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

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Trouble shooting the telescope won't turn left and right using the electric controller - the Autostar computer controller. What should i do?

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Re: Trouble shooting

My Meade ETX-125 makes a grinding noise when I try to slew to the left and will not move. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Bill

Posted on Oct 14, 2008

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ETX-80 hand controller say's "Self Check Failed"

You may need to reload the firmware by following these instructions for Safe Load:

From the Autostar 2.0 README file: "SAFE LOADER MODE IN YOUR Autostar:
If the firmware in your Autostar crashes and you cannot access the "DOWNLOAD" menu item on your handbox, you can use the "SAFE LOADER" feature of your new Autostar software (version release 1.1G and above). To get into the safe loader, follow these simple steps: 1. Make sure the Autostar and ETX are turned off.
2. Press and hold the "ENTER" key and the Scroll Down Key located to the right of the help key on the Autostar handbox.
3. While depressing both keys, turn on your Autostar power switch. This will require you using both hands.

You should see "FLASH LOAD READY" on your display. This indicates that you can proceed to Update new software to your Autostar."

This is for the 497 controller. There is NO safe load for the 494 controller.

Nov 01, 2010 | Meade ETX-80AT-TC Telescope

4 Answers

Telescope control unit AUTOSTART failure

Unplug telescope from powe. Then reinstall software, it should fix it

Aug 04, 2008 | Meade 494 AutoStar Telescope Control Unit...

1 Answer

My telescope/autostar not working ,will only display startup info on handbox ,then nothing happens !.

This is sometimes caused by a bad hand controller cable and or corrupted firmware in the hand controller.

Get a new cable first and try it-- if this does does work then RESET the hand controller and reload the firmware using the proper computer cable and Autostar Updater Version 5.9 available here:

Aug 31, 2010 | Meade LX200GPS Telescope

1 Answer

Lz200gps doesn't boot and I can't communicate via com1

Before you panic, try a new hand controller cable. You can buy these from Meade or for a better one from

"Autostar II: if you need to use Safe Mode to recover from a disaster,
turn on the telescope, and key 999 before it says "Initializing"
The Autostar will say "Flash Load Ready"... now go start the ASU.

Read this page all the way through--

Jun 02, 2010 | Meade LX200GPS Telescope

1 Answer

Meade autostar computer wont go up or down only

Could be just a bad cable. Contact Meade customer service.

Oct 11, 2009 | Meade DS-2130ATS (250 x 127mm) Telescope

1 Answer

Meade LX200GPS 8" won't initialize on power up.

Try doing either a garbage collect or a safe load-- and then reinstall the hand controller firmware--

Instructions-- depending on the type of controller
Autostar 495 or 497: You enter Safe Mode by holding the [enter] and
[scroll down] keys pressed when you power up the telescope. The
Autostar will say "Flash Load Ready"... now go start the ASU.

Autostar II: if you need to use Safe Mode to recover from a disaster,
turn on the telescope, and key 999 before it says "Initializing"
The Autostar will say "Flash Load Ready"... now go start the ASU.

LX200gps: BEFORE proceeding further, click on the OPTIONS item on the Top Bar.
Now click on "Garbage Collect Hbx" ... this will perform data cleanup
within the Autostar which will avoid potential mess-ups.

Feb 27, 2009 | Meade LX200GPS Telescope

2 Answers

ETX-125 Autostar controller not working

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.

Jan 14, 2009 | Meade ETX-125EC (500 x 127mm) Telescope

1 Answer


Double check the cable from the Autostar to the telescope. Sometimes the ends go bad. They can be replaced with regular telephone cables.

Aug 29, 2008 | Meade ETX-125EC (500 x 127mm) Telescope

1 Answer

Computer control and pointing with NorthStar Goto & Autostar

Your reseller is correct. The wire (Meade cable #505) goes from an RS232 serial port on PC to a 4pin RJ plug. This plugs into the 2nd socket on the bottom of an Autostar 497 handset, the other socket being used for the curly lead to the telescope. So it goes PC to Autostar to telescope.

A common error is to try plugging the serial wire into an "AUX" ort on the telescope control panel - same connector. Not only does this not work, it can cause a lot of damage.

Wired like this you can control the scope from Meade's Autostar Suite (or many other planetarium softwares). You can also update the Autostar software to the latest 2009 version.

What else can go wrong? Well, many people want to control from a laptop, and modern ones don't have RS232 serial ports. Then you need a USB-to-serial convertor dongle, which effectively add a serial port to a laptop. But they often give it a very high port number (eg COM17) that the planetarium software does not find. Use Control Panel to reset the USB-serial-port to COM 1, 2, 3 or 4 and all should be well. But it can be a right fiddle!

Apr 01, 2008 | Bushnell NorthStar Goto 100mm 788840...

1 Answer

Autostar 497 freezes

When warm and indoors (!) connect Autostar to scope and by serial lead to a PC, allow Meade Autostar suite to update the Autostar Firmware to the latest version (2009!!)
Frome :
How To Upgrade Your Handbox
To upgrade your Autostar first click on the link below to download the Autostar Update (ASU) Client Application for Windows. If your web browser allows you to open the installation file, you may choose that option when prompted. Otherwise, just save the install file to your local hard disk drive. When downloading is complete, double click on the saved file to start the installation. Follow the instructions provided to install Autostar Update (ASU) on your machine. When installation is complete, start ASU by selecting "Start Menu" -> "Programs" -> "Meade Inst" -> "ASU". If you have an active Internet connection and your telescope with Autostar is connected using the appropriate cable as listed above, ASU will detect and install the correct Autostar code directly from Meade's web site via the "Upgrade Autostar Software Now" button.
Autostar Update
Autostar Update is an application that functions to transfer the event files and software updates from your computer, through the serial port, USB or Connector Cable Set depending on your telescope model. The Autostar Update application is available as a stand-alone client application for Windows. The most recent versions of AutoStar Update automatically check for the newest versions of the AutoStar Updater and download it if necessary. It is critical that you use the most recent AutoStar Updater to ensure that you get the proper software updates for your system.
06/02/09 Autostar Update (ASU) Client Application for Windows, Version 5.6 (1,654 KB). This is the latest Autostar Update. Rev. 5.6 is compatible with the ETX-LS and #497EP Hand Controllers. This version is compatible with all versions of AutoStar II and #497 AutoStar computer controllers. This installation will automatically update the Update Client Application in AutoStar Suite™ Software. If you have previously installed the Autostar Update (ASU) Client Application for Windows, Uninstall the old version before installing this new version. 07/27/09 #497 AutoStar hand controller software update. Version 5BE2 (1,039 KB).
General update. Fixes many known bugs. Real time clock corrections. LXD75 polar alignment. Various LX90 pointing and tracking fixes. Adds new magnetic/true north alignment.

Jan 17, 2008 | Meade Autostar Suite Autostar Suite...

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