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Questions about my New CG-5GT

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#1 Domerman

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 07:42 PM

Alright, my mount finally arrived today and it is my first gem mount and I'm quite impressed so far. Although, I won't be able to use it until Friday most likely, weather permitting. So my questions are: Do I have the latest firmware version, HC: 4.13 MC: 5.07? It appears I do, as it's the latest version on the website. However, I do not understand how to do the All-Star polar alignment procedure. Also, I am using a side by side setup and I pretty much got the balance issue solved fairly easily. However, because of the side by side setup I have to move the declination 90 degrees so the scopes are pointing north. I arbitrarily did a rough align inside my home and it appears to be pointing in the right directions when I do fake slews to Saturn and Sirius. Maybe this was out of pure luck. What do I do with regards to the index marks when using a SBS setup; do I need to make new index marks?

#2 mclewis1

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:18 PM

Alright, my mount finally arrived today and it is my first gem mount and I'm quite impressed so far. Although, I won't be able to use it until Friday most likely, weather permitting. So my questions are: Do I have the latest firmware version, HC: 4.13 MC: 5.07? It appears I do, as it's the latest version on the website. However, I do not understand how to do the All-Star polar alignment procedure. Also, I am using a side by side setup and I pretty much got the balance issue solved fairly easily. However, because of the side by side setup I have to move the declination 90 degrees so the scopes are pointing north. I arbitrarily did a rough align inside my home and it appears to be pointing in the right directions when I do fake slews to Saturn and Sirius. Maybe this was out of pure luck. What do I do with regards to the index marks when using a SBS setup; do I need to make new index marks?


Steve, No you don't have the latest firmware ... GEM HC 4.15 and MC 5.14 are the latest levels. HC 4.15 has some nice additional features that I think you'll appreciate ... like All-Star polar alignment (which isn't in 4.13), the newest MC isn't as much of an issue.

You can ignore the index marks or if you like move the index marks, but you can also use the new OTA orientation feature in 4.15 that will allow you to fake out the mount's initial positioning with your side by side configuration.

For some more info on the firmware levels have a look at Mike's great site http://www.nexstarsite.com/
For a manual on using a scope with the HC 4.15 firmware download the CGEM installation guide from Celestron's website.
If you want to read a bit about using the side by side config with the CG5 have a look at this thread

#3 Fred1

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 09:51 PM

I put 1/2" wide yellow electrical tape across the motor housings oriented appropriately 90 degrees from the stock index marks and also along side the index marks. They are much easier to see and align. I sliced the tape with a razor blade directly across where the motor housings meet. Works for me. Before doing so, get the stock index marks to align as precisely as possible before applying the tape.

#4 Domerman

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:08 PM

Thanks for the info guys. I am having a few more issues. I can't seem to upgrade the controller, as it keeps saying "hand controller not in programming mode." I connected the RS-232 to my "USB to serial" cable and to the hand controller and made the controller go into programming mode. Everything was going well, but as I mentioned it's not updating. I am certain I am using the correct comm port. Perhaps my RS-232 is malfunctioning or am I missing something here?

Also, I want to autoguide using the autoguider port and ascom drives in PHD. However, I realized that I don't have the proper size phone cable (not sure what it's called) with the correct number of pins. Where can I obtain this, or can someone tell me the name of this cable so I can purchase it.

#5 mclewis1

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:01 AM

I'm assuming that you're correctly following the instructions with the HCupdate utility and I'll also assume that you're correctly putting the HC in programming mode. Can you connect to the HC and use ASCOM, the Celestron driver, and a planetarium or scope control app successfully? If not you may have run into an incompatible serial-USB adapter. This happens every so often. The fix is to use another brand of adapter (Keyspan is very popular) or connect via a real serial port (using an add on serial port).

For autoguiding you have two options ...
1) Use the existing HC serial cable connected to the HC. ASCOM and the Celestron driver and PHD Guide.
2) Use the Autoguider port in which case you'll need a cable wired for the ST-4 connection and something to generate the appropriate ST-4 signals (such as the ShoeString Astronomy GPUSB) or the output of a dedicated autoguiding imager (such as the Orion SSAG).

#6 Domerman

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:43 AM

Can you connect to the HC and use ASCOM, the Celestron driver, and a planetarium or scope control app successfully?


I cannot connect to the HC in any fashion or use ASCOM. I was able to use ASCOM with my LX90 when I had it using this combination of serial to USB adapter. (I am using the serial adapter that comes with the Meade DSI. Perhaps this is the problem). This is turning out to be a lesson in frustration. :smashpc:

Edit:
I just read somewhere on this forum that you need the Celestron specific serial cable, so I purchased that for about 15 bucks and I shall see if that solves anything in a few days...

#7 Domerman

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:05 AM

Ok, now I'm a little worried. Some more research has uncovered this info straight from the Celestron website about the Celestron RS-232 I just purchased,

"For use with CPC, CGE, NexStar GPS Series models. Is compatible with Advanced GT and NexStar i telescopes when used with Auxiliary Port Accessory Kit (93965)"

Am I going to have to buy this Auxiliary Port? It costs about $80 and I don't want to burn cash on that right now.

#8 Patrick

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 02:04 AM

I'm not sure why 'they' make it so hard to know which cable the latest version of mount's uses, but the only cable you need is the RS-232 Cable like the one from High Point Scientific. They call it a 'navigation' cable. You do not need the Auxiliary port accessory kit or the 'programming cable'.

The RS-232 plugs into the hand controller on one end and into a serial port on your computer on the other end. If you don't have a serial port you will need the Keyspan serial-usb adapter (or similar).

Patrick

#9 mclewis1

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:53 AM

Steve,

I wasn't aware that Meade supplied a USB-serial adapter with a DSI ... but if that Meade supplied USB-serial adapter isn't cutting it, then the two options are the Keyspan that Patrick and I have mentioned or the Celestron model (no idea who actually makes it). There is no magic here, there are some known but not terribly well documented issues with various combinations of USB-serial adapters, drivers, USB bridges on board the PC/Laptop and the level of OS being used.

No matter which adapter you purchase just make sure it's from a good dealer, one that will honor a return if it doesn't work out.

I often check out any changes to my configuration (new adapter, other new hardware, etc.) by trying out the ASCOM/Driver, planetarium app (my favourite is Sky Charts) just to ensure that a) the com port shows up properly and b) the app with ASCOM can connect to the scope. Then I will go ahead and fire up the firmware updater if appropriate ... I really don't like doing anything with firmware when I'm not 100% certain of the connections and such.

Mike's NexStar site (link in earlier post) in addition to the descriptions also has the graphic of the PC connectivity with all the cables and s/w listed if that will help. The Celestron serial HC cable (#93920) is around $15, the serial-USB adapter is around $40. You can also get both cables bundled with the NexRemote s/w (which emulates the physical hand controller and offers a number of other enhancements) for $100. A few of the interesting features of NexRemote is that it is self contained, you don't need ASCOM and you can load it with different firmware and trial run the new firmware without having to do the actual update to your real hand controller.

#10 Domerman

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:30 PM

Steve,

I wasn't aware that Meade supplied a USB-serial adapter with a DSI


Meade doesn't supply a USB to serial adapter with the DSI, but rather they supply a RS-232 adapter and the appropriate cable. I purchased the Celestron one and will see if that makes any difference.

#11 mclewis1

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:25 PM

Steve,

OK, at this point I'd take everything that came from Meade and put it back into the box. Don't use any of it with your Celestron setup.

You need the Celestron serial HC cable.
Does your PC have a real 9 pin serial port on it? If not then you will also need a USB port and the USB-serial adapter.

That's it (just like Patrick said earlier).

#12 Domerman

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:06 PM

I have a USB to serial adapter as mentioned earlier. It is the radio shack kind and it worked fine with the LX90, but not so much with the Celestron.

#13 mclewis1

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:54 PM

Steve,

If that RS USB adapter worked before on your PC it is highly likely that you'll have no problems once you get the Celestron serial HC cable. In my experience when there is a problem with a PC to scope connection and there is a USB-serial adapter involved it's usually a complete failure ... with no ability to see the USB-serial adapter at all. When a configuration works for one application (and that comm port # shows up in the device manager) then it usually works for all of them.

#14 Fred1

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:32 PM

Domerman, you might find this thread of some help. Firmware Update Issues

#15 Chris Rowland

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:56 AM

The meade RS232 cable, supplied with the DSI, will plug into the Celestron HC but will not work.

This is because the connections are different. It isn't surprising this is so, there are 24 ways that the 3 connections can be connected to a 4 pin plug.

Chris

#16 Domerman

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 11:50 AM

The Celestron RS-232 adapter arrived today and I'm glad to report that I am able to connect with the mount! :grin:

#17 mclewis1

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 12:17 PM

Great news Steve, have fun that new CG5. I'll bet you're really going to enjoy that All-Star Polar Alignment routine.






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