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StarSense Start Up Problems

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#1 hamdul

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 03:10 PM

I've just finished setting up my StarSense on my Nexstar 8SE. Everything went together like clockwork but now comes the alignment set up and that an entirely different story.

I have two different sets of start up instructions and neither produce the the results that indicate in the instructions. Let me digress a bit and say that the hand control says I have version 1,07.13311 and the BLD is Nov 7 2013 Now back to the problem.

The instructions that came with the unit states, after I turn it on "Press ALIGN then select STARSENSE  AUTO and press ENTER. Press ENTER to select Location by City. Choose your Country and city by the menu provided What comes up however is a screen that shows, Time, Date, Time Zone and DST. I change them to show the correct Time/Date etc. and press Enter but what comes up is not asking for location but Preparing to start the auto align process.

 

The other Instruction go like this, "Press ALIGN then select STARSENSE  AUTO and press ENTER. Press BACK to accept the time date and location information. (What comes up has no location information.) Press ENTER to edit the information. Now it gets Whacky Cuz the next instruction says, Press NTER to select Location by City. In the previous instruction the city was supposed to be shown and to edit the time/location data you had to press ENTER So when I press ENTER all that comes up is the time/Date stuff.

So my question is, Does anyone know how to get tha=e location into the system???????????

 

Thanks for any help.

 

Fred


Edited by hamdul, 22 December 2014 - 04:16 PM.


#2 MJB87

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 03:55 PM

Many of us share your frustration.  Hang in there. It is worth it.

 

This is an evolving product.  You have an early version of the firmware. The latest public release firmware is, I believe, 1.2.13343 from 12 February 2014.  You should get this update by using Celestron Firmware Manager (CFM).  You can find that on the Celestron website or here: http://software.cele...pdates/CFM/CFM/

 

It is worth learning how to use CFM, if you haven't already. The firmware for the StarSense system is evolving and getting MUCH better. You'll want to download updates as they are released publicly..  You might consider becoming a member of TeamCelestron, the group of users that beta-tests new versions of the firmware. We are working off a release from 17 November 2014 and it seems to have addressed just about all of the bugs.  You can find out about joining TeamCelestron by going to TeamCelestron.com.

 

The manual is confusing and not up to date. It has frustrated many of us.  There is a newer version of the manual being tested by TeamCelestron but it still isn't completely accurate. For my own purposes, I have prepared a series of "scripts" -- quick step-by-step instructions -- for the most common tasks including setup, alignment, center calibration, adding additional alignment references, and ASPA.  (ASPA may not yet be installed in the public release firmware but it is in the beta version.)  If you want, send me a PM with an email address and I'll send them to you.  These are the steps that I have found actually work and they sometimes deviate from the older versions of the manual.

 

Some other lessons learned...

 

- It is really important to make sure the system has correct location and time information.  Yes, StarSense does interface well with SkySync GPS (the manual is confusing on this) but give it a minute or so to come up to speed and then check to make sure time/location are correct.

 

- Auto alignment works great but it is not something you do just once and then forget.  If your mount is not polar aligned you will probably need to run it 3 or 4 times to get sorted out. But it runs pretty fast.

 

- When connecting the camera to your computer via USB cable for firmware updates, try to avoid long cable runs or connections.  I personally have not had a problem in this but others have reported difficulty when the USB cable is more than 6 feet.

 

- Lots of us have had confusion over adding "alignment references" which was the old way of adding "calibration stars".  They use the new terminology because StarSense adds a whole image of a section of the sky for improved alignment, rather than just one additional star.

 

Good luck.

 

MJB


Edited by MJB87, 22 December 2014 - 03:58 PM.

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#3 ur7x

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 04:26 PM

Many of us share your frustration.  Hang in there. It is worth it.

 

This is an evolving product.  You have an early version of the firmware. The latest public release firmware is, I believe, 1.2.13343 from 12 February 2014.  You should get this update by using Celestron Firmware Manager (CFM).  You can find that on the Celestron website or here: http://software.cele...pdates/CFM/CFM/

 

It is worth learning how to use CFM, if you haven't already. The firmware for the StarSense system is evolving and getting MUCH better. You'll want to download updates as they are released publicly..  You might consider becoming a member of TeamCelestron, the group of users that beta-tests new versions of the firmware. We are working off a release from 17 November 2014 and it seems to have addressed just about all of the bugs.  You can find out about joining TeamCelestron by going to TeamCelestron.com.

 


 

MJB

 

Great post, all I can add is that while the CFM software is easy to use, you must follow the direction that comes with it in "read me" files and in the setup photos.

 

My neighbor struggled for a evening trying to update his StarAlign...  My question was "have you read the instructions". 

In the CFM 1.9.4315 directory is a JPG photo of how to plug in your StarAlign to do the update.  Follow that and the Readme file and you shouldn't have any issues.


Edited by ur7x, 22 December 2014 - 04:29 PM.

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#4 MJB87

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 06:13 PM

You are absolutely right.  CFM works but can be, shall we say, "tempermental?"  It is imperative to set it up properly and follow the instructions.  Make sure you have a good internet connection.  If it doesn't work the first time, try again.  It can take 5-10 minutes to perform an update.

 

MJB



#5 hamdul

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 06:49 PM

O.K. Guys it seems that the consensus is that I have to download come updates, so my next question is HOW DO I DO IT? Don't forget I'm a total NERD when it comes to this computer stuff. From what I think you do is  start off doing a downloading the updates to my hard drive. That's wonderful but how do you get into your scope or HC. If any one respoces , and I hope that they do I need and I do mean step by step instructions. And by the way, YES I've read the instruction ,I can't tell you how many times.  Both Versions

 

Fred


Edited by hamdul, 22 December 2014 - 06:52 PM.


#6 ur7x

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 07:23 PM

Step 1 down load CFM the link  is here:

http://www.celestron...7.&group=iframe

Step 2 Unzip that file

Step 3 Read the "read me" file in the CFM directory

Step 4 Open the "StarSense_Connection_Diagram" photo in the CFM  directory

Step 5 Plug in your Telescope to match the photo.  The photo is a CGEM, but they are all kinda the same (other than the CG5 that needs a splitter)

Step 5.1 Computer on, Telescope OFF

Step 5.2 StarSense Camera "telephone" plug goes in AUX hole on mount

Step 5.3 StarSense HC "telephone" plug goes in the HC hole on the mount

Step 5.4 small end of the Serial program cable into base of HC, large end into the PC's serial port or into a USB->serial converter

Step 5.5 USB cable from StarSense Camera into PC's USB port.

Step 6 Double check all of that

Step 7 Turn on the mount

Step 8 In the CFM Directory Run the program called CFM.jar (Windows might have hidden it).
Step 9 Click the Update button.

Step 10 Watch and wait.  At this point the CFM app will be busy figuring out what your mount is, and what software it needs to down load.  It might ask you to confirm the mount, when I did the neighbors AVX it did not... about 30 second later it was done.

 

Step 11 Turn off the mount,  unplug everything from the PC

 

 

That's it.

 

You need to have java on your PC (its a free multi-platform program environment)  If its not there the app will ask you to down load it.  If needed I can walk you through that too.

 

Good Luck.


Edited by ur7x, 22 December 2014 - 07:26 PM.


#7 hamdul

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 08:27 PM

ur7x,

A million thanks. That looks like what I need. As soon as I get the stuff installed I'll give a big sigh of relief and send you another note of thanks

Fred



#8 MJB87

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 09:19 PM

Some modifications.

 

- In step 7, when turning on the mount, I also press the OPTION key (the one with the Celestron logo) at the same time.  Perhaps this is not necessary but if the process outlined so well by ur7x does not work, try that.  You should see the message "Bootloader User Keypad" on the Starsense hand controller screen.

 

- I don't have the program in front of me, so my memory may be faulty, but i think you may need to select the mount type in the CFM option settings. The default setting may not match your mount type.  Again, I'm not sure about this. But if you run into problems, consider this factor.



#9 hamdul

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:01 PM

Next Question(or is it going to be a problem) The picture showing the set up is very clear BUT I don't have a desktop I have a tower. It doesn't have "Mini USB" connections It does however have a Serial Connector . I assume that I won't need the USB to Serial adapter. As for the cable going from the camera to the computer. I assume that this will work but might be a tad slow? Is there such a cable that has a mini USB connector on one end and a standard USB connector on the other and if so will it work replacing the one shown on the picture diagram?
That's all I can think of for now.

Fred

#10 MJB87

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:48 PM

Fred,

 

If your computer has a serial port then you can connect directly with a RS232 connector.  No need for a serial-to-USB converter.  To be clear, we are talking about the cable that connects the handset (NOT the camera) to the computer.

 

The USB cable you require to connect the camera to the computer is a Male Mini-B to Male-A cable, assuming of course you have a USB jack on your computer. These cables are very common.  You can pick one up at just about any electronics store or order them on Amazon.  Just make sure it is a Mini-B and not a Micro-B connector.  Many cell phones and cameras use these cables.

 

If you don't have any USB jacks on your computer, you'll need to find a workaround.  Not sure what that would be.  Frankly, might be easier just to borrow someone's laptop for the CFM updates.  Long term, however, you will need a computer with at least one USB port.  USB is now the standard for accessories.

 

Marty



#11 hamdul

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 02:00 PM

Marty,

I looked at the cables and see that they have 4 & 5 pin varieties. Which do I need or does it matter? Yes I have a bunch of USB ports on my computer.

Finally, Thanks for the reply.

 

Fred



#12 MJB87

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 03:48 PM

Fred,

 

Sorry -- which cable are you referring to?  Which connector do you mean, the part that plugs into the handset or the part that plugs into the computer?

 

Marty

 

PS: Were you on CL-66?  During the war?



#13 celestroneric

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 03:59 PM

Updating the firmware is a good idea, but should not be required for what you are describing. Have you actually tried to use this in the field? 

 

Thanks,

 

-Eric

 

 

 

I've just finished setting up my StarSense on my Nexstar 8SE. Everything went together like clockwork but now comes the alignment set up and that an entirely different story.

I have two different sets of start up instructions and neither produce the the results that indicate in the instructions. Let me digress a bit and say that the hand control says I have version 1,07.13311 and the BLD is Nov 7 2013 Now back to the problem.

The instructions that came with the unit states, after I turn it on "Press ALIGN then select STARSENSE  AUTO and press ENTER. Press ENTER to select Location by City. Choose your Country and city by the menu provided What comes up however is a screen that shows, Time, Date, Time Zone and DST. I change them to show the correct Time/Date etc. and press Enter but what comes up is not asking for location but Preparing to start the auto align process.

 

The other Instruction go like this, "Press ALIGN then select STARSENSE  AUTO and press ENTER. Press BACK to accept the time date and location information. (What comes up has no location information.) Press ENTER to edit the information. Now it gets Whacky Cuz the next instruction says, Press NTER to select Location by City. In the previous instruction the city was supposed to be shown and to edit the time/location data you had to press ENTER So when I press ENTER all that comes up is the time/Date stuff.

So my question is, Does anyone know how to get tha=e location into the system???????????

 

Thanks for any help.

 

Fred



#14 hamdul

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 04:16 PM

Marty,
I'm not sure. It just said on some of the items "4 Pin" and on Others 5 Pin
Fred

Re: CL-86  Yes
http://www.history.n...cksburg-iii.htm


Edited by hamdul, 23 December 2014 - 04:53 PM.


#15 hamdul

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 04:21 PM

Eric,

You're right :4 .  All this started when what I really wanted to know was how to get my location into the mix. Could by any chance my location be known from my previous uses.? :confused:

Use it in the field, are you kidding. Surely you must be aware of the astronomers curse that when you buy something you get several weeks of rain and clouds free of charge that accompany the delivery. :evillaugh:

 

Fred


Edited by hamdul, 23 December 2014 - 05:04 PM.

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#16 ur7x

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 05:46 PM

Marty,

I looked at the cables and see that they have 4 & 5 pin varieties. Which do I need or does it matter? Yes I have a bunch of USB ports on my computer.

Finally, Thanks for the reply.

 

Fred

 

You might want to check again there are no 5 pin cables. 

There is one 4 pin cable.  That is the one referenced in step 5.4 it goes in the little hole in the bottom of the Hand Controler.  Commonly know as the serial program cable.

 

There are 2 6 pin cables. They are referenced in steps 5.2 and 5.3.

The 6 pin (RJ12) connector that comes out of the StarSense Camera goes in the AUX hole on the mount  (Step 5.2)

And the 6 pin (RJ12) connector that come out the Hand Controller goes in the HC hole on the mount (Step 5.3)

 

Otherwise plug everything in as per my instructions and as per the photo in the download file.



#17 hamdul

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 09:47 PM

Is this the Mini-B Connector?????????

Fred

Attached Thumbnails

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#18 ur7x

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 11:27 PM

Yes Sir!



#19 hamdul

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 09:51 AM

I've been thinking. My original question was "Does anyone know how to get my location into the system?"

From that we've somehow got into a discussion of downloading the latest version of the firmware. While I appreciate all that advice and will eventually do that upgrade, no one has addressed my original question. I feel that I want to become familiar with the set up shown in the manual before I get involved with upgrades.

So once again does anyone know how to get location into the works? :confused:

Thanks for all your help so far. :bow:

 

Fred


Edited by hamdul, 24 December 2014 - 09:52 AM.


#20 hamdul

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 10:26 AM

Eric,

You seem to be on top of this.... What am I doing wrong? :4

Fred



#21 hamdul

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 11:22 AM

Another oddity into the mix.

I turn the unit on. I press "ALIGN"  and select "STARSENSE AUTO" and the screen shows up with the date/time data. If I press back at this time it just goes back to the screen to select "STARSENSE AUTO" But I've said this before. Anyway when the Date/Time screen is there I change the time but at the end of that line there is a space then the letter "S"  After I  input the correct data for seconds and press "ENTER" it bypasses that "S" and goes to the Date.

What's the significance of that "S"

Fred



#22 hamdul

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 12:13 PM

Well guys, I'm not certain BUT (Isn't there always a BUT) I think I have the "Location" problem solved. :bounce:  I went to the MENU and there was a spot for entering Time/Location. :banjodance:  So that's where I entered my location. :waytogo:   I assume that it's stored in the HC memory and I won't be bothered with it again. :confused:

 

It's funny BUT (There's that BUT again) while searching in Menu I didn't see an item for "REMOVING CLOUDS".  As soon as I get some clear night I'll give the StarSense a workout so I can familiarize myself with it and then upgrade downloads

Fred


Edited by hamdul, 24 December 2014 - 12:20 PM.


#23 MJB87

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 12:43 PM

Glad to hear you are making progress.  Many suggest playing with the SS hand controller indoors, using a "Quick Align" to get things started.

 

I hear you about the clouds.  Horrible conditions here as well.

 

I know that you have encountered challenges in updaing firmware.  Now that you are on the TeamCelestron site, I do suggest you update to the latest beta release.  

 

MJB



#24 ur7x

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 01:22 PM

Well guys, I'm not certain BUT (Isn't there always a BUT) I think I have the "Location" problem solved. :bounce:  I went to the MENU and there was a spot for entering Time/Location. :banjodance:  So that's where I entered my location. :waytogo:   I assume that it's stored in the HC memory and I won't be bothered with it again. :confused:

 

It's funny BUT (There's that BUT again) while searching in Menu I didn't see an item for "REMOVING CLOUDS".  As soon as I get some clear night I'll give the StarSense a workout so I can familiarize myself with it and then upgrade downloads

Fred

 

Yes your location is stored in the HC's "permanent" memory so once you have entered it once you never have to enter it again... That is unless you plan to use the telescope in Hawaii, Arizona, or some where else dry and clear.

 

In my case,  I looked up my back yard in Google Earth and entered the long and lat of my pier's location and entered that into the HC  I double checked it with a Garmin GPS and I'm within about 3 ft.



#25 hamdul

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 07:40 PM

ur7x,

Got another question.

When you downloaded were you using a Mac or Windows operating system?

Fred




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