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LXD75 and/or Autostar problem

Meade
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7 replies to this topic

#1 Sylvain Weiller

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 03:40 AM

Hi Andrew, all,
 

Well, I don't know what to think about my Autostar problem ...
First the LXD75 mount turns on Ok and if the paddle works then moves in RA and DEC are Ok at different speeds.
Power supply ? I tried many (2x 12V batteries and also 220-12V converter) ... no change in behaviour
Autostar cable ? Looks Ok,  I checked it with multimeter wire by wire, press with a flat small screwdriver on the pins
RS232 control ? I tried, it may be Ok for some moves then will become unresponsive and hanging SharpCap software

I saw :
- Autostar paddle don't turn on everytime and sometimes don't for many On-Off on the main board
- when it turns on and beeps
       sometimes it stops working there (no panel, no moves possible)
       sometimes it is fine (until 'Object') for a few moments often until I change speed one or more times
       sometimes it is working fine then turns off later

I have open the paddle but there is not much to check inside !

Thanks for any ideas / help !
Best
Sylvain



#2 Piet Le Roux

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 10:09 AM

Good day Sylvain,

Some more information would be helpful : how long have you had the LXD75 with the Autostar controller? When did the problem start? It may still be a supply problem, if the supply voltage is stable between 12 and 13.8 volts it could be the aux 12V input plug, I have had a bit of problems with mine in the past, but I think it may be the cable between the controller and mount, try to plug it in and out both sides a couple of times to clean the contracts and then reverse the cable sides and try it again. The cable bends a lot over the years and sometimes the wires become intermittent, so it may test fine but when it is bend a certain way it looses conection for a split second. Good luck


Edited by Piet Le Roux, 14 May 2022 - 01:21 AM.


#3 michael8554

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 05:50 AM

Hi Sylvain.

 

So the mount remains powered (led on) when the Autostar is misbehaving ?

 

That suggests the power to the mount is okay.

 

Try connecting to a virtual handbox in Autostar Suite or Myscope.

 

You'll need a USB to Serial Converter and a Meade #505 cable, which you may already have if controlling the mount via SharpCap.

 

Which Driver are you using ?

 

The best one from the ASCOM site is this:

 

"Meade Autostar/Audiostar Project (October 2019) <- TRY THIS FIRST"

 

This is the only actively updated driver for all Meade scopes.



#4 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 06:45 AM

Gday Sylvain

Not sure i understand properly

Are you saying that some times the mount starts up and works correctly

and other times it doesnt???

Also that some times it responds to rs232 commands and sometimes it doesnt??

If so, my first guess would have been corrosion on the contacts

but that means both ports are also affected.

Need mor detailed info on exactly how and when it fails.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#5 Sylvain Weiller

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 05:26 PM

Hi all,

Thanks to all for your kind help and instructing ideas !

 

I tested the recommended testings ...

 

Finally - only moving the cable in darkness - I found a contact problem between the cable and the handle. If I plug the cable but do not maintain the RJ45 plug by hand well inside, contact is lost.  To be sure I had previously resoldered the pins but that had not sold the problem.
As everything is cleaned, I guess now it is the cable at the pins level.

Can you show me how to make a new Autostar cable easily starting with a standard RJ45 cable. I do need a step by step explanation, please !
(I have read on Internet it is not a simple X cable ?).

Best,

Sylvain



#6 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 07:10 PM

Gday Sylvain

 

There is no such ting as "a standard RJ45 cable"

A standard cat5 cable is closest, but is wired 1-1..8-8

Meades handset cable ( for the 497/Audiostars ) is wired 1-8..8-1.

ref

http://web.archive.o...rg/pinouts.html

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#7 Sylvain Weiller

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Posted 17 May 2022 - 11:05 AM

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the clear autostar cable images !

Best

Sylvain



#8 Sylvain Weiller

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Posted 17 May 2022 - 03:45 PM

Hi all,
 
I used the idea found here to make a new Autostar cable:
http://www.weasner.c...97HBXcable.html
 
I used a small vise to hold the plugs side by side as seen at http://web.archive.o...rg/pinouts.html
After cutting the cable and founding with a multimeter which color wire had to be soldered with the other color wire to make the 1..8 to 8..1 Autostar cable 
I put with a dark marker pen simple marks like this on each of the 2 x 8 ends to be soldered together  :         -     --      ---      ----     -----      __ -     __ --      __ ---
I put a 1 cm piece of heat shrink tube for every couple (BTW I should have put a larger one for the completed cable at that time !).
Then with the great help of my wife to hold the wires in contact so I could work easily,  in 15 min all the soldering was done.

AutostarNewCable1.jpg

After multiple checks with the multimeter, I tried successfully on the mount !
After everything was hot glued, I finally found a large enough heat shrink tube which could be passed over the plug and that's it ! 
AutostarNewCableDONE.jpg

 

 


Edited by Sylvain Weiller, 17 May 2022 - 03:46 PM.



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