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dogeddie
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Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar
      #5625156 - 01/15/13 08:39 PM

Hello . I purchased a beautiful used 8" LX 90 LNT circa 2005 or so yesterday and I have a couple questions. I also own an ETX 125PE. So here goes....

The seller of the LX90 said he replaced the Autostar as it had been dropped. I questioned it because upon power up I wondered why it asked for the time and why there was no "Tonights Best" tour like I have on my ETX. He said the software he downloaded didn't have that feature. The Autostar for the LX is the newer 497EP variety with firmware 5CE2, the ETX still has the original 497 with firmware 43E. I thought they were both supposed to be 43E?

After I got home (5 hour drive) I went to try the LX out in the basement to see why I would need to always enter the time. First thing I did was change the LNT battery and fire it back up, and did a restart. Same result. So I swapped the ETX Autostar on the LX and I had the same results. It boots up, then asks me to align. Fine. So I press 0 for Automatic. But then it asks for the date. It has the correct date, but the first number is flashing if I want to change it. So I accept the date and press enter and it asks for the time, but always lists the time as 8:00 pm, even though I had changed it earlier. It then asks for Daylight savings, etc.

So I am wondering why I need to keep entering the time and date? My ETX goes right to telling me to put the scope in "Home" position after I press the "0" to align. Do I need a different firmware? Isn't 497Eg current for the LX 90? Either way, the ETX Autostar with that version had the same results anyway. Maybe the replacement battery isn't good after all? I assume the LX should be retaining the time and date info from session to session, right? Please help!

Edit: I just went back into the basement to try it again and let it go through the entire alignment process. After the 2nd star alignment the screen just said "IC M806" - and I couldn't get it off the screen unless I used the down arrow, which caused the scope to go into a looping "searching" function that wold not stop. Last night when I bought it it worked well going to Jupiter, M42, etc. I have no idea what to do now.

Edited by dogeddie (01/15/13 08:53 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5625182 - 01/15/13 08:53 PM

Gday ??

The 497EP uses a totally different processor to the original 497s,
hence must have different firmwares.
43Eg is correct for the 497s and 5CE2 is the last 497EP firmware.

To load tours etc into a 497EP, you will need to use my PEC Editor,
http://members.optusnet.com.au/johansea/
as Meade still havent fixed their ASU utility
to deal with the new processor type.

As to the LNT, does your LX90 have "provision" for a GPS unit?
Ie if it has a DEC card fitted that can take a GPS lump
( even if the lump isnt fitted ),
then it will simply ignore the LNT time functions.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5625191 - 01/15/13 08:58 PM

How would I be able to tell if it has the GPS provisions? Thanks

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OzAndrewJ
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5625206 - 01/15/13 09:12 PM

Gday ??

You can open the fork arm and look at the card,
or if you run patched firmware, my PEC editor
has a tab sheet that can interrogate the working
data in the handbox, and hence see what it is capable of.

Edit
or as a try, go to the Utilities menu and scroll the options.
If the "GPS" option is still there, you have a GPS "capable" card

If you are running 5CE2 on the 497EP and want to patch,
you would have to revert to 5CE1 as that is all i have patched for.
5CE2 has no benefits over 5CE1 ( for users ) so its not a problem.
If you dont have patched firmware loaded and wish to use it,
i strongly suggest using StarPatch as
its free,
its much more robust than Meades ASU
and allows interactive selection of patch options.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

Edited by OzAndrewJ (01/15/13 09:19 PM)


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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5625241 - 01/15/13 09:35 PM

There is no mention of GPS in the Utilities menu. It seems the Autostar is not recognizing the LNT, and that is why I need to keep re entering the data?

Also, for a test i tried to go to "Guided Tours" - when I pressed enter on that it goes right to "IC M806" again and the Autostar locks up. I assume that is normal because there are no tours loaded?
Edit: IC M806 seems to be a known display where there are missing tours per another user post on Mike Weasners site. Still need to figure out the LNT, though.

Edited by dogeddie (01/15/13 09:46 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5625262 - 01/15/13 09:47 PM

Gday ???

The easiest way to see if the LNT is detected is to pressnhold mode for 5 or so seconds till the alternate menu comes up.
Scroll from RA/DEC down to Alt/Az then next scroll down should bring up Finder/Set. If you dont see that, then the LNT wasnt detected at boot.

As to guided tours, if someone has used ASU to load tours in the past, then the current data is 99% sure to be corrupted.
It is not normal for the Hbx to lock up.
I suggest you use my PEC editor to reload the relevant data from scratch, and it should work.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5625355 - 01/15/13 10:33 PM

Well, I tried a 3rd battery and the LNT is now tracking the time and date correctly. Whew, that's a relief!

As far as tour go, you are saying that the 5CE2 firmware simply doesn't have the guided tours? Everything else is working, but it still reads "IC M806" if I try the tours, and if I press enter, goes into infinite "searching" display. I suppose if it isn't there it won't find it.

I will be selling the ETX. Would I be able to swap the Autostars to run the LX 90 with the old ASU, and would the 497EP from the LX work with the ETX? Or is the EP a superior model, and I should stick with it?

It's just that downloading new firmware is something I haven't done, and it makes me very nervous. Plus I don't have an adapter to go from the RS 232 to USB either. Don't I also need some patch or driver for that as well? Thanks for your time and patience!

Edited by dogeddie (01/15/13 10:37 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5625536 - 01/16/13 01:03 AM

Gday ???

Quote:

As far as tour go, you are saying that the 5CE2 firmware simply doesn't have the guided tours?




No, im saying that maybe your handbox has got corrupted tour data in it, that can be fixed by doing a reload of the data.
( Note this is not a firmware load, just a user data load )

Quote:

would the 497EP from the LX work with the ETX? Or is the EP a superior model, and I should stick with it?




The 497 / 497EP handboxes are "functionally" almost identical, so can be swapped between scopes.
As to what's best, swings and roundabouts. For me, the 497EP is more functional for patching, has more memory and runs a bit faster, but it has no "protected" safeload code, so if anything goes wrong when updating the firmware ( in the safeload region ), the Hbx could be toast. The 497s have this code protected, so even if a load fails, it can nearly always be recovered from.

Quote:

I don't have an adapter to go from the RS 232 to USB either. Don't I also need some patch or driver for that as well?




If you want to be able to update data in your handbox, ie tours, satellites, etc, you really need a cable.
You can buy them relatively cheaply, or just make your own. Its only three wires.
As to patches and drivers, none are needed just to use the cable itself.
If you dont have a true com port on your PC, you will need a USB to serial adapter, but they come with their own drivers anyway, and are relatively cheap.
The Keyspan USA-19HS and units using the FTDI chipset are known to work reliably with the Austostar.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5625765 - 01/16/13 08:38 AM

Wow Andrew - you have really been a big help!! My plan then is to buy the Keyspan cable, attach it to my Meade cable, and re install the 5CE2 Meade firmware. Then at least I know where I should be for a starting point. I will keep the 497EP and sell the old 497 with the ETX. At that point I should have access to the "Tonights Best" feature, which is really all I want. As I understand it, if I install the drivers for the Keyspan cable that come with the cable, I will NOT have to install any further drivers/fixes from Meade in order to use the Keyspan adapter cable. I just need the Meade 5.9.3 update software, and then the reinstall of the 5CE2 firmware. Sound about right? Maybe after I get my feet wet with this updating business I will try your software. Another reason to keep the EP over the old Autostar!

On the other hand for simplicity I could just use the old Autostar with the LX, but I assume the firmware on the 497EP would be wrong for the ETX, and maybe make it hard to sell. Will the ETX run with the 497EP and the 5CE2 firmware?

can you explain how to do this user data load from earlier in the post? see below -

"No, im saying that maybe your handbox has got corrupted tour data in it, that can be fixed by doing a reload of the data.
( Note this is not a firmware load, just a user data load )"

Edited by dogeddie (01/16/13 02:00 PM)


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sgorton99
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Reged: 04/30/08

Loc: Wisconsin, Madison
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5626320 - 01/16/13 02:45 PM

Where in WI are you? I am just outside of Madison and have a slightly older LX90 than you, an EMC LX90.
Steve


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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: sgorton99]
      #5626343 - 01/16/13 02:57 PM

Hello from Kaukauna! You must run it from a regular 497 controller then, huh?

Edited by dogeddie (01/16/13 02:59 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5626471 - 01/16/13 04:04 PM

Gday ???

Quote:

As I understand it, if I install the drivers for the Keyspan cable that come with the cable, I will NOT have to install any further drivers/fixes from Meade




Correct.
Tho it doesnt hurt to check keyspans website every now and then to see if they do have a later driver, but there is certainly no involvement with Meade here, just the USB2Ser supplier.

Quote:

I just need the Meade 5.9.3 update software, and then the reinstall of the 5CE2 firmware. Sound about right?




Not required, as that is more dangerous than just reloading the tours .
Also, if you wish to reload firmware into a 497EP or Audiostar, i strongly suggest using the freeware StarPatch.
It is much more robust/rigorous about what it does compared to ASU, and allows interactive application of patches if reqd.

Quote:

Maybe after I get my feet wet with this updating business I will try your software.




Actually, playing with my software will be safer than reloading the whole firmware, as my app doesnt touch the firmware itself, just the data.
Download whatever tours/satellites/comets/asteroids you want from Meades site and use my app to load them.
You should find it all works without needing a firmware reload.
If you also go to Weasners Mighty ETX site
http://www.weasner.com/etx/menu.html
you can get lots more info on how all this works, and also get access to more user developed tours and hints.

Quote:

Will the ETX run with the 497EP and the 5CE2 firmware?




Yep, but you might need to look at the patches to fix some bugs if you use an LNT module or want to do PEC or remote serial control.
Up to you there.
If you do patch, you will be required to use 5CE1, but for your purposes, thats identical to 5CE2.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5626486 - 01/16/13 04:09 PM

Thanks AGAIN Andrew - when my serial adapter comes in I will give your program a go. And will probably bug you a bunch again then!

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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5628071 - 01/17/13 01:13 PM

Andrew - it's in! I sent you a PM - thanks

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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5630512 - 01/18/13 08:03 PM

I can't say enough good things about Andrew and his wonderful My Scope utility. Not only did it take care of all my issues, it was very simple. The very best part was how patient and helpful he was in walking me through the steps. What a great guy!!

Edited by dogeddie (01/18/13 08:04 PM)


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Christopher EricksonModerator
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Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5630553 - 01/18/13 08:32 PM

Quote:

I can't say enough good things about Andrew and his wonderful My Scope utility. Not only did it take care of all my issues, it was very simple. The very best part was how patient and helpful he was in walking me through the steps. What a great guy!!




And he does it all for free...


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AntMan1
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Reged: 09/17/07

Loc: Third rock from the Sun
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5630753 - 01/18/13 10:47 PM

And i think he had something to do with this! Andrew You Are The MAN!

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5630724/page...

And he does it all for free...




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OzAndrewJ
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: AntMan1]
      #5630928 - 01/19/13 12:56 AM

Gday Anthony

Nup. Didnt even know a new ASU had been released.
Lets hope it works for the Toshi chipped Hbxs

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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sgorton99
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Reged: 04/30/08

Loc: Wisconsin, Madison
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: dogeddie]
      #5635900 - 01/21/13 10:58 PM

Quote:

Hello from Kaukauna! You must run it from a regular 497 controller then, huh?




Yes, did upgrade it to newest software about 2 years ago. Always amazed at how well it finds objects after my quick two star alignments.


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dogeddie
sage


Reged: 03/26/10

Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Re: LX 90 LNT question re: Autostar new [Re: sgorton99]
      #5636914 - 01/22/13 01:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hello from Kaukauna! You must run it from a regular 497 controller then, huh?




Yes, did upgrade it to newest software about 2 years ago. Always amazed at how well it finds objects after my quick two star alignments.




Wish I could get mine out, but windchill is -35 degrees right now!


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