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Updating an old Autostar version

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#1 StuartT

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:10 AM

I have had an 8" LX-90 for 12 years or so. But I haven't used it for a long time. It's currently running version 43E, so I figured there might be a newer version available.

 

But when I run ASU Autostar Suite it tells me there is no connection (using the cable I always used to use). I'm plugging the telephone type plug into the telescope AUX socket and the other end to my PC with a USB converter.

 

Any ideas why my PC can't see the scope?

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Scope AUX.jpg
  • USB converter.jpg

Edited by StuartT, 27 February 2021 - 11:19 AM.


#2 wtd1114

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:58 AM

I believe the LX90 uses a 497 Autostar or an Audiostar.  You plug the serial cable into the Autostar or Audiostar.  On the bottom of the Autostar there are two "phone" jacks.  The wider one is the HBX connection to the scope and the narrow one is for the serial cable.

 

Hope that gets you in the right direction-

 

Willis


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#3 StuartT

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:40 PM

I believe the LX90 uses a 497 Autostar or an Audiostar.  You plug the serial cable into the Autostar or Audiostar.  On the bottom of the Autostar there are two "phone" jacks.  The wider one is the HBX connection to the scope and the narrow one is for the serial cable.

 

Hope that gets you in the right direction-

 

Willis

Thanks. I tried plugging it into the handset too as you suggested but that doesn't work either.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Plugged into hand controller.jpg

Edited by StuartT, 27 February 2021 - 12:43 PM.


#4 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:09 PM

Good day,

I hope that there was no damage to the mount. What OS are you running? If it is Windows 7 or 10 you must have a driver for the USB to serial to #505 cable and this must be displayed in device manager with the comm port that it would be using. Then I would suggest that you don't use Autostar Updater rather go to the StarGPS site and download StarPatch 1.914 installation program and the firmware, build 43eg is available and a  43GI patch that gives you options and removes a lot of bugs.


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#5 StuartT

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:07 PM

Good day,

I hope that there was no damage to the mount. What OS are you running? If it is Windows 7 or 10 you must have a driver for the USB to serial to #505 cable and this must be displayed in device manager with the comm port that it would be using. Then I would suggest that you don't use Autostar Updater rather go to the StarGPS site and download StarPatch 1.914 installation program and the firmware, build 43eg is available and a  43GI patch that gives you options and removes a lot of bugs.

Than you. I'll try that. I would like to be able to control the scope from a PC again, so I hope I can get this to work.



#6 StuartT

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:15 AM

I still can't seem get the PC to communicate with the Autostar. I am pretty sure I have all the relevant drivers. Does this look right?

 

Capture.jpg


Edited by StuartT, 28 February 2021 - 06:17 AM.


#7 Maineiac78

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:32 AM

In that picture with the adapter do I see a bulge in the connector? I only ask because in cables we have been using in trucks to communicate with product meters, we had some fry internally and they showed a bump in plug like that. Or maybe it's just glare or something in pic?
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#8 StuartT

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:34 AM

In that picture with the adapter do I see a bulge in the connector? I only ask because in cables we have been using in trucks to communicate with product meters, we had some fry internally and they showed a bump in plug like that. Or maybe it's just glare or something in pic?

Hi there. No. That's not a bulge. It's just a reflection artefact. When I plug it in to the USB port the two blue lights flash and the right things are showing up in Device Manager, so I am baffled as to what the issue is. 



#9 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 03:13 PM

Gday StuartT

 

I would need to check what got crossed over by plugging the 505 cable into the Aux port

but the first thing to do is use a terminal emulator to see if the converter is still working.

Just short the Tx and Rx lines in the converter and see if it mirrors commands.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#10 StuartT

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 04:05 PM

Gday StuartT

 

I would need to check what got crossed over by plugging the 505 cable into the Aux port

but the first thing to do is use a terminal emulator to see if the converter is still working.

Just short the Tx and Rx lines in the converter and see if it mirrors commands.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

Um.. I'm afraid I didn't understand any of that Andrew! Are you saying I may have damaged the cable?

 

Maybe I should just buy a new cable? 



#11 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 04:38 PM

Gday StuartT

The Aux port in the fork is wired differently to the rs232 port in the handbox

ie looking into the sockets with the tab on top

Aux is wired ground, data, clock, +12V

rs232 is wired Rx, Tx, N/C, ground

As such, when you plugged the rs232 cable into the Aux port,

you have crossed over the polarity, so may have fried something.

 

The simple test to check the converter is to short the Tx and Rx lines

and see if what gets sent gets received back.

just google "loop testing a usb to serial adapter"

for the instructions.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#12 StuartT

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 04:55 PM

Gday StuartT

The Aux port in the fork is wired differently to the rs232 port in the handbox

ie looking into the sockets with the tab on top

Aux is wired ground, data, clock, +12V

rs232 is wired Rx, Tx, N/C, ground

As such, when you plugged the rs232 cable into the Aux port,

you have crossed over the polarity, so may have fried something.

 

The simple test to check the converter is to short the Tx and Rx lines

and see if what gets sent gets received back.

just google "loop testing a usb to serial adapter"

for the instructions.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

Ok, so if I fried anything, I guess it would be the adapter, rather than the telescope - phew!

 

Thanks



#13 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 05:21 PM

Gday Stuart

Based on the fact the mount fires up OK, i would suspect the Hbx is OK.

There is a slight possibility a trace blew on the control panel

but that would not affect your rs232 adapter being able to talk to the handbox..

 

Again, first test is a loopback on the adapter.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#14 Dukefan

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 01:32 AM

i bought a cable that had a usb on one end and phone jack on the other.  it took a few tries to get it to find the handset but eventually it worked.  unfortunately it seems like no one can download the latest version from meade.  (when you click on the www button it says no connection to internet.   you can download a free version by going to www.stargps.ca


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#15 DMFP

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 09:48 PM

I couldn't get the Autostar Updater to connect either...which was odd since the Autostar Suite and Starry Night Pro 8 could both connect with no problem.  What I found is that after starting the Autostar Updater from within the suite, close the suite window itself but leave the updater open.  After a few seconds, my AUtostar rebooted itself and then the updater showed connected.


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#16 StuartT

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Posted 19 March 2021 - 04:23 PM

to be honest, the more I read the more I am thinking "leave well alone"

 

Although I am generally of the view that updating software is a good thing, it seems that Meade were not a very impressive outfit (maybe why they went out of business), they produced very few updates and the newer versions can introduce problems!

 

So given that my current version of Autostar does actually seem to work just fine, I think I'll let sleeping dogs lie and not carry out an upgrade. 

 

Thanks everyone!


Edited by StuartT, 19 March 2021 - 04:25 PM.



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