Jump to content


Photo

Upgrades to Hand and Motor for Nexstar 8i SE

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 N8NEU

N8NEU

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 55
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Pleasant Hills, PA

Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:34 PM

I purchased all the proper cables to attach my Nexstar 8i SE to my telescope. I can slew the telescope with Stellarium and Charts de Ciel. The telescope goes to any star of nebula on a mock star alignment.

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?

#2 N8NEU

N8NEU

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 55
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Pleasant Hills, PA

Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:35 PM

Seems like I have stumped the Peanut Gallery. I will wait a few more days incase a late member joins in with a possible remedy. Fingers crossed

#3 ben2112

ben2112

    Cloud Magnet

  • *****
  • Posts: 1149
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2012
  • Loc: North Charleston SC

Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:04 AM

Is the hand controller the nexstar or the nexstar+? From my understanding, the nexstar+ doesn't use HCupdate. It uses a GUI interface in windows.

Celestron Firmware Manager

#4 Bob Griffiths

Bob Griffiths

    Getting Grouchy

  • *****
  • Posts: 10624
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Frederick Maryland

Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:55 AM

Yep what version firmware are you using and exactly what HC...the new PLUS one of the older Version 4.xx HC...

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...

Bob G

#5 N8NEU

N8NEU

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 55
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Pleasant Hills, PA

Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:42 PM

Hi,

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.

Attached Files



#6 Tel

Tel

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9103
  • Joined: 31 Mar 2006
  • Loc: Wallingford England

Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:08 PM

Hi Tim,

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 ....... :idea:

http://www.nexstarsi...om/Firmware.htm

Best I can suggest but I hope it just might help.

Best regards,
Tel

#7 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 10890
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:35 PM

You can only do the MC upgrade through the HC if the firmware is 4.13 or higher. So to do the MC upgrade you'd first need to do an HC upgrade. No need to consider any other connections or cables.

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.

#8 hdt

hdt

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 405
  • Joined: 10 Nov 2007
  • Loc: N35°10' W106°32'

Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:41 PM

What Tel said--don't plug anything into the AutoGuide port. Better yet--cover it (the AutoGuide port) with a piece of tape, so you're never tempted to plug anything into it. Unless you buy an autoguide camera and controller, you'll never use the autoguide port.

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.

#9 Geo.

Geo.

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2854
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Upstate NY

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, :foreheadslap: 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.

#10 Arctic_Eddie

Arctic_Eddie

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3616
  • Joined: 30 Dec 2007
  • Loc: St. Petersburg, FL

Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:36 PM

The problem is that one of the pins is connected to the internal 5V supply. The others are one ground and four axis pullup lines. If you connect an object that doesn't want 5V on that pin then you will experience a puff of micro-smoke.

#11 N8NEU

N8NEU

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 55
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Pleasant Hills, PA

Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:12 PM

Thanks to all who provided their input to solve my problem with updating the software form my Nexstar 8i SE. I finally resurrected my old IBM 600 Think Pad computer with Windows XP. It has the 9 pin serial port and the upgrade from Hand Control V. 4.03 to V. 4.21 went flawless.

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

#12 Tel

Tel

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9103
  • Joined: 31 Mar 2006
  • Loc: Wallingford England

Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:51 PM

Hi Tim,

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,
Best regards,
Tel

#13 Bob Griffiths

Bob Griffiths

    Getting Grouchy

  • *****
  • Posts: 10624
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Frederick Maryland

Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:31 PM

Ditto to what Tel recommended ...

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..

Bob G.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics