Last updated: 14 March 2012

Subject:	Easy Reset for the AutoStar Handbox 497 from Meade
Sent:	Wednesday, May 12, 2010 10:28:58
From:	Axel (axelbiskup@t-online.de)
My name is Axel and I would like to thank the firstonce for your side
Here you have posted on the Internet.

A problem with my AutoStar hand controller for the ETX 125 UHTC Meade
Telescopes, I found you and have already spent several hours on the side
and am just thrilled, of which diversity and issues it deals.

Short and simply brilliant ... made Super.

The problem I had with you has also been described already and I was
honest in despair.

The AutoStar hand controller is suddenly no longer worked and I had to
make no display anything at all.

Since I have my telescopes far, only a few days, I stand there with this
problem and feared even buy a new control box need to.

I was very annoyed with the Meade construction. A telescope that costs
about 1000 , with a battery bay for eight batteries that hold a maximum
of 17 hours and in the whole package does not supply it, it  2 for each
cell phone when you buy this one ...

But I did not want to tell you ... is just my anger about it.

I have looked more closely and the control box after a reset switch or
button searching but without success as you yourself know.

Since I am versed various hand-held scanner, for example, the library
for use by transport and parcel companies, I had the idea, which should
enable a key function of the device at least back to their default

And this function is also available and is easy to remember.

I describe to you here:

1st The telescope is turned off.

2nd The cable from the computer to telescopes and the control box must
be plugged.

3rd You tune the program Autoupdater on the PC.

4th Now you have to simultaneously press ENTER and SCROLL DOWN and hold
on the control box and switch the module on the HBX telescopes.

The control box is a beep on his own and the display shows Flash Rom 3.0

Now you have approximately 30-40 seconds to set a new update to the
control box.

After about 10 minutes your AutoStar 497 hand controller back into her
old condition and works again very carefully and correctly.

In the Autoupdater again will the Versionsnumber  see and how much
Romspace still available.

I hope to you and many other Starfriends to help, as I had the suffer
from this problem, or even need.

Really do not panic when something like appearance times. It works ...
call without having to support the Meade to hear .... then send us the
box and pay $ 125 U.S. and we can help you then.

I hope I could help and would be happy if it works just as well in

I apologize for my bad English, or perhaps the grammatik ...

Should also be typing in it, so keep it You can ^^...:)

Many greetings from Germany, Wuppertal to all who are reading this time

and again thank you Michael that there is such a good site ... :)


End of today's update
Subject:	AutoStar #497 - Safe load
Sent:	Wednesday, August 19, 2009 15:17:37
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
For versions starting with "59E" (so: 59E7, 59Ed, 59Ef)
the "safe load" key sequence is  simultaneous [enter] and [?]

For version 5BE2 (the "current" one) they're back to [enter] [scroll down]

good luck
Mike here: Versions of the AutoStar #497 starting with 1.2 (I think) through 4.3 use ENTER and SCROLLDOWN for the keypresses. NOTE: there is no SAFE LOAD for the AutoStar #494.

End of 22 August 2009 update

Bad Download Recovery (SAFE LOAD)

Subject:	 AAAHHHHH Fried autostar!
Sent:	Thursday, January 4, 2001 11:10:41
From:	grrass_snake_man@ic24.net (grrass_snake_man)
I know, I know, I should have followed the warnings, but as my Auto star
got trapped in a download I could not end I turned autostar off, now
there is NO life in it!  I have looked through your brilliant site but
it would seem no one else has been dumb enough to do this !

ANy suggestions???


Mike here: Search the site for "SAFE LOAD". That's the key! But what you'll find is this comment:

From the Autostar 2.0 README file: "SAFE LOADER MODE IN YOUR Autostar:
If the firmware in your Autostar crashes and you cannot access the "DOWNLOAD" menu item on your handbox, you can use the "SAFE LOADER" feature of your new Autostar software (version release 1.1G and above). To get into the safe loader, follow these simple steps: 1. Make sure the Autostar and ETX are turned off.
2. Press and hold the "ENTER" key and the Scroll Down Key located to the right of the help key on the Autostar handbox.
3. While depressing both keys, turn on your Autostar power switch. This will require you using both hands.

You should see "FLASH LOAD READY" on your display. This indicates that you can proceed to Update new software to your Autostar."

And more:

Subject:	 Diagnosing an Autostar / Flash Load Problem
Sent:	Saturday, January 6, 2001 11:03:44
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
(this is a response i wrote to a direct Email...)

> Our computer crashed during the download, we tried the FLASH LOAD
>procedure, but the Updater says it cannot find the Autostar. HELP!

You can use Hyperterminal to test the hookup, even in FLASH LOAD mode.
Just be -very- careful... it's exceedingly fragile at that point.
Also: whenever downloading -walk far away- from the computer.
Any other activity can cause the download to fail.
It'll beep when it wants you...

But: FLASH LOAD:  when using this, you have to hook up the cables,
start the computer, start the Autostar (into FLASH LOAD), and
*then* start the Updater.

IF that doesn't work, then try:
Hookup and start as above, then fire up Hyperterminal.
Tell it you want a direct connection to COM1 (or COM2),
and set the baud rates etc to 9600, 8-bit, no parity, 1 stop bit.
The keyboard is now "connected" to the autostar.
Type a control-F
It should respond "D"
Type a control-D
It should respond ">"

IF neither of those work, then most likely it's a cable or 
COM port problem.  Wiggle things until they -do- work.

Leaving Hyperterm running, unplug the cable from the COM port.
Look at the connector on the PC.  with the tip of a small
screwdriver, try and cross-connect pins 2 and 3 
\ 1 2 3 4 5 /
\ 6 7 8 9 /
That's the pin numbering, facing the computer's connector.
With those two pins shorted together, -anything- you type on
the keyboard should appear on the screen.  IF it doesn't,
it's a COM port problem.

IF it works (keys reflect on screen) plug the cable back in, 
and move to the other end.  (I'm assuming a 505-type cable to
a 495 or 497 Autostar... the following is NOT APPLICABLE to
a 506 cable set) Unplug it from the Autostar, and short pins
1 and 2   (that's the left two, when the cable is held facing
the end of the connector, pins up, plastic locking tang down.
Remember: we're looking at the end of the connector 
| 1 2 3 4 |
|__    ___|
which would be inserted into the autostar.
Anyway: short pins 1 and 2, (i use a tiny paper clip)
and, again, try keyboarding at it.  Again, what you type 
should appear... if it doesn't, it's the cable.

IF it does appear, try the whole mess again... reboot the PC
and all that to guarantee that you're starting with a clean deck.

Good luck

Go back to the Autostar Information page.

Go back to the ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2001, 2009-10, 2012 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittal Copyright © 2001, 2009-10 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_safeload.html