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GPS Rollover Issue Addressed in AutoStar Updater 6.1

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#1 Bill Steen

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:48 PM

The GPS Problem with some older versions of Meade AutoStar has been fixed and updates are available. Here is the message I just received:

 

"I wanted to reach out and let you know that we have a solution for the GPS rollover issue.

All the information can be found on this page https://www.meade.com/support/ if you scroll down the page a bit you will see it. Would you mind passing along this information to anyone who has a question on the 4M?

If you have any questions, please do let me know! Thanks Bill!"

 

I tried the link and scrolled down to the bottom area of the page and all the information is there for the various versions of AutoStar. The new AutoStar Updater 6.1 is set up to download the software with the fixes for the various versions.

 

Thanks,

 

Bill Steen


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#2 spames

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 01:44 PM

I used the new Autostar 6.1 updated and found it works very nicely.  All updated and GPS fixed.

 Thanks 



#3 Bill Steen

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 04:13 PM

The last update needed that I know about is for AutoStar III, which is the LS units.  It seems to be the older units with the problem as some of the people with newer units have reported that they work ok.  The update for the LS units affected is forthcoming.  Here is the information I received for circumventing the GPS process:

 

"The customer can enter the date/time/location manually by pressing the MODE key when the telescope starts looking for GPS. This will happen shortly after the telescope boots up and before any night sky alignment takes place. They can also turn off the search for GPS in the SETUP/PREFERENCES menu."

 

Hope this helps,



#4 Liquidwrench

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 07:39 AM

Hi there,

i just recently purchased a used LX200GPS EMC. After setting it up I discovered the GPS wasn’t functioning properly. I made several attempts to update the handbox from 1.0 to 4.2 without any success. I watched several Meade Mods videos on YouTube. One of the videos mentioned to the entry the Safe Mode by pressing 9999 on the handbox. while using Meade’s Autostar Updater. Once entering the the Safe Mode I was able to accomplish the update. 



#5 jgraham

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 11:59 AM

Good news. I have a couple of Autostars that will need updating. I recently bought a used Lightswitch 8 ACF that included the v1.6a firmware. Since I am currently testing the scope I bypassed the GPS part of the setup and entered the time and date manually. No big deal, and everything else performed flawlessly.

 

Good to know.



#6 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:11 AM

The GPS Problem with some older versions of Meade AutoStar has been fixed and updates are available. Here is the message I just received:

 

"I wanted to reach out and let you know that we have a solution for the GPS rollover issue.

All the information can be found on this page https://www.meade.com/support/ if you scroll down the page a bit you will see it. Would you mind passing along this information to anyone who has a question on the 4M?

If you have any questions, please do let me know! Thanks Bill!"

 

I tried the link and scrolled down to the bottom area of the page and all the information is there for the various versions of AutoStar. The new AutoStar Updater 6.1 is set up to download the software with the fixes for the various versions.

 

Thanks,

 

Bill Steen

 

I Immediately downloaded AutoStar 6.1 when it became available and initially, if you logged on with a AudioStar, it wanted to download firmware A3S5, at present it downloads firmware A4S4 so the firmware version is not connected to the AutoStar version but to what Meade has made available. I have found no noticeable improvement with  AutoStar 6.1 over 6.0 : if you have a AudioStar controller you still cannot download tours and user data without some of it becoming corrupt! So beware, But downloading firmware seems to work ok.    

a



#7 RichardKnox

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 06:35 PM

Hi there,

i just recently purchased a used LX200GPS EMC. After setting it up I discovered the GPS wasn’t functioning properly. I made several attempts to update the handbox from 1.0 to 4.2 without any success. I watched several Meade Mods videos on YouTube. One of the videos mentioned to the entry the Safe Mode by pressing 9999 on the handbox. while using Meade’s Autostar Updater. Once entering the the Safe Mode I was able to accomplish the update. 

I am having a similar issue with a used LX200GPS I recently purchased. My  gps says the date is 2099.  Even when I try to manually enter and bypass the gps the alignment tries to locate stars below the horizon.

 

Still on v3.01 but haven’t been able to successfully install updated firmware using Autostar Update version 6.1. Bought new 507 interface, new USB to RS232 adapter compatible with Win10 (and installed the driver). Recognizes my scope and firmware version, but when I initiate the actual upgrade tells me to check cable or try different port.

 

What is the 9999 safe mode?



#8 Slashzero

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 01:04 PM

I am having a similar issue with a used LX200GPS I recently purchased. My  gps says the date is 2099.  Even when I try to manually enter and bypass the gps the alignment tries to locate stars below the horizon.

 

Still on v3.01 but haven’t been able to successfully install updated firmware using Autostar Update version 6.1. Bought new 507 interface, new USB to RS232 adapter compatible with Win10 (and installed the driver). Recognizes my scope and firmware version, but when I initiate the actual upgrade tells me to check cable or try different port.

 

What is the 9999 safe mode?

Well, crap. I have the #507 and #07507 cables on order for my LX200 GPS, and am planning to apply StarPatch 4.2G to fix my GPS. I hope what you are experiencing isn’t what I will be experiencing once I receive the cables. 


Edited by Slashzero, 26 July 2019 - 01:05 PM.


#9 RichardKnox

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 02:34 PM

I have currently turned off the gps and manually input time, date, and location information.  But I plan to eventually return to this issue after I have had a chance to use my Lx200GPS awhile. I would be interested to hear how this went for others with similar setups. 



#10 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 06:07 PM

Gday Richard

Several people have reported having problems with Meades updater recently, but i dont have W10 so dont see it.

That said, i would suggest you use StarPatch to do the load. Much more robust than Meades ASU

 

999 mode is a bit of protected code in the main board, that never gets overwritten

It has full screen and comms capability built into it, so if you ever crash the normal firmware

you can press 99999 on booting and it will use the backup copy of the download code

to allow you to repair the damaged firmware.

You should not need to use it for a std firmware update

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#11 Thrifty1

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 07:22 PM

I updated my LX200R today with the Meade AutoStar Updater 6.1. Updated from 4.2g to 4.2i with no problems at all.

I was using Windows 7 run on a MacBook Pro via Parallels.

#12 Astroboy1952

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 10:48 PM

Hello Randy,

good to hear the update form 4.2g to 4.2i worked, but did it fix the GPS Date Rollover issue?

I have an 8" LX200 GPS SMT, that I want to try it on.



#13 Thrifty1

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 05:13 PM

I have not had an opportunity to try it yet... too many cloudy nights here recently.

#14 Thrifty1

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 06:34 PM

Ok - I had a few minutes this evening and the moon was out so I did a quick setup of my telescope. Rolled it out, just hit enter for Polaris & Arcturus for aligning (could not see them yet). Chose moon to go to and there it was... just a little off center since I did not do a proper alignment.

So it seems the update is working just fine for me.

#15 Astroboy1952

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:20 AM

Thanks very much for trying it Randy.

I got an answer back from Meade Support a day or so ago. I think that 4.2I, which my ASU is finding and which I thought was 4.2i, is actually 4.2L, but shown with the lower case l.

I hope to try it soon.



#16 Astroboy1952

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:52 AM

Hello,

Should the LX200 GPS manage to get a GPS fix inside a house?  My mobile can do so, easily, why not the Meade GPS? Would getting a new Meade GPS as below also improve its receiver sensitivity?

 

Is there any way (like a hidden function) to see if, or what, the GPS is reporting to the LX200 GPS mount, on the Autostar II handbox? 

 

I note Meade sell a new GPS unit as a spare part at: https://www.meade.co...ml?___SID=U&p=3

Would that be a sure fire way to get around the date rollover problem ? Swapping that out would be very simple, just open the left fork arm. 



#17 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 05:13 PM

Gday Astroboy

 

Should the LX200 GPS manage to get a GPS fix inside a house?

Sometimes. I have a teracotta tiled roof and i can fix inside when its dry but not when its wet :-)

 

Is there any way (like a hidden function) to see if, or what, the GPS is reporting to the LX200 GPS mount, on the Autostar II handbox?

Not on the handbox itself. You can read the "GPRMS" GPS data out via the serial port one string at a time, but if you run patched firmware, you can divert the GPS data stream out to an app like VisualGPS and hence see a live feed of positions and strengths being detected.

 

Would that be a sure fire way to get around the date rollover problem

No idea, as who knows how old the receivers being used are.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#18 Astroboy1952

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:53 PM

Hello Andrew,

first of all, let me thank you for your help with the LX200 product on this web site. Your input is just amazing!

 

I have just uploaded your Starpatch LX42ggv21 patch.  

But I may have an intermittent fault on the GPS as well, as I have not been able to get a GPS fix since just before the patch upload. It was sometimes a bit difficult in the past as well, thus my desire to now read the GPS output somehow.

 

The scope is functional in all other respects and tracks as normal if I set up location, date and time manually.

 

How do I see or activate getting the GPS data on the RS232 port? One line of GPS data at a time should be sufficient to confirm it is working.  

Best regards. 



#19 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:00 PM

Gday Astroboy

If all you want to do initially is confirm operation, you can do that with my PEC editor
http://members.optus...om.au/johansea/
It is a simple standalone exe with ini files so no installer etc and it will run off a thum drive if reqd.
Just start your mount and get it to the menus
Start up my app and let it connect.
Go to the "GPSData" tab
There are 3 buttons ":gps", ":gpr" ( and if patched  ":gpx" )
Just press ":gps" and my app will start reading out and displaying only the GPRMC sentences.
Press the button again to stop
Use the "save" button to keep the text for later evaluation.

If you do want more diagnostic data using "gpx" you need to load an app like VisualGPS
https://www.visualgps.net/
Basically, once it is set up, you use my app ( or any other hyperterm like app ) to send ":gpx#" to the mount.
( If you use my app, you must first disable any mount detection by going to the menu "Scope Sources->Check for Scopes" and unchecking it.
Then under "Scope Sources" manually select the com port the mount is on.
Then under "Scope Utilities" set the baud rate to 9600
Now go to the "Terminal Logging" tab and it will operate like a dumb terminal emulator.
The default text in the edit area is ":GC#" so hit "send"
If the settings are correct, the app will mirror back the result
If so, just change the edit to ":gpx#" and hit send
This starts the mount streaming all the GPS out the rs232 port, and the log will refresh it to show its working.

Now, close my app and connect VisualGPS using the same port and settings ( baud 9600 )

Visual GPS will then give you more info than you can handle :-)

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


Edited by OzAndrewJ, 19 August 2019 - 08:11 PM.


#20 Astroboy1952

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:56 PM

Thanks very much Andrew for the clear explanations. I will try this in the next few days.



#21 Astroboy1952

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:58 AM

Hello Andrew,

Well, I've had success, thanks to you. Your PEC editor "Jack of all Trades" is stunningly good.  Why doesn't Meade employ you to support their product?

Using the PEC Ed. to display the GPS data, I noticed that I did not have the third option button (:gpx#), so figured I did not have a good 4.2 patch  upgrade. Then I remembered that I had only checked just the GPS Rollover Bug option, when doing your patch upgrade, none of the other options - I was just being cautious. So I did a full patch upgrade with all the functions. Bingo! The GPS data rolls in, the scope gets a fix (when outside) after just 4 or 5 asterisks and the Date and Time are both correct. Using the GPS Data display from the NMEA GGA sentence I can see a Fix when outside and a No Fix when inside the house. The Visual GPS works well also.

 

I want to mention an issue I had, in case it helps others. I had some difficulty getting the SEND ":gpx#" to function in the PEC Ed's Terminal Mode. Sometimes it took quite a few seconds to respond. A Time Out error message came up. But upon retrying it a few times, it worked. Would it do this if it cannot see a satellite yet?  

 

One minor remaining question I have is, there was a DEC PEC error message each time I ran your PEC Ed. I do not think the scope has ever been trained, would that explain it?

 

Thank you very much. Do you have a "Donate" button I can use, as I do not know where in Melbourne to "Send the Beer" to.

Best regards, Astroboy, (in Sydney.)



#22 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 04:17 PM

Gday Astroboy

Using the GPS Data display from the NMEA GGA sentence I can see a Fix when outside and a No Fix when inside the house. The Visual GPS works well also.

I get similar, ie i can see data in both my app and VisualGPS, but it wont fix indoors if my roof is slightly wet.

What i sometimes do is watch VisGPS signal strengths and then rotate the mount a bit at a time to see if some directions work better than others.

 

A Time Out error message came up. But upon retrying it a few times, it worked. Would it do this if it cannot see a satellite yet?

Nope, its probably waiting for the receiver to reset on the first try, but i dont remember seeing that.

 

One minor remaining question I have is, there was a DEC PEC error message each time I ran your PEC Ed. I do not think the scope has ever been trained, would that explain it?

Yep. Meade have changed the format of the stored PEC data over the years and later updates dont always resynch it. Just do a factory reset of your DEC PEC ( even tho you dont use it ) and the warning will go away.

 

Do you have a "Donate" button I can use,

Nope, and the "send beer" is just there for a bit of Aussie fun, no fees are required for any of it.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#23 Astroboy1952

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 04:12 AM

Using another Aussie fun response,  "Your blood's worth bottling!"

Thanks very much, Andrew.

Astroboy.




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