Last updated: 22 August 2009
Subject: 497EP Firmware Report Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 11:42:24 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) This may have been adequately covered by others, but I wanted to give a report on the 5BE2 firmware patch for the 497EP. I didn't have as many problems with 59Ef as some apparently did, probably because I prefer driving the Autostar with my laptop than using the handbox library, but I spent a session last night using 497 only, after upgrading to the new firmware. It works well for me, with accurate go-tos, now including Jupiter, which was always severely off before. It appears Meade has finally addressed some of the bugs at least. I also upgraded ASU to 5.8, which, like other recent ASU versions, had no problem recognizing my handset as an EP, and downloading and upgrading the new firmware. It isn't any quicker than previous versions, but it works. Regarding library maintenance, the new ASU is as unstable as ever, but it does work with the EP (mostly). I've developed a few practices, learned by trial and error, that minimize the crashes and handbox reboots, but I can update my object library. I have seen some reports of failure to do any updates, but here are the procedures that work for me with the EP: 1) Upload the current library from the handset. Save this to a hbx file, and make modifications to this file. Disconnect the 497 while swapping files from the library to the active Autostar window. Don't edit with the unit hot. 2) If you download www updates of comets, sats, etc using ASU, do it with the library for that object type empty (i.e., delete all entries if there are any in the library window). Than add back any objects you didn't want deleted. ASU seems to crash frequently when overwriting object lists. Do the same thing if importing your own custom sat TLE files. 3) Make your updates to the active Autostar window, then save another hbx file. This will save time when ASU crashes. 4) When ready to download the revised hbx file to the handbox, restart ASU, load your saved hbx file, and download. If it works, retrieve the data from the 497 and make sure that your changes are there and are retrievable. 5) Don't push the available memory limits. You will have problems before the counter that ASU gives you goes into the red. The EP has more memory than the old 497, but you still can't load all available asteroids into your handbox. 6) Forget about revising tours. At least they don't work for me. I get crashes and corrupted files. I don't use them anyway, so I just deleted them all. 7) Forget about loading user data. User data retrieved from or loaded to the handbox will be gibberish. This isn't really necessary anyway. 8) Always save a backup of a known working hbx file in case of problems. Every time I use ASU I shake my head in disgust at the poor design, but I manage to do what I need with it. I've never had an unrecoverable crash (so far). I look forward to the day when Dick Seymour has a version of Starpatch that works with the EP. Cheers, Rick Bodishbaugh
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