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CG5ASGT Firmware Update Issues

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#1 Fred1

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 05:53 PM

I keep getting a message saying “HC not in programming mode” when my HC is obviously in programming mode as it says “Transmitting data…”

My computer’s Device Manager says, under Ports (LPT & COM1), that it has Communication Port (COM1) and Printer Port (LPT1). So, I’m presuming my serial port is COM1.

The HC Update window has “None, COM1, COM3” as selections in the drop down box. But when I select COM1 and click “next” I’m told “Error Opening COM Port.” So, I select COM3 (which is not listed in my Device Manager) and I now get instructions to put the HC in programming mode. I hold down “undo” and “info” buttons and turn on the mount, LCD screen reads “Initiallizing”, I release the buttons and the LCD reads “Transmitting Data…” I click “next” but I get the message “HC not in programming mode” with instructions how to put the HC in to programming mode.

When I did my first firmware update, about a year or so ago, I recall everything going along just fine.

The version I have is HC: GEM 4.12 and MC: 5.07 5.07

I’ve gone to the Nexstar Resource site but found nothing addressing this problem.

I’m using the Celestron brand official serial cable.

Any suggestions from any with more computer savvy that I (of which there are many I’m sure)? :bawling: :help: :question: :confused:

#2 Dilligas

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 09:44 PM

COM1 and COM3 generally share an IRQ and that may be why the program is having some headaches. I don't have this mount (yet), so I can't say much about the program or updating process. One thing to try would be to boot up into Safe Mode (pressing F8 as Windows boots assuming you're using Windows) and then run the updater. I believe that the COM ports are still active under Safe Mode, but it might disable any other "helpful" program that may be trying to monitor the COM ports to speed modem performance or some such thing (and killing the communications in the process). I can probably come up with a few more suggestions if that doesn't work. It would be helpful to know operating system, etc. about your computer as well. I know that I have run into random issues with the XP and Vista (different) communications drivers with old instruments in the lab. I know that you have successfully updated your firmware before, but it may be that you have been hit by a Microsoft Automatic Update (perhaps SP3) that changed the comm driver again. (I haven't looked through the laundry list of things MS updated in SP3 to know if their comm.drv was among them). However, that could be part of your problem. Just some thoughts...

#3 Fred1

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 12:32 AM

Thanks, Dilligas. I'm running Windows XP, Home Edition, Version 2002, Service Pack 3. Pentium ® 4 CPU 2.4 Ghz; 2.39Ghz 250MB of RAM. (Yeah, I know, I'm way behind the times. But computers to me are only a few steps above my microwave oven. This is only my 3rd computer system. It replaced a Windows 98, which replaced a 486.

My notes reflect that a Microsoft Auto update on 12/12/06 (something with Internet Explorer 7)caused my email application (Comcast) to freeze when replying, composing or forwarding. I got instructions from MS to Reset IE & Register Files. During that process I was instructed to "Uncheck Enable third-party browser extension option in Settings box." After restarting the system my email began functioning properly. However, the firmware update I did for the mount was after March '08.

I'll try the Safe Mode suggestion and report back. Thanks again, for posting.

#4 Chris Rowland

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:31 AM

COM3 is usually the mouse port and isn't really available. COM1 looks like the one to use. The failure to open it is possibly because some other program has already got it.

What I'd look for is something else that's using that port, things like PDAs can take over just about every port in your PC.

Chris

#5 Fred1

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:27 PM

Hmmm... All that's hooked up to the computer is a printer/scanner, a camera printer and an APC UPS, all 3 connected via USB. I forgot to mention in the OP that I disconnected them all, but still got the same results (or lack thereof). I haven't had a chance to try the Safe Mode thing, yet. Maybe I should try a Serial to USB adaptor and just leave the serial port alone if the Safe Mode doesn't do it? When I connect a camera's memory card via USB there's no problem downloading pics with the 3 devices mentioned above still connected.

#6 Alph

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:54 PM

My computer’s Device Manager says, under Ports (LPT & COM1), that it has Communication Port (COM1) and Printer Port (LPT1). So, I’m presuming my serial port is COM1.



To find out what COM ports are actually available, open DOS windows and type the command
mode
or if you want to be more specific, type this
mode com1

#7 Chris Rowland

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:55 PM

It's possible that one of these has several connection options and grabs the serial port just in case it needs it. They don't need to be connected. The specific example I know of is a Palm PDA. You need to look at the configuration of these devices and see if they have a serial connection option, or close them down. They are probably in the task bar.

I'd go to a bit of trouble to use the built in serial port, it is MUCH more likely to work than USB to serial adaptors.

Chris

#8 Alph

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:06 PM

Hmmm... All that's hooked up to the computer is a printer/scanner, a camera printer and an APC UPS, all 3 connected via USB.


To find out what process is using a serial port, download Process Explorer from Microsoft website, run it, and in the Find Handle or DLL dialog type in serial

#9 mclewis1

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 05:59 PM

Alph,

That appears to be a very useful utility. I had seen it a few years ago (peeking over the should of a developer) and could never remember what is was called.

Thanks,

#10 Fred1

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:04 PM

To find out what COM ports are actually available, open DOS windows and type the command
mode
or if you want to be more specific, type this
mode com1


Thanks for that. When I type "mode com1" it says "Device Com1 is currently not available."

When I type "mode" it says:

"Status for device LPT1:
-----------------------
Printer output is not being rerouted.

Status for device COM3:
-----------------------
Baud: 115200
Parity: None
Data Bits: 8
Stop Bits: 1
Timeout: ON
XON/XOFF: OFF
CTS handshaking: ON
DSR handshaking: OFF
DSR sensitivity: OFF
DTR circuit: ON
RTS circuit: HANDSHAKE

Status for device CON:
----------------------
Lines: 300
Columns: 80
Keyboard rate: 31
Keyboard delay: 1
Code page: 437"

I downloaded the Process Explorer application, ran it and searched "serial" and it told me: "svchost.exe 688 HANDLE \DEVICE\SERIAL0"

I think I just increased my puzzlement and bewilderment, but I guess I need to make COM1 and/or the serial port available somehow :question:

Tomorrow when I'm near my mount, I'll try booting up in safe mode. In the meantime, thanks for all the advice. I appreciate it.


#11 Alph

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:06 AM

downloaded the Process Explorer application, ran it and searched "serial" and it told me: "svchost.exe 688 HANDLE \DEVICE\SERIAL0"

I think I just increased my puzzlement and bewilderment


I am puzzled too. "svchost.exe 688 HANDLE \DEVICE\SERIAL0" says that a Windows Service Host identified by the process ID 688 uses COM1. A single svchost.exe can host multiple Windows Services. Let’s try to figure out which Windows Service uses COM1.
From a DOS window run the command
tasklist /svc
In the output, find svchost.exe with the PID that matches the PID reported by Process Explorer and post it here. Keep in mind that PID will change every time you reboot your computer.

I need to make COM1 and/or the serial port available somehow


For a fast temporary fix until the next reboot:
In Process Explorer, select svchost.exe that holds \device\serial0 (COM1). Press Ctrl+H to open the lower pane that lists all open handles by the selected process (svchost.exe). Find \device\serial0. Right click and select Close Handle. COM1 should be now available.

#12 Fred1

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:52 AM

I did the temp fix for COM1 as you described, Alph, and the HC is now updated with GEM 4.15. Thanks loads.

Now I have 2 remaining issues:

1) when attempting to update the Motor Control, I'm instructed to be sure that the HC is NOT connnected to the scope (presumably Celestron means Mount) but to be sure the scope is connected to the COM port but doesn't instruct where to connect to the mount/scope (Hand control port? Dec port? Auto Guide port?).

The Nexstar Resource site says to connect via the HC. So, I did that. Downloading from the web tells me there's a newer MC version available but it seems to be 5.07, which is what I have, so I'm presuming that I need not update the MC.

2) Alph, here's what I get when I try to run tasklist /svc from my DOS prompt:

"Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
© Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Fred De Lucia>tasklist /svc
'tasklist' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file."

Should I proceed further?

Thanks so much, again, for all your help.

:salute:

#13 mclewis1

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:57 AM

1) when attempting to update the Motor Control, I'm instructed to be sure that the HC is NOT connnected to the scope (presumably Celestron means Mount) but to be sure the scope is connected to the COM port but doesn't instruct where to connect to the mount/scope (Hand control port? Dec port? Auto Guide port?).

The Nexstar Resource site says to connect via the HC. So, I did that. Downloading from the web tells me there's a newer MC version available but it seems to be 5.07, which is what I have, so I'm presuming that I need not update the MC.

Fred,

I believe that the MCupdate utility is simply quoting old information. Prior to the release of HC 4.13 firmware the only way to do an MC firmware update was to use the "programming cable" which is a specialized serial cable that plugs into the PC connection on the mount (on NexStar GPS, CPC, and CGEs it's built in ... on a CG-5 you need to add the Auxiliary Port Replication kit to get a PC port). When doing an MC firmware update via this PC port it was not a good idea to touch the HC, so they suggested you completely disconnect it.

With firmware level 4.13 an above you no longer need to use this specialized cable, you can simply use the HC serial cable and perform the MC upgrade the same way you just did the 4.15 HC upgrade.

There is a newer version of the MC firmware for the CG-5 ... 5.14 is available, but IMHO unless you can point to something that's a problem in 5.04 I wouldn't bother with the upgrade.

Have a look at Mike's site for all the details ... http://www.nexstarsite.com/ It will save you from having to ask a lot of questions.

#14 Alph

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:31 PM

The Nexstar Resource site says to connect via the HC. So, I did that. Downloading from the web tells me there's a newer MC version available but it seems to be 5.07, which is what I have, so I'm presuming that I need not update the MC.


Follow the instructions on the Nexstar Resource site. There are two MC boards in the mount so you will have to upload the MC firmware twice. The latest version is 5.14 and I did not bother to update my CGE with it. V5.14 has a fix for a cord wrap prevention that applies only the Alt-Az mounts. I did update my Nexstar SE though.

C:\Documents and Settings\Fred De Lucia>tasklist /svc
'tasklist' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file."

Should I proceed further?

Tasklist.exe should be in the \windows\system32 folder/directory. Form a DOS window run
cd \windows\system32
tasklist /svc

It that does not work, you can use Process Explorer to accomplish the same. Right click on the culprit svchost.exe process, select Properties and then click on the Services tab

#15 Fred1

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:29 PM

Thanks, Mark. I'll leave the MC at 5.07 since I have a GEM and cordwrap is not an issue. It was the conflicting instructions between the Resource site and the manufacturer's site that prompted my questions. Thanks again for resolving that for me.

Alph, here's what I get in DOS:
Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
© Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.
C:\Documents and Settings\Fred De Lucia>cd \windows\system32
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32>tasklist /svc
'tasklist' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32>tasklist.exe
'tasklist.exe' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32>

When I do Process Explorer I get 2 selections:
DCOM Service Process Launcher C\windows\system32\rpcss.dll and
Terminal Services C\windows\system32\termsrv.dll

I clicked OK for the first one and scrolled through all lists under services.exe (where there were 5 listings for svchost.exe) I found several HKLM\software\microsoft\COM3 in any number of the files but nothing associated with COM1.

Alph, you've been very helpful. At this point I think rather than continuing, I'm quite satisfied to use the workaround that you provided for when I need access to COM1. Most likely it'll only be for when I need to update the mount. I really do appreciate the help. We've achieved the goal to update my mount's firmware. That makes me very happy and I'm looking forward to the next round of clear skies in SE PA, which seem it'll be a while yet before our clouds and fog go away.

Thanks again to all who have given their time and efforts to helping solve my problem. Clear skies to all.
:jump: :bow: :waytogo: :thanx:






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