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A 497 handset issue with a couple of questions.


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#1 MistrBadgr

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 10:58 AM

Right now, I have three 497 handsets.  One is my old trusty with a modified version of 43Eg in it what works very well as far as I know.  The other two are from my daughters' DS-2090 Generation I scopes.  Originally, both had version 33E software in them.

I set up with the ASU program on my netbook, with the Meade USB to DB 9 converter cable and got it all working.  With one of the handsets, I was able to update it with no trouble at all.  The other, which immediately followed, will not communicate with the net book.....period!  The software in the netbook will never admit that a 497 is hooked up to it using this handset, but will do so immediately with either of the others.

I have tried cleaning contacts and all the simple stuff I could think of with different attempts after restarting the computer, etc.  No success.  I have not tried to open up the handset and try any inspection surgery.  I thought I would post questions here first.

Question 1:  Is there any real need to upgrade from 33E to 43Eg for a DS generation I mount.  It seems to be tracking reasonably well and hits targets when sent to one.  It went from the Orion Nebula to polaris with polaris being about one sixth of a 26mm eyepiece field off center. I was only going to do this as a part of general maintenence.

Question 2:  If there is a good reason to get the 43Eg software into the handset, does anyone have any magic bullets? (I don't mean a series of 45 caliber automatic bullets then go and buy another handset)

Thanks,

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#2 autostaretx

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:51 PM

MrBadger asked:
Question 1:  Is there any real need to upgrade from 33E to 43Eg for a DS generation I mount.  It seems to be tracking reasonably well and hits targets when sent to one.  It went from the Orion Nebula to polaris with polaris being about one sixth of a 26mm eyepiece field off center. I was only going to do this as a part of general maintenence.

If you have downloaded the "Build.zip" file from MEade's site
( http://www.meade.com.../auto/Build.zip )
it contains a "ReadME" text file which describes the updates and additions since v40Ea
From that list you can decide if an update seems irresistibly desireable.

Question 2:  If there is a good reason to get the 43Eg software into the handset, does anyone have any magic bullets? (I don't mean a series of 45 caliber automatic bullets then go and buy another handset)

The first thing i'd try is the 497's built-in "loopback" test... on the DB9 end of the 505 serial cable, tie pins 2 and 3 together (i use a scrap of thin wire pushed into the two adjacent holes).
Now turn on the scope/autostar.... during the boot-up, a 497 emits an "X" character via its rs232 port.
IF it sees it come right back (which the scrap of wire does), the 497 enters a "self-test" routine, and asks you to push all of the keys on the keypad (sequentially).
If you see that test appear, then you'll know that the 497's serial port is working properly, and your connection problems lie elsewhere.
IF you do NOT see that test appear, then it's either internal to the 497, or the cable/connector.
If you open the Autostar, you will see small grey devices near the rs232 socket.
Those are "feed-through inductors", and can act as fuses if something unexpected happens to the serial port.  If any of them tests "open" with an ohmmeter, you can jump the bad one with a scrap of wire soldered to the two ends.

good luck
--dick

#3 MistrBadgr

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 06:45 PM

Thanks, Dick!

I appreciate the information!

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma




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