AUTOSTAR FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 August 2008

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:	question of LXD75
Sent:	Sunday, August 31, 2008 01:04:22
From:	gushijun (telescope1985@hotmail.com)
I'm sorry to bother you.
 
But, I have a question about LXD75, hope you can help me.

Can you tell me how to connect my lxd75 to my computer with autosuite
software installed ?

I've made a 505 cable following your instructions,
http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_cable505.html

But, I'm not sure how to use this cable.(just plug the com prot to my
computer, and plug rj10 to the autostar handbox? is that right?)
 
Thanks for your help.
 
Tony 
Mike here: That is correct. The cable goes from the smaller jack in the AutoStar to the RS-232 port on your computer. If your computer has only USB ports then you will need a USB-serial adapter. However, not all adapters work reliably with the AutoStar so read the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.

And:

I appreicate your help to answer my question.
 
I'm using my old laptop, which has a com port. Also, I'm a new player in
this field,Meade LXD75 AR6 is my first telescope.

If I have any questions, I will consult you.
 
Thanks again,
 
Tony, 
Mike here: Feel free to check out my LXD55/75 Site. Just note that as mentioned there I'm no longer supporting the LXD models.
Subject:	Will the Telescopes autostar work overseas
Sent:	Saturday, August 30, 2008 13:44:40
From:	Harding, James X (james.harding@aramco.com)
I work in Saudi and live in Northern Cyprus (Turkey) I am in the
progress of getting a Mead ETX-80AT Backpack with the #494 Auto Star
computer system to be sent from the USA, this will be my first telescope
my question to you is what do I do when the auto star asks for a
location State and Zip number will the system still work in Northern
Cyprus do I have to find my local position if so how. Please reply to my
home e-mail address which is jh51hrh@hotmail.co.uk
Mike here: You can specify a country first. However, if purchased in the United States it will have English and any warranty will be invalidated if sent out of the USA. Also, please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site home page. Thanks for understanding.
Subject:	ETX 125PE
Sent:	Friday, August 29, 2008 15:53:10
From:	Della Downie (ddownie@personainternet.com)
I just received my new scope. I did my setup all was well and then my
handcontrol shows "Proc. trap". I turned off the power for a couple of
minutes and when I turned it on again, it will now only continually slew
counter clockwise. I contacted meade who really did not have any info or
suggestions other than keep trying. I'm new to scopes and am wondering
if you can help me find a solution. Last year I purchased the 80 and
have had no issue with it. thanks Mike Downie, Ontario Canada
Mike here: Check that the cable from the AutoStar is fully seated in the jacks on the AutoStar and on the ETX base. Check the condition of the pins on the connectors and in the jacks; they should be clean, not too depressed, nor bent sideways. If you can get the AutoStar to respond try to do a RESET, followed by a CALIBRATE MOTOR, and then TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject:	autostar PC cable problem
Sent:	Wednesday, August 27, 2008 10:48:22
From:	EKDesign1; Ed K. (TEKproperty@sbcglobal.net)
First of all, thanks for all that you do to assist everyone with the
seemingly endless array of problems and issues, and learning curve
surrounding the aspects of an ETX.

With that said, I have called (and waited) Meade to ask about my PC
connection issue with my 125PE and Autostar, but they only suggest that
the cable is defective, and now I wanted to see if you or other users
have had a similar problem and solution.
 
So, background:
I have a 125PE that is less than 2 years old and 2 - 497 controls.
I do not have the Suite software but I do have the latest ASU and
updates for the Autostar.
I have a PC running XP, that has a serial port and I also have a
Prolific USB adapter to attach to the Autostar cable, if desired.
The computer indicates that my serial com port and prolific device in a
USB port are working properly.
I have made cables in the past for my LX50 and LX90 without issue.
I have never hooked a cable to this particular computer, but I have used
a laptop in the past for my previous scopes.
I have verified, reverified and re-made the cable 3 times (with
different parts)--I even swapped the recieve and transmit wires just to
test it out.
I have tested the continutiy of each wire position with an ohm
meter...they have been correct for each manufacturing attempt.

The problem is that the ASU will not autodetect or manually find the
Autostar no matter what the PC setting or wire configuration...and I do
have the cable connected to the Autostar and it is connected to the HBX
on the ETX and it is powered on.

Is is possible that I have XP driver/port issues, or am I missing
something critical?  As I stated, I have connected other scopes to a
laptop running XP on self-made cables before, but I have never tried the
ETX until today.  I do not have access to another ETX and I am trying to
be cheap and not purchase the Meade cables for fear of having the same
problem and wasting money.

Anyway, I apologize in advance for bothering you with my problem...but,
I thought maybe others may have the same problem and were afraid to ask.

Thanks much,
 
Ed Kikendall Jr.
Mike here: First, are you using a #505 serial cable (as discussed on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page)? If not, then you need to make that cable and connect it between the computer's serial port and the base of the AutoStar (in the smaller jack). If you are using a #505 serial cable then have you checked for a port conflict (typically fax software)? Lastly, as discussed in the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page, not all USB-serial adapters work reliably with the AutoStar. I use a Keyspan adapter on my Macs and it works well.

And:

I sent you an email detailing my problem with ASU and that my Autostar
was not being recognized from my homemade cable.

Well, I did some more reading on your site (and you have a lot to read
from) and found a reference to StarPatch software.

What a GREAT program!!

It recognized both of my 497's and I performed an upgrade on one thru a
serial COM port and the other using my Prolific Serial to USB adapter on
a different COM port.

The entire problem has something to do with Meades latest ASU program.

Again, thanks for you wonderful pages of information...maybe this will
help somebody else and they won't waste 2 hours fiddling with cables
they made correctly.
 
Sincerely,

Ed Kikendall Jr.
Mike here: Yes, StarPatch is a great program and excellent alternative to Meade's app. I use AutoStarX (Mac OS X) myself.
Subject:	Re: never able to get "easy two star" alignment to work for ETX70AT 
Sent:	Sunday, August 24, 2008 14:39:33
From:	Heather Drury (hadrury@gmail.com)
Thank you for your help and suggestions thus far. I believe I have
followed all of them.

As I previously mentioned, we have had this ETX-70 for >4 years and I
must have tried the "automated" (AutoStar) alignment 20-30 times, with
absolutely no luck (in three different locations: Canada, Michigan, and
St. Louis).   I am extremely frustrated.

Last night (for about the 5th time this month) I went out at 11 pm to
try again. I leveled with construction level, oriented to North with
compass, set time with Atomic clock (with DST) and tried alignment
again. First I tried the easy two-star where it picks the stars.
Unfortunately, most were obscured by trees. So I tried to align using
Vega and the scope couldn't slew to that angle (basically 90 deg over
head). So I tried Altair. The scope slewed there and nothing of interest
was in FOV. I spent about 20 minutes trying to get the star into view (I
had binoculars where I could easily see Altair). I could not ever get
Altair into the field-of-view.  I have previously trained and calibrated
the motors (I think I did it correctly, but who knows at this point). 
The equipment I have is what came with the ETX-70 telescope (the two
lenses).

I then manually slewed to Jupiter (easy enough for this dense engineer
to find a giant planet in the sky) and changed to the higher
magnification lens. Unimpressive slightly larger golden ball. All I can
say is that I should have stuck with binoculars and saved several
hundred dollars and many, many, many hours of frustration for me and the
7- and 10-year old kids.

What am I doing wrong that I cannot align this scope? Do I need to
purchase a star finder "scope"? A Barlow lens for higher mag? RS-232
cable for laptop? At this point, I am loath to spend any more $$ when we
have had zero success...

Best regards,

Heather
Mike here: See my earlier responses about North and CALIBRATE MOTOR. As to magnification with the short focal length ETX-70, your expectations may be too high. You can see my ETX-70 comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. Also, you might find the simulations shown in my SCAE 2008 presentation (Helpful Information: Tutorials page) useful. Lastly, the ETX-70 can be a fine wide-field instrument; see the Helpful Information: User Observations page for reports from other users.
Subject:	never able to get "easy two star" alignment to work for ETX70AT 
Sent:	Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:49:05
From:	Heather Drury (hadrury@gmail.com)
Thank you for your great forum. I have visited your "buyer/new user
tips" page and have (I believe) done most of what is suggested there.
Here's the situation:

In Dec 2004, I gave a Meade ETX70AT telescope (882 Tripod and Autostar)
to my Niece and Nephew.  Since that time, the only thing we have been
able to view (of interest) through it is the moon.  I am, so far,
extremely disappointed and can only believe that I'm an utter idiot for
not getting this thing working. My brother has loaned the telescope to
me to try one last chance at getting the "alignment" to work.

Here is the process I have used:
1.       Get passed sun warning.
2.       Enter date. Enter time based on atomic time.
3.       Enter location based on GPS lat/long coordinates.
4.       Set home position based on compass (north) and used two methods
to set altitude: an alignment based on using a construction "level" and
moving telescope to 0 degrees Dec. (These two methods result in a slight
differencedon't know which one is correct). Note at this point, I do not
see the North star (mostly due to obstructions), but the instructions
don't say it's required that is required (is it?).
5.       Star alignment: I let the telescope slew to the first star.
Sometimes there are obstructions, so I move to the next star. Once I
find a star, I manually center (as best as possible without crosshairs).
I do this for two stars (if I can even find two stars that are in FOV).
The Autostar tells me "Alignment Successful". Great!
6.       I go to Solar System and tell the telescope to go to the
"Moon".  The scope is 30 degrees (for instance) off from where the moon
is. I slew to other objects but never see anything.

I have tried this with the same telescope from Missouri, Michigan, and
Ontario all with the same results.

What am I doing wrong??? What can I try to do to troubleshoot the
situation? 

Thank you for any help you can provide us.

Heather
Mike here: There could be several factors: You need to use True North and not Magnetic North, which can vary by up to about 20 degrees. So, if you can not see Polaris to indicate where on the horizon True North would be, then adjust for your location Magnetic Variation (also known as Magnetic Declination; links on the Astronomy Links page). Check the DEC scale as it could be off (see the FAQ page for info on adjusting the scale); I usually just eyeball leveling of the tube. Check the Daylight Saving setting; for most states set it ON right now. One thing you can do if you know your HOME position is good is to accept the stars as centered even though they may be behind obstructions. The better the HOME position the more precise the initial pointing. For more alignment tips see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. You can ignore any mention in the articles there about moving the telescope to azimuth hard stops as the ETX-70 does not have azimuth hard stops.

And:

Your site is awesome (and I'm sure takes quite a bit of work). I hope to
get to use more of the "fun" stuff on it , if we can get this 70AT to
work.

thanks (a lot!) for the prompt reply.

Heather

And:

Thanks for the reply.  I checked the magnetic variation at my location
and it is 30 deg west! ("0 deg, 30 minutes west changing by 0 deg, 6
minutes west/year") I will adjust true north by that amount. Yikes, that
could account for the entire problem. Thanks for the pointer. Yes,
daylight savings is set to "on" (I'm in Missouri).

I will look at "Helpful Information: AutoStar Info" and see if anything
there can help. It appears that you are saying I'm doing most things
right. Is moon a reasonable object to test the alignment with?

Thanks for your help.

Heather
Mike here: 30 degrees seems rather high. I would have suspected something more like 10 degrees. Also, if you haven't done them, do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. As to using the Moon, yes, it can be OK although a non-moving object like stars are better to check alignment.
Subject:	494 computer part help
Sent:	Friday, August 15, 2008 22:29:59
From:	Kenneth Geiger (kgeigermd@hotmail.com)
Great/helpful website, thanks! I was recently given an etx-60 that works
great, except the 494 controller is a bit beat up. I think it may be
working as it should, but its missing the LCD screen (2 line?) that
plugs into a connector at the top of the circuit board. The backlight
works and by guessing what the screen might be saying I can get it to do
a few things :). I probably have to replace the whole thing but if you
or anyone could tell me any part info or markings on the actual lcd I
might be able to find one- All I have is the empty 13 pin socket and it
isnt marked. Thanks again!!

Ken
Sonoma, CA
Mike here: See the article "AutoStar Schematics, Parts Info" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	Vista ASU
Sent:	Thursday, August 14, 2008 07:36:45
From:	Henrik van Holthoon (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
I use Vista, Autostar suite, SN6 or Astroplanner work fine the same for
the Autostar updater ASU 4.6.
ASU can be downloaded from Meade's site.
Regards Henrik

Subject:	re: hello,cable goto?
Sent:	Wednesday, August 13, 2008 21:05:57
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Antonio wrote:
1-8
2-7
3-6
4-5
5-4
6-3
7-2
8-1

Mike wrote:  "No. "

I must write: "Yes", Antonio correctly describes the cable
between the 497 Autostar and the telescope base.

Additional documentation:
http://jan.eaglecreekobservatory.org/pinouts.html

have fun
--dick
Mike here: I thought he was talking about the #505 serial cable.
Subject:	Re: Meade ETX70AT - Handset difficulty
Sent:	Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:52:52
From:	Matthew (cdman33@gmail.com)
Well, it looks as though it's a normal function.  Since I changed the
contrast so that the faint LED's don't show up as they cross the screen,
it's much more legible.  It's just a shame that the refreshing of the
displayed text doesn't seem up to par.
Mike here: Almost sounds like the display is dying.

And:

Well, I'm not sure since I don't have anything to compare it with.  What
I'll do is send a short video of the handset in action after my exams on
friday, then maybe I'll be able to get to the bottom of this.

Subject:	Drivers for Vista
Sent:	Monday, August 11, 2008 12:19:46
From:	Craig Gimbel (believe5154@optonline.net)
Where can I locate AutoStar drivers for Vista?
 
Craig
Mike here: I wasn't aware that any Vista drivers were required to use the AutoStar. However, whatever software you are using to control the telescope via the AutoStar may or may not be compatible with Vista. Check with the software developer.
Subject:	Telescope, new computerized
Sent:	Sunday, August 10, 2008 20:44:29
From:	Ed Johnson (edhiker@gmail.com)
This may be a bit late, but the photos on my Flickr site document work
done in July 2001.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/edhiker/sets/72157606649300226/

I took the pictures now because some parts will be borrowed to try
driving a 100 pound telescope. What do you think?
I know it may be slow slewing, but autoguiding is the main objective
of the project.

If the new project doesn't work, the pictures will assist me in reassembly.

Mike, I will keep an eye out for your lost scope equipment in
gatherings in California, Pinos, RTMC, etc.

Some of my astrophotos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/edhiker/sets/354620/

Sincerely,

Ed

Subject:	hello,cable goto?
Sent:	Saturday, August 9, 2008 18:23:39
From:	antonio tortosa martin (antonxp1978@hotmail.com)
hello friends, I want to know the outline of the cable to the command #
497 engines LXD75 .. Thanks
Is it a totally crossover cable? 1-8 2-7 ....
Mike here: See the Cable section on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page on my ETX Site. The pinouts are there.

And:

thanks, but could say the exact section not see it ...
Mike here: #505 cable info under the Cable section.

And:

ok...

Un extremo 
1 = rojo 
2 = negro 
3 = marrn 
4 = Naranja 
5 = gris 
6 = amarillo 
7 = verde 
8 = Azul 
  
OTRO FIN 
8 = rojo 
7 = negro 
6 = marrn 
5 = Naranja 
4 = gris 
3 = amarillo 
2 = verde 
1 = azul 

1-8 
2-7 
3-6 
4-5 
5-4 
6-3 
7-2 
8-1
Mike here: No. See the article "AutoStar Cable Info" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page on my ETX Site.
Subject:	re: 495 extension cable.
Sent:	Thursday, August 7, 2008 20:33:30
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Stange wrote:
"It would have been nicer for the consumer if Meade had used standard,
none modified parts ..."

They did.

The normal 495 handbox cable is wired to the *telephone* standard for an 8-wire cable.
I have used 8-wire office telephone cables to replace 495/497 Autostar handbox cables.
No modification required.

That style of cable has been a "standard" here in the US for over 30 years.

(a further example of the use of telephone standards is that a telephone
handset cable can be used for both the Meade 505 cable (if you use Meade's
DB-9/RJ11 adapter) and as the handbox cable on the LX200gps (which is only 4-wire).)

have fun
--dick

And:

From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
A simple way to extend the Autostar cable is to use the normal cable
with an RJ-45 in-line coupler. You can then connect a long Ethernet
cable to the coupler. Having the Autostar cable in line takes care of
the necessary pin reversal.
 
Regards,
Mike Hogan

Subject:	AZ & ALT Ratio
Sent:	Tuesday, August 5, 2008 10:02:24
From:	Jerry Shaw (jshaw1227@yahoo.com)
I've visited your site many time since buying my ETX-125EC. It's great,
and the "definitive location" for all things ETX.  Well my zeal to
improve tracking accuracy, I've inadvertently change these numbers, How
do I get back to where I was?  Or, what are the original numbers?
 Jerry Shaw
Mike here: Simplest way to reset most everything is a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject:	SYNC Function
Sent:	Monday, August 4, 2008 10:53:57
From:	David Kurtz (dkurtz@quickcable.com)
There does not seem to be a lot of information regarding the SYNC
function.  Meade Customer Service said that (after an AUTO ALIGN) if you
SYNC your targets going forward, your future GOTO's will be more
accurate.  Basically you are refining each successive GOTO as you SYNC. 
I'm not sure if this is the case.  Please advise.
Thanks. 
David
Mike here: After any of the alignment methods (Auto, Easy, etc), SYNC does a local alignment so GOTOs in that area of the sky are improved.

And:

Can you give an example of the SYNC procedure.  I guess I am unclear as
to the overall benefit of the SYNC function.  Are you saying the SYNC
will ONLY improve GOTO's in a certain area of the sky but will have no
effect on GOTO's objects further away from the object I just SYNC'd.  I
guess I am wondering why a SYNC would not help all GOTO's regardless of
distance from last SYNC assuming the "information" is saved and carried
forward.  And finally, which is the most accurate alignment method i.e.
which will produce the most accurate GOTO's (Auto, Easy, ...etc).
Thanks again for your help.
David
Mike here: When you do the normal alignment (Auto, Easy, etc) you may notice a "delta" from the pole displayed. This is a small (or large) error in the alignment to True North. The accuracy depends on many factors, including the CALIBRATION and drive training accuracy, the accuracy of the alignment star centering, the accuracy of your site location parameters, and the accuracy of the date/time settings. The more alignment stars you use the better the accuracy (1 vs 2 vs 3 stars). If the LNT is set up correctly (date/time and sensor calibration) it can provide good accuracy in Auto Align. As to performing a SYNC, first do as accurate an alignment as you can using Auto, Easy, etc. Then GOTO or slew the telescope to a known and visible object near the object you wish to observe. Center the object and hold down the ENTER key for several seconds and then release it; you will then see press ENTER TO SYNC. Press ENTER. The local "alignment" will be improved in that area of the sky but the further you get from the SYNCed object the worse the alignment will be. An alternative to SYNC is HIGH PRECISION mode (selected from the AutoStar menu tree). With HIGH PRECISION enabled, when you GOTO to an object the AutoStar first slews to a bright nearby object and asks you to center it and press ENTER. It then slews to the requested object.

And:

Thanks for your continued help and direction.  I hope Meade appreciates
the true service you provide.
David 

Subject:	goto seems to always be off target 
Sent:	Sunday, August 3, 2008 20:54:46
From:	Levy1942@aol.com (Levy1942@aol.com)
Well I just purchased a Meade ext 125pe with uhtc coatings. The first
night out I had aligned the smart finder cal. the sensors and cal. the
motors. I aligned the telescope successfully and when I press go to on
an object it slews and then beeps to let me know it has stopped but when
I look in the eyepiece it's nowhere to be found. I then do the spiral
search and still nothing I mean it is really frustrating because every
night I have used it this problem occurs over and over and over again. I
don't know if it has to do something with focusing the eyepiece I doubt
it is. I slowly go through all of the focusing levels and still nothing.
I really could use some help!
 
Thanks,
 
Miles levy
Mike here: You said you did a CALIBRATE SENSOR and a CALIBRATE MOTOR. That's good. But have you done a TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes)? Are you doing an Auto Align or one of the non-Auto alignment modes? Do you see GOTO errors in both Auto and non-Auto alignments? Have you checked your date/time/Daylight Saving settings? How about your location?

And:

Sorry I thought I said that I trained the drives, and yes on both axis.
I tried both alignment modes, and yes I see errors on both. I don't Know
if this is normal but I almost always have to put in the date the time
and daylight savings by the way I live in Georgia and I don't know I am
almost more than sure its daylight savings but if it isn't it would be
nice if you would correct me. my location is correct also. I don't know
if its just me I hope it is because everyone else seems not to be having
trouble with this problem, and I really want this telescope to work! One
more question once I get everything runny properly will some of the
galaxies or clusters be in different focusing than the stars around
them?
Mike here: With the PE model, if you select to Align from the initial screen the date/time are supplied by the LNT module (assuming it is correct). For the non-Auto mode the AutoStar always defaults to last entered date and 8PM (or 2000 hours) and you are asked about Daylight Saving time (which most locations in the USA are observing right now; so YES is the answer). If both Auto Align and Easy Align are off, lets check something. Are you using City Name or Zipcode? City Name seems more accurate. And just how far off are the alignment stars before you center them? Once the alignment is successful, how far off are objects that you go to? As to focusing on DSOs, for all practical purposes they are at the same distance as stars for focusing purposes.

And:

Ok well I was correct on daylight savings. I use zip code because my
city (kennesaw) isn't listed.well it depends sometimes their in the view
finder and others are a good distance and it may become confusing
because it may go in between two of the alignment stars. Once the
alignment is successful I'm not quite sure because I have only been able
to compare it to Jupiter and it was completely off. And by DSO's I take
it you mean distant solar objects so u mean the planets correct? Or does
that include galaxies,nebulae's, and clusters, ect... I talked to
customer service and they said since I have only had the telescope for
three days (going on four) that the LNT module was messed up so now they
want to repair it. But I have sky insurance so if it comes down to
shipping it back I'm going to see if they will just replace it because
of how much more time it will take, and I have been waiting like a year
just to get the telescope.
Mike here: DSO = Deep Sky Objects; galaxies, nebulae. Keep me posted on any repair.

And:

Ok I will, but I have one last question what do you think of a skyquest
xt10 with intelliscope?
Mike here: I have no experience with that telescope. Also, please read the Email Etiquette item where it discusses "Message Text" and mixing questions. Thanks for understanding.
Subject:	Re: Meade ETX70AT - Handset difficulty
Sent:	Sunday, August 3, 2008 13:56:12
From:	Matthew (cdman33@gmail.com)
Yes, the handset still guides but I can't get any information on screen
at a rate that's practical.  Beyond the utmost slowest test scroll
speeds, the text is garbled.  I'll try to locate the brightness and
contrast settings and see what happens and let you know.

Thanks

Subject:	495 extension cable.
Sent:	Saturday, August 2, 2008 17:28:03
From:	stange (stange34@sbcglobal.net)
It appears Meade is up to their old tricks again. The normal DSL cable
and connector does not have pin reversal. Meade has made sure we cannot
use those cables by reversing the pinouts from the 495 controller.

I am remoting my controller, and plan on reversing the pinouts on a
standard DSL cable for that purpose.

Do you see any problem with that? -Larry 
Mike here: See the Cable Information section of the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. There are articles there on "long cables". I don't fault Meade for NOT using ethernet cables. Afterall, it is NOT an ethernet connection.

And:

The extension cable was successful. However, care must be taken on the
point to point wiring. The color code has a crossing in the center wires
of the LAN connectors. It is possible the fit is not perfect(?)... I
noticed it requires wiggling the connector sometimes to make contact on
all the pins before turn on.

It would have been nicer for the consumer if Meade had used standard,
none modified parts in their manufacturing especially now since they can
no longer be easily reached or have any kind of  a prompt service &
repair facility. Post sales accessory marketing was their goal. -Larry
Mike here: Certainly standards are important. But I don't think there is a standard for everything. Maybe ISO should look into that. I was upset when Apple used a DB25 (RS-232 style) connector for their original implementation of the SCSI interface. But sometimes compromises have to be made. Perhaps that is what Meade did; they compromised on using a RJ45 jack (easily available) for the AutoStar but to ensure that users didn't try to use a Ethernet connection from a computer they changed the wiring. On the other hand, it would have been nice to have ethernet on the telescope and AutoStar. Some telescopes have USB ports (for other devices). Of course, it would now be nice if telescopes had Wi-Fi too. All it takes is money...
Subject:	RE: Autostar #497 problems
Sent:	Friday, August 1, 2008 14:15:41
From:	erik balduk (erik_1982pekel@hotmail.com)
Tanks for the quick respond!

The power wasn`t the problem. I read the article "autostar reset from
software". I connected the autostar with the computer succesfull and
tryed to do a hard reset on the autostar. All the settings like the time
and the date are back in the factory settings. I update the autostar
software succesfull. But when i start the  autostar the same is happend,
i cant get into the menu and going back.

Even if i going into the menu with autostar suite i cant open the menu.
 
Now i want to do a hard reset
(http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/2005/reset.html). But i don`t now
what the hyperterminal is (and i can`t find the dutch translation for
this word). Wher can i find the hyper terminal and where can i type ctrl
D?

I would be verry thankfull if you can help me with solving this problem!
 
Greets
Erik 
Mike here: So you were able to update the AutoStar to the current 4.3Eg version. Bummer that didn't help. "Hyperterminal" is a Windows terminal (serial communication) program. You can do a search on the ETX Site for "hyperterminal" and get more info. But any terminal communication program will work (but not Mac OS X "Terminal", which is not a serial communication program).

And:

I have tryed the "hard reset" on the autostar by using hyperterinal. I
send the the text file to the autostar ( started in the safe mode), and
i typed a "I" and the autostar was reseted, and the motors are
callibrated

I started the autostar again and i can start the menu! Now the autostar
works like it should be!

The autostar finds the objects perfectly.

Thanks for helping me with solving this problem, i`m verry happy now.

greets!!!
Mike here: Super!

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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/aug08/autostar.html