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Updating Celestron Firmware with macOS

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#1 bobbyroe

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:00 PM

In case anyone else is looking for this information, I've just gone through quite a bit of searching, and ultimately called Celestron technical support (thanks for your patience, Will…!) to find how to use the Celestron Firmware Updater (CFM) version 2.3.7111 to update my CGX mount and StarSense accessory from my MacBook Pro (late 2016, USB-C ports only) running macOS Sierra (10.12.5).

 

I've successfully updated:

  1. The CGX mount with the NexStar+ hand controller
  2. The StarSense accessory with the StarSense hand controller

 

Here's what I needed to do to get CFM to find the devices, and do the updates.

  1. Download the Prolific USB-to-Serial driver from here: http://www.prolific...._id=229&pcid=41
  2. Install the driver you just downloaded (restart of the computer is required, but no further configuration is needed)
  3. (First, do the NexStar+ hand controller and related mount updates) With ONLY power and the NexStar+ hand controller connected to the mount and NO connection between the hand controller and computer:
    1. Hold down both the Celestron logo and the MENU/7 keys on the hand controller
    2. Turn on the mount
    3. Confirm that the hand controller says (1st line) "BOOT LOADER Serial" and (2nd line) "User Keypad Entry"
    4. Without turning off the mount, connect a known-good USB cable between the hand controller and the computer (I have a MacBook Pro with only USB-C ports, so I used the Apple USB-C to USB-A adapter)
    5. Open the CFM.jar (Java application). If the CFM doesn't discover your devices (NextStar+, CGX, CGX RA Switch, CGX Dec Switch), you need to check some settings in the CFM, as follows…
      • In the Options menu, be sure that ONLY the Allow Program Updates is checked "√" (check if if needed)
      • Choose Options > Connections… and be sure Serial is set as the connection type, Automatic for discovery method, (don't change anything in the default port settings), and check √ the box to update default settings when device is found. Click OK after confirming these items.
      • In the NexStar+ menu, choose Mount Types, click the radio button for Equatorial (GEM), and the radio button for Always do what I selected this time. Click Select to save and close the dialog box.
    6. Confirm the middle pane of the CFM main window shows "All packages successfully downloaded". If not, click the Try Again button until you get the packages downloaded.
    7. In the bottom pane of the CFM main window, click the Update button to start the first update. You should see the progress indicated below, such as (1/2 packages) and a percentage. The number of packages and speed will depend on the status of your devices when you started.
    8. Once the update completes, Click the Update button again. REPEAT UNTIL NO FURTHER UPDATES ARE NEEDED! (I needed to click Update and let the process run 3 times, for a total of 14 packages; 1 in the first run, 2 in the second, and 11 in the third.)
    9. Power off the mount
    10. Disconnect the USB cable from the hand controller
    11. Power on the mount and go through the initialization of the hand controller (language, location, date, time). I ran a bogus alignment sequence with the mount sitting on my office floor to be sure everything seemed operational, too.
    12. Power off the mount
    13. Disconnect the NexStar+ hand controller
  4. (Now for the StarSense camera and hand controller) With ONLY power, the StarSense camera, and the StarSense hand controller connected to the mount, and NO connections between the computer and the camera, or the computer and the hand controller:
    1. Hold down both the Celestron logo and the MENU/7 keys on the hand controller
    2. Turn on the mount
    3. Confirm that the hand controller says (1st line) "BOOT LOADER Serial" and (2nd line) "User Keypad Entry"
    4. Without turning off the mount, connect a known-good USB cable between the hand controller and the computer, and another known-good USB cable between the StarSense camera and the computer (I have a MacBook Pro with only USB-C ports, so I used an Apple USB-C to USB-A adapter for one of these, and an Apple USB-C VGA Multiport adapter for the other)
    5. Open the CFM.jar (Java application). If the CFM doesn't discover your devices (StarSense HC, CGX, CGX RA Switch, CGX Dec Switch, StarSense Accessory Camera), you need to check some settings in the CFM, as follows…
      • In the Options menu, be sure that ONLY the Allow Program Updates is checked "√" (check if if needed)
      • Choose Options > Connections… and be sure Serial is set as the connection type, Automatic for discovery method, (don't change anything in the default port settings), and check √ the box to update default settings when device is found. Click OK after confirming these items.
      • In the NexStar+ menu, choose Mount Types, click the radio button for Equatorial (GEM), and the radio button for Always do what I selected this time. Click Select to save and close the dialog box.
    6. Confirm the middle pane of the CFM main window shows "All packages successfully downloaded". If not, click the Try Again button until you get the packages downloaded.
    7. In the bottom pane of the CFM main window, click the Update button to start the first update. You should see the progress indicated below, such as (1/2 packages) and a percentage. The number of packages and speed will depend on the status of your devices when you started.
    8. Once the update completes, Click the Update button again. REPEAT UNTIL NO FURTHER UPDATES ARE NEEDED! (I only needed to click Update one time, for a total of 8 packages.)
    9. Power off the mount
    10. Disconnect the USB cables from the hand controller and camera
    11. Power on the mount and go through the initialization of the hand controller (language, location, date, time). I ran a bogus alignment sequence with the mount sitting on my office floor to be sure everything seemed operational, too.
    12. Power off the mount

Celebrate the fact that you're now fully up-to-date with both your NexStar+ hand controller, and your StarSense camera/hand controller.

 

Clear skies!

 

Bobby


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#2 walt99

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:06 PM

Holy Cow !



#3 parebal0

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:29 PM

Holy Cow !

What he said! 



#4 Noah4x4

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:34 AM

What next ? Will we soon be updating firmware via a Nintendo Wii?....ROFL 

 

The innovation of our community defies belief. 


Edited by Noah4x4, 20 July 2017 - 03:35 AM.


#5 bobbyroe

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:50 PM

One thing I forgot to mention… the only macOS-specific part of the entire sequence above was that the Prolific driver had to be downloaded. Otherwise, each of those steps has to be done for a full firmware update, even on Windows.

 

Have fun, and clear skies!

 

Bobby



#6 Terry Grogan

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:21 AM

Thanks for the great post...I have a MBP and this helped alot...but you forgot one little thing Bobby:

 

Stick your tongue 1/4 of the way out the left side of your mouth

Stand on your Right foot

Slowly turn in a CCW direction

 

tongue2.gifbreakdancing.gif


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#7 PrairieGuy

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:48 AM

Your instructions are great, bobbyroe, and much appreciated, but the complicated nature of it, and others that I had seen, aged me by at least 10 years. smile.gif

I was fortunate with my 10 year old Mac (10.6.2) to be able to daisy chain the HC, MC (6 year old 8SE) and camera to the computer using a usb cord from my 12 year old Nikon D40.

I just downloaded CFM from Celestron, fired it up and... bingo bango bongo... everything was updated.

I think I got lucky. Everything seems to work perfectly.


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#8 Terry Grogan

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 04:52 PM

Your instructions are great, bobbyroe, and much appreciated, but the complicated nature of it, and others that I had seen, aged me by at least 10 years. smile.gif

I was fortunate with my 10 year old Mac (10.6.2) to be able to daisy chain the HC, MC (6 year old 8SE) and camera to the computer using a usb cord from my 12 year old Nikon D40.

I just downloaded CFM from Celestron, fired it up and... bingo bango bongo... everything was updated.

I think I got lucky. Everything seems to work perfectly.

That's sounds like you had something like this:

 

adapter_win.jpg


Edited by Terry Grogan, 27 July 2017 - 08:20 PM.

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#9 vertrkr

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 05:55 PM

I just got my new Evo 8 Edge HD yesterday. I tried to update wirelessly from my MacBook Pro but the StarSense HandControl would not show up, I tried all 4 Aux ports. It would show the Evo mount, SS camera and Wifi controller most of the time but not always. 

 

I gave up and connected the camera and HC with usb cables to my MacBook Pro running Sierra, then turned on the mount and launched CFM. Everything showed up and this is without loading any drivers or pressing any buttons on the HC.

 

However, I got nervous before hitting the update button and decided to install the Prolific driver just in case. After that I ran the update and only the HC needed some updates. I tried the wireless connection again for fun but the HC still didn't show up.

 

I'm not sure if it would have updated without the Prolific driver, I'm guessing yes since they all showed up in the list. Kicking myself for not trying but at least it got updated with the tried and true cable connection.

 

I don't seem to have any wifi trouble using my iPhone 7 & SkyPortal and I'm in fairly congested wifi area, go figure.


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#10 jchart51

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 08:56 AM

Bobby- thanks for the simple to follow and detailed directions. Had success on the first try with my Evo 9.25 with Starsense.... Now just waiting for the skies to clear- maybe Monday night.

 

Jim


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#11 aiken999

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 04:19 PM

Bobby

   thanks for the instructions. Tried out today to update my star sense HC. I have an evolution mount and star sense, am using a MacBook pro to do the updates.

 

A few confusing and flaky things with the update process. I tried:

- first tried connecting and updating with wifi after putting HC in boot mode. Connected ok but only showed the mount(7.11.6165) and camera(1.2.13343).

- second tried connecting via usb to HC and camera without the prolific driver. Did not detect any devices.

- third installed the prolific driver got into boot mode brought up cam and it detected 3 devices and connected to all 3. Did not show any packages to download, tried a couple of times same thing(confusing). Finally pressed update and it starts downloading 6 packages. Completed downloading and installing all 6 . Got install complete and all your devices are now up to date. Pressed update again got software corrupted message. Did it again (download and install) same thing. Then noticed that the HC had rebooted and had star sense ready after completing the installs. Each time i redid the process it said my HC software was still the same 3.2.5190, current version according to CFM history pdf is 1.18.17055. So not sure what is going on.

- Next tried again with cam and using evolution wifi connection. Connected ok but now showed 3 devices mount, camera and now HC. Also it showed the software version at 1.18.17088(version history shows latest at 1.18.17055). Not sure where that came from but it seems like it updated it and the wifi now works to connect.

 

So hope that helps someone else.

Mike C



#12 wsrb

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 10:30 AM

Bobby - I have a newer NexStar8 SE (with the USB port in the hand controller) and have been trying to update it with an iMac running High Sierra.  I did allow the "user approval before loading new third-party kernel extensions" when installing the PL2303 driver.

 

Following all your other instructions things progress as outlined.  However, when I open CFM I receive the following message:

 

"CFM detected serial ports on your PC but found no devices attached to them.
Your telescope may not be connected properly."

 

I've checked all the connections following your instructions (Selecting Alt Az as the mount type however, for this unit) and still no luck.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks.

 

Scott B.



#13 Jxhammer

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 06:42 PM

Bobby,

Had exact same problems and was just getting ready to dive in when I saw your post. Your redundant detail made me smile but it was spot on. Every step a bread crum on the path to success. Kapow!! It worked perfectly. Thank you for taking time to succinctly share your adventure so well. I can’t imagine how much time you saved me and others. 

Bobbyroe you ROCK!! 


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#14 Tanya

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:35 PM

Wondering if you found a fix for your problem Scott? I have the same happening. I know my PL2303 driver is working because I can see it as USB-Serial Controller D in utilities. But for some reason CFM isnt' picking it up. I've selected Alt Az as mount type as I have a NexStar Evolution HD. Anyone have any other suggestions? Aslo I'm connecting the HC to the computer via a USB that I usually use for my camera. I presume this is the correct cord? 


Edited by Tanya, 14 February 2018 - 11:50 PM.


#15 Klitwo

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 10:26 AM

The following links may be useful in Software and Apps compatible with Celestron telescopes. I've used them on occasion for some of my Nexstar 4SE GOTO projects in the past....such as My Nexstar 4SE powered GOTO Bino Chair... >

 

http://www.nexstarsi.../PCPrograms.htm

 

http://www.nexstarsi...om/Firmware.htm

 

Klitwo

Attached Thumbnails

  • GOTO Bino Chair.jpg


#16 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 10:02 PM

Now we know the story behind Klitwo's profile picture - that bino chair definitely looks like alien tech :-)

 

Fine bit of engineering work sir!


Edited by Klitwo, 20 February 2018 - 12:50 AM.


#17 Klitwo

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 12:57 AM

Now we know the story behind Klitwo's profile picture - that bino chair definitely looks like alien tech :-)

 

Fine bit of engineering work sir!

Thanks...I don't know about the alien technology part...ha The GOTO bino chair is made from a trashed semi-reclining Ikea computer chair I found sitting next to a dumpster. I grabbed it and made it into something else....ha  It's totally Nexstar 4SE electronics/software/hardware and servomotor powered with two servomotors driving both axis

 

Klitwo


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#18 Phil Shaffer

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 06:46 AM

This thread illustrates two things

 

1) I was smart to buy a Celestron because of this board. Many smart users who can help

 

2) WHY did this have to come from a user, and not Celestron??


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#19 recs84

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 07:31 PM

I just register an account to tell you: THANK YOU!!! I've been so frustrated and not capable of finding a solution to my problem until YOU nailed the answer needed. Good karma your way!

 

 


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#20 bobbyroe

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 03:53 PM

Bobby - I have a newer NexStar8 SE (with the USB port in the hand controller) and have been trying to update it with an iMac running High Sierra.  I did allow the "user approval before loading new third-party kernel extensions" when installing the PL2303 driver.

 

Following all your other instructions things progress as outlined.  However, when I open CFM I receive the following message:

 

"CFM detected serial ports on your PC but found no devices attached to them.
Your telescope may not be connected properly."

 

I've checked all the connections following your instructions (Selecting Alt Az as the mount type however, for this unit) and still no luck.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks.

 

Scott B.

Sorry, Scott, but I don't have even a guess beyond the sequence I found and documented. I see that Tanya has a similar or maybe even the same issue. Wish I could help.

 

Bobby



#21 dnelon

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 03:01 PM

Bobby - Thanks for your tip about the Prolific driver.  It took me a several  minutes but I FINALLY got my new system updated.  I am new to this but have always been interested so I just bought an 11" Celestron SCT, AVX mount (came withe the telescope) and the Starsense accessories.  Hopefully they will all work better now.  Being new to all of this I am still struggling to find my way and posts like yours certainly help.

 

Thanks!

 

DeWayne



#22 Thierry28722

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 12:50 PM

Excellent topic , but ......

 

I had the famous  "invalid PKG 0080" message yesterday with 10/10 blue sky in France : Very annoying .

Celestron 4SE Model with the normal hand control .

As I am  a Mac user , I did follow this tutorial to the letter to end up with the other annoying message :

"CFM detected serial port on your Pc but found no device attached to them "

So what to do next ?

 

/ Celestron 4SE model 2016  /Amazon usb to connect the HC  / prolific usb downloaded/ computer restarted / Hand control started with 7/ logo depressed /All selections in CFM correct /Macbook Pro high Sierra mid 2009 / second try with a macbook Air 2016 .

No success until now .

 

Thanks for any advice for this as Iam not the only one .

Good night observations , regards from Normandy /France

 

Thierry 



#23 HenrikH

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 02:33 PM

update using WiFi worked in my case (Celestron SkyPortal)



#24 Thierry28722

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 04:17 AM

Good morning,

 

  1. How to connect a normal Hand controller with wifi then?
  2. There is only a sort of telephone jack on the hand controller which is connected to the Mac USB port .


#25 HenrikH

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:11 AM

 

Good morning,

 

  1. How to connect a normal Hand controller with wifi then?
  2. There is only a sort of telephone jack on the hand controller which is connected to the Mac USB port .

 

Hi, for update using WiFi you need the Celestron SkyPortal WiFi adapter connected to the AUX port of the 4SE.




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