Last updated: 7 August 2001

Info on Converting a AutoStar 495 to a 497 (ETX) AutoStar

From: bobrose500@comcast.net (Bob Rose)

Info on Converting a AutoStar 495 to a 497 (ETX) AutoStar.

Does your 495 Autostar have 512K like Meade says or does it have 1 meg like the 497s? better check it out.

You may be able to upgrade a 495 autostar to a 497 with 2.1Ek software very easily. I did, and have been testing on a LX90. I have found no flaws. It is as good as the 497 that came with the LX90.

First a little background. I have a 495 that belongs to a DS114EC. After reviewing some schematics in an article by Dick Seymore, on autostars on Mike Weasner's site I realized that the 495 I had contained two rom chips, just like a 497. Downloading the 2.1ek and then trying to install with the updater would not work for me. I kept getting wrong type of autostar errors. Reading through the documentation that came with the 2.4 updater, it said that there was an Autostar.ROM and a Dbase.rom file that was to remain in the EPHEMERIDES directory to be able to restore the autostar if there was some type of failure. Hmmm. So I installed the 2.4 updater, hooked up the 495 to the serial cable, started the updater, and just pressed Send To New Software to Autostar. I did not try to download any new firmware from the web. It began to download new pages of firmware to the autostar. 25 min later it restarted with 2.1Ek. If you have a bunch of objects stored (comets,tours Sats etc), you may want to back them up first

The only way I know to tell if you have a 1 meg 495 is to open it up and look. Maybe someone has a simple software solution to check for 1 meg. Or you could just try and update. I do not know the consequences of failure. You could end up with a ETX autostar or a plastic box with a keypad and a really cool cat 5 cable for your laptop. I ended up with a ETX autostar.

Of course I am sure this will void any warranty you may have, so proceed at you own risk.

If anyone has had similar experience with updating a 495 lets hear from you.

bob rose

Subject:	495 to 495 upgrade > update
Sent:	Tuesday, August 7, 2001 16:22:06
From:	bobrose500@comcast.net (Bob Rose)
I would like for you to add this to the 495 to 497 upgrade page if at
all possible.

With the demise of Natural Wonders and a few other hobby stores there
have been an abundance of cheap 495 autostars on the market. People with
ETXs and LX90 scopes are buying them up as spares and trying to upgrade
them to 497s. There is a catch 22 to this: The 495 will not willingly
upgrade using power from an ETX or LX90 while it still contains the old
495 version of firmware/software. As soon as the 495 firmware sees a non
DS type scope attached the autostar will refuse to do anything. This
problem will go away once the firmware is upgraded to the ETX/497
versions. There is a way around this problem. The work arounds are: 1.
Borrow somebodys DS scope for power, then upgrade. 2. Build a power box
and use it for power during the upgrade. This may cause improper reset.
If this option is used, perform a manual reset after the upgrade, when
first connected to the target scope. 3. Use the Safe Load procedure as
spelled out in http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_safeload.html  .
Once upgraded it can be changed to any other version of ETX/497

Also check your version of firmware before upgrading. There have been a
couple of instances where the 495s contained the newer software and will
work the upper end scopes right out of the box.

Remember to retrain the motors. The newer versions of the autostars
firmware, 2.2Eh and newer, the motor training is critical.

Clear skies and have fun Bob Rose


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