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Dead battery in my Meade RCX400

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#1 JROCKET

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Posted 30 March 2024 - 02:11 PM

So Im new to this scope and the date will not stay in the control after power down. ( the time is good from GPS)  Im polar aligned on a pier. The mount is set to polar. So I park the scope and power off. When I power on again I check the date and its 2004... so I change to the correct date and get ready to slew to a planet or star...  but the alignment is wrong.

 

My question is do I need to put in a new battery before the park and re start will keep my alignment saved?

 

Thanks,

John



#2 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 30 March 2024 - 04:05 PM

Gday John

The battery wont help re holding time, it merely holds the almanac alive in the GPS lump so it fixes quicker.

The fact your GPS is getting a fix and 2004 means you have unpatched firmware and the GPS rollover bug.

As you are unparking, as soon as the GPS gets a fix with 2004, you cannot then simply change the date

unless you then do a new align, as it wont reset the clocks properly

 

To fix it you can ( in order of ease

1) Turn off the GPS and manually enter date/time when asked

2) Load patched firmware ( via StarPatch ) to fix the rollover bug

3) Replace the GPS with a modern ( 3rd party ) unit.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#3 JROCKET

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Posted 30 March 2024 - 06:17 PM

Thank you for the insight Andrew.

 


Edited by JROCKET, 30 March 2024 - 06:19 PM.


#4 JROCKET

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 08:46 PM

Bad news on my attempt to flash the mount using starpatch. I got a cable usb on the computer side an rj12 mount side. I ran starpatch selected the  patchrcx22iv11.sfp  selected autostar II rcx 400 handset. pressed update handset and could not connect to the mount. The error msg told me to turn the mount off and press 9 key 3 times. then autostar says downloading  dont turn off. So I pressed "update handset" again and got this starpatch error msg   " numblocks: failed to clear last dpage 0x3"

 

So now the mount wont go past the "rcx400 © 2005" on the autostar.

 

Im running windows 10 and starpatch selected com4 for me. Im just not communicating with the mount. not good. will star patch work with an old xp computer?



#5 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 08:57 PM

Gday John

StarPatch will run on XP quite happily.

The fail to clear dPage message means when StarPatch tried to erase a 64k section of the first Flash chip

and it failed or timed out.

I am curious about the fact it couldnt connecy normally, but would in safeload

as that indicates the main firmware may have already had problems

( Safeload is a specially protected copy of the code, so is different to the main code for comms )

What you can do in safeload mode is try StarPatch again, as it forces 9600 baud

If it still fails, what you can do is try to use Meades ASU to load the firmware in safeload mode

as it uses much less error detection, and can sometimes copy over problems without failing.

If Meades ASU also fails, then it is sounding like there was

an existing "mechanical" problem in the boards memory.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#6 JROCKET

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 09:23 PM

So I set 9600 baud. Dis safe mode, got " confirm found RCX400 (ver 2.0i) do you want to continue with update?" I say yes then get :write failed at page 02x address 8000x possible serial com problem" I say re try and get "update failed(w)

So do you think Im communicating with the mount? When I started I was at ver2.2i so I must have erased everything.



#7 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 01 April 2024 - 11:23 PM

Gday John

 

So do you think Im communicating with the mount?When I started I was at ver2.2i

If it said it had found the mount, then it must be communicating

but i dont know why you would get 2.0i when it was originally 2.2i

as StarPatch doesnt have a copy of 2.0i, so where did it come from???

That said,

You cannot erase "everything" using StarPatch or ASU

There are 9 off 512k chips that store all the code and data

and each chip is made up of 8 x 64k "segments"

When you erase the chips, it is done in individual 64k segments ( dPages ),

ie it deletes one dPage then writes it.

If the error is in "deleting", it is normally because the chip itself is dead

or there is an error in the timing.
 

write failed at page 02x address 8000x

That error means it couldnt write the very first bit of the very first memory segment it "normally" processes

and that indicates something a bit terminal is going on,

but it doesnt explain why you got the earlier  "dPage 03" error

as that would have been equivalent to " page 06x"   when writing

 

Have you tried Meades ASU in safeload mode yet????

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#8 JROCKET

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Posted 02 April 2024 - 09:33 AM

I loaded ASU, uploaded 2.2i to the scope, worked fine. Since I didn't know how to patch within ASU I ran starpatch to upload patchrcx22iv11.sfp and it all worked without any errors this time!  All is working as advertised.

 

Cant thank you enough Andrew. Gday



#9 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 02 April 2024 - 04:01 PM

Gday John

Excellent news.

It might have been the Flash has slight timing errors that StarPatch detects, but ASU doesnt care about.

Several users with RCXs have now reported this, so it may also be something to do

with its circuits or CPU ( as they are different to the LX200s )

That said, what you can do if necessary is build the patched rom in StarPatch

ie you set up for patching, but create a patched rom vs send to the scope.

You can then copy this pre patched rom to the ASU ephemerides directory

and use ASU to load it.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia




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