AUTOSTAR FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 November 2002
Welcome to the Autostar feedback page. This page is intended to provide user comments on using the Meade Autostar, 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:	help?
Sent:	Saturday, November 30, 2002 19:58:36
From:	zardoz@nwnexus.com (zardoz)
Greetings, Excellent site as I am new to the etx it has provided me with
alot of time saving info THANX!!!!

I've been having problems connecting the etx to my pc (sony vaio laptop
win2k) autostar 497 software ver 1.1.Cable is ok but the updater
(meade)nor any other software sees the autostar (says no connection
found) com 1 is working so i wonder if you have any suggestions to why
it won't xnect.Any help is welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                   Tim Fitz 
                    Seattle WA. 

Again    Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!
Mike here: Do you have any other software that could be using the modem port? For example, fax software? Not being a Windows user (I prefer the Mac), I can't offer any other specific tips except to recommend looking at the Autostar Information page; there are some Windows tips there.

And:

Thanks for the fast reply (wow)
just got done checking pinouts on the meade 505 cable they were
wrong!!!!!
i spliced it and alls well !!!!!!
(strange stuff)
  Fitz>>>>>>>>>>>

Subject:	Hope you have some input 
Sent:	Saturday, November 30, 2002 10:23:46
From:	nightwinds@austin.rr.com (John)
Give a bit of Back ground to start: Have an ETX-125, it has always been
some what of a pain to get the goto feature to work where objects would
be in the field of view in either a 26mm or 35mm eyepiece but I had
found that by sync. to the north star after alignment and using High
Precision I could get good results evertime I went out with it.  As of a
week ago 11/22 this seemed to have changed, objects that evenning would
be no where even close. During the alignment the set stars would be 6 to
10+ degrees off in one direction or another, but after alignment was
done went through the same procedure sync. and high percision tried
first object ( easy one NGC 457 ) and no where in any close area of it.
After several dif attempts and re- alignments to check myself same
results, packed up and called it a night.

After this Talked to a Meade support person and their oppion was update
software and retrain drives. Did an update to 26Ec and Friday 29th back
out, did a restart and trained drives ( always making sure to train both
drives ) Now to alignment feeling I would have a good night, well 1st
alginment star with in 2 degrees not bad but second a good 8 to 10
degrees off to left, finished alignment but wanted to first try goto off
the alinment, once again using NGC 457 ( I use this because it is one of
my favorite) nowhere to be found, realigned again this time using Sync
to north Star and High percisionas like I had been doing to this point.
No luck still no where to be found after several  more algnments and
trys called the night off.

Do you have any suggestion or Ideas as to what is going on here and how
I might correct it ??

Thanks
Mike here: SYNCing on Polaris is not a good idea. Because the Right Ascension lines converge at the pole, there is very little room for error, on your part or the Autostar's. SYNCing is only recommended when you plan to GOTO areas within a few degrees of where you SYNCed. The further away you get the less accurate the GOTOs. Be certain to check all the initial parameters (date, time, location, DST, telescope and mounting mode, etc.); from your description of the errors on alignment stars I'd suspect the location might be wrong. Be certain to use True North and not Magnetic North (unless you know there is very little Magnetic Variation at your location) for your Home position. If you continue to have GOTO problems, try this: set up in the proper Home position, do a 2-star alignment, instead of initially slewing to center the first star pick up the telescope/tripod combination and rotate it horizontally until the selected star is as close as possible to the finderscope field of view (or to the center of the FOV), set the telescope back down and finish centering the star using the slew keys, do the 2nd alignment star as normal (without picking up the telescope). One last point: if you can't see your first GOTO object, try others including bright stars. That will tell you if the GOTOs are accurate or not; perhaps the selected object wasn't visible to your eye (poor seeing, eyes not sufficiently dark adapted, etc.).

Subject:	AutoStar Updater Program
Sent:	Thursday, November 28, 2002 9:42:20
From:	david.gallant@amec.com (David Gallant)
I am using the Meade Program to update the software on my Autostar.

As I watch the % complete number go up, it seems to stop at 86% and then
it says it's finished & the autostar restarts itself.

Is this normal? or should it go up to 100%?
Mike here: Is your Autostar OK after the download? Are you using the latest application on Meade's site (i.e., 3.61)?

And:

The autostar seems to work OK by itself (ie all the menus), but when I
connect it to the telescope is when I get the problems.  I get random
slewing (sometimes continuously) in the up direction and the az.
controls won't work. I have eliminated the possibility that it is bad
batteries or bad cord, and am now in the process of getting a new
autostar sent to me from Meade.  But I just thought that because I only
went to 86% on the update that may be the problem.  I know also that the
az. motor is good, because it works with the regular handbox
(non-autostar). 

Yes I have the latest everything.

I'm hoping that the new autostar will do the trick.
Mike here: Did you RESET, CALIBRATE, and reTRAIN following the update? I suppose it is possible that the update from 86% to 100% happened too fast for the screen to update. You might try to download again. But if you are getting a new Autostar I presume there was something wrong with the one you tried to update.

And:

yep, numerous times, to no avail.

Thanks for the help, we'll hope that the new autostar fixes the problem.

And an update:

Well here's funny story, in the 1' cubic box that Meade sent me my new
cord in, there was another surprise waiting for me.  As I was pouring
all of the peanuts into the garbage, a new Autostar popped out of the
box.  Imagine my surprise...well I plugged it in, put in all the data it
required, calibrated the motors(the az. motor actually worked now),
trained the motors.  Now it seems to work fine.  I guess it was a wonkey
Autostar after all.  Now I just need some clear skies!

Now I've got a couple of questions about why this may be.

I've been using a homebrew 505 connector kit that I got on e-bay.
similar to this one
cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1941696763

With it I got another cord to provide power to the autostar via plugging
a 9V battery into the other autostar plug. This way not having to lug
the scope & power pack up to the computer.  Could these have caused the
autostar problem I was having?  I'm wondering about the 9V to the
autostar more than the data cable.
Mike here: If either cord was not correct you could have problems. A poorly constructed power cord could damage the Autostar. There are some external power source articles on the Autostar Information page if you want to check out the cord.
Subject:	Autostar Satellite Tracking in Polar mode?
Sent:	Wednesday, November 20, 2002 15:41:08
From:	jchamb@ix.netcom.com (John Chambers)
I have been using my ETX 90, and now an ETX 125 for some months now, and
have the Autostar 497 pretty well figured out.  I normally use a Polar
alignment, and the scope will almost always put the object in 26mm lens,
or at least in the viewfinder.

The problem is with satellite tracking.  When I do a "Go To" to a
satellite, the scope goes to some totally different part of the sky.  I
thought that I had read that the Autostar would track satellites in
Polar mode as well as Alt/Az mode - but this does not seem to be the
case with mine.

Am I doing something wrong, or must I align in Alt/Az when I wish to
track satellites?

John
And from our resident Autostar expert:
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
I can think of two probable causes:

(a) you need fairly current firmware to track satellites in Polar mode.
  So, if you're pre-v26, you should upgrade (there -were- bugs in 25,
  and i don't think 24 and earlier did it at all)

(b) The system -first- goes to the -end- of the track (LOS), and then
slews back to the beginning (AOS) before settling down to wait
 for the satellite to rise.  Many folks fail to wait for it to
 do the full back-and-forth, and abort the procedure. Don't.
 The LOS-then-AOS is to guarantee that it won't hit
 the hard stops during the pass.

My ETX90 happily chases satellites in Polar mode... v26eC

have fun
--dick
And:
From:	jchamb@ix.netcom.com (John Chambers)
Thanks Mike - I got Dick's reply and guess I'll just keep trying now
that I know it should do this properly.

I forgot to thank you in my original message for running such a great
site! While this is my very first question, I've been visiting your site
daily for the past 8 months, and this is the first time I haven't found
the answer just by doing a search.  You are providing a great service!

Thanks,
John Chambers

Subject:	re: can one download meteor streams to autostar
Sent:	Tuesday, November 19, 2002 9:43:24
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	bluebear@whsmithnet.co.uk
> can i download the information for the Geminids stream,
> so that i can simply point my etx with the autostar.

It's already there!

Select Item > Events > Meteors > [enter]
and then scroll through the list of showers.
Press [enter] to see the dates , then scroll down to see other data.
Press [goto] and the Autostar will slew to point at the radiant point.

As Mike said, you look everywhere -else- for the meteors 
(although i did see a couple of Leonids drilling straight at me last year)

have fun
--dick

Subject:	re: Autostar
Sent:	Tuesday, November 19, 2002 9:34:38
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	gastpr@tin.it
The "E"  in "26e" means "English"  ... 

The multi-language capability went away with the transition to v21

All versions since then have been single-language 

I do not know what the newest Italian version is.
I have heard of 22Ft  in French.

The French importer has a "reference Autostar" 
which they use to Clone to othere Autostars to update them.
The German importer, like Meade, posts the German version on a
website.

You can download Tours into your Autostar with the Updater.
a full description of the process is at:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/guide-libraries.html

In short: start the Updater,
lcik the [advanced functions] button to show the large screen.

From the "File" menu choose 
"Get objects from the WWW..."
and choose what you want.
Then use the [>>] key to move those to the right window,
and then click [send data]  to send it to your Autostar.

good luck
--dick
And:
Thanks Richard and thanks Mike.
I think that there is not an Italian version, it doesn't matter, but I
don't understand why after downloading I lost the "Guided Tours".
Probably the new version doesn't include the Tours! I think it funny!
However I made as you told me.

Subject:	Polar Home as a LandMark?
Sent:	Monday, November 18, 2002 11:07:59
From:	sherfy@fum.com (David Sherfy)
I think this was discussed before - perhaps I'm having another relapse -
but has anyone figured out how to define the Polar Home position as a
"Landmark" or "User Object" so that you can always select it and have
the mount go automatically to "polar home" position prior to setup?

Thanks
D. Sherfy
Mike here: As long as you set up the tripod in the same orientation you can mark the Polar Home position as a Landmark. But personally I would find that an extra step on the Autostar. For me it is much easier to just manually move the OTA into the Polar Home position. If using the Landmark feature and you have a telescope with hardstops, you'll still have to manually move to the hardstop.
Subject:	can one download meteor streams to autostar
Sent:	Sunday, November 17, 2002 12:25:37
From:	bluebear@whsmithnet.co.uk (andrew sprott)
my question is, can i download the information for the Geminids stream,
so that i can simply point my etx with the autostar.

thanks

andrew sprott
www.talisoft.com
Mike here: Adding the radiant point of meteor shower to the Autostar would not do much for you. Since meteors seem to "radiate" from this point, the meteors actually appear several or many degrees from the radiant. If you want to know where on the sky the radiant is located, just plot the radiant Right Ascension and Declination on a star chart.
Subject:	Autostar
Sent:	Sunday, November 17, 2002 10:27:50
From:	gastpr@tin.it (M&M)
I made an upgrade for my  ETX 497 Autostar, downloading  (twice) from
Meade www. the 26e version. Unfortunately, after downloading, my
Autostar doesn't give me anymore the possibility to choose the language
(italian) and it losed  the "Guided tour" ("none found", as I ask).
Could you help me? Thanks.
Sorry for my english !
Maurizio (Italy)
Mike here: I think only English is supported when downloading updates from the Meade site. That's probably why you lost the tours too.
Subject:	Re:  Autostar alignment problem
Sent:	Saturday, November 16, 2002 10:15:28
From:	darlyne@darlyne.net (Darlyne)
Thanks so much!!  That is all it was!! I look forward to trying it out
again tonight!!


At 12:11 AM 11/16/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>Are you sure they stopped working or was the slew speed too slow to
>easily see?  Try using a faster slew speed.
>
>Mike Weasner

Subject:	re:  Autostar turn on Siderial Drive for Meade 125EC
Sent:	Saturday, November 16, 2002 9:48:20
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	apbe85@dsl.pipex.com
You've got LOTS of ways to turn on sidereal:
(1) GoTo -any- astronomical object.
(2) Setup > Targets > Astronomical [enter] ... that turns it on.
(3) As Mike suggested, Align.  The reason that works is "See (1) Above"
(4) GoTo a numerical RA/Dec coordinate set... including where it's at.
  ...method:
 (a) lean on [mode] 4 seconds, release.  
 (b) unless you have an electronic focuser, it'll show your current RA/Dec.
 (c) press [Goto] once, and [enter] twice.   
 (d) it'll say "slewing..." 
 (e) and when it finishes saying that, the sidereal drive will be running.

Choose the method which you find easiest (i use (1) myself, fewest keypresses)

have fun
--dick
Mike here: By the way, at OPT Saturday night I was playing with a LXD55 with Autostar. I set the telescope up approximately pointed North. I did an Easy 2 Star Alignment; both stars were hidden by the building but I accepted them as centered. I then did a GOTO to the Moon; it missed by about 15 degrees. I picked up the telescope and physically rotated the whole thing including the tripod until the Moon was in the finderscope. I then centered the Moon in the eyepiece and for the next hour tracking was excellent (which thilled the visitors to OPT's parking lot star party)! So I got sidereal working and a good alignment in case I needed it.
Subject:	Autostar alignment problem
Sent:	Friday, November 15, 2002 20:31:30
From:	darlyne@darlyne.net (Darlyne)
I just received an ETX-125 telescope with the Autostar version 26Ec.  I
followed all the procedures for training both drives, put the telescope
in home position and then attempted to align the telescope.  I used the
"Easy" mode.  It slewed to the star Capella, then told me to center it
in the telescope.  One problem . . . although the slew keys had worked
previously, they quit working when I got to this point so that I could
not center the star.  I attempted all the different align processes, and
every time I was asked to center a star, the slew keys quit working.  Am
I missing something or is there something wrong with the Autostar?  What
can I do to make it work correctly?

Thanks for any advice,
Darlyne
Mike here: Are you sure they stopped working or was the slew speed too slow to easily see? Try using a faster slew speed.
Subject:	Question on using the Sun-As-Asteroid
Sent:	Thursday, November 14, 2002 18:15:03
From:	bdickson@mweb.co.za (Bruce Dickson)
Great site as usual!

We have an eclipse here in a couple of weeks, and my ETX is going along
for the trip. Does anyone in the group know what tracking rate to put
into the Autostar? (I guess I could use lunar, but I'd prefer to keep it
centred on the sun, rather than the moon.)

regards
Bruce

Midrand
South Africa
Mike here: Just use a regular sidereal tracking rate. For the short duration of the eclipse you shouldn't notice much difference from that of tracking stars.
Subject:	Thanks to both of you
Sent:	Wednesday, November 13, 2002 6:39:21
From:	Dom@thehartford.com (Guglielmo, Dom (ETSD, IT))
To:	Donald Phipp
I sincerely want to thank each of you for providing me the information
to make a 505 cable easily and more importantly cheap (I.e FREE)...
 
link:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_cable.html
 
Mike,
I like your site, and without it, it would have taken much, much more
time to find or discover the information to build the cable...  The fact
that you post visitor solutions is fantastic; many site owners / experts
take others opinions and solutions personally as challenges to their
knowledge, expertise, or designs.  It is nice to see an expert remain
humble...
 
Donald,  
What can I say, but GREAT, GREAT ingenuity (referring to using a Ps/2
mouse serial connector for a 505 cable).....We all have an uncountable
number of parts laying around, but whenever we need to make something,
off to the store we go....it was refreshing to say the least, at just
going down to the cellar, grabbing a handful of "stuff" or junk and
producing something useful out of it, even IF it was only a wire.... I
liked the Ps/2 connecter as I had a few of them laying around, and once
you put a nice coating of solder on the phone wires, they make the
PERFECT size to slide into the PS/2 port.....
 
 
thanks again!
Dom

Subject:	AutoStar Problem
Sent:	Tuesday, November 12, 2002 9:23:39
From:	Festivebow@aol.com
I recently purchased a Meade LX200 GPS and have been having problems
with the AutoStar controller.  Last night I started the scope, it went
through the setup and alignment properly.  I asked it to "GoTo" Jupiter
and it did and it was centered in the FOV.  I observed Jupiter for a
number of minutes.  Then I asked AutoStar to take me to Saturn.  It
started to slew to a point that was not even near Saturn, stopped, then
the tube started to go down and stopped again with a message that said
"motor stall."

On a pervious night of observing, It again setup perfectly.  But again
when I asked it to go to a 4th object the system rebooted itself and
locked at the initializing screen.  I turned the power off, waited a
minute or two and again restarted AutoStar.  Again it locked at the
initializing screen on 2 more attempts.  The 3rd time it started its
leveling and finding true north procedure but then started to move the
tube so the correcting lens side moved past 90 degrees pointing straight
down.

I have used the scope on 3 nights and each time it worked properly for
the first few objects and then something like the above happens.  I am
using duracell batteries and replaced them after only 2 hours of use and
still have the problem.  I have not tried a "reset" yet--should I try
this first or do you think it could be something else--loose wire, etc.?

I would appreciate any help you may have to offer with this problem!

Thanks!
Mike Holowich
And:
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
Actually, it's an LX200gps problem...

The best place to raise this question is the yahoo group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LX200GPS/
...join and post it there.

I -suspect- it's a loose connector or pinched wire in the 
DEC fork assembly (far too common on these scopes).
If you read the archives in that egroup, you'll see descriptions
(And some photos) of similar problems.. sometimes it's the side cover
plates pinching a wire (easy fix), sometimes it's a wire caught
in the gears (not quite so easy).

good luck
--dick

Subject:	Downloading Autostar Updates
Sent:	Monday, November 11, 2002 17:50:51
From:	edelmann@hcst.net (John Edelmann)
Does anyone carry the Autostar connection cables without any other
software?  I'm not interested in jumping necessarily in to get the $50
Astro Software + Cables...

On the other hand I do see a lot of info regarding 9pin serial pinouts
for home-made ones.  I assume, therefore, that with a simple serial
connection with the correct pinout, that the download / ROM updates are
self contained, and do not require commercial software as well...

I have a few extra serial adapters laying around... if I ensure the pins
are setup correctly when I attact the modular plug, then I could make my
own cable, yes?

Thanks...

john.
Mike here: Yes, you can make your own cable. I think that Scopetronix also sells just a cable. Once you have the cable, all the software you need to update the Autostar is on Meade's website.
Subject:	Autostar turn on Siderial Drive for Meade 125EC
Sent:	Monday, November 11, 2002 9:46:52
From:	apbe85@dsl.pipex.com (peter rowan)
Is there any way just to turn on the drive without aligning.  I don't
want to always use goto but without siderial drive on I am constantly
adjusting.  Am I missing something obvious here.

Regards
Mike here: Once you complete the alignment the drive should come on for tracking. No GOTO required. If you want to always skip the alignment steps you can park the telescope between sessions (as long as you put the telescope back in the same position as when aligned).

And:

Thank you. I'll try parking as some of my observing is out of a window,
limited though that can be so alignment is a waste of time.

Subject:	Autostar Upgrade Under Windows XP
Sent:	Monday, November 11, 2002 7:28:14
From:	jlrobbi@earthlink.net (John Robbins)
This weekend I made my first attempt to update software on my Autostar
497/ETX-125 using the "new" Autostar Upgrader software.  Downloads
and installation of the ASU361.exe and 26EC versions of the software
onto my desktop (Pentium IV PC, Windows XP) went fine using the
instructions provided on the ASO website.  I connected the
computer's RS232 com port to the Autostar handset using the standard
cables provided by Meade, and of course I connected the handset to the
ETX and turned everyone on.  I took the handset up to the Align
function, and then tried to start the ASU software by double clicking
the ASU icon. A message comes up on the screen that the computer cannot
locate the Com Port for this operation.  I can get the ASU screen
to open, but I cannot get it to recognize the com port attached to the
Autostar.   I went through all settings of the port options on the
ASU software, but this didn't help either.  I  double checked
the port on the computer...the port number is correct and it does
function properly with other hardware attached....so it appears to be
working.  I also checked the port settings (baud rate, etc) and
these were consistent with those specified in the Meade instructions.
 
Now here comes the strange part.  I pulled out my very old and slow
386 laptop which I had used to upgrade software on the Autostar in the
past (using the old upgrade packages).  I performed the same
software downloads and installations, and connected it to the Autostar
using the same connecting cables.  Turned on the Autostar, hit the
ASU icon and voila'!!!  Program identified the Autostar,
connection was made, and new software downloaded smoothly onto the
handset, along with a new set of satellites and comets.
 
So here is my crazy question......
 
Why did this all work so smoothly on the old lap top, but not at
all on the desktop?  The laptop is running under Windows 98,
while the desktop is running under Windows XP.  Should this
make a difference? Like to hear your thoughts, or those of anyone
who has encountered a similar problem.
 
--- John Robbins
Mike here: Not being a Windows person I can only conjecture that perhaps something had the port in use (fax software, for example).

And:

From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
>      Why did this all work so smoothly on the old lap top, but not at
>      all on the desktop?  The laptop is running
>      under Windows 98, while the desktop is running under Windows
>      XP.  Should this make a difference?
>      Like to hear your thoughts, or those of anyone who has encountered
>      a similar problem.

It's really not that strange... WindowsXP has -many- other pieces
that good ol' W95 never thought of... 
and among them are PalmPilot sync programs which -grab- the COM ports.
The ASU is too polite, and doesn't fight it for them.

If you check various corners of WindowsXP, you'll probably find one
of those "helpful" programs running... kill it, and the ASU will have
free rein to reach the COM ports.

You are not the first, and far from the last to encounter this...
(me? i use Win98se, but it can do it, too)

have fun
--dick
And:
Many thanks to both of you for your prompt responses.  Based on Dick's
suggestion I mount a very aggressive attempt to shut down all
applications before retrying the ASU upgrade from the Dell.

Regards--JR

Subject:	Re: ETX technical tips
Sent:	Monday, November 11, 2002 3:59:29
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
To:	Dag
Hello Dag and thanks for the nice comments.  The RESET is much necessary
to purge the system of all past data that might conflict with new
information. Although there are reports that it might not be necessary
my tests have shown better performance by far with a reset before
training drives to make sure old values are purged from the Autostar.

Clay
----------------------------------------
Dr. P. Clay Sherrod
sherrodc@ipa.net
Arkansas Sky Observatory
www.arksky.org

----- Original Message -----
> Thank you very much for your very useful ETX technical tips!  I have one
> questition concerning training the drives:  Why do you recommend to make a
> reset before retraining the drives? Wouldn't Astrostar just overwrite old
> drive-values each time training is done?
>
> Best regards
> Dag, Germany

Subject:	etx90
Sent:	Saturday, November 9, 2002 20:23:12
From:	zetfam@impaq.com.au (Sally &Graham)
I have purchased an etx-90 and am having trouble with the Autostar.  I
believe that I have trained the drives correctly and done a 2 star
alignment.  When then searching for objects in the sky the scope never
seems to hit the object.  Is there something I am missing.  I have had
some amateur astro friends try to solve the problem on Saturday night at
our observatory site but no one could work out what was wrong.Please,
any suggestions.
Regards 
Sally
Mike here: See the alignment tips on the Autostar Information page. Many times new users miss training BOTH drives. Be certain you have done both the altitude and azimuth drives. Also, check the date, time, and location, as well as telescope model. Confirm you have the telescope in the proper HOME position before starting the alignment process. I always do a 2-star easy align.

And:

Can u please tell me when turning the scope clockwise back to home
position do you only do it a short turn if that is all that is required
or do you do a full turn plus whatever else to take to home position?
Mike here: The rotation from the hardstop back to North is approximately 120 degrees.
Subject:	Meade Website change - Autostar Updates  Gone !!!
Sent:	Friday, November 8, 2002 21:25:38
From:	monopertuz@yahoo.com (Fernando Pertuz)
I noticed that Meade removed from its website the Autostar Update
section. Any ideas what happened to it, or if it is at a new location.
Thanks,
Fernando Pertuz
Mike here: It is still at: http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html
Subject:	Double Star catalogue of the AutoStar
Sent:	Wednesday, November 6, 2002 4:52:41
From:	Bouquerel@orange.fr
I've recently bought an ETX-125EC UHTC with AutoStar.
Well, I really appreciate this telescope with its "GoTo" function. I
found on the web your site. Congratulation because I found thousands of
informations concerning this telescope.

I've one question : The AutoStar database contains a list of more than
700 double star. Where can I find the complete list of this database
with magnitudes and angular separation ?

Best Regards and again thanks for this web site,


Franck BOUQUEREL
Mike here: See the "Database Information" section on the Autostar Information for all that is currently known.
Subject:	New Guide for ASU/Autostar Updates/Editing
Sent:	Tuesday, November 5, 2002 15:04:15
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
Hello to all......a new GUIDE to uploading, editing and using the Meade
ASU 3.61 is now posted on the ASO website...

I have just posted a very useful answer to the many updating questions
that are posed daily by Meade scope owners regarding updating and
editing the Autostar....it is a Meade ASU and firmware updater/editor
User's Guide and is located on the ASO website at:  http://www.arksky.org
and click on the new reference at the top of the page....feel free to
use and reference!

Dr. Clay

Subject:	Updating
Sent:	Monday, November 4, 2002 22:01:33
From:	highertheflyer@yahoo.com (jim craft)
My Autostar is updated to version 21Ek.  Do I download all the updates
from this early one up to and including 26Ec?  The whole sheebang!
Thanks guy,  Jim 
Mike here: You can update from 2.1 to the current version in one step. Just grab the current updater from Meade's site.
Subject:	Autostar glitch
Sent:	Monday, November 4, 2002 5:23:52
From:	golfing18@msn.com (Michael Knapp)
About 2 years ago, when I first bought my 90EC, I noticed this problem
with the Autostar. About an hour or so into observising, the Autostar
would make about a 15 degree shift up in altitude. At the time, I was
using the 2.0 version. I have since then updated a couple of times and
am now using version 2.5....and the problem still exists (did it at the
star party too). I have reset, retrained and recallibrated after each
update as recommended but it has not fixed the problem (more of an
inconvenience than a problem). Any suggestions??

I would like to thank the "Doc" for his tip at the star party about
recallibrating each time you turn on the Autostar, it
really improved the "goto" performance this weekend...until the
shift.

Regards
Mike Knapp
Mike here: Low batteries or poor AC can cause these. So can a bad connection or even tugging on the Autostar cable. Personally I only saw this with the original ETX-125EC; Meade had a hardware problem that they fixed. Since then (and it has been 3 years since the fix) I've not had the problem (I use AC).
Subject:	help me
Sent:	Sunday, November 3, 2002 6:44:11
From:	jyoshi@thn.ne.jp (Jaques)
hi...my name is jaques, I bought ETX125 UHTC in Japan with the
software/cabo, but the software is in Japanese, I am Brazilian and I
don't understand Japanese:P Don't you know where I can get that software
in the internet? (AstroFinder)
  
Thank you...  
(sorry English, I translated in a program)  

__________________________________________________________________
Jaques Yoshiharu Y. 
ICQ#: 64100007
Mike here: The Meade web site has an English version.
Subject:	Autostar Problem
Sent:	Friday, November 1, 2002 11:39:41
From:	kdahlen@ivwnet.com (Dahlen)
If this is already on your site, I aplogize, but I'm not 100% sure how
to navigate your site.

My Autostar reboots from time to time, and I'm not sure why.  I think it
might be a cable issue, but I'm not sure.   For a while I thought it
might be low batteries, but I've monitored that and I'm certain that's
not the cause because it did it last time at 80% battery life.  I've had
the scope for a couple of months (LXD-55 AR-5), and it's always done it.
It doesn't do it every session, but when it does it's quite annoying! 
When I bought the scope the Autostar Firmware was out of date (didn't
even have LXD as a mount, or the AR-5 as a scope), so I upgraded to the
most current version, (Ec).  The problem occured under both versions
which tends to tell me it's not software.  I've proven (I think) that
it's not the power source too, so it leaves me with the connections and
cables.  If you didn't know anything about this problem (which I can't
imagine that) then I was going to go to Meade, and wait 6 weeks for a
new Autostar cable, and hope that fixes it.

If it's already on your site, you can just give me the url and that
would be great.

Thanks in advance.

Kevin
Mike here: I don't recall any rebooting problems with the Autostar being reported. The problem could be with the Autostar itself, the cable or connections, or the telescope.

And:

From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
Kevin's done his homework... it sure sounds like flakey connections to me.
If avaialbe, try re-squeezing the connector ends (any good computer store,
computer network or telephone shop, or even a friendly RadioShack will
have the tools... sweet-talk and they'll probably just do it 
(in only takes about 10 seconds)).
Trickier would be if it's caused by a faulty connector or bad solder
joint inside the Autostar or LXD55 box.

You can explore the true cause by plugging everthing together, power up.
Wrap some marking tape near one end of the cable (to identify it).
Now lay the Autostar on a chair or table so it **doesn't move**.
Put a book on the cable near it.  (if it reboots during this, suspect
that end)... 
Now, with the Autostar and its cable-end isolated, wiggle/nudge/tug/push
on the LXD55 end of the cable.  IF you can cause a reboot... it's that end.
If it -won't- reboot, secure -that- end of the cable, and start bothering
the Autostar end.   Do the same sort of wiggle/nudge/tug/push.

Hopefully one end will cause reboots, and the other won't.
Now: reverse the cable!  (this is why we marked one end).
Repeat the isolated-ends experiemnt.
If the problem remains at one end (say, Autostar), then the problem
is probably inside that unit.  If the problem moves to the other unit
when you reverse the cable, it's probably the cable's own connector.

Repeat the entire test sequence to guraantee the result or to locate
-two- problems)
A phone call to Meade will get you a new Autotar and cable, or LXD55
mount, if the tests reveal the culprit.

good luck
--dick
And:
Wow!  That's a very detailed analysis.

Thanks very much, and I'll be sure you to let you know how it comes out.

Thanks again.

Kevin

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