Last updated: 31 July 2009

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[01 Feb 09]
Subject:	updating a 497
Sent:	Sunday, February 1, 2009 04:03:38
From:	Douglas Hornick (hornickd@hotmail.com)
Another fine tip found on your site has got me out of a bind.  I
installed the Autostar Suite Astronomer Edition that came with my scope
and was playing around with the telescope pull down and found update
Autostar.  I chose the Upgrade Autostar Software Now button and selected
the radio button to find software on the internet.  It found version
59Ef which I thought strange since that was not mentioned in Meade's
download section.  Uploading this firmware scrambled my 497.  Luckily
you had helped a person named Jim with a similar situation and I pressed
the enter and scroll down buttons, then turned on the scope.  I then
uploaded the most recent version on Meade's site 43Eg and my scope's
back in business.  Thanks again Mike.

Mike here: Wow. Wonder why it got such a strange update??? Glad you got going again.

And from our resident AutoStar Expert:

From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Oh, the *** hits the fan... (i was able to duplicate the experience)


Meade has silently introduced a new "497 Autostar"
As far as i know, it's only being shipped with the new LX90's.

It has a -completely- different processor (Toshiba TMP92CM22FG instead
of Motorola/Freescale M68HC11) and memory layout (2MB!),
far smaller part count, etc.etc.
Totally machine-level firmware incompatible with the older 497's.

As far as i know, there's no way to tell them apart -externally-,
but the new one arrives bearing v59Ef when you fire it up.
v59Ef appears to be a simple "port" of v43Eg to the new platform
(i.e. the original higher-level program was compiled with a new target
platform).   Limited testing by others have shown it to have many of
the same bugs as 43Eg, so it's a fairly accurate "port".  It should be
"plug compatible" with existing telescopes.  Since it's a new internal
processor, my patch kits will not work with it (yet).

One BIG improvement is that they've used gold on the keypad contacts.

ASU (as of last week) couldn't handle 59Ef and the -new- Autostar.
But i was not aware of it accidently picking -up- 59Ef and trying
to cram it into the -old- Autostar, until you sent this note.

Investigations have shown a "beta" ASU which appears to work with the ETX-LS,
(like you, i can't really tell, since i don't have one)
but which does -not- appear to work with the new 497 Autostar.

have fun
Mike here: Thanks Dick! My "fixed" LX90 had 4.4Ea but that was a few months back.
[25 Feb 09]
Mike here: If you have "updated" your AutoStar with an incompatible version, see the article "Recovering from a Bad AutoStar Download" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. However, be advised that a recent report of a dead AutoStar following the bogus update said the recovery steps did not work.
[28 Feb 09]
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
They fixed the 59EF problem (on 26th Feb)!!!

If you -now- choose [update Autostar] from the ASU, you get 43Eg
(not 44Ea... fascinating...)

[31 May 09]
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
I have not "seen" versions 59E7 and 59Ed, but someone loaned me an
Autostar with the current version: 59Ef.
59Ef is also available from Meade's website, so we could analyze it.

I am aware of at least one person who updated from 59Ed to 59Ef and saw
many of his problems "fixed".

The remaining problems i'm -aware- of (meaning: there are more, i'm sure)
in 59Ef include:
1) If you have an LX90-gps  east of Greenwich, it's confused.
2) The :EQ/:ES so AutostarSuite's remote treebuilding is broken
3) Planet calcs for Saturn/Jupiter etc (4 degree errors!)
4) PEC in motor speed calcs

Andrew Johansen (author of Andrew's PEC Editor) has been putting lots
of work into this.. and has managed to patch 59Ef to fix the above.
(yesterday... so this is "breaking news")
Once we test it a bit more, and batten down -how- to make it into
a user-accessible patch kit, we'll certainly post it.

If you wish to update to v59Ef now, you have one safe method:
(a) download the newest AutostarSuite (200 megabytes) which includes ASU v5.6
which is capable of dealing with the new Autostar.  You'll find that at:

[4 Jun 09]
Subject:	ASU v5.6 available at Meade's site...
Sent:	Thursday, June 4, 2009 08:22:32
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
...but you'd never know it...

Although the *page* says it's ASU 5.2 (posted June 2, 2009)
the actual -file- you get is AU2ver56.exe

In other words: version 5.6, which is compatible with both the old
and new 497 Autostars.

Page:  http://www.meade.com/support/auto.html

ASU 5.6:  (do a "Save As..." with this link)

have fun
Mike here: There is more discussion about this on the June AutoStar Feedback page.

Start of today's update
[31 Jul 09] [NEW!]
Subject:	New Firmware
Sent:	Tuesday, July 28, 2009 16:49:35
From:	Meade Customer Service
Did you know there are two types of #497 Autostar? The newest,
designated the #497ep, utilizes an updated chipset. However, in light of
the newer, faster, chipset, the #497ep firmware doesn't work with the
older #497 Autostar and vice versa.

Meade has just released a new firmware version for the #497EP, version
5BE2, which is accessible once you upgrade to the new Autostar Update
(ASU) Client.

If you have an older version of the Autostar Update (ASU) Client
(version 5.1 and earlier) the updater cannot tell the difference between
the two controllers. Go to the link below to download and install
version 5.6 of the Autostar Update Client Application. This new version
of the updater can detect which Autostar controller you have and
download the latest version for your Autostar.


We would encourage all Autostar users to upgrade to the new client app.

Meade Customer Service

Go back to the Warnings Page.

Go back to my ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2009 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2009 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/warnings/autostar_updating.html