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Meade Autostar Align without hand Controller?

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#126 BradH

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 02:15 PM

 Let review so we  all understand what is going on.  Is it correct that the LCD display in the Autostar II  now work ?  Yes.  If so when you plug it in does it shows the Meade welcome screen and boots up to a point were it asking for information like Time date and location or the type of alignment you want  etc  etc  ?  Yes. In my case it goes to GPS fix, select object.  When using the app the screen mirrors what the app says.  Example when I selected moon from the app the controller showed moon.  When I selected park scope same thing then it beeped and said turn off scope. 

   If so you said none the keys on keypad work even after you have added the Buttonworx over lay ? Correct 

   If everything is true up to this point  then there is either something wrong with the PIC that reads the keys or as I showed on the schematic there is no +5 volts going to them.  To check this you need to measure the voltages going to resistors R33 thru R36  that  and located next to the PIC.   So you measure with a voltmeter from the center pin the voltage regulator which is ground  to the resistors. My guess is the outside of the resistors closest the edge of the circuit board is were the +5 is attached to all of them but measure the inner contacts as well just to be sure.  If you don't measure any +5 at the resistors the problem maybe the via. A via is were the trace on one side the circuit board passes through the board to a trace on the other side to make electrical connection. Sometime these can fail. The fix is to apply some solder to fill it in to remake the connection. or to add a jumper wire to replace the trace. 
 

This maybe getting over head.  How did you solder to the upper second pin. That’s really small.  

 

  Here is a  picture I marked up showing the resistors, via and ground pin on the voltage regulator.  

 

                      - Dave 

 attachicon.gif autostar II keyboard +5.jpg



#127 erkan9

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Posted 04 May 2024 - 07:47 AM

Hello i live in Turkey and I found a second hand Meade etx-ls telescope but its Autostar 3 controller does not work. Any chance of finding in a good contioned second hand one without costing too much? By the way, if I'm not mistaken, this telescope was also operating in Autostar 2. If I can't find it I may try my luck with Autostar 2.


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#128 Skywatchr

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Posted 04 May 2024 - 03:36 PM

Hello i live in Turkey and I found a second hand Meade etx-ls telescope but its Autostar 3 controller does not work. Any chance of finding in a good contioned second hand one without costing too much? By the way, if I'm not mistaken, this telescope was also operating in Autostar 2. If I can't find it I may try my luck with Autostar 2.

The Autostar II and III are the same thing with a different overlay label.  Some have peeled the Autostar III label off to find Autostar II underneath.  Both are basically a "dumb terminal" with no firmware at all, just a button interface. 

 

The ETX-LS are the LightSwitch models.  And many have corrupt firmware/software that needs reloaded from it's CF memory card.

 

So could you be more accurate in "does not work"?  Does it light up?  If so, does it show anything on the display?


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#129 erkan9

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Posted 05 May 2024 - 06:46 AM

The Autostar II and III are the same thing with a different overlay label.  Some have peeled the Autostar III label off to find Autostar II underneath.  Both are basically a "dumb terminal" with no firmware at all, just a button interface. 

 

The ETX-LS are the LightSwitch models.  And many have corrupt firmware/software that needs reloaded from it's CF memory card.

 

So could you be more accurate in "does not work"?  Does it light up?  If so, does it show anything on the display?

When you turn on the start button, light and sound come to the remote control keypad and the screen, but since the screen is broken, no text is displayed, only the red light in the background is on. Left or right, up or down, it does not fulfill any purpose. I don't know whether the remote control, the motor, or both are faulty. I want to buy it because I found it for a very cheap price, but I'm worried whether it will be too expensive to repair. Have you had any experience? Maybe many problems can be solved with a simple software update and the remote control screen can be repaired etc. Can it be made to work nicely? I shot a simple getting started video and I can send it to you if you want. Your comments are very valuable to me.


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#130 Skywatchr

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Posted 05 May 2024 - 08:16 AM

When you turn on the start button, light and sound come to the remote control keypad and the screen, but since the screen is broken, no text is displayed, only the red light in the background is on. Left or right, up or down, it does not fulfill any purpose. I don't know whether the remote control, the motor, or both are faulty. I want to buy it because I found it for a very cheap price, but I'm worried whether it will be too expensive to repair. Have you had any experience? Maybe many problems can be solved with a simple software update and the remote control screen can be repaired etc. Can it be made to work nicely? I shot a simple getting started video and I can send it to you if you want. Your comments are very valuable to me.

OK, the display backlight comes on, but no text.  Hmmm, it is possible the display itself is bad and since you cannot see the prompts telling you to do anything.  However there may be another problem.  According to the user manual, it should begin it's alignment routine which can take 5 to 10 minutes.  But I am not sure if it requires a particular key press to start it.  If it does, it will just sit there.  The arrow keys will not work until it does it's startup routine.  I myself do not own one of these, but others have. 

If there is a problem with the firmware, a prompt would be on the display telling you to insert the Mini SD card containing the firmware.  But with the display not showing anything, you can't see if that is what is happening.  So you may still need a replacement ASII or III handbox, and a Mini SD card with firmware.

Read through this whole thread to help you understand how the LS works and how to make a copy of the Mini SD card with the firmware. The thread is still open so you can ask questions there as well.  I hope you get it up and running.

 

https://www.cloudyni...s6ls8-firmware/

 

Plus here is the user manual in case you need it...

 

https://www.meade.co...X-LS_Manual.pdf


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#131 erkan9

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Posted 05 May 2024 - 12:52 PM

OK, the display backlight comes on, but no text.  Hmmm, it is possible the display itself is bad and since you cannot see the prompts telling you to do anything.  However there may be another problem.  According to the user manual, it should begin it's alignment routine which can take 5 to 10 minutes.  But I am not sure if it requires a particular key press to start it.  If it does, it will just sit there.  The arrow keys will not work until it does it's startup routine.  I myself do not own one of these, but others have. 

If there is a problem with the firmware, a prompt would be on the display telling you to insert the Mini SD card containing the firmware.  But with the display not showing anything, you can't see if that is what is happening.  So you may still need a replacement ASII or III handbox, and a Mini SD card with firmware.

Read through this whole thread to help you understand how the LS works and how to make a copy of the Mini SD card with the firmware. The thread is still open so you can ask questions there as well.  I hope you get it up and running.

 

https://www.cloudyni...s6ls8-firmware/

 

Plus here is the user manual in case you need it...

 

https://www.meade.co...X-LS_Manual.pdf

This is great information, thank you very much. I will probably take it tomorrow and send it to the technical service for a software update, screen problem or possible engine malfunction and ask them to examine it and calculate a cost. If there is no high repair cost, I will have it done. Even if they charge a high price, I will try to buy a mid-range equatorial mount and use it with it. I'll share with you here what the problem is and how it was fixed. I am grateful for your interest and help.


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#132 Will2007

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Posted 06 May 2024 - 10:00 AM

With a 'broken screen' - depending on the actual damage - the screen may not show anything.  The telescope is probably waiting for you to select a star for alignment.

 

Erkan, how many pins on the cable?  I **may** have a spare controller.

 

Will



#133 Skywatchr

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Posted 07 May 2024 - 05:19 AM

This is great information, thank you very much. I will probably take it tomorrow and send it to the technical service for a software update, screen problem or possible engine malfunction and ask them to examine it and calculate a cost. If there is no high repair cost, I will have it done. Even if they charge a high price, I will try to buy a mid-range equatorial mount and use it with it. I'll share with you here what the problem is and how it was fixed. I am grateful for your interest and help.

Check with the Meade dealer as they may have a new Autostar II, or can get you one.

 

AstroMed Ltd. STI.
Birlik Mah. Dogukent Blv. 450
Cadde No. 22 Kat.4 Cankaya
Ankara 6610
Turkey
Phone: 0312 999 0 800



#134 erkan9

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 05:35 AM

I sent it to Meade's technical service in Turkey, but they could not find a solution either. They tried to install with an SD card loaded with the updated software from Meade USA, but the machine did not accept it. Unfortunately, there is a high probability that it is a mainboard problem. Since the optics are in good condition, I will try to operate it with different methods. https://www.youtube....EqyGe1ckA&t=19s A video was uploaded on YouTube 3-4 months ago. They managed to manually steer the telescope by disabling the system and creating a hand controller that directly controls the motors. I will find a good electronics shop and follow a similar path.




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