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Should I update HC & MC firmware

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#1 jhirsch


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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:11 PM

Subject line says it all. Currently my HC has NSX 4.15 and MC has 5.14 installed on them. What will be the benefits of updating the firmware.

Also. where in the heck are the firmware downloads at on the Celestron website. For the life of me I cannot find it. :shrug:


#2 WarmWeatherGuy


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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:24 PM

This site
will explain a lot.

You don't download the firmware for your scope. Instead you download some software from Celestron and install it onto your computer. Go to the page for your scope


and click on the Support tab in the bottom section. There you will download some software that you install on your computer that you then use to put the firmware into your hand controller. That software will download the firmware from somewhere on the Internet and then copy it into your hand controller.

I'm pretty sure this is right. Someone will correct me otherwise. Good luck.

#3 mclewis1


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Posted 03 May 2013 - 10:20 PM


You are correct.

To do the firmware upgrades for v4.xx hand controllers you need HCUpdate.exe and MCUpdate.exe for the motor controllers. Those utilities will offer you the capability to download specific firmware levels and then actually perform the firmware upgrade.


As to whether upgrading from 4.15 is a good idea, well there are a few nice additions like slightly more accurate pointing (because of calculating positions using JNow vs. J2000 coordinates). Overall though it's not that big a deal for SE users to just keep on using v4.15. As for the MC firmware, in that case you've already got the latest so it doesn't need to be touched.

#4 Geo.



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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:14 AM

I have a NexRemote cable and a Nexstar RS232 cable are either of these correct for the update connection? Any disadvantage in using my old Gateway PIII WinXP for this process (has serial port and cost less than an adapter!). TIA

#5 mclewis1


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Posted 07 May 2013 - 01:10 PM


What mount/scope do you have?
What is the firmware version of the hand controller?

If the "NexStar RS232" cable is the small one that plugs into the base of the hand controller then yes you have the correct hardware.

The "NexRemote" cable is likely the larger PC Port serial cable which was also used to perform the motor controller board firmware updates before this capability was added to the hand controller. With HC firmware 4.13 and above you no longer need to use this NexRemote/PC port cable for firmware updates.

An older PC is often a real advantage. A real serial port is a huge benefit. XP is good too. When you run HCupdate and/or MCUpdate I would turn off any anti virus stuff and shut down anything else running. It's not a big deal but it's just a good policy to keep things as simple as possible.

The NexStar website that Steve (WarmWeatherGuy) has mentioned is the best source of info on the firmware updates and procedures.

#6 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:40 PM

I'm still running 4.13 on both my 8i as well as my CPC1100...

I saw no reason to update so I did not..and I sure do not plan to do so UNTIL a useful (to me) update comes down the road...

BTW...Are you sure that 4.15 is still using J2000 I though JNow has been standard for close to 10 years now... ????

Bob G.

#7 mclewis1


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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:25 PM

Post deleted by mclewis1

#8 cn register 5

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:11 AM

According to the HC software notes visible in HCUpdate precession was added in version 4.15:

- polar alignment is now under the Align menu and allows alignments on stars other than polaris
- retain celestial alignment after polar alignment completes
- rate=5 on wake from hibernate
- change time/site menu so that user is prompted for time if unknown
- cancel rate selection when direction button is hit (to prevent silent change of rate)
- add ability to lock HC when doing MC upgrades via HC
- add undo sync RS232 command: 'u'
- add 'l' command to retrieve LST
- hitting ALIGN while in the named stars menu now takes you to the Align menu.
- fix Abell objects with negative magnitudes
- add precession
- change factory settings so that they force a reboot and zap the MC


#9 mclewis1


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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:09 AM

Thanks Chris,

Yes clearly the earlier info was incorrect ... and there now seems to be more clarity about the non or limited release of nxs4.15 for the CPC/SE mounts.

"4.15 - Know to have shipped on some SE scopes at the end of 2009, this version was never officially released by Celestron. One CPC owner has reported that their scope was shipped with 4.15 as well. It includes all of the features of 4.18, except the Southern Hemisphere fixes, the SAO star as alignment object fix and the fix for the rare problem updating the motor control through the hand control."

Interesting how an earlier release level can be described as having all the features of a future release. That comment about including all the features of 4.18 originally wasn't in the notes on Mike Swanson's website and if I remember correctly the official software release notes were also more limited. I also noticed that Mike seems to have updated the firmware release info for gem 4.15.

Clearly there have been a number of changes to the release info from Celestron and the consolidated write ups on Mike's website.

#10 Tyranthrax


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Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:37 PM

I just got one (6se) a few weeks ago went to hook it up to the laptop for tracking since I have it out there for the CCD camera, noticed the plug in jack on the base of the scope, but hte prong end for the lap top was female. . .am I missing something? I can't do female to female plugs. . I figured this might come into play shoul I evr have to updat the firmware.

#11 WarmWeatherGuy


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Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

The cable that comes with the telescope


connects to the jack in the base of the handset. The other end is meant to connect into the serial port of your computer. Today's computers don't have serial ports so you will need this serial to usb adapter cable.


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