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Last updated: 30 November 2010
This page is for user comments on Astronomy software for the Windows (including the Meade AutoStar Suite), Macintosh, or Palm OS systems. Items that are more "review" oriented will be posted on the Astronomy Software Reviews page. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me 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:	Can't run ASU V 5.9
Sent:	Tuesday, November 30, 2010 17:36:33
From:	John Deriso (
Am I the only one who can't get an  Autostar Updater Version 5.9,
downloaded from Meade's website, to run?  Reboot after install, nothing
helps; same "Autostar Update Application has encountered a problem and
needs to close".   I sent the error report to Microsoft several times,
no answer.

Running Windows XP Version 2002, Service Pack 3, Intel dual core CPU @
2.4 GHz, Dell Latitude D830.

Mike here: I've run it on my Mac OS X system in Parallels Win/XP (latest version). One problem some have had was solved by changing the screen resolution in Windows.


Ran the screen resolution from one end to the other, same problem
message. Odd, but the MySky updater that downloads at the same time
seems to want to work.  I don't have a MySky to try it, though.  Never
had this problem with earlier versions (e.g. V. 3.61) of the ASU.
Mike here: You can download a 4.6 version of the updater from the AutoStar Software Archive on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Depending on what model of the AutoStar you have, that older version may be just fine.


OK Mike, I'll give that a shot, thanks.
I owned the original ETX-90, upgraded to the EC when it first came out.
I've since repaired several ETX's including the -105, -125 such as
changeout of bad DEC motors, swapped bases, repaired Autostars, fixed my
12" LX200GPS AZ hardstop, etc.  But when it comes to the computer stuff
I draw a blank.
Followed your site for years and occasionally contributed.  You've made
quite a career out of this.

Subject:	Re: Updating Auto Star Handset
Sent:	Sunday, November 14, 2010 08:41:26
From:	richard seymour (
ASU cannot load Tours into a 497EP.

I -am- working on a "mistake-proof" instruction for using Andrew's MyScope,
but part of the problem is that Meade's Tours have bugs in them.
(they frequently have an RA with "82" in the seconds position:   10:00:82 )
(((i'm going to be mostly off-line for the next 5 days, so responses to
email may take 12 hours or more)))

Here's my first pass at MyScope:

In short, attach your Autostar to the PC,
start MyScope, let it auto-detect the scope.
It will then read in everything.
Click the List Data  tab
Click the Tours  tab

You are now seeing whatever Tours it found (your recent ASU escapade may have confused it)
Use the drop-down "Menus" button to add new Tours (Import TLE/Tours/Satellites)
that will bring up an "find-the-file" window, use it to point at the Tour you want.
Click "Open"
The tour will appear in the right pane of MyScope, with a completion message afterwards.
Even If it tells you there are errors, click OK.
To -locate- the errors, click the "Validate" button just above the Tour names list.
Now pop-ups will appear citing the problems in the Tour text.
You can edit the Tour there in MyScope's screen.
When you have the Tours arranged as you wish, click the "Load Scope" button (the right end
of the line of buttons with "Menus" on the left).
That will push the entire set of User Objects (and everything else that the Lists Data tab
gives you access to) out to the scope.

good luck

Subject:	re: Updating Auto Star Handset
Sent:	Monday, November 8, 2010 17:16:17
From:	richard seymour (
Upon reading this:

From: richard seymour (
> I usually -do- recommend simply using Meade's Autostar Updater (ASU) for
> dealing with Tours, but at least there now is an alternative:
>  Andrew Johansen's "MyScope"

Andrew wrote me to suggest that I send you "an addenda" in that:

If you have a 497EP Autostar (firmware version greater than 5000, such as 5EC1:
you MUST use MyScope app for tours, since ASU still does not work (as of ASU 5.9.2).

There is now an "AudioStar" appearing on some models of telescopes,
and, although it has a 497EP as the underlying hardware,
i suspect it's even weirder, since the Tours can (do!) have audio
portions attached/associated.

have fun


From:	Bob Gunnis (
Many thanks for the post but am not sure where to find tours with
MyScope. Have you any further information on how I go about it without
making mistakes please

Bob Gunnis


What version of firmware is running in your Autostar?
(which is a way of asking if you have a 497 or a 497EP Autostar).

The complete number can be seen under  Setup/Statistics [enter][scroll up]

I can give a more "no mistakes" answer if i have that information.

and reading the message that you sent to Mike -before- the first message
he forwarded to me, I believe the "long pause" you saw when you
attempted your first Autostar Updater (ASU) session was simply ASU
trying to contact Meade over the internet to download the firmware to
later load into your Autostar.
Unfortunately, they kick the Autostar into the "Downloading..." state
-before- doing the transfer.  If you have a slow internet connection,
you can be sitting there for over half an hour as the download (from
Meade to your PC) progresses.
Only after the download completes does ASU try to send it to the
(a 497 Autostar is a one megabyte file, a 497EP is a little larger)

You can separate the two activities by -not- connecting your Autostar
during the first stage.  Clicking ASU's "Update Autostar" button without
an Autostar attached will get message boxes guiding you through the
"copy to your PC" procedure.
(you do have to specify which flavor of Autostar you have)
After that completes you can -then- attach and power up the Autostar,
and click "Update Autostar" again... but this time tick the "Local"
button and tell it which version you'd like (from the drop-down list it
will show).

Using ASU to merely change Tours (etc) does not require attaching to the
(but ASU can have problems with 497EP Autostar Tours...)

have fun

Subject:	StarPatch and Tours, Objects
Sent:	Saturday, November 6, 2010 04:15:00
From:	Bob Gunnis (
I am very happy with the Star Patch. If for example I wanted to update
Tour or comets etc is there a patch for doing that or have I got to use
AutoStar update?

I am a bit reluctant to use AutoStar because of the previous problems I

Once again, many thanks

Bob Gunnis
Mike here: I'll let Dick Seymour, developer of the patches, answer.
From:	richard seymour (
I usually -do- recommend simply using Meade's Autostar Updater (ASU) for
dealing with Tours, but at least there now is an alternative:
 Andrew Johansen's "MyScope"
Available for free from

Although it started life as a "PEC Editor" (for working with the
Autostar's Periodic Error Correction data (and errors)), its functions
have expanded over the years.
Among its features is the ability to process an in-PC handbox.aud or
.usr file file (which are created by ASU) and "de-compile" the Tours
back to the original text "source code".

As Bob requested, it can both "push" and retrieve the Tours (and other
objects) to and from the Autostar (these are functions of the "lists"
tab in MyScope, under the "Menu" drop-down list).

The program has extensive Help pages, plus dozens of other features
(such as full Remote Handbox capability).  Exploring its full
capabilities with your Autostar requires the "PEC Editor" section of the
patch kits to be applied, but for Tour/Comet/Asteroid/Landmarks down-
and up-loading, it will work with an unpatched Autostar.

have fun

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