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Nexstar + and StarSense Firmware Updates.

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#26 Noah4x4

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 05:33 AM

This brings an interesting question. How will you know if there is an update available for your mount or starsense without periodically checking cfm and connecting to the mount?

You don't unless somebody mentions in here. Celestron (like Microsoft) ought to have a Web page that lists updates, but don't. However, if you have the cables and have waded through the foggy process (installing Drivers & latest Java etc) it doesn't take more than a couple of clicks to periodically check.

 

But as a general rule, "if it ain't broke don't fix it". A firmware update might even introduce a problem particularly if you are using any third party applications. Most updates are to fix stuff that is probably irrelevant to your mount or location.  I pursued development of this thread and updated all my kit as I had distinct problems with my Evolution and Starsense and discovered that my firmware was at least a year out of date, so it was an intuitive move to eliminate that. My kit now runs like a dream, so I don't intend updating it again (ever) unless I encounter a fresh running problem or read of a specific need.


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#27 Jason Martin

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 11:42 PM

Slightly off topic, but if this new controller has a built in USB to serial chip, does that mean it can be used with a simple mini USB cable to provide pc control without having to buy a separate adapter?


Edited by Jason Martin, 19 January 2017 - 01:57 AM.

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#28 Jason Martin

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:57 AM

So I just got off my butt and answered my own question. It works PERFECTLY! After I installed the 2303 driver I fired up NexRemote, selected comm port 3, and all is right in the world.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Jay


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#29 nwcs

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:39 PM

Well, we may not know what firmware is released but at least we can keep tabs on this file to see what the current versions are -- and even better when they were updated:

 

http://software.cele...ion_History.pdf


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#30 Noah4x4

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 02:35 PM

Since I created the original post, Celestron has twice updated CFM. The latest version might offer support to a wider number of devices. See previous post.

 

The first update was version 2.1.6356. This wouldn't run properly for me, so I kept 2.1.6050. I have a feeling 2.1.6356 had a problem.

 

Today I downloaded version 2.3.7016. Not yet run it with my telescopes, but it opened fine and downloaded the packages despite no device being attached.

 

So not only do we need to keep our eyes open for firmware updates,  we have to watch for updates to the updater.  To be fair, if you try to run any of the earlier versions it does invite you to update to the later version. Given the issues at the top of this thread, probably worth doing. The latest version did seem to open and run more smoothly!



#31 Noah4x4

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 02:47 AM

Well, we may not know what firmware is released but at least we can keep tabs on this file to see what the current versions are -- and even better when they were updated:

 

http://software.cele...ion_History.pdf

I have found this link to be a bit flakey.  Occasionally won't download to my Android device. This is possibly a better gateway to this this same inormation supplied directly by Celestron, albeit it takes an extra step to get there. http://www.cloudynig...e/#entry7695175  Whilst it offers the firmware list, it also includes the correct updates and other goodies etc.



#32 Moonjet

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 06:01 PM

I got wifi update to work pretty easily for StarSense:

1. Launch CFM and go to connections and set to wifi and restart CFM
2. Plug in camera to mount
3. Plug in StarSense to mount
4. Plug in the Celestron SkyQ link
5. Press the Celestron and 7 button and turn on mount
6. Connect your computer to the wifi off the mount
7. Connect both camera and handset to computer
8. Check connections and update

Ironically I couldn't get it to check any other way. I just bought the StarSense but wanted to check for updates. A direct connection without wifi just wouldn't recognize the controller no matter what I did.   

 

If if you are updating via wifi, why is it necessary to comment SS camera and HC  (#7) to computer?

 



#33 Noah4x4

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:43 AM

 

I got wifi update to work pretty easily for StarSense:
 

If if you are updating via wifi, why is it necessary to comment SS camera and HC  (#7) to computer?

 

 

This thread embraces a wide number of Celestron mounts. Obviously, only Evolution owners and others with an external WiFi accessory can use WiFi. The majority of Celestron owners use a hand controller and hence link to Windows PC'S.  This first post in this thread specifically highlights these parameters. But your update regarding how to do this via WiFi is very useful. Thanks.

 

However,  I will repeat what I have often said in other threads. WIFI is both a blessing and a curse.It makes everything so easy  (a positive), and I love controlling my Evolution by Android tablet. But it seems that an entire generation is skipping learning about how to use the HC.

 

A fact is that technology always seems to advance faster than the developers of APPS,  so APPs are inevitably laggard. The latest gizmo is produced (example Starsense) and it then takes many months for (say) SkyPortal or SkySafari to catch up across all platforms (IOS; Android; Windows). and often even longer to bug fix. Yet the new gizmo will work fine with the dedicated HC for which it was originally developed. If you didn't initially learn the HC basics, then the learning curve starts to look like climbing Everest and with such typically poor manuals, user error is then rife.

 

Tablets also run out of battery; you might suffer from WiFi conflicts if in the vicinity of multiple telescopes (such as a Star Party); you might drop it and break your screen.  I feel it is prudent to learn to do everything by HC then whenever new gizmo progress occurs or disaster strikes you do have a fall back. It's then like driving a car with a gearbox having been taught only in an automatic. You will never work out how to do it in the dark. So I encourage people to learn both control routes, then when the autopilot (WiFi) fails,  you can still land safely.

 

ADDED

Sorry, I might have slightly misread this because the OP and comment in post # 32 do seem to have merged into one. I thought the question related to original post #1. I agree step #7 in post #32 does needs more explanation. Here I assume it's not intended by wire, instead simply ensure the devices are being recognised by CFM using its search devices command over the WiFi connection. One reason I stick to HC. I know how to do it by that route.


Edited by Noah4x4, 13 February 2017 - 07:09 AM.


#34 rywhite40

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 08:18 AM

I am still trying to setup Celestron Adv VX mount and NexStar + hand controller to talk to Stellarium running on my Windows 10 computer. I have been able to down load updates to the NexStar + hand controller but am unable to connect to the mount. I am missing a piece to the puzzle somewhere.  Here is what I have done

Connected computer to the handcontroller using a USB A to mini USB B.

Updated the windows 10 drivers including PL2303.

Installed the ASCOM drivers.

When I try to connect to the mount on the hand controller I get the message "Boot Loader Serial Pass through Off"

I'm assuming that the hand controller won't forward the commands to the mount.

 

Thanks for anyone's help.

Richard

 

Update: 12:30 pm I was finally able to get Stellarium to control my Celestron Adv VX mount. I ran CFM install again and it appeared to finish successfully.  Now I can control the mount using the Hand Controller or Stellarium.

Take aways: Running CFM to make sure all the add-ons loaded successfully on the Hand Controller

                     I also made sure that the telescope add-on supported the Stellarium version.

                     Since I had the Nexstar + with the mini USB B connection I was able to use a generic USB A to mini USB B cable

                     Make sure the comm ports were entered.

                     I had to have a lot of patience and during the troubleshooting process I had to walk away. for awhile.

 


Edited by rywhite40, 14 February 2017 - 12:43 PM.


#35 skaiser

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:50 AM

Cannot UPDATE Starsense HC firmware

As of yesterday I have tried two methods.

Method 1 - WiFi

I am still trying to get my Starsense HC firmware updated to the latest release.

  ( This is the newer HC with USB port.) Scope is a new Evo 9.25 with built in WiFi
  HC Currently at (Ver: 01.16.16055, Bld: Feb 24 2016)
  trying to update to StarSense HC Ver: 01.17.16291, Bld: Oct 17 2016
I am using (CFM_2.3.7016) on a windows 10 , 64 bit system, with latest Java update,
  PC has WiFi and multiple USB ports.

I have tried updating system using the only WiFi connection ( NO USB CONNECTIONS) in CFM .

 Run CFM in WiFi port connection mode. CFM detects  WiFi Accessory,  Starsense camera, Starsense HC , and Evo Mount
    The Starsense camera and HC are plugged into the EVO scope when I try the update.
I run Update, Each time I try it this way,  CFM reports all devices updated, but at the end of the update I get a Error on my HC   

 ERR: Camera Statu

   the starsense camera could not be readied for use and may require a restart. check the connection to the Starsense camera and cycle power to      the telescope to try again.

I  power cycle the scope and it starts OK. Everything seems to run OK.
BUT When I check the HC it remains at Ver: 01.16.16055  SO the HC is not updating.
 

Method 2. USB connection.

I have now also tried updating using USB wired connections interface to the PC using  (CFM_2.3.7016).
I tried :
one PC USB cable plugged into Starsense camera
another PC USB cable plugged into Starsense HC
Run CFM in Serial port connection mode.
CFM finds 3 devices, Starsense camera, HC , and Evo Mount
I run update in CFM , it reports back all devices updated.
NO errors reported on HC.
When I check the HC it is still the old Firmware Ver: 01.16.16055.
 

I have not tried the method of Post #32 with both WiFi and USB connection.

Maybe I will ....

I have a ticket in to Celestron for a week but no response so far.

Any Ideas?


Edited by skaiser, 15 February 2017 - 10:52 AM.


#36 skaiser

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 11:02 AM

I am still trying to setup Celestron Adv VX mount and NexStar + hand controller to talk to Stellarium running on my Windows 10 computer. I have been able to down load updates to the NexStar + hand controller but am unable to connect to the mount. I am missing a piece to the puzzle somewhere.  Here is what I have done

Connected computer to the handcontroller using a USB A to mini USB B.

Updated the windows 10 drivers including PL2303.

Installed the ASCOM drivers.

When I try to connect to the mount on the hand controller I get the message "Boot Loader Serial Pass through Off"

I'm assuming that the hand controller won't forward the commands to the mount.

 

Thanks for anyone's help.

Richard

 

Update: 12:30 pm I was finally able to get Stellarium to control my Celestron Adv VX mount. I ran CFM install again and it appeared to finish successfully.  Now I can control the mount using the Hand Controller or Stellarium.

Take aways: Running CFM to make sure all the add-ons loaded successfully on the Hand Controller

                     I also made sure that the telescope add-on supported the Stellarium version.

                     Since I had the Nexstar + with the mini USB B connection I was able to use a generic USB A to mini USB B cable

                     Make sure the comm ports were entered.

                     I had to have a lot of patience and during the troubleshooting process I had to walk away. for awhile.

rywhite40

 How did you check the com port setup on your win10 pc? Was this part of the PL2303 update?

I am also interested in controlling my scope with Stellarium.



#37 Noah4x4

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 11:33 AM

SKaiser; according to this link,  http://software.cele...pdates/CFM/CFM/  which shows the 'official'status of  Starsense firmware as at  January 2017; version 01.16.16055 is the latest version of the Starsense HC, and is the version that I am succesfully running.  The Starsense camera has not been updated since 2014.  So you already do appear to have the latest firmware. Your update attempt hence sounds as if it was successful (or unnecessary). 

 

As I reported in an earlier post; http://www.cloudynig...ates/?p=7667832  there have recently been two rapid updates of CFM of benefit to other mounts.  However, the Starsense HC has not been updated since March 2016.  Again, the Celestron link will shows what the latest bug fixes and enhancements actually were. But the last update affecting an Evolution mount was back in August 2016.  

 

I can't assist with your Stellarium question. But I doubt it has anything to do with the firmware you have installed.  But didn't you post a similar question in TeamCelestron and Derik offer relevant advice? Maybe you haven't seen his response?

 

ADDED

Just realised (having checked the thread in TeamCelestron) that you are possibly seeking to upgrade to the Starsense firmware that is still in BETA testing? I suggest don't, it is not the solution to your challenge.   Version 01.16.16055 is still THE correct version in the public domain. I also believe that the very latest version (in beta) doesn't enhance Starsense on the Evolution and is aimed at fixing the odd issue with other mounts. I also saw that Derik responded regarding NexRemote (not Stellarium).  Sorry,  I can't assist you with regards to Stellarium,  but it's not a firmware issue. You already do have the latest relevant to the Evolution and Starsense HC. 


Edited by Noah4x4, 15 February 2017 - 12:29 PM.


#38 outofsight

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 01:41 PM

skaiser, a few things in addition to the excellent info that Noah4x4 provided. I'm not completely sure about this and my apologies if incorrect, I think I've recently read that you may get an Error warning at the end of the process, but it might be a false Error. In other words, you might want to run your stuff and everything might actually be OK.

 

Another thing, and this goes with the false error idea and the latest CFM, and latest updates, in general, possibly betas. A guy said he couldn't get the update done with the latest CFM, but when he went back to the older CFM version everything worked well. The latest and the greatest might be the latest, but not always the greatest.

 

Keep at it, it's almost always some minor glitch.  


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#39 Noah4x4

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 02:02 PM

skaiser, a few things in addition to the excellent info that Noah4x4 provided. I'm not completely sure about this and my apologies if incorrect, I think I've recently read that you may get an Error warning at the end of the process, but it might be a false Error. In other words, you might want to run your stuff and everything might actually be OK.

 

Another thing, and this goes with the false error idea and the latest CFM, and latest updates, in general, possibly betas. A guy said he couldn't get the update done with the latest CFM, but when he went back to the older CFM version everything worked well. The latest and the greatest might be the latest, but not always the greatest.

 

Keep at it, it's almost always some minor glitch.  

Totally agree. This post might be relevant. http://www.cloudynig...0080/?p=7703898   It relates to the bootloader invalid errors often reported. I too had trouble with one of the recent public release  incarnations of CFM and had to revert to a previous incarnation to restore my equipment . So don't attempt to run beta software when struggling with other challenges. I think the Stellarium answer is more likely to be found in the software threads as Skaiser has the latest (public) firmware. 


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#40 skaiser

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:31 PM

Noah, All

 Thanks for the help on this.

 Regarding Firmware Update:

I guess I did not realize Ver: 01.17.16291 was a beta release.

I am still concerned CFM would not load it, but I will now wait until the official release.

 I may try the previous version of CFM at that time to see if that helps as suggested by "nitzy101"  as referenced by "outsight" above..

 

Regarding ASCOM interface:

Thanks to help here and Celestron I can now talk to my scope via ASCOM.

I am using SkyQLink and NexRemote.



#41 xHarry

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 10:47 PM

Noah, All

 Thanks for the help on this.

 Regarding Firmware Update:

I guess I did not realize Ver: 01.17.16291 was a beta release.

I am still concerned CFM would not load it, but I will now wait until the official release.

 I may try the previous version of CFM at that time to see if that helps as suggested by "nitzy101"  as referenced by "outsight" above..

 

Regarding ASCOM interface:

Thanks to help here and Celestron I can now talk to my scope via ASCOM.

I am using SkyQLink and NexRemote.

CFM version 

2.1.6050 updated smoothly on my system.

2.3.7016 failed when is was unable to open a channel to package server:  /CFM/SsInterface

 

(On another note: in my case at least, Windows installed a Prolific USB to Serial driver all by itself.)

 

Thanks 

Harry


Edited by xHarry, 26 February 2017 - 02:35 AM.


#42 Noah4x4

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 07:20 AM

 

Noah, All

 Thanks for the help on this.

 Regarding Firmware Update:

I guess I did not realize Ver: 01.17.16291 was a beta release.

I am still concerned CFM would not load it, but I will now wait until the official release.

 I may try the previous version of CFM at that time to see if that helps as suggested by "nitzy101"  as referenced by "outsight" above..

 

Regarding ASCOM interface:

Thanks to help here and Celestron I can now talk to my scope via ASCOM.

I am using SkyQLink and NexRemote.

CFM version 

2.1.6050 updated smoothly on my system.

2.3.7016 failed when is was unable to open a channel to package server:  /CFM/SsInterface

 

(On another note: in my case at least, Windows installed a Prolific USB to Serial driver all by itself.)

 

Thanks 

Harry

 

Hi Harry,

 

The latest firmware history (e.g. for that in the public domain) can be found here (dated January 2017).

 

http://software.cele...ion_History.pdf

 

So check in your H.C. that you telescope firmware matches that listed. The version of CFM is largely irrelevant; unless your specific equipment requires its latest update or bug fix. For example; if your use of CFM version 2.1.6050 loaded version 1.16.16055 of the StarSense HC firmware (updated in 3/2016) then that accessory is already up to date.

 

I believe that 2.1.6050 is the latest reliable CFM version for your kit (it is the last that worked for me too!). There has been the odd problem with some later versions of CFM (as you describe) and some are beta test releases that have somehow (wrongly) escaped into the public domain.

 

The best general rule is if it isn't broke, don't fix it. The list published in the Revision History tells you what each update has fixed. For example; the StarSense camera hasn't had an update for some years, so the list will confirm that you don't need to chase one. Generally (unless bug fixing), CFM version updates are more focussed on adding the latest mount or new accessory. It is only the specific firmware for your kit that matters.



#43 Ray Hansen

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 07:38 PM

I'm in this update mess as well. Can someone email me the CFM 2.1.6050 zip file? I'll try to drop back.

I've worked in software for many years and this is probably some of the worst support I've  ever seen.

Thanks in advance.


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#44 Noah4x4

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:23 PM

I believe that this has just been superseded by version CFM_2.3.7070.zip.

 

Visit http://software.cele...pdates/CFM/CFM/

 

Good luck, it's a fun roller coaster ride, but this should work OK (see instructions above). Celestron seems to have a habit of using us as unofficial user acceptance testers, and that is why I started this thread. Hope it helps.



#45 Ray Hansen

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:08 AM

Hi Noah,

7070 is the update I ran that bricked two handsets. I think normally, firmware updates are designed to roll back

when they encounter an exception. The 7070 just went into an exception loop, then halted ungracefully, leaving

both controllers inoperable. It would not work for me on four separate computers, running W7 and W10. I don't

have any unusual firewalls or AV software running.

 

I did get a PM from someone that had the same problem and had solved it doing a manual rollback. I was also told

there is a beta CFM release that appears to be working. Other than that, unless Celestron tech support has another

answer, all I can do is send them to Torrance for flashing. If there is another option, I'm all ears.



#46 roelb

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:32 PM

It should still be possible to set the hand controller into programming mode.

You may try it by starting the telescope and pressing the buttons MENU and OPTIONS (Celestron-logo) at the same time.

The hand controller should then show the text "BOOT LOADER - User Keypad Entry".

You may have to try several times to get into boot mode, it doesn't always work on the first try.

 

Try update with older CFM version, eg. 2.1.6356: https://spideroak.co...ro - share/CFM/

 



#47 Ray Hansen

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:23 PM

Hi Roel,

Maybe I'm making an incorrect assumption. First, I literally just started working with this a week ago today.  I thought

the architecture of any CFM zip package would be the same as the 7070 that is causing my problem. The 6356 you

reference doesn't have a packages folder in it, so when it runs I assume it gets the packages from somewhere on the

web. When I compare those file numbers, they are indeed the same. In other words, the target firmware updates in 7070

and 6356 are identical.  It is one of those files in the SS package that is causing the problem. I get an activity that runs to

100% (packages download?).The second activity runs to 21% (bootloader?), stops, restarts, repeats 4 times, then halts

and gives me a green check mark and everything is updated message. There isn't anything in the command window that

tells me the specific activity thats looping.

 

So, I assumed if I got the previous CFM package (2.1.xxxx?) with those original SS package files, I might have a chance

of getting the handsets running again rather than having to send them to and from service. I've also heard there is a beta

CFM release that is working on the same setup as mine, but I haven't located it yet. It's annoyingly difficult to get quick

access to anything in team celestron.

 

Last, I can get to the controller screen you mentioned, but I have no idea of what I can do from there. Is there any place where

this stuff is written down? Remember, I've only been at this a week.

 

Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate your help and input.



#48 roelb

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:59 PM

Yes, you are right, 'CFM.jar' downloads the 'packages', so they are always the latest version.

 

I have found in my backups 2 older CFM-versions, together with the downloaded packages, at the time I did a firmware update:

V.2.1.6050 - I did an update at 03/18/2016

V.2.3.6355 - """""""""""""""""""""" 01/11/2017

 

You can download the extracted versions here: https://spideroak.co...ro - share/CFM/

 

I suggest trying following:

1. download an extracted version

2. cut/copy the Packages directory outside your CFM installation directory

3. run CFM.jar => Packages will be downloaded

4. after download, replace the newly created Packages directory with the one you saved in step 2.

5. continue with the update program

 

Note: CFM.jar expects a internet connection, otherwise an error occurs.

 

I hope that you succeed to 'rehabilitate' your hand controllerforeheadslap.gif

 

Clear skies!



#49 skaiser

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:37 AM

After having my starsense get really flaky, (random wifi disconnects, wifi com errors, more) , celestron tech let me do a rma to return the starsense and gave me a new one. 5 or 6 nights of viewing with the new unit and everything seems to be rock solid again. Last night I also ran cfm via wifi on my system and found out 7070 had been deployed, so I updated to cfm 7070 and ran it via wifi to check my sw. Everything ran ok, and it updated my new hc from 1.16.16055 to 1.17.16291. 

Will have to wait a couple days to see stars again and see how it works.

also, being an old developer of automation systems,I always keep the previous versions of CFM on file just in case....after all it's just a few thousand kilobytes of storage.



#50 fitter328

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:31 PM

Sorry, just saw that a new thread was started on this subject!

Hi Everyone,

First off, thank you Noah4x4 for your original post. I just completed updating my AVX w/Starsense and would never have figured it out without your guidance. It is much appreciated!

My mount was bought used and I was told it is about 2 years old, Starsense is new and as yet unused. My laptop has been upgraded to Windows 10, latest Java and I used a Startech USB to serial adapter with current driver installed. Initially CFM would not recognize any devices (mount, Nexstar+ or Starsense) but after unplugging the Starsense from the aux port and switching from a generic serial cable to the Celestron supplied one all went smoothly. CFM recognized, downloaded and installed a total of 11 packages to the mount and hand control. I then powered down the mount and plugged in the Starsense hand control (new USB type), Starsense still disconnected, and ran CFM again. Mount and hand control were recognized and a total of 6 packages downloaded and installed. I made no further attempts to have the Starsense recognized as it is running the current firmware version.

I was surprised by the number of updates to this new and relatively new kit so hopefully my experience will help other AVX owners to get their software updated. Please feel free to ask any questions if I haven't been completely clear. Now just waiting for the snow to melt and some warmer weather for first light!

 

Cheers,

John




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