Upgrades to Hand and Motor for Nexstar 8i SE
Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:34 PM
I download both the Hand Control (HCupdate) and the Motor Control (MCupdate) on to my computer. When I attempt to connect to the telescope using either program, the connection does not happen. On the hand control method I push down both INFO and UNDO and turn on the telescope. I enter the program and select the same com port that the telescope was on, but I get no connection.
Anybody experience this problem?
Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:35 PM
Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:55 AM
The 8iSE tells us nothing as those scopes initially shipped with version 2.xx non up-gradable HC'ers but the later models sold all came with the newer up-gradable version 4.xx firmware...
Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:42 PM
Thank you for the responses. I have attached a photo of the Hand Controller. As I see it, the controller is a plain Nexstar controller. The firmware when reviewed under Utilities is the following:
HC: Version 4.03
MC: Version 40.03 41.03
I do not understand why there are 2 versions under the Motor Controller?
In my reading I believe the Motor Controller is updated through the base utilizing the “Auto Guide” plug. I will need to construct the cable as I did my home internet wiring.
Any extra information would be much appreciated. The warm weather has finally arrived in Pittsburgh. Now all we need is clear nights.
N8NEU - Tim
Update: The Hand Controller only has INFO on the bottom left button. There is no orange Celestron Logo.
Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:08 PM
Don't plug anything into the Auto Guide port least of all your HC ! I don't believe this instruction to be correct and if I'm right, it will likely fry your HC !
You have an early variety of a version 4 HC which you should be able to upgrade in both HC and MC according to the Mike Swanson's instructions on his website. I presume however, that you've already seen these, but just in case .......
Best I can suggest but I hope it just might help.
Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:35 PM
Explanation about why the MCs show two different numbers is on Mike's website.
It's not unheard of to have the USB-serial adapter work with planetarium or scope control programs and not with HCUpdate.exe. I believe folks who have seen this rare situation have either upgraded the device drivers or used a different USB-serial adapter.
Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:41 PM
If you have an older computer (like Win2000!) with a RS-232 port, upgrading firmware is (relatively) easy. You use the cable that came with your NexStar--it will have what looks like a small phone jack on one side, and a 9-pin RS-232 on the other. Plug the phone jack into the bottom of the hand control; the RS-232 into the PC, and run the update program that you download from Celestron. Don't use the "Celestron Firmware Manager (CFM)" if you are using an older computer,e tc. You can use HC update and MC update.
You can update *both* HC and MC through just the one port in the bottom of the HC. But you need to run two separate programs--HC update, and MC update.
Be sure to have your NexStar running either AC, external battery, or brand new AA's. If you're using a laptop, be sure the laptop is plugged in.
I think the two different versions for the MC are for the altitude and the azimuth motors--there are two motor boards.
On my Nexstar 8SE (no i as far as I know), I'm up to either 4.17 or 4.18 on the hand control. I've upgraded my firmware at least twice (the most recent time being about 2 years ago). Both times, I used an older PC that had an actual RS-232 port.
I have not tried using a USB-to-RS-232 for firmware, although I have successfully used NexRemote and C-d-C to run my NexStar through a Win7 laptop with USB-to-RS-232; RS-232-to-handcontrol, etc.
Ditto again what Tel says about Mike Swanson.
Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:18 PM
Better yet--cover it (the AutoGuide port) with a piece of tape, so you're never tempted to plug anything into it.
I hate tape residue, better just get a RJ12 plug and insert it. Probably have to come from a crimped plug. From an old phone extension? This will keep stuff from falling into the jack. Adding a little conductive grease will prevent corrosion, too.
Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:36 PM
Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:12 PM
I am now in the process of adjusting the Backlash. When centering on a star I adjust the rate to 6 for slower control of the telescope movement. When I push the direction button there is a few seconds of delay before the telescope moves. This then causes an over shooting of the object in the field of view. I will need to experiment with the settings to determine how the whole backlash adjustment works. The numbers from 1– 99 leaves a broad span of setting variables to experiment with.
Tim - N8NEU
Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:51 PM
It's good to know that your upgrade worked !
As to the backlash settings, I would suggest you select a slower slew rate; maybe "Rate 3", and work from that; after all, I don't thimk you'll be using "Rate 6" to make any fine adjustments in your EP such as centralising an object !
Bear also in mind that the numbers, (0-99), you quote, mean absolutely nothing. Just remember that no two 'scopes of this ilk are quite the same and additionally remember to load your OTA with all of your normal accessories before you start to adjust backlash and ensure that the drive motors are tracking. A guesstimate one star align in broad daylight will suffice.
Lastly, if you are able to access such, a distant brick wall or shingled roof will serve you well as a grid pattern on which to sight and make your adjustments.
Hoping this helps,
Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:31 PM
I actually use slew speeds of 1 or 2..and I normally use the brick wall of my house to have a nice grid pattern..
BTW... I am still running 4.13 on both my 8i and my CPC1100 ..none of the later versions offered me anything I thought I may need..