Last updated: 21 January 2005

External Power for Autostar

Sent:	Friday, January 21, 2005 12:16:01
From:	Damian Kessler (
Tip: Here's a way to power the handbox without having to be plugged into
the mount. This makes it easier to update the firmware, and familiarize
yourself with the menu, or just sit and play with it.

You'll need an ethernet patch cable(like phone jack end connectors but
larger), two 9volt battery connectors with wires(from Radio Shack or
similar), and electrical tape.

1.  	Cut off one end of the Ethernet cable so you have a  convenient
length.  Strip back the outer sheath to expose the wires.

2.  	 Strip the plastic insulator off maybe  inch of each  wire on
the 9volt battery connectors to expose the copper wire inside.  The  two
battery connectors have two red and two black wires.  Twist both red 
wires together and then twist the black wires together to connect red to
red and black to black.

3.  	Take a careful look at the connector on the end of your 
Ethernet cable to find out which color wire corresponds to the outer two
connections.  This link:
is extremely helpful for final wiring.  Keep in mind that the Patch
cable  diagram is looking at the END of the cable.  The best way to do
this would be to use an Ohmmeter to verify the wires.

4.  	Once you've separated the two wires corresponding  to Pin 1 and
Pin 8 on the cable, you can cut off or tape over the other  wires on the
cable since you don't need them.  Strip the two wires  to expose about 
inch of copper wire.

5.  	If you get this step backwards, you'll fry your handbox!   
Twist the black wires of the battery connector to the wire connected to 
pin 1 of the patch cable.  Twist the red wires of the battery connector
to  the wire connected to pin 8 of the patch cable.

6.  	 Looking at the handbox (HBX) connector, this puts the +  side
of 9 volts to pin 1 of the hand box and the - side to pin 8 of  the
handbox.  Verify it before you plug it in!  Separate each wire and  tape
over them and you're done.

This works quite well and provides more than enough current for the time
needed during an upgrade/download.  Soldering the wires together is much
better but not everyone can do that.

Damian Kessler
Mike here: Link above via the Wayback Machine.

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