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LX90/Autostar 497 serial cable and Autostar Updater...

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#1 pierce

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 01:27 AM

I'm having a heck of a time getting my PC or laptop talking to my LX90/Autostar...  The autostar has rather old firmware 43E, which I'd like to upgrade.

 

first, I discovered my trusty old USB serial cable, Prolific pl2303 based, the current win10 drives announce its EOL and disable it.   I managed to force feed it old drivers so now its available as a COM device, but the Autostar Updater just isn't seeing the Autostar.   My PC doesn't have any old school "ISA" serial ports, but I do have a quad PCI-Express serial card in it, those ports didn't work either.

 

Question:  Do I need a null modem between the 505 serial cable and the PC DB9 serial port?    I have a Null Modem, but its female to female, and the 505 is also female, so I'd need a male-male adapter between it and the null modem (or I'd need a M-F null modem??).

 

let me ohm out this '505' cable...

 

RJ9/11 pins

at Autostar           DB 9 pins

 

1

2

3

4

 

 

oh crap, its all NC, looks like the crimp on the RJ at the hand controller side didn't do its thing?!?!?

 

arrgh, back to the vendor.

 

(an hour later, since I never hit send)...

 

ok, I took a small flat blade screwdriver, and carefully seated the 4 pins on the RJ9.    Now Autostar Updater 6.1 reports I have an Autostar #497, with firmware 43Eg, but when I click "Check WWW for latest version", I'm getting a popup "Could not retrieve version information.  Check internet connection".   Well, my internet connection is just fine.   Now what??

 

 



#2 zanxion72

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 01:38 AM

Your internet connection is fine, Meade's Autostar update server no longer works. I think that both ASU (6.1) and #497 firmware (43Eg) you have are the latest ever delivered by Meade.



#3 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 01:38 AM

Gday Pierce

43Eg is pretty much the last major firmware Meade released for the 497s

and the 497s are no longer supported..

There are some later versions of firmware, but they have no real benefits over 43Eg, esp if you have an LX90.

That said, there are a well tested set of patches for the 43Eg firmware if you want to fix some known bugs

and add a few enhancements, but there is no real upgrade beyond 43Eg from Meade.

To use the patches, you also need to use the 3rd party freeware updater StarPatch

http://www.stargps.ca/downloads.htm

It is much more robust than Meades ASU when it comes to these older models.

I always recommend it now over the ASU application

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#4 pierce

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 03:08 AM

thanks, ok, got that working, all sorted out.

 

it IS a little confusing as to exactly which options to select/deselect to avoid the paid features.    and I thought I selected the 'default to cord wrap ON' but when I power cycled it, and checked, cord wrap was off.



#5 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 04:09 AM

Gday Pierce

 

it IS a little confusing as to exactly which options to select/deselect to avoid the paid features.

It doesnt matter, but basically deselect the top 3 options associated with StarGPS modules.

The patches themselves have no "paid" options, all will load and work without knobbling anything..

The only paid option is if you own a StarGPS lump and want to fully integrate it into the handbox code.

Even if you do accidentally select this option in the patch, and have a StarGPS,

all that happens is it detects you dont have a license and defaults to "readonly" mode,

so it wont break anything, it just takes a bit longer to start :-)

As to Cordwrap, i cant remember that far back :-)  so would need to look at it.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#6 pierce

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 02:09 PM

ahhhh, ok.  be nice of them to SAY that on the autostar updater 6.1 download page, yeeesh.

 

This reminds me why I've always avoided Meade stuff (the issues friends had with their brand new LX200 Classics blowing up power regulators right and left and smoking power transistors had something to do with it, too).

 

This LX90 was donated to my club and I (the club VP) am playing with it to be sure I know how it all works before I turn it over to our loaner pool.

 

optically, it seems to be a nice scope.



#7 NoDarkSkies

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 04:36 PM

Meade 07505 No.505 Cable Connector Set for No.497 AutoStar and AudioStar Equipped Models (Black)

Meade 505 Telescope to PC Cable CP2102 USB RS232 to 4P4C RJ10 Adapter Control Console Cable for Mead 505 Telescope

Wish I had found the 2nd one before I returned my LX85


Edited by NoDarkSkies, 29 February 2020 - 04:38 PM.



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