Jump to content


Orion EQ-G & Synscan 3.23V on Crack

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
18 replies to this topic

#1 GeekGoddess


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 10 Nov 2008

Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:25 AM

Help! Im a Noob, and am extremely frustrated. When we got the mount, I upgraded the firmware on the synscan. Before the upgrade, it worked and slewed to where it should. Now, after upgrading to V 3.23...its on crack..I tell it to goto Kochab, and it goes towards Capella..and vice versa! Its going in the opposite direction! Ive checked everything,,,location, date, etc...and its correct..the only thing now is that it wont let me change the time from +8 to -8 and stay that way...argh!!!! can anyone help?!?! :question:

#2 Dennis Sakva

Dennis Sakva


  • *****
  • Posts: 1440
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2004

Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:09 AM

Yep, that's exactly what you need to change :)
You need to change time zone. That's one very typical problem after firmware upgrade.

#3 Skylook123



  • *****
  • Posts: 7537
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005

Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:31 AM

It's taking some folks three or four (or more) tries to get the time zone change to stick. And some folks have tried reloading the firmware to get it to work right. Good luck!

#4 Ramses


    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 157
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2008

Posted 11 November 2008 - 08:15 PM

I had exactly the same problem after I updated the firmware. I reloaded the firmware and since then (knock on wood) it has stayed at -5 where I set it. Hope this works for you.

#5 Applal



  • -----
  • Posts: 435
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2006

Posted 11 November 2008 - 09:30 PM

I had this problem too, and what worked for me ( after a single HC firmware update), was to first run the HC (without being connected to the mount) and go through all the settings and make certain you get to where you set your GMT offset. I am fairly certain that it won't "stick" at this point.
But then, hook it up to the mount and go through the settings process again. This is when it worked for me, and hopefully it will work for you as well.

#6 jrbarnett


    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 21126
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Posted 11 November 2008 - 09:38 PM

I'm still on v3.21 and have been holding off on v3.23. I think I'll wait a bit longer - perhaps for v3.24+.



#7 Telescopeman54


    Vendor - Trapezium Telescopes & Services, LLC.

  • *****
  • Posts: 1715
  • Joined: 16 Aug 2007

Posted 11 November 2008 - 11:11 PM


I'm with you. If it ain't broke, I ain't gonna fix it! LOL


#8 Applal



  • -----
  • Posts: 435
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2006

Posted 11 November 2008 - 11:56 PM

I'm still on v3.21 and have been holding off on v3.23. I think I'll wait a bit longer - perhaps for v3.24+.



Hi Jim, et al,

Mine was doing this with v3.21, so you're not necessarily safe staying put either. My fix involved the update to 3.23 and the steps detailed in my previous post. Maybe 3.24 or 3.2x will fix this, but it has been happening through several versions.
Good luck to all!


#9 GeekGoddess


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 10 Nov 2008

Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:46 AM

I have actually reloaded the 3.23 upgrade, then loaded 3.21 (same problem) and then reloaded 3.23 back on it. I've done the settings in 'stand-alone' mode, then hooked it up to the EQ-G mount, and did the settings. Still no go. I have also done it about 6 times in a row, trying to get it to stick..no go. I have even set the clock to a different time (subtracted 16 hours to adjust for the time zones--didnt work. ARGH...lol. Anyway, the closest thing I have goten to success is to manually make it set on kochab and capella after slewing there.
Thanks for the suggestions, Ill keep messing with it.

#10 Charlie Hein

Charlie Hein

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 12369
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2003

Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:46 AM

How long have you had the mount? Still under warranty?


#11 GeekGoddess


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 10 Nov 2008

Posted 12 November 2008 - 01:19 PM

No, unfortunatly, no warranty. We purchased it used about a month ago, so we are REALLY Noobs. We are just getting into this, and want to do some nice astrophotography. I got a couple great moon shots the other night,,which is amazing just for the fact that Im in Portland Oregon...rainy season..lots of cloudy nights! Im still playing with the Synscan, trying to figure out whats up with it, and any other suggestions will be wonderful. If I get it to go, Ill let you all know what finally worked (or whatever the last thing I did that I think worked...lol) when it corrects.

#12 Skylook123



  • *****
  • Posts: 7537
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005

Posted 12 November 2008 - 04:45 PM

If you haven't experimented already, you might try to reload the firmware with the forced database load box checked and unchecked just to see if there is a difference in the ability to force the time zone change. Alternatively, if you absolutely can't get it to take the correct offset value, change it to zero and use the current UTC ("Zulu", or GMT) as your time and date. Some folks have reported that the forced database load was needed to get the full load to act correctly, and some folks always use UTC to avoid worrying about the time zone/DST setting.

You also might want to drop in on the EQ6 Yahoo group; great amount of information and friendly help there.

Yahoo! EQ6 Users' Group

#13 John J

John J

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 705
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2007

Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:06 PM

Have you followed these instructions and met all system requirements.

Updating the GoTo Hand Controller's Firmware
From version 3.0 and up, the GoTo hand controller's firmware can be updated over the internet.

System Requirements

* GoTo hand controller version 3.0 or greater
* Windows95 or later
* An available RS-232 COM port on the PC
* Computer interface cable (supplied)
* DC power supply (7.5V to 15V @ 100mA or greater output with 2.1mm tip positive plug)

Preparing the Computer for the Update

1. Create a folder where you will store the files necessary for the update.
2. Click on the Download Firmware Files link below and save the Firmware Loader program to the folder you have created on your computer. You will need to download this program only once; after it is saved on your computer, only the firmware data file is needed for future updates.
3. Download and save the firmware update date file to the folder you created. The file will be named OrionVxxxxEQ.ssf, where xxxx indicates the version number of the firmware.

Updating the GoTo Hand Controller

1. Plug the modular plug end of the computer interface cable into the middle jack in the hand controller. Plug the serial connector end of the cable to the COM port on your PC.
2. Press and hold down the 0 and 8 numerical buttons simultaneously, then plug the power supply into the hand controller's DC power jack. The hand controller will beep and display "SynScan Update Ver. x.x" on the LCD screen.
3. Run the Firmware Loader program on your computer.
4. Click on the "Browse" box and select the OrionVxxxx.ssf file location where it was saved previously on your computer.
5. Click on the "Update" button, and the new firmware will begin loading into the hand controller. The Firmware Loader will show the progress of the update on your computer screen. It will usually take approximately 5 minutes for the new firmware to load into the hand controller. It may take significantly longer if a serial-to-USB adapter is employed on your computer.
6. When the download is complete, the Firmware Loader will display "Update Complete".

The firmware in the GoTo hand controller has now been updated. You can click on the "HC. Version" button to confirm the new version number of the firmware (and possibly the database, but the hardware version will not change with internet updates).

Note: If the error message "Can not connect to a SynScan hand control" appears on your computer, check all cable connections. Also, try closing all other computer programs that might be attempting to use the COM port.

Note: If the error message "Firmware update failed..." appears on your computer, remove the power plug from the hand controller, and then reconnect it. Now, repeat the firmware update procedure.

By default, the data communication rate between the GoTo hand controller and the computer is 115kbps. The RS-232 port on some PCs may not support this high data transfer rate. If the firmware update procedure fails after a few tries, try reducing the data transfer rate by pressing the SETUP button on the hand controller. This will reduce the data transfer rate to 9.6kbps. The controller's LCD screen will show "Lo" in the lower right hand corner to indicate the lower transfer rate setting. The firmware update procedure remains the same except it will take much longer for the firmware to load into the hand controller.

Download Firmware Files

Providing Exceptional Consumer Optical Products Since 1975
Customer Support (800) 676-1343
E-mail: support@telescope.com
Corporate Offices (831) 763-7000
P.O. Box 1815, Santa Cruz, CA 95061
IN 332 Rev. A 01/08
There have been some recent updates to the GoTo hand
controller for the Sirius/Atlas EQ-G and SkyView Pro GoTo
mounts. These changes include improved planetary positioning,
improved Park Scope control, and additional information
provided by the hand controller. This addendum discusses the
changes made up to hand controller firmware v3.20. The latest
hand controller firmware version can be downloaded from our
website at http://www.oriontelescopes.com.
Update to the Setup
During the setup process, after the date and time have been
inputted, the hand controller will display the Polaris HA (hour
angle) and clock position for your reference. Press ENTER to
proceed to alignment. Refer to “Alignment” under “Functions
of the GoTo Hand Controller” in Section 8 of your mount’s
instruction manual.
Additions to the Utility
Show Information: Press ENTER and scroll up/down to
select from 5 different types of information about your hand
• Time: Displays the current time and local sidereal time
• Version: Displays the hardware, firmware, and database
version of the GoTo hand controller. If the hand controller
is connected to the mount, this will also display the firmware
version of the motor control board. Use the scroll
buttons to view the version numbers.
• Temperature: Displays the internal operating temperature
of the hand controller.
• Power Voltage: Displays the input voltage to the hand
controller. This can be used to check the status of your
battery or power supply.
• Polaris position: Displays the Polaris hour angle and
Clock position.
Park Scope: Allows you to power off the mount while saving
alignment and PEC training data. When subsequently powered
on, you will be asked if you want to resume from the park
position. The initial setup information must again be entered
(be sure to enter the current time accurately!), but the alignment
procedure can be skipped. There are three available
park positions: HOME, Current, and Custom.
• Selecting the HOME position will slew the telescope so
that the R.A. axis is vertical to the ground and Dec=+90º
for Northern Hemisphere users or Dec=-90º for Southern
Hemisphere users.
• Selecting the Current position will park the telescope
in any position of your choice. This creates the Custom
park position that the scope can slew to later on. You can
resume normal operation by pressing ESC or power off
the telescope.
• Custom position becomes available once you have selected
a Current position. When you select “Custom pos.”, the
scope will slew to your previously saved park position.
PAE: The Pointing Accuracy Enhancement function has been
added to the Utility Functions menu. This is an alternate way
to set the PAE, instead of the method outlined in the “Pointing
Accuracy Enhancement (PAE)” section of your mount’s instruction
Clear PAE Data: Allows you to remove the PAE data and
revert back to your original alignment. A warning message
will appear and ask you if you want to clear the PAE data. Your
original 1, 2, or 3 star alignment will not be erased.
GPS: Retrieves the GPS information.
Note: The GPS function only works when the optional GPS
receiver for the Atlas EQ-G, Sirius EQ-G, and SkyView Pro
GoTo is plugged into the hand controller.
Additions to the Setup
Alignment Stars: You can choose “Auto Select” (default) or
“Sort by”. “Sort by” allows you to sort the alignment star list in
alphabetical order or by star brightness (magnitude).
Addendum to the GoTo Hand Controller
for the Sirius/Atlas EQ-G and
SkyView Pro GoTo Mounts
Handset Setting:
• LCD Contrast: Allows adjustments of the LCD character
• Beep Volume: Can be adjusted from volume 0-5.
• LED Backlight: Adjusts the red LED backlight for the hand
controller buttons.
• LCD Backlight: Adjusts the red LCD backlight for the hand
controller display.
Factory Setting: Restores the hand controller to default factory
Note: Restoring the factory setting will erase all saved date,
time and location settings, as well as backlash, and handset
settings. However, user defined object coordinates will remain
Other Changes and Updates
• The planet’s orbital calculations have been improved
based on “Keplerian Elements for Approximate Positions
of the Major Planets”, published by the NASA Jet
Propulsion Laboratory. The data is reliable until 2050
• The Identify function has added the ability to identify planets.
• The direction keys now have automatic backlash compensation
for manual operation.
Providing Exceptional Consumer Optical Products Since 1975
Customer Support (800) 676-1343
E-mail: support@telescope.com
Corporate Offices (831) 763-7000
P.O. Box 1815, Santa Cruz, CA 95061

#14 GeekGoddess


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: 10 Nov 2008

Posted 15 November 2008 - 12:25 AM

Well, it seems version 3.23 is just all around buggy on my synscan. I flashed it to 3.21 once again, but left it there..and did it twice. It works now,,and even the direction keys go beautifully! I have set the time to GMT, and no problems going to where I want to go. I even got my camera software figured out, and its clear skys tonight and the moon is gibbous...should get some niice shots! Thanks for all the help and ideas! I'll be around...lol.

#15 RandallK


    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1772
  • Joined: 10 Nov 2006

Posted 15 November 2008 - 04:30 PM

This might not apply to you, but I just remembered something. A fellow member of our local club just acquired a SkyWatcher EQ-6. I have the HEQ5-Pro so he wanted to come over one night for a quick tutorial. We flashed his SynScan handcontroller to Version 3.23 and he began to shoot some astro pix. I heard him mumbling a few words that I can't mention here. We thought it was the firmware update so we brought the h/c inside and flashed it again. While we were doing this, he noticed that one of the buttons was stuck and locked to one side. Problem fixed!!

My handcontroller seems to be free of any "stickyness" but his wasn't. Give it a checkout and test every button (although you say the previous version now makes the unit function OK).

Good Luck!

#16 yg1968


    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1934
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posted 03 September 2009 - 09:57 PM

Just to update this thread. This problem has been fixed in version 3.25 of the firmware. Here is the explanation that is given in the 3.25 release note.

1. Fix the bug existed in the Time Zone Setting—Problem: Unable to save the data entered by using the scroll-down key. Result: Now the user is able to enter the data by pressing either the scroll-down and scroll-up key.

#17 Lane



  • -----
  • Posts: 3593
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2007

Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:28 PM

I had the same problem and finally just reloaded the old 3.12 version, problem solved. I may try again when the next new release comes out but anything past 3.12 is not working for me.

#18 jrbarnett


    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 21126
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:39 PM

I've stayed on 3.21 without incident. Earlier versions did not work for me due to catalog errors in the double star catalog. Specifically you would select one target and when you pushed yes for slewing it would switch and slew to the preceding entry in the list. Very irritating.

Good luck!

- Jim

#19 WarrenS


    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1689
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posted 04 September 2009 - 10:06 AM

I myself am sticking with 3.12 for now, if it ain't broke don't fix it. However, I vaguely recall older posts where scrolling up to time zone didn't lock it in, but scrolling down did.
Previous quote above on release 3.25 does seem to address it.

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics