AUTOSTAR FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 October 2006

Welcome to the AutoStar feedback page. This page is intended to provide user comments on using the Meade Autostar #494, #495, #497, 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:	Re:ETX90PE-Auto alignment
Sent:	Sunday, October 29, 2006 06:01:11
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
When Autostar selects the first alignment star and prompts you to center
it, hit the Scroll Down key.  It should display the name of the star. 
Also, if for some reason the selected star is not viewable, you can
scroll down again to pick the next star in the list.  Hit Enter to slew
to it.

You can repeat this sequence until you find one that is visible or run
out of stars in the list.  The list is not very long since Autostar only
selects bright stars that are suitable for alignment.  You can do the
same thing for the second alignment star.

Hope this helps.

Mike Hogan

And:

In my previous message I neglected to include a response to the second
part of your question.

"At my observation site the variation between True- and Magnetic- North
is  only +0.6deg."

I checked the Magnetic Variation for your site (near Fejrup I think),
based on lat/lon you gave me in a previous email, and found it to be 7d
36m W, or 7.6 deg.  How did you arrive at the value of 0.6d?  The source
I used is:

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/seg/geomag/jsp/struts/calcDeclination

In any case, the correction computed by Autostar is a relatively coarse
approximation that is further refined during the star centering part of
the Auto Align process.  Those corrections are only used for the current
observing session and not saved when power is shut off.

The Cal Sensors procedure creates corrections that are stored in the
Autostar memory and used each time power is applied.  Note that the
procedure only needs to be performed once, after all other motor and
drive calibrations are completed.

If you choose not to perform Cal Sensors, the only consequence is that
you may have to slew the scope further to center the calibration stars
during Auto Align. GOTO's may also be off by a small amount, requiring
minor adjustments to center the object.

Regards,
Mike Hogan

Subject:	ETX Park Position
Sent:	Wednesday, October 25, 2006 14:52:28
From:	John Farrant (johnfarrant@gmail.com)
Have just discovered a bug in Meade's software. The PARK command does
not work correctly in build 43Ea. Depending on the last AZ slew, ie
whether the scope finishes up before or after 180 degrees, the PARK
command sends the scope in the wrong direction, although it finishes up
level and pointing north.

This means that when the scope is restarted it is 360 degrees out of its
home alignment with reference to the hard stops.

On aligning to the first star, the scopes can slam into the hard stop
due to the 360 degree error.
 
Regards John
Mike here: Bugs should be reported to engineer@meade.com. Just don't expect an answer but they do read the bug reports.

And:

From: Engineer (engineer@meade.com)
The software now takes the shortest route to the home position and
remembers the position relative to the hardstops.  You can confirm this
but attempting to slew into a hardstop after the park action you
described.
 
Thank you for taking the time to point this out to us.
 
Regards, Meade Engineering

Subject:	ETX updating LST
Sent:	Wednesday, October 25, 2006 03:05:44
From:	John Farrant (johnfarrant@gmail.com)
Just noticed, I made a mistake in the LST code when I typed it.
 
I wrote #:ES110324#:EK68#:EK13#
 
It should be  #:ES11034#:EK68#:EK13#
 
Sorry about that!
 
Regards
 
John

Subject:	ETX90PE-Auto alignment
Sent:	Wednesday, October 25, 2006 02:59:53
From:	Niels Peter Ditlefsen (0068300m001@stofanet.dk)
ETXPE,AutoAlign
How can I get Autostar (v.4.3Ef) to disply the name(s) of the alignment
stars chosen?  It would be most helpful for a newbie.The names were
automatically shown in my previous version (3.3Ef)
Thank heaven for your GREAT site!!
Best Regards
Niels Peter
Mike here: There is a setting for Brightest Star in the AutoStar Utility menu.

And:

Thank you for your reply.Here is another newbie-question:

At my observation site the variation between True- and Magnetic-

North is  only +0.6deg. (for the time being),this is less than Polaris.

When calibrating my ETX90PE,I therefore have dropped "Calibrate

Sensors"where Polaris is supposed to be the fix-point.

Do you agree?

Thanks again and Best Regards

Niels Peter
Mike here: Certainly the AutoStar can compensate for the difference in both "Norths". So I wouldn't panic over it, especially if you know the sky well enough (or use the charts on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page) to center the correct star when asked to.
Subject:	re: ISS Autostar tracking
Sent:	Tuesday, October 24, 2006 20:43:17
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
> Autostar keeps giving me a pass which is always around 1.5 hours
> (give or take a few minutes) before Heavens Above.com

90 minutes.. about one orbit of the ISS...

The Autostar predicts the -next- pass due in your area.
Heavens-above predicts the next -visible- pass due in
your area.

I'll bet that's what's happening.... you are trying the
Autostar data too early in the day... try lying to your
Autostar about the current time to set it about 20 minutes
before the H-A prediction... and -then- see what it says.

have fun
--dick

And:

From:	matthew greenwood (matthewgreenwood@hotmail.com)
Thanks both for your quick responses and advice. After putting last
nights new orbital elements into the autostar the tracking is now within
a minute or so of correct. The strange thing is that when is wasn't
working correctly i was using the autostar update to put the figures in
to the autostar using the serial cable. Last night i inputted them
manually using the edit satellite function and now its spot on. I
haven't changed any site details either.

I did think of the 90 minute orbit too but if i put the autostar time to
half an hour before the pass it gave me a time about twenty minutes
AFTER the expected pass time. It seems strange now that it works okay
and i haven't changed any settings apart from manually entering the
latest data. I ran through everything about 10 times on sunday but kept
getting the same error. Last night after entering new details it worked
first time. This left me two choices of what was wrong.

1) NASA/NORAD published the wrong data over the weekend and have now
corrected it! And i was then unlucky enough for that to be the first
time i attempted to do it! 2) I did something wrong, i don't know what
it was as i can't think of anything i did differently last night than
from sunday and i may never know!

I personally will put it down to number 2! I think NASA/NORAD know
better than me!!!!!

Thanks for your help, hopefully i will be able to send you some of my
first attempts to photograph the ISS in the next few weeks. Tonight was
going to be my first attempt but the current torrential downpoor outside
has put a stop to that!

Thanks to you both again, Matt....
> 1) NASA/NORAD published the wrong data over the weekend and have
> now corrected it!

That does happen at times... for most of the satellites in the database,
the parameters are derived from observations.  And numbers do get transposed,
or somebody blinks, or whatever.  I've about 0.5% of the elements i use turn
out to be wrong (until the next cycle).  There used to be alternate sites
(one German) which did their own observations, and they served as a good
cross-check.  By the same token, heavens-above can be wrong, since their
predictions are also based on past observations.

And i was then unlucky enough for that to be the first time i attempted to do it!
> 2) I did something wrong, i don't know what it was as i can't think
> of anything i did differently last night than from sunday and i may never know!
> 
> I personally will put it down to number 2! I think NASA/NORAD know better than me!!!!!

I'll vote for number one, myself... NASA error.
When i download elements, i keep copies of
the old ones and (when there's a problem, such as what you're seeing)
reload the old ones to compare to the new puzzling results.  If there's still
confusion, i wait for the next update cycle (the ISS is updated daily)
and compare -that-.  You can also reach the numbers heavens-above is using
by clicking on the "Orbit" link on the upper right of the "pass" page.
Sometimes i'll have 4 instances of the ISS in my Autostar when i'm running
down this kind of puzzle... and then i'll go outside and -watch- to see which
one "won".
(i did catch (without telescope) a lovely pass Monday night while helping
with a surveying project... but they weren't willing to let me grab the
theodolite to watch it... i haven't had a chance to point a telescope at
the newly-added structures yet)

have fun
--dick

Subject:	ISS Autostar tracking
Sent:	Sunday, October 22, 2006 11:01:31
From:	Matt Greenwood (matthewgreenwood@hotmail.com)
Hello, I am hoping you can help me with a problem I am having. I am
attempting to track the ISS using my ETX 105, however after constantly
updating my autostar with the latest information through the Meade
updater program the Autostar keeps giving me a pass which is always
around 1.5 hours (give or take a few minutes) before Heavens Above.com
gives. Also the Autostar seems to be around 40-50 degrees away from the
acquisition of satellite position.

I have tried various different sites and have triple checked my autostar
and heavens above site/time/date settings (I have even entered my exact
GPS position into the autostar to create a custom site) and always seem
to get the same sort of error. Am I missing an obvious step during the
set up? (if so I apologise!). I know the autostar satellite tracking
feature is not an exact science from other emails on your site but I
assume that it should give a position near to the ISS? When visually
watching for the ISS in the past Heavens Above has always been nearly
spot on at my location.

Thanks for any help or advice you can give on this, also thanks for the
great site which has helped me over the past few years on quite a few
occations!
 
Matt, Nottingham, UK.
Mike here: Have you tried following the steps outlined in the article "Tracking ISS" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page?
Subject:	ETX125 LST problem
Sent:	Sunday, October 22, 2006 07:09:02
From:	John Farrant (johnfarrant@gmail.com)
I hope you or Dick can help me with a problem I'm having with setting
the LST using the standard Meade command set.

I send the correct time and date using the #:SC# and #:SL# commands.

This works fine and the LST remains at 20:??:?? as it should do. OK, so
far so good. I then issue a gash GOTO. This, according to an earlier
message from Dick, should set the LST to the correct time.

But although the LST clock is running it is still incrementing from
20:??:??. i.e. incorrect.

If I now change the target to Astronomical and press ENTER the LST is
correct! Another way to I can set the LST to its correct value is if I
go into "Edit Site" and change the Time Zone to any value, eg +2, and
then return it back to where it should be. For some unknown reason this
also sets the LST correctly. My question is this. Is there a command or
sequence of commands to either send "Astronomical- Target" followed by
an ENTER instruction or an instruction to change the time zone.

It appears that remote control from a computer still requires you to use
the HBX to set the target from Terrestial to Astronomical. Am I correct?

Also am I right in assuming that there is a second level of software in
the HBX that I can't access.

I'm sorry to bother you with this but it is driving me nuts!

Many thanks and all the best,
John Farrant
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
>> I hope you or Dick can help me with a problem I'm having with  setting 
>> the LST using
>> the standard Meade command set.
>> I send the correct time and date using the #:SC# and #:SL# commands.
>> This works fine and the LST remains at 20:??:?? as it should do.  OK, 
>> so far so good. I then issue a gash GOTO. This, according to an  
>> earlier message from Dick, should set the LST to the correct time.

What, pray tell, is a "gash" GOTO?
Do you mean an astro target GoTo?

>> But although the LST clock is running it is still incrementing from  
>> 20:??:??. i.e. incorrect.
>> If I now change the target to Astronomical and press ENTER the LST  is 
>> correct!
>> Another way to I can set the LST to its correct value is if I go  into 
>> "Edit Site" and change the Time Zone to any value, eg +2, and  then 
>> return it back to where it should be. For some unknown reason  this 
>> also sets the LST correctly.
>> My question is this. Is there a command or sequence of commands to  
>> either send "Astronomical- Target" followed by an ENTER instruction  
>> or an instruction to change the time zone.
>> It appears that remote control from a computer still requires you  to 
>> use the HBX to set the
>> target from Terrestial to Astronomical. Am I correct?

If you're in Polar mode, it should start up tracking in Astro
mode from the power-up.   In Alt/Az you do have to jump
through a hoop or two... one of which is to send a
sequence of :Srhh:mm:ss# :Sddd:mm# :MS#   commands to
perform an astro GoTo.. which -should- start it tracking.
The power-up position of an Alt/Az mounted scope is pointing
at LST plus or minus 12 hours, and Dec=00.  So if you ask it to move up
a little, with minimal RA motion, it should be happy and end up
tracking.

The other way to do it  would be to send it (for v43Ea)
:ES11034# (may require an :EK13#, too) :ED#
If the response is ">Terrestrial"  (preceded by a weird byte),
then send   :EK68# :EK13#

The "GoTo" method will work with all firmware versions.
The "magic number" 11034 above -only- works with 43Ea.
(and i haven't -tested- that solution, it's derived from
  my listings... (and i can't test it at this moment))

>> Also am I right in assuming that there is a second level of  software 
>> in the HBX that I can't access.

Dozens of levels. (well, maybe only 5).  the above "magic" sequence
is how Autostar Suite talks to the Autostar.

The serial commands you normally use are derived from the Classic LX200.
There are many things which the Autostar can do which the Classic couldn't.
There are many things that are -different- between the Classic and
the Autostar which cause conflicts, inconsistencies and confusion.

There is a serial command for changing Time zones.  It's :SGhh.h#
where "hh.h" are the numbers to -add- to UTC to get local time.
So the sign is inverted from Time Zone practice.  If you're in
the Eastern US, you'd set a "-5" as your Time Zone, but you'd
send  :SG5#   (positive five) serially.

>> I'm sorry to bother you with this but it is driving me nuts!

Computers will.

have fun
--dick

And:

I have replied to Dick's excellent anserws to my queries and will try
his suggestions.
 
Thanks again
 
Regards
 
John

And:

(re: LST being 20:00)

Ready?

It's coincidence.

Set your -date- to somewhen in JULY (when it prompts for
the setting of date).  (i used 12-juk-2006)

Then power-cycle.
On the next power up, you'll find the LST is now near 14:00,
not 20:00.

have fun
--dick
> coincidence...

Warning: i just tested that via handbox...
i'll rig up a cable now...

have fun
--dick

And more:

Ya know?

I'm not seeing exactly the same symptoms you are,
or (another way of looking at it): mine are -worse-.

If i power up, and -immediately- do a :GS#
the Local Sidereal Time (LST) is reported as 00:00:00 (and incrementing).

If i then issue :SC10/12/06# :SL20:00:00#
(set calendar, set local time, and my "Daylight time" is set YES),
then my LST kicks to 20:17:04

Which is really OK, since that -is- the LST for that time and date.


But my puzzle is: "why 00:00:00 at power-up"??

But then i tried the same thing: power up,
:SC06/06/06# :SL20:00:00#  :GS#
The LST i got back was 00:02:03#
But the -correct- LST should've been 11:51:20
(which it changed to when i issued a :MS#)

Next test: power cycle, then send:
:GS# :EK13# :EK13# :GS# :EK13# :GS#
My responses were: 00:00:13#  00:00:22# 11:52:18#

What the ":EK13#" does is effectively tap [enter] on the keypad.
The -magic- is the tapping [enter] to the Daylight question.
*that's* when the Autostar actually sets the time and does
the location-biased LST calculation.
(an astro GoTo forces that, too).
(the date was still Jun 6th from the previous test)

Then i tried (still powered up) :SC10/10/06# :SL20:00:00#
:GS#... and the LST did -not- change from 11:55
So now the scope is rather confused. (and i've got to
break off and go to work).  More testing shall be required...

have fun
--dick

And:

John Farrant wrote:
Dick
 all is well
 Tried   #:ES110324#EK68#EK13#
 It works!!
 LST running and correct.
 Now if only I can get the HBX printed circuit board inside the base of the ETX ... umm ....

That's called an LX200R.  (nee' LX200GPS).
The Autostar II is in the base, the handbox is merely a display.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	GPS
Sent:	Saturday, October 21, 2006 02:42:59
From:	Jan H Kolstoe (koja@online.no)
I've just bought a Star Link from the Star GPS site.It says that the
cable GPS - STAR is included.

If I buy a GPS-6010 Receiver US$99.00 from the same site ,do I then need
a cable to connect it to my ETX 125?

Regards
Jan H Kolst'Norway
Mike here: Always best to direct such questions to the original source, which I've done for you.

And:

Is it possible to use the GPS-6010 Receiver with the patch in Star patch
file or do I have to buy the Star GPS package costing 199 dollars?

Thanks again
From:	Chris Carson (ccarson@pixsoft.ca)
(the answers are readily available just by reading the product information at www.stargps.ca).

> On Oct 21, 2006, at 02:42, Jan H Kolstoe wrote:
>
>> I've just bought a Star Link from the Star GPS site.It says that  the 
>> cable GPS - STAR is included.
>> If I buy a GPS-6010 Receiver
>> US$99.00 from the same site ,do I then need a cable to connect it  to my 
>> ETX 125?

No, you can use the GPS-ASTAR cable but you will need all the items
listed in the StarGPS Package on the home page of www.stargps.ca, that
is:
GPS-6010
GPS-ASTAR cable (you have it)
StarPatch software (to GPS-enable the Autostar, requires a Windows PC)
PC-ASTAR or Meade 505 cable (to reprogram the Autostar using StarPatch)

Alternatively, you could use the StarGPS-LX package setup (no PC required):
GPS-6010-LX
GPS-ASTAR (you have it)

Regards,
Chris Carson
www.stargps.ca

Subject:	autostar updates
Sent:	Thursday, October 19, 2006 14:16:45
From:	R.L. Creedon (creedon@cablespeed.com)
I have carefully downloaded the autostar updates into my computer. How
on earth do I get them into the telescope? What connects to where?  
Hoping for your usual beneficence,
Lew Creedon
Mike here: See the article "How to use the 3.x Updater" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page; it also applies to version 4.

And:

Thanks, Lew

Subject:	re: Meade Ext-125PE   Can't find anything with autostar
Sent:	Wednesday, October 18, 2006 22:19:08
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
If you really do (or don't do) what you wrote,
i think that's maybe the problem.
You wrote:
> ....and then it asks if you want to go to the
> brightest star, which I always do although I never
> see it.

It's not asking you if you -want- to go there,
it's telling you to use the slew keys to center
the brightest star that's nearby where it's pointing.
And -then- press enter.

When it asks you to do that, you can also tap the "?"
key, and it will prompt with the -name- of the star
it really wants.  With a paper star chart you can then
make a better stab at aiming at the correct star.

If you're just tapping [enter] without slewing to
the bright star, that's why the telescope isn't
learning how far off it's pointing in the first place.

good luck
--dick

Subject:	Meade Ext-125PE   Can't find anything with autostar
Sent:	Sunday, October 15, 2006 07:21:49
From:	Cary and Kim Chaney (kchaney_0895@fuse.net)
my name is Cary Chaney I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. I bought an Ext-125pe
and it is my first telescope, I have been having trouble finding
anything other than the Moon, I have only had the telescope for a couple
of weeks and I have done everything it says to do in the book (i think)
Anyway I found your website and I noticed you recommend to CALIBRATE
MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES quite often, well I even did that and tried use
Auto star to locate the Moon, well it was in the right vicinity, but
still quite a ways off. I hope maybe you can tell me what I might be
doing wrong.
Thanks, Cary Chaney
Mike here: Clarification, I often recommend doing that but I don't recommend doing it often. You really only need to do a CALIBRATE MOTOR when changing the power source (including changing batteries or when the battery level gets very low). TRAIN DRIVES only generally needs to be done once and then occasionally to correct for any issues that may come up over time. But I need more information from you as to what you are doing. Are you using City or Zipcode? (I recommend City.) Are you doing Auto or Easy Alignment? Are you having problems with both (remember, the HOME position is different)? You might want to look at the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for PE model tips as well as the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page for lots of info on alignment steps.

And:

Wow thanks for your quick reply, I am using zipcode I have not even
tried City, but I guess I probobaly should. From the start after you
turn on the power I put the telescope in the home position and do auto
alignment where it levels itself, finds North etc...and then it asks if
you want to go to the brightest star, which I always do although I never
see it. After a couple of minutes when this all done I try to GOTO
something like the Moon which I definately know where it is and it
doesn't find it. I will mess with it more and read some other things
like you suggested (I'm obviuosly a complete novice) but thanks again
for any of your tips, I ahte to bother you, but I came across your
website and I will be visiting quite often. Tonigth I am going to our
local Observatory which I have never been, for a showing.
Thanks again,
Cary
Chaney

Subject:	re: 495 to 497
Sent:	Saturday, October 14, 2006 15:39:38
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
As Mike posted, you can update a 495 to a 497 by simply
downloading the current firmware.

But do you -have- (or can find to buy) a 495?
The 495 looks like a 497 (well, it should: it IS one).
It has the full numeric keypad.

Make sure that the unit you're thinking of buying
(or already own) has that full keypad.

If it doesn't, it's a 494, and cannot be upgraded.

There are no "time/date" chips in the 494 or 495/497.
Time is maintained by the central computer's internal
circuitry.   Some new Meade scopes (ETX80-TC) have a
clock chip *in the telescope*, not in the Autostar.
Those models also use the plain old 497 (or a 494,
with special programming to access the clock chip).

have fun
--dick

Subject:	495 to 497
Sent:	Thursday, October 12, 2006 11:55:51
From:	elklown@aim.com (elklown@aim.com)
Love the site. I have had a ETX 70 for about two years now and the
season for good viewing in my area is about to begin. I could easily
afford at this moment to purchase a far more powerful scope, but I have
decided that I love my 70 too much. Instead I continue to endeavor to
upgrade the little scope. At this time I would like to computerize the
scope, I am even considering a remote observatory (probably for solar
observation). I am about to purchase a LPI to use as an autoguider but
understand this is impossible without upgrading to a 497 controller.
However, shelling out 120 bucks for a new controller seems like such a
waste. I have read various articles on your site regarding the upgrade
ability of a 495 controller to the 497. Since the 495 is so much cheaper
I thought I could upgrade it to a 497 and then use the LPI as a
astroguider. I would also hope to use the Stargps system and Starry
Night Pro through this controller, would all that be possible or should
I just get a 497?
 
Derek Rooney
Silver Spring, MD
 
P.S. I have also heard that the new 497 have the upgraded "time/date"
chip, if that is true, should I be looking for it and what model is it?
Mike here: If you can still find a #495 you can upgrade it via software to a #497. As to a new chip, hadn't heard that. The AutoStar #497 that comes with the Premier Edition telescopes get the date/time from the LNT module.
Subject:	Re: ETX Autostar problem
Sent:	Tuesday, October 10, 2006 20:59:01
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
It's the "enable 909APM" portion of the patch.
If you -untick- that choice in StarPatch,
the telescope will operate correctly.

sorry 'bout this...
have fun
--dick
From:	Job Geheniau (geheniau@xs4all.nl)
Thanks!

Job Geheniau

Subject:	Re: Fwd: ETX Autostar problem
Sent:	Monday, October 9, 2006 13:27:54
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Now that i'm back (and have finally watched the movie)..

what model of ETX is that?

Does it happen during alignment, too?
Or only after alignment?

I have not seen the same problem with my ETX90 running 43Ea
(or the patched version)

have fun
--dick

Subject:	Meade software faulty?
Sent:	Friday, October 6, 2006 07:44:52
From:	FOXWERKS@netscape.com
I have been told that the updates on Meades website for the 494 autostar
is messed-up, and will cause problems. I have a DS2114AT and a DS2130AT
that work perfect and I have the 506 kit to up grade the software. Is
this a mistake? Help!

Thank You
T.L. Fox
Mike here: What you have been told is what is "faulty"! There is no AutoStar #494 update on Meade's site. The #494 is not currently user updatable.

And:

Meade misinformed me or I'm not explaining it corectly. Meade told me
that I could donload goto object such as international space sta. etc.
with the # 506 astrofinder kit they sold me. Can I?     Thank you so
much for your time!
Mike here: Yes, you can upload objects to the AutoStar #494 using the Meade AutoStar Update application and #506 serial cable. Note: if your computer does not have a real serial port you will need a USB-serial adapter. Not all adapters work with the AutoStar Update application so if you need an adapter I suggest reading the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	ETX105 EC with Autostar
Sent:	Thursday, October 5, 2006 02:01:51
From:	Richard Southon (Richard.Southon@bacorryltd.co.uk)
I have a problem with my autostar controller.  Last night during
tracking M31 the handset display started dimming and flashing. The words
on the screen were unreadable. I thought it might be the batteries so I
swapped these out for new, The autostar continued doing the same. I then
plugged scope into a power supply and the autostar screen went totally
blank.  No buttons worked except the enter and the scroll down, this
produced the download message.

No the autostar will not light up at all.  Can you help please or is the
unit totally defunked ?
 
Regards
 Dick Southon
Mike here: Had you ever used the external power supply before? I ask to ensure that you know it was OK (proper polarity and voltage). If the AutoStar ROM became corrupted it could exhibit all manner of odd problems. It sounds like you put the AutoStar into SAFE LOAD mode (by holding down the ENTER and SCROllDOWN keys on power on). You will now need to upload a fresh ROM file to the AutoStar; see the item "Q. The power went off while I was updating my Autostar and now it doesn't work. Did I kill it?" on the FAQ page. You need a serial port and the RS-232 #505 serial cable. You can make a cable (see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page) as well as the Meade AutoStar Update application (Windows only, available from Meade's site) or AutostarX (Mac OS X, see the AutoStar Info page for the link). If your computer has only USB then you will need a USB-serial adapter. Note that not all adapters work with the Meade application so see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page.

And:

Many thanks for the prompt answer and the availability of you site.

The power supply is correct polarity and voltage.

Will the Autostar accept an upload even if there is no life in it?(ie No
lights , no display and unable to see the upload message when enter &
scroll down is pressed)
Mike here: If you don't see FLASH LOAD READY (or something like that on the display), the AutoStar may be toast (but check the connections). You could still try and see if the AutoStar Update application "sees" the AutoStar and if it does, try to do the upload of the ROM.

And:

Looks like the Autostar is toast. Couldn't find it on any port. Tried
changing the leads but no show. I will give it a decent burial. Many
thanks for your input and you great site.

Regards

Dick Southon
Mike here: Couple more things to check. Look at the connector pins on the cable ends as well as in the jacks. They should be clean, not bent to one side, or too depressed. You could also check whether the ETX or the AutoStar is the problem by making an external power source for the AutoStar and see if it works. There are several article on external and battery power on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page if you want to try this.
Subject:	ETX Autostar problem
Sent:	Saturday, September 30, 2006 6:26:28 AM
From:	Job Geheniau (geheniau@xs4all.nl)
I told you before about my new slew-to problem.

I did everything, reset calibrate, train, change dec/alt parameters,
whatever.

I can't find the course.

Attached a little video of the problem.

movie
Click to see MPEG movie I slew to an object, than the etx goes in slow mode, so far so good, after that 2 high speed modes (in the movie with an ?). That's not normal. Please post this on your website including the mpg that maybe other people (or you) can help me out with this nasty thing. It happened after my last update ( I have version autostar 43a - the gps update (I use for years, so that can't be the problem I think). Very much thanks, Regards, Job Geheniau The Netherlands www.samage.net/~geheniau/astronomy2.html
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
A first course of action might be to
reload the -previous- firmware (from Mike's archive,
or the StarPatch site) and see if that fixes it.

good luck
--dick

And an update:

I did an new update to an older version, and now the slewing problem has
gone.

So I think there's a bug in the 43AA version.
So I am working again with the 40FA version.

These are 'specially' made autostar updates for the GPS receiver, which
I use. I informed Chris Carson from starpatch about the 'bug'.

Regards

Job Geheniau

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