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Problems updating software

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#1 rurieloon41

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Posted 02 April 2021 - 11:43 AM

I have a Meade LX90-ACF telescope with an Autostar#497 handset which has not been working too well so I have tried to load a new version of the software (Autostar updater 6.1) to see if that will improve things; but without success.
I have Windows 7 and have connected the USB connector of the  #505 cable to the computer and the other end to Autostar which is connected to the telescope.
I start the Meade Updater program but when I click to "Upgrade  software now" it says it can't find Autostar.
Am I missing some driver software?



#2 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 02 April 2021 - 02:06 PM

Good day,

If your Auto star updater 6.1 does not detect your USB to serial to #505 coverter you probably do not have the the right driver for it, look in device manager under comm ports,  there should be a driver for your specific type of USB to serial converter with a comm port # assigned to it. If it is in yellow there is a problem and you should look on the manufacturer's  website for a driver. But being able to connect with ASU 6.1 to your scope would only proof that your connection is working, you cannot update with ASU 6.1 at this stage, you would have to use StarPach and download the firmware from StarGPS. But what firmware version do you have and what makes you think this would solve your problem? 

PS you must connect to the J11 on the Autostar controller not to the AUX socket is on the mount! 


Edited by Piet Le Roux, 03 April 2021 - 03:21 AM.


#3 rurieloon41

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 01:32 PM

Thanks Piet. I have downloaded driver software from the Meade site but have been unable to link it to the Comms port; I believe I need administrator capabilities to do this. In answer to your question, I don't know if this will solve my problem, it is more just trying something to fix the problem I have with the telescope not aligning properly.



#4 michael8554

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 10:12 AM

 it is more just trying something to fix the problem I have with the telescope not aligning properly.

Let us know what your problems are.

 

If you haven't updated recently, then using GPS to set up will be incorrect, due to a world-wide GPS Rollover.



#5 SkipW

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 07:27 PM

I have a Meade LX90-ACF telescope with an Autostar#497 handset which has not been working too well so I have tried to load a new version of the software (Autostar updater 6.1) to see if that will improve things; but without success.
I have Windows 7 and have connected the USB connector of the  #505 cable to the computer and the other end to Autostar which is connected to the telescope.
I start the Meade Updater program but when I click to "Upgrade  software now" it says it can't find Autostar.
Am I missing some driver software?

Does the 505 cable have a USB connector? I thought this was an RS-232 cable.

 

Good day,

If your Auto star updater 6.1 does not detect your USB to serial to #505 coverter you probably do not have the the right driver for it, look in device manager under comm ports,  there should be a driver for your specific type of USB to serial converter with a comm port # assigned to it. If it is in yellow there is a problem and you should look on the manufacturer's  website for a driver. But being able to connect with ASU 6.1 to your scope would only proof that your connection is working, you cannot update with ASU 6.1 at this stage, you would have to use StarPach and download the firmware from StarGPS. But what firmware version do you have and what makes you think this would solve your problem? 

PS you must connect to the J11 on the Autostar controller not to the AUX socket is on the mount! 

 

 

Thanks Piet. I have downloaded driver software from the Meade site but have been unable to link it to the Comms port; I believe I need administrator capabilities to do this. In answer to your question, I don't know if this will solve my problem, it is more just trying something to fix the problem I have with the telescope not aligning properly.

 

Open the Device Manager (in Windows 7's Control Panel). Look for the Ports (COM & LPT) group in the Device Manager and expand that (click the little arrow symbol next to it). Does it show a device name and (COM#)? If there is nothing like this listed, you don't have a serial port. If you do have a USB-to-Serial adapter attached to your 505 cable, its manufacturer (not Meade) should have a Windows driver.


Edited by SkipW, 08 April 2021 - 07:43 PM.

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#6 SkipW

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 07:42 PM

Follow up: What is the particular problem you're having?

 

I would recommend against updating the firmware unless some newer release is known to address the specific issue you're having.



#7 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 12:00 AM

Thanks Piet. I have downloaded driver software from the Meade site but have been unable to link it to the Comms port; I believe I need administrator capabilities to do this. In answer to your question, I don't know if this will solve my problem, it is more just trying something to fix the problem I have with the telescope not aligning properly.

Good day,

Unless you have a Meade USB to serial port converter a Meade driver is not going to solve your problem. Getting a LX90 to have accurate goto's starts by doing accurate drive training when needed, start by doing a "motor calibration" and then do drive training as prescribed in the manual, remember to end with a "mode" press and not "enter". When setting up take note that it is important for accuracy to have your OTA level in all directions before you do a two star alignment, pointing to true North is not that critical because any error would be corrected with the first alignment star. 



#8 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 12:53 AM

Gday Piet

Just for info, "Motor Calibration" is not required for an LX90.

I recently walked the boards of one and the encoder uses a fixed +5V supply

and conditions the pulses using a pair of comparators

and as such there is no way to "tweak" the pulsetrains by adjusting voltages.

So certainly train away, but no need to calibrate motors.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#9 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 01:45 AM

Good day Andrew,

Then why does it preform a "Motor Calibration"? what is it actually doing when it does a "Motor Calibration" ?



#10 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 02:32 AM

Gday Piet

If you look at the old model circuit boards, you will see there is a set of 6 paralleled resistors

that feed the encoder LED.

During calibration, AFAIK ( ex the patent), the PIC toggles these through their full combination to find the setting

that gives a LED current that gets the best mark space ratios.

The LX90 cards do not have this system, the encoder is fed +5V only

so there is nothing to "calibrate"

 

I suspect id does a calibrate cos it was easier than changing the code

to isolate the mounts that dont need it

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#11 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 03:31 AM

The mistery deepens .......when I do a series of motor calibrations with my LX90 I get a series of different calibration values : Az = 236,100, 228 and Alt = 84, 44, 220. These were al done with the same battery so if it was a real calibration the values should be all nearly the same, it appears that they are randomly generated, but why go to all trouble ? why not generate the same value?



#12 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 03:47 AM

Gday Piet

I have no idea what its doing then, as there is no resistor array to adjust.

I assume your mount still works OK no matter what the value ?????

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#13 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 04:35 AM

Oh yes its working perfectly,it is just something I have noticed.



#14 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 05:08 AM

I played some more and noticed that if you keep doing motor calibritions long enough it will eventually generate a "252" value and then stop displaying a motor fault?! I got it to do this on both the Az and Dec drives. If you reboot and run motor calibration again it would generate something els. I wonder if this value is not obtained from the drive board so that it can be compared on initiation so it can identify when a different controller is plugged into the mount ? The 252 value is just a bug that they did not anticipate ? 



#15 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 05:26 AM

Gday Piet

As noted, i have no idea whats going on there.

On doing a calibrate, the motor card runs the process and then the handbox

reads back and stores the result.

On normal booting, the handbox sends this value back to the motor card.

Thats all i know.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#16 rurieloon41

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 11:27 AM

Let us know what your problems are.

 

If you haven't updated recently, then using GPS to set up will be incorrect, due to a world-wide GPS Rollover.

Hi,thanks for your reply. When you say "updated" do you mean the software? If so, that's what I'm trying unsuccessfully to do.

My problem is that Auto Align doesn't seem to work and when I do a "GOTO" the telescope points in the wrong direction. I have TRAINED the telescope. Perhaps I will try Easy Align next time.



#17 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 12:11 PM

Hi,thanks for your reply. When you say "updated" do you mean the software? If so, that's what I'm trying unsuccessfully to do.

My problem is that Auto Align doesn't seem to work and when I do a "GOTO" the telescope points in the wrong direction. I have TRAINED the telescope. Perhaps I will try Easy Align next time.If

I have never used Auto Align because my LX90ACF does not have a LNT unit so a two star alignment is what I use, from what I have read this has never been very successful. 



#18 michael8554

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 02:52 AM

Apparently the Meade Two Star Alignment has always been faulty, and was too difficult for the StarPatch guys to correct.

 

OzAndrewJ will confirm or correct me on that :->

 

GoTo in the wrong direction suggests your Longitude setting is incorrect:

 

+ 026  14 West



#19 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 03:02 AM

Gday Michael

Apparently the Meade Two Star Alignment has always been faulty, and was too difficult for the StarPatch guys to correct.

Polar 2 star in the LX200GPS has bugs, but that doesnt apply to the 497/Audiostars.

I actually made an experimental patch for this that seems to work

but dont have much real world feedback on it, as it is better to just get

the mechanical polar alignment correct and then do a one star align.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#20 SamTheMan

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 02:06 PM

I thought that I had successfully updated my LXD55 Autostar I.  It seemed to work fine while simulating alignment and goto commands.  But, the screen looked garbled again, so I think I need to try to do the Starpatch update again.

 

I did the first Starpatch update by connecting the handset to the mount as instructed.  To connect the hand set to the mount, I had to move the mount from the garage to the computer.  It's not convenient for me to move the computer to the mount and the mount is back in the garage.

 

Is there any way to update Autostar I without connecting the hand set to the mount?

thx in advance.

SamTheMan



#21 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 04:58 PM

Gday Sam

Yep.

All you need is a fake 12V power supply to the handbox and you can update it.

ref the "AutoStar Power Information" section, ( bottom right in following )

http://www.weasner.c...ostar_info.html

 

Have attached a piccy of what i use

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

 

497HbxFakePower.jpg


Edited by OzAndrewJ, 19 July 2021 - 05:00 PM.



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