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CGEM and PC

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#1 glennstevens

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 02:26 PM

Is there a PC program that will replace the hand controler on the CGEM? I want to get the hand controler out of the system. chip

#2 R Nitzel

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 02:51 PM

If you mean that you don't want to use the handcontroller, you can use NexRemote. Your cable still plugs into the bottom of the controller, but you can do everything from the program. I use the hand controller for alignment, then Starry Sky to move the scope from place to place. I then use the ASCOM control pad to fine tune.

#3 jrcrilly

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 03:00 PM

If you mean that you don't want to use the handcontroller, you can use NexRemote. Your cable still plugs into the bottom of the controller, but you can do everything from the program.


Or you can leave the hand controller out entirely and connect the PC directly to the mount base for NexRemote use with no controller.

#4 glennstevens

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 03:16 PM

Several people on CN have had the hand controler go blank on them. I was thinking that the PC would make a good backup and also help determine if it was the mount or the handcontroler that was having a problem. chip

#5 R Nitzel

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 03:51 PM

I just learned something. I thought it had to be connected through the hand controller. What happens if one is connected through the HC port and the other through AUX. Would this work if you only used one at a time?

#6 mclewis1

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 06:58 AM

I just learned something. I thought it had to be connected through the hand controller. What happens if one is connected through the HC port and the other through AUX. Would this work if you only used one at a time?


Won't work ... there isn't anything that mimics the HC in electrical terms (just in function ... NexRemote s/w as mentioned above). The port on the base of the HC is a serial port, PCs running HC emulation talk to this port or the PC port (also a serial port). The HC and the Aux ports are all TTL level ports expecting the very specific handshaking that a real HC does when it powers up.

#7 mclewis1

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:10 AM

Several people on CN have had the hand controler go blank on them. I was thinking that the PC would make a good backup and also help determine if it was the mount or the handcontroler that was having a problem. chip

Yup, good plan. You need what was called the programming cable, and this is the old style programming cable. It's basically an RJ45 Ethernet cable with a 9pin serial adapter on one end that plugs into the PC port on your mount. With this cable, the NexRemote s/w, and a serial port on your PC (real or via a USB-serial adapter) you can completely replace the HC.

Watch out for folks calling the HC serial cable (the one that plugs into the base of the HC) a programming cable ... yes it is what is used for doing all the firmware upgrades now. With the later levels of HC firmware all the upgrades including those for the motor controllers or MCs can be done this way. Before this change you had to use the HC cable to do HC updates and the original programming cable to do MC updates. Many dealers (and Celestron!) have unfortunately started calling the HC serial cable a programming since it is all thats needed now. The older programming cable I mentioned above is still very viable for scope control via NexRemote.

#8 mich_al

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:33 AM

Won't work ... there isn't anything that mimics the HC in electrical terms (just in function ... NexRemote s/w as mentioned above). The port on the base of the HC is a serial port, PCs running HC emulation talk to this port or the PC port (also a serial port). The HC and the Aux ports are all TTL level ports expecting the very specific handshaking that a real HC does when it powers up.


Yup, good plan. You need what was called the programming cable, and this is the old style programming cable. It's basically an RJ45 Ethernet cable with a 9pin serial adapter on one end that plugs into the PC port on your mount. With this cable, the NexRemote s/w, and a serial port on your PC (real or via a USB-serial adapter) you can completely replace the HC.


Have you actually done this ? That would say that the 'programming cable' (RJ45 Ethernet cable with a 9pin serial adapter) also serves tp convert the PS's rs-232 serial on the db-9 to TTL that the HC connector requires.
Have YOU actually done this ?

#9 rmollise

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:41 AM


Have you actually done this ? That would say that the 'programming cable' (RJ45 Ethernet cable with a 9pin serial adapter) also serves tp convert the PS's rs-232 serial on the db-9 to TTL that the HC connector requires.
Have YOU actually done this ?


The programming cable is _just a cable_ . There is no conversion. The key to this working is _NexRemote_, which outputs the same data a real HC would.

#10 mclewis1

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 08:25 AM


Won't work ... there isn't anything that mimics the HC in electrical terms (just in function ... NexRemote s/w as mentioned above). The port on the base of the HC is a serial port, PCs running HC emulation talk to this port or the PC port (also a serial port). The HC and the Aux ports are all TTL level ports expecting the very specific handshaking that a real HC does when it powers up.

Yup, good plan. You need what was called the programming cable, and this is the old style programming cable. It's basically an RJ45 Ethernet cable with a 9pin serial adapter on one end that plugs into the PC port on your mount. With this cable, the NexRemote s/w, and a serial port on your PC (real or via a USB-serial adapter) you can completely replace the HC.

Have you actually done this ? That would say that the 'programming cable' (RJ45 Ethernet cable with a 9pin serial adapter) also serves tp convert the PS's rs-232 serial on the db-9 to TTL that the HC connector requires.
Have YOU actually done this ?

Yes I've done this, but you're missing one important fact ... you'll need to re read my first quote above "The port on the base of the HC is a serial port, PCs running HC emulation talk to this port or the PC port (also a serial port)".

The PC port is a serial port and not a TTL level HC port. When you use NexRemote and the programming cable it plugs into this PC port and not the HC/Aux ports. NexRemote s/w completely replaces the function of the HC but does not replace it electrically. You unplug the HC from your mount, plug in the PC port programming cable between your mount and your PC and fire up NexRemote. You can now run all the functions of the HC from an emulated HC on your PC ... from scope setup, initial alignment to all the advanced goto functions.

#11 mich_al

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 09:18 AM

snipped...

You unplug the HC from your mount, plug in the PC port programming cable between your mount


Which connection on the mount ?

and your PC and fire up NexRemote. You can now run all the functions of the HC from an emulated HC on your PC ... from scope setup, initial alignment to all the advanced goto functions.



#12 mclewis1

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 10:06 AM

Oh ... now I see where your confusion comes from ... lol. The port on the mount is labeled "PC". It's on the CGE, CGEPro, Nexstar GPS, and CPC mounts. It's not on the ASGT, CGEM, Nexstar i, SLT and SE mounts. For those you'll need the Celestron port expander which plugs into the HC or Aux port and creates another couple of Aux ports and a PC port.

Edited to correct the information on the CGEM

#13 mich_al

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 10:10 AM

The PC port.


Isn't that the connector on the bottom of the HC (hand controller) ?

#14 jrcrilly

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:07 AM

I think the confusion is caused by the fact that, while many Celestron mounts are equipped with a PC port on the base, some are not. The CG5 doesn't, while the CGE, CGE Pro, and CPC models do. If the CGEM has one, it'll be on the mount's base and will be labeled "PC Port".

#15 wsuriano

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:09 AM

My CGEM, purchased new in the last six months, does not have a PC port on the mount, only an AUX port. It would need the auxiliary port module to get a PC port.

#16 mich_al

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 12:07 PM

My CGEM, purchased new in the last six months, does not have a PC port on the mount, only an AUX port. It would need the auxiliary port module to get a PC port.


The aux port module (celestron part number 93963) provides multiple aux ports. Aux ports are TTL, similar & maybe the same as the HC connection.

http://www.nexstarsi...s/PortsCGEM.htm provides some CGEM port info.

Celestron should have provided a port to connect to serial pc RS232 on the mount and made it a different format connector. Instead they put it on the HC and put 3 identical connectors on the mount Anyone who plugs the RJ-12 rs232 (plus & minus 12V) into the RJ-12 TTL (5V) connector is gonna get a disapointing surprise. It will probably smoke the interface board. Celectron repair is running about 7 weeks behind lately so it won't be pretty.

#17 glennstevens

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 01:50 PM

Thanks everyone for the help. I have the cable that came with the CGEM mount. I have been running the mount with the serial to USB adaptor through the HC. Since the CGEM doesn't have a PC port I think all I need is the aux port module (celestron part number 93963) to operate without the HC in line. chip

#18 mich_al

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 02:23 PM

Chip, I think you have mis-read. Maybe another pass thru.

#19 glennstevens

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 03:08 PM

I'm not sure what I misread. The aux port module (93965) gives me 2 aux ports and one PC port. Isn't the PC port the sane as the one on the bottom of the HC. chip

#20 mclewis1

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 04:51 PM

I'm not sure what I misread. The aux port module (93965) gives me 2 aux ports and one PC port. Isn't the PC port the sane as the one on the bottom of the HC. chip

Chip, no it's not ... the port on the bottom of the HC is a serial 4 pin, the PC port is a serial 8 pin.

But I have to apologize to you because I miss led you as well ... :o ... I was told the CGEM had the PC port and that is simply not true.:doah: Like the CG-5 the CGEM does not have a PC port and therefore would require the Aux port module mentioned above. And thanks to all the CGEM owners who didn't correct me. :mad:

So going by the way a CGEM comes from the factory you cannot run it without a HC. You can get rid of the HC only if you add the Aux port module, add the old style programming cable and then run the NexRemote s/w.

You can control the CGEM with a variety of planetarium and scope control programs including NexRemote by connecting the PC and mount with the serial cable that plugs into the base of the HC.

More info on all of this is available on Mike's great Nexstar site www.nexstarsite.com

#21 glennstevens

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 06:09 PM

Thanks Mark. chip






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