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Etx 90ec Autostar upgrade question

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#1 photiost

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 10:58 AM

A friend recently gave me a Meade Autostar controller to use with my ETX 90EC

 

When powering this up I see:

.

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • ETX Autostar IMG_0490.jpg

Edited by photiost, 31 July 2017 - 11:12 AM.


#2 photiost

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:03 AM

The controller then initializes and gets STUCK on the "Use ETX Autostar with this model" - all buttons on the controller are disabled.

.

Here is the screen when it freezes:

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • ETX Autostar IMG_0487.jpg


#3 photiost

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:10 AM

It looks like I may have an older firmware version ? ..  that may have to be upgraded ?.

 

Went on the Meade site and it has an image of a controller hooked up to the ETX with another cable going to the computer.

 

However, my controller does not have any other jack (port) to hook-up to the computer.

 

Questions:

- is this definately a firmware issue?

- is this controller upgradable (firmware)

- if this is upgradable, then how can I upload the firmware with no secondary port on this controller? 

 

thanks 

 

Below is an image from the bottom of the controller:

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • ETX Autostar IMG_0488.jpg

Edited by photiost, 31 July 2017 - 11:30 AM.


#4 deSitter

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:40 AM

That's a 494, you can update it, see here. Be sure to get the proper USB to serial adapter or better, use an old computer with a real serial port. Errors lead to bricking which can only be repaired with great effort.

 

http://www.weasner.c.../downloads.html

 

-drl


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#5 deSitter

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:47 AM

You need the 506 cable set, it has a box with the required serial port. The box plugs into the AUX port on one end and a DB-9 plug on the other. That then goes to a RS232 port or a proper USB to serial adapter. Amazingly you can still get one brand new. Meanwhile the 494 remains plugged into the HBX port.

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 31 July 2017 - 12:03 PM.

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#6 photiost

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 12:14 PM

Thanks  !!

 

Will have to look around for the 506 cable set ... I think I still have an older computer with a serial port ...

 

cheers



#7 E Sully

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 05:49 PM

That is the original basic Autostar 494 controller.  It can only do the most basic control of the ETX.  The 506 cable set is for using a computer to control the scope.

  You should look for a 497 Autostar controller, or Audiostar controller if you want to be able to get the most out of the scope with just a hand controller.  The 506 connector cable set can then be used to update the controller, or connect to a computer if desired.


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#8 jgraham

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 07:08 PM

Yep, that is a #494 controller. Unfortunately, the firmware cannot be updated. Your best bet is to pick up a #497 controller. These show up regularly on the usec market and are usually easy to find on eBay.


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#9 photiost

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 09:12 PM

Thanks for all your replies.

 

On this site http://www.weasner.c.../downloads.html it indicates that there are firmware updates available  Version 5.9 is compatible with all versions of AutoStar II, #497 and #494 AutoStar computer controllers 

 

It just occurred to me ... are these updates only so the #494 can be used with ETX models but the real question is:

Does it also support the GOTO functions as well?

 

From the replies above it sounds like the Goto function is only available with the #497 for ETX models ??

 

 scratchhead2.gif


Edited by photiost, 31 July 2017 - 09:13 PM.


#10 deSitter

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:58 AM

Autostar 497s are not easy to find and not cheap. What I know:

 

1) ETX Autostar is a 497 Autostar. Nothing on it that makes it different from an LXD Autostar.

 

2) The 494 Autostar *can* be updated with the 506 cable set. This also allows computer control of the scope.

 

3) The only scope that absolutely requires the 497 Autostar is the LXD55/75. All others are supposed to be interchangeable with 494s, 495s, and 497s.

 

4) You can recover a bricked 497 (with great effort and the skills of a surgeon). A bricked 494 is dead dead.

 

5) An option is a 495 Autostar. This is a 497 with 1/2 the memory. If you don't do custom objects and tours and all that, it's no different than a 497. You can get one of those new, from Amazon.

 

New or used, a 495/7 will cost near $100 *if* you can find one in good shape.

 

-drl


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#11 deSitter

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 05:26 AM

OK, found out from Meade - regardless of firmware, the 494 will *not* operate anything other than DS and ETX 60/70/80 scopes. It will not operate the ETX 90/105/125, the LXD55/75, or LT. So even with the 506 cable kit, you will not be able to run the ETX90 from a computer.

 

-drl


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#12 sg6

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:54 PM

The 494 does not have the ETX 90 in it, so cannot be used, and as best I know cannot be updated. I have the ETX70 and have always ended up finding out they cannot be updated. May be the 497 has an additional port for updating.

 

Having said it cannot be used on the ETX90 it might be but it is a case of finding and altering the gear ratio's that are stored in the handset. However from what you have said it sonds as if the handset recognises the scope and if so then that prevents that idea.

 

Only say this as it seems I can use a 497 on the ETX70, even though the ETX70 is not in the 497 handset. Thoughts were maybe the reverse is possible.

 

The place to go search is the now old Weasner site for imformation.

 

But the handsets are getting difficult to source these days, at least in the used market.



#13 rbarcelo

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 04:21 PM

Hi Mercury-Atlas, I buy a second hand ETX-80. The hand controller work well but has a broken display.

You don't want to sell that remote control?

Thanks in advance, Ramiro



#14 Myk Rian

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:10 PM

I'm resurrecting this thread as it is the only one I found that answered my questions.

 

I have a DS-90 and ETX-80 that both came with the 494 HC. I was looking for info on using the HCs with an ETX-90 I have.

Soo, it's a no-go. I found a new 497 on ebay.




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