Last updated: 7 October 2003

How to Test Autostar rs232 circuits!

From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
How to Test your Autostar's rs232 circuitry!!!

Buried in the Autostar is a self-test procedure which isn't documented.

Before turning it on, plug in the rs232 cable to the Autostar.
*Unplug* the other end from the computer.
Connect together holes 2 and 3 of the cable's 9-pin connector.

         ___   these two
         | |
  \  5 4 3 2 1  /    505 cable end.
   \  9 8 7 6  /

(i use a paper clip re-bent to stick into the two holes)

Now turn on your telescope.
After the Initialization message, the Autostar will start
asking you to press every key on your keypad, then will 
 perform other internal tests.

If it starts the self-test (the first thing is says is "Press ENTER",
then "Press MODE" ... and so forth), then the rs232 electronics in
the Autostar are functioning properly.  After requesting all of the
keys, the Autostar will eventually give a message similar to:
 "Pic Failure V12 C001".   Don't worry about that, it merely means
that you do not have the Autostar attached to Meade's Test Bench system.
You should read that message as "Success!"

(what it does during power-up is send an ascii "X" out the wire...
 if it sees it echo back (caused by the paperclip), it knows it's
 being tested.)

Mine eventually gets to: "Protect Bit Set U5"
 ..and i need to power down to resume a normal life.


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Copyright ©1999-2001, 2003 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2001, 2003 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_test.html