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rs232 hook up on meade lx80

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#1 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 11:21 AM

Can't get my cp to find the autostar. Does anyone know what i can be doing wrong.

#2 rmollise

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:15 PM

Impossible to say without further details.

You'll need a Meade serial cable plugged into the Autostar.
Serial port provided by a USB serial cable.
Program to run the scope with the appropriate driver and given the com port number assigned by the USB serial converter.

#3 Duncan Kitchin

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:09 PM

also, remember to plug in the USB-serial converter into the same physical USB port each time, otherwise it will get a new COM port number and the software won't find it...

#4 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:05 PM

Went over all that with Dave Douglas. For some reason it just won't find the autostar. It fins that its plugged in but doesn't find the controller.

#5 dmdouglass

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:27 PM

As i mentioned on the phone, i think you are down to one of two possible problems.
I guess it could be a bad telco wire connector too....

Either the USB to Serial adapter is not giving good throughput - or the 497 (AudioStar) controller has a bad serial port.

And yes folks.... he is using a new Meade USB to serial converter.

I think if i were you, i would see if you have a friend somewhere who has a known good USB-Serial adapter, and see if you can use it (don't forget to get the drivers).

Short of that, you would need to try a different 497, either a AudioStar version, or the ETX version. Either would plug into the LX80, and ASU would see them.


We did verify that is computer is seeing the USB-Serial device, and we can make it come/go by unplugging/and re-pluggging the USB side.

#6 Stew57

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:27 PM

Is it a prolific or ftdi chipset adapter? I have not had good luck with prolific drivers but never had a problem with the ftdi.

#7 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:27 PM

I do have an old ETX60 that I can try out the controller from it. If it does see that controller will it be good to use then while I wait for meade to send me a new or repair my other controller.

#8 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:33 PM

Guess that wont work. It doesnt have the extra serial port. OK. Step 2 then. It cant be that hard.

#9 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:40 PM

I did just realize something though reading Daves comment. My controller is an Audiostar that has the 497EP program in it. Does that have anything to do with it. Im just guessing at this point.

#10 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:44 PM

I was looking at Office Depot and it looked like they had the same adapter. Maybe I will just buy it and see. Since computers dont have these RS232 ports no more I dont think anyone I know will have one.

#11 zerro1

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:22 PM

If you are intersted in finding a decent used guide computer that "HAS" and RS232/COM1/DB9 natively? look at Panasonic toughbook CF-74. They can be had very reasonable if you look. Here is one just like the one I use CF-74

#12 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:07 PM

Ok. This may just be a shot in the dark, but I'm thinking about loading version 5.9.0 on the updater just to see if it recognizes my controller since it says on start up 497ep and that update specifically says for that program. Will let everyone know what happens when I'm done.

#13 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 05:09 AM

No luck with that. Did find problem with cord though.

#14 dmdouglass

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:35 AM

You say you did find a problem.
Does that mean it works ??

If not, i will ask a question.
Can you verify the small end of the cord is plugged into the 497 hand controller, and NOT into either of the two serial ports on the LX80 mount.

#15 exparrot

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:36 AM

I'm also having no luck connecting to the HBX, specifically from the ASCOM Diagnostics utility and SkyTools 3 Pro.

A few weeks ago, I updated the Audiostar firmware to A3S2 to resolve the LX80 RA tracking issue. That went well, no issues. Later, I downloaded the MeadeClassic 5.0.3 ASCOM driver to try out, but at this point, I have yet to get a connection using this driver. I'm running the ASCOM 6/SP1 platform. Not sure what's preventing this from connecting. Anyone have any ideas/suggestions?

I don't have any concerns about the laptop or the USB-to-serial cable - I've used them to connect successfully with a Nexstar and an iOptron mount via ASCOM as well. I'm typically using Skytools 3 to interface with them. But, this just doesn't work with the Meade driver. The 505 cable must be okay or I wouldn't have been able to update the HBX firmware.

I did notice the driver version does not match with the setup filename that I downloaded (see pic), but the download is clearly named 5.0.3 despite the version displayed in the driver setup UI.

Laptop - Dell Inspiron 64-bit Win7 Home
COM port - 3
ASCOM 6/SP1
Driver - Meade Classic (5.0.3)
Meade 505 cable
Sabrent USB-to-serial cable

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#16 dmdouglass

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:12 PM

Do you have PHD guiding software. It is a free download. Even if you do NOT guide, the PHD software, with ASCOM 6 and that Meade driver, will (should) connect. It is a simple test. It works for me.

the actual problem may be Skytools 3. This would be a "quick check".

#17 exparrot

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:11 PM

Darn! I thought that might work, David

I grabbed PHD and also reinstalled the Meade ASCOM driver, but still no luck.

Jerry

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#18 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:27 PM

I can't even get the firmware update. Guess I will just keep trying. Called meade and they aren't much help. Keep telling me the same thing over again.

#19 TALK2KEV

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:20 AM

Check COM port on software matches what the USB to serial is set at, a another thing is to plug into the same USB port on computer everytime.

Hope this helps

#20 exparrot

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:43 PM

I don't know about shadowpdiggity, but I've tried COM ports 1-5 with no luck. Guess I'll try a couple of other approaches - uninstall/reinstall ASCOM 6 and, if that doesn't work, try replacing my USB-to-Serial cable with one that sports an FTDI chipset. The one I have uses the Prolific chipset, which Mark (Stew57) mentioned earlier as being problematic.

Jerry






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