Question about Meade ETX-125EC (500 x 127mm) Telescope

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ETX-125 Autostar controller not working

I''ve only used the telescope once, about three years ago and powered by AA batteries. It's been stored in a hard case (without batteries) since.
Recently reassembled the whole rig using only the mains power adapter (no batteries on board); telescope light comes on but not on the the autostar controller. It appears to be dead - no lights; no signs of life; nobody's home!

It was working fine before, although never been calibrated or "trained" in any way. I've only used it to move the scope.

I also do not have the means to connect the unit to a pc

Any suggestions?
Many thanks
Bill Barraclough

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  • billbarra Jan 15, 2009

    Thanks Joe

    I'll give it a try.

  • billbarra Jan 19, 2009

    Still no joy!!

    Tried jiggling the cable; switching the cable around; testing the cable with an ohmmeter (cable is fine, incidentally).

    Tried using just mains power; just batteries; mains power and batteries.

    Still no sign of life.

    Power panel light is on, but nothing, zip, zilch, nada on the handset.!

  • billbarra Jan 19, 2009

    Thanks - not the answer I was hoping for, but helpful nevertheless: it confirmed my worst fears!

    I'll try to pursue another controller for testing from my dealer.



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My ETX 125 did this to me,
here's what happened
I had a 497 autostar hooked up to it and it quit working
the scope stopped dead and the autostar went dead
i hooked another autostar up to it and the same thing happened
I took the scope apart and noticed that the wires for the upper motor run through the bolt that tightens the rotational clutch on the base, the clutch handle mechanism in the base sliced through the wiring and shorted out the 12v black wire onto the autostar data yellow wire, this sent 12v back into the autostar and fried it.

both autostar circuit boards were destroyed as the short caused the custom programmed microchip to burn and blister.

I am in the process of repairing mine and getting a new autostar computer.
I would recommend against asking a friend to try thier autostar box on your scope for obvious reasons.

Posted on Mar 09, 2009

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I assume the small red light on the power panel is ON. ???

If it is the scope is receiving power--- check to make sure the cable from the hand controller is plugged in properly-- jiggle the cable to see if you have a loose BAD cable. Before you panic --- try another cable or reverse the ends ---

Before you buy another hand controller try a new cable-- sells a nice long flexible one for the 497 hand controller.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009

  • Joe Lalumia aka TelescopeMan also sells the PC update cable so you can update the Firmware in the hand controller and add "Tours". However your computer must have a regular serial--- or you will need a USB to Serial adapter cable and driver, scopestuff also sells the USB-Serial adapter cable and driver CD--

    Call Jim at scopestuff --- he is really nice guy and will help you get these items.

  • Joe Lalumia aka TelescopeMan

    ok--- then you will need to get another 497 controller and see if it works ---- if it does then all is ok---- if not and electronic part is broen unside the base or the power panel. Do you have an astronomy shop nearby or an astro- club--- to get another 497 controller to test.??



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