Last updated: 28 February 2013
Welcome to the AutoStar feedback page. This page is intended to provide user comments on using the Meade Autostar #494, #495, #497, #497EP, AudioStar, cables, and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: [none] Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 07:44:39 From: Mike (email@example.com) Hi! Tell me where can i find Autostar #497elektricle sheme? Thanks MikeMike here: Your message was originally DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the blank subject line. Please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site to learn how to avoid this in the future. Thanks for understanding.
Subject: Ds2000 Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 19:13:55 From: Chris Molloy (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am interested in directly controlling the ds2000 pan tilt by having an arduino simulate the 497 controller. Is there info available or the wiring and protcol? Chris Molloy Fair & Square ImprovementsMike here: Hi from my observatory.
Has anyone been successful in directly driving the pan/tilt without the hand controller?Mike here: No. The commands are for the AutoStar, which controls the telescope.
Would it be possible?Mike here: All things are possible. Try the Roboscopes Yahoo Group.
Subject: Re: Cloning Autostar 497 to 495 Sent: Friday, February 22, 2013 23:38:39 From: Don D'Egidio (email@example.com) One more question. Reading the Converting 495 to 497 ETX, it mentions using 2.1Ek and ASU 2.4. Do I need to use those exact files and ASU program? I think my friends scope is an LX90. DonMike here: That's an older article (current at the time it was written). You should be able to use ASU 4.6 and 4.3Eg (both available in the AutoStar Software Archive on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page).
Thanks Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) As Mike wrote, that's advice that was correct at the time it was written. His answer is also "fixed in time".. my answer would be that you *should* be able to use the current Autostar Updater (ASU) (although i still recommend StarPatch instead) and whatever the current 497 firmware might be (which is, and probably shall remain) 43Eg. But certainly his suggestions of 43Eg and ASU 4.6 will work (at least with Windows XP). I do not know if there would be problems with ASU 4.6 and Windows 7 or 8... I'm pretty sure it will work with Windows 7 (although if it uses any 16-bit libraries, it will not). If ASU 4.6 runs at all, it will work. good luck --dick
Have XP Pro SP3 Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless
Subject: Cloning Autostar 497 to 495 Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 20:51:35 From: Don D'Egidio (email@example.com) I have a couple of 495's that have the two ROM's the same as the 497. Can I make the 495 into a 497 by using the cable with the RJ22 on both ends and cloning the 497 to the 495? Thanks, DonMike here: I have cloned from a 497 to a 497, but never from a 497 to a 495. Lets ask the AutoStar expert, Dick Seymour.
Still need to make cable to connect the two handpads. Could just try it and see what happens. Don Connected by DROID on Verizon WirelessMike here: Yes, you do need a cloning cable.
And from Dick:
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) Like Mike, i've never tried Cloning to upgrade a 495 to a 497 (i've always just Updated). If the two beasties are will, go for it! The worst that will happen is that the 497 will refuse to do it (you'll get an Error message and a beep). The Clone All operation asks the other Autostar what type it is, and only accepts two answers. I don't have a 495's memory dump lying around, so i can't off-hand tell if the 2nd type it accepts is a 495's response. The other warning is that i'm not 100% sure that Meade's Clone function has kept up with the development of the Autostar's firmware. BUT: they BOTH must be of the same "family"... i.e. the 497 must be version 43Eg or earlier. It can't be a 497EP (version 5xxx) or Audiostar. You cannot clone across different "families" (497EP to 497/495, or Audiostar to 497/495) Cloning requires that both Autostars be powered up, and the cloning cable (i assume you got a Meade cable kit which had both the serial cable and the separate 4-pin to 4-pin cloning cable). One other quirk is that the cloning cable has a wiring unlike the serial (to DB9 adapter). If you call the pins 1,2,3,4 from one edge to the other, then pins 1 and 2 swap between the two connectors, but pin 4 is connected to the other connector's pin 4. Pin 3 isn't used, so it doesn't matter if there's a wire there or not. Be *very sure* that you have sufficient battery power on both scopes to last throughout the operation (if memory serves, it's about 8 minutes for the actual cloning). good luck, please tell us if you were successful If not, there's always StarPatch... --dick
I have RJ22 plugs and will crimp my own cable. Know about 3 and 4 wires needing to be crossed. Might as well upgrade the 495 to whatever version of the 497, and then clone. I have a friend who has the display of his 497 only showing characters on the upper row. Thought the small ribbon cable to display might be the problem but wasn't. Going to let him have one of my spare 495's for just this situation. Don
The 497 with bad display, can I use AS Updater to copy all it's info without needing to access any menus on 497? Don
The cloning of the "user data" does NOT do the model-check (since that area/usage of memory is common between the two models)... The 497 with bad display, can I use AS Updater to copy all it's info without needing to access any menus on 497? Yes. ... well, there are some things that don't get copied (such as the PEC table), but the Asteroids, Comets, Tours, Landmarks and Satellites will copy over. Andrew Johansen's "MyScope" utility can copy the entire User Data area: http://members.optusnet.com.au/johansea good luck --dick
Heard of MyScope. Will use that. Thanks, Don
Subject: Weather Balloon Tracker Possibility Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 07:50:01 From: Ron (email@example.com) Here is a product that may help the person wanting to track a weather balloon but not as he described. It requires visually acquiring the object, weather balloon, UFO or aircraft first then it claims to track. I looked at it closer when I saw the first mention of it and then I think it had the capability to command an LX200GPS. I am not sure if it can maneuver a 497 controlled telescope though. Additionally I am not sure the ETX could keep up with any fast moving twisting, turning target if it had the ability to command it. A weather balloon probably would not create a challenge in that respect. Again not what the person was looking for (GPS input for creating tracking commands) but something that could fill in until the software was created if he could get visual acquisition. Link: http://www.optictracker.com/Home.html Ron
I just went back to check the updated page and the only Meade Scope that is supported is the LX200 command set it seems. Celestron is well supported. I am looking at possibly getting the program. I could not see using it in the beginning but they have added several other capabilities beyond the initial "track an airplane" model. As expected it is processor intensive. Ron
Subject: [none] Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 19:54:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) I'm interested in having my EXT 125 track a released weather balloon via transmitted GPS that will be trans mitted from the weather balloon. Have you heard of this being attempted before? I was planning on using an I TOUCH for the GPS source and track in on my computer using Google. the trick is getting the GPS information to the ETX 125 Telescope so it may track the balloon. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you. Sent from Windows MailMike here: Your email was originally deleted as SPAM due to the blank subject line. To avoid this happening in the future, please read the Email Etiquette on my ETX Site. Thanks for understanding.
Subject: Autostar screen broken Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 19:58:28 From: Laurie Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just bought a Meade etx telescope and while trying to figure out how to work the autostar my husband accidentally dropped it. The screen no longer displayed instructions, but I was able to still move the tube. Is the autostar repairable? Sent from my iPadMike here: Hi from my observatory. Sorry to hear about the accident. You may be able to fix it, depending on what happened. If the display connection became disconnected you can reconnect it. If the display is broken it might be replaceable. If the circuit board has a broken trace or loose component then that will be more difficult. There are many articles on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page that may assist you with troubleshooting and repair. If the AutoStar is totally beyond repair you can get a new or used one online.
I assume I have to remove the back from the autostar. What would I be looking for if the display connection became disconnected and how would I reconnect it. Thank you so much for the quick response, I'm so disappointed that this happened.Mike here: See the article "AutoStar Schematics, Parts Info" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. That should show you what you'll see when you open the case.
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