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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5982400 - 07/21/13 03:17 AM

yes and that works because the HC is providing the interface, the HC is what is actually talking to the mount, when using it with TheSkyX or any other astronomy software it is simply sending commands to the HC and the HC is translating/relaying them to the mounts MC board.

how mounts work is pretty basic. at the mount head you have the RA and DEC motors, they have Encoders in them, this is how it knows where its pointing. the motors and encoders are connected to the motor control (MC) board, it has its own software (firmware actually because its hardware) that runs everything. the only way you can communicate with the MC board is via software (or firmware in the case of a HC) that is written specifically to interface with it. the interface is not a big deal, the software is the big deal, its propritary and unless something gets leaked celestron's not giving up the info to allow 3rd parties to make software that can interface with their hardware as in the case with the synscan synta mounts with EQMOD.

this is why when we say only a nexstar HC or nexremote can run a nexstar mount that is the case. running a nexstar mount off of a PC via an interface is possible but the nexstar firmware is a HARD requirement in order to access all features/settings/alignment of a mount and act as a translation layer if you will between the two. when you use 3rd party software its using a universal interface (ASCOM) with drivers that celestron has provided the info to be made to interface the mount with. its all just a translation layer make sense?


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5982401 - 07/21/13 03:19 AM

Quote:

Your post:

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In my case, i am NOT trying to get rid of the HC... i just want to be able to use the PC (after alignment), and have neater cabeling.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As has been stated, the only way to talk to the mount through the mount's PC jack is by bypassing the handbox and using NexRemote instead. That jack doesn't talk to the handbox so when using it the handbox alignment is irrelevant and unavailable. It looks to Nexremote for all that stuff.

--------------------

Ahhhhhhh. Hold on one. That is NOT correct.
The PC software CAN connect via the serial port on the HC. As I (and others) have said, we do that already.




It is precisely correct. I specifically referred to the mount's PC jack - the one you would like to use. I told you how to use it. You can, instead, connect to the port on the handbox and use the handbox but you are already doing that and said you wanted to do something different.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: ur7x]
      #5982625 - 07/21/13 09:27 AM

Quote:

times already)

Are we certain that the ASGT homebrew solution won't work?




Yes...the PC port can be used for two things:

1. Operate the mount with NexRemote.
2. Upgrade the motor control firmware for earlier HC versions that did not allow MC updates through that bad old HC port.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5982626 - 07/21/13 09:29 AM

Quote:

Yeah.... I run the serial cable from the mount (area), down through the HC cable and to the HC. That is working.




Actually, you can use TheSky and other programs with NexRemote. Very easily, too, by using its virtual port feature. NexRemote _is_ the hand control, just running on a PC. NexRemote would do everything you want.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: frito]
      #5982669 - 07/21/13 09:57 AM

Quote:

to my knowledge everything uncle rod has said as well as others is true, there is no direct HC replacement for nexstar scopes like there is for the synta synscan mounts (EQMOD) the only way a nexstar mount can work with or without a HC via a PC is with nexremote software. you can run the mount via it though the HC PC port or connected directly to a PC port (provided the mount has one on it directly) but when doing so the HC is basically just being used as an interface and is not usable.

heres a great bubble chart showing how things can connect to basically any nexstar mount/scope

http://www.nexstarsite.com/download/NexStarCablingV5.pdf




As per my original post, I'm not looking to replace the HC, I'm looking to use it AND a PC to drive the scope. Cabling IS the issue.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5982671 - 07/21/13 10:00 AM

Quote:

I think several people are not understanding the op's effort. Either that, or i don't understand it.

My issue is not he HC. It is the cabeling.

As to the TheSkyX question... yes, when i connect the PC to the HC, I can run either the CG5, or the CGEM. Both the HC and the software work, together.

In my case, i am NOT trying to get rid of the HC... i just want to be able to use the PC (after alignment), and have neater cabeling.

UR7X.... is that your goal also ??




Yes, Mr. Douglas! We are on the same page, that is exactly the goal.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: ur7x]
      #5982739 - 07/21/13 10:49 AM

AIUI what you want to do is:
Align the scope with the HC.
Connect a serial cable from a PC to an AUX port on the mount and use this to control the scope, essentially in parallel with the HC.

If that's the case there is, as far as I know, no software that will do that. You have to go through the port on the base of the HC.

The alternative is, as Rod has said, to use NexRemote. That connects to the mount instead of the real HC and the control software connects through the virtual port provided by NexRemote.

Chris


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5982777 - 07/21/13 11:06 AM

Quote:

AIUI what you want to do is:
Align the scope with the HC.
Connect a serial cable from a PC to an AUX port on the mount and use this to control the scope, essentially in parallel with the HC.

If that's the case there is, as far as I know, no software that will do that. You have to go through the port on the base of the HC.

The alternative is, as Rod has said, to use NexRemote. That connects to the mount instead of the real HC and the control software connects through the virtual port provided by NexRemote.

Chris




As I test, fiddle, read, google, and consider the boolean logic here...

I'm starting to get what you all are talking about...
OK, what about this idea...

NexRemote and the HC seem to be able to co-exist, and both seem to be able to drive the scope almost at the same time. (of course right now all of this testing is done with NexRemote plugged in the bottom of the HC)

You can also have NexRemote offer a virtual com port to TheSky... I picked Com3... TheSky was happy.. and it worked. It was interesting, I could have one slew rate on the HC, a different slew rate on the NexRemote and TheSky not only was happy with all of it, but it nicely kept track of where the mount was pointing.

The question is can the HC and NexRemote co-exist with one in the HC port and the other in the AUX port (via a PC port adapter?)

If I can do that... then I can have my cake and eat it too..


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: ur7x]
      #5982802 - 07/21/13 11:18 AM

No.

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5982860 - 07/21/13 11:48 AM

cn register 5 said it perfectly. you have two options. commands from external programs must go though the nexstar software either the HC or the nexremote software.

that is why i was saying earlier that what you are thinking of doing is what EQMOD does on synscan mounts, its a full HC replacement software, even on those mounts using it thesky would still have to interface though EQMOD make sense?


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: frito]
      #5982967 - 07/21/13 12:53 PM

I read these posts, and I chuckle....
It is all sort of crazy.

Apparently, some here are thinking that the CGEM has a computer port (serial RS232) on the mount. It does NOT !
It does have an AUX port (which is NOT compatible with a PC directly).

There is lots of reference to NexRemote. But, as has been mentioned, the only serial connection for the PC is on the HC. Thus, to use NexRemote, you still need the PC connection (thus the HC). I have read in numerous places that one must use caution when using NexRemote. You must initialize with it, and control with it. The only thing you should do with the real HC is the slew buttons for minor position correction.

Why is this? Well, the HC and/or NexRemote is/are the controlling element (aka... the brain). All the registers are contained within. It NexRemote is in charge, then commands given via the HC are NOT recorded in NexRemote (and vis versa). They get VERY comfused.

I have read that you can setup NexRemote with no HC -- thus the real HC is out of the picture. My reading seems to imply this is possible with the CG5 AND the CGEM. I am not sure how that works just yet, without the computer port. And for those two mounts, with no HC, there is no computer port. That is where the computer port mod for the Aux port would be nice. NexRemote needs the interface!

Anyone know how to make NexRemote work on a CG5 or CGEM without a real HC attached (to provide the computer port [RS232]) ???


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5982980 - 07/21/13 01:06 PM

Quote:

Anyone know how to make NexRemote work on a CG5 or CGEM without a real HC attached (to provide the computer port [RS232]) ???




That is referenced in the very first post in this thread and the solution is provided there. That's why it hasn't been revisited with each subsequent post. BTW - if Nexremote is used through the handbox it serves merely as a remote keypad for the handbox; alignments and other info are stored in the handbox. The only time Nexremote takes full control is when connected directly to a PC port or port adaptor.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5982995 - 07/21/13 01:18 PM

Quote:



BTW - if Nexremote is used through the handbox it serves merely as a remote keypad for the handbox; alignments and other info are stored in the handbox. The only time Nexremote takes full control is when connected directly to a PC port or port adaptor.




Not the case at all. If you use NexRemote, the HC is just acting as a pass-through. That's why you must not touch any of the buttons on the HC other than simple direction buttons when you are using NexRemote in this fashion. You would be attempting to use two hand controls.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5983006 - 07/21/13 01:24 PM

Hi John...
Thank you for your post. But again, one of us (and for all i know, it is me....) does not understand something.

The CGEM (and CG5) do NOT have a mount configured PC port. There is a PC port on the HC. So..... just how would NexRemote take full control, as opposed to what you describe as shared control ??

Actually, everywhere i read says that the real HC and NexRemote do NOT "share" command structure (except the arrow slew buttons)... and that you should use one or the other but not both... and that if using NexRemote, be sure to do the initialization with it (and not the real HC).

Are you thinking there is a PC port on the CG5 or CGEM (other than on the real HC) ??


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5983018 - 07/21/13 01:30 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Anyone know how to make NexRemote work on a CG5 or CGEM without a real HC attached (to provide the computer port [RS232]) ???




That is referenced in the very first post in this thread and the solution is provided there. That's why it hasn't been revisited with each subsequent post. BTW - if Nexremote is used through the handbox it serves merely as a remote keypad for the handbox; alignments and other info are stored in the handbox. The only time Nexremote takes full control is when connected directly to a PC port or port adapter.




If that is the case, if I read you right, that alignments are stored in the HC even if we are running NexRemote through the HC, that doesn't make sense, and doesn't match what the telescope is doing.

NexRemote will do an alignment procedure independent of the HC and in fact the HC basically "stalls" waiting for alignment to be done...

So if the NexRemote Alignment was stored in the HC, why does the HC not recognize it?

As I'm starting to get it... The telescope can have one alignment, and that can be stored in either the NexRemote Application or in the HC, but not both...

Of course I have experience that shows that isn't the case either...(I have completed the alignment procedure in both the NexRemote and the HC... But only one would be right.)

I think the best way to solve this problem is to:
1) Give up
2) "source" a RJ11 (4P4C) terminated curly wire...
3) replace the RJ12 (6P6C) plug on my pier with a RJ11 plug
4) Call it a day and be happy that it works.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5983074 - 07/21/13 02:09 PM

Quote:

Are you thinking there is a PC port on the CG5 or CGEM (other than on the real HC) ??




Nope. I've owned and used enough Celestron mounts, with and without the built-in PC port, to be very familiar with both. Read the post that began this conversation - it directly addresses and describes adding a PC port to a mount that doesn't have one. The rest of the conversation flows from that.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: rmollise]
      #5983098 - 07/21/13 02:24 PM

Quote:

Quote:



BTW - if Nexremote is used through the handbox it serves merely as a remote keypad for the handbox; alignments and other info are stored in the handbox. The only time Nexremote takes full control is when connected directly to a PC port or port adaptor.




Not the case at all. If you use NexRemote, the HC is just acting as a pass-through.




Hi, Rod.

I guess that means my information is out of date. I know how it worked when I last used Nexremote - the documentation made it very clear that NR was only being used as a I/O device for the handbox unless the PC port was used. They have apparently added this "pass through" mode you describe since then. Must have happened at the same time they changed the handbox firmware to permit "pass through" MC updates. I wonder if the original keypad-only mode is still an option?


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5983199 - 07/21/13 03:28 PM

Quote:




Hi, Rod.

I guess that means my information is out of date. I know how it worked when I last used Nexremote - the documentation made it very clear that NR was only being used as a I/O device for the handbox unless the PC port was used. They have apparently added this "pass through" mode you describe since then. Must have happened at the same time they changed the handbox firmware to permit "pass through" MC updates. I wonder if the original keypad-only mode is still an option?




I don't know what the documentation you had said, but I've been onboard with NR since the beginning--I was a beta tester for its original version, "hCAnywere"--and I've always been told the opposite...including by the program's developers. If NR were just a "remote handbox," how would you be able to select a firmware version different than what's in the hardware HC, which you can...?

Edited by rmollise (07/21/13 03:29 PM)


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5983222 - 07/21/13 03:42 PM

I don't think that NR was ever anything but a HC on the PC. Originally it only worked with a PC port but the change to allow a real HC to operate in pass through mode happened quite early, by HC version 1.6 I think.

What is happening is that NR contains a PIC emulator that runs the normal HC code. The emulator is wrapped in code that handles the HC IO and memory.

Chris


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar "AUX" port... Serial to TTL [Re: cn register 5]
      #5983383 - 07/21/13 06:00 PM

That is all it is and has ever been, the NexStar hand control code running on a PC. What people don't understand is that NexRemote, is a hand control, just running on a laptop instead of the little HC computer.

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