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Updating my old etx-60


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Hello all, new member here. I'm getting back into observing after a several year hiatus and dug out my old Meade etx-60. It was a lovely little scope for portable observing back in the day and is the only one I've kept with me over the years. The only problem is that the autostar firmware needs to be updated and I no longer have any of my old cables. Can someone tell me what sort of cable I need and give some suggestions as to where I might find them?

Thank you very much for any help!

Scott

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The autostar on them cannot be updated, I have the 70 and the software appears to have no upgrade option.

So I don't think looking for any cable will do much use.

The Meade site has never put out an update for these handset to my knowledge, I looked a while back as mine is 12 years old and I wondered what new features may have appeared.

Made the idea of deciding if I should upgrade or just live with what I had very easy = no upgrade possible.

I assume the 494 handset ?

Edited by ronin
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Ok, so after a bit if looking, I have the 497 autostar handset. Only problem is that the cable plugs into an old style serial port. Will it work with a USB to serial adapter? Provided I can still find one...

Scott

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Ok, so after a bit if looking, I have the 497 autostar handset. Only problem is that the cable plugs into an old style serial port. Will it work with a USB to serial adapter? Provided I can still find one...

Scott

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Hi Scott, maybe the answer is somewhere in this link http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips.html or you could contact Meade direct. If you are in the UK then Telescope House are the Meade importers.

Hope you sort it, Ed.

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You can update the 497, although it depends on whether it is Ver1 or Ver2 as to what firmware will load.

You need the latest loader off of the Meade Support site, as well as the relevant firmware and several pages of instructions.

They prefer the old serial port, some USB-Serial connectors will work, others fail.

One aspect is to drop the USB port speed down.

Still not sure it will do any use, the ETX-60 came out with the 494 handset and, as far as I know, the 497 does not have the ETX-60 or ETX-70 as an option when selecting the scope model. I know the Meade Autostar #497 manual says all ETX models but I do not think it is correct.

I have two 494 and two 497 handsets and the ETX-60/70 does appear on either 497 to be selected. I tried it. I would use them otherwise.

You can "hack" the handset software to make it operate, it is a simple change to 2 values that define the ratio of the 2 drives. In effect you pick ETX-90 then change the values to the drive ratio's of the ETX-60. Then the software can drive the scope correctly.

The "problem" then is you have to record the original values in case you sell the handset on at some later stage, as you would really need to revert them back.

Edited by ronin
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Gotcha. That's doable. I'd had it set up before, but this was like ten years ago :). I preferred the. 497 due to the larger database. I'm not the type to bring a truckload of gear when all I want to do is casual observation.

Anyway, thank you so much for your help! I have a feeling my little 60 is only going to be a stopgap till I get a more modern scope...

Scott

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Unless the 60 dies I suggest keeping it even if you get bigger.

They are simply too easy to set up and use, I find I use my 70 more then any of the other 4 scopes even though it is probably the least capable.

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