I started having this problem a few days ago, the display on the #497 handset, the left half of the display is darker than the right half and I can’t adjust it. I’m concerned that it’s on its way to not working. I have attached a JPEG of what it looks like. I had to adjust it to as bright as I could to get the left half to appear.
Posted 26 June 2014 - 06:18 AM
Call Meade Customer Support and tell them. Your scope is still under warranty so do not delay.
They normally (in the past) would send you another one and you send that one back.
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Posted 26 June 2014 - 08:02 AM
Looks like one of the back lights went out.Like Bill said its under warrenty so they should send you a new paddle with no problems.
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Fife Lake, Mi.
Posted 26 June 2014 - 11:37 AM
I just got off the phone with Meade, (Jose); he indicated that the 497 is under warranty but that I would need to send it back to them FIRST before they would send me a replacement. I have already paid over $100 to ship my old telescope back to them for its replacement, and this 497 Handset came with that replacement and now I have to send it back before they will replace it? That makes no sense to me. I would be without a telescope in the meantime.
I have put my faith in them,(MEADE) by sending my telescope into them in the first place; I can assure them that they can trust me in that I would return the replaced 497.
Posted 26 June 2014 - 01:17 PM
I have no idea about the change, except that when I sent back some 494 handsets, one time, with a change out of mounts, they went out of their way to thank me for the return. Possibly too many people have not returned the old ones.
Posted 26 June 2014 - 03:48 PM
Thank you Bill and Mark,
Maybe MEADE has gotten burned before on sending things out ahead of returns. It's not like I'm dead in the water. I'm just concerned that it will totally fail. I guess I am a little gun shy on things going wrong with this telescope. If I could fix it myself I would.
Thank you Again,
Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:33 AM
Well today I turned on my telescope and the second line on my 497 AUTOSTAR is missing except for a few RED vertical lines. I have cleaned the cable connection with contact cleaner on both ends and evern tried a spare cable I have had no luck. I dont think its the cable but rather something in the handbox. I think Im going to have to call MEADE Support.
Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:14 AM
I would definitely do that! This is a very unusual situation from my experience. Either you are the unlucky one or there is an issue with a batch of chips somewhre along the line.
Posted 12 August 2014 - 12:42 PM
I guess I have all the luck anyway...
I called MEADE, they had me e-mail them a copy of my original invoice for the telescope and after 3 phone calls to them, they indicated that I would be sending a new Autostar. It is supposed to ship sometime this week and I don't have to send back the bad one.
I can only say GOOD THINGS about MEADE and warranty replacements. My experience with them has been nothing short of fantastic..... I am very pleased with them and the way they stand behind their products and support their customers. The folks on the Support line, (Luis) were extremely helpful and very courteous.
Thank you !! MEADE
Posted 24 August 2014 - 05:26 PM
I got my replacment Autostar but the replacment is an Audiostar and when I go to list the telecope models it was set to ETX60 so I paged through the available telescope models and EXT90 is not listed however the ETX60, ETX70 and ETX80 are. DId I get the wrong handbox or will an Audiostar work with a ETX90 MAK? If its compatable what model do I select?
Thank you Rick Scofield
Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:54 PM
I have been told that about the only thing that will be affected by the choice of scopes (I am going to limit this for you the ETX models) is the magnification with different eyepieces or things like that. The comands going to the scope will be the same. I have no idea why the ETX 90 is not listed. It should be unless they do not normally supply the AudioStar with the ETX 90.....at least not yet. If I had to guess, the next generation of the ETX 90 with have that handset with it.
Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:16 AM
Thank You Bill, I'll probably call support just to make sure.
Posted 25 August 2014 - 12:51 PM
I did call MEADE Support today regarding the above issue; (no ETX90 model listed in the telescope setup in the AUDIOSTAR), Luis indicated that the aperture size was probably the most crucial varable here which I set from 400 MM to 1250 mm. He said to select any of the ETX models listed so I selected the ETX80. I'll be training my telescope next multiple times with this new hand box.
Thank you again for all your help.
Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:11 PM
I also contacted someone to let them know the ETX 90 was not listed in your hand box.
Here is the reply:
"Do you know which firmware version the customer has? If he has the hand box I
think he may have, I can send you the file for him to load using the Autostar
updater program. He'll need a Meade 505 and USB adapter cable to perform the
However, the customer will not have any issues if they select the ETX80 model.
For completeness, they can then change the focal length of the optical tube in
the Setup/Telescope/Focal length menu. This will allow the hand boxes built-in
telescope calculators(FOV calculator, eyepiece magnification , eyepiece
suggestion) to function correctly."
Personally, I would not make a change in that actual program unless there is a big benefit. The difference, from what I gather, between what you have and what you can get will simply be a place that says you have an ETX 90 instead of an ETX 80 and not any performance change with the hand box.
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Posted 25 August 2014 - 06:24 PM
THANK YOU for your follow up. I will follow yor advice and let it go as is. I see no benefit in updating the firmware just so I can select a listing of the ETX90. I have already changed the focal length and trained the telescope 5 times. I was getting ready to give it a try tonight but Mother Nature put me on hold. I don't anticipate any problems other than those I cause myself. Thank You again and please tell your source Thank You as well.
Posted 31 August 2014 - 05:21 PM
I was able to try out my new Audiostar last night and it worked fine and the AUDIO works as we'll. I get a verbal overview of the objects I go to now. There are some other slight differences between the Autostar and this new Audiostar but nothing significant. When going through setup Audiostar asks if HOME is set to True North Or Magnetic. I wonder if it would make the adjustment for my location if I selected Magnetic? I'll have to see. I had a very close call with my tripod. One of the lock nuts broke out from it's keep for the leg adjustment and the telescope was on it way down fortunately I caught it before it hit the ground and possibly done some real damage. The nut was held in place by a plastic mount and had just fell apart. I am in the process of fixing it. I was able to finish out last night with another ETX tripod I had.
Posted 31 August 2014 - 07:42 PM
I have not worked with one of the AudioStar controllers. My LS 8 has all of that built in, finds its position from satelites, locates level, North, tip and tilt of the mount, then does all the other things it needs to do to find a star correctly. I don't have to do anything with it. I have the older 497 handsets, before the version you started with came about, so I am not sure what goes on in the AudioStar handset you have.
It sounds logical that if you are point your scope at magnetic North and tell the scope that is what you are using, it would make an adjustment for that. However, local ground conditions can affect where magnetic North is to some extent and I am wondering how sophisticated the routine could be in the handset. You might try it and see how it works out.
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Posted 02 September 2014 - 07:05 PM
I believe Audiostar does takes into consideration the magnetic declination based on the coordinates being used by the telescope and adjust accordingly when Magnetic North is selected for the home position. In my case that would be approximately 3 degrees east and appeared to be corrected when I did my 2 star alignment tonight. The First star selected was right in the middle of the eye piece. Very nice feature....
Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:27 AM
Thanks, Rick! That is good information.
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