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Found a source for the LCD Panel on the #497controller

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#51 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 04:42 AM

Gday Blackmyst

Well the spec sheet solves one of my worries.

Several similar sized COG units i have seen have had a pinout of

Vss, Vdd, Vo, RS, W/R, En

whereas Meades circuits use

Vss, Vo, Vdd, RS, W/R, En

 

This unit matches the Meade pinout

and as noted, the sizes are the same.

I cant see how to confirm colours, but it looks like you have found the holy grail.

Excellent sleuthing.

Only problem is it doesnt appear to be a std model any more????

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#52 sunrag

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 09:12 AM

Nice work Blackmyst!

i checked Alibaba. The P/N WC1602T7DVN6G is in stock.

$6/ piece, minimum 2 pieces, + shipping.



#53 Blackmyst

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 01:22 PM

Gday Blackmyst

Well the spec sheet solves one of my worries.

Several similar sized COG units i have seen have had a pinout of

Vss, Vdd, Vo, RS, W/R, En

whereas Meades circuits use

Vss, Vo, Vdd, RS, W/R, En

 

This unit matches the Meade pinout

and as noted, the sizes are the same.

I cant see how to confirm colours, but it looks like you have found the holy grail.

Excellent sleuthing.

Only problem is it doesnt appear to be a std model any more????

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

Hi Andrew

 

I couldn't find it either on their site, and you might be right that it is custom - however it is currently listed as is on alibaba.

 

I was able to negotiate a price drop based on volume (small @ 100), but it does mean it is possible to get more. I only have the 1 other - exchange rate is a killer, but I'm chatting to folks in the US to encourage to bring in, it all depends on demand ;)

 

regards

Jon



#54 Blackmyst

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 01:24 PM

Nice work Blackmyst!

i checked Alibaba. The P/N WC1602T7DVN6G is in stock.

$6/ piece, minimum 2 pieces, + shipping.

tx



#55 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 02:12 PM

Gday Jon

however it is currently listed as is on alibaba

Yep, i had seen those, but all the ones i saw were listed as 3.3V and black on white

so was wondering if there is some other code no involved

or they just cutn pasted specs from somewhere.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#56 Blackmyst

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Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:52 AM

Hi Andrew

Tbh I dont think the one I bought mentioned the colour - at that stage I no longer cared ;)

If this helps, the one i chose was for $6 with a moq (min order quantity) of 2 - I checked the box for another p/n, there wasn't one.
I'll try find the actual link I used and share

Regards
Jon

#57 Blackmyst

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 04:24 AM

the exact url

https://www.alibaba.....26cc3eb0pcwxd5

 

there is another one @ $5, but the shipping to SA was quite a bit more...



#58 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 05:02 AM

Gday Jon

Thats the link i found also

It clearly quotes 3.3V ( whereas yr pdf says 5V )

It also clearly states black dot on white background

Good to hear it really is 5V and red on black

but you would never know from the ad :-)

 

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#59 Blackmyst

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 03:22 PM

Hi Andrew

You are right - I guess I missed those in the excitement of finding a potential :D

Regards
Jon

#60 jcbarbot

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 06:14 PM

An old school electrical engineer here..
To fix the LED being "Dark on Red background", the polarizer film layer in front of the LCD glass substrate, needs to be turned over and the LCD polarized 180 degrees off from what it is now. (90 degrees, technically, but they put the polarization lines at a 45 degree angle, so flipping it upside down causes a 90 degree change in the polarization direction)

I just looked at mine and it's glued down on the original one, so, no flipping it is going to happen on the original unit.

But just wanted to point out that it isn't a contrast or brightness adjustment, It's the polarizer in the LCD module itself is polarized in the opposite direction from the original one.  Probably not fixable if the film layer itself cannot be picked up and flipped over on the new one.

I've got two dead-display Autostars and have searched in years past with no luck, but I just found this thread here in 2021 and have ordered two modules from the site listed further back in the thread.  They both work fine if I put the main circuit board into a unit that has a good display in it.. they just don't have a display.  Now they will soon be repaired, I hope, and useful again!! 

Whoever took the time to find the replacement boards back in 2019 - I thank you!   I wish I'd thought to Google for this sooner.  I bought my 3rd (working-display) Autostar in 2016 and so far it still works, lol.  I have had two useless ones just sitting in a box with a lot of other "maybe I'll fix it one day" stuff.  Now they can be used again!


 

Well, the LCD works but it's not the same as the original. The original displays red characters on a dark background. The new ones are the opposite. Both are readable in the dark but the original is clearer.

 

Also the new LCD has a reflective backing sticker that needs to be removed - very carefully - If you don't remove the backing, the backlight won't pass through and you'll need a flashlight to see the characters.

 

In any case, if you have a busted LCD this is definitely worth getting and installing. You might want to get 2in case you break one while removing the sticker. In my case, while removing the sticker, the LCD developed dark spots but those went away eventually.

 

Here are the pics of the original and the new respectively


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#61 sunrag

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 06:22 PM

I received a quote of $60 USD for quantity 2 of the COG module that BlackMyst found in Alibaba. So $48 for shipping. Probably add another $5 for taxes.
Is anyone planning on getting a large batch, say > 10 pieces?

#62 DAVIDG

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 11:51 AM

 This maybe another possibility and maybe worth a try at the price.  It is  a 14 pin ribbon cable but I there is no documentation on the exactly what pins are  what. So it may plug in and work  or it might not. While not  an exact replacement one might be able to remove the LCD screen from the backlight assembly and install it in an  Autostar.  You would have a red background with black letters vs the original red letters on black ground. The company that sells these might also be able to get the one being discussed in the messages above at a better price. 

 

        https://www.ebay.com...8.c100290.m3507

 

              - Dave  



#63 DAVIDG

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 12:11 PM

 I found the data sheet on the Ebay  LCD    It looks like the one  that is red letters  on a black ground is ERC1602DNR-2  If this one works maybe this company can get them at a reasonable price.

 

                   - Dave 

 

https://www.buydispl...s_Datasheet.pdf


Edited by DAVIDG, 11 February 2021 - 12:11 PM.


#64 sunrag

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 12:27 PM

 I found the data sheet on the Ebay  LCD    It looks like the one  that is red letters  on a black ground is ERC1602DNR-2  If this one works maybe this company can get them at a reasonable price.

 

                   - Dave 

 

https://www.buydispl...s_Datasheet.pdf

This looks like the ERC1602-2 modules I bought last year from that same BuyDisplay.com. The units came from China and took about 1 month  I could not get the Red at that time.

I got it working but the FPC cable is 0.5mm pitch, so very difficult to solder to. 

 

It is interesting that the datasheet shows 0.5mm pitch cable, but the picture in Ebay shows the cable with 1mm pitch. If this is really 1mm, it will fit if you pry and remove the LCD screen as you mention. Worth trying out $8 for sure!



#65 gauravo2

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 11:19 PM

After I told him this is for an Amateur Astro group, he split his 500 unit lot into 10s and reduced the price to $10. Here's the link.

 

https://teamequip.co...2-x16-lcd-0003/

 

I'm getting 10 units shipped Monday. Will try it and let you know

 

regards

Ashok

Can I get one Display? for my Autostar.



#66 gauravo2

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 11:27 PM

I fixed my Autostar II !

 

A little background: Last week, my AutoStar II started showing gibberish (just a few extra characters mixed in with the regular displayed string). Then it progressively got worse until I could no longer read the display. Then it finally turned into blank screen. All this happened over a course of 3-4 hours with several power cycles in between.

 

I tried the usual tricks. 

1) First was to just re-insert the LCD module flex ribbon into the PCB. This did not help but you should try this anyway as there is a high chance that this will fix the problem.

2) Then I tried to clean the contacts on the flex ribbon cable with 90% IPA on a cotton swab. I thought the contacts were tarnished because they looked black. This was a mistake! The contact material scrapes of very easily - so don't clean the contacts at all.

 

What worked for me:

a) I still thought the contacts were the problem. But how to get fresh contacts? Now if I had not done step 2, there would have been an an easy way. There is enough length of contact material exposed on the flex ribbon cable (about 6-8 mm length). The connector where the flex ribbon cable plugs into is only half that depth. So just cutting off the first 3 mm of the flex ribbon cable (thus discarding the worn-out contacts) will bring the fresh contact material to the front. Then insert the flex cable in the connector.

 

b) Since I did not have any fresh contact material as they had worn off when I cleaned with IPA, I did the next best thing. I cut off 6 mm of the flex ribbon cable. Now all the exposed contact material is gone. But there is still unexposed contact material covered by a thin transparent plastic film. This unexposed contact material is another 6 mm long. So I took a sharp blade and gently peeled of one corner. After the corner is peeled, I used a pair of forceps and continued to peel until all 14 contacts were exposed. Then I just rolled off the plastic film, then carefully inserted the flex cable into the PCB connector and secured it with the retaining clip.

 

I plugged Autostar handset into the base and turned on power. At first I could not see anything, but I briefly saw the message "LX200GPS" flash by. I started seeing the usual messages show up but the contrast was bad that I hardly see anything (it was like seeing a DSO on a full moon night :-). But it was enough to navigate through the menu. So I went to Setup>Utilities>Contrast and increased the contrast. Also adjusted brightness in the Setup>Utlitities>Brightness. That did the trick. Now the display is clear and free of gibberish.

 

By doing this fix, I have made the flex ribbon cable less secure than it was before. I am sure the problem will recur soon. So this is just a temporary fix mostly to help identify the problem. Now I know the problem is with the ribbon cable, and not with the LCD module or the PCB. Next, I am going to solder the flex ribbon directly to the PCB,. This will likely make the connection more secure.

 

Hope this helps someone. But beware of cleaning or even touching the flex cable's exposed contacts. It wears off easily.

I did the same mistake. I cleaned off all the contact fingers by Methanol Alcohol. 


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#67 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 01:22 AM

Gday All

Just a heads up that another user just bought the Formike LCD of the specified part number

( WC1602T7DVN6G ) via AliBaba and confirms it is direct drop in.

His initial link is slightly different to that posted earlier

he used

<https://www.alibaba....093053729.html>

 

That said, he actually contacted the manufacturer to confirm stuff and order

The details he used are to use:
Formike Electronic Co., Ltd. - LCD Display, Backlight (alibaba.com)
<https://wandisplay.e...38403e5fiVPoee>
And ask for Coco Liu

 

She is the rep he spoke to to confirm the details

The user is in Vienna and has one spare LCD he is willing to pass on

for postage and handling, so if anyone in the EU wants one, let me know via PM

and i will pass on the details.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


Edited by OzAndrewJ, 10 June 2021 - 01:26 AM.

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#68 sunrag

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 12:50 PM

That is excellent news OjAndrewJ.

I assume it will also work with AutoStar II, because I have successfully transplanted an LCD from 497 to AS II

 

I am not sure how much shipping to US would be, but last time I tried to get another part, the shipping was about $50.


Edited by sunrag, 10 June 2021 - 12:51 PM.


#69 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 03:40 PM

Gday Sunrag

IIRC, the chap mentioned $38 shipping ( to Austria ) for 2 units, but he asked for fast delivery.

No idea what the "slow boat" shipping would be.

One thing i did note was if i used the search facility on the site, i got 9 hits

https://wandisplay.e...t=WC1602T7DVN6G

All have slightly different specs and prices, but the user said they had confirmed with the vendor

that all were the same.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#70 gatesjunior

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 09:37 PM

If you in fact get a display for the AutoStar II that is red on black, I will take one.

Gday Sunrag

IIRC, the chap mentioned $38 shipping ( to Austria ) for 2 units, but he asked for fast delivery.

No idea what the "slow boat" shipping would be.

One thing i did note was if i used the search facility on the site, i got 9 hits

https://wandisplay.e...t=WC1602T7DVN6G

All have slightly different specs and prices, but the user said they had confirmed with the vendor

that all were the same.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#71 Alan K

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 10:51 AM

the exact url
https://www.alibaba.....26cc3eb0pcwxd5

there is another one @ $5, but the shipping to SA was quite a bit more...



#72 Alan K

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 11:01 AM

I just ordered 3, (why not since shipping is the real cost). My 18 year old autostar display just gave out. Tried the cleaning technique but did not work. Dimensionally it seems to be an exact match. Hoping it works. Otherwise not sure what I will do with my LX90 which I otherwise truly enjoy. Thank you all for your research.
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#73 Greggww

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 02:08 PM

I just (luckily) revived my display. It uses the 14 contact connector. I thought I had found a display screen but after receiving I had the wrong one, it had too many contacts. To keep this short I cleaned the contact lightly with a pencil eraser. reinstalled and it worked until I reassembled everything. To me this confirmed that it was a contact problem. This will probably make folks cringe but I just broke off a small piece of razor blade and wedged it between the ribbon and the retainer. All seems to be working fine. Try at your own risk. I hope this helps someone.


Edited by Greggww, 12 September 2021 - 02:09 PM.

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#74 Alan K

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 09:03 PM

So the new display works, but is much harder to view. If looking straight on the screen appears blank. From an angle it is fairly easy to see. I had no trouble scrolling through menus, or looking up stars by SAO number. So I would say this is a serviceable fix but not optimal. Very happy that it works though, thanks to all here. If Orion decides to begin making these again, however, I would happily buy a new one.
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#75 rayd8

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 04:46 AM

So the new display works, but is much harder to view. If looking straight on the screen appears blank. From an angle it is fairly easy to see. I had no trouble scrolling through menus, or looking up stars by SAO number. So I would say this is a serviceable fix but not optimal. Very happy that it works though, thanks to all here. If Orion decides to begin making these again, however, I would happily buy a new one.

You can pimp the contrast a bit using the setup menu options, it helped for me. For me this is perfect :-) Should anyone need LCD's i have also some spare's. Living in Belgium but i can easily shop to neighboring countries as well.

Greetings and many thanks,
Thierry




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