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Last updated: 16 October 2009
Subject:	ETX-LS 1.2g update with a Mac
Sent:	Saturday, October 3, 2009 23:01:05
From:	Scott Recker (
Has anyone actually been able to update the ETX-LS firmware to 1.2g
using only the Mac OS? I don't believe it can be done. I copied the
files onto a MiniSD card (FAT32), and it wouldn't work.

When the AutoStar Updater makes an SD card, it formats it as a
_bootable_ drive, and also adds a (visible) file called
FlashFIRMWARE.bin not present in the original file list. For those who
aren't aware, a bootable drive is something that exists for most
computer systems, and will start up the computer when it's first turned
on. It has special formatting tricks, invisible files, and so on. Few
external or removable drives (or cards) are formatted this way.

Mac OS X Disk Utility will format an SD card as FAT32 (choose "FAT"),
but WON'T make a drive which is bootable by the telescope. A card
formatted this way can be used to store the pictures the telescope
takes. THIS MUCH you can do without Windows.

Oddly, the zip file from Meade (from the link on this feedback page)
contains files, in about 5 directories, named vssver.scc, which is a
tiny file which I think SHOULD BE DELETED. If installed in the
telescope, it shows up in the menus and screws things up. When deleted,
it doesn't seem to bother anything.

Here's the process that worked for me. (I couldn't get Updater to
download the files directly, so I did it this way.) . . . I am running
Windows XT using VMWare Fusion on my Mac running OS 10.5. You first have
to install the AutoStar Suite, and you need some kind of adapter to plug
the MiniSD card into your Mac. Open this page in Internet Explorer, and
click the link below to download the update. You will have a zipped file
called Double click on it to unzip it - you will then
have a directory: ETX_LSV1.2g. Open this and all the directories inside
and throw all the files called "vssver.scc" into the recycle bin. Empty
the recycle bin. Close up all the directories and open "My Computer."
Keep opening directories to get to C:\Program
Files\Meade\AutoStarSuite\Updater. Copy the ETX_LSV1.2g directory into
here. (You will notice a similar directory: ETX_LSV1.02. Guess what THIS
is!). Now we're cooking. Close up all the directories and run AutoStar
Updater. Click on the button "Upgrade AutoStar Software Now." This will
bring up a dialog box. First, choose the ETX-LS from the menu, then
check the button "Make SD Card." You can then choose 1.02 or 1.2g! Pick
the correct one, push go (oh, yes, put the MiniSD card in), and in a few
minutes you will be ready to go. When it's done, close AutoStar Updater,
and don't forget to click "Remove External Hardware Safely" or whatever,
in the lower right hand corner. Remove the MiniSD card and you can shut
Windows down. Yuk!  Now take your card and, with the telescope off, push
it into the card slot (pins facing to the Right) until it clicks. Turn
on the scope, and very shortly, instructions should come up on the hand
controller. If not, turn off the scope, take out the card and stomp on
it a few times. Or try again.

Good Luck! Scott

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