Last updated: 16 February 2002
Subject: AutoLoad Program A2.4 Update Capabilities Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2001 05:15:14 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 (www.meade.com/support/auto.html ("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: v1.0c v1.0g 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; email@example.com):
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:
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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