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AUTOSTAR FEEDBACK

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 etx@me.com 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 (miki-1@km.ru)
Hi! Tell me where can i find Autostar #497elektricle sheme?
Thanks
 
Mike
Mike 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.
There are two articles with schematics information on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.


Subject:	Ds2000
Sent:	Monday, February 25, 2013 19:13:55
From:	Chris Molloy (chrismolloy1234@gmail.com)
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 Improvements
Mike here: Hi from my observatory.
Lots of programming info on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page on my ETX Site.

And:

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.

And:

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 (djd521@verizon.net)
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.

Don
Mike 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).

And:

Thanks

Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

And:

From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
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

And:

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 (djd521@verizon.net)
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,
Don 
Mike 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.

And:

Still need to make cable to connect the two handpads. Could just try it
and see what happens.

Don

Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless
Mike here: Yes, you do need a cloning cable.

And from Dick:

From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
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

And:

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

And this:

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

And:

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

And:

Heard of MyScope. Will use that.

Thanks,
Don


Subject:	Weather Balloon Tracker Possibility
Sent:	Wednesday, February 13, 2013 07:50:01
From:	Ron (nh6wl@sbcglobal.net)
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 

And more:

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:	timkelly134@gmail.com (timkelly134@gmail.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 Mail
Mike 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.
As to tracking an object based on its altitude and latitude/longitude, it could be done, but I've not heard of any software available that would convert the data into realtime tracking commands for the AutoStar. Would be a nice project though.


Subject:	Autostar screen broken
Sent:	Sunday, February 10, 2013 19:58:28
From:	Laurie Morris (lamorris59@me.com)
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 iPad
Mike 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.

And:

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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