Last updated: 31 December 2003
Subject: Autostar Version 3Ee -- RESET, TRAIN, CALIBRATE Date: 12/31/03, 08:21 From: "Schlatter, Joe A Jr [LTD]" (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am experiencing a bit more "creep after beep" since I upgraded to Autostar 3Ee. I noticed on the LPI section of your website, one individual said that he upgraded to 3Ee after which he did: -- Reset -- Train -- Calibrate and that stopped the creep after beep. If I do RESET, does that mean I must go back in and reset the Alt-Az ratios, etc.? Clay Sherrod did a tune-up on my scope in April 2003 and I don't want to undo anything he did. Thanks ----- Joe SchlatterMike here: Yes, you will change those values. So, write them down before you do the steps. BUT try the upgrade without changing them just to see if all is OK.
Subject: AutoStar #494 progrtamming... Date: 12/30/03, 05:39 From: Paul Davies (email@example.com) Great Site!! I have an ETX 60 (with the #494 Autostar (rom V 1.0k)). I'm writing a Java program to control it. Yes, I know there are plenty of programs out there that already do this. I'm doing it as much to learn Jave GUI programming, as to control the ETX. I obtained the Meade LX200 control codes and have successfully got my program talking to the ETX. However, I have got a strange problem. I can't get the #:Sr command to work. I send the command with valid data (eg #:Sr 12:34.5#) an I get a '1' back, implying that all is well. I then do a #:Gr# to confirm the data has been entered, I get garbage returned. The odd thing is that it is repeatable garbage. I wrote a test program to send #:Sr HH:MM.S# starting at 00:00.0 and incrementing each value and then sending a #:Gr# to see what had been saved. The same result is returned each time: Sent Received 00:00.0 ---> 00:01.8 00:00.1 ---> 58:03.4 00:00.2 ---> 58:03.4 00:00.3 ---> 43:33.0 00:00.4 ---> 58:03.4 00:00.5 ---> 00:01.8 00:00.6 ---> 43:33.0 00:00.7 ---> 14:32.2 00:00.8 ---> 58:03.4 00:00.9 ---> 29:02.6 00:01.0 ---> 00:01.8 00:01.1 ---> 43:33.0 00:01.2 ---> 14:32.2 00:01.3 ---> 58:03.4 00:01.4 ---> 29:02.6 00:01.5 ---> 00:01.8 00:01.6 ---> 43:33.0 00:01.7 ---> 14:32.2 00:01.8 ---> 58:03.4 00:01.9 ---> 29:02.6 00:02.0 ---> 00:01.8 00:02.1 ---> 58:03.4 00:02.2 ---> 43:33.0 00:02.3 ---> 29:02.6 00:02.4 ---> 14:32.2 00:02.5 ---> 00:01.8 As you can see, the same return values repeat. I have tried to manually GoTo an object with the Autostar handset, which works I have also used Starry Night to slew to an object and seen the correct Object RA on the APC1.3 console, so the Autostar itself must be OK(?). Thanks in advance for any thoughts you, or your contributers, may have. Happy New Year Cheers Paul DaviesAnd from our resident Autostar Expert:
From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) > I have an ETX 60 (with the #494 Autostar (rom V 1.0k)). I'm writing a Java program > to control it. Yes, I know there are plenty of programs out there that already do > this. I'm doing it as much to learn Jave GUI programming, as to control the ETX. > > I obtained the Meade LX200 control codes and have successfully got my program > talking to the ETX. However, I have got a strange problem. I can't get the #:Sr > command to work. I send the command with valid data (eg #:Sr 12:34.5#) an I get a > '1' back, implying that all is well. I then do a #:Gr# to confirm the data has > been entered, I get garbage returned. Ahem... a firmware bug (most likely). I don't have a 1.0k 494 available (mine has a 2.something 494, and is out on loan), i do have a 1.0g Starfinder (for the 4504), but i don't have a 506 cable, so it's moot. However... you might try different formats of the :Sr command: 00:00 instead of 00:00.0, or the full 00:00:00 and/or try far -larger- values: 12:00.0 and 12:00:00 And try toggling the format: :U# > I have tried to manually GoTo an object with the Autostar handset, which works I > have also used Starry Night to slew to an object and seen the correct Object RA on > the APC1.3 console, so the Autostar itself must be OK(?). At the time i installed StarryNight to control my ETX70, it took three patches (two to StarryNight, one to ACP (a full replacement, actually), to get it to work properly. So approach the "offical" serial command document with a loose approach to what they say... (or acquire a 495 or 497 Autostar) good luck --dick
Subject: Homemade #505 cable for the UK Date: 12/30/03, 01:37 From: Digicamguy in Berks (email@example.com) Firstly, I have to congratulate you on an excellent site - inspiring for those of us with more of a passive interest to pull out the scope more often, and try some new tricks! I've had my ETX 90 for about five years, after I bought it on a trip to the US. The Ritz camera store assistant managed to sell me a #495 Autostar, so you can imagine my disappointment when I got home and realised that guided tours were just a dream! Didn't stop me using the scope, but didn't make it overly easy either. However, after following the instructions on your site, I cobbled together a homemade #505 cable, and after a bit of fiddling about, downloaded the latest firmware and databases, and hey presto, a fully functional #497 Autostar! I wanted to write and let your visitors from the UK know where they can find the right kit. I initially pulled the cable from an old phone, and sanded down the sides of the RJ11 plug, but that didn't work. Then I noticed that it wasn't the cord going from the phone to the wall jack I wanted, it was the curly cable going from the handset to the base of the phone. This is an RJ10/22, a perfect fir for the Autostar. I then added the PS/2 to DB9 converter that most techies have knocking around from an old mouse (as suggested by Don Phipps (http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_cable.html about 3/4 way down) and bingo. Once again, thank you for helping me get the Autostar I wanted (the Meade distributor I spoke to originally wouldn't help me at all), and congrats on an excellent site. Keep looking up! Dan H, London
Subject: Warning: LX90 and power supplies From: "John H" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 20:39:44 -0700 To conserve batteries as I was learning about downloading to my handpiece I used a 13.6V regulated supply. This power supply is grounded through a 3 prong plug. So is the desktop PC I was using. When I hooked them together the inductor L3 in the handpiece let out its smoke and also ruined the solder pad. So DON"T use a grounded supply with a grounded computer. Does anyone have a schematic for the RJ10 input of the 497 handpiece?Mike here: Ouch. See the article "Dick Seymour's Autostar Schematics" on the Autostar Information page.
Subject: re: Autostar Error Message Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 18:06:11 -0800 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org If you are getting the Proc Trap 2 message every time you use your Autostar, you have three approaches: (ranging from easy to hardest) (a) Setup > Reset [enter][enter] (b) reload the firmware (with a 505-type cable) (c) call Meade for an exchange. The message indicates that the computer is feeding itself garbage, or has faulty memory.. sometimes the reset cleans up the mess, sometimes the reload-of-firmware corrects it forever. good luck --dick
Subject: When Mike says "TRAIN DRIVES," then, train your drives!! From: "R&JS" (email@example.com) Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 16:35:14 -0500 My ETX-90 has been acting strange for several weeks now -- -- When I align the scope, it consistently misses the alignment stars. -- GOTO misses; the object shows up in the edge of the finder scope but never in the eyepiece. -- Tracking is off; after 10-15 minutes, the object has moved well out of my field of view. I read Mike's suggestions several times a week and he ALWAYS recommends TRAIN DRIVES, CALIBRATE MOTORS. Being basically lazy, I have not trained my drives. A few days ago, I decided to listen to Mike and train my drives. That was all I needed -- now, alignment stars pop up almost centered in the finder, GOTO is spot on, and tracking holds steady for an hour or more. So, when Mike says "Train your drives," LISTEN TO HIM. By the way -- if you have not checked out Saturn, do it now. The view is spectacular. With my ETX-90EC/UHTC, using a 9mm University Optics ortho eyepiece, the Cassini Division and cloud bands on the planet were visible. The rings are tilted toward Earth like they have not been for a long time. Go out NOW and take a look. ---- Joe S. Bristol TN
Subject: Autostar Error Message From: "David Hawkins" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 12:29:07 -0800 I was impressed with your user messages regarding the Meade ETX... thanks for putting it together. I have a Meade ETX 125, with Autostart 497. I have started using the scope recently, because I obtained a Deluxe Tripod (#897) so that I could realisitically use the scope. My Autostar has worked fine in the past. While working with it last night, I started it up an the Autostar Innitialization began, but rather than give me the usual read out, it left me with a message reading: 'Proc. Trap 2.' I have looked everywhere on the web for a troubleshooting page that would explain what I have. Is this particular message on the Autostar startup, something that you are familiar with? If so what does it mean and how do you solve it? Much obliged, Dave Hawkins Portland, ORMike here: If you search the site for "proc 2" you'll find several references to it. Also, see the article "Autostar Proc Traps" on the Autostar Information page.
Subject: Autostar Firmware history? From: "Mary Beth Schmidt" (email@example.com) Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 09:20:51 -0500 Is there a firmware history listing for Autostar similar to that s= een on meadelx200gps.com for the Autostar II? I couldn't find one! Thanks. WRSchmidtMike here: I haven't compiled a "history" but there is a fairly complete Archive of all previous Autostar software versions on the Autostar Information page on my ETX Site. It includes Meade's description for each one since April 2001.
Subject: Reaction on "Autostar Failure on Meade ETX 105" by Paul & Steph From: "Dave Daems" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 16:59:53 +0000 I have the same problem too. The ETX starts moving by itself after a while, only diffrence with mine is that I use an AC power supply... I never used batteries, any ideas?? Thanks in advance Dave (Belgium)Mike here: If you have done a CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES there are a couple of other things you could do. Do a RESET, CALIBRATE, and then TRAIN DRIVES. If that doesn't cure it, try moving the telescope from hard stop to hard stop, back and forth several times in both axes. This will redistribute the gear grease and can loosen it up. If the grease has become sluggish due to low temps, this can also help for awhile during a lengthy observing session.
Subject: autostar 30ed From: EddieDTS@aol.com Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 07:10:33 EST I had scope problems and sent mine back for repair as you know because the DEC was out by about 20 degrees or wouldnt move up after one night when the DEc hit the motor and stopped moving, This happened "before" i upgraded my autostar to 30ed However i was sent a replacement and it does exactly the same but luckily the are sending me a brand new one to componsate, He asked what autostar software i had and told him 30ed, he said yes there has been reports that it is has problems, are you or anyone aware of this issue and is there anyway of deleting it and going back to the original 26 (i think) version or a newer faultless version? I dont want this new scope to go wrong because of this and blame the scope, surely if this new scope does the same then its my 30ed thats causing it yet its stange how it went wrong (either not slewing up or going 20 degrees below) before i upgraded., coincidence or 30ed to blame? tnx for your website help eddieMike here: When you got the scope back did you CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES again? You should. But yes, you can either downgrade (see the archives on the Autostar Information) page or upgrade to 3.1Ee (on Meade's site).
quick follow up to my last email, i see meade have version 30 Ee put on website on 2nd december, have you heard about any probs with is version, would you recommend upgrading from my 30 Ed version,Mike here: Yes, there were some glitches with that version but not what you were seeing.
Subject: Autostar Failure on Meade ETX 105 From: "paul&steph" (email@example.com) Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 17:46:54 -0000 I seem to have a problem where the scope will work fine in a nice warm environment, like blind setups indoors, but as soon as I take the scope outside in the cold it works for about 20 minutes then just starts tracking anything, like going up and down, left and right all on its own, its not that cold at the moment, I have tried new batteries, re-training the drives in both aspects, but as soon as I bring it back in the warm again it works fine. In myfront room I point North do an easy alignment and leave it for 2 hours and it works fine but not outside, its not a lot of good in the front room as I can't see through the walls!! As its only 2 months old I was wondering whether its a fault or it is just the cold weather affecting it? Or are the batteries not up to the cold weather, would an external power supply be better? As when its cold I have noticed the text is a lot slower on the Autostar. Any help would be appreciated. Kind Regards Paul & StephMike here: I suspect the batteries just don't like the "cold". Battery efficiency does go down as the temp goes down. Non-rechargeable batteries will probably do better but the ultimate solution would be an AC power supply.
Subject: Meade LX90 - #497 Autostar Handset Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 04:33:55 From: David@sds-ltd.co.uk (David Silcock) A friend of mine has asked whether I could make up an extension cable for his Autostar Handset. I need to know the pin out connection for the extension cable. Would you have this information? Thank you in anticipation. Kind regards David SilcockMike here: Cable info is located on the Autostar Information page on the ETX Site. This also includes an article on a long cable.
Subject: Newest autostar software 31Ee Sent: Monday, December 8, 2003 06:14:45 From: LRA.Janssens@skynet.be (Luc Janssens) QUOTE/ Subject: Autostar 26Ec versus 30Ee Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 05:56:38 From: LRA.Janssens@skynet.be (Luc Janssens) Referring to Stephen Bird's story about the steering problems I 'would like to add that this is not related to the 30Ee version. I bought my ETX105 a few weeks ago and did quit a bit of testing. The scope showed a lot of unexpected reactions when manual steering was used while tracking stars. Very much like Stephen described. Calling the vendor and talking about the problem he promised me a new scope in a couple of days, then weeks... Since a new ETX105 was not available shortly the vendor was so kind to lend me a ETX125 to test. So I did a test with the ETX125 and found exactly the same behavior. Interchanging controllers and doing all the necessary things I have not found a way out of that problem. Since the last weeks weather did not allow outside testing I have done indoor testing. First I did the complete initialization, calibration of motors etc. Then with 'TARGETS' on >ASTRONOMICAL I found the same behavior as before. To mention creep, lag, moving down when I asked for left, moving along a diagonal when asking to move down, etc. It is my impression that this is more important on the AZ/RA movement than on the ALT/DEC. After this test I was curious to see how the system would respond when TERRESTRIAL TARGETS were selected in the autostar menu. And guess... NO SUCH PROBLEMS. The scope follows exactly the commands given by the slew buttons, allowing for a little lag. From this experience I have a strong impression that the autostar software is not correctly handling the combination of star tracking and manual adjustments. Just want to mention that I did the testing on both models almost simultaneously. I' am looking out for an autostar software that cures this disease. Other remark, not to forget, it is a fine scope. ;-) Kind regards, Luc Janssens, Brussels UNQUOTE Hi Mike, Lissen, this is what happened to my autostar software. I have been running 30Ee for a couple of weeks and the bad steering that I complained about was gone. Another problem araised, and Stephen Bird and other autostar users have signaled the afterbeep dance (creep) problem. Version 31Ee was released and the after beep dance is gone but back is the steering trouble whenthe scope is in sideral tracking. This is what I think about the steering problem: From Dick Seymours clarifications, that I have got after my nov. 21 complaint, I understand that the manual steering speed for both theALT and the AZ are added to the siderial speed. For some unknown reason, I think it is just a bug in the program, that siderial speed is manipulated in a way that it becomes many times higher than the manual steering speed (I used 3 in my tests). A few exemples of wath I found: pushing the down arrow the scope moves right as if the right arrow key was pressed, pushing the left arrow the scope moves right and up (about 2 o'clock),pushing the left arrow the scope moves left as it should do,pushing the down arrow the scope moves down as it should do,pushing the left arrow the scope moves left and up,pushing the left arrow the scope moves up as if the up arrow key was pressed but faster than expected for the choosen speed, pushing the right arrow the scope moves right, OKpushing the up arrow the scope moves first up then left at higher than expected speed,pushing the down arrow the scope moves first down then down an left, enough .... This problem is intermittend and I first saw it when after an alignment on Rigel en Deneb I did a GOTO Vega an manually corrected for 10 to 20 arcmin. I expect MEADE to fix this problem to.Contrarely to what I first tought, it is quite distinct from the bug (dance after beep) reported by Stephen Bird. My 26Ec related problem is back, no more no less. And the customer he can choose between the one or the other buggy program. Hopefully this report may help the Meade engineers to locate and cure that problem. Thanks for your attention and kind regards, Luc Janssens, BrusselsAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Luc, Sorry to hear you are not free of problems even with 31Ee. As I was waiting for Dick to supply his patches to the latest update, I have yet to upgrade. Mike has now posted Dick's patch on the ETX site, (thanks Mike and Dick), so I can upgrade my scope and make checks. The last few clear nights (had 3 in a row here), I have enjoyed the scope in the way it was always meant, in version 26Ed. I must admit I'm not looking forward to 31Ee, but if I am to realise the dream of Autostar Suite and LPI then needs must! I will upgrade this evening and do some indoor tests. Clear skys are not forecast here for the next few days at least, so it may be the weekend before I can confirm any findings. I'll keep you posted on any interim results of course. Regards Stephen BirdAnd:
From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) > A few exemples of wath I found: 1> pushing the down arrow the scope moves right as if the right arrow key was pressed, 2> pushing the left arrow the scope moves right and up (about 2 o'clock), 3> pushing the left arrow the scope moves left as it should do, 4> pushing the down arrow the scope moves down as it should do, 5> pushing the left arrow the scope moves left and up, 6> pushing the left arrow the scope moves up as if the up arrow key was pressed but faster than expected for the choosen speed, 7> pushing the right arrow the scope moves right, OK 8> pushing the up arrow the scope moves first up then left at higher than expected speed, 9> pushing the down arrow the scope moves first down then down an left, > > enough .... > > This problem is intermittend ... and there is part of the problem (or difficulty in recognizing it). I think if you do a slightly different test (see below), your list of up/down/sideways will change. Your list also left out two very vital pieces of information: (a) what -slew speed- had you selected? (b) -where- were you pointing? The "different" test is really the same.. but do your tests pointing in four distinct directions: 30 degrees elevation, but due north, east, south and west (Az=00, 90, 180, 270) (those are approximate, a target at 25 deg elevation, Az=96 is good. Below 25 degrees is not good, Above 40 degrees is not good. The north target must be below Polaris (and you could do another test north, but above Polaris) > and I first saw it when after an alignment on Rigel en Deneb > I did a GOTO Vega an manually corrected for 10 to 20 arcmin. So your target was in the high West? My theory is that the directions of "drift" (or uncommanded/unwanted motion) is controlled by the sidereal vector. However your tests 2 and 5 (or 1, 4 and 8) show that pressing the same key causes different motions. You didn't report having Trained the drives before your testing, and you didn't report the Percentages you have selected. Both of those items will have an effect upon these motions. (you may want to try the tests with 05 percentages, 1%, 20% and 50%) Running these tests (especially on a night when you could be -observing- is tiring and frustrating (i know, i run them too). We all thank you for your efforts I remember earlier versions where it always required five corrections before the target would finally stop moving from center. But that did get fixed. I hope Meade can fix this, too. have fun --dickAnd more:
Dick, Don't know if this helps, may assist in removing some of the possibilities? I have upgraded from 26Ed (with patch 26dd) to 31Ee (with patch 31e4). All Setup parameters kept the same as they were all fine at version 26Ed. I find no apparent software driven Post Bleep Refinement, Dance or Drift in the four test stars (indoor test). At the bleep the scope was spot on the database RA / DEC co-ordinates and did not move for the 5 logged minutes following the bleep. Use of the arrow keys was positive and when the thumb was taken off the key, the scope stopped, there was no RA / DEC movement for each of the 5 logged minutes for different directional "dummy re-centering" of the chosen test star. In addition random re-centering or movement with arrow keys immediately following the bleep did not cause any unexpected drift. Based on such stable results, I don't expect to see problems with an outdoor test. If I see any at the next viewing session I'll report back. Further I used the arrow keys in a series of sequences similar to Luc's at at constant speeds throughout the sequence from 3 - 9, and then varying the speed up and down within the sequence from 3 - 9. At no time did I see any abnormal movement. The scope moved in the direction commanded and stopped when the key was released. I did note the following Readme comment with Meade's 31Ee download - "Note: Keys may be reversed after upgrade, reset handbox or go to Setup-Telescope and fix as needed." I may just be an old cynic, but this sounds a little like a cover for - "It does it sometimes, we couldn't see why in the code, so we published anyway!". Regards Stephen BirdAnd more:
From: LRA.Janssens@skynet.be (Luc Janssens) My indoor testing on the dance after the beep confirms that this has gone. I did an easy allignment and tested on 4 stars Algol, Alcalurops, Shedik, Castor. All with good result. That means, stops at the beep and the RA en Dec figures stay unchanged for 6 min. The scope is out now and after diner I'll do the full tests on stars in with different azimuth, as suggested by Dick Seymour. Please remember I never saw this effect in 30Ee. I.M.H opinion Meade just reverted to to old 26Ec steering code to get rid of the creep after beep problem. I'll try to give as much information as possible and hope to get an error free version sometimes. Thanks for your interest, Kind regards LucAnd this:
Luc, OK, just confirming the fact that it may not be related to the old 30Ee problem, and that having done the same up / down / left / right test as you, with all speeds, that I did not see the same thing. Does sound like you have yet another annoying issue to deal with. We had brief clear sky here for 45 minutes after sunset. Hoping for clear skys tomorrow night here. Regards Stephen BirdAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) >I did note the following Readme comment with Meade's 31Ee download - > "Note: Keys may be reversed after upgrade, reset handbox or go to > Setup-Telescope and fix as needed." > I may just be an old cynic, but this sounds a little like a cover for - > "It does it sometimes, we couldn't see why in the code, so we published > anyway!". No, they know WHY your keys may be reversed. They moved the key-reversal flag from temporary (so you had to set it EVERY time you powered up) to permanent. (so it remembered across power-ups). But they have no way of telling what state that newly-assigned bit will be the -first- time you power up after the download (unless you RESET before looking). Hence the warning. 95% of the time, the bit will be "normal" (i.e. zero). But they're preparing you for those few times it's different. How the bit would be depends upon what version you are upgrading FROM, and what might have been set in that bit during that older version's tenure. have fun --dick
Subject: Connection cables Sent: Monday, December 8, 2003 04:15:59 From: email@example.com (Richard Den Hollander) Love your site. About one year ago I bought the made connection cable Set to connect my computer to my telescoop. Now I puchased a new laptop and thought I connect the scope to my laptop. Here is were i encountered a problem. My new laptop has no serial connection (like all new laptops i think) and I can't find any way to connect them. Maybe it's not a new question for you and maybe you already gave an answer on your site but it is still not really clear to me. Is there a possibility to put an adaptor on my laptop so i can use my USB connection and if so whta kind of adaptor to use. Or do you have an other solution??? Thanks in advance Richard den HolanderMike here: There are USB-serial adapters from Keyspan and Belkin for Macs and Windows, and even Meade (Windows only). You can see some comments about the Keyspan one in the article "Update Autostar using a Mac" on the Autostar information page.
Subject: Autostar star database corrupt? Sent: Sunday, December 7, 2003 00:21:47 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Deon Venter) I wrote in Aug this year, as copied below, with your response at the time. I tried the advice, but no luck. Now able to get back on the problem. I checked the Nov feedbacks, re-downloaded ASU, reinstalled, with Rom 2.6 version to be sure, from desktop PC, but symptom remains the same: - ASU recognises Autostar, seems to upload OK (also in safe mode), but when it gets to initialise, the "completed OK" window comes up before initialisation is actually complete. Switch off and surpringly Autostar seems to work fine (desktop menu checkout only), except that star database descriptions are nonsense (eg named star list). - Tried autostar to autostar clone - it freezes after a while - My impression is that the available memory somehow overruns (possibly due to earlier interrupted upload). Is there any way to to delete some stuff before upload? I assume that ASU doesn't "clear" and then upload, but just overwrites.... - What about language - I remember in the early days, after re-set, Autostar actaully enquired about your language preference - lately language options have never surfaced after upload or re-set. Regards Deon Venter Previous correspondence of 14 August 2003.............. Hi Mike From sunny South Africa with a bit of frustration .... I used ASU 3.61 to update Autostar 497. Went fine up to the last the point where it is supposed to initialise and release the autostar for operation - a message appeared saying that the upload was completed press OK but the autostar still stuck "downloading do not switch off" mode.Had to switch off & obviously corrupted autostar. Anyhow back to safe mode, which eventually worked, but the star database seems to remain corrupted (e.g. star names reads as funny characters, although otherwise the autostar seems OK). I thought that the star database actually uploads fresh when uploading the firmware from Build26Ed.rom - I cannot find anything separate to refresh star database. Have you got any advice? PS from laptop, with the first round of trying, also had earlier version of update still installed, but tried later with new fresh installation of 3.61 on stand alone computer - same problem Regards Deon Venter All the data is in the ROM file now. What happens if you do a RESET? That might fix the bad text problem. If not the next step would be another download. Mike Weasner Email: email@example.com iChatAV: firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: Have you tried loading the new 3.1Ee version? You should be asked for your country but other than that there is no language option anymore. There are language-specific versions offered on some Meade International websites but the main Meade site only has English.
Subject: Autostar 2.1Ek File for Download? Sent: Wednesday, December 3, 2003 01:07:03 From: email@example.com (NJ) Do I have to use the 2.1Ek to convert #495 to #497? Or can i just use whatever is on meades' site? thanks! njMike here: The current software on Meade's site should work fine.
Subject: Autostar /Notebooks/Serial/USB Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2003 19:50:03 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (S.Cunningham) I recently purchased a new LX90. Having great difficulty getting AutoStar to talk to my laptop.Talks to regular computer fine, but won't "see" the coms port on laptops. Apparently, there is an industry problem with many programs looking for a hardwired serial port (won't see "virtual" coms ports) Not many notebooks now have a physical serial port ! Does anyone know if the Meade Serial/USB cable will fix this problem? Will other Serial/USB cables also work ? Many thanks for any assistance offered ! Steve (email@example.com)Mike here: Yes, the Meade one will let the Autostar communicate through the USB port. So will the Belkin and Keyspan converters; see the article "Update Autostar using a Mac" on the Autostar Information page.
Subject: ROM Build 30Ee Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2003 14:19:55 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoff Elston) I bought my ETX 90EC scope nearly two years ago. I mostly use the ETX in polar mode. I have improved both the horizontal and vertical axis following the advice in the "Tune-up" section. About a week ago I successfully upgraded my Autostar 497 to the latest ROM build version (30Ee) using the ASI Updater program 3.6.1 from the Meade website. So far it has all worked very well. I did follow the tips of resetting the Autostar (twice), recalibrating and then training both drives, and then setting the percentages on both axis as required. The ETX now tracks well and has stopped "rubberbanding" which was driving me wild using the old ROM version. Gotos seem OK too but I would need to see how this goes after using the scope a bit longer. One very small point is that I noticed when I now use synchronise (by holding down the Enter key) the old version (22e) used to stop the RA drive tracking until Enter was pressed and the RA drive would resume tracking. Version 30Ee allows synchronisation but the RA drive keep tracking even though the Autostar is waiting to be synchronised. It's not a problem for me and in some respects I prefer it that way as it keeps the ETX on the object I am looking at even during synchronisation. Also in 30Ee is the ability to turn off the awful Autostar beep and a "Quite Slew" which keeps down the noise of the drives which can attract the attention of the neighbours in fast slewing! Your web site has been a great deal of use to me and I think it is also a great help to the many Meade ETX owners in the UK. Geoff Elston Chesham, BuckinghamshireMike here: There is now a new 3.1Ee version (just posted today).
Subject: FW: ETX problem Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2003 02:12:07 From: email@example.com Dear All, Please the see the mail below, it appears that Meade are now acknowledging a code problem after all. The persistence seems to have paid off. Many thanks from me to all those that have supported me in this. Teamwork is obviously the way to go. Of course once the new version is posted, I will not leap straight in both feet first this time. Some careful relaxed testing and being ready to switch back to 26Ed will be the order of the day I think. Well done guys, hats off to the Mighty ETX Site. Regards Stephen Bird -----Original Message----- Sent: 02 December 2003 09:39 I have just received an email from Meade to say that after further investigation, they have found a problem in the code that would indeed affect the pointing and tracking. There will be new firmware posted on the Meade website later today that will fix the problem. I hope that this will enable you to enjoy your scope using the latest firmware. Regards Steve BC&F LtdMike here: Yep, it is now there!
Subject: HOW TO? Sent: Monday, December 1, 2003 06:32:22 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cesar Brischetto) After being out of this because of 2 failures one after aniother on my ETX 90 EC (fried Autostar plus RA motor failure, both covered by warranty), I put hands on in order to retrain a new scope. It showed great pinpoint accuracy after performing Dr. Sherrod's Alt/Az percents mods advices. First experience, spending more than 3 hours, it worked VERY FINE. WITHOUT RESET! Incredibly good!!! My question is now, how to track satellites. Many of them when selected show a message "don't passes soon". Ok can be, but when selecting one that could work, what it is supposed to do? Just select it? I couldn't do it because none was available (all passing late). Supposedly, ETX will go to some selected satellite corrdinates, and will wait until it comes, and will track it, so I could "follow" the ETX movement while seeing at eyepiece? Sorry for bother you, but I really don't know that. Thanks in advance for all the help you can give me. As usual, keep up the excellent job you do everyday on this site!! (without it, I could trash my ETX or asked for the money back at the dealer) CESARMike here: Please read the Email Etiquette on the ETX Site Home Page; your email was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject line.
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