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StarSense Compatible with NEXSTAR GPS?

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#1 gaz-in

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:18 PM

Hi All,

Anyone know if the StarSense is compatible with the Nexstar GPS line? Some sites say yes and some say no.

Thanks
Dan

#2 Stacy

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:21 PM

Preliminary information said it would work with Nexstar GPS, however now it says it's not compatible. Interesting as I had one on pre-order for awhile based on that information.

#3 cn register 5

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:43 AM

Definitely not compatible at present. I tried it with mine and a beta SS and it can't see the camera module.

I've no idea if this can be changed in software. I suggest that you join the TeamCelestron site and ask there. A few people saying this will be a good idea won't do any harm.

Chris

#4 gaz-in

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:58 AM

Good thought on joining the site.

Yeah I was kinda bummed....I really love my Nexstar 8 GPS and thought it would be kinda cool to have this feature...

Chris,

Did your Nexstar GPS have the latest motor and control board firmware? I was wondering if it would work with the latest firmware. I have avoided upgrading to the latest motor and control board firmware as I did not want to lose the ability to do GPS align.

I was kinda surprised it did not work as the new hand controller works fine with the Nexstar GPS...

Dan

#5 cn register 5

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:13 PM

AFAIK it's the latest motor software.

The GPS mounts have a different way of handling the Aux and HC ports, it seems to be some sort of active board. The later boards seem to have some sort of logic.

My guess - and it is strictly a guess - is that the problem is to do with multiple devices on the Aux bus. It may be possible to fix this but at present there are more important things and I think it will be a while before Celestron will have the capacity to look at this.

Joining TeamCelestron and asking for this will raise the profile of this.

All this is no more than a slightly educated guess.

Chris

#6 Stacy

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:16 PM

Well they definitely backed off from their original announcements that it would indeed be compatible with the GPS series. Some sites are still showing the original compatibility list that includes the GPS series.

Glad I cancelled my order!

Stacy

#7 cn register 5

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 02:51 AM

It might have been as a result of a couple of beta testers trying it and reporting back.

At least it shows the intention is there so when (if) a developer gets a bit of spare time they may look at seeing if something can be done.

Chris

#8 jw54

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:28 AM

Worked fine on my wedge mounted NS11. I had HC in Aux port 1 and camera in 2.

#9 cn register 5

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:55 PM

I have just tried it again with my NS11 GPS and it didn't work. The HC never sees the camera. Not sure why, it could be that my SS is a pre production one or that it's a different version of NS11 GPS, it was originally a Version 1.6 HC.

What versions of HC, camera and MC code does the SS HC report?

Chris

#10 jw54

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:51 PM

My NS11 was used when I bought it several years ago and came with a version 2.2 HC. Lately I had been using a newer HC running 4.18. I can't check the MC version right now but I know I can still use the 2.2 HC and GPS align. So I'm guessing the MC might be 4.6.

If I get a chance this evening I'll check what the SS HC reports.

John

#11 jw54

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 06:59 PM

Chris,

My SS HC reports:
StarSense HC 01.06.13226
Camera 01.01.13177
NSGPS MC 4.6

John

#12 gaz-in

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:05 AM

Hi Team,

So want the SS to work on my NS8.

Mounted it last night. SS went thru it's initialization, HC said ready to align, I selected auto align, it told me to roughly level scope, I did, hit enter and it seemed to freeze.

Checked my scope's MC Firmware, it was 4.5. so I upgraded to 4.6 (or 4.06 depending on which HC you use to read the MC version), tried SS again with the same results.

Had it configured as John, the SS HC in aux 1 and camera in Aux 2.

Any thought would be appreciated.

Thanks
Dan

#13 jw54

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:57 PM

Dan,

Did you happen to check if the controller had the correct time and location? From some things I've observed it makes me wonder if the SS controller wants a GPS fix when connected to this mount.

I've had mine lock up a few times. However, I'm fairly certain my lockups occurred while I was inside my machine shed trying to figure out the menu tree. Thinking that not having a GPS fix might be a problem I tried setting the time source to manual and the controller immediately locked up. So I did a power cycle and was able to reset the controller to factory. On subsequent start ups I would get the StarSense Ready message but none of the buttons except for maybe align were responsive. I didn't know how to proceed so I tried connecting the StarSense to my SE mount. Once I manually entered the time and date I was able to use the direction buttons and had full access to the menu while connected to the that mount.

A day or two later I again tried it with my NS11, this time outside. On power up things started normally. After the countdown I got the ready to align message. The sky was mostly cloudy and I really didn't think there were enough visible stars to get an alignment but I selected auto align. Initially the alignment started off badly until I remembered that I hadn't set the wedge option to yes. Once that was corrected, I restarted and let the mount do an automatic align. Although it took several tries for the StarSense to get images with enough stars to solve it eventually told me that the alignment was successful. It was too cloudy to do any observing but I was able to verify that the SS controller was getting the time and location from the NS's GPS and I had access to all the menu items.

Hopefully there will be others that have been successful using a StarSense with a NSGPS that can offer you further suggestions.

John

#14 gaz-in

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:57 AM

Hi John,

Sorry for the slow response....been doing household chores and not online for a while.

Thanks tons for taking the time to write about your experience. I have been trying to see if mine works while inside....I will take outside (with GPS lock) and give it a try this evening.

Hopefully I will be reporting back tomorrow (if the clouds break)

Thanks again
Dan

#15 gaz-in

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 09:37 AM

Hi All,

Gave the SS a another try. This time with the NSGPS 8 outside. I too was trying it inside to get a feel for the menue.

First time NOGO. Locked up like when I tried it inside.

Waited a few minutes to be sure NSGPS had GPS lock. Next time SS worked great. After that worked every time. It does appear to want a GPS Lock prior to running auto align.

I must say the SS color scheme sure looks nice on a NSGPS!

John,

Thanks for the tips. I was all ready to package it up and send back when I read your post....after reading I decided what the heck...might as well try it outside before I return it....and bingo it works....

Dan

#16 jw54

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:55 PM

Dan,

Glad that it worked for you. Makes me wonder if some other units might have been returned for the same reason.

Hopefully, the Celestron programmers will come up with a way to by-pass the time settings for those times when a user wants to check things out without a gps fix. It sure would have been helpful to me (and you too) if they would have mentioned that fact in the manual. But in my opinion they could have done a lot better with the owner's manual in the first place.

John

#17 gaz-in

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 05:48 AM

Chatting with Celestron, the issue appears to be that the SS will only work with the MC boards in the newer NSGPSs. No way to find out if you have the newer control boards other than to try the SS and see.

Given this, I suspect Celestron will not try and expand the officially supported scopes to the NSGPS line.

While testing mine, I also noticed that if I turned on the Scope/SS without GPS the in lock, as mentioned the SS would appear to freeze up. If I just walked away, once the GPS locked up, the SS "unfroze" and began the alignment. This suggests to me that when it appears to freeze up it is actually waiting for GPS lock.

#18 rmollise

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:12 AM

Chatting with Celestron, the issue appears to be that the SS will only work with the MC boards in the newer NSGPSs. No way to find out if you have the newer control boards other than to try the SS and see.


Celestron can't tell you what constitutes "newer"?! :question:

#19 Starhawk

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:54 PM

Do you mean physically newer hardware or newer firmware?

The need for a GPS lock is quite interesting- and somewhat encouraging since I have an old NexStar 8 GPS set of forks I would like to use in trapeze mode that way with other OTAs.

-Rich

#20 rmollise

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 01:52 PM

Either. It's pretty easy to determine what your MCB firmware and hardware revs are.

#21 gaz-in

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 05:21 PM

I do not believe it is the firmware.

The implication from my communication with Celestron was it was the hardware.

They said the only way to tell if it would work by scope inspection was to take the scope apart and physically look at the hardware.

As a result of the difficulty of doing that, they went on to say the only reasonable way to tell if it would work was to try it.






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