ICEINSPACE
Most Read Articles
Moon Phase
CURRENT MOON First Quarter
43.8%
The Sun Now
Time Zones
Sydney*
9:50 am
Perth
6:50 am
Auckland*
11:50 am
New York
5:50 pm
Paris
11:50 pm
GMT
10:50 pm




Go Back   IceInSpace > Beginners Start Here > Beginners Talk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #41  
Old 12-08-2018, 05:08 PM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard View Post
Download the trial version - free for updating. It works well
thanks Damien, I'll give that a go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard View Post
By the way, Andrew is the guru when it comes to Meades
yes I'd figured as much, from the quality of his inputs as this thread expanded
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 12-08-2018, 07:01 PM
AndrewJ
Watch me post!

AndrewJ is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,905
Quote:
In the StarGPS "About Us" section I see Andrew Johansen mentioned as one of the designers ... I guess that's you AndrewJ ?
Thats me but im not the designer of the StarPatch firmware loader, or the StarGPS lump, i just helped the author in integrating it into the basic Meade firmware.
Quote:
So it seems I need to buy the StarPatch software tool for US$79.
As noted by RedBeard, the firmware uploader is freeware, but is knobbled in that it only runs at 9600 baud. A fully functional version can do firmware updates in a few seconds, but for 99% of users, that is not a requirement.
Quote:
Not sure if I need to consider the PEC editor yet
My PEC editor is merely a diagnostic tool to allow you to update data and see what settings you currently have in your handbox.
It is basically useless for general browsing or rubbrernecking
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 23-08-2018, 08:23 PM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
Problem with StarPatch trial version

I'm running the trial version of StarPatch (1.912) and following Andrew's instructions for the full version:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post
To do firmware loading
you download and install the StarPatch loader utility
you download the rom "BuildAUA1F7.rom"
and the patch "PatchAUA1F7v03.spf"
into the StarPatch directory
You start StarPatch, then select the COM Port and handset type

You then use the dropdown box to select the *.spf file.
You will be presented with a default list of patch selections.
Unselect the StarGPS options at the top ( as you dont have a StarGPS lump )
But the drop down does not list the rom of spf files, even though they are in the StarPatch directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\StarPatch). So i can't select them .... grrrrr! The attached photo shows the problem

The handset type is "Autostar #495 or #497" (what is a 497EP?)
The COM port is correct (COM7)
SmarLoad is ticked (default)

The baud rate default is 115200. Do I need to reduce it to 9600 as mentioned, or will it do that automatically?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post
You can also use my app as a means to detect if a Meade style scope is attached, as it has an autodetect function built in.
So which program is "my app" referred to here?
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (StarPatch image.jpg)
111.6 KB7 views
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 24-08-2018, 06:08 AM
AndrewJ
Watch me post!

AndrewJ is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,905
Gday Chris
Earlier you posted
Quote:
Setup > Statistics tells me version A3S5
As such you have an Audiostar, and must select that handbox type.
StarPatch now has a lot of smarts in it to prevent cross loading firmware, and selecting the correct handbox is the first part of that.
The 497s use a motorola CPU
The 497EP was an intermediate handbox that came out with a new Toshiba processor, and only lasted a year or so.
The Audiostar is a 497EP with an added daughterboard for sound.
There are also 2 versions of Audiostar, as Meade changed the memory chips used part way through.

Sooooooooo, pick Hbx type "Audiostar" and the patches etc will become visible.
Quote:
So which program is "my app"
My PEC editor
http://members.optusnet.com.au/johansea/


Andrew


PS IIRC, it will autoset the baud and smartload to 9600/off automatically

as the higher bauds and smartload are only available in the full version.
It may auto set the baud to fast for a short while,

( to show what it can do ), then throttle back,
but other than that, is fully functional in free mode.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 24-08-2018, 04:17 PM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
Ah OK, thanks. With Audiostar selected the pull down list looks correct now. My bad, I thought my (new) handset was just a #497. Now I know its the 497EP

In your posted instructions you say to select the spf. But what about the rom file - does it need to be uploaded into Audiostar first, and then follow with the spf patch?

Or maybe I'm simply misunderstanding what the rom file does ... !

thanks again
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 24-08-2018, 06:04 PM
AndrewJ
Watch me post!

AndrewJ is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,905
Gday Chris
Quote:
Now I know its the 497EP
Nope, it is an Audiostar. Different beastie.
Quote:
In your posted instructions you say to select the spf. But what about the rom file - does it need to be uploaded into Audiostar first,
No. The rom file is the raw Meade file. The spf file effectively grabs the rom file, then edits it to apply the changes so it can be uploaded.
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 24-08-2018, 07:17 PM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
Well I just tried to update the handset and it failed again. This is starting to bug me!

When I insert the Jaycar USB-RS232 cable into the PC my Device Manager lists the new port as "Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM7)"

Then, after the ETX-90 has been powered up, I connect the Meade cable into the Audiostar. Next I start StarPatch, and set the port to COM7 via Options, and select the Audiostar handset.

Then I selected the spf via the pull-down list, and unticked the 4 or 5 items at top to do with GPS, leaving all the rest as they are.

All good so far. But when I hit the Update Handset button nothing happens for a short while, then StarPatch issues a comms failure message appears (see attached).

I repeated all the above usiong COM5 instead, and even a PC reboot. same result. Grrrrr ...

Perhaps I need a different driver, or I've damaged the connection cable somehow? It did work a couple of weeks ago when I was playing with Autostar Updater, but even that doesn't work now.

BTW when the Audiostar is powered on it displays:

497EP A3S5
AUDIOSTAR
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Audiostar Error.JPG)
41.2 KB6 views

Last edited by ninja2; 24-08-2018 at 08:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 24-08-2018, 10:47 PM
redbeard's Avatar
redbeard (Damien)
Registered User

redbeard is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 388
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninja2 View Post

Perhaps I need a different driver, or I've damaged the connection cable somehow? It did work a couple of weeks ago when I was playing with Autostar Updater, but even that doesn't work now.
Hi Chris,

It sounds like the USB to serial adapter is working fine which means the driver for it must also be working fine. If unsure, can you test another RS232 device to see if it works or do a loopback test? If it works, then you will be able to rule out the USB to serial adapter totally and focus on just the other bits. I'd check the other cable thoroughly.

I'm assuming that when you selected com 5, you plugged the USB adapter into another USB slot on the computer and the device manager showed com 5?

Cheers,
Damien.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 25-08-2018, 06:04 AM
AndrewJ
Watch me post!

AndrewJ is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,905
Gday Chris
As Redbeard mentioned, try another app.
My PEC editor will try all 256 possible ports to find COM devices.
It will then test all detected units at all possible baud rates
to see if it can find a Meade.
See if that can connect.
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 02-09-2018, 12:27 PM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
I ran Andrew's PEC editor and it tested all existing ports at all baud, but it stilll would not connect to the scope.

I have quite a lot of electronics stuff here, but none of it's RS232 any more! So can't see a way to try Damiens idea, which would be much better than my remaining options:
- fault in Jaycar RS232 cable
- fault in Meade serial cable
- fault in the scope

I have a qestion about powering on and connecting, because I'm wondering if I could have damaged any of the above by getting the sequence wrong.

Normally I would turn the scope on first. (I've been running it indoors powered from mains through a adapter with 12V output. The scope also has full set [9V] of AA batteries installed).

Next I would connect the Jaycar USB-RS232 cable to computer only to start with, and check it is recognised by Device Manager. Then I connect the Meade cable between the Jaycar cable and the scope.

Then I would run the app on the computer. Keep in mind that I did achieve connection using Autostart suite when I first tried this, a few weeks ago.

Powering down would normally be just the reverse sequence.

However, a week or so ago I powered the scope off before disconnecting the cable. I remember at the time the power LED on the scope was still glowing , at maybe 50% dimmed. I didn't like this, and quickly powered the scope off. This may have been the moment when damage was done.

Questions:

1) Should the sequence matter?

2) does the Meade RS232 serial cable have any smarts in it, or is it just wires?

3) Is damage to the serial port a common ccurrence for these scopes?

I'm prepared to buy a replacement jaycar cable if need be (only $30 !), but it would be v.annoying if that makes no diff

TIA


PS: a totally different issue: does anyone else find they have to re-edit their freshly authored posts on this IIS forum, to remove spurious excess line feeds auto-inserted by the editor while you're not looking !?? (like the extra line, not inserted by me, just above this paragraph)
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 02-09-2018, 01:27 PM
redbeard's Avatar
redbeard (Damien)
Registered User

redbeard is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 388
Hi Chris,

Quote:

I have quite a lot of electronics stuff here, but none of it's RS232 any more! So can't see a way to try Damiens idea, which would be much better than my remaining options:
- fault in Jaycar RS232 cable
- fault in Meade serial cable
- fault in the scope


This simple test will determine if the Jaycar cable works:

The test only involves the PC and the Jaycar USB to RS232 cable.

Do a looback test on the Jaycar USB to RS232 cable. Do this by shorting out pins 2 and 3 on the DB9 end of the cable.
Download Hercules software: https://www.hw-group.com/software/he...-setup-utility 3.2.8. Or use another program you are familiar with.
Use Hercules to send some text in Serial tab mode, and if it receives it, all is fine with the Jaycar cable and you can move on to the next bit. It does sound like this cable is working.

You can also hook up 2 PC's together if you have another USB/RS232 cable and PC and test that way.

Another test would be to plug the USB adapter into your PC, then plug the other cable into the adapter but NOT into the scope. Then do the same loopback test by shorting out the correct pins on the end of the cable. That way if you get a text response, you know both cables are working fine and all that is left is to check is the connections to the scope are correct. If so, then you have tested everything up to the scope and will know what works and what does not..




1) Should the sequence matter?

In relation to plugging things in, always connect everything before turning power on to anything. That is the safest way. To my knowledge, Meades don't have a lot of electronic protection circuits.


2) does the Meade RS232 serial cable have any smarts in it, or is it just wires?

Just wires. The Jaycar USB to RS232 adapter does all the work/drivers etc.
The cable that connects between the scope and the adapter is just wires, wired correctly for pin connections.


3) Is damage to the serial port a common occurrence for these scopes?

Not sure how common but when I first got my Meade, I was visual only but when I decided to go astrophotography and start plugging things in to the ports, I had no RS232 comms. My guess is a previous owner somehow did something to damage the RS232 chip(s) on the controller board. I pulled the controller board out, replaced the little SMD RS232 chips and luckily all worked fine afterwards. I still have a few of those chips if it turns out you need any. Will have to verify that it's the same chip for your scope, (size type etc).


You mentioned that the adapter to Meade scope cable worked at one stage, could anything have happened to that cable to damage it?
Have you re inspected that cable and ensured that all connector pins are good and that it is wired correctly, (it should as you have had it working).

Make a new cable?

Use a multimeter etc if need be.


Cheers,
Damien

Last edited by redbeard; 02-09-2018 at 01:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 02-09-2018, 01:44 PM
redbeard's Avatar
redbeard (Damien)
Registered User

redbeard is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 388
Hi Chris,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninja2 View Post
However, a week or so ago I powered the scope off before disconnecting the cable. I remember at the time the power LED on the scope was still glowing , at maybe 50% dimmed. I didn't like this, and quickly powered the scope off. This may have been the moment when damage was done.
Not sure what you mean by the above statement as you quote turning the scope off and then turning the scope off, can you re explain.

Cheers,
Damien
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 02-09-2018, 01:53 PM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard View Post
Not sure what you mean by the above statement as you quote turning the scope off and then turning the scope off, can you re explain.
sorry, brain faded as I wrote that!

I meant that after scope was turned off the LED still glowed but dimmer due to current coming down the serial cable from PC. So then I unplugged the cable and the LED went out.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 02-09-2018, 03:28 PM
redbeard's Avatar
redbeard (Damien)
Registered User

redbeard is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 388
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninja2 View Post
sorry, brain faded as I wrote that!

I meant that after scope was turned off the LED still glowed but dimmer due to current coming down the serial cable from PC. So then I unplugged the cable and the LED went out.
Ah, cheers, that makes sense now.

On my scope that doesn't happen, with the RS232 lead connected to the PC, the LED on the scope only comes on when the power switch is turned on with the scope connected to its power supply.

It sounds a little odd but not knowing the wiring and circuit on your scope it may be normal.

Have you noticed the LED doing that before when the cable was working?

Cheers,
Damien.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 02-09-2018, 03:49 PM
AndrewJ
Watch me post!

AndrewJ is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,905
Gday Chris
There is no way i can think of that anything associated with the rs232 cable could affect the power LED. There are only 3 connected wires in the rs232 cable and they are Tx/Rx and ground, so no idea where any power comes from.
As Damien noted, try doing a loopback test on the adapter by itself then adapter + cable to see what happens there.
My PEC editor allows you to send and receive data
so you can use it to do the test if you want.
If that works, try connecting to the mount when it has no power cable connected ( ie batteries only )

Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 02-09-2018, 04:29 PM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'll give those I can a go over coming week, and if that doesnt resolve I'll drop by the vendor again and see if he can still connect to the scope. He did that successfully once before, so it would be a conclusive test.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 06-09-2018, 07:44 PM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard View Post
Do a looback test on the Jaycar USB to RS232 cable. Do this by shorting out pins 2 and 3 on the DB9 end of the cable.
...
Use Hercules to send some text in Serial tab mode, and if it receives it, all is fine with the Jaycar cable and you can move on to the next bit. It does sound like this cable is working.
I dug up a matching DB-9 connector in one of my ancient spares boxes and did this test on the Jaycar cable. Your intuition has been proven right redbeard, I think. Just to be sure can you check the snapshot attached of my Hercules outputs. Does text appearing twice and in different colours mean its working? As you can see I couldn't get it to respond to CR/LF hex codes, but maybe this doesn't matter.

Meanwhile I'll try and extend the loopback test to include the Meade serial cable (#505 from memory)
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Hercules.JPG)
61.3 KB10 views
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 07-09-2018, 10:39 AM
redbeard's Avatar
redbeard (Damien)
Registered User

redbeard is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 388
Hi Chris,

Yep, you got it working! Looks good. Pink is the echo text, black is the return data text. If you disconnect the DB9 then only one string should show.

With Hercules,
If you hover the mouse over the text fields, you get little help tips. Also, right click on the main text area for more options.

Hex codes are sent in hex format. The hex tick box is to let the program know it is sending hex. It's does not convert decimal to hex. eg: space between chars too: FF D2 A7


You can change how the hex data is returned by the 'special chars' option in the menu. Have a play but not important for the testing.

Cheers,
Damien.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 15-09-2018, 08:27 PM
redbeard's Avatar
redbeard (Damien)
Registered User

redbeard is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 388
Hi Chris,

Any progress?

We are still here to help if need be.

Cheers,
Damien.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 16-09-2018, 07:14 AM
ninja2's Avatar
ninja2 (Chris)
Chris

ninja2 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Adelaide North East
Posts: 45
Hi Damien, The delay is partly because this is not my favourite project at the moment, but mainly because I'm waiting for a certain person at the vendor to return from leave. He did my firmware revision discussed earlier in this thread, plus he's the only one at the store who know how to connect to the telescope. So it will be another week or so before I know if the telescope comms have indeed developed a fault ... that is my suspicion.
cheers
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 08:50 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
FLI Cameras and Imaging Accessories
Advertisement
SkyWatcher WiFi Adaptor
Advertisement
Interest Free Finance
Advertisement
SkyWatcher 2018 Catalogue
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
Atik Horizon
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement