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Nexstar hand control update

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#1 Nissaire

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 09:06 AM

I bought my CPC 1100 used. It came with a Nexstar * hand control, with firmware version 4.12 and motor control version 5.07. I'm considering upgrading both firmware, as I would appreciate the cordwrap prevention feature to work, and also having JNow coordinates instead of J2000.

 

I have the serial cable required for the update, but no serial port on my computer. Also, I run Windows 10, and the HCupdate software required will not install. So in order to upgrade the firmware, I have to find a friend or relative that has a computer with a serial port and an older version of Windows (98 or XP). I know I can purchase a cable that converts the cable's serial connection to USB, but I've read on this forum that some people have had trouble with this cable, so I'll try to avoid it and find an older computer that has the serial port.

 

As an alternative, I'm considering purchasing a Nexstar + HC. This would provide me with a remote that, to my understanding, uses JNow, and also give me a backup remote (I would hate it if I traveled to a dark site and could not use the scope because of a dead hand control). However, I gather the cordwrap feature would still need a MC firmware update for it to function properly.

 

I can't seem to find out if the Nexstar + HC would work with my scope, and MC version 5.07. Would I need to upgrade the MC for the + version to work?

 

What do you think is the best choice? Upgrading both firmware or purchasing a Nexstar + HC?

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Phil



#2 Jim Davis

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 10:09 AM

See the Nexstar site for more info: www.nexstarsite.com.

 

You need a USB to Serial cable in addition to the Celestron serial cable. You plug the usb-serial cable in your PC, then hook the celestron cable to it. The cable is USB on one end, and serial on the other.

 

Yes, you need to upgrade the MC firmware to fix the cordwrap issue, so you will need to do an upgrade anyway even if you buy a new handset.

 

You can run HCupdate on Windows 10, but you need to run in compatibility mode. An explanation is here: http://www.howtogeek...-on-windows-10/



#3 Nissaire

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 04:24 PM

See the Nexstar site for more info: www.nexstarsite.com.

 

You need a USB to Serial cable in addition to the Celestron serial cable. You plug the usb-serial cable in your PC, then hook the celestron cable to it. The cable is USB on one end, and serial on the other.

 

Yes, you need to upgrade the MC firmware to fix the cordwrap issue, so you will need to do an upgrade anyway even if you buy a new handset.

 

You can run HCupdate on Windows 10, but you need to run in compatibility mode. An explanation is here: http://www.howtogeek...-on-windows-10/

 

Thanks Jim. Managed to run both HCupdate and MCupdate using the compatibility troubleshooter in Windows 10. I was then able to download the correct firmware versions. All I need to do now is purchase the USB to serial cable (or find a computer with a serial connection) and I should be good to go.



#4 Nissaire

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 07:54 PM

Alright! Purchased a Serial-USB cable, and applied the HC (4.21) and MC (5.14) updates without a glitch! I have to admit I was a little stressed something might go wrong after reading of some upgrade attempts turned haywire. I agree the process can seem intimidating and doesn't seem user-friendly, but in the end, carefully reading the instructions and following them managed to get me there. I've seen worst firmware upgrade procedures.

 

Also, I now have the cables required to control the telescope from a computer.

 

Jim, thanks to your link on backwards compatibility, I managed to install and run the NexRemote program as well (it refused to install because it is not designed to work in a Windows 10 environment, just like the HCupdate software). I'll have to see what this opens up with other software as well.

 

While I agree with the "If it's ain't broke, don't fix it" idea, let this be a motivation for others wanting to upgrade the Nexstar firmware: it's definitely possible. In my case, nothing in the update was vital, but I'm sure I'll appreciate the improvements.




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