Last updated: 22 August 2009
Subject:	497EP Firmware Report
Sent:	Thursday, August 20, 2009 11:42:24
From: (
This may have been adequately covered by others, but I wanted to give a
report on the 5BE2 firmware patch for the 497EP.  I didn't have as many
problems with 59Ef as some apparently did, probably because I prefer
driving the Autostar with my laptop than using the handbox library, but
I spent a session last night using 497 only, after upgrading to the new
firmware.  It works well for me, with accurate go-tos, now including
Jupiter, which was always severely off before.  It appears Meade has
finally addressed some of the bugs at least.

I also upgraded ASU to 5.8, which, like other recent ASU versions, had
no problem recognizing my handset as an EP, and downloading and
upgrading the new firmware.  It isn't any quicker than previous
versions, but it works.

Regarding library maintenance, the new ASU is as unstable as ever, but
it does work with the EP (mostly).  I've developed a few practices,
learned by trial and error, that minimize the crashes and handbox
reboots, but I can update my object library.  I have seen some reports
of  failure to do any updates, but here are the procedures that work for
me with the EP:

1) Upload the current library from the handset.  Save this to a hbx
file, and make modifications to this file.  Disconnect the 497 while
swapping files from the library to the active Autostar window.  Don't
edit with the unit hot.

2) If you download www updates of comets, sats, etc using ASU, do it
with the library for that object type empty (i.e., delete all entries if
there are any in the library window).  Than add back any objects you
didn't want deleted.  ASU seems to crash frequently when overwriting
object lists.  Do the same thing if importing your own custom sat TLE

3) Make your updates to the active Autostar window, then save another
hbx file.  This will save time when ASU crashes.

4) When ready to download the revised hbx file to the handbox, restart
ASU, load your saved hbx file, and download.  If it works, retrieve the
data from the 497 and make sure that your changes are there and are

5) Don't push the available memory limits.  You will have problems
before the counter that ASU gives you goes into the red.  The EP has
more memory than the old 497, but you still can't load all available
asteroids into your handbox.

6) Forget about revising tours.  At least they don't work for me.  I get
crashes and corrupted files.  I don't use them anyway, so I just deleted
them all.

7) Forget about loading user data.  User data retrieved from or loaded
to the handbox will be gibberish.  This isn't really necessary anyway.

8) Always save a backup of a known working hbx file in case of problems.

Every time I use ASU I shake my head in disgust at the poor design, but
I manage to do what I need with it.  I've never had an unrecoverable
crash (so far).  I look forward to the day when Dick Seymour has a
version of Starpatch that works with the EP.

Rick Bodishbaugh

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