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Meade's BSOD?


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#1 leshiggins

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 11:06 PM

My Autostar handset goes loopy when I try to use the manual slew controls and I get what looks like the equivalent of Microsoft's "blue screen of death".  :-[

My set-up is an LXD-75 SN8. I have the same issue whether powered by battery or by mains adapter.

When I turn the telescope on, everything seems fine. The telescope slews for the alignment procedure and, as long as I don't interfere - try to make any manual adjustments - it gets through that. Then, if I select an object and press GOTO, the handbox display either goes blank or it displays "Proc Trap 2". The same thing happens each time I try to use the arrow keys to slew or make fine adjustments.

The 'scope seems to track OK (without a laptop connection to the handbox) when I'm using my DSI II Pro to image, even though the handbox goes blank and "dead".

Can anyone help? - or is this going to have to be a warranty replacement.  ???

#2 njnightsky

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 04:17 AM

I never heard of this one before. Might want to call Meade.

#3 Guest_rtanton_*

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 07:07 AM

Hi Les,

Does this occur at low temps or at any temperature?  Software version?

Here are a couple of thoughts you might try:
1)  Have you tried a reset (setup>reset>enter, enter)?
2)  If step 1) did not solve problem you might reload your software and erase user banks.
3)  Display issue could be as simple as a loose connector in the 497 handbox(these are zero force and easily loosened)

Russ

#4 Clear Skies

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:15 PM

Dirty encoders?

Victor van Wulfen

 

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#5 leshiggins

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 08:53 AM

I've been away for a couple of days and only just seen your replies. Thanks.

Temperature at the time was 14 Celsius.

I'll try the RESET.

Dirty encoders? I hope not. The telescope is brand new (2 weeks old).

Les.

#6 Clear Skies

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:00 PM

Brand new or ancient, excess grease (the only thing that can get the encoders 'dirty') can get there anytime. On a positive note, it's relatively easy to cure..!

Before performing surgery on your scopes' drives, have you tried a [Calibrate Drives]? A reset will do the same, but it may be all you need to do. Are you using batteries or an external power source?

Victor van Wulfen

 

author of the Clear Skies Observing Guides - A Modern Day Celestial Handbook
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#7 leshiggins

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 03:00 PM

Victor,

Actually, I can't do anything now.

When I turn the telescope on (battery or mains adapter) I get the options "0 to align" and "mode". Whichever I select, the display says "Testing drives", moves the telescope a bit, then the controller's display goes blank and the keypad becomes unresponsive. If, instead of making one of those choices, I press the arrow keys, I can move the telescope as long as I don't press the "left" arrow key, when the display goes blank and the keypad becomes unresponsive.

Les.

#8 cygnusx1

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 04:49 PM

Sounds like a bad Autostar or even a bad cable connecting the autostar to the telescope.
Could be a short in the left arrow key.

#9 Guest_rtanton_*

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 07:14 PM

Hi Les,

Has this unit ever worked for the two weeks that you have owned it?  Does your AutoStar cable have molded strai n reliefs on each end?

Russ

#10 leshiggins

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 01:53 AM

The Autostar does appear to have worked at some point. If I sound a bit vague, it's because over the few nights I've used it, I did it (functionally) bit by bit - to learn the ropes. What is certain is that it no longer does some of the things it used to do - complete the alignment procedure, slew manually, drive the RA axis.

The connectors on the cables are all molded and they all have the plastic retaining strip.

Just out of interest, can anyone tell me how I deduce what model of Autostar I have?

Les.

#11 Guest_rtanton_*

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 07:11 AM

Hi Les,

Your AutoStar is the 497.  It is used on ETXs, LX90s, DSX's, LXD55/75, and several other Meade scopes.  It is sounding more and more as if it is a faulty 497.  If you have friends who have one of the other scopes, you could try there 497&cable to see if it solves your problem.  Unfortunately, each unit is mated to the scope during calibration of the sensors.  If you try this, leave both dec and RA locks loose when starting up as the motors will run on until you recalibrate your sensors.  Immediately go to setup>reset>enter.  After recalibration you can test for proper functioning of your mount.

It could be that software has been corrupted.  If you have a computer, 505 connector cable, and (most likely needed with new computers with no serial port) a serial to USB adapter you can reload your software.  The updater program and software 43Eg are on the Meade website.  With your unit behaving as it is, the only to fix this would be to use the safe download mode:
1. Make sure the AutoStar and LXD are turned off.
2. Press and hold the "ENTER" key and the Scroll Down Key located to the right of the help key on the AutoStar handbox.
3. While depressing both keys, turn on your AutoStar power switch. This will require you using both hands.
You should see "FLASH LOAD READY" on your display. This indicates that you can proceed to update new software to your AutoStar."

Another cause could be internal to the 497.  Not having another 497… you could inspect inside the 497 for any obvious problem.  There are zero force insertion connections that could be loose inside; these are easily inspected by opening the unit (four small Phillips screws need be removed - watch the red lens as it is loose). 

Please let us know if you need additional details or help,

Russ

#12 leshiggins

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 06:27 AM

Russ,

Thanks for the advice. I performed the upgrade as you suggested. Everything went hunky-dory with the upgrade but the end behaviour is exactly the same.

On the subject of opening the handset, I'd be more than happy to do it except that, here in the UK, that's the sort of thing that invalidates warranties and (typically) leaves you out in the cold as far as help and customer service is concerned.

Les.

#13 leshiggins

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:40 PM

Just to complete this one for anyone that's interested. Meade UK's explanation was that there was a problem with a duff batch of motors. They replaced the motors and they work OK now. Only trouble is, there is now very little similarity between my scope and what is described as a GOTO scope. Finding accuracy of, at best, five degrees is all I've managed to achieve so far.




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