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#1 darylf96

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:14 AM

Fellow CN CGE Experts:

I just obtained a new V4 flash upgradable HC for my CGE so I can take advantage of the new All Star allignment proceedure. I downloaded and installed V 4.15 to the HC. I just want to confirm that this is the correct version for the CGE. Also, will the HC work with my CG5A-GT as well? Lastly, should I install the latest motor firmware? Just want you to note the magnitude of my ignorance!

Daryl

#2 mclewis1

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:41 AM

Daryl,

Yes gem 4.15 is the release for the CG5, CGEM, and CGE ... and I think the CGEPro as well. Yes your HC will now work on any of those scopes.

Have a look at Mike Swanson's site www.nextstarsite.com for the firmware info (he lists the changes in each release) ... then see if you need to upgrade your MCs as well.

#3 Strgazr27

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:44 AM

The Pro, At least mine, is running version 4.16.

#4 Arbacia

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:46 AM

Some days ago I updated the HC of my CGE to 4.16. The problems solved in 4.16 are mainly focused for southern hemisphere. You can keep 4.15.

Once you have the HC upgraded to 4.15, you can update the motor controller firmware using the same cable used to update the HC (the cable tht conect directly computer and HC). With 4.15 is no longer need the other cable (direct from computer to mount) to upgrade motor controller.

When use the cable "computer to HC" to update the motor controller, the HC will display "LOCK".

Update the motor controller will take you a couple of minutes. As easy as update the HC, just follow the steps that the update program indicates.

Patricio

#5 DaveJ

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:27 AM

The Pro, At least mine, is running version 4.16.


I've updated my CGE firmware to 4.16 as well. I'm in the northern hemisphere but couldn't stand knowing I was a version behind while running 4.15. I've tested 4.16 and all is well. Me? I'd recommend installing 4.16. By the way, the current downloadable NexRemote now includes 4.16 as a version selection. Seeing Bobby's CGE Pro at NEAF, and my experiences with Celestron firmware has me thinking that the big C has finally got all their ducks in a row.

#6 darylf96

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:55 AM

Mark:

Thanks! I did go to the Nexstar site (what a great site for us Celestron owners!) and did install the latest MC firmware. Need it to use the PEC Tool software. It is nice to be able to use the HC with both mounts. Now I'm ready to rock!

Daryl

#7 GeorgeNC

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 08:37 AM

Just to relate my experiences last night with the updated firmware.

After reading this thread I checked my relatively new CGE's version, and it was 4.12. Went ahead and updated a couple of days ago all the way to 4.16. Clear skies last night so I tried out the mount with the new firmware (C11 mounted on the GCE).

Powered up - entered my lat and long, correct time (dst and eastern us time zone) and date. Picked Arcturus as first alignment star - telescope slewed that direction from the switch position, but stopped well away from that star - couldn't even see it in the 9x50 finderscope. Finally centered Arcturus and went to second alignment star, Dubhe. Again, not even close - couldn't see it in the finderscope. Centered it - hand controller told me "Alignment Successful".

Then tried the Polar Alignment Routine using Procyon. Slewed the telescope there, again, not in the finderscope. Decided to stat all over. Turned off the power - back on, and let the mount go to the switch position. Double checked my latitude and longitude, time, etc and date - all checked out. Used different alignment stars. Same problem. Started over a third time - same thing.

By now, it was after midnight, but I decided to go back to version 4.12 of the firmware. Reloaded 4.12. Re-entered all the information. Picked Arcturus as the first alignment star - there it was near the center of my finderscope and at the edge of the 40mm ep on my C11. Centered it, went to a second alignment star - nearly perfectly centered. Did the Polar Alignment Routine using Polaris (as was surely meant to be) - no problems.

Aligned again - two alignment stars, four calibration stars - no problems.

Checked out a few targets - goto was spot-on. Dew drove me inside about 2:30am.

Guess I'll stick with 4.12 a little while longer.

#8 CounterWeight

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 09:57 AM

I have had the same experience with the goto on the newer firmware. As I usually set up and tear down I thought it was me not having the mount correctly situated. But it has been the case more than not. I have actually been debating if I like the older version more :) I think the sync/unsync doing pa routine and 'replacing' stars in the final goto align can be good or a pain depending on when I do it. Was watching Saturn before doing some imaging and then decided to home and start pa routine.... wanted to pa on Saturn! :) !! Whhops who did that?? That absolutely never happened in the older firmware... and also mine keeps choosing Mizar as an an align or cal star... would'nt be at the the top of my list - don't recall if the older version did same??

Am curious - for those that use this mount and can see Polaris to do the Polar Align...which version do you prefer and and which do you find gives better results?

As an aside I've always pa'd my mounts - just like the better gotos even when not an imager :)

#9 WadeH237

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:07 AM

I've been using All Star polar alignment on my CGE and it's been working great.

Regarding PA on Saturn, the All Star routine just picks the last object that you've used with goto as the PA object. My routine after doing the physical setup is this:

- Set up time/site information.
- Do a two star alignment.
- Calibrate with all 4 stars.
- Do a goto to a star near the celestial equator in the south.
- Go through the polar alignment routine.

If I have to re-align for some reason and haven't unmounted the OTA since doing the above, I repeat the above steps - except that I skip the calibration. I've heard that the calibration stars are used for cone error correction and that it only needs to be done once after mounting an OTA. My experience has been that this works fine.

GeorgeNC, you say that you did a two star alignment and then polar alignment. Did you run through the calibration stars before doing the polar alignment? If not, that could account for all of the slews being off. Also, it's a good idea to do a factory reset after a firmware update (or whenever you get bad goto performance.) That's also been known to clear up problems like this.

-Wade

#10 GeorgeNC

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:27 AM

GeorgeNC, you say that you did a two star alignment and then polar alignment. Did you run through the calibration stars before doing the polar alignment? If not, that could account for all of the slews being off. Also, it's a good idea to do a factory reset after a firmware update (or whenever you get bad goto performance.) That's also been known to clear up problems like this.



Hi Wade, thanks for the input.

No, I didn't do a 2 + 4 before I attempted the polar alignment. The CGEM instruction manual seems to say do only a 2 star alignment before the pa. I guess that could make a difference, but when I went back to 4.12 without making any adjustments to the mount, the four calibration stars were almost centered indicating almost no cone error with my set-up.

IF I ever go back to version 4.15, I'll try what you suggested. Right now I'm perfectly happy with version 4.12.

#11 CounterWeight

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:37 AM

Wade - you are correct about cone error, but a quick thing to re-do and I always do.

I was just a bit surprised that it would allow a planet to be a candidate for a PA object - but I suppose if a planet would work then it is not a bug? I dont see how it could work, but maybe if someone was real, real good at getting all those screws undone and done...

I'd add to your PA list the following,

-unsync from chosen PA'd object (otherwise mount slew will be off by adjustment needed to PA)
-redo the two star align (although the instructions say only one star is necessary?)

what do you think?

#12 WadeH237

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:10 PM

Interesting suggestion to unsync. I hadn't thought of that.

As for redoing the two star, I haven't been doing that. I do the PA with my ST-10 and have crosshairs on the screen. I'm very careful to put the alignment star right on dead center.

After doing that (and not redoing the two star), the mount puts targets in the center of my CCD all night long. When I'm done for the night, I put the mount in home position and shut it down. The next night, I power up and pick last alignment and it still puts targets on the CCD all night long.

I guess that's the most immediate benefit that I've seen with the All Star alignment: I don't have to realign after doing the PA.

-Wade

#13 7331Peg

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 12:30 AM

George's post is exactly why I hesitate to download the update. I've got version 4.12 and it works just great. I hate to tempt fate when I don't need to!

#14 darylf96

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 02:06 AM

Regarding NexRemote, my old version won't load on Vista and I'm sure I need a newer version anyway. So I went to Celestron's site and downloaded what is labeled "30 Day Trial" version, but after installation the program required a serial number to start. Without a serial number a window pops up with the old "you are not authorized" number.

Daryl

#15 phanf4

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 07:48 AM

Regarding NexRemote, my old version won't load on Vista and I'm sure I need a newer version anyway. So I went to Celestron's site and downloaded what is labeled "30 Day Trial" version, but after installation the program required a serial number to start. Without a serial number a window pops up with the old "you are not authorized" number.

Daryl


Had the same problem here. Had to call Celestron to get a serial number. "They never sent one with the program when I bought my CGE". Don't know if you have lost yours or never recieved one. A phone call never hurts....Unless you get put on hold..... :grin:

#16 darylf96

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 01:25 AM

Tom:

Do you no the latest version number for NexRemote. Also, the NexTour portion of the download would not install on my Vist 64 bit notebook. I just ordered the disk from Adorama, who seems to have a good price, but they don't indicate the version number.

Daryl

#17 DaveJ

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:29 AM

Do you no the latest version number for NexRemote. Also, the NexTour portion of the download would not install on my Vist 64 bit notebook. I just ordered the disk from Adorama, who seems to have a good price, but they don't indicate the version number.


Hi Daryl,

The current version is 1.6.25 (date on executable in the downloadable ZIP is 4/15/2009) and can be found HERE. Click on the [Support/Files] tab then on the "NexRemote v. 1.6.25 (30 day trial)" to begin the download of the ZIP. Don't worry about the "30 day trial". If you already have a registration key from an earlier version, it will work just fine.

I have some bad news for you regarding your 64 bit OS: Celestron Link

#18 darylf96

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:22 AM

Dave:

Thanks for the info. Yeah, I have had to overcome some issues with 64 bit system. I downloaded NexRemote and it installed OK. I tried the serial no. from my old version and it didn't work. Since I have ordered the new version, I assume it will be OK. Thus far, I have had no problems with software I need, though I was fortunate that SBIG put an online 64 bit driver for my ST8-XE camera just in time, because there was none for 64 bit machines. I am veery careful now buying hardware re compatability. I have a Tuocam web camera and that company says they're not going to bother with a 64 bit driver. Frustrating and I advise anyone thinking of buying a new computer to avoid 64 bit for awhile.

Daryl

#19 GerryMac

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:15 AM

I think a definitive summary of the new CGE All-Star routine is still rquired. I have written elsewhere about the poor quality of the CGE manual and the fact that celestron doesn't take the time to update the pdf (surely not too much to ask?). I inhabit a strange limbo - I'm six months in to my CGE and learning fast. I should spend more time in the 'newbie forum' zone, and yet this forum seems to be where the answers are, or at least where the knowledgeable inmates live.
So, having excused myself in advance, and for the benefit of the many other 'intermediate level' learners like me, can I summarise things:
(1) Each time I should do a 2 star align, and ideally a full 4 star calibration
(2) as most of my visual sessions involve taking a least a few DSLR photos, I should also polar align using a star on the southern side of the meridian
(3) Unsync the star used for PA
(4) After getting a perfect polar align (0 0' 0"), I should realign on the two original alignment stars
(5) It's not necessary to bother with additional cone error correction by calibrating again.
The bizarre thing is that after step (4) above, the 'Display Polar Alignment' step shows that I'm not polar aligned perfectly any more? The values are no longer all zero. Does this mean that my mount is not perfectly polar aligned? I would have thought that as I have not physically moved the mount since perfect PA, it should stil show (0 0' 0") and the act of two-star realigning shouldn't confuse people by affecting the displayed PA value.
I wish Celestron would write something definitive on this instead of letting us assemble facts from a combination of CGE manual, CGEM manual and forum.
One last thing...
I'm rather confused about the "Mount Calibration" routine that was mentioned prominently in my old CGE manual but which is now missing from the CGEM manual - can anyone tell me what it does and when and how I should use it?

#20 Alph

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 12:23 PM

Does this mean that my mount is not perfectly polar aligned?



The polar alignment routine is only as accurate as the GOTOs are. If the GOTOs are off then the polar alignment will be off.

#21 starbob1

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:01 PM

Why do you unsync the star used for polar align.Can you explain why.I think after you get all 0's I would not worry what it says after you 2 star again.BOB

#22 GerryMac

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 07:35 PM

Thanks Alph. I thought that the polar alignment was a physical alignment in that it meant that the GE mount was pointing exactly at the celestial NP, whereas the GOTO alignment was a characteristic of the mount's calculation of where it is aligned in the sky, i.e, while the mount may be correctly pointed north, the mount might think that say Capella was a degree or two away from it's real location.

#23 Alph

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:22 PM

I thought that the polar alignment was a physical alignment



Yes it is. Maybe I was not clear enough about it. The location of the NP is determined by the Nexstar pointing model. The same pointing model is used for GOTO's. That's why I said the polar alignment is only as accurate as the GOTOS are. When you realign on stars, a new pointing model is built and the presumed location of the NP changes.






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