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Updating Celestron Firmware with macOS

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158 replies to this topic

#101 Nightwatchers

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 03:54 AM

Found this thread, kicked off by Bobby's original post, by looking for support in getting my Evo mount and StarSense updated. The original post gave me tons of Info already, but what got me over the finish line yesterday were Johnny's and Eduardo's tips below.

 

@Bobby, thanks for your original post, it pointed me in the first clear and structured direction.

And thank you to everyone for having kept the thread alive and up to date. As Johnny rightly wrote, we're all on updated Tech by now.

 

@Johnny, thanks for the link for the Prolific driver, this one worked for me. For some reason, the other links didn't help, must have been outdated.

 

@Eduardo, thanks for detailing the steps to manually search for the serial port number. Have looked at the Terminal app before but never really used it so yesterday was a first.

 

Clear skies to you all!

 

Hey cpeak,

 

Here's my take on what worked for me when I couldn't get my MacBook Pro USB-C to detect my telescope.

 

Once you have your device connected to your USB port, preferably your device and nothing else (I needed a USB to USB-C adapter, obviously), launch Terminal app and type the following:

ls /dev/cu*

You should then get all your connected devices listed. Try finding one that says cu.usbserial-xxxx (1450 in my case). Once you get that, go into Celestrons Firmware Manager's settings and set it to:

 

celestron.jpg

 

Hopefully this will make your device visible to the manager.

 

Cheers!

 

-- Eduardo

Another thanks here, worked a treat.

 

As this is now an old thread, and we're all on new technology, I'll do another simple list of steps in case it helps.

 

My technology

  • 2020 MacBook Pro, USB-C ports
  • Big Sur 11.3.1 (the latest, as of writing)
  • Plain old USB-A to USB-mini cable, plus Apple USB-C to USB-A adapter
  • New (woohoo!) Celestron 6SE

Steps for success :-)

  1. Install the Prolific driver.
    • ​Note there are two links on the page. Confusingly the one at the top isn't coloured and doesn't look like a link! This got me first time.
    • So you need the top one, which is currently v2.1.0. The lower one is v1.5.1 and this will not run on Big Sur.
    • Don't forget to to go System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General tab and click the Allow button at the bottom. Then reboot.

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#102 Ranon

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 08:56 PM

Mac OS X 11.5. I installed Prolific driver.

Installed new JAVA twice)(do I have to delete old JAVA?

Downloaded CFM.jar     cannot run it in terminal or finder.

--Any suggestions?


Edited by Ranon, 12 August 2021 - 09:51 PM.


#103 johnnydecimal

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 09:15 PM

Mac OSA 11.5. I installed Prolific driver.

Installed new JAVA twice)(do I have to delete old?_

Downloaded CFM.jar     cannot run it in terminal or finder.

--Any suggestions?

Happy to try and help but going to need some more information -- can you tell us exactly what doesn't work, and at what point?

 

If you're in your Terminal and you're running 

java -jar CFM.jar

and it doesn't work, can you paste the error or a screenshot here?



#104 Paul Skee

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 09:17 PM

I believe I had to use MC update for the motors on the CGEM II. MC update will not run on Mac OS., (I have windows on my MacBook Pro using a bootcamp partition). You can download MC update here:

https://www.celestro...793c65019&_ss=r

Scroll down to step three for the link.

This in response to post #100.


Edited by Paul Skee, 12 August 2021 - 09:26 PM.

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#105 cneal

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 02:16 PM

johnnydecimal,

 

Thanks for the clear instructions. Got my new 9.25 Edge AVX with SkySense updated quickly using my iMac. The only thing needing an update was the mount, everything else came up to date. The mount matched the Celestron software version page  but updated to a higher subversion.

 

Carl



#106 StillaRebel24

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:20 AM

Another thanks here, worked a treat.

 

As this is now an old thread, and we're all on new technology, I'll do another simple list of steps in case it helps.

 

My technology

  • 2020 MacBook Pro, USB-C ports
  • Big Sur 11.3.1 (the latest, as of writing)
  • Plain old USB-A to USB-mini cable, plus Apple USB-C to USB-A adapter
  • New (woohoo!) Celestron 6SE

Steps for success :-)

  1. Install the Prolific driver.
    • ​Note there are two links on the page. Confusingly the one at the top isn't coloured and doesn't look like a link! This got me first time.
    • So you need the top one, which is currently v2.1.0. The lower one is v1.5.1 and this will not run on Big Sur.
    • Don't forget to to go System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General tab and click the Allow button at the bottom. Then reboot.
  2. Install Java.
    • ​Ugh, Java.
    • Go to java.com, follow the prompts, do the install. Pretty routine stuff.
  3. Download CFM.
    • ​It comes as a .zip, which should decompress itself. If not, do that.
  4. Run CFM.
    • ​Here's where it gets interesting. Double-clicking CFM.jar didn't work for me, not even with the trick where you have to right-click then select Open because the package isn't signed.
    • Instead, I had to run it from the Terminal. So, go ahead and launch Terminal.
    • Navigate to the place where CFM.jar is located. For me the file was still in my Downloads folder, so this did it:
      • cd ~/Downloads/CFM_2.7.9144
    • You will need to update this command with new version numbers as they're released, but this should work for anyone's Downloads folder because the ~/ part just means "this user's home drive".
    • Now run the Java file with this command:
      • java -jar CFM.jar
    • This assumes that the file name doesn't change from CFM.jar. Update accordingly if it does.
    • Bingo! CFM launches and does a bunch of updates.
  5. Connect to the device.
    • ​CFM will look for your device and fail to find it. Because it's not plugged in yet!
    • It'll try to help you with instructions on how to connect, but these didn't work for me.
    • The problem was the step where you turn on while holding the Celestron + number 7 buttons on the controller. It should then display the BOOT LOADER Serial message.
    • I forgot that I have batteries in my device, and also as soon as I connected my controller via USB, my Mac started delivering power to the hand controller.
    • So "powering on while holding the buttons" wasn't working, because I wasn't really powering on.
    • So:
      • Unplug the USB-mini cable, if you've already plugged it in.
      • If you're using AC power, remove any batteries you have installed.
      • Check that your device really is powered off. The display should be dead.
      • Holding down the Celestron logo + number 7 buttons on the controller, power the device on.
      • The screen should say BOOT LOADER Serial.
    • And now you can connect the USB-mini cable to the controller.
  6. Boom! That's it.
    • ​Mine picked up the connection almost immediately.
    • Give it 20 seconds to recognise the device and the Update button should become active.
    • Press the button, stand back, and wait for it to finish. Don't touch it! Interrupting a firmware update is really dangerous.

Hope that helps someone! This forum is terrific, it's why the internet was meant to be.

 

This is my first telescope, which as a 44-year-old astronomy nerd (since I was a kid) is quite a thing. We get clear skies here in Canberra, Australia, over winter, so I'm going to head out shortly and try to use the moon to practice my tracking ahead of the eclipse next week.

 

j.

I could kiss you right now. I've been trying to get CFM to run on my MacBook pro for 3 hours and finally found your post. Within 2 minutes, it was up and running. THANK YOU!


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#107 cneal

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 09:50 AM

I also used these intructions when I gor my new AVX last month. My only thought was , "I thought this was supposed to be hard..." 



#108 jwg224

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Posted 09 November 2021 - 05:05 AM

Really wanted to thank the OP and Eduardo - together they have given us the best shot we have to update through a Mac.  For me, I didn't see Eduardo's instructions on getting the serial port name before I gave up on my new MacBook (2020) and used my old Mac (late 2016).  Downloaded the OP's driver, and it worked.  Had an issue where the update hung once and starting the mount gave me the dreaded Error Code 17, but managed to update it again and get everything installed, both on the CGX-L mount and the StarSense AutoAlign.  Really want to thank those who contributed to the knowledge in this threat.  Appears to have fixed a huge problem I was having with the StarSense hand controller too.  Thank you all!

 

Really want to say to Celestron that you need to make this a lot easier on the Mac.  We shouldn't have to go on a telescope board and download random serial drivers in order to update on one of the most popular computers in the world.  Your software should work seamlessly on the most recent Macs.  If drivers are necessary, they should be included in your software download.  Please do better in the future.


Edited by jwg224, 09 November 2021 - 05:07 AM.

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#109 Soundboy121

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 04:55 PM

thank u Cloudy Nights and its members !!! i was able to finally update my AVX and HC using the above method but via the Sky Portal wifi..... bow.gif waytogo.gif shocked.gif



#110 davidgmd

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Posted 04 February 2022 - 11:37 PM

Another thanks here, worked a treat.

 

As this is now an old thread, and we're all on new technology, I'll do another simple list of steps in case it helps.

 

My technology

  • 2020 MacBook Pro, USB-C ports
  • Big Sur 11.3.1 (the latest, as of writing)
  • Plain old USB-A to USB-mini cable, plus Apple USB-C to USB-A adapter
  • New (woohoo!) Celestron 6SE

 

I’m getting ready to embark on this and am very appreciative of the step-by-step instructions. I do have a question about the connectors (don’t laugh).  

 

Do the cables/connectors have any processing secret sauce built in or are they just data conduits where any cable will do and the Prolific driver takes care of the magic?

 

Can I use one of these with my USB C to USB C cable to plug in to the mini USB on the hand controller?

https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B07TLBTXXJ

 

 

 


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#111 mlord

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Posted 04 February 2022 - 11:43 PM

As long as the plugs on the ends of the cable fit the connectors, it'll work.


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#112 shredding

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Posted 11 June 2022 - 03:13 AM

Can someone share the prolific driver for Mac OS Monterey (12.4) on a Mac with M1 chip? The link posted above is not available anymore on Prolific's website: http://www.prolific...._id=229&pcid=41

 

I'm able to start CFM via the command line 

java -jar CFM.jar

I can start my HC in the Boot loader mode. But when I connect to my Mac via the mini Usb cable, I don't see the serial port after running

ls /dev/cu*

I'm suspecting that the newest Prolific driver doesn't work with M1 chip Mac computers. If you get it working, mind if you share the driver? 

 

Thanks all!



#113 johnnydecimal

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Posted 11 June 2022 - 08:05 PM

I'm suspecting that the newest Prolific driver doesn't work with M1 chip Mac computers. If you get it working, mind if you share the driver? 

Hmm this doesn't look good. I've trawled their support pages and can't find anything.

 

I've sent the company a message via their 'Contact Us' form, will update this thread if I get a response.

 

In the mean time does anyone have a copy of the driver that they have downloaded that they could post here?


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#114 davidgmd

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Posted 11 June 2022 - 10:53 PM

Hmm this doesn't look good. I've trawled their support pages and can't find anything.

 

I've sent the company a message via their 'Contact Us' form, will update this thread if I get a response.

 

In the mean time does anyone have a copy of the driver that they have downloaded that they could post here?

  

Fortunately, I have not emptied my Mac's trash in a while - it was still there. But over the 500 KB upload limit, so I put it on OneDrive.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!...gsaoSr?e=NbLn5N

  

This file worked for my 2019 MacBook Air in February of this year.

 

Edited to clarify: I'm not sure what Mac OS I was running at the time, but it was probably Monterey.  I usually keep up-to-date and would likely have upgraded from Big Sur to Monterey when it came out in the fall of 2021.


Edited by davidgmd, 11 June 2022 - 11:07 PM.

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#115 johnnydecimal

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Posted 11 June 2022 - 11:26 PM

Thanks @davidgmd, I stuck it up on archive.org as well for true posterity. 

 

https://archive.org/...-2.1.0-20210311

 

Now ... can anyone confirm whether it actually works or not? I can do that one day but not this day, I'm too lazy today. smile.gif


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#116 shredding

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Posted 12 June 2022 - 03:12 AM

@davidgmd and @johnnydecimal,

Thank you for the driver. I have confirmed that it works with Mac OC Monterey 12.4! CFM works with this driver, as well as Stellarium. 

 

However, I find the slewing in Stellarium is not pointing to the right place yet. I will do some more research on why. 



#117 Rac19

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Posted 12 June 2022 - 03:56 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

You would also want be sure that there are no dentists in the vicinity. they might get ideas. 



#118 davidgmd

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Posted 12 June 2022 - 11:26 AM

Can someone share the prolific driver for Mac OS Monterey (12.4) on a Mac with M1 chip? The link posted above is not available anymore on Prolific's website: http://www.prolific...._id=229&pcid=41

 

I'm able to start CFM via the command line 

java -jar CFM.jar

I can start my HC in the Boot loader mode. But when I connect to my Mac via the mini Usb cable, I don't see the serial port after running

ls /dev/cu*

I'm suspecting that the newest Prolific driver doesn't work with M1 chip Mac computers. If you get it working, mind if you share the driver? 

 

Thanks all!

  

  

@davidgmd and @johnnydecimal,

Thank you for the driver. I have confirmed that it works with Mac OC Monterey 12.4! CFM works with this driver, as well as Stellarium. 

 

However, I find the slewing in Stellarium is not pointing to the right place yet. I will do some more research on why. 

  
And yours is a Mac with an M1 chip if I’m interpreting your first post correctly. Reassuring.


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#119 shredding

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 01:58 AM

Yes I’m on a MacBook with M1 chip. I got the slewing to work too. It turned out I had to first align my scope
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#120 fdboucher

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Posted 17 June 2022 - 08:02 PM

Really want to say to Celestron that you need to make this a lot easier on the Mac.  We shouldn't have to go on a telescope board and download random serial drivers in order to update on one of the most popular computers in the world.  Your software should work seamlessly on the most recent Macs.  If drivers are necessary, they should be included in your software download.  Please do better in the future.

DITTO! I'm quite angry now…


Edited by fdboucher, 17 June 2022 - 08:23 PM.

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#121 rcooley

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Posted 22 June 2022 - 06:41 PM

Don’t get mad, just get an inexpensive windows laptop and use it as needed for updates etc on other windows type devices.  So much less hassle.  Besides my wife didn’t want me mucking up her MacBook Air with a bunch of Astro files. Haha.


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#122 ShinySteelRobot

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Posted 05 October 2022 - 07:36 PM

The whole point of Celestron using Java to develop their firmware updater was so that it can run on any operating system.

 

With that in mind, it's weird that Celestron only gives us half the solution for updating firmware on a Mac.

 

Celestron should provide a USB serial driver that works on M1 Macs that we can download right from their software page.

 

After spending thousands of dollars on a CPC 925, I should not have to go scouring the Internet to find out how to update it from my Mac.  It's 2022, and Apple is the 3rd most popular laptop brand sold in the United States (at 24%, behind only HP and Dell), and Apple is #1 among all laptops priced over $1,000.

 

(Do Celestron reps ever read this forum?)


Edited by ShinySteelRobot, 05 October 2022 - 07:44 PM.

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#123 ShinySteelRobot

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Posted 05 October 2022 - 07:48 PM

Don’t get mad, just get an inexpensive windows laptop and use it as needed for updates etc on other windows type devices.  So much less hassle.  Besides my wife didn’t want me mucking up her MacBook Air with a bunch of Astro files. Haha.

Just a suggestion, you could use System Preferences > Users & Groups to create a second account on the computer for your own usage.  Then, any files you store in your account are in a separate location.  She'll never even know your astro files are there.

 

macOS is based on Unix, which has been multi-user from the start.


Edited by ShinySteelRobot, 05 October 2022 - 07:51 PM.

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#124 voik

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Posted 15 March 2023 - 07:29 PM

This thread was very helpful, sending me in the right direction trying to get my mount to talk to my Mac, especially the step-by-step post from @johnnydecimal. Specifically, I have a NexStar SE 8 and a 2021 iMac (M1) running macOS 13.2.1 (Ventura)

 

No surprise, things have changed a little since the last post. Apple tightened the security sphincter, and it seems Prolific has changed their website. So once again, Apple wants new drivers. The links I've found for Prolific in this thread, other websites, and even Celestron's documentation, are stale. They just drop you on the U.S. homepage for Prolific Inc. When I started poking around, the latest driver I could find for the PL2303 devices was version 2.1.0 released in 2021 for macOS 11 (Big Sur). This did not work for me. Then I stumbled on it almost by accident.

 

After clicking on the "Support" tab on the Prolific site, I was prompted to sign in. I would give credit if I could remember, bow.gif  alas:

  • User Name: guest
  • Password: guest

Once logged in and on the "Support" page, find the menu on the left with the word "Technology." Click through "USB Smart I/O Controllers" > "USB to Serial/Parallel." For me, the PL2303 was at the top of the list, along with a link to "Drivers & Software." Sure enough, there it was, version 2.2.2 for macOS 13 (Ventura) released Feb. 2023. This worked a charm. Only after I started writing this post did I find this next gem:

 

The prolific drivers are available from the App Store. Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon of an old man, but this is new to me. I certainly don't think of kernel extensions or drivers as "apps," so I never would have thought to look in the App Store. Then again, I also don't expect the latest drivers to be hidden behind a backdoor login. But it's one less trip to "System Settings" to click "Allow," and maybe it will update automatically, so bring it on! I was successful with the steps above, so I didn't bother trying the App Store route. Here's a link for anyone who wants to give it a go:

 

https://apps.apple.c...5354?l=en&mt=12

 

Hopefully this helps someone else. I'm sure things will change again in the future, but who knows, maybe this will work until Apple releases macOS Bakersfield. tongue2.gif


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#125 Ice Cube

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Posted 16 March 2023 - 10:42 AM

fwiw, on my evolution 8's with starsense camera and HC, i avoid using the prolific drivers 

and do everything over the WIFI w/ celestron's CFM.

 

i gave up trying to use the USB serial line connection

 

1)  on my 13" 2020 MPB, i connect via hardline ethernet to my mesh network using a cat-6e cable

and usb-c ethernet adapter from ANKER.

 

2) turn on the mount with the all the accessories (HC, starsense camera, etc) plugged in

with the mount in direct access mode

 

3) set the WIFI on the MBP to the celestron WIFI while the MBP is connected by ethernet to the mesh network.

 

4) java -jar CFM.jar

 

5) set the CFM to WIFI connection

 

6) let CFM download updates (over the ethernet hard connection) and then seek the celestron devices over the celestron WIFI.

 

7) hit update and let it rip!

 

 

the only thing i haven't been able to update with this method is an older starsense HC with the older serial connector.

my other two starsense HC's updated just fine.

 

also, i found that it's not necessary to set the HC in boot loader mode (menu+7) when updating via WIFI.

in fact, boot loader mode prevents the HC from being discovered!


Edited by Ice Cube, 16 March 2023 - 10:43 AM.



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