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CGE nexremote wiring

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#1 DrBuck

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:33 PM

I need some expert advice from someone who has hooked up their CGE remotely. My computer warm room is too far away from the CGE mount for the wire supplied by celestron. I found an RS 232 extention cable on Scopestuff that should work. Its a 9 pin male to female cord and should plug in to the cord supplied by Celestron. Is this the best (or only) way to hook this up? :question: thanks

#2 mclewis1

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:32 PM

There are quite a few options.

Assuming your computer has a RS232 port ...
1) Extend the RS232 cable via a long cable (50' should be easy, with good cables up to 100' is possible ... least expensive option). Serial cable extenders are also available so longer cables can be used but this starts to drive the price up.
2) Extend the RS232 cable via another network (Ethernet for example). This is fairly expensive option (more than serial extension) but you can use a wide variety of Ethernet network extenders.
3) Extend the RS232 cable wirelessly. The most expensive option, but obviously the most flexible.

Assuming your computer doesn't have an RS232 port ...
1) Ethernet - same technology as the Serial to Ethernet conversion but only one end is required for shorter runs. Long runs would require Ethernet extension/repeater technology.
2) USB - USB over Ethernet or other wired network, then converted to serial at the scope. This is a bit complex but USB can be used for other simultaneous traffic (not just scope control ... shutter control, imager, autoguider interface, etc.) making it quite cost effective vs multiple long serial port runs.

My personal experience is with a long RS232 cable about 5 years ago ... it was about 45' and it worked just fine. I now use two USB network connections at about 15' from the PC to the scope.


#3 DrBuck

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:39 PM

Mark-------thanks for the info, I assume the RS 233 cable you used is a typo. This is what I think I will use with my Observatory computer, but the Laptop I have will not accept the 9 pin RS 232, do I use a usb to serial cable on that??

#4 mclewis1

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:57 PM

DrBuck,

If you only need the one connection to the observatory (you're not going to need any other connections like USB), then I'd stay with RS232 and add an RS232 interface to your laptop with a PCMCIA/PC Card. Most laptops have a slot for one of these cards, and the serial port versions are not very expensive ($25 or less).

If on the other hand you feel you're might need USB ports in the observatory then I'd probably bite the bullet now and start using some long USB connections and a USB to Serial converter.

#5 DrBuck

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:06 PM

OK, thanks Mark. I will figure that out tomorrow--------

#6 MartyT

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:02 PM

[edit]I listed the wrong cable, mine is by TrippLite - see new reference below[/edit]

For USB, you'll need an "active extension" cable - I use this one:

http://www.amazon.co...duct/B0002D6QJO

#7 DrBuck

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 05:49 PM

DrBuck,

If you only need the one connection to the observatory (you're not going to need any other connections like USB), then I'd stay with RS232 and add an RS232 interface to your laptop with a PCMCIA/PC Card. Most laptops have a slot for one of these cards, and the serial port versions are not very expensive ($25 or less).

If on the other hand you feel you're might need USB ports in the observatory then I'd probably bite the bullet now and start using some long USB connections and a USB to Serial converter.

Mark----i found an RS 232 extension cord here in town. Plugged it in to the back of my computer, plugged the celestron cord into that and then into the bottom of the hand controller. With the software installed and the mount powered up, it does not communicate with the CGE. "COM 1" did not work. "none" seems to connect, but nothing works. any suggestions?? I also run a usb cord to the autoguider, but I need to get the Nexremote working first--There just isn't much info in the Manual on this-------- :confused:

#8 mclewis1

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:53 PM

DrBuck,

1) Do you know that the RS232 port on the computer works?
2) Do you know what the comm port # is (don't assume ... look in My Computer, Properties, Hardware, Device Manager), NexRemote needs to know this.
3) Does the port work with the Celestron cable without the extension?

I'll try and fire up Nexremote from a PC with a real serial port tomorrow and see if I can offer any more suggestions.

#9 DrBuck

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 11:01 PM

Mark, I talked with John Crilly and he said I need to run a programming cable from the RS 232 port (that does work, it was working with the LX 200, but thats also a different cable) to the PC input port on the CGE to run the CGE remotely with the NEX remote software. The other cable is for other software to communicate with the port at the bottom of the hand controller. I just have to get that cable!!!

#10 mclewis1

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 12:17 PM

DrBuck,

I assumed that's what you were doing ... but I see I missed the hand controller comment in the previous email ... sorry about that. It was likely a case of AIS (alcohol induced stupidity), I had just had a few drinks with friends when I responded. Fortunate that John C. as usual is on the ball.

As John said there is a second cable ... called a "programming cable" (and unfortunately now there is some confusion about this term since with the latest firmware levels either cable can be used for "programming"). I purchased one the original programming cables from Celestron many years ago, it is an 8 pin RJ45 (Ethernet) cable plugged into an RJ to 9 pin serial adapter. I've also used a much longer RJ45 (50') in this setup many times.

These commercial Cat 5 RJ45 Ethernet cables used twisted pairs and light shielding and therefore work quite well for extended distances (50-100'), although if you were to ever want to go out to the 200' distance that RS232 is spec'd for I'd suggest cables that are expressly made for that purpose. I think the number of twists per foot and the gauge of the cable would change.

Funny, I thought that NexRemote would work through the HC serial cable as well ... maybe not.

Have you had a look at Mike Swanson's great site http://www.nexstarsite.com/ and in particular the PC Control area?

#11 Chris Rowland

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 12:59 PM

Funny, I thought that NexRemote would work through the HC serial cable as well ... maybe not.

NexRemote will work with the HC serial cable.

It needs to be the right cable, that is the right connections, and with a serial adaptor that works. Longer RS232 cables should be fine. I use a home made one with about 5m of phone cable, no shielding or twisted pair.

Things to watch:
The Meade cables are connected incorrectly for the Celestron scopes.
USB to serial adaptors can be a nightmare, especially on Vista.
Known "good" cables can go faulty.

Chris

#12 Kolenka

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:01 PM

NexRemote does work through the HC serial cable, but it does mean you have a handbox you can't touch sitting there mocking you.

Not all USB serial adapters will work with the programming cable (or let you program the HC). And that stands to reason that not all serial extension cables (unless they wire up all 9 pins) will work either.

#13 DaveJ

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:22 PM

USB to serial adaptors can be a nightmare, especially on Vista.


I've had complete and total success with the Keyspan USA-19HS USB/Serial adapter on two different laptops - one running XP Pro and the other Vista (32bit). Works both with NexRemote and Guide8/CDC/TheSky into the base of the HC. Also works with the virtual port while using NexRemote.

#14 DrBuck

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:16 PM

Hi guys---------finally figured out the problem. The extention cable I bought was wired for something other than an extention cable. When I moved the computer next to the CGE so I could use the Celestron supplied cable , it worked just fine. However, I also found out that the programming serial cable that plugs in to the PC port on the CGE also will run the NEXremote software, which is the way I want it so I don't tie down the hand controller. Thanks for all the ideas--------

#15 Arbacia

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 01:55 AM

Any trial with an USB-TTL cable?

#16 DrBuck

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 02:36 PM

Arbacia, I thought I already replied to you, but it does not show up. I don't have a USB TTL cable. but I should have the new programming cable by tuesday and that should take care of the problem. I probably need to buy a real Serial extention however!!!






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