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Thread: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

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    Question Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners



    Hi all,

    As some of you have seen in prior posts, I have dusted off an old Meade DS-2000 (2130 I think - 130mm reflector 1000mm F7.7 with Autostar 494).
    After some rough patches, I've finally managed to do a 2-star alignment (easy and 1 star just send the scope running in circles trying to calc north).

    I have the feeling I should try to update the objects in my Autostar 494 but in order to do that, I'll need the 506 connector. Questions for any of you with the 494 (or maybe recently had one):
    - are there object updates for the 494 worth the cost/trouble (I'm particularly concerned about "bricking" the 494 given its age and lack of support from Meade
    - what was your experience with the update process? is there a safe way to save the current objects before updating and is there a real chance of turning the paddle into a brick?
    - other input or thoughts?

    Thanks
    Eagleheaf likes this.
    Bennie
    Wake Forest, NC
    Meade DS-2130

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    Default Re: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

    This is a good question I have one of these as well that I received secondhand.
    Mark

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    Default Re: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

    Mark - thanks for the reply and the heads up that you are also the proud owner of a 494. Let's keep each other updated. I'm not terribly concerned about spending the $38 bucks on a 506 but I hate doing so when there is no real value.
    Look forward to comparing notes.
    Bennie
    Wake Forest, NC
    Meade DS-2130

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    Default Re: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

    Information I've found so far:
    from "Weasners Meade Autostar Information" web site (no longer updated but a good reference) - a part list of objects in the 494 database: Weasner's Meade Autostar Information

    From reading the below web posting, there is a statement that the 494 cannot be updated. If that is so, that means the 506 connector is only good for controlling the telescope from a computer. I'm skeptical since I really think I saw a message sometime during my exploring the menus/functions regarding updating the objects (I believe I was trying to locate ISS). The thread never really conclusively states if the 494 objects can be updated.
    https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/2...-autostar-494/

    On the other side of the argument about updating a 494, I found a PDF manual for the 494 which instructs the reader to go to Meade.com to get new data for things like satellites.
    http://di002.edv.uniovi.es/~cueva/af...ser-Manual.pdf

    Net net for me - we CAN update the objects in the 494. Everything I read says there are no "firmware" or software updates for the 494. I guess updating the objects depends on finding a download compatible for the 494 and the value is dependent mostly on interest in locating things like the ISS, satellites, etc. I guess there could be some new deep space objects added to the DB since the 494 was originally loaded as well but I'm still learning to do planetary and lunar viewing and astrophotography.

    Let's continue to compare notes - would like to know how this all works out for you. I'll update more as I progress through this experience.
    Bennie
    Wake Forest, NC
    Meade DS-2130

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    Default Re: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

    I may have given a bum steer here.
    My unit is a 497.
    I am sorry for the mix up. It came on an lxd75 eq mount.
    Mark

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    Default Re: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

    Good to know. I suspect there aren't too many 494s left out there. But we'll see.
    Thanks for the update.
    Bennie
    Wake Forest, NC
    Meade DS-2130

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    Default Re: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

    At the risk of resurrecting an old thread, I also have a Autostar 494 with the long tube DS-2130 (130mm, f/7.9). I got it from someone who kept it in (damp) storage for a decade, so the OTA is a project.

    But the mount electronics works mostly okay; a couple of teeth in the Az gear are damaged that may be replaced. This is my first goto mount, so right now I'm playing around to see what it can do and how it may be controlled via other means (Raspberry Pi?).

    I would be interested in anything you find about updates for the Autostar 494. I have copies of the original manual/disk that came with the telescope, and can confirm they Meade mentioned pulling updates from the website (a long, long time ago).

    Rob

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    Default Re: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

    Quote Originally Posted by ssBar View Post
    At the risk of resurrecting an old thread, I also have a Autostar 494 with the long tube DS-2130 (130mm, f/7.9). I got it from someone who kept it in (damp) storage for a decade, so the OTA is a project.

    But the mount electronics works mostly okay; a couple of teeth in the Az gear are damaged that may be replaced. This is my first goto mount, so right now I'm playing around to see what it can do and how it may be controlled via other means (Raspberry Pi?).

    I would be interested in anything you find about updates for the Autostar 494. I have copies of the original manual/disk that came with the telescope, and can confirm they Meade mentioned pulling updates from the website (a long, long time ago).

    Rob
    Rob,
    After getting the connection HW/SW for my 494, I have decided there is no option to update the firmware or the data in the 494. I could be wrong but haven't seen any way to do so with what I have.
    Benniw
    Bennie
    Wake Forest, NC
    Meade DS-2130

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    Default Re: Input from/compare notes with any remaining Autostar 494 owners

    FWIW I have 3 Autostar 494's and one Autostar 497. (Telstar mount, DS2114 mount, ETX 60 mount and ETX 90 mount). All four of the controllers seem to work flawlessly, or at least relatively so and I see no need to consider an update on any of them. (Selected items usually are someplace in my widest FOV EP). I definitely prefer the 497 but they all do fine for alignment. If you're having alignment issues try syncing the motors and calibrating the drives.

    Good luck.
    TOTSUWA likes this.
    Bob D.
    Member Crystal Coast Stargazers Club.
    Meade ETX 90 PE, Meade ETX 60, Orion XT4.5, Meade 114mm on Telestar Mount. Celestron 114mm Jones-Byrd on EQ mount.

 

 

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