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  1. #11
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    Wow...it's nice, sort of, to hear that others have also had this problem.

    OK, Thanks, autostaretx, that is very useful information.

    Clearly, Meade doesn't know or doesn't care, as they sent me a 149 dollar new autostar handset for free and which behaves the same way as the old one...because the problem isn't with the autostar but with the software.

    Nice try at customer service--I was Very Impressed that I got the new unit the next day after calling--but I would have been even more impressed if the CS agent had said, "Oh, that's a software bug, we're fixing it, meanwhile go to this website and download these fixes..."

    @GearHead, I would be interested to know if the replacement unit fixes your problem. It didn't fix mine, obviously, but I feel good about having a spare autostar and cable, anyway.

    I've been using the telescope every clear night and have actually had some success photographing Messier objects, even including some galaxies, from my light-polluted backyard. I am very impressed with the optics of the telescope, and if not for the bugs and other QC issues I would be completely happy. But I'm afraid my next telescope won't be coming from Meade.

  2. #12
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    I had to send my AutoStar in to Meade and,being in Canada, it is taking a while to get my new one.

    It is likely that the CSR didn't know about the software issue. He DID tell me, as I think I stated up-thread, that Meade's software isn't meant to be used with Windows 7 at this point. Fortunately I have an older laptop with XP which will now be a dedicated telescope machine. The problem with the ASU isn't related to the operating system issue.

    Be careful, according to Andrew Johansen, the ASU also screws up the comets, asteroid and satellite data as well.

    BTW, according to Andrew his PEC editor can reliably upload tour files to the AutoStar. I have not done this yet, but I will once I get my new one.

    There are a lot of discussions about the use of this software, and I am certain that Andrew himself could help you/us out with doing this if the manual doesn't suffice.

    I'll let you know how things work when my new AutoStar comes in.

  3. #13
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    Hmm...I have been successful in uploading satellite and comet data to my original unit -- and it looks like it went in OK, that is, the file data displayed in the handset window looks the same as the file data in the text file that I uploaded...but I admit, I haven't actually been able to catch a satellite with it (out of only 4 or 5 tries, though) and I haven't looked for a comet yet, so I don't really really know if the uploads were successful. At least they don't get all scrambled and completely nonfunctional like a tour does.
    I haven't yet had time to try Johansen's fix. When I spoke to Meade they didn't want my old Autostar at all; they just had me fax my proof of purchase, which I did at about 2 pm Toronto time, and I received the new unit sometime before noon the next day. I was pleased with this because I am using the scope regardless of the tours. I wonder why they wanted you to send yours in. The CS agent I spoke with told me they hadn't had reports of this problem before. Weird, considering autostaretx's post. It sounds like a known problem that's been around for a while.

    BTW, I've uploaded some of my astro-artsy photographs if anyone's interested in taking a look. Check my album.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alsetalokin View Post
    When I spoke to Meade they didn't want my old Autostar at all; they just had me fax my proof of purchase, which I did at about 2 pm Toronto time, and I received the new unit sometime before noon the next day.
    That's amazing! I have been waiting 6 days so far. The CSR said it was going out right away, that they wouldn't wait for mine to arrive in San Diego. I also faxed in the receipt and included a copy in the package, along with a printout of the e-mail I had exchanged with Meade.

    Now's the time when you can joke about my living in Edmonton...


  5. #15
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    PROBLEM SOLVED !!!

    At least I think so; when -- IF -- the clouds go away I'll know for sure.

    The Johansen updater works like a charm. I used it to upload a couple of test tours to my original Autostar, the one that Meade didn't want back, and it works. Simply works, no problemo.

    autostaretx, you have no idea how grateful I am. I want to send somebody some money...

    GearHead, one thing I forgot to mention: check your new AutoStar's internal settings before you ask it to move your telescope. I didn't...and almost stripped some gears. The "Telescope Type" was set to LX90 instead of ETX125 !! If I hadn't been quick on the switch it would have likely destroyed my telescope.

    And Meade....if anybody from Meade is reading here, please consider the implications of this entire chain of events.
    Last edited by alsetalokin; 06-13-2010 at 07:54 PM.

  6. #16
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    Finally got it all together!

    You may or may not know about the program StarPatch and the product StarGPS. You can find ads for it in different astronomy magazines. Anyway, I have a StarGPS and recently got StarPatch through the site StarGPS.ca (Winnipeg) and it allows you to update your AutoStar to a firmware version that works well with the StarGPS product.

    I alerted Chris to issues that I was having with connectivity of my AutoStar to my PC and about the Tours issue, thinking that they were related, which it turns out, they were not. Anyway, Chris is the one who contacted D ick Seymour, aka autostaretx, and subsequently the news about the ASU having bugs and so forth.

    Chris has worked on solving my connectivity issue for some time, creating a work-around for what was likely a problematic serial-to-usb cable that I got. If you want to thank someone, thank Chris for contacting the others, and of course D ick Seymour and Andrew Johansen.

    Enjoy your telescope and may you have clear skies!

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  8. #17
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    Yes I also use the Star GPS free trial software to upload firmware updates. It's faster than the Meade software for 1/2 of the download and then reverts to the Meade download speed.

    However you still need the Meade software to update Tours, Sats and such. Be SURE you have version 5.9 of the Meade updater software. It recognizes the hand controller you own.

    Also the Star GPS software will apply Seymour's PATCH automatically.


    *&^*&*&^* Seymour! Yes I guess we need to call you BILL or RICHARD on the forum! Thanks very much for your PATCH! and for all the help you graciously give to our hobby. Thank you and clear skies!
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  9. #18
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    I still don't think the Meade ASU software will update Tours. The rest yes, but for Tours I think you might need Seymour's loader. But I admit that, since my problem was solved by his software, I haven't tried any of Meade's, and I don't know if they've released a new version of the software that doesn't have this bug.

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  10. #19
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    I updated my Tours on my LX90 LNT with the original 497 hand controller several months ago-- it worked just fine. I think the Tours problem only applies to the newer 497EP hand controller. By the way you can go HERE and get a bunch of tours written by Dr. Clay and others:

    http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/...starTours4.zip

    http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/tours/AAAAUrban.txt

    http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/...ASC-Finest.txt

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  12. #20
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    Yes, that's right. The 497EP, which is the one shipped with the current production scopes that use AutoStar, is unable to use Meade's software to upload Tours, and if you aren't careful it will wipe out the tours you already have. Or, at least that was the situation back in April or May when I started this thread.

    I've got several of those tours from DrClay and others in my units right now, but they didn't get there by using Meade's updater.

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