Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Equipment Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 12-06-2019, 01:08 AM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 511
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.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13-06-2019, 12:04 AM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 511
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...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 13-06-2019, 12:51 AM
Ukastronomer's Avatar
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
Feel free to edit my imag

Ukastronomer is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Llandysul, WALES, UK
Posts: 1,175
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
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 13-06-2019, 12:14 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 511
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
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 13-06-2019, 01:04 PM
bojan's Avatar
bojan
amateur

bojan is online now
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mt Waverley, VIC
Posts: 5,862
Try this... it should be better than pencil.

For my caliper with the same problem, I used copper sticky tape.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 13-06-2019, 01:14 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 511
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
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 13-06-2019, 03:36 PM
spiezzy
Registered User

spiezzy is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Helensburgh NSW
Posts: 321
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
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13-06-2019, 04:00 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 511
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]
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21-06-2019, 09:05 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 511
Well, thanks to the generosity of fellow IIS member Spiezzy (Pete), I have received a bundle of old autostars & after a few swappsy/changy of components between the two autostars he sent me, managed to achieve one fully functioning handset with a reasonable (& definitely not garbled) display that requires far less key pressure to operate.

My old one unfortunately had a different display ribbon cable setup & despite cleaning everything again (including ribbon cable & connector) switching around some rubber keypads, it still doesn't seem to be playing well so, I think that together with the leftover bits of the stuff Pete sent me, they are all destined for the rubbish bin..

Unless someone else would like them to see what they can use in which I will happily re-assemble & you can have them for the cost of postage to see what use you can get out of them...

Many, many thanks to Pete for bailing me out... I suspect I will still need to get a new handset before too long but, I'm out of a bind & all it cost me was the postage..

Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 21-06-2019, 10:25 PM
sharpiel (Les)
The Birdman

sharpiel is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 566
Community rescue again.

Hope it works out for you.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 21-06-2019, 10:29 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 511
Indeed Les,

Lots of very generous & helpful people on here, can't wait to pay it forward soon..

Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-08-2019, 11:45 AM
Kal's Avatar
Kal (Andrew)
1" v

Kal is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,795
An update to this thread.


Outcast has kindly forwarded the surplus autostar controllers that he got off spiezzy to me after fixing his hand controller.


There were two different boards inside the controllers, one with a wider ribbon cable to the screen, and two with a narrower ribbon cable. One of the handboxes with the narrow ribbon cable partially works (screen starts off normal brightness but then becomes very bright and needs to be read at an angle.


My broken 497 was of the type that had a broader cable, so all I could do was switch out the broken screen on the one 497 with my screen and vioala, it worked! I had tried cleaning my cable as mentioned on this thread (and other forums) but it appears as though my problem had to do with the board, so I got lucky by having two different problems across the two controllers


Many thanks to spiezzy and outcast, and if anyone needs some controllers to play around with for a repair there are now two in the pile that remain non-working, and one partially working one.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-08-2019, 02:06 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Still a Noob....

Outcast is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 511
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 07:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Celestron Australia
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Australia
Advertisement
Meade Australia
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement