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August 2012
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Spacecommander
5 pts
Viewfinder help here. I've got a mysterious viewfinder that attaches to the ETX itself via 3 wires (I know because it was
dangling from the three wires when I bought it). There is NO on/off switch on the viewfinder yet it has a onboard battery
and complicated surface mounted circuit. There is no name on the viewfinder anywhere - not even inside. Here's a link to
the photos: http://www.pbase.com/spacecommander/what_is_this
As I say at the photo site - my guess is the autostar somehow controls it. Any help would be . . . well . . . helpful!
Thanks!
Like
5 DAYS AGO
Spacecommander
5 pts
Reply
oh - and the 1/8 in socket on the side - my guess was just external power but maybe more?
5 DAYS AGO
Spacecommander
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Like
Reply
5 pts
more still - it does NOT illuminate when the ETX is powered up
5 DAYS AGO
mweasner
6 pts
Spacecommander The ETX is an ETX "Premier Edition" (PE) model. The finderscope
is the LNT/Smartfinder module. LNT = Level North Technology. There is no ON/OFF switch.
Usage is discussed in the ETX PE manual. If you didn't get one, you can get it from Meade's
web site. If the AutoStar does not see the module by holding down the MODE key for 3 seconds,
then it could be disconnected OR the internal battery is dead (or both). For more
LNT/Smartfinder troubleshooting tips, see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech TIps page on
the ETX Site.
Like
5 DAYS AGO
Spacecommander
Reply
5 pts
mweasner Awesome! Thanks! Got it off the bay of ease (eBay) - guess neither the seller
nor I knew what that was. The finder was broken from the scope but still attached by the three
wires (as shown in seller's pictures). Won't be a few weeks till I have time to try out the scope
LNT features or the finder itself but I did check it with a hand unit when it arrived and it did slew
properly when commanded by the autostar. Looks like I got a great deal! Thanks for all the info.
4 DAYS AGO
zzippy
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5 pts
do you think i should pull out some of the batteries so it reads 12v and try that to be safe ?and if it works should i reset the
autostar and retrain the drives ?
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
@zzippy Yes use 12VDC. A RESET will clear out any bad info, then you can enter your info. Do a
CALIBRATE MOTOR (which measures the power level), then TRAIN DRIVES.
16 DAYS AGO
zzippy
5 pts
hi,all
i just got my telestar ds-114at in the mail today that i won on ebay . packing was poor but all looks ok
the only thing is that it did not come with the battery pack ,so i went to radoshak and made one to hold
10 aa batterys and found a plug to fit in to the computer control panel on the scope .( with the center + )
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my ? is will this be ok to run the drives and autostare #495 or is there some kind of resistor in the line
of the battery pack that comes from Meade with the scope ? with the 10 new battery the my meter reads 18v
i would hate to fry it on the first try. the autostar looks like it was never used , i also check the reduction gear
look like they have never been used .
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
@zzippy Typically you want 12VDC and 1.5A for many low-end telescopes. I don't have a DS model but I
doubt there is a resistor in the battery pack.
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16 DAYS AGO
Knite
Reply
5 pts
Hi I have ETX 80 and my handset is dead i have used my scope only one but this when i turn it on it doesnt do anything
the led near the switch is on but no lights or display on the handset and the motor does not test or anything please help
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
Knite Check the HBX cable connector and jack. If clean and not damaged, then check the batteries
in the ETX; replace if needed. But if you don't have slew control then the AutoStar could be dead (it does
happen occasionally). If you do need to replace the AutoStar, I suggest getting a #497 AutoStar instead of a
replacement #494.
Like
16 DAYS AGO
Knite
Reply
5 pts
mweasner Thanks for your reply, I have checked the connections and all seems fine tried
2 new sets of batteries i don't have any control of anything. i have only had the telescope around 2
weeks and used it just once brand new out of the box (very frustrated) especially as i do not have
any dealers in the country i live i had to get this shipped to me (which wasn't so cheap). surely this
must be a manufacturing issue or something right? warranty? whats the main reason for your
suggestion to get #497?
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
Knite Since the telescope is new, warranty would be applicable. I suggest contacting the
dealer where you purchased it. The #497 is user update-able via software and has number keys on
the keypad, making for easier data entry. The #494 software can not be user updated and if it
becomes corrupted, then the #494 AutoStar is essentially dead.
16 DAYS AGO
Knite
5 pts
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mweasner Ok i will contact the dealer where i purchased it thanks for the assist any ideas
what would cause the corruption tips on avoiding this happening again? forgive my ignorance and
my newbie questions but is it just the handset that is dead? Or motor also? would the item in the
link below be all i need to solve my problem?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Meade-AutoStar-497-GoTo-Hand-Controller-for-ETX-models/120963473093?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item1c29fc1ec5#ht_500wt_1156
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
Knite The #497 will control the ETX-80. You will want version 4.3Eg in its software.
Since your current handset is not even showing anything on the display, it is probably the handset
that has failed. HOWEVER, there could be a problem in the ETX-80 base that is preventing
proper power or communications with the handset. The only way to test that is with another
controller or another telescope. As to why it could have failed, any number of culprits could have
done it. Cosmic rays (seriously), shipping damage, random component failure, bad batteries,
manufacturing defect.
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16 DAYS AGO
Knite
Reply
5 pts
mweasner I assume that connecting it to my pc is of no help here then? i have the serial
to usb connectors and all
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16 DAYS AGO
Knite
Reply
5 pts
mweasner cosmic rays (seriously??) for some reason i hope this is what caused my
problem haha
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
Knite If you have the #506 serial cable and a connector known to work reliably with the
AutoStar (see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page),
you can determine if the Meade AutoStar Update Application (or AutoStar Suite) can see the
AutoStar. However, there is no user-installable update to fix corrupted software in the #494.
16 DAYS AGO
DaliborGrubacevic
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5 pts
Hi. I have a ETX 70 telescope and for two days trying to make my scope to find objects in the sky. Whenever i set him up
to find somethingt it has to much of deviations! What should I do? Is the problem in the "Align"? Do I have to manually
adjust the star in every "Aligning"? Please help! thanks. BTW my assistant is Google sky for android! so that's how I
compare scope and phone (Google sky)
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
DaliborGrubacevic There are many alignment tip articles on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info
page. What type of AutoStar alignment are you doing: Easy, One Star, Two Star? How far off is the first
alignment star? Do you get "Alignment Successful" on the screen at the end? How far off (in degrees) is the
object you are GOTOing? Yes, lots of questions but if the articles don't help you, knowing the answers can
help pinpoint what the problem could be.
Like
16 DAYS AGO
DaliborGrubacevic
mweasner
Reply
5 pts
DaliborGrubacevic Hi and tnx for you quick answer! I'm doing Easy
alignment. And at the end Autostar says "Alignment Successful". Pointing of course scope to true
north. How far? well pretty far. at this moment I was trying to find moon (looking at the Google
sky on my android phone-because of the daylight). My android phone (HTC One X) shows little
more to the left then scope. Scope turned more to north and the moon is more to the west. Let say
around 10 degrees more left! Everything is accually more left the than scope!
Like
16 DAYS AGO
DaliborGrubacevic
Reply
5 pts
mweasner and just to say. I was reseting scope. Calibrating motors, Training drive.
Everything went fine. And then again after all that same story! :(
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
DaliborGrubacevic It sounds like you are trying to view the moon in the daytime (since it
is a waning crescent and in the western sky during the daytime. How you you centering the
alignment stars in the daytime? Is it just the moon that is off? The AutoStar #494 on the ETX-70
has really old software and the moon calculations can be off. When GOTOing stars or DSOs, are
they off by the same amount as the moon?
Like
16 DAYS AGO
DaliborGrubacevic
mweasner
Reply
5 pts
Yep, maybe it's stupid of me to trying to view the moon in the daytime. I'll
wait for a couple of days and then see how much of deviation my scope has. And yes DSO are
also more to left that ETX find!
Like
16 DAYS AGO
DaliborGrubacevic
5 pts
Reply
mweasner
Oh, sorry to ask. Can you tell me does compas shows magnetic or true north?? Maybe this is the
problem with me? Tnx
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
DaliborGrubacevic Nothing wrong with using the telescope in the daytime, or even
GOTOing in the daytime. "Faking" the alignment is acceptable; the better the location and
date/time values the better the first alignment star GOTO will be. And of course, the more
accurate the initial HOME position (base and tube level, and the OTA pointed to True North), the
better the initial star will be centered. You can then just press ENTER to accept the (invisible)
star as centered. Same for the second alignment star. Of course, the same applies at night but at
least you can correct for any alignment star pointing errors.
Like
16 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
DaliborGrubacevic Since a Magnetic Compass points to Magnetic North, you need to
correct for your local "Magnetic Variation", which can vary from 0 degrees to about 20 degrees
depending on your location. Once you know where True North is on your horizon (can you see
Polaris at night?), you can then just point the telescope to that location on the northern horizon.
16 DAYS AGO
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Robert
Hello,
I currently own an etx 125 and Im wondering if anyone knows where I could get a replacement thumb screw. Im referring
to the thumb screw that holds the eye piece in place. I've been trying to figure out what thread it is but have been
unsuccessful. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Like
20 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
ScopeStuff.com has replacement screws for almost everything telescope related. Or, if you have an old
computer cable with screws on the connector, one of those screws should work.
20 DAYS AGO
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Robert
mweasner
Thank you, I'll check it out.
20 DAYS AGO
Robert
mweasner
Just found a old computer cable, and you were right the thumb screw fits. Thanks again
20 DAYS AGO
zzippy
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5 pts
meade telestar ds 114at with 494
can i use power supply that i have laying around ?
the input is 100-240v- 50/60hz 0.6a
the output is 12v -1.5a
20 DAYS AGO
mweasner
6 pts
zzippy That should be adequate, IF it is a regulated power supply. Some cheap ones are not. I
suggest using the telescope on its batteries for awhile to ensure that it operates correctly.
Like
20 DAYS AGO
zzippy
Reply
5 pts
hi, i won the bid for a Meade telestar SD-114AT telescope ,it comes with #494 autostar .my ? is should i try to use it with
my pc using #506 conector cable or
should i just use it the way it is ? also it said on ebay ​listing that i would have to get a power supply ,I have a power supply
input :100-240v - 50/60Hz 0.6a
output: 12v-1.5a center is pos.
Like
20 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
zzippy Before connecting a computer, learn to use the telescope and AutoStar #494. Once you are
comfortable using it, then you can connect a computer IF you need/want to. If your computer has only USB,
you will need a USB-serial adapter. However, not all work reliably with the AutoStar. I recommend
Keyspan adapters. As to a power supply, you will need something closer to 1.5A.
20 DAYS AGO
zzippy
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5 pts
thank you , i will
19 DAYS AGO
Spacecommander
5 pts
Hello, got a ETX-90 in today and discovered the tube itself is a bit loose on one of the adapters that attaches to the fork
and there is something rattling around inside (like a bolt used to attach the tube to the pivot ;~) Does the ETX-90
disassemble similar to the instructions given for the EXT-70?
Thanks!
Tom
Like
20 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
Spacecommander There are four screws (2 each side) holding the tube adapters to the telescope tube.
If the adapter is loose on the tube, perhaps the screw holes have been stripped. Check that. You might need
to use a slightly larger screw if that's the problem. Or the screws could just be loose.
Like
20 DAYS AGO
Spacecommander
Reply
5 pts
mweasner
So the fork arms come off just like the ext-70? Looks like the fork has to come off to access the
screws.
Like
19 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
Spacecommander The screws holding the tube adapters to the OTA are accessible
without removing the fork arms. See the small photo near the bottom of my "My ETX-90EC
Experiences" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. It shows where these
screws are with the ETX-90 still mounted.
19 DAYS AGO
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George
Hello All,
Stupid Newbie question: I bought a telescope on E-Bay listed as a ETX-125AT. It arrived today in seemingly in good
shape despite awful packing, but it does not include an Astrostar #497 controller. It only includes the little "Electronic
Controller" with slew speed settings and arrow keys--no GoTo functions. I was under the impression that all of the "AT"
ETXs included the Autostar computer. Was my nice, new telescope misrepresented, or did I just get the AT thing wrong?
Thanks,
George
22 DAYS AGO
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mweasner
6 pts
Initially, the ETX-125EC model was what was offered, with the AutoStar #497 optional. Later, the AutoStar
was included as standard and the model renamed to ETX-125AT. The telescope itself is essentially the same
(except for slight design changes in the mount over the years). If the model was "advertised" as being an AT
model, it should have included the AutoStar, unless it said it was not included.
22 DAYS AGO
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George
mweasner Thanks!
22 DAYS AGO
coastiesj06
5 pts
hi guys one quick question hope some body can help i have a meade etx 80 the unit has fesh battries inside the power light
turns on but not the handset controller is there possibly a onboard fuse that has blown ???...many thanks chaps...please
mail me @ coastiesj06@hotmail.com
Like
25 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
coastiesj06 There is no onboard fuse in the ETX models. Do the slew arrow keys still work? If not,
check for a bad connection in the HBX port; look for bent or dirty pins or pins that are too depressed in the
jack and on the connector. If the slew keys work, perhaps the display brightness/contrast is set too low.
Like
25 DAYS AGO
Reply
Doctor Tommaso
I have an ETX that is about 10 years old, and the focusing knob fell off when the allen nut loosened. When I tried to put
the knob back on the focusing shaft I accidentally pushed the knob up into the housing and can't figure out how to retrieve
it. Do you have any suggestions? You can either post me here or e-mail me at thomas_michel@harvard.edu. Thanks!
27 DAYS AGO
mweasner
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6 pts
See the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
27 DAYS AGO
zapzap
5 pts
Hello guys,
I have found the following problems on a LXD75 mount and Autostar497.
First of all I've approximately pointed the Polaris through the polar scope, then set the mount in the home position and
initialized the AS (Date, hour, DS, Lat. Long and TZ), then I have requested a 3 stars alignment, centering each of them
by the AS arrows. After the second star the AS has displayed the Az and the Alt error of the true Pole (about 30'), then has
completed successfully the alignment procedure. After I have continued to search objects with a certain precision, then I
have parked the scope.
After a minutes or so I have re-powered the mount, updated the hour and asked to the AS to slew to Arcturus that was the
first of the three alignment stars, simply to see if all was ok. I was much surprised to see the scope to go to a completely
wrong direction.
So I have turned off and on the mount, re-done the 3 stars alignment procedure, searched for some objects successfully,
but failed with Vega.
I have the 42xx version of the AS497 installed currently, so I am ready to upgrade to the 43Eg.
Could you give me some tips of proofs to do?
Emiliano
Like
27 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
zapzap After you do the upgrade, be certain to CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES (on
both axes). As to the 3-star alignment, what happens if you do an EASY ALIGN?
27 DAYS AGO
zapzap
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5 pts
mweasner
Mweasner,
I will try soon. Thanks
27 DAYS AGO
zapzap
5 pts
mweasner Mike,
Some days ago, I've upgraded to the AS to the 43Eg version, successfully completed, but in
daytime so without trying a real alignment. This morning I have decided to calibrate and to train
the motor drives. No problem with these procedures. Then I have thought to test an indoor two
star alignment setting the date, hour, DST, ZT parameters and I have got a strange behaviour:
Autostar has proposed a star below the horizon, not accepted, letting to me to select a star from
the common name list. I remember that the 3 stars alignment I did some evenings ago, proposed
only stars above the horizon. So I have decided to turn off the scope and to repower it, but now
the AS, after the welcome message (that confirms the 43Eg version) beeps and displays "Press
Press" and every key I press writes "Bad key" on the second row of the display.
Emiliano
Like
20 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
zapzap Reload 4.3Eg. If using a USB-serial adapter, not all work reliably with the
AutoStar. I recommend Keyspan models. If you used Meade's AutoStar Update Application
(Windows only), try using StarPatch (from www.stargps.ca). It works better with many USB
adapters.
Like
20 DAYS AGO
zapzap
Reply
5 pts
mweasner thanks, are you saying I can reload the 43Eg despite the AS is not responsive?
Like
20 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
zapzap Yes. You may need to put the AutoStar into SAFE LOAD mode if updating
normally does not work. Hold down the ENTER and SCROLLDOWN arrow keys while turning
on the telescope. You will see something like FLASH LOAD READY on the screen.
Like
20 DAYS AGO
zapzap
Reply
5 pts
mweasner I have safe loaded my AS497, turned off and repowered the telescope and all
seemed performing well.
So I have installed StarPatch, that has upgraded successfully, but to the 43Gf version (not 43Eg)
and I have the same problem with the "Press press" error. The worst thing that happens now is
that the Safe Load shows the Flash Load Ready message, but the AS does not reset and continues
to display the "Press press" error. I have a Prolific USB to Serial interface: the same I use with my
LX200GPS scope.
Like
19 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
zapzap Andrew Johansen discussed the "press press" issue on this page on the ETX
Site: http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/nov11/autostar.html. There are some further "press
press" discussions that you can find by doing a search on the ETX Site for "press press".
19 DAYS AGO
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zapzap
5 pts
mweasner Thanks for your link. I have carefully read all the discussions and learned that
the "Press press" script runs when the Rx and Tx lines of the RS232 port are shorted. However
why it runs also if the RS232 cable is not present?
In this case the Tx/Rx shortening would'nt trigger the script, is it right?
Like
17 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
zapzap Connector pins in the jack shorting out (dirt, debris, bent) or some internal short
inside the AutoStar itself. Or perhaps a component failure.
Like
17 DAYS AGO
zapzap
Reply
5 pts
mweasner the press press problem continues to appear randomly so I have decided to
open the handbox to check the circuit board under the RS232 connector. My multimeter
continuity buzzer has revealed a short between the pins 1 and 2 (Rx and Tx wires) either on the
soldering side of the cb and in the RJ connector. Before to proceed to desolder the RS232
connector I'ld like to know how is possible that sometimes the Autostar starts correctly and
sometimes not if the short circuit is always present. I have noted that the Autostar stops to go in
error if I chill the hbx by an air compressor. Maybe there is a component on the cb that warms up
and shortens Rx and Tx? Could me help the AS circuitry schematics if available somewhere?
Like
15 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
zapzap There are two articles on schematics on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info
page. Random component failures can be heat related or just random. If a solder joint is loose or
bad, even moving the handset could affect it.
15 DAYS AGO
zapzap
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5 pts
mweasner Unfortunately the articles have'nt been usefull for me but I have finally got a
repeatable (not random) behaviour, but you need to know what's happened in the meantime. To be
sure the press press script triggers only when the Rx and Tx lines are shortened, I have wired a
flying RS232 connector with the 1 and 2 wires soldered to a 4 pin peripheral power cable where I
insert the probes of the multimeter. With the scope turned off, I have plugged the connector in the
RJ socket of the handbox and heard to play the buzzer of my multimeter. So I have detached the
multimeter and its probes, but left the connector inserted in the RJ socket, powered the scope and,
with my surprise, the Autostar has performed correctly, then I have simulated alignments, scope
parkings, turned off and on and repeated many tasks without the press press error. Lastly I have
parked and turned off the scope and unplugged the connector from the RJ socket. In this case the
press press error appears randomly. It seems that the RJ inserted in the RS232 socket prevents the
press press error despite the buzzer sound.
During the scope use I have also found that the LXD75 searches the targets correctly only if I do
the scope alignment every time I start to use it. If I leave it parked and power it off then I repower
it and try to search some target without any alignment, the slew fails completely. The scope,
however, parks correctly.
Sorry to have abused of your patience.
Like
13 DAYS AGO
mweasner
Reply
6 pts
zapzap Definitely odd behavior on the RS-232 port and odd behavior on the parking.
But I'm glad you have workarounds for both. Wish we had better solutions.
13 DAYS AGO
Feedback Archive
Check the Feedback Archive for previous editions of the Feedback pages.
Go to the ETX Home Page.
Copyright © 2012 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2012 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/feedback/current/forum.html
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