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Last updated: 30 June 2010
Welcome to the AutoStar feedback page. This page is intended to provide user comments on using the Meade Autostar #494, #495, #497, #497EP, cables, and AutoStar updater software. See the AutoStar Info page for information from Meade and other users on the AutoStar, cables, and software. Send your comments and tips to for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

Subject:	FW: Sitecom USB to serial cable (Windows7)
Sent:	Wednesday, June 30, 2010 09:16:51
From:	Piet van Leuveren (
You asked me to keep you posted.
Unfortunately I don't have the right answers/solutions yet.
Do you have any suggestions?
Regards, Piet
Mike here: My suggestion is the same as always. Since not all adapters work reliably with the AutoStar, use one that does and is well supported. For me and many others, that would be an adapter from Keyspan.
Van: Piet van Leuveren [] 
Verzonden: dinsdag 29 juni 2010 11:32
Aan: 'Peter Rogers'
Onderwerp: RE: Sitecom USB to serial cable (Windows7)
Hi Peter,
Again thanks for your answers.
Both solutions doesn't work.
Thank you anyway.
Regards, Piet.
Van: Peter Rogers [] 
Verzonden: maandag 28 juni 2010 22:44
Aan: Piet van Leuveren
Onderwerp: Re: Sitecom USB to serial cable (Windows7)
Hello Piet
On the website it lists your cable - . On this page
there is a link to drivers which then asks you to select which version
i.e. V2 in your case; and then gives drivers. I can only see a beta
driver for Vista 32 bit but I should think that this will probably work
for you - give it a try!

I also remember than on Win7 when you connect up a new device i.e. your
usb-to-serial cable it will automatically go on line to look for drivers
- did this not work for you?
Regards, Peter
----- Original Message -----
From: Piet van Leuveren
To: 'Peter Rogers'
Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:41 PM
Subject: RE: Sitecom USB to serial cable (Windows7)
Dear Peter,
I can not find the driver for my Sitecom CN-104v2 USB to serial cable.
Does the Sitecom CN-104v2 USB to serial cable also uses the Prolific
PL-2303 chip?
I dont know where to find the right driver for me on the Prolic website.
Can you help me out?
In the meantime I installed the new driver for Windows7 from the site.
Thanks in advance.
Regards, Piet.
Van: Peter Rogers [] 
Verzonden: maandag 21 juni 2010 23:14
Aan: Piet van Leuveren
Onderwerp: Re: Sitecom USB to serial cable (Windows7)
Hello Piet
My new adapter is an FTDI and I downloaded up-to-date drivers from
www.ftdichip .com which work fine. I also have an old adapter which uses
the Prolific PL-2303 chip - again drivers are available from the
Prolific website.

Don't forget to follow the instructions on the website
regarding the usb to serial adapter and removing the old Meade driver
and installing their new usb to serial one ( I see that they have just
released a new driver for Windows 7 (32 or 64) )
Hope that this is of help
----- Original Message -----
From: Piet van Leuveren
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2010 10:09 PM
Subject: Sitecom USB to serial cable (Windows7)
Dear Peter,
Today I found your message with subject USB adapters, Windows 7 (64 bit)
sent on January 30 2010 on
I hope you can help me out.
Since I bought a new laptop computer with Windows7 installed my Sitecom
CN-104v2 USB to serial cable driver is not working.
Do you have the right driver for Windows7? I need this driver for the
connection with my Meade telescope.
Thanks in advance.
'Still cloudy here in the Netherlands'
Kind reagards,
Piet van Leuveren

Subject:	Autostar Display fading??
Sent:	Saturday, June 26, 2010 19:50:50
From:	Andy (
I bought a ETX-125 and have not got round to using it for two months.
But tonight i have. I set it al up and then powered the autostar one
everything seamed ok went to the align and off the scope went to find
Arcturus It got there but it was not in the view finder so i stated to
move the scope ith the direction buttons and it was not going very fast
so presed one of the numbers to speed it up which stopped the cycle so i
could not position the scope Then the display faded. Nothing else for it
switch it off and back on the first message came on showing the s/w
version fully bright Then there was a beep the second message came on
fully bright "welcome to autostar" and as it went off the nest messages
came on bright at first then very dull after a couple of seconds and
broken up and very difficult to read We tried everything we could think
on we changed power scorce also the power leads and this had no effect
we swapped the coiled lead from scope to hand set end for end again the
same thing happened on start up Nothing i did altered the display after
the first two displays.

Anyone any idea what might be causing the problem of do you think the
hand set has just gone faulty? Or can anyone suggest trying anything
else Or should i just get another hand set to try?

Regards Andy

P.S. Tyipical had the scope for two months and first time out this

Also hope this is the right way to send a question to your site thanks..
Mike here: You did it correctly on the email. It sounds like a power problem. When you said you swapped power source, did you disconnect any external power source and try fresh batteries alone? When you inserted the batteries, did you check for any corrosion in the battery compartment? Check that the batteries were inserted correctly. Don't connect any external power source until we know that the internal batteries are working.


Thanks to your great site i found the problem I have been home since 1am
and it is now 5am but i found it The sequence i entered in when trying
to get the drive to move faster must have some how reset the disply to
nearly off in both brightness and the other you can change. I found out
with the help of your site a list off key presses to get to the reset
becaus ei could not read it so therfore not see what i was doing I hd to
try it a few times but on the third time it all came bacck to what it
should be like..

Mant thaks for replying mike im just glad its fixed and does not require
a new one.. But whats the odds of button presses doing that LOL* Thanks
again for your super site*

regards Andy

Subject:	Re: Can not put AutoStar #497 in safe mode
Sent:	Sunday, June 20, 2010 19:23:56
From:	Leopoldo (
I thought I had lost my AutoStar 497 but after many attempts I finally
got it waked up by using StarGPS as you told me to do.

After that I was able to reset it to factory defaults and I will keep it
like this.
I am so happy to recover my old autostar!
I owe this to you Mike Weasner.
Thank you very much for your attention!
Leopoldo Andriao Junior

Subject:	Can not put AutoStar #497 in safe mode
Sent:	Thursday, June 10, 2010 06:31:27
From:	Leopoldo (
After having a bad download recovery I can not put my AutoStar #497 in
safe mode by pressing ENTER and SCROLL DOWN arroy keys.
What do I do?
Leopoldo Andriao Junior
Mike here: What version of the AutoStar ROM was installed before you attempted to upgrade it? What does the AutoStar display when you power it on now?


To be honest I dont know what version of the AutoStar ROM was installed.

I can tell you that I bought this AutoStar at Texas Star Party 2001 just
to have an idea about how old it is.
When I turn the power on it displays:
Mike here: OK, it has at least version 4.3E. That's good. After the AutoStar displays that, what appears?


After that it continues displaying the same thing and do nothing more.

The keys do not work and looks like its dead.

Ive tried to put it in safe mode several times but nothing works.

Before the upgrade failure the AutoStar was working good.
Mike here: Does the AutoStar Update application still recognize that an AutoStar is connected (and perhaps in SAFE LOAD mode)? If not, try StarGPS (from
Subject:	ETX 70 GoTo stops working after a couple hours
Sent:	Tuesday, June 8, 2010 18:58:47
From:	Scott Liput (
I hope someone can help me.  I have a ETX-70 that I bought recently from
a thrift shop.  I am powering the unit with an AC adapter.  On a couple
of occasions it has worked fine for a couple hours, then the goto will
stop responding.  The motors keep working as if it is tracking, however
the handset says it is slewing to a new target.  The motors are not
working as if it is going to a new location, so I do not think it is a
drive problem.  At first i thought that I may have confused the unit by
accidently canceling a "GoTo" while the telescope was slewing, however
after turning off the telescope and going through the setup procedure
the same problem repeated itself for the rest of the evening.  After a
couple days of non use I can use the telescope fine again for a couple
hours, then the problem will happen again.  I have looked through your
very informative site, but have not seen anyone with this same error.

Thank you for your help,

Mike here: Does the problem occur when using internal batteries? Can you describe the steps you take that cause the problem to occur? It almost sounds like you are not pressing the ENTER key to select the displayed object before pressing GOTO.


i have not tried it with batteries.  When it has happened everything
would be proceeding normally... then all of a sudden the display will
say "slewing" and nothing will happen...  for instance yesterday I went
through the "tonights best" tour... then looked at a few other
objects...went into the "satellites" object...  and the unit started
malfunctioning...  I have never looked for a satellite before and after
going into this option the unit stopped responding. After this I tried
to slew to mars which i had observed before, so I went through the menu
options to the "solar system" option and selected mars and the hand unit
says "slewing" then beeps and says "mars" yet it hasn't moved...  is
that something that would happen if I dont press enter?  Come to think
of it it works fine when i use the tours....during which i just press
"mode" to find the next item in the tour and then press "goto" to goto
the object.... but this started when i started selecting objects outside
a tour... i don't think i pressed enter...  but the unit told me it was
slewing then said it had arrived at the target..which it hadn't... so i
assumed i was doing everything ok...  i will try this and let you know
if it helps...

Thanks again

Mike here: You do have to select ENTER to select the object displayed. Otherwise, GOTO just does a GOTO to the current position of the telescope, hence no movement. See the item "Q. My AutoStar says it is slewing when I try to GOTO an object but the telescope is not moving. What is wrong with it?" on the ETX FAQ page.


thanks....  i was searching under things like "autostar slewing
problems" etc not even thinking it has anything to do with procedure. I
had usually started with a "tonights best tour" being that i am an
astronomy novice..and that works with just selecting "goto"....and i
assumed ti would just be the same for looking at individual objects.....
and everytime it happened it was after about the same about of time "bc
i would finish the tour".... and I just thought it has something to do
with an error...

Mike here: "Error" as in operator error! That question comes up a lot, hence, it is addressed on the ETX FAQ page.

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