter. Note that not all work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page for more info. I use a Keyspan model and it works fine on my Apple PowerBook G4.

And:

Thanks so many for the information, are very happy to know her!
Best regards

Giorgio Mengoli

Subject:	ETX 125 Telescope menu
Sent:	Friday, August 3, 2007 07:32:14
From:	JoelS551@aol.com (JoelS551@aol.com)
When aligning my etx125 in polar mode i find under the telescope menu in
the autostar a smart drive item that gives a choice of PEC on or off. 
Is this aplicable to the etx 125 and how does it work?
Joel
Mike here: If you put the ETX in Polar Mounting Mode, it will correct for "periodic errors" (PEC = Periodic Error Correction) in tracking. This adjusts for minor gearing discrepanies. However, it takes many many minutes to do the adjustment and unless you plan to really long duration, high resolution astrophotography, you may find it not as convenient as it sounds. It is not that useful for visual work with the ETX models. For a little more info on PEC see the July 2007 AutoStar Suite feedback page (in the Feedback Archive).
Subject:	Autostar 497
Sent:	Thursday, August 2, 2007 16:39:30
From:	PATRICK PAULISSEN (patrick.paulissen@pandora.be)
Hello Mike, purchased a second hand ETX-105EC telescope with a Autostar
497 (version 22 on the back), but in the Autostar 497 setup menu I can
only choose between a ETX-90, ETX-125 and LX-90 model, so I set it on
ETX-90 and adjusted the focal length to the ETX-105's 1470mm, everything
seems to work fine but I am not sure if this setup is correct, searched
the worldwideweb but couldn't find anything about this subject. Could
you please give me some advice? Kind regards, Patrick.
Mike here: You can update the AutoStar ROM using software from Meade's site (http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html; Windows only), AutoStarX (http://www.rti-zone.org/macosx_autostarx.php; Mac OS X), or Lin_AutoStar (http://www.rti-zone.org/lin_autostar.php; Linux). This will add the ETX-105 to the AutoStar's menu. If you did a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES your setup should work fine but updating to the current version would be best. NOTE: following the update do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES for best performance. You will need a #505 serial cable; you can easily make one using info on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. If your computer has only USB you will need a USB-serial adapter. Note that not all work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page for more info. I use a Keyspan model and it works fine on my Apple PowerBook G4.

And:

Ok Mike, wil purchase a #505 serial cable and update the Autostar 497 as
soon as possible, strange I didn't thould about it myself, better
checked the updated Autostar 497 files before mailing you:) Anyway thank
you for your fast and helpfull response, clear sky's! Patrick.

Subject:	Autostar Patches for Scope Conversion
Sent:	Thursday, August 2, 2007 10:21:25
From:	Bob Anderson (banderson@kentwatersports.com)
I am just getting started converting an old Celestron Super Polaris
Mount to Autostar and I am wondering what patches I need to download
from your site.

I will be doing observing (deep-sky and lunar) and piggyback
astrophotography
 
I thank you in advance for your time and effort
 
Bob Anderson
Mike here: See the message "Celestron CG5-Gt" on the AutoStar Feedback page for July 2007 (in the Feedback Archive). There is a similar question and response there.

And:

Thanks but I am using the Meade 492 kit for motors and gears. Went to
Roboscope and got the 43gg.zip to allow the GEM mounts and I should be
all set

Again Thanks 

Bob 

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Copyright ©2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/aug07/autostar.html