Last updated: 27 November 2007
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: Autostar 494 Dead Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2007 14:56:49 From: McCauley95@aol.com (McCauley95@aol.com) I saw your web page on the Meade Autostar. My 494 died... I think. I was doing some remote observing in cold weather and I think the batteries faded away. When I replaced the batteries all I get is the intro screen: "(C)05 Meade[13E] AUTOSTAR". No beeps, no initialization... nothing :( Any suggestions? Thanks, BillMike here: If you have used a computer to control the AutoStar in the past you can try the tip in the article "AutoStar RESET from Software" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. That likely won't work at this point as the AutoStar has probably failed. But you could also check the pins in the cable connectors and the jack on the telescope; they should not be too depressed, bent to one side, or dirty.
Thanks. You really deserve many thanks for all of the great info you have on your web page. Too bad that Meade doesn't do what you do. I tried cleaning the pins already (and retension the pins). Also, I tried the "RESET from Software" but I can't even get the Autostar to respond in safe mode which must means that it is dead. Fortunately, a new controller is not too expensive. Thanks for the response. BillMike here: There is no SAFE MODE (Flash Load) on the #494 AutoStar. So that wouldn't have worked anyway.
Subject: Re: Lx90 autoguiding in Alt/Az mode with DSI/LPI Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2007 08:27:11 From: John Waskiewicz (email@example.com) I'm confused with the files? shouldn't I need a spf file named Patch43gg.spf along with the source file 43Eg.rom to build 43gg.rom? No option screen,it's blank. The zip foldder 43gg17.zip and the the patch43GC.spf created 43GC.rom. I moved all files to starpatch and built the 43gg.rom. I chose to use starpach and load only the 43gg.rom but no options were available because the spf file is missing. I assume all the default options were then loaded. No problem loading. I reviewed Dicks txt file on options and could had changed them there but didn't. For now I will be trying out the autoguiding tonight if weather holds. Thanks so much for all your help
I figured it out after sending you the last message. the 43Gc.spf built 43Gc.rom. Thats what Dick's new patch is...sorry for the confusion. All is OK John W.
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) Last night Chris Carson posted Patch43GC on his offical StarPatch site, so if you just ask StarPatch (via its Files menu) to "Get Updates", it will find the Patch43GC and offer the proper options. I recommend taking that path now. When i sent you the files, i had no idea how rapidly Chris would be able to set up his "reference" copy. If StarPatch asks if you should replace the existing Patch43GC.spf, tell it "yes". Chris made an additional change to keep the version numbers correct. My "17th edition" fix merely improved the "[LPI Autoguiding for Alt/Az]" option, it did not add any new ones. I see that my kit calls that same option "Pulse Autoguiding for Alt/Az" .. which is a name-change from my older terminology which persists in the StarPatch version. (i didn't notice that name conflict until writing this note). I agree that the manual patch choices provided by my full patch kit are moderately difficult if you are not comfortable with editing a confusing text file. That's why i also sent the Patch43GC.spf file, too. However, i find that i may have used a Patch43GA (not GB) as the basis of my creation of that file, so that's a second reason to fetch the correct Patch43GC.spf with StarPatch, even if you don't (re)load it now. >> I'm confused with the files? >> shouldn't I need a spf file named Patch43gg.spf along with the source >> file 43Eg.rom to build 43gg.rom? No option screen,it's blank. In a separate, private, email i sent a Patch43GC.spf file. If you received that, and copied it to the StarPatch folder, StarPAtch should have offered it under the drop-down "Select a patch or rom file" list. My kits us a different file-naming sequence than StarPAtch's native .spf files... i need to keep track of my edition (hence 43gg17), whereas Chris needs to keep track of his supported sequential releasts (hence GA, GB, GC...). I just checked: Chris' new Patch43GC.spf is equivalent to the 15th edition of my kit, with the addition of the 17th edition's fix to the Autoguiding section. It's missing the 16th edition's one-user-requested-it ability to set the "Speed 1" rate to 33% of sidereal. >> The zip foldder 43gg17.zip and the the patch43GC.spf created 43GC.rom. >> I moved all files to starpatch and built the 43gg.rom. >> >> I chose to use starpach and load only the 43gg.rom but no options were >> available because the spf file is missing. At that point, you should have chosen Patch43GC.spf, -not- 43gg.rom. That would have provided the patch option list. If you had (as you say above) copied patch43GC.spf into the starpatch folder, it should have found it. By pre-building 43gg.rom ... are you being -exact- in your file naming? The kit should have created "build43gg17.rom" (if you used my "ClickMe" file). If you managed to create a 43GC.rom, that was starpatch properly finding and using the Patch43GC.spf file, and -that- is what you should have uploaded to your scope. You can fire up your scope, and menu to Setup/Statistics [enter][scroll up] and that will reveal what -really- is in your Autostar. If it says "43GC", you have the correct code. If it says "43gg", you have a copy created by my kit, and it may be the correct code (i don't have room in that 4-character version number to also say "17"). Only testing will reveal if it works... I apologize for burying you in alternative copies, but that was in part to release the "normal" kit to Mike, while also providing you with a StarPatch-compatible .spf file as quickly as possible. >> I assume all the default options were then loaded. That is correct, luckily the options you want -are- members of the "default" set (or at least the set in that 17th edition kit). >> No problem loading. >> I reviewed Dicks txt file on options and could had changed them there >> but didn't. >> For now I will be trying out the autoguiding tonight if weather holds. good luck! --dick
Subject: Re: Meade Autostar Model 494 question Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2007 05:51:37 From: Jack Martin (email@example.com) Thanks Dick. I'll see if I can get an exact replacement first. I'm in no hurry since I got this for my grandson and I'd like him to learn how to find objects without a computer before he uses a convenience like Starfinder. The controller I have doesn't seem to have any update capability and you mention telling it that the gear ratio is 4.56296 - is that an option that can be selected from a working 494? Mine actually comes up with a display that then turns off after a second, so it is probably hung up. Did Meade not foresee the need for a reset capability? Is there any key combination that resets it? Jack
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) You could try joining the 4504 Yahoo group, most members have upgraded to the 497 Autostar, so they might have Starfinders they'd be happy to get rid of... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/ > I'm in no hurry since I got this for my grandson and I'd like him to learn how > to find objects without a computer before he uses a convenience like > Starfinder. > The controller I have doesn't seem to have any update capability and you > mention telling it that the gear ratio is 4.56296 - is that an option > that can be selected from a working 494? Yes... in the menu system you can reach Setup/Telescope/RA Ratio [enter] and Setup/Telescope/DEC Ratio [enter] and key in the numbers. They'll be remembered across power cycles, but lost if you select another model (or re-select the same model) or perform a Reset. > Mine actually comes up with a > display that then turns off after a second, so it is probably hung up. > Did Meade not foresee the need for a reset capability? Is there any key > combination that resets it? Turning off after a second is not a good sign (or a sign of dead batteries). The 494 "reset" method requires having a functioning Autostar, since it's a menu choice of Setup/Reset [enter][enter] . As far as i know, there's no "hold the keys during power-up" like the 497's Safe Load method (which is "press and hold [enter] and [scroll down] and then apply power while the keys are still depressed"). good luck --dick
Subject: RE: AutoStar Suite connectivity Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2007 02:58:52 From: kath (email@example.com) Just a quick update! Mystar sees the handset! Tried disabling everything else software/hardware, but no joy with handset! Cheers Ben
Subject: re: Meade Autostar Model 494 question Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 20:17:25 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) The usual run-of-the-mill 494 Autostar will probably -not- properly operate a 4504 The run-of-the-mill 494's don't know about missing the tripod and the "meridian flip" (also for missing the tripod) which GEM mounts require. However it may well serve for 80% of the purpose (you'll just have to learn how to help it past the possible collisions). The 494 will not know the Gear Ratio (or model) of the 4504. You can tell it to use the ratio 4.56296 for both axes. If the 494 comes with the word Starfinder on its bezel, then you're in luck, since it's really for the 4504 (or 114EQ-DH). have fun --dick
Subject: Re: Lx90 autoguiding in Alt/Az mode with DSI/LPI Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 21:22:24 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) Well, it's been cloudy or raining since i returned to Seattle, but i've finally managed to run some indoor tests to check things. >> I hope Dick can resolve the issues with 43GA 43EB calibration. >> Interesting that the only change is that the camera reports Polar mode >> always. That is what the "DSI" patch does... causes the scope to always report that it is Polar. If it did not, then Envisage would refuse to attempt to guide it. It would revert to "tracking" the image instead. >> But the calibration doesn't complete its cycle. Then neither >> functions set target or center target work. >> Has anyone else report this problem? I am wondering if it is "losing the track" due to the guide commands operating in the Alt/Az reference frame, when the program (Envisage) is expecting them to operate in RA/DEC (which it would if it were -really- polar mounted). The LX200gps "gets around" this by having the Guide commands actually -move- in the RA/DEC frame, even when the scope is mounted Alt/Az... the 497 Autostar does not make that extra sophisticated adjustment. An example: if you are pointed due west, near the horizon, and the camera detects you drifted "south" of the star. It will command a "north" (up) guide motion. But, at a mid to northern latitude, that vector is really angled partly "up" (Alt/Az) and partly "right". (if you have a planetarium program, turn on the Equatorial reference grid to see the sloping lines). If you were polar mounted, "north" and "up" go the same way... towards the celestial pole. But in Alt/Az, "up" does not go towards the pole, except when you are at the due north and due south pointing Azimuth directions. And this -really- messes up the guider's idea of "east" and "west". You might try doing the calibration pointed due south, perhaps at a target near the celestial equator. Then left/right/up/down more-or-less correspond to the E/W/N/S equatorial directions. Remember that these patches are merely a quick attempt to override some of the -limits- Meade wrote into their firmware and Envisage. They may have instituted those limits knowing that purely Alt/Az guide motions would not be properly handled by one end or the other (PC/scope). It is possible that guiding is only possible in some areas of the sky (such as near the central meridian). It is possible you can overcome some of the limitations by rotating the camera in the eyepiece holder so that the camera's "horizontal" axis is always parallel to the local (i.e. that target's) RA line. Please experiment and report, or really mount the scope on a wedge and avoid the need for guider patches. have fun --dick
From: John Waskiewicz (firstname.lastname@example.org) I will try downloading the 43GB again and do some trial runs. Bad weather here for the next 7-10 days. If I remember I was trying it on Altair due nearly south when I 1st tried the program. I will let you know when I find something out John W.
Subject: Meade Autostar Model 494 question Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 12:09:18 From: Jack Martin (email@example.com) I'm trying to get a Meade Model 4504 reflector telescope that has been stored for a number of years working again for my grandson. The Model 494 controller lights up initially for a second when I connect it and then goes blank. Is there some inialization trick I don't know or has it gone kaput? If I need to replace it, can I/should I upgrade to one of the newer controllers? Thanks. Jack MartinMike here: Have you checked the batteries? Also, check the condition of the pins inside the jacks and cable connectors; they should be clean and not too depressed or bent sideways. You could try the troubleshooting techniques mentioned in the article "Repairing #494 AutoStar" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. If you decide to get a replacement, the #497 works with all DS models but you may need to install the latest version of Dick Seymour's patches (available on the AutoStar Info page). You would also need a #505 serial cable to install the patch. Instructions for making a #505 are on the AutoStar Info page. Note that if your computer has only USB and lacks a RS-232 port you will need a USB-serial adapter but not all work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page. I use a Keyspan model on my Macs.
I found a relatively cheap Autostar 494 on Ebay. One of the posts on your site mentions that the version of software on their 494 is 1.0 (for a german equitorial mount). Is the software programmed into the 494 dependent on which Meade telescope it was originally intended for or will any 494 I buy have the correct programming to slew my Model 4504?Mike here: I don't know if the release date of the 4504 will match the #494 version you get. And unfortunately, Meade has not made a #494 update available to end users. But Meade's site (http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html) does say that the #494 AutoStar works with all DS models.
Thanks Mike. I think the model 4504 is a DH - would that make a difference?Mike here: Searching the site for DH 4504 I found this note from our resident AutoStar expert Dick Seymour:
the central chip -does- have a built-in bootstrapping system. An example of attempting to use it is here: http://home.comcast.net/~lynol1000/as_494_gc/index.html (but that brings us back to (a), above) What -can- you do? there is a model of the 494 programmed for German Equatorial mounts (GEM). It has "Starfinder" as the exterior label, and was supplied by Meade with their 4504 and 114EQ/DH-4 telescopes. Joining the 4504 Yahoo http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/ group and asking there may get you one (or watching www.telescope-warehouse.com ). Another possible source might be the RoboScope group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roboscope/ (e) buy a 497 Autostar, and use it... it knows RA/DEC mounts ("Polar") and GEM. This is by far the easier/recommended course. Sorry 'bout that... good luck --dick
Subject: Bluestar for Mac drivers Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 17:04:15 From: Brad Burns (firstname.lastname@example.org)Mike here: I used a similar product, StarLink Bluetooth Wireless Module, on my Mac and didn't need to have any drivers. See my review of this now discontinued product at: http://www.weasner.com/etx/reviews/2006/starlink.html Perhaps the BlueStar will be the same.
Subject: Re: Lx90 autoguiding in Alt/Az mode with DSI/LPI Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2007 04:33:08 From: John Waskiewicz (email@example.com) I hope Dick can resolve the issues with 43GA 43EB calibration. Interesting that the only change is that the camera reports Polar mode always. But the calibration doesn't complete its cycle. Then neither functions set target or center target work. Has anyone else report this problem? thanks John
Subject: re: Autostar 497 went blank Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 21:23:27 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) You could try a non-Meade updater such as StarPatch from http://www.stargps.ca/starpatch.htm That program can frequently "Grab and hold" the communication link to the Autostar far better than Meade's ASU. good luck --dick
Subject: Autostar 497 went blank Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2007 11:13:36 From: Martin Munoz (email@example.com) I need help, I am fairly new to astronomy and purchased a LX90 8" LNT with autostar suite. the scope worked well and someone suggested I update the controller (#497) the hand controller read: Updating, do not turn off. Well maybe I am just an idiot but I inadvertantly turned it off. Now the controller is blank, I tried the safe mode and the controller reads: flash load 3.0 ready but I can't establish communication to it. Its a com port problem but I just can't figure it out. PLease help. firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: In SAFE LOAD mode use the Meade AutoStar Update application to update the ROM. When you run it it will detect this mode (or should) and let you re-install the ROM. For some more info, see the last item on the FAQ page on my ETX Site.
Subject: RE: Easy align, when finding 2 alignment stars scope did not go up in altitude. Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 00:59:21 From: Morris Clive Robert Edward ADN/CYLLID (Clivemorris@gwynedd.gov.uk) Viewing Autostar's screen I found that I could only put Reverse L/R and Reverse UP/Down on. When I had Reverse Up/down on-the scope went down even when I pressed the down arrow key. What you suggest might be in an autostar update? I haven't updated the Autostar via the internet since purchasing the ETX90EC back in 2003. I'm not sure how to. Thanks very much for your help so far Mike. CliveMike here: See the articles "How to use the 3.x Updater" and "AutoStar & Your Computer" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. The current version is very similar to the 3.x version. You will need a #505 serial cable, which you can make using information on the AutoStar Info page (in the cable section). If your computer doesn't have a RS-232 serial port you will need a USB-serial adapter; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page as not all adapters work reliably with the AutoStar (I use a Keyspan with my Macs). Finally you will need an updater application: Windows application from Meade, AutoStarX for Mac OS X, or Lin_Autostar for Linux; links for all these on the AutoStar Info page.
Subject: AutoStar - Daylight Savings Time Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 08:07:51 From: Willam P. Suriano (email@example.com) Now that we are out of Daylight Savings Time, next time I start my Autostar 497 should I change the Daylight Savings setting to "Off" instead of "On?"Mike here: Yep.
Thanks. As usual, if you want the straight answer, you da man!
Subject: patch typo? Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 23:13:51 From: Kyle D. Hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have just recently applied the the new 43gg15 patch to my 497, and applied the 4504/114 option. When I went to the autostar menu and selected the new scope, I noticed the alt/dec ratio and the ra/az ratios were different. I went to Steve Bedairs site and found both ratios should be the same. I looked at the 43gg15.txt file and sure enough there was a transcription of digits in the ratio settings for this scope. I can manually adjust the settings, but was wondering if there is a way to correct the txt file to generate a correct patch file. This will be an issue for anyone trying to use these motors with a goto mount (like me). Any info would be greatly appreciated. Kyle
From: richard seymour (email@example.com) Actually, the values in my kit match the values in a real 4504 Starfinder. Meade did the digit swap, too. I've even -asked- Meade which value was correct (many years ago, when they still sold the 4504), and their answer was "yes". I'll look at Steve's site to see which value he views as "correct". (you can save me a dig by telling me which value he used). The lines in the kit which are affected by the swap are: R 5C5BE FF CC ldd_03ca 4504 ratio 4.562963 R 5C5BF FF 03 R 5C5C0 FF CA ---and----- R 5C5CF FF CC ldd_0194 4504 ratio=4.562693 R 5C5D0 FF 01 R 5C5D1 FF 94 ==================== If the -correct- value is 4.562963 then the last two lines of second set would become R 5C5D0 FF 03 R 5C5D1 FF CA ===================== Conversely, if the correct value is 4.562693, then the last two lines of the first set would become: R 5C5BF FF 01 R 5C5C0 FF 94 ====================== have fun --dick
... a follow-up... Steve Bedair's page on the subject http://bedair.org/Autostar.html says that the proper number is 4.56296 which is the first number in my patch kit. Which says that these two lines: R 5C5D0 FF 01 R 5C5D1 FF 94 =========== should become R 5C5D0 FF 03 R 5C5D1 FF CA have fun --dick
Subject: RE: Easy align, when finding 2 alignment stars scope did not go up in altitude. Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 01:01:00 From: Morris Clive Robert Edward ADN/CYLLID (Clivemorris@gwynedd.gov.uk) I carried out the test and the tube stayed put.Mike here: Good; that means the Right Tube Adapter is OK. Here's another quick test; in the AutoStar menus reverse the UP/DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT arrow keys so that LEFT/RIGHT controls movement in Altitude. Does the scope move up?
Subject: ETX80-497 combination Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 01:47:44 From: Henrik van Holthoon (firstname.lastname@example.org) I suggest you set telescope model to ETX70 although the ETX80 has a slightly higher focal distance I believe, the drive system is to same as on the ETX70. Your eyepiece calculations with the AS 497 will not be correct as the focal distance is not the same but this is not a problem I never use it for the ETX105 or LX90. I looked at my 497/105 combination but could not find models ETX60, 70 or 80 it is possible 497 recognises 60, 70 or (80) automatically I do not know just try see what selections you get. Success HenrikMike here: The extra models may not appear until the AutoStar is actually connected to an ETX-60/70/80.
Thanks for the reply, I performed the latest update on the firmware and now the ETX80 appears under telescope selection at setup. I don't know if its in the update or it just recognizes the scope after connection. But it works fine now. The only problem with this scope now is something I wrote to you earlier about and I think is a generic problem because of the exact problem with a ETX60 I had. The knobs you tighten on the DEC axis to keep the scope from slipping are prone to snapping into before you can stop the scope from slipping, say from a horizontal position. Since the knobs are hollow I glued the halves back together and then filled the thing up with fiberglass resin. Did same for ETX80 before same happened, even still it takes too much tightening to get the tube to stay in place. I think you mentioned that the clutch disc could have some grease on it causing it to slip and thats exactly what it feels like but I'm afraid of dismantling to clean the disc. I may try to find the tear down instructions I had ready to try this repair again and fix it before something else gives. Again thanks for your time and I hope your compensated in some way for all the time you put in on your site. What would we do without you. CaptGarvin
Subject: Easy align, when finding 2 alignment stars scope did not go up in altitude. Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2007 06:53:47 From: Morris Clive Robert Edward ADN/CYLLID (Clivemorris@gwynedd.gov.uk) In preparation for the opposition of Mars,I attempted a couple of trial run easy aligns inside with the ETX90EC after taking our kids to Army Cadets. When I attempted an easy align after obtaining what I thought was Home Position,when the scope attempted to find Vega and Aldebaran it only moved in R.A./azimuth and did not go up in Dec/altitude. I did not interrupt the scope and it went onto a successful alignment. I wondered what went wrong and wondered if I had damaged the scope afterwards. I don't think I have but haven't had time to look. I'm afraid I could not find the answer in your book,and looked in Michael Covington's How to use a computerised Telescope and that said my Home Position was not correct. I had rotated the scope in azimuth to the stop anticlockwise and then moved it clockwise to north. I am not 100% sure if I clamped the altitude axis before the easy align. I thought I had. I would be very grateful if you could comment. Clear Skies, Clive MorrisMike here: If there tube did not move vertically then something went wrong; either you didn't tighten the axis lock OR the Right Tube Adapter is broken OR you just need to do a CALIBRATE MOTOR. When you try to slew manually, does the tube move upwards (remember, you might need to increase the slewing speed)?
No. I increased the slewing speed,calibrated the motors,but the tube won't move upwards.Mike here: Rats. Could be a broken Right Tube Adapter. One last test: raise the tube to point upwards and lock the vertical axis. Does the tube stay put or does it want to fall back down to the base? If it falls down, the RTA is busted.
Subject: ETX125 to ETX80 Sent: Monday, November 5, 2007 09:25:51 From: CaptGarvin (email@example.com) I have the hand controller (HC) from a ETX125 I bought after they had first come out. It came with 2 HCs, I kept the one with the numbers 1-9-0. I don't know the HC model number, it has the phone jack next to the HC jack on bottom of HC. Is this a 495? I want to use this HC on my ETX80. I have updated it to 21EK (shows "(C)00 MEADE [21E]" at start up). Is it possible to get the ETX80 as one of the choices under "Telescope" selection. It currently only offers ETX60,70 and LX90, or does it matter. The fact the HC came with the ETX125 does that make it a 497? I may have downloaded the wrong update into the HC. Should I use the 43eg update? Thanks CaptGarvinMike here: That is likely a #497, which was optional for the ETX-125EC at the time it was released. You will need to update it to the current version.
Subject: re: Autostar issues / ETX 125 PE Sent: Sunday, November 4, 2007 09:19:37 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) As Mike suggested, what happened was (most likely) that you "filled" the Autostar's User Objects area. However, due to the way the Autostar memory works, you can -not- "free up" space by deleting objects from the keypad. (it only makes it worse). The only way to reorganize/compact/"garbage collect" the unneeded memory is with the Autostar Updater (ASU). You should -not- need to use SafeMode. Hook up the cables to the scope and your PC. Turn on the PC, let Windows boot and be ready to run the ASU. Now turn on the telescope. Just let the Autostar get to the 'welcome to meade, choose mode' and -then- start ASU on the PC. You should not need to touch the Autostar at all.. the PC/ASU will wrest control when you ask it to [retrieve data]. If ASU does not start up showing two "panes", click the "Advanced Features" button. Now click the [Retrieve] button. After the handbox contents are pulled into the PC, you can add or delete items from the right-side pane, keeping an eye on the "space available" line beneath. When you are happy with your collection, click [Send], and the Autostar's User Area will be totally rewritten with the compacted library of objects and tours. During all of this, you do NOT need to click the [upgrade autostar software now] button. Full click-by-click on how to do this is at: http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/guide-libraries.html good luck --dick
From: julie clayton (email@example.com) Hello.... i think I have already made things worse.. : ) I tried doing a reset, and when that didn't work, I went through and manually deleted all of the users objects., that didn't work so I tried doing the safe mode and that didn't work either. Please advise what is next. And thanks again for all of the excellent support and quick responses. I bet I'm back up and running by tonight and the skies should be clear here in Central Oregon! JulieMike here: What about the SAFE LOAD didn't work?
when I tried to calibibrate sensors, the scope went straight up when trying to find level.Mike here: Do a CALIBRATE MOTOR.
As it happens, Safe Load does not touch the User Objects area, so the problem will -persist- across a Safe Load. (at least Safe Load using the Update Autostar button). good luck --dick
i did a calibrate motor... that worked fine. Then tried the calibrate sensors but got same results; scope pointing straight up.Mike here: Replace the batteries and repeat the CALIBRATE MOTOR, then try the CALIBRATE SENSORS.
am not using batteries; am using a 12v power source.Mike here: OK, check the cable connectors and jacks for bent or dirty pins. Try reversing the cable. What happens if you do an Auto Align and an Easy Align?
Auto align : got same results, scope going straight up Easy align was different: slewed to Arcturus As far as cables go, can't tell really if they are bent or need cleaning, but I did unplug/replug everything ... Many thanks.Mike here: OK, sounds like the CALIBRATE SENSOR is the problem. But at least Easy Align is working so cable/connectors/AutoStar is likely to be OK. Lets stick with that for the moment. You might remove the battery from the LNT and replace it.
got the battery changed; calibrate motors worked just fine, but scope still thinks level is straight up. No problem with finding North. Do you think the LNP is the issue? If it is, I don't actually need it... I know North and I know level... it's a nice feature, but I don't have to have it, especially if it is edgy... Many thanks.Mike here: Yep, sounds like the LNT is confused. Replacing the battery may or may not help.
i'll try using it tonight without the LNP and see how it works out.. many thanks for all of your assistance today..
The LNT battery does not get used for the Level and North operations, it only affects the clock. It does sound like you have a sick level sensor (which is a two-axis accelerometer chip, unlike the LX200gps "rolling ball") good luck --dick
uh-oh... sounds like time to send it back to Meade for repair unless you have any other suggestions. many thanks.Mike here: Probably.
Actually, i thought your earlier attitude of "i don't really need a level sensor" was admirable. But if you're going to send it in, do it now (before the post-Xmas rush) have fun --dick
Subject: Re: Lx90 autoguiding in Alt/Az mode with DSI/LPI Sent: Sunday, November 4, 2007 08:29:32 From: John Waskiewicz (firstname.lastname@example.org) when I 1st loaded the patch 3 minmums were > Enable 909APM <--blue > DSI Autoguiding for Alt/Az <--blue > 10x Finer Custom Tracking Rate <--blue I found that if I left the 909APM out my lx90 APM didn't function,No focuser? I will retry later with the leaving out APM and adding the > Pulse Autoguiding for Alt/Az > DSI Autoguiding for Alt/Az <--blue > 10x Finer Custom Tracking Rate <--blue Maybe I need to reset to enable my APM? Do I need to unlock these patches by regestering? I have the LX90-12 LNT/GPS and I added the 909AMP Thanks
From: richard seymour (email@example.com) If you have an LX90, the 909 APM should work with normal Meade firmware. With the 909 APM, the only way to access the focus menu is to press [mode] for 3 seconds and release. The "tap zero" method does not work for the LX90/909 combination. >> I will retry later with the leaving out APM and adding the >> > Pulse Autoguiding for Alt/Az >> > DSI Autoguiding for Alt/Az <--blue >> > 10x Finer Custom Tracking Rate <--blue >> Maybe I need to reset to enable my APM? That should not make a difference. >> Do I need to unlock these patches by regestering? No. The "registering" only speeds up the Updating process. >> I have the LX90-12 LNT/GPS and I added the 909AMP good luck --dick
Subject: Autostar issues / ETX 125 PE Sent: Sunday, November 4, 2007 07:42:08 From: julie clayton (firstname.lastname@example.org) I was adding some user objects yesterday and after adding about 20, the last item i tried to add would not save... i got an error message that said 'not found'. It acted as if it were trying to find the object I was entering instead of save it. I tried it again just to make sure I was doing everything right, and got the same message. Did not think too much more about it until I went outside last night, and when calibrating sensors and finding level, the scope pointed straight up. It did turn to 'North'. I read through some of the online information and tried to do a safe load, but didn't work; when pressing enter and both scroll bars and then powering scope on, I just got the normal 'welcome to meade, choose mode' message. Then started to uninstall/reinstall autostar, but because the software seems to be a bit 'edgy' so thought i better check before I go any further. Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction. JulieMike here: You likely ran out of AutoStar memory when adding the objects. You might be able to delete some to free up the memory rather than doing the SAFE LOAD. By the way, SAFE LOAD is done using the ENTER and SCROLLDOWN key (not both scrolling keys).
Subject: Lx90 autoguiding in Alt/Az mode with DSI/LPI Sent: Friday, November 2, 2007 19:57:52 From: John Waskiewicz (email@example.com) Hello I have a problem with the patches 3GA/GB. when I get them to finally load they simple do not allow Autoguiding in Alt/Az? never calibrates and never responds to any target commands like center target/set target? If I load the unpatched 43Eg the autoguide calibrates but can never lock onto star and track. set target/center target work. I don't understand what the problem is? Any ideas why patches aren't working here? thanks John Waskiewicz
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) I will try to test those operations with my ETX90, but my experience has been that i can not guide it due to its very worn mechanisms. Therefore my tests may not be able to reveal the problem. I shall also be out-of-town starting Monday, so i will not be able to test for the next 10 days until i return home. Which options of the patch kit are you selecting (checking)? have fun --dick
thanks for the quick response. here is a list I chose: Location display pause KillBrightest Enable 909APM 100% Guide Rate Pulse Autoguiding for Alt/Az DSI Autoguiding for Alt/Az 10x Finer Custom Tracking Rate when it failed I then I tried only the ones in blue as a minimum as a last try with same results after a calibration attemp when the yellow circle pops up then no response to commands like set target/center target. It just sits there and star drifts away slowly. thanks John Waskiewicz
Do NOT activate this one on an LX90: >> Enable 909APM (the LX90 already uses the 909APM, and the patch can introduce strange behaviour) >> 100% Guide Rate >> Pulse Autoguiding for Alt/Az >> DSI Autoguiding for Alt/Az >> 10x Finer Custom Tracking Rate >> >> when it failed I then I tried only the ones in blue as a minimum The passage of your message through Mike lost the "blue" color, so i have no idea which ones you left as a minimum. Since you are using Autostar Suite to guide, you will need both the "Pulse" and "DSI" patches. The rest have no effect on whether AutostarSuite will be willing to guide the scope in Alt/Az. as a >> last try with same results after a calibration attemp when the yellow >> circle pops up then no response to commands like set target/center >> target. It just sits there and star drifts away slowly. I can't say that i remember ever having much luck with "center target". My testing (mainly used for PEC training) did not require that i center it beyond what i had achieved manually. Clouds have now moved in, so star testing may be impossible until i return on Nov 14th. have fun --dick
Location display pause KillBrightest Enable 909APM <--blue 100% Guide Rate Pulse Autoguiding for Alt/Az DSI Autoguiding for Alt/Az <--blue 10x Finer Custom Tracking Rate <--blue
Thanks, Mike... Mike Weasner wrote: Location display pause KillBrightest Enable 909APM <--blue 100% Guide Rate Pulse Autoguiding for Alt/Az DSI Autoguiding for Alt/Az <--blue 10x Finer Custom Tracking Rate <--blue That explains why it would not guide with Autostar Suite in Alt/Az in the "minimum" set... the "Pulse" patch is required to enable that feature. I'll try to improve the documentation on that (and add a "do not use with LX90s" to the 909APM text) I'll still be trying to duplicate the failure, but at least it's now half-solved. have fun --dick
Subject: Autostar hand paddle locks with ETX-90 but works with ETX-70 Sent: Thursday, November 1, 2007 14:38:27 From: Qgent (email@example.com) Hello I have read a few books, look and read alot of web pages including this one and because of it I got and ETX-70 with auto star six month ago. Today I received the ETX 90EC, I tried to use the hand paddle all all It does is iluminated the keys and display this message " Use ETX AutoStar with this model" .. Do I need to send this unit back? or the cable does not work with the 90 but it does with the 70? Help. RubenMike here: Your ETX-70 likely came with the AutoStar #494 (no number keys on the keypad). As you can see on this Meade web page, http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html, the #494 will not work on the ETX-90. You need an AutoStar #497, which will work on all ETX models.
Wow.. thanks for the fast answer.. I do have the hand paddle with the numbers in the key and that's what got me confuse. I tried both paddles on the 70 I get the same message after a beep using #494 and no beep using #497, is too bad that Meade no longer gives support to ETX-90C Again thanks for your fast reply RubenMike here: You get the error with the #494 on the ETX-70 as well?
No sir. with the ETX 70 both hand paddles work just fine. the only paddle that works with the ETX-90 is the one that can work the autofocus and had a row of red ledMike here: OK, so the #497 (with number keys) works on the ETX-70 but not on the ETX-90. Odd. Can you get to the RESET menu item on the #497 from the ETX-90? If not, try a RESET from the ETX-70, then power off the ETX-70 and swap it to the ETX-90. You might need to try a RESET from software (see the article on this on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page). Lastly you might need to reinstall the AutoStar ROM; you'll need a #505 serial cable and a RS-232 serial port on your computer. If you have only USB you'll need a USB-serial adapter; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info as not all adapters will work reliably with the AutoStar.
I'm also using re-chargeable batteries on the ETX-90, would that cause that problem?Mike here: I don't recommend using rechargeable internal batteries but the message you are getting doesn't indicate a low power condition. But it wouldn't hurt to try fresh, non-rechargeable batteries.
Thank you very much Will to all of that Regards Ruben
I tried to update the hand paddle and notice that it was #495 so I updated it to #497 and now all is great. Thanks for all your help. I learned a few new things.. Regards RubenMike here: Super!
Subject: re: WARNING: 497 handbox destroyed ... Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 20:30:04 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) > reference the Warnings article "AutoStar #497 and Ethernet Cable": If you are lucky, the only component that is damaged may be one (or more) of the feed-through inductors immediately adjacent to the RJ45 connector in the Autostar ... if they test as "open circuits" (instead of near-zero resistance) they can be "jumped" by a small piece of wire (or a microfuse?). You should also verify that power is still coming out of the telescope socket... you might have blown a circuit trace away from the scope's power panel. good luck --dick (who only allows "normal" cat5 cables in his house and work environments... all "twisted" ones are painted with stripes and sealed in bags when not actively in use).
From: Wolfgang Weiss (email@example.com) this is an unexpected lot of help! Thank you very much! 1-New principle for Wolfgang > (he will only allow "normal" cat5 cables in his house > and work environments... all "twisted" ones are painted > with stripes and sealed in bags when not actively in use)!!! 2-All inductors ok 3-Crazy: LM2931 voltage regulator input: -14,9 (minus!!!) LM2931 voltage regulator output:: -0.49V Reason: I have plugged the CAT5 cabel directly to the handbox! Crazy! After reconnection of the spiral cable the voltage regulator had +14,9 V input, the output +5,0 V (ok) The handbox is dead, anyway. Nevertheless I will continue tomorrow with measureing the supply voltages of the ICs and the printed circuit's lines. P.S.: The "normal" Electronic Controller is properly working - telescope internal circuits seem to be ok. Thanks once more for your efforts! Regards Wolfgang
Thanks for the "schematic" hints - very helpful! Regards Wolfgang
From: Niall J. Saunders (firstname.lastname@example.org) Having read your letter on Mike Weasner's site, I have a 'spare' AutoStar which I would be happy to sell you. I am based in Scotland, and you can verify me by contacting Mike Weasner 'direct' - he and I have had many email exchanges in the past. From past experience, it is unlikely that you will be able to get the unit repaired - certainly not for less than the cost of a replacement. (However, I am happy to take a look at your unit for you, as an electronic engineer specialising in repairs). The unit I am selling is part of a batch of 'spares' that I purchased. I now have just two left. Regards, Niall Saunders NJS Technical Services Clinterty Observatories Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
it would help me very much to have the possibility to purchase one of your spare 497 handboxes. Thanks for your help! Regards Wolfgang Weiss
Subject: re: Please Help with autostar Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 20:18:32 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) The color coding on the two ends of the cable you listed is correct (numerically, ignoring the outer two slots on the wide connector, they're 1->4, 2->3, 3->2, 4->1 ) The DB9-to-RJ11 adapter is where -two- "official Meade" cables failed in my experience... the cables were fine, but the signals just didn't get from the 9 pin plug to the cable socket. Refer to http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_testing.html for an end-to-end test method (and check that pin 5 on the DB9 end reaches the other end of the wire, too). good luck (caffeine helps migraines) --dick
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