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Nexstar + and StarSense Firmware Updates.

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#201 HickTrick

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:44 AM

Thanks for the tips! 
I did log a ticket with Celestron the same day I posted here (and yes, it was a shorter story laugh.gif ) But I haven't heard back yet. I'll see if I can add an amendment to the ticket to name drop you grin.gif
 
I'll have to check some local astronomy forums to see if there's anyone in my area with a version 4 HC and give that a try.

Hey kyleday, thanks for giving me hope! But, the link you pasted doesn't appear to have pasted correctly.
 
I assume it's in www.nexstarsite.com so I did some googling assuming that, and getting the last portion of the url you pasted `xstargpsfix.htm` and ended up here:
HCFirmwareUpgradeHowToNexStarPlusNexStarGPSFix
 
 
 
That page says it's for the "NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS and NexStar 5i/8i". But, I assume that it's really for the NexStar+ HC, that is why it still applies to this situation?
  • I could downgrade my HC firmware with that method
  • then use MCUpdate to get my mount back to working
  • then go back to regular CFM and update the HC back to the latest and greatest
Does that sound about right for the process you followed?

Edited by HickTrick, 12 August 2019 - 11:45 AM.


#202 kyleday

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:51 PM

Yes

#203 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:59 PM

Hi HickTrick,

 

Yes, that is the correct page at my website to access an older version of the NexStar+ hand control (HC) firmware.  Kyle suggested this solution and confirmed it worked for his setup.

 

So...Celestron has confirmed that the current version of NexStar+ firmware BREAKS MCUPDATE.  If you load that older version of NexStar+ HC firmware you should be able to get MCupdate to reload firmware to your mount's motor control.  Be sure to load the latest NexStar+ HC firmware back onto your HC after you get the MC working again.

 

Hopefully Celestron will have the NexStar+ firmware fixed soon as there is a slight risk in loading older firmware on the NexStar+ HC, plus a lot of people aren't going to learn about this until after they brick their motor control.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com



#204 AsterMap

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 12:48 AM

Has anyone else seen a BSOD (blue screen o' death) on Windows 10 running updates in CFM_2.7.9144, particularly with StarSense?

 

I just got a new (well, open-box) StarSense off eBay and rather than just check the version in the HC, I threw caution to the wind and jumped right into updating the firmware.  I was prompted to update from 2.7.9007 to 2.7.9144, done.  Then I plugged the SS HC into my system, and CFM detected it and downloaded the packages.  But when it started updating the first of 6 packages to the HC, I suddenly got a BSOD.  This has happened four different times.  I was eventually successful in doing an update, so I think the problem could have been my USB cable (borrowed from an old Garmin GPS) as it feels a bit loose in the HC.  The BSOD message was serial/usb related.  Too bad Celestron didn't include a mini-B cable with the StarSense,

 

I'm kinda new to doing updates with CFM, but it seems like it always wants to run updates even when the connected devices have been updated.  Does it forget when the software is restarted, or does the presence of the Packages directory make it think it always has updates to perform?

 

Todd



#205 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 05:26 PM

Hi Todd,

I've never heard of a BSOD in CFM but Windows drivers (like the USB to serial driver) are directly linked to the Windows kernel so I would suspect a change in the most recent Windows updates that has led to a slight instability with the driver. It is possible there is a newer driver than you currently have loaded or Prolific may need to update the driver due to those possible changes in Windows.

CFM (the third section of the main CFM window) doesn't normally reload firmware to your equipment when it detects the same version already on the equipment. You will usually see activity in the top two sections of CFM: the top section for detecting devices and the middle section for downloading new packages. Note that the middle section of CFM may download packages that don't apply to your equipment.

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com

Edited by Michael_Swanson, 15 August 2019 - 11:50 PM.


#206 AsterMap

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:49 PM

Hi Mike,

 

That makes sense about the driver.  I recently updated to KB4511553 (8/13).  I'm leaning on the actual cable being at fault, although I must've used it before for my regular HC a few months ago (a much shorter update).  I'll try a $5 cable and see if anything changes.

 

Good stuff on CFM.

 

Thanks,

 

Todd



#207 HickTrick

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 04:17 PM

Hey kyleday, thanks for giving me hope! But, the link you pasted doesn't appear to have pasted correctly.
 
I assume it's in www.nexstarsite.com so I did some googling assuming that, and getting the last portion of the url you pasted `xstargpsfix.htm` and ended up here:
HCFirmwareUpgradeHowToNexStarPlusNexStarGPSFix
 
 
 
That page says it's for the "NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS and NexStar 5i/8i". But, I assume that it's really for the NexStar+ HC, that is why it still applies to this situation?

  • I could downgrade my HC firmware with that method
  • then use MCUpdate to get my mount back to working
  • then go back to regular CFM and update the HC back to the latest and greatest
Does that sound about right for the process you followed?

 

 

Yes

 

 

Hi HickTrick,

 

Yes, that is the correct page at my website to access an older version of the NexStar+ hand control (HC) firmware.  Kyle suggested this solution and confirmed it worked for his setup.

 

So...Celestron has confirmed that the current version of NexStar+ firmware BREAKS MCUPDATE.  If you load that older version of NexStar+ HC firmware you should be able to get MCupdate to reload firmware to your mount's motor control.  Be sure to load the latest NexStar+ HC firmware back onto your HC after you get the MC working again.

 

Hopefully Celestron will have the NexStar+ firmware fixed soon as there is a slight risk in loading older firmware on the NexStar+ HC, plus a lot of people aren't going to learn about this until after they brick their motor control.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com

 

Hey guys, just wanted to report back that this process worked perfectly. Thanks so much for the help!!! Much appreciated!



#208 Lemonhawk

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 10:35 PM

Windows 10 should bring in the correct USB driver for Celestron (for HC's that have the mini USB connector).  It did this for me when I plugged in the HC and it recognised that is was actually talking to a USB to serial adapter build into the HC.  


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#209 Wolfeman77346

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 10:48 AM

"Alternately, if your scope has Celestron WiFi (built-in on the Evolution and Astro Fi, available as an add on for many mounts by using the Celestron SkyPortal or SkyQ Link WiFi module), you can connect your PC to the scope's WiFi network and connect without cables.  Then change the connection method in CFM's Options/Connections menu to WiFi." from https://www.nexstars...NexStarPlus.htm is very unreliable.

 

After bricking the StarSense HC making it and the telescope unbootable, I ordered the mini-B USB cable, and thankfully when it was plugged directly into the StarSense HC, was visible, and I was able to recover the HC, and successfully update the remainder of the firmware on the StarSense and the mount.

 

I DO NOT recommend firmware updates via the WiFi connection. Use at your own risk. Multiple memory corruption messages and update failures resulted in complete failure. Thankfully I was able to recover with the proper cables. The cable method was a complete success without issue.



#210 mtenboer

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:10 PM

HI All - I am new to CN and I'm hoping you can help me.    I bricked my StarSense HC by trying a firmware update using Wifi in CFM.  I wish I had read your posts before I proceeded.  My HC now has the dreaded message: ERR: Model Num

 

I have a Nexstar Evolution 8 with StarSense and I am running Windows 10.  They were purchased in early 2017 and I have not tried any firmware updates until now.  I was having a problem tracking and I thought this might solve it.   

 

I have reviewed may posts regarding solutions to failed firmware updates but my problem appears to be different:  When I plug the HC mini-USB cable into the laptop, Windows says "USB device not recoginzed".  I have tried two different versions of PL2303 drivers but they have no effect on this problem.  The device manager does not show any Serial to USB device (I'm not sure if it is supposed to).  The HC is in bootloader mode when I plug it in to the laptop.  I have tried three different usb cables and have decided to order one from Amazon that specifically works with Canon cameras. I think it is unlikely it is the cable since I tried 3. 

 

Any ideas ?



#211 mtenboer

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 05:03 PM

Problem solved.  I put in a ticket at Celestron Customer Service and after we tried several update configurations of CFM (wired, wifi, mount only, etc) they decided the StarSense HC had a problem.  They requested I return it, and they sent a replacement.  They recommended updating it using the wired connection.  I updated the new HC without any problems.  I strongly recommend not using the wifi connection for firmware updates. 

 

Johnny at Celestron customer service was terrific.  He responded to my ticket the next day and we had many quick messages back and forth over the next several days. 


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#212 mrki233

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 01:11 PM

HickTrick-

I just ran into your exact same issue. Downgrading my NexStar+ firmware allowed it to again talk to the MC board. Apparently the latest version of HC firmware doesn't play nice with the old MCupdate. Instead, follow this to downgrade the firmware and it works! https://www.nexstars...xstargpsfix.htm/

+1 for this solution!  

 

My Circa 2008 CPC 1100 got the dreaded 'No Response 16' error after attempting an MC update with MCupdate.exe and a NexStar+ controller updated to 5.30.9200.  By following the steps Mike outlines to 'downgrade' the HC to 5.22.3280 and then updating the MC firmware with MCupdate, then 'upgrading' the HC back to 5.30.9200, my CPC is back in business.  Thank you Mike and all who have contributed to this thread!

 

Note:  I used a new usb HC for this process, using a standard mini usb to USB cable. I recently replaced the original HC with the USB one to make updates easier.  So much for that plan!

 

Thanks to Mike for his extremely helpful site and to HickTrick and kyleday for blazing the trail.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ates/?p=9576632


Edited by mrki233, 20 October 2019 - 01:34 PM.

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#213 arrowspace90

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 12:35 PM

I had pulled my CPC 800 out of the garage with the idea of a new observing site only 40 mins from my home.  Better than driving to New Mexico over 15 hours.

 

StarSense had not been used or even tried for a long time.

When I tried to get the updates yesterday, it said that serial ports were found but not connected.

This was because I used the wrong serial to USB connector.  How would I know the difference, I had found one that fit in my stash of ancient cables.  Software updates never seem to work for me.

I read that the serial adapter HAD to be the TU-S9, and Amazon had it for ten bucks.

Astonished now to have successfully downloaded and installed 6 updates!!


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#214 arrowspace90

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 09:51 AM

Speaking of these updates.

I still have my original StarSense manual from about 5 years ago.  I have read that the old, original manual had significant mistakes.

Is the "online" manual updated?

Can I download and learn safely from it now or should I go with the PDF checklist that a guy has posted online?



#215 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 08:37 PM

Speaking of these updates.

I still have my original StarSense manual from about 5 years ago.  I have read that the old, original manual had significant mistakes.

Is the "online" manual updated?

Can I download and learn safely from it now or should I go with the PDF checklist that a guy has posted online?

You can download the latest manual (2017) from this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...com/Manuals.htm

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com


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#216 lov2krz

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 01:36 PM

You can download the latest manual (2017) from this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...com/Manuals.htm

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com

 

 

Speaking of these updates.

I still have my original StarSense manual from about 5 years ago.  I have read that the old, original manual had significant mistakes.

Is the "online" manual updated?

Can I download and learn safely from it now or should I go with the PDF checklist that a guy has posted online?

arrowspace90, you can trust Michael Swanson website for the latest compiled information on all things NexStar.  I've used his site for several years, I find it much easier to navigate than the Celestron site.


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#217 saguaro

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:10 AM

Hi HickTrick,

 

Yes, that is the correct page at my website to access an older version of the NexStar+ hand control (HC) firmware.  Kyle suggested this solution and confirmed it worked for his setup.

 

So...Celestron has confirmed that the current version of NexStar+ firmware BREAKS MCUPDATE.  If you load that older version of NexStar+ HC firmware you should be able to get MCupdate to reload firmware to your mount's motor control.  Be sure to load the latest NexStar+ HC firmware back onto your HC after you get the MC working again.

 

Hopefully Celestron will have the NexStar+ firmware fixed soon as there is a slight risk in loading older firmware on the NexStar+ HC, plus a lot of people aren't going to learn about this until after they brick their motor control.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com

Has Celestron fixed this issue? Is it safe to update my Evo mount and Starsense HC, Starsense camera, and 3rd gen SkyPortal WiFi module? Thanks.



#218 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 12:10 AM

Has Celestron fixed this issue? Is it safe to update my Evo mount and Starsense HC, Starsense camera, and 3rd gen SkyPortal WiFi module? Thanks.

Last I checked (last week), the NexStar+ had not yet received an update past the version that breaks MCupdate so no, I don't think they have fixed it.

 

That said, this never affected the StarSense HC.  And, the Evolution mount uses CFM to update MC firmware, not MCupdate, so no problem there either.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.NexStarSite.com


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#219 ItsMeTony

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 01:09 PM

 Hi Mike,

 

I can't get CFM to download onto my pc   I have the latest version of Java and I put the CFM zip onto the desktop.  Any advise would be much appreciated

 

 

Thanks

Tony


Edited by ItsMeTony, 05 November 2019 - 03:27 PM.


#220 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 06:04 PM

Hi Tony,

 

Possible issues with using CFM are pretty wide-ranging.  We might be able to help you here if you provide ample details on what you are attempting and what happens at each step, but you will probably get it resolved easier if you call Celestron and work with them over the phone.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com



#221 ItsMeTony

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 06:34 PM

Hi Mike,

 

I am trying to download CFM on to my PC.  I went to Celestron's website and downloaded the HC Update and Update Install along with MC Update and Update Install.  I've been able to do update the HC for my Nexstar 6SE (the MC was up to date).  When I go to try to see if  I can update the Star Sense HC and Camera, I read where I have to download CFM so it will look at my Camera and HC.   With the Star Sense HC there is no update available thru the HC Update. (Star Sense is not on the list)

 

Hope this helps clarify my dilemma

Tony



#222 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:08 PM

Hi Tony,

 

CFM is different from HCupdate and CFM is indeed required to update the firmware on the StarSense hand control.  My instructions for that are found here:

https://www.nexstars...NexStarPlus.htm

 

That page includes a link to the general location for downloading CFM (the more direct link is http://software.cele.../?dir=CFM/CFM).

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com



#223 ItsMeTony

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:14 PM

Hi Mike,

I’ve done all those things (read your instructions- awesome work thank you !). My issue is getting CFM download onto my pc. I keep getting stopped there “unable to download CFM to hard drive”
Ugh
Tony

#224 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 09:33 PM

Hi Tony,

 

Can you try that again - that isn't an error message that makes sense to me.  It would be best if you take notes from the point of downloading CFM from Celestron's website up until the point you get an error and post all those details here.

 

That's mainly why I suggested a call to Celestron (if you can get through) would be a good course of action.  A two way real-time conversation would likely make short work of this.  But, I'm happy to work through it here as long as you have the patience to keep at it.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com


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#225 ItsMeTony

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:13 AM

Hi Mike,

 

  Problem solved!  I realized I was using an unzip program which didn't unzip 'jar' files which is how CFM comes zipped. I thought CFM was unzipped when it really wasn't.   I downloaded a different app called 9zip (which says it unzips jar files in the description) and sure enough CFM downloaded and ran like a charm.  I have been able to update my Star Sense and Camera.

 

Thanks for you help .  I'm glad you're on CN to help out those in need.  

By the way the I love your books and website. A great source of information!

 

Tony


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