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Last updated: 24 February 2012

Subject:	AutoStar #494 files
Sent:	Wednesday, October 6, 2010 11:01:23
From:	G (
I'm George and i want to share with
your users my expirience with this extremly bad product Autostar #494.I
was very deeply involved in solving different software and hardware
problems with mine ETX-80 + #494 ver.13Ea.I am embedded
designer/programmer and one day i decided to bye one lightweight 
computerised scope, i have Sky Watcher 90 mm maksutov with qwartc remote
control  and i i'm very happy with,but finding the objects is quite
slow.That guide me to buy one ETX-80 with #506 cable.And the saga was
just beginnig.

After one hour of working and becoming familiar with 494 i decided to
connect it to my computer.Everyting working fine with Meade Autostart
Suite,but i like more The Sky and switch him to work.The integrated
Meade interface Meade give errors with the scope clock and i installed
ASCOM drivers ,everithing worked fine to this point.But when i decided
to update my satelites and commets with Autostar Updater he simply
freeze on 1-2% and my 494 was dead,i reset it but nothing or strange
white cursors or symbols on the screen.No way to go back to life this
handset,i try everythink.So for me at that point one think was
clear-firmware or eeprom of 68HC11 is corrupted.Seems more like 
registers or firmware,because of no boot .EEPROM is readed after long
long init procedures and was generaly not suspected if nothing come on
display or lights or buttons.After this constatation i try to find
somebody who have a good firmware and Dick Seymour was the right person
to help.He send me 12Ea.rom dump with shematics of the 494.Many thanks

After i build the JBug interface and connected my handset to my PC.When
i learned how to use them i remarked as is suspected that the first page
of my FLASH AM29040 was erased.This flash have separate commands for
page erase and full erase.My firmware was scrapped.At that time i don't
have the flash programmer,so i decided to write in the flash with
JBUG,but for my surprise it was impossible,no drivers for erase and
write flash,because of different commands and structuresfor different
flash chips.I take the time to learn 68HC11 assembler and i modified the
existing driver for writing,but for erasing i create symple  ASM
file,who is loaded and started on 68HC11 and he erase current page.To
switch on other page you need to manipulate the PORTA3...6 bits.I didn't
wrote one for full erase just because i didn't want to have more
troubles if i load it accidently,but is easy to create one.Writing and
reading by JBug show me some inconveniences like eeprom and bootprom is
always present on dump,so i am not able to write entire flash like as
wanted,but instead cut on pieces and write it,except that this didn't
work.Handset start the first flash page and when come to code under
bootprom freeze.Here i understand that i need external flash
programmer.When i got one i put the code in my handset by
soldering/desoldering/programming and now my 494 working fine.So the
conclusion is clear-you may upgrade/downgrade 494 if you have the right
firmware,soldering skills and flash programmer.I send you some files
like Jbug rec driver for writing flash,flash sector erase asm and s19.If
somebody need firmware or shematics please ask Dick Seymour for that.Be
carefull ,the shematics have errors.For questions or more informations
please send a english,french,bulgarian or russian message at .Happy stargazing whitout problems!!!
George Gustinov
Mike here: All four files are in this ZIP archive.


the products is realy bad,but i permit you to remove this
comment,unfortunatly this will not change the reality.Tolerate the
mediocrity create more mediocrity instead of perfection and the end user
suffer even more and more.BTW,you choise if this info will be publish or
not.Me i don't care....I know what i know and always use what i know to
help others who don't know.Nice to meet you,i realy like you site,you
help me a lot!Many thanks!

Sent:	Wednesday, February 22, 2012 16:01:32 [NEW!]
From:	J J
Concerning this page :

for my #494 resurection i want to add some additional info.

First i changed my email from to

Second ,after reflashing Autostar with ROM 12Ea which Dick send me, my
scope dont want to load the time from time chip on boot,he is installed
and working, just no I2C communication on the bus.I suspected the chip
himself or some sort of level convertor i supposed between 68hc11 and
the time chip(have SMD format and 6 pin,this should be level convertor
from 3 to 5 V or something close to that).But due to restricted place
and difficulties to debug i leave this  non working without future
investigations.But today i read one question in you site and i
remembered my case,it seems that my scope ETX-80AT-TC(TC is maybe
TimeChip) have special firmware 13Ea to support  I2C communication to
the time chip - one of DS series.So 12Ea dont support clock and dont
have ETX-80 in his menu,but have Polar alignement,13Ea dont have
this,only AltAz.This mean that even 494 could be personalized in
factory,dependent of each case,they are not 100% interchangeable.So you
success may vary dependent of what you have.This is my additional info
,i suppose this will be informative for everyone with scope of ETX
PS.Nice site, i already tell you many times,thank you one more time!

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