Last updated: 23 September 2008
Subject:	yet another autostar HBX cable
Sent:	Sunday, September 21, 2008 11:08:13
From:	richard allen (
I love your etx site! Thanks. That kind of support network is why I
selected the etx.

I picked up my etx-90pe yesterday and spent an enjoyable afternoon and
evening learning about it.  Sunday morning I fired it up and it was
dead.  After jiggled the cables, reseating the connectors and batteries
I discovered a broken wire in the eight wire hbx cable at the connector.
 Follow a description of how I made a new cable from things available at

Sorry if this is old news but I figured someone might be helped.

Converting a Belkin FastCAT 5e Ethernet Cable to autostar HBX.

The autostart HBX cable is similar to a one to one ethernet cable but
the wiring is flipped into what I call real 1:1.  This is NOT the same
as an ethernet crossover cable.

My etx-90PE came with the meade coiled cable and one of the wires broke
the first night out.  The cable was improperly crimped so there was no
good strain relief.  To make my autostar replacement cable I bought a 14
foot Belkin FastCAT 5e Ethernet cable (A3L850-14KS-MOD) at wallymart for
about $10.  Any ethernet cable should work although the colors may not
be as described below.  I cut it into two pieces and stripped back the
outer insulation jacket and then about 1/2" off of each conductor using
the 24 gauge slot on a simple wire stripper being careful to not nick
any of the stranded conductors.  I then made a table of the wiring by
using a continuity checker from the connector end to each stripped wire.
The color coding was standard TIA/EIA 568-B (thank you Belkin). This
standard is nicely depicted at:

I then connected the eight wires as follows:

   1 org/wht     brn
   2 org         brn/wht
   3 grn/wht     grn
   4 blu         blu/wht
   5 blu/wht     blu
   6 grn         grn/wht
   7 brn/wht     org
   8 brn         org/wht

I twisted and soldered them, and wrapped each connection with one inch
of good black electrical tape.  Since I was not at my lab on Sunday, I
could not make it real neat with heat shrink tubing and the local radio
shack was closed.

I then confirmed the wiring with a continuity checker and compared them
to the seven good wires left in the meade part.

I held my breath, plugged it in, and it came up running.  No expensive
crimping tools needed.

So, contrary to what I have read here and other places, the cable is
indeed 1:1.  Ethernet cables are flipped 1:1.

So,  I'll probably get to see some more tonite if nature cooperates.

Richard Allen, W5SXD

Mineral Wells, Texas

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