Last updated: 16 February 2002

Important Download Information

Subject:	AutoLoad Program A2.4 Update Capabilities
Sent:	Saturday, May 12, 2001 05:15:14
From: (Clay Sherrod)
For my"Supercharge" ETX tune up service I always upload each client's
AutoStar with the most recent and tested version that is available and
thoroughly tested.  I see some of the very first versions that were put
out, as well as brand new scopes and AutoStars, most of which are still
a year behind in AutoStar version v2.0g.  I have now had an opportunity
to upload OVER nearly every version of AutoStar that Meade has produced
since its inception of the ETX scope and overwrite again virtually every
one put on an AutoStar with great ease and success using the Meade A 2.4
Autoload program that is still on the Meade web page
( ("Autostar Update" page).  I was
curious if the autoload program would allow "direct" uploads to all of
previous very early Meade software versions without any "stepping" or
side conversions necessary; recently I had the opportunity to test the
earliest version for AutoStar upload, v1.0.

We are all aware that upload very recent AutoStar versions is quite
simple using this uploader, but some questions remained on very early
(and more simple) versions.

Whereas downloading new firmware for our AutoStars used to be a
laboriously difficult task, the A2.4 will allow DIRECT over-writing of
virtually ALL earliest Meade versions in one step.  Until recently I was
not sure how far back a version could be updated without a two-step
process first.

On each of the earliest version uploads (to either v2.1ek, 2.2eD then
2.2eF...H...and G) I have thoroughly checked both the database commands
and the ephemeride entries to look for any signs of incomplete loading
(partial data) or incorrrect or corrupted database information and have
found none that did not accept a full and successful upload from ANY
early version to the most recent desired.

It appears that ANY early version of AutoStar can be updated directly,
even those with no "Safe Load" capabilities as in the earliest programs.
 The VERY early (i.e. v1.0) versions take much longer to identify in the
Updater and longer to load as well.  But in the long run, it takes an
old sluggish Autostar to new heights with whatever more modern version
is desired.

Thus far I have successfully uploaded the following versions of AutoStar
for clients:

v1.1 (all versions)
v1.2 (various)
v1.3 (various)
v2.1 (all)
v2.2 (all and still counting).

So there is no need for multiple tasks to upgrade very old AutoStars
when using the A2.4 Autoload program.  It works very well and even
identifies a "Very Old Version" and converts to Safe Load prior to
uploading.  In the case of v1.0c, the upload required almost one hour,
compared to about 30 minutes for the latest v2.2eH firmware.

Keeping up with all the new versions of Autostar are perhaps more
difficult at this stage than loading them onto your handbox via A2.4
update program!

P. Clay Sherrod - ETX Supercharge Tune Up Service
Arkansas Sky Observatory

Some earlier info to keep in mind (as supplied by Dick Seymour;
The v1.3 kit will update all earlier versions to 1.3.
Then any A2.1 or higher updater can upgrade -that- to current versions.
The watershed differences between "old" and "new" are:

However, you do NOT have to stop at v2.0h during a 1.1j to 1.3c to 21ek sequence.

For some older pre-2.x versions you will probably have to put the Autostar into "download" mode before telling the Autostar Update Client to begin the update. With newer versions it is no longer necessary to first put the Autostar into this mode.

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Copyright © 2001 Michael L. Weasner /
Submittals Copyright © 2001 by the Submitter