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Autostar II Controller

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#1 DAOmbrello

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Posted 16 October 2022 - 03:00 PM

Hello, I am new here and found a ton of useful information.  I did not find anywhere where someone had a source for a Autostar II controller for a 12” Meade LX200 GPS.  I also need a tripod spreader for a 12” LX200 GPS.  Mine seems to have disappeared along with my controller.  Any help is greatly appreciated.



#2 rmille61611

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Posted 16 October 2022 - 08:36 PM

Astroshop.eu I got one from them 2 months ago, 215.00 and 15.00 hdl shipping, got it in 5 days, February 2022 production great overseas place to deal with, lots of people here in the states buy from there when can't find there, I did a posting on them you can find under my name from couple months ago.



#3 DAOmbrello

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Posted 17 October 2022 - 02:38 PM

Thanks,

I noticed the website but was hesitant to order from Europe.  I’ll give them a try.



#4 rmille61611

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Posted 17 October 2022 - 03:18 PM

Yup great to deal with



#5 DAOmbrello

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Posted 17 October 2022 - 03:24 PM

You don’t have any idea where I could get a spreader bar for the giant field tripod do you?



#6 rmille61611

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Posted 17 October 2022 - 03:43 PM

No sorry can’t help ya with that one



#7 Astroboy1952

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Posted 24 October 2022 - 04:18 AM

Hello,

Sorry can't help you source the hand controller, but I have a similar Autostar II issue.

 

Does anyone know where the text instructions for the Autostar II handbox (LX200 GPS 8") are generated? 

My handbox has started to display all sorts of additional letters and characters on the screen. 

 

When I do manage to align the scope, by guessing the alignment instructions, the scope seems to work normally, tracking, etc.  I can then also use the Auto-Fi WiFi device to control the scope from my android mobile phone.

 

If I flick the power switch off and on a few times, sometimes the spelling errors are gone, or very minor, but sometimes there is no display at all.

 

Regards,

Lothar



#8 michael8554

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Posted 24 October 2022 - 08:54 AM

The Autostar II can be completely replaced by the WiFi ScopeBoss software for iOS devices.

 

Unlike Auto-Fi it doesn't need the hand controller for initialising after switch-on.



#9 DAVIDG

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Posted 24 October 2022 - 10:16 AM

Hello,

Sorry can't help you source the hand controller, but I have a similar Autostar II issue.

 

Does anyone know where the text instructions for the Autostar II handbox (LX200 GPS 8") are generated? 

My handbox has started to display all sorts of additional letters and characters on the screen. 

 

When I do manage to align the scope, by guessing the alignment instructions, the scope seems to work normally, tracking, etc.  I can then also use the Auto-Fi WiFi device to control the scope from my android mobile phone.

 

If I flick the power switch off and on a few times, sometimes the spelling errors are gone, or very minor, but sometimes there is no display at all.

 

Regards,

Lothar

 You can replace your failing display with this one from Ebay. It is larger then the original so it needs to be mounted outside the case but it works.

 

   https://www.ebay.com...rwAAOSwC4Va2A9l

 

 

Autostar LCD.jpg

 

           - Dave 


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#10 Astroboy1952

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Posted 25 October 2022 - 05:05 PM

Thanks Dave.   

Since reading your other posts on this issue, I have noticed a significant deterioration of the carbon contacts on my LCD ribbon cable since just 15 months ago, when I installed the conductive pad membrane for the keypad. 



#11 Astroboy1952

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Posted 25 October 2022 - 07:55 PM

Thanks also to you Michael for your suggestion of ScopeBoss software. 



#12 Astroboy1952

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Posted 11 September 2023 - 05:28 AM

I received the Formike LCD in Jaunary. 

It slotted straight in to the Autosatar II handbox.

 

Part No: WC1602T7DVN6G,  Description: 16x2 FFSTN Negative Transmissive LCD display COG . 
URL: https://www.alibaba....0256246753.html

 

Supplied as a Sample, for US$7 each. Minimum order was 2. Postage was high at US$30, but well worth it considering what a new ASII handbox costs.
Delivery was about 3 weeks.

 

No special installation work was required. Just took the old one out (was glued in slightly) replace with the new one. The new contacts appear gold plated, so should last a long time.
The original backlight white foam block works with the new LCD. No other changes required. Nothing to scrape off, no filter to switch around.

 

Note that the ‘contrast’ had to be adjusted in the LX200 Setup, in order to make the display visible.
When first turned on, the display flashed ‘LX200 GPS’ for a second, then went blank.
After 34 seconds, the boot up process was done, and the motor controls started to work, but the display stayed dark. 
So I ‘blindly’ followed the handbox options list as per the user guide, to get to the Contrast Adjustment option. (See below).

The LCD then came on perfectly.

 

After cycling power off/on, the LCD again flashes brightly, then the text blanks out (but background stays red) whilst booting up (34 seconds), then comes on brightly again, as set before.

Total cost for the LCDs was US$7 x 2 (1 spare LCD) plus US$30 for postage, so about Au$70. 
Much cheaper than a new ASII for $250.

 

Instruction to adjust contrast:
After boot-up is complete (≈34 seconds) …
Press the Mode button 2 or 3 times. (just to make sure it is in the home mode)
Press Down Scroll 4 time.
Press Enter once.
Press Down Scroll 5 times.
Press Enter once.  You won’t be able to see it, but you should now be in the Contrast Adjust option.
Press Up Scroll until LCD display characters show up.
The end.

 

Best regards,
Astroboy1952.



#13 DAVIDG

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Posted 11 September 2023 - 09:02 AM

  The contrast can be made to work from  the start by adding a diode to the contrast line of the display. The voltage that controls the Formike display is slightly different then the original and by adding a 1n914 diode this clamps the voltage so it can go no higher then +0.7 volts.  The diode goes from pin 2 on the LCD connector to ground. I used the middle pin on the voltage regulator at the bottom the circuit board.

   By the way under dim light you can hold  the Autostar at a  sharp angle and see the text faintly so you  can navigate to the contrast setting.

 

                      - Dave 

 

autostar diode.jpg


Edited by DAVIDG, 11 September 2023 - 03:56 PM.

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#14 mbellot

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Posted 13 September 2023 - 10:23 AM

David - Thanks for this information!

 

My ASII has been through a couple revisions.

 

Broke the glass a long time ago, grafted on a standard 2x16 I had lying around. It hung out of the case by a ribbon cable, no contrast adjust and not very user friendly.

 

Recently picked up one of the Alibaba Formike displays and was happy to get everything back in the handbox. Unfortunately I found the display would wash out until it finished booting. Thanks to your information that no longer happens.

 

I soldered the diode directly across C43, it seemed a bit more secure to me.

 

ASII_ContrastMod.jpg


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#15 Mike Boessen

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Posted 01 November 2023 - 04:30 PM

Hi, Astroboy:

 

I'm looking for a new display for the AutostarII on my LX200GPS and with some help from Andrew, found your thread for the one you used. I copied/pasted the link from your post and it didn't take me to the part.  I tried copy/paste the part number into the Alibaba web site and that didn't get me there either.  Not sure what I am doing wrong, but I definitely seem to suck at this.  

 

Is there any way you can be of assistance?  We have a couple of guys in the club complaining their handsets are getting wiggy also, so this could help several people.

 

Best

 

Mike



#16 michael8554

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Posted 02 November 2023 - 05:27 AM

The solder splashes around the pins on the chip at the bottom of the image need picking away before they self-detach and cause shorts.



#17 DAVIDG

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Posted 02 November 2023 - 09:22 AM

Hi, Astroboy:

 

I'm looking for a new display for the AutostarII on my LX200GPS and with some help from Andrew, found your thread for the one you used. I copied/pasted the link from your post and it didn't take me to the part.  I tried copy/paste the part number into the Alibaba web site and that didn't get me there either.  Not sure what I am doing wrong, but I definitely seem to suck at this.  

 

Is there any way you can be of assistance?  We have a couple of guys in the club complaining their handsets are getting wiggy also, so this could help several people.

 

Best

 

Mike

 Here is a link that just worked for me  https://www.alibaba....0832100439.html

 

      You need to contact Formike and get a price for the samples you want buy vs trying to buy them directly from their website on Alibaba. The price for the displays are  around $10 each but the shipping is high around $20 to $30. 

   As  I showed in the above messages you'll need to add a 1N914 diode to the contrast line so the contrast can  be adjustable and the text visible in all the menus.  If not , you will get the start screen and then the text will be very low in contrast once it fully boots and you will have to navigate to the menu were you can adjust the contrast and adjust it so the text will be easily visible in the all the menus.

 

              - Dave 


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#18 WilsonFlyer

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 10:53 AM

The Autostar II can be completely replaced by the WiFi ScopeBoss software for iOS devices.

 

Unlike Auto-Fi it doesn't need the hand controller for initialising after switch-on.

 

Can you use Scopeboss concurrently with something like Skysafari controlling the scope?



#19 WilsonFlyer

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 12:18 PM

David - Thanks for this information!

 

My ASII has been through a couple revisions.

 

Broke the glass a long time ago, grafted on a standard 2x16 I had lying around. It hung out of the case by a ribbon cable, no contrast adjust and not very user friendly.

 

Recently picked up one of the Alibaba Formike displays and was happy to get everything back in the handbox. Unfortunately I found the display would wash out until it finished booting. Thanks to your information that no longer happens.

 

I soldered the diode directly across C43, it seemed a bit more secure to me.

 

attachicon.gif ASII_ContrastMod.jpg

 

I'd love to see an overhead shot of that if you happen to already have one. The right seems to be across both legs and the left seems to only be the nearest leg. Is that correct? My display and diodes are on the way.

 

On the other mod, I can't even tell which way the diode is oriented. Does it matter with diodes? I think I remember it does, but I don't remember how to tell which end is which. :(


Edited by WilsonFlyer, 05 February 2024 - 12:21 PM.


#20 DAVIDG

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Posted 05 February 2024 - 01:00 PM

I'd love to see an overhead shot of that if you happen to already have one. The right seems to be across both legs and the left seems to only be the nearest leg. Is that correct? My display and diodes are on the way.

 

On the other mod, I can't even tell which way the diode is oriented. Does it matter with diodes? I think I remember it does, but I don't remember how to tell which end is which. frown.gif

 The diode has  a black line around one end. That end needs to go to ground. Look at message #14 in this thread and it shows the diode across a capacitor and that will work as well.

 

           - Dave 


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#21 Astroboy1952

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 04:02 PM

Just an apology to Mike Boessen for not responding to his inquiry earlier, but happily, I note that Dave did provide the answer.  

 

The current URL for the LCD supplier FORMIKE is: 

https://www.wandispl...en-Display.html

 

There is an "Inquiry" form at the bottom, with contact details. 

The model number is COG LCD Display FFSTN 3.3v LCD 16x2 Dot Screen Display(WC1602T7DVN6G)

 

Regards.



#22 DAVIDG

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Posted 26 March 2024 - 08:38 AM

Just an apology to Mike Boessen for not responding to his inquiry earlier, but happily, I note that Dave did provide the answer.  

 

The current URL for the LCD supplier FORMIKE is: 

https://www.wandispl...en-Display.html

 

There is an "Inquiry" form at the bottom, with contact details. 

The model number is COG LCD Display FFSTN 3.3v LCD 16x2 Dot Screen Display(WC1602T7DVN6G)

 

Regards.

  Having bought from Formike a number of displays the issue is the shipping cost at around $25 or more. You can get the the same Formike  display from Buttonworx and the cost will be cheaper.   The display for the newer version of the Autostar 497 is the same as the Autostar II.

 

         - Dave 


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#23 mbellot

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Posted 26 March 2024 - 09:31 PM

Just an apology to Mike Boessen for not responding to his inquiry earlier, but happily, I note that Dave did provide the answer.  

 

The current URL for the LCD supplier FORMIKE is: 

https://www.wandispl...en-Display.html

 

There is an "Inquiry" form at the bottom, with contact details. 

The model number is COG LCD Display FFSTN 3.3v LCD 16x2 Dot Screen Display(WC1602T7DVN6G)

 

Regards.

Pretty sure you want the 5V version.

 

When I ordered it they actually contacted me to confirm 5V vs 3.3V

 

ASII.PNG


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