Cassiopeia Observatory logo
Last updated: 31 December 2009
Welcome to the AutoStar feedback page. This page is intended to provide user comments on using the Meade Autostar #494, #495, #497, AutoStar III (for ETX-LS) 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 for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

Subject:	DS 2114 AutoStar 494
Sent:	Wednesday, December 30, 2009 23:29:50
From:	Leandro Castillo Rivera (
hi, (Sorry for my Englis, I hope that you understand me)

Yesterday I was using my "new" telescope a DS 2114. I was happy using
it. but When I shutdown it and power on again, the autostar stop in the
DayLight Saving Message. I pressed enter Key, Goto Key and it doesn't
show me the next step (Aling) The only command that it do is when I move
the telescope with the navigate keys. I think that will be an error in
the configuration or memory.

The question is, how I can reinitialize the computer of my telescope
without use the Autostar?

Ing. Leandro Arturo Castillo Rivera
San Jos, Costa Rica
Mike here: After you see the Daylight Saving prompt and press ENTER, what appears on the screen? You should not be pressing GOTO at that point. Sometimes the simple solution is to replace the batteries in the telescope. If the AutoStar is locking up, you MAY be able to RESET. See if you can use the MODE key to get back to the SELECT menu. If so, then you can select RESET item. If you can't get to the MENU display, then you may be able to reset it from software; see the article "AutoStar RESET from Software" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Note that you'll need a #506 serial cable and a RS-232 serial port on your computer. If none of these work, you may need to replace the AutoStar since there is no user-installable software update for the #494. If the telescope is new, contact your dealer. If not still under warranty, I would recommend getting a #497 AutoStar, which works with the DS.
Subject:	re: Latest firmware version ?
Sent:	Monday, December 28, 2009 22:19:45
From:	richard seymour (
Mike wrote: "let the ASU do the work."

Unfortunately, ASU occasionally makes errors (or can be fooled).

To answer your question:
43Eg is the newest firmware appropriate for *your* Autostar.

The versions starting with "5" are for the "497EP",
which has a totally different computer chip.
Versions (currently) starting with "5" are *NOT* appropriate for your 497.

have fun

Subject:	Autostar Error
Sent:	Monday, December 28, 2009 10:49:02
From:	Tom Franzson (
I recently tried to use my old ETX 60(although the telescope reads
ETX70). The original autostar's readout just flew past totally
unreadable. I bought a new 494 on e-bay. We were able to initialize
Autoscope/Scope. Now I have the pretty much the same problem. Motor
failure and possible causes whip past my eyes. Hardly readable. I
changed batteries and it is tightened just right.  The Autostar does not
respond to any button pushing. Just like the previous Autostar. When
initializing the 494 we put in for model ETX 70, since that is what was
printed on the scope.

Thank you in advance

Tom Franzson
Mike here: See the "Q. My AutoStar scrolls text too fast to read. How do I change it?" on the ETX FAQ page. What software version is installed on the new #494? Just curious: how much did you pay for the "new #494"? You might have been better off getting a #497 AutoStar.


Thank you, I went to the ETX FAQ and successfully got  my first Autostar
to slow down to the point where I could read it.After getting out of the
help menu, everything seems to be working fine. The E=Bay Autostar kept
signaling "motor failure". I don't know what software is installed on
the new Autostar,I paid 39.00 dollars for it,plus shipping. I didn't buy
the #497 because I couldn't find any information that it would be
compatible with my ETX 60

Once again, thank you very much,I will initialize the old autostar

Tom Franzson
Mike here: The AutoStar #497 works with the ETX-60 model.
Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Monday, December 28, 2009 10:34:26
From:	Michael Johann (
Regarding Auto Update program for ETX-LS.

This is using the program with the scope connected via USB but I "think"
this may affect the SD card creation as well.

I have found that there is a significant issue using the Auto Updater
program which is alluded to by some recent postings.  If you follow the
prompts to 1) download latest update then 2) continue with update - it
will install version 1.02.  The program does not seem to take the most
recent update file that has been uploaded.  So at point 2) you should
NOT accept the Yes response.

I do not have the program available to me at present - but you can go
into one of the menus and if it sees the connected scope there is a
dropdown box to select the update version you wish to use.  It seems to
default to 1.02 which is why it loads that version at step 2).  If you
select the newer version and then upload it works fine.  But a very
non-intuitive interface which I suspect is causing a number of scopes to
be incorrectly updated.

Michael Johann

Subject:	Latest firmware version ?
Sent:	Sunday, December 27, 2009 05:12:50
From:	Olof Neiglick (
Hi ! Seasons greetings from Sweden, just got the latest ASU 5.9.1
downloaded, and connected to my ETX-125PE, 3-4 yrs old kit. I am a bit
confused, is the 43Eg the latest firmware for the 497 Autostar
controller ? There is a version 5-someting also for the 497-EP but that
must be a newer version of the handset - which one shall I use - can I
try upgrading the v.5 firmware to the 497 handbox/controller  ?

Best regards
Mike here: As noted on the Meade AutoStar Updates page:
"Important note about #497 Autostars. The classic #497, and the newer #497EP, utilize different firmware that is not interchangeable. However, the #497EP Autostar is backward compatible with prior generation telescope that used AutoStar technology. If you have an older version of the #497, it will continue to work with your existing telescope. AutoStar Updater 5.9 or greater can detect either version and load the appropriate firmware."
So, let the ASU do the work.
Subject:	USB to RJ11 Pin Out
Sent:	Sunday, December 20, 2009 23:29:04
From:	Dave (
Please look at this eBay item and tell me if you think this can totally
eliminate the USB to DB9 serial interface
Mike here: That's a modem, not a USB-serial adapter. So, if you are looking for something to connect to the telescope, no, it won't work.


Will a USB to RJ11 adapter work if its just an adapter and not a modem?
Such as this item
I'm just trying to figure out the simplest connection to control my
DS-2144 from my Laptop and am confused by modem, LAN and USB
connections. I guess the only way to control the telescope with a
computer is through the 4 pin RJ11 in the hand controller? The modem and
LAN are to computer link the computer left to control the telescope?
Correct me if I am wrong. So on a seriel-less laptop, a usb to seriel is
the only way?
Thanx Dave
Mike here: A modem "talks" to the phone system. It is completely different than "talking" to the telescope. For the AutoStar #494 (no number keys on the keypad) you will need a #506 serial cable (not easily made). For the AutoStar #497 (has number keys) you will need a #505 serial cable (easily made). If your computer does not have a RS-232 serial port then you will need a USB-serial adapter. However, not all work reliably with the AutoStar. See the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page for more information. I recommend a Keyspan adapter.
Subject:	494 Dead
Sent:	Sunday, December 13, 2009 10:49:28
From:	ANDY (
I have been searching for an answer to my problem. My handset went blank
after I tried the download command, not knowing that is a no-no.
I tried to call Meade and of course they are closed, so I faxed them.
Meanwhile, can you shed light on this soft reset using the hand set? says Phil
Mike here: You can try the software RESET (see the article on this on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page). BUT you will need a #506 serial cable (not easily made) and a RS-232 serial port on your computer.
Mike here: New LightSwitch Firmware Update now available for the AutoStar III. Version 1.3. Go To:
Subject:	ETX-LS 6 upgrade Problem
Sent:	Sunday, December 6, 2009 13:12:16
From:	Laurent Barrallier (
I would like to upgrade in 1.3 version my ETX-LS using USB link. During
the operation I had a crash of my computer. The upgrade was not finished
and i must restart the telescope because nothing was possible. Now the
telescope dosen't work (USB interface is no seen by ASU software) and an
upgrade using micro SD card in mini SD card adapter is not possible
because the SD card don't appears in ASU software may be due to 4Go SDHC
card (initialization of card is FAT32). Have you an idea about the
limitation of size of SD card and if SDHC work well ?


Mike here: Sounds like a good reason to never upgrade from a direct connection to the ETX-LS. I haven't heard any of size limitation on the card. I suggest reformatting the card and see if that helps. Perhaps Dick Seymour has another thought.


From:	richard seymour (
The ETX-LS cannot use a 4 GB SDHC card.

It can only use cards that are
(A) -smaller- than 4 GB  (i use 2 GB cards)
(B) SD,  not SD HC  (you will find older SD cameras cannot use SDHC either)
(C) formatted to FAT32 (as you already knew)

I have successfully used a Princeton microSD card (the last one at a local bookstore),
and two "Qmemory" miniSD cards from

good luck
Mike here: I have also purchased cards from the Flash Memory Store and have found them a good source. Is the <4GB limit a Windows limitation?


No, it's an ETX-LS limitation.

have fun

Subject:	Re: # 494 stuck autostar
Sent:	Tuesday, December 1, 2009 19:55:33
From:	Albert Palmen (
Thanks so much Mike, ill give that a try or try to flash controller.Take
Mike here: There is no FLASH LOAD capability for the AutoStar #494. No user ROM download capability either.
Subject:	changing autostar from alt/az to ra/dec
Sent:	Tuesday, December 1, 2009 07:30:13
From: (
Iam building a go to scope and need instructions to change autostar to
run an eq mount. I do no know which autostar version I have and I'm a
rookie when it comes to computer involved proceedures, Jerry
Mike here: See the link "Steve Bedair's "Go To" Mounts" on the Astronomy Links page on my ETX Site.

Feedback Archive

Check the Feedback Archive for previous editions of the AutoStar Feedback page.

Go to the ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2009 Michael L. Weasner /
Submittals Copyright © 2009 by the Submitter