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Old 12-06-2019, 01:08 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Location: Cairns, Qld
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Autostar #497 dead or, possibly not...

Tonight my Meade Autostar display started playing up...

To be fair, it's about 15 years old... Since I got the scope secondhand I have found that the buttons needed to be pressed very hard to get them to work.

Over the time I've owned it (18 months or so) I have cleaned the contacts & routinely use a 2b pencil on the rubberised keyboard to improve contact.. this works for a while...

I recently loaded some 'tours' that came with the scope on a BINTEL CD...

The handset still operates but, tonight the display started showing what can best be described as gobbledygook... I setup & aligned my LX90 no problem & then sat admiring Eta Carina for a while.. I then went to slew to M47 & when I pressed the 'Mode' button, the display went all weird... odd characters, totally unuseable for goto but, could still slew using up/down, left/right arrow keys.

Thought it might be my battery powersupply so, changed that out for 240v mains supply; put the scope back to home position, restarted.. handset display was fine, started to align.. gobbledygook again... Turned off scope, took handset inside, opened & cleaned everything... did not check the ribbon connector to display though...

Restarted, everything looked fine.. two star align.. slewed to Jupiter & commenced viewing the transit of Europa... went to slew to Saturn... display turned to gobbledygook again... slewed to Saturn using arrow keys.. was going to do a factory reset... then thought.. hmmmm, can't do that coz I can't understand a word on the display... turned off, turned on.. got the beep but, now the display is blank.. nothing.. nada...

Too late tonight but, will check the ribbon cable seating tomorrow evening & will use Andrews magic little program to see if I can connect through my computer...

Factory reset? Reload firmware (it's running latest version pre GPS update, which I don't need) from Starpatch... or....

Is the handset done & dusted.... if so, does anyone have a spare they wish to part with, either #497 or even an Audiostar... otherwise.. where do I buy a new Audiostar from in Australia.. can't seem to find them online other than in the states...

Thanks in advance for any advice or assistance...

Cheers

Last edited by Outcast; 13-06-2019 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 13-06-2019, 12:04 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Well...

I'm making progress.. undid the ribbon connector & reseated it tonight... it's improved markedly... not 100% but, definitely better..

Next step will be to remove the ribbon connector again; give everything a clean & reconnect...

Possibly do a factory reset/firmware reload just in case the display chipset has corrupted somehow...

I've also received some tips on improving my keypad connectivity other than what I have already tried so; some internet shopping to be done for either silver conductive paint or, a keypad restoration kit..

After I've exhausted these somewhat cheaper alternatives & see the results I will ponder a replacement.. they aren't exactly a cheap item...

Cheers...

Hopefully someone might see this for tips at least should they have a similar problem.. I'll continue to update as the fixes I try work or otherwise...
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Old 13-06-2019, 12:51 AM
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Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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All you have to do is take it apart and clean the connectors like cleaning a TV remote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWpMcXWlhBE

easy
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Old 13-06-2019, 12:14 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Hi Jeremy,

Yeah, I've been doing that for the past 18 months, temporarily improves then degrades again. The carbonised rubber dots need refurbishing, investigating conductive paints that have been suggested to me.

The display issue is related to the ribbon connector; it's probably slowly worked its way out from opening the handset & both the ribbon & the housing contacts probably need a clean/deoxidising...

I will go through these processes looking for a more long term remedy before spending what I consider to be an outrageous sum for a new handset... $389 AUD at one Australian retailer!!

Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukastronomer View Post
All you have to do is take it apart and clean the connectors like cleaning a TV remote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWpMcXWlhBE

easy
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Old 13-06-2019, 01:04 PM
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bojan
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Try this... it should be better than pencil.

For my caliper with the same problem, I used copper sticky tape.
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Old 13-06-2019, 01:14 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

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Cheers Bojan,

I'll definitely take a look at those replacement pads & take a look at that copper tape for sure...

I suspect anything will be better than lead pencil... I knew it was very temporary & basic... I just never got around to getting a better solution

Thankyou for those links
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Old 13-06-2019, 03:36 PM
spiezzy
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Hi Carlton I have about 3 of these units sitting around doing nothing not sure if all are working or not but you can maybe use the spare parts there yours if you want them pm me if interested
cheers Pete
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Old 13-06-2019, 04:00 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Thanks Pete,

I've sent you a PM

Cheers

Carlton

QUOTE=spiezzy;1432538]Hi Carlton I have about 3 of these units sitting around doing nothing not sure if all are working or not but you can maybe use the spare parts there yours if you want them pm me if interested
cheers Pete[/QUOTE]
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