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AutoStar 497 43EG - No LX90 Option?

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#1 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 02:41 PM

Hi,

 

Just updated the firmware on an AutoStar controller to 43EG, but I've hit a snag. It's for my LX90, but that's not one of the options for Telescope Type. According to Meade, it should work with:

 

All DS Models
All DS2000 Models
All ETX Models
All LX90 Models
All LXD55 Models
All LXD75 Models
All LT Models

 

Mine shows everything but the LX90 and LT options, so I can't currently make it function with my LX90. What am I missing? Any suggestions?

 

Thanks,

 

Austin



#2 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 03:50 PM

I have a LX90ACF and although it came equipped with a Audiostar Controller I also have have a Autostar controller. I did have 43EG firmware on mine and tested it with my 8" LX90ACF and it definitely had the LX90 option and even detected my GPS module and used it. for time and position. I have now moved to patched firmware on my Autostar and Audiostar controllers and my Autostar is now running 43GG which is the Meade 43EG firmware with some enhancements. I have downloaded all my tours and user data to it and its a good standby controller for my LX90. Are you sure when it boots that it displays 43E ? mine displays this: 

 

PS mine has all the ETX,LX90,LXD55 and LDX75 models but no LT models. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Autostar.jpg

Edited by Piet Le Roux, 19 April 2019 - 04:04 PM.


#3 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 05:04 PM

Gday Austin

43Eg should work with an LX90, and should show all 3 possible models

It wont show the LT as that came out after the 43Eg firmware got stopped.

( You can use it with an LT by selecting type = LX90 then swap the signs of the RA and DEC ratios )

 

Just for info, on connecting to a mount,the handbox asks the RA motor card what type it is

and based on the returned value, it offers a list of possible mounts.

When you loaded 43Eg, did you load patched firmware or raw????

If patched, you can use the extended functions and my PEC editor

http://members.optus...om.au/johansea/

to see what is getting returned

You use the "Setup Status" tab and the "Time/Park" sub tab.

Press the "Sensor Tests" button and it will report the status of all the bits it can

including motor card type

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#4 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:09 PM

Thanks guys!

 

I'm definitely running the unpatched 43eg. Startup shows just like the image above, but with [43E] instead of G. 

 

Andrew, I downloaded your "MyScopeShort4960.exe" and ran it, so I'm moving in the right direction. Forgive me, but where can I find the Patch files so that I can put that firmware on the controller. Once I get that, I should be able to get you a readout on all the requested statuses. 

 

Thanks,

 

Austin

 

Edit: Is it just the 43gg21?


Edited by austin.grant, 19 April 2019 - 09:13 PM.


#5 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 09:51 PM

Update. Here's a screenshot of the sensor tests while running 43gg. Seems like since the update to 43EG, I'm having a new issue with the RA (AZ) motor. Not responding, won't slew during an attempted alignment. Wonder what I did....

 

autostarsnap.JPG


Edited by austin.grant, 19 April 2019 - 09:54 PM.


#6 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:07 PM

Gday Austin

I see you found the patches OK but the latest one is

https://www.stargps....b/Patch43GH.zip

 

The model x08 means you currently are set as an ETX-125

as that is allowed for the current motor type.

 

Now the really odd bit is L3AB8 Motor Type,

You are getting xFC which is not a recognised type

The main values normally seen for an LX90 are

x19 and x25

As such, i have no idea where the xFC has come from

but that is what is causing the problem.

This has nothing to do with the patch as the xFC

is actually sent back by the motor card itself????

( and was indicating it had failed before patching as well )

Do you have another handbox you can test with??????

497, 497EP or Audiostar???

ie if both show the same value for motor type, then something is going wrong in the RA motor card

If only one handbox shows bad data, it might be corrupted/damaged EEProm.

There is also a way to cheat, as now you are patched,

you can use my app to peek AND poke data to RAM and EEProm

If you want to try it, i can send you a command to "manually" set the EEProm byte

so you can select an LX90. That will prove if the EEProm is working or not.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#7 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:14 PM

Andrew,

 

I have a hand controller from an ETX 125, I think it's an AutoStar 495. When I plug it in, it works fine besides no ability to select LX90 in the menu. Slewing in both axes is supported. 

 

Another thing I'm noticing with the patched one is that when I start it up, it shows the firmware version and then blinks 5 times. From there, it goes straight to date input. Moving forward to an alignment, it will not move the scope in RA. 

 

I'd be willing to peek and poke and whatever. Again, I really appreciate your help.

 

Austin



#8 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:44 PM

Gday Austin

If its a 495, it can be updated to a 497, but that said, the LX90-80 was a very early model

and as such, should have been available via it.

Moving forward to an alignment, it will not move the scope in RA.

Does that happen with the 495 as well???? as thats not sounding good.

 

I'd be willing to peek and poke and whatever.

Excellent, a willing crash test dummy

 

If you go to the terminal logging page in my app after connecting,

at the top is an edit box that allows you to send commands to the mount.

There is a "Silent Timeout" checkbox, tick that

The edit box defaults to :GC#

leave that there and hit the big "Send" button

The memo should update to show it was sent and the reply.

If that works, we are laughing

 

Now enter :EP$0100B617# and hit send

You should get a log result showing x08 sent back

( ie model no = x08, and this comes from EEProm )

( to make it more readable, just hit "convert log" as reqd )

if so

Now enter :EP$01003AB8# and hit send

You should get a log showing x?? sent back

( ie motor card = x??, and this comes from RAM )

based on yr earlier data, you will get back xFC

If so, we will try to reset that memory location

Enter  :EN$003AB825# and hit send

( this should set memory offset x3AB8 to #x25 )

Then reenter :EP$01003AB8# and hit send

If the poke worked, you should get back x25 this time.

If so, go to the model selection screen and you should be

able to select an LX90.

See how that goes first.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#9 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:47 PM

Scope moves fine in RA with the 495 handset. 

 

I'm sorry for the trickle information, but I forgot one part. When I first tried to update the 497, it popped up a message of "Under Construction" and that's when the issues started occurring. The flash eventually went fine, or seemed to, and I didn't see that error any more. 

 

I'm trying your above post now.



#10 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:52 PM

Connected, sent the commands, and got back: x00#

 

I then scrolled over to the Sensor Tests and can confirm that it also reads the Motor Type at LXAB8 as x00

 

Everything else seems unchanged.



#11 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:57 PM

Gday Austin

 

IIRC, the "Under Construction" error is in the PIC on the handbox, not the main CPU.

It is certainly not text that appears in the rom files that get loaded during updates.

Did you use StarPatch or Meades ASU to do the update???

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#12 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:00 PM

I used the latest Meade ASU. 

 

It seems reasonable that the handset is the issue, but that doesn't resolve the problem of the LX90 not appearing on the older 495 handset. 



#13 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:00 PM

Gday Austin

Can you rerun the "sensor tests" again???

Is everything in the Raw Peek column the same as prior.??

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#14 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:02 PM

Powered off and restarted, and now it's showing the xFE again. Everything else is the same. 



#15 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:03 PM

Gday Austin

 

I used the latest Meade ASU.

OK, then can you downlaod and install StarPatch ( freeware ) and use that to grab the latest patch 43GH.spf and rom

and then try reloading.

StarPatch has much better checking as it erases and writes data during updates.

See what that does, as i have no idea what the latest ASU does.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#16 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:04 PM

Gday Austin

 

it's showing the xFE again.

Yep, but it was xFC before??????

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#17 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:07 PM

This thing is so bizarre. I power cycled it again, ran through the entire Terminal Logging procedure again, and now I'm showing x25 and am able to select LX90-8 in the menu. What do I do from here? It still only moves in ALT. 


Edited by austin.grant, 19 April 2019 - 11:08 PM.


#18 austin.grant

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:09 PM

And after a power cycle, LX90-8 is no longer an option. 



#19 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 11:17 PM

Gday Austin

It sounds like something odd is going on with the RAM memory or its addressing.

( or it might be flaky Hbx to mount comms ??? )

As per before, try a reload with StarPatch, as if that works, it gives a warm feeling

that the memory addressing side of the firmware is OK.

If so its sounding more like a "mechanical" fault in the memory????

Another quick test ( low probability ) is swap the Hbx cable end for end

This will change which cables carry which signals and will reseat the contacts

ie maybe its a high resistance connection upsetting the comms between Hbx and RA card

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#20 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 02:14 AM

This has been interesting to follow....I hope you get your scope sorted out Austin. 



#21 austin.grant

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:31 AM

I used StarPatch to load 43GH. Here are the results from boot:

 

Checking for GPS (trial version)

GPS not found...

Enter Date:

 

This is already curious, because this unit clearly has a GPS. 

 

***I completely forgot to report this earlier, but this is an LX90GPS that I bought used without a handset. I was unable to test it until yesterday, so you guys are learning in real time with me. I wonder if there is reason to suspect any of the circuit boards in the scope? Yesterday I received my autostar497 by mail and borrowed a 495 from a club member, and the fact that neither recognizes that this is an LX90 seems odd right?***

 

So after upgrading to 43GH, here is a screenshot of the Sensor Test:

autostarsnap2.JPG

 

Still no slewing in the RA, still no LX90 in the menu. It seems like the scope itself isn't reporting what it is. I'm going to attempt to reseat all connectors and inspect them for obvious damage. 

 

As always, thanks for the help!

 



#22 austin.grant

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:23 AM

I can't find the changelog details of the autostar firmware, but this borrowed ETX handset appears to be a 497 with 1.1J from March 1999. Would that in fact have the LX90 in the menu tree? Looks like it would be close.

 

Unfortunately, I don't feel comfortable flashing a controller that's not mine. 



#23 payner

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:14 AM

Goodness, Austin.  This sounds so frustrating,  I hope you get your mount running smoothly, soon.

 

Randy



#24 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 03:49 PM

Gday Austin

 

I used StarPatch to load 43GH. Here are the results from boot:

 

Checking for GPS (trial version)

GPS not found...

Enter Date:

 

This is already curious, because this unit clearly has a GPS.

That message is for the StarGPS lump.

If you dont have one, you should have deselected the top 3 or 4 options in the patch.

We have found one bug in the patch in that if you load the StarGPS section, it "assumes" you dont have a real GPS

and hence bypasses it. Just reload the handbox without the StarGPS options selected and all will be well.

 

I wonder if there is reason to suspect any of the circuit boards in the scope? Yesterday I received my autostar497 by mail and borrowed a 495 from a club member, and the fact that neither recognizes that this is an LX90 seems odd right?***

The next culprit ( if it fails with several HBxs ) is the RA motor card or handbox cable.

The fact it wont slew with any of the Hbxs is also a clue to the RA card

as the comms for that hasnt changed.

Also, we know there is comms "of some sort", or al the calls would have returned  "xFF"

If you had a logic analyser, you could sniff the comms to see whats really getting sent

but it is sounding more like an RA motor card problem now.

Before surgery, the other test is to try your handbox on another LX90 or ETX etc

and use my app to read out the data for motor card type

If it is still an unknown number, then the Hbx is still suspect,

but the fact you have tried several handboxes already strongly indicates its the RA card.

 

 

but this borrowed ETX handset appears to be a 497 with 1.1J from March 1999. Would that in fact have the LX90 in the menu tree?

My notes dont go back that far :-) I see the LX90 was introduced in 1999, so as you note, close, but not confirmed.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#25 austin.grant

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 03:58 PM

Thanks Andrew. I’ll reload with the modifications mentioned above this evening.

Just to clarify, the RA slews fine with the old handset, it does not slew at all with the updated one. The problem both handsets exhibit is that they don’t recognize it as an LX90.


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