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  #21  
Old 12-07-2018, 05:53 PM
alval (Alan)
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Hey Andrew

This is the dec drive. The gear is about 82mm in diameter and the worm is about 13mm from what i recall. The RA drive is slightly larger. Got other photos but have to reduce their size to up load it seems.

Cheers Alan
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  #22  
Old 12-07-2018, 08:11 PM
AndrewJ
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Gday Alan
That is VERY different to the older models.
The much larger dia wormwheel wil make it much more stable than the old units that had a tiny wormwheel.

At a rough count, the wormwheel has 78 teeth ( vs the 60 for a std ETX125), but the gearbox is also very different.
Would need to count all the teeth in the geartrain to see how they re engineered it to give the same final ratio.
Again, if it aligns and points well, then the ratios are correct, so its more likely they changed a few gear teeth counts to keep it the same.
Andrew
so what does the RA look like
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2018, 08:30 PM
alval (Alan)
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RA from top
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  #24  
Old 12-07-2018, 08:38 PM
alval (Alan)
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Side view
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  #25  
Old 12-07-2018, 09:30 PM
AndrewJ
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Gday Alan
Gotta say it looks a lot more solid than i was expecting :-)
Quite a "disassy" exercise you have gone through



Andrew
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  #26  
Old 13-07-2018, 09:05 AM
alval (Alan)
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Hi Andrew

Must say sorry to Chris first for hijacking the thread.
Yes well it was interesting exercise but was actually quite easy nothing too hard. It is well designed and with well made castings and parts, the only thing that let it down were the assemblers and quality control. I searched for these sort of pictures before I bought it but couldnt find any, lots on the earlier ones. I think Iíll get organised and start a new thread with all the pics so it will come up easier if anyone else is interested pointing out differences and issues. Overall now its sweet finds and tracks objects well once set up correctly. Centred mars in alt/az as it was rising over my shed, went in for tea, watched tv for bit went out over an hour and half later and it was still well in field of view of 20mm eyepice. Iím happy with that.

Cheers Alan
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  #27  
Old 13-07-2018, 10:14 AM
AndrewJ
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Gday Alan
Quote:
Must say sorry to Chris first for hijacking the thread.
Yes and no. Lots of people have reported tracking/goto problems with the new ETX90 and A4S1 firmware, so a general thread on it that includes the new 125s as well may prove useful to others in the future.


Quote:
Yes well it was interesting exercise but was actually quite easy nothing too hard.
Thats a BIG change compared to the ETX125PE which is a mongrel to work with. Even to fix the power panel requires a complete base disassy.


It also "looks" more robust than the older ones, and i must admit i was expecting something much flimsier.
I must say i was also expecting it to have different ratios as well, but in your case it would appear the new gearbox takes into account the changed wormwheel.
All good.


Andrew
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  #28  
Old 17-07-2018, 01:33 PM
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No problems with hijacking my thread Alan .. it's all useful for me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbeard View Post
Uninstall the driver you downloaded from Meade and use the driver that came with your USB to RS232 cable
Thanks for the clues Redbeard, and AndrewJ. However I'm trying to replace the Prolific drive but Windows keeps insisting it be the Prolific driver. Even if I choose "Uninstall Device" In Device Manager, then Restart.

When I choose "Update Driver" and browse to the directory of the driver I want, Windows ignores me and says " the best driver is already installed". grrrrr!

I also tried installing by picking the ftdiport.inf file and "Install". This seemed to work, but made no difference in device manager. I did same with ftdibus.inf, but same result.

I tried driver that came with the cable, but no luck. These were for Windows 7, so also went to FDTI driver site and downloaded latest for Win 10. Same result .... cannot convince Windows to use it.

Any clues on how to get around this ?
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  #29  
Old 17-07-2018, 02:09 PM
AndrewJ
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Gday Chris
Why are you using FTDI drivers if the adapter is reporting it is a Prolific?
Have you tried the prolific driver checker app????
http://www.prolific.com.tw/US/ShowPr...id=225&pcid=41
Andrew
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  #30  
Old 17-07-2018, 03:37 PM
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ninja2 (Chris)
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Gday Andrew,

Well I could try and explain, but it'd be a bit it pointless ... :-) so I'll just cut to the chase instead ...

I just downloaded and ran that Prolific chip checker but it could not connect.

BUT THEN I noticed the WARNING in red on that Prolific site:

Warning Notice:
Please be warned that counterfeit (fake)
PL-2303HX (Chip Rev A) USB to Serial Controller ICs using Prolific's trademark logo, brandname, and device drivers, were being sold in the China market. Counterfeit IC products show exactly the same outside chip markings but generally are of poor quality and causes Windows driver compatibility issues (Yellow Mark Error Code 10 in Device Manager). We issue this warning to all our customers and consumers to avoid confusion and false purchase.


As shown in attached I'm seeing Code 10 in the Device Manager!
It seems my friends at MSY have sold me a cheap cable alright.
So I've just ordered this one: here at eBay

Only two dud cables so far ...

many thanks for your help again Andrew ...

cheers
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  #31  
Old 17-07-2018, 04:17 PM
AndrewJ
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Gday Chris
Although you get Code10, it doesnt always mean its a counterfeit chip, just a dud driver.
Google "prolific 2303 code 10" for lots of info
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...ce87fcf?auth=1
is interesting



I wont touch W10 "just because", but lots of reports have come in that the latest prolific drivers dont always work under W10 and you need to use old drivers.


FTDI based chips dont seem to suffer as badly.

Andrew
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  #32  
Old 17-07-2018, 04:58 PM
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Ah OK. I'll look at that info a bit later ...

Are Prolific a manufacturer of USB interface chips, like FTDI are?

The cables I see advertised don't mention which brand of interface chip they are using. Wondering how I would find an FTDI based chip.

Hang on, I just remembered I use an FTDI adapter in some of my Arduino projects and they work. hmmmm...

Last edited by ninja2; 17-07-2018 at 09:13 PM.
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  #33  
Old 17-07-2018, 05:34 PM
AndrewJ
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Gday Chris
Quote:
Are Prolific a manufacturer of USB interface chips, like FTDI are?
Yep
Quote:
Hang on, I just remembered I use an FTDI adpater in some of my Arduino projects and they work.
They will 99% be USB to TTL converters, ie not suitable for the 497 handbox, as they use different voltage levels.
ie the Arduino chip will probably be 0-3.3 or 0-5V, whereas a true rs232 chip uses ( approx ) +/-10V



Andrew
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  #34  
Old 17-07-2018, 06:10 PM
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redbeard (Damien)
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Hi Chris,

As Andrew has mentioned, try using an older driver. I have had to do this exact thing as I had one of those counterfeit chips, (or so I assumed), and the new drivers did not work but I eventually found some older ones that did work.

I have found the Jaycar USB to RS232 cables always seem to work and if they don't, Jaycar will always accept returns. Bit more pricey though.

If using an Arduino to connect to non TTL devices, you could use a MAX232 chip or equivalent to get the correct voltage levels.

Oh and also, after you have uninstalled the old driver, unplug the cable from the USB port and install the next driver with the cable unplugged. Then when you plug in the cable, hopefully the driver will see the hardware and all OK, hopefully!

Cheers,

Damien.
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  #35  
Old 19-07-2018, 05:54 PM
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Success! Thanks for the Jaycar clue redbeard, although your warning on cost was all too true ... $29.95 for a USB-RS232 cable ... a bit ridiculous (although I did get a $9 refund when I took the MSY cable back)

Anyway finally I'm connected, now onto the next issue...

Being completely unfamiliar with Autostar Suite I was trying to work out how to test the comms. When I noticed "Downloading, do not turn off" on the Handbox screen. haha, it's probably reinstalling A4S1 over my A3S5, great

I am planning to load A1F7 (based on Andrew's earlier post) but I need some pointers on how to do this. I have Autostar Suite V5.53 installed and started looking in the manual but there's a lot to absorb. Is there a better reference focussed on loading a different firmware into the handbox?

For example one the StarGPS downloads site I see 'BuildAUA1F7.rom recommended' one the right, and a number of related Patches on the left. I'm guessing I download just the .rom file to the Autostar Updater library ... somehow?

Also, is there a simple test string that I can send to the handbox using Telescope > Test Serial in Autostar Suite, to verify good comms in future?

TIA

Last edited by ninja2; 19-07-2018 at 06:43 PM.
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  #36  
Old 19-07-2018, 06:36 PM
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hmmmm ... still downloading after 2 hours?? The user manual says:

'.... and checks your telescope. The versions of the software that were found then display in a dialog box, including the revision level of the software in your telescope. Follow the prompts in the dialog boxes to complete the operation'.

I saw none of this, and certainly no dialogue box. Still says I must not turn off. When should i pull the plug?

My Autostar Update window lists nothing at present ... see attached snapshot.
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  #37  
Old 19-07-2018, 10:25 PM
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ninja2 (Chris)
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I fear I may be about to exceed my novice posts limit !

Gave up and turned scope off. Started up OK, still with A3S5 installed. phew!

Retrieved object data from Handset and can see them listed in right AU window OK, so Comms seems OK.

Still looking for guidance on loading new firmware ?
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  #38  
Old 20-07-2018, 08:32 AM
AndrewJ
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Gday Chris
Quote:
haha, it's probably reinstalling A4S1 over my A3S5, great
More likely 5CE2, which is what it used to do.
If that had happened, your handbox would have been semi toast :-)

Quote:
Is there a better reference focussed on loading a different firmware into the handbox?
StarPatch and my PEC editor totally replace Meades ASSuite and ASU when it comes to loading firmware or Tours etc to Audiostars.

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 )

You can chop and change the rest as required, but the defaults are a good start.
Hit go and it will load. ( And you get a proper progress bar )

If you want to edit/add Tours etc, you will need to use my PEC editor, as Meades ASU completely screws it up for the new memory models used in the 497EP and Audiostar handboxes. My app has full help file on how to do it.
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.

Andrew
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  #39  
Old 11-08-2018, 05:51 PM
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Lost a few weeks on major family issues, but almost back to normal now.


In the StarGPS "About Us" section I see Andrew Johansen mentioned as one of the designers ... I guess that's you AndrewJ ?


So it seems I need to buy the StarPatch software tool for US$79.

Not sure if I need to consider the PEC editor yet, but if so where do I find it?
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  #40  
Old 12-08-2018, 11:46 AM
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redbeard (Damien)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninja2 View Post
So it seems I need to buy the StarPatch software tool for US$79.
Hi Chris,

Download the trial version - free for updating. It works well.

From the site...
9. Free trial version is a great tool for updating your Autostar 497/497EP, Audiostar or Autostar II.

http://www.stargps.ca/manual.htm#starpatch

Andrews PEC Editor - http://members.optusnet.com.au/johansea/

By the way, Andrew is the guru when it comes to Meades.

Cheers,
Damien.

Last edited by redbeard; 12-08-2018 at 12:00 PM.
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