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LX200GPS hand controller

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#1 NickInSac

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:09 AM

I think I blew out my Autostar II hand controller.  :(

 

I found a new one for $99 from Agena AstroProducts.  https://agenaastro.c...35-7200-00.html

Ordered it anyway.  

 

The short version: While trying to update the firmware I figured out I don't have the correct size telephone jack looking cables.  I only have the 505 cables (came with a DB9 serial connector and two telephone looking (but not) cables), not the 506 cables. 

(One of the 505 cables have RJ11 on one side and a RJ10 (or rj9) on the other.  The other cable has RJ10 on both sides. )

 

The 506 cable is hard to find.  Is this simply a telephone cord RJ11 on both ends?

 

SO, what I think I did was I unplugged the hand controller and plugged it back in while the telescope was on. 

 

The power light comes on on the telescope.  Nothing comes on from the hand controller.

Should I also check the fuses on the telescope?

Is there a way to check / fix the hand controller?

I am decent with a soldering gun and a pencil solderer.

 

I hope I can control the scope this weekend with just a WIFI adapter from meade and stellarium and/or Sky Safari Pro.

It's supposed to be clear all weekend here in Sacramento (except for the fires).



#2 NickInSac

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:16 AM

I pulled the hand controller screws off to see if there is anything obvious and I couldn't find anything on the controller itself. 

 

I have been using a laptop power supply rated at 3 amps 12 volts for a while now. I hope I didn't blow any capacitors inside the telescope itself.  Do these GPS units have the tantalum capacitors in them?



#3 carolinaskies

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 12:16 PM

I pulled the hand controller screws off to see if there is anything obvious and I couldn't find anything on the controller itself. 

 

I have been using a laptop power supply rated at 3 amps 12 volts for a while now. I hope I didn't blow any capacitors inside the telescope itself.  Do these GPS units have the tantalum capacitors in them?

This is no issue for the GPS units, only the classics. 





 



#4 carolinaskies

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 12:21 PM

I think I blew out my Autostar II hand controller.  frown.gif

 

I found a new one for $99 from Agena AstroProducts.  https://agenaastro.c...35-7200-00.html

Ordered it anyway.  

 

The short version: While trying to update the firmware I figured out I don't have the correct size telephone jack looking cables.  I only have the 505 cables (came with a DB9 serial connector and two telephone looking (but not) cables), not the 506 cables. 

(One of the 505 cables have RJ11 on one side and a RJ10 (or rj9) on the other.  The other cable has RJ10 on both sides. )

 

The 506 cable is hard to find.  Is this simply a telephone cord RJ11 on both ends?

 

SO, what I think I did was I unplugged the hand controller and plugged it back in while the telescope was on. 

 

The power light comes on on the telescope.  Nothing comes on from the hand controller.

Should I also check the fuses on the telescope?

Is there a way to check / fix the hand controller?

I am decent with a soldering gun and a pencil solderer.

 

I hope I can control the scope this weekend with just a WIFI adapter from meade and stellarium and/or Sky Safari Pro.

It's supposed to be clear all weekend here in Sacramento (except for the fires).

Not sure on your HBX, but check the pins on the mount port for the hbx and see if anything got bent.  Not sure it's hot-swappable, aka whether unplugging-replugging while on can cause a problem.   The Autostar II doesn't have to be plugged in to use the scope because the brains are in the mount not the handbox.  Not the case with the LX90/ETX/Audiostar HBXs.

The 506/505/etc and other Meade 'telephone' style cables are NOT the same as a standard telephone cord.  The pin-out swaps the wires to the LX200/GPS RS232 pattern.  You can make your own cord easily, plenty of DIY schematics for this, and you can opt for a phone cord as long as you need.  This would be a direct USB-RS232 adapter DB9-adapter to phone cord.  

https://www.google.c...HZvM5ZeSWqEdTM:


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#5 aeajr

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 12:23 PM

Have you contacted Meade?



#6 NickInSac

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 12:51 PM

Have you contacted Meade?

No, I haven't contacted Meade.  I presume Meade wouldn't do a whole lot for me as a third or fourth owner of a 19 year old scope.



#7 aeajr

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 03:47 PM

What would you want them to do?   How about answer your questions?    

 

Not saying don't ask here, but Meade is the source.  They may know the answers to cable questions, power questions, etc.

 

Never hurts to ask.   They might surprise you. 


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#8 Ray Wraye

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 09:05 AM

The HBX port supplies 12v to handbox, so you may want to check that supply voltage. 

 

The I believe the right most pin (looking at the control panel) is +12vdc and the leftmost is ground(return).

 

Likely the easiest way to check without doing more damage would be to use another RJ12/11/10 jack with a short pigtail to connect a voltmeter to. 

 

Of course, if you plug your new handbox in and it works, that pretty much tells the story, if it doesnt, then maybe check the 12v hbx supply, as above.

 

While I don't recommend unplugging/plugging the handbox with the scope powered up, I have absent mindlessly done it several times in the past with no ill effects.  

 

Ray


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#9 NickInSac

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 04:37 PM

Not sure on your HBX, but check the pins on the mount port for the hbx and see if anything got bent.  Not sure it's hot-swappable, aka whether unplugging-replugging while on can cause a problem.   The Autostar II doesn't have to be plugged in to use the scope because the brains are in the mount not the handbox.  Not the case with the LX90/ETX/Audiostar HBXs.

The 506/505/etc and other Meade 'telephone' style cables are NOT the same as a standard telephone cord.  The pin-out swaps the wires to the LX200/GPS RS232 pattern.  You can make your own cord easily, plenty of DIY schematics for this, and you can opt for a phone cord as long as you need.  This would be a direct USB-RS232 adapter DB9-adapter to phone cord.  

https://www.google.c...HZvM5ZeSWqEdTM:

Short update, the replacement HBX came and it (not too surprisingly) works!

I found the pinouts for the DB9 to RJ11 cable adapter I got with my Meade 505 cable kit matches to the RS232 cable pinouts with a standard RJ11 telephone cable.  Unfortunately, I bought a 507 cable kit that is charging me shipping to return it.  But everything is working now.  

 

Now to figure out how to track satellites.  :)



#10 Ray Wraye

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:04 PM

Glad to hear you have it working. 

 

I went through a recent troubleshooting issue regarding serial ports on the Lx200GPS and felt your pain. 

 

Clear Skies,

 

Ray


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