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GPS Rollover Problems!

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#101 ChuckM

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:21 PM

Hi Daniel,

 

Thank you for buying the book and for the kind words.  

 

Celestron is indeed working on a firmware update for the hand control (HC) to address this issue.  If one contacts Celestron Tech Support you will receive their official response.  The current plan is that Celestron will create new firmware for the NexStar+ and StarSense HCs, run it through beta testing, and release it to the public in 4 to 6 weeks.  Also, they clarified that the GPS receivers used in their equipment since 2012 (not 2014 as I stated above) are NOT affected.   The current SkySync GPS module is okay, as are the CPCs manufactured since 2012.  We now know the older CPCs are affected.  I'm still verifying if the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS series and the older CN-16 GPS module are affected (they probably are).

 

In Celestron's official response, it also states that this will only be fixed via the NexStar+ and StarSense HCs.  Owners with older HCs (version 4 for CPCs manufactured prior to 2012, all of the HCs shipped with NexStar GPS scopes) are advised to:

  • purchase a NexStar+ HC (they are not doing this to sell HCs - it is just that updates of the older HCs are no longer provided due to technical issues)
  • purchase a new GPS module (SkySync is of course the suggested module, though I would recommend the much smaller and slightly cheaper StarGPS-NX - https://www.nexstars.../StarGPS-NX.htm), or
  • turn off GPS in the HC menu and manually enter the date/time.

 

For the older NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS, many people have foregone use of the newer HCs as they do not offer the automated "North and Level" GPS Align routine.  That routine is only available on HCs version  1.6 and 2.2.  If these mounts are in fact affected by the week rollover and someone wants to use the older 1.6/2.2 HC on one of these scopes, I recommend opening the base, disconnecting the internal GPS and purchasing the StarGPS-NX I linked to above.  It can easily be mounted inside the right fork arm (the one with the HC recess) and then connected to the HC jack in that recess.  Then, use the HC plugged into one of the AUX jacks on top of the base.

 

As soon as all this settles down, I will post an article at my website.

 

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

Mike,

 

has anyone tested using StarGPS-NX with older Nexstar GPS? My Nexstar GPS 11” (2001) has a bad GPS. I contacted Celestron on and they said that Celestron StarSync will not work with this old of a scope. When you suggest disconnecting the GPS, I’m assuming the two connectors on the GPS interface card. Thanks.



#102 emflocater

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 03:49 PM

Hi Mike Swanson. Maybe you can answer this better than anyone. I understand through you that Celestron is working on this GPS Issue and that you have a bit of info on your Nexstar Site Home Page Odds and Ends. I also know that there is Beta Testing on TeamCelestron Website as well with Firmware for Folks to test. Other than this CN Forum and maybe some other Astro Forums (which I have seen very little) has Celestron posted this issue and what their doing about this on their Website?

 

I mean wouldn't it make sense for Celestron to post something for ALL with this Rollover issue on their Home Page which would than direct Folks to the TeamCelestron Site? Might free up all the calls and emails about this they get.

 

It would seem Celestron would get a better overall understanding of how well their Beta Firmware is working out. I mean I am sure Celestron probably has received many calls and emails about this Rollover issue but wouldn't it seem logical that Celestron post something on the Home Page Website as well, since I am sure more Folks are going there first to find more about this issue?

 

Cheers

Don


Edited by emflocater, 01 May 2019 - 03:53 PM.


#103 hobbes

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 05:22 PM

I think my greatest concern is, if this was truly a Celestron site, why aren't the passwords upon registering encrypted through HTTPS? That aside, I'm glad that there has been a working beta release.


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#104 Stefan042

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 07:03 PM

I think my greatest concern is, if this was truly a Celestron site, why aren't the passwords upon registering encrypted through HTTPS? That aside, I'm glad that there has been a working beta release.

That is kind of odd in this day and age.

Me, I use a password generator to make the password unusual and unique.



#105 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 07:13 PM

Mike,

 

has anyone tested using StarGPS-NX with older Nexstar GPS? My Nexstar GPS 11” (2001) has a bad GPS. I contacted Celestron on and they said that Celestron StarSync will not work with this old of a scope. When you suggest disconnecting the GPS, I’m assuming the two connectors on the GPS interface card. Thanks.

Hi Chuck,

 

Per our separate email discussion with PixSoft, yes, I believe the StarGPS-NX should work.  I'll post my suggestions to you here as well for the benefit of the wider audience.  First though, as I understand it you are not reporting a problem with the GPS system rollover on your NexStar 11 GPS but rather just that the GPS module is bad.

 

Regarding replacing the internal GPS on a NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS with a StarGPS-NX, it should definitely work with the understanding this disables the compass as well.  If you are using a version 4 hand control (HC) or a NexStar+ HC, you have already abandoned use of the compass as those versions do not have the GPS Align routine that automatically points north and level.  NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS owners with HC versions 1.6/2.2/2.3 and a bad internal GPS module can also make this work if they switch to using any of the alignment routines other than GPS Align.

 

It does require disconnection of the internal GPS electronics.  Here is my specific recommendation on that.

 

Determine where the GPS electronics are located in your particular scope.  This article at my website will help:
https://www.nexstars...es/GPSBoard.htm
Trace all the cables from the GPS board(s) to their destinations.  I would remove the board(s), remove the GPS antenna and unplug all GPS board cables, including the one going to the "serial board" (the big board mounted to the bottom of the base cover, the board with the AUX, PC and Auto Guide ports) to remove any possibility of a cable snagging in the future.  So, this operation would require opening the cover on the top of the round base and removing at least the outside cover of the right fork (the one with the hand control recess) and possibly the inside cover of the right fork.

 

Then, I would mount the StarGPS-NX inside the right fork arm, up towards the top (using industrial strength 3M double-sided tape).  In other words, right where the old GPS antenna was located.  Then, I would permanently plug it into the jack for the hand control in the hand control recess.  Be sure to secure the NX02's excess cabling with strong tape or self-adhesive hooks.  I would use the hand control plugged into either of the AUX jacks on the top of the base.  The HC can still be stored (unplugged) in the recess in the right fork arm.  In fact, that is how I have always connected the HC on my NexStar 11 GPS.  I then use Velcro to hold it on top of the base:

 

N11HC.png

 

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



#106 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 07:17 PM

Hi Mike Swanson. Maybe you can answer this better than anyone. I understand through you that Celestron is working on this GPS Issue and that you have a bit of info on your Nexstar Site Home Page Odds and Ends. I also know that there is Beta Testing on TeamCelestron Website as well with Firmware for Folks to test. Other than this CN Forum and maybe some other Astro Forums (which I have seen very little) has Celestron posted this issue and what their doing about this on their Website?

 

I mean wouldn't it make sense for Celestron to post something for ALL with this Rollover issue on their Home Page which would than direct Folks to the TeamCelestron Site? Might free up all the calls and emails about this they get.

 

It would seem Celestron would get a better overall understanding of how well their Beta Firmware is working out. I mean I am sure Celestron probably has received many calls and emails about this Rollover issue but wouldn't it seem logical that Celestron post something on the Home Page Website as well, since I am sure more Folks are going there first to find more about this issue?

 

Cheers

Don

Hi Don,

 

I completely agree.  But, Celestron is good at designed amateur astronomy gear and not so good at documentation and communicating with the public :-)

 

It could be worse I guess.  I just learned yesterday that Meade's control systems (which are more fragmented than Celestron's) have many long-standing bugs which Meade simply ignores.  This has led to a third party developing firmware fixes that users must slip into the update stream to apply.  Plus they don't communication well with their customers either.

 

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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#107 emflocater

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 09:46 PM

Hi Don,

 

I completely agree.  But, Celestron is good at designed amateur astronomy gear and not so good at documentation and communicating with the public :-)

 

It could be worse I guess.  I just learned yesterday that Meade's control systems (which are more fragmented than Celestron's) have many long-standing bugs which Meade simply ignores.  This has led to a third party developing firmware fixes that users must slip into the update stream to apply.  Plus they don't communication well with their customers either.

 

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

Thank you Mike for all your replies here on CN. Well appreciated.

Cheers

Don



#108 emflocater

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:16 PM

Hi Mike Swanson. Sorry to pest you again with another question but hope you will answer. When the time comes that Celestron has the GPS Rollover update for the Nexstar Version 4 (Public), should I disconnect my cable of the CN-16 to my Aux Port before I update the Hand Control Firmware?

 

OR

 

Would turning off the GPS in Utilities than update the Firmware work too?

 

I just don't want anything to confuse or interfere with the Firmware Update, thus I feel safer just unplugging the GPS Cable from the Aux Port.

 

Thoughts?

 

Thank you.

Cheers

Don



#109 ChuckM

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:32 PM

Hi Chuck,

 

Per our separate email discussion with PixSoft, yes, I believe the StarGPS-NX should work.  I'll post my suggestions to you here as well for the benefit of the wider audience.  First though, as I understand it you are not reporting a problem with the GPS system rollover on your NexStar 11 GPS but rather just that the GPS module is bad.

 

Regarding replacing the internal GPS on a NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS with a StarGPS-NX, it should definitely work with the understanding this disables the compass as well.  If you are using a version 4 hand control (HC) or a NexStar+ HC, you have already abandoned use of the compass as those versions do not have the GPS Align routine that automatically points north and level.  NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS owners with HC versions 1.6/2.2/2.3 and a bad internal GPS module can also make this work if they switch to using any of the alignment routines other than GPS Align.

 

It does require disconnection of the internal GPS electronics.  Here is my specific recommendation on that.

 

Determine where the GPS electronics are located in your particular scope.  This article at my website will help:
https://www.nexstars...es/GPSBoard.htm
Trace all the cables from the GPS board(s) to their destinations.  I would remove the board(s), remove the GPS antenna and unplug all GPS board cables, including the one going to the "serial board" (the big board mounted to the bottom of the base cover, the board with the AUX, PC and Auto Guide ports) to remove any possibility of a cable snagging in the future.  So, this operation would require opening the cover on the top of the round base and removing at least the outside cover of the right fork (the one with the hand control recess) and possibly the inside cover of the right fork.

 

Then, I would mount the StarGPS-NX inside the right fork arm, up towards the top (using industrial strength 3M double-sided tape).  In other words, right where the old GPS antenna was located.  Then, I would permanently plug it into the jack for the hand control in the hand control recess.  Be sure to secure the NX02's excess cabling with strong tape or self-adhesive hooks.  I would use the hand control plugged into either of the AUX jacks on the top of the base.  The HC can still be stored (unplugged) in the recess in the right fork arm.  In fact, that is how I have always connected the HC on my NexStar 11 GPS.  I then use Velcro to hold it on top of the base:

 

attachicon.gif N11HC.png

 

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

Mike,

 

thank again for the the detailed description. 



#110 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:05 AM

Hi Mike Swanson. Sorry to pest you again with another question but hope you will answer. When the time comes that Celestron has the GPS Rollover update for the Nexstar Version 4 (Public), should I disconnect my cable of the CN-16 to my Aux Port before I update the Hand Control Firmware?

OR

Would turning off the GPS in Utilities than update the Firmware work too?

I just don't want anything to confuse or interfere with the Firmware Update, thus I feel safer just unplugging the GPS Cable from the Aux Port.

Thoughts?

Thank you.
Cheers
Don


Connection of the GPS will have no effect so no worries there.

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

#111 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:08 AM

Mike,

thank again for the the detailed description.


You're welcome Chuck. If you execute this, please post your results here on Cloudy Nights but perhaps start a new topic titled something like, 'replacing dead internal GPS with a third party GPS receiver'.

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

#112 FranAvalon

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:13 AM

First, I want say Thanks to Michael_Swanson and all the community for tracking and look for a solution for this issue.

 

I am a owner of a CPC 925 telescope with the gps problem. I have just discovered it yesterday after a few time without use the telescope. I though that my gps was broken until I found this topic. Now, I've registered at TeamCelestrom.com and I am waiting for an admin to approve my account.

 

I am glad that Celestron is working in a new firmware for our "old" telescope and I will try to upgrade mine when I can get it and a frind lend me the cable to do the upgrade.

 

I was think about the problem to fix the GPS issue bypassing the limit of 1024 weeks. Probably, our HC has some type of memory where user defined object are stored if I am not wrong. Maybe a very few part of that memory could be used to store the date (or year?) when the telescope is used or something like that. So, the software can compare the info given by the gps and the stored one, doing the correct calculus of the date to operate the telescope. What do you thing?

 

Again, thanks for all your help

 

Best regards,

Fran



#113 emflocater

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 07:30 PM

Connection of the GPS will have no effect so no worries there.

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

Thank you Mike Swanson! waytogo.gif

Cheers

Don



#114 FranAvalon

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 12:20 PM

Hi again

 

Is the board TeamCelestron working? I've registed on it two days ago, I've activated it but I am unable to login in. I always get the message "You exceeded the maximum allowed number of login attempts. In addition to your username and password you now also have to enter the confirm code from the image you see below.", but even though I enter the answer to the question, i get the same message.

 

Can someone help me here?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Fran



#115 emflocater

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 05:49 PM

Hi again

 

Is the board TeamCelestron working? I've registed on it two days ago, I've activated it but I am unable to login in. I always get the message "You exceeded the maximum allowed number of login attempts. In addition to your username and password you now also have to enter the confirm code from the image you see below.", but even though I enter the answer to the question, i get the same message.

 

Can someone help me here?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Fran

Had the same problem and finally gave up. I'm gonna sit back now until Celestron releases the Public Firmware Updates.

Cheers

Don



#116 FranAvalon

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 12:51 PM

Thanks Don.

 

Sad to read that. I will wait too then. :(

 

Regards

 

Fran



#117 robbin

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 11:52 PM

My scope is considerably newer than 2012 and has now had this issue.  I will be calling Celestron but am not hopeful.  It's funny because I was just thinking about starting a thread of how great for the average viewer Celestron has been.  My C-14, owned since 2004, has been a constant pleasure and the ease of setup of my CPC edge 8" together with its good (average in absolute terms but visually good!) optics on my CPC make it a treat for quick observing.

 

However, post y2k, this type of date encryption SHOULD have been on everyone's radar--and yes I understand there is a difference in the number range and the method of encoding between the two.

 

On reflection the scope's main board had to be replaced by Celestron so I wonder if they may have used an older board in the repair--in any case I have started and ticket and am curious as to what will transpire :-)


Edited by robbin, 09 May 2019 - 12:17 AM.


#118 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 04:58 AM

My scope is considerably newer than 2012 and has now had this issue.  I will be calling Celestron but am not hopeful.  It's funny because I was just thinking about starting a thread of how great for the average viewer Celestron has been.  My C-14, owned since 2004, has been a constant pleasure and the ease of setup of my CPC edge 8" together with its good (average in absolute terms but visually good!) optics on my CPC make it a treat for quick observing.

 

However, post y2k, this type of date encryption SHOULD have been on everyone's radar--and yes I understand there is a difference in the number range and the method of encoding between the two.

 

On reflection the scope's main board had to be replaced by Celestron so I wonder if they may have used an older board in the repair--in any case I have started and ticket and am curious as to what will transpire :-)

Hi Robbin,

 

The fix Celestron will cite once they catch up to your ticket will be the updated hand control firmware which is currently being tested.  You can either register at TeamCelestron.com and download the beta version or wait until the firmware is released to the general public.  In either case, you will need to prepare to load the new firmware.  If you haven't done this in the past, see the "how to" articles at the bottom of this section of my website:

https://www.nexstars...om/Firmware.htm

 

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



#119 robbin

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 12:05 PM

Yes.  I did want to reiterate that the problem then is NOT limited to pre-2012 or pre-edge models.  And of course it is irritating that a foreseeable problem like this was not caught.  I am glad they are actively working on it. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons I have had to download firmware in the past :-).



#120 FranAvalon

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 02:39 PM

Well, IMHO say join theTeamCelestron is not a good advise, unless you want hit the login wall (at least that is my case). I've been waiting to access the board for five days now.

 

Anyway, does someone know when the HC 4 firmware will be release? Just curious and a bit impatient ;)

 

Regards

 

Fran



#121 robbin

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 02:44 PM

Fran, simply fyi I got almost immediate access to TeamCelestron.  Sorry to hear your experience was worse.  I did speak with Tech support and that particular person had no real time information.  Under a bit of pressing (and probably just to move on ;-) he said 3-4 weeks generally and I was not asking about HC 4 in particular.


Edited by robbin, 09 May 2019 - 02:45 PM.


#122 FranAvalon

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:06 PM

Thanks Robbin for the info.

 

I will try to change my password or check my account for the problem.

 

Regards

 

Fran



#123 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 12:58 AM

Yes. I did want to reiterate that the problem then is NOT limited to pre-2012 or pre-edge models. And of course it is irritating that a foreseeable problem like this was not caught. I am glad they are actively working on it. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons I have had to download firmware in the past :-).


Hi Robbin,

Celestron and other equipment manufacturers who use off the shelf GPS receivers expected those receivers to operate correctly for the lifetime of the receiver. We were all surprised when so many of them did not account for the week rollover.

This didn't even hit Celestron's radar until the popular media heard about this issue. Unfortunately there is no simple way to simulate the signal from GPS satellites to test what was going to happen (you have to be a radio and GPS geek to program a software defined radio to do this) so Celestron didn't even know what the GPS receivers would do until April 7th.

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

#124 robbin

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:30 AM

Yes I don't want to keep beating a now dead horse but all kinds of devices had embedded gps and related firmware and very few seem not to have received proper updates to account for this issue.  In addition, of course, there had been a previous rollover date so the basic structure of the date representation, its limitation and potential effects were known to some without simulation.  However, it certainly could have been worse had Celestron done nothing and simply blamed their suppliers.  Also while irritating to lose the convenience for a while (in my case it was one of the nice advantages of the CPC I found interesting) it is hardly a disaster to have to input the year. Things hardly ever turn out the way you think they're going to :-).



#125 FranAvalon

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 09:58 AM

Finally, I could enter to the Teamcelestron board. Now waiting for the admin to give me access. I needed to do a new account because I coldn't login with othe old one, so I couldn't change anything on it.




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