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GPS Rollover Problems!

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#201 emflocater

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 06:31 PM

One more question on replacing my old v2.2 HC. Should I get a V4 or a +???

 

Any important differences???

 

BTW, did the "turning off GPS" technique and it worked like a charm! Thanks to all of you!

 

Jesse Delaney

Sacramento, CA

This may help HERE

Cheers

Don


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#202 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 06:56 PM

One more question on replacing my old v2.2 HC. Should I get a V4 or a +???

 

Any important differences???

 

BTW, did the "turning off GPS" technique and it worked like a charm! Thanks to all of you!

 

Jesse Delaney

Sacramento, CA

The feature set is about the same.  See my version 4 user's guide available free here to see the newer features introduced after v2.2:

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

 

Personally, I prefer the v4 hand control - easier to read and the NexStar+ HC abandoned the direct access buttons for the Messier and NGC catalogs (I use them every night).  But, the v4 HC is really not directly supported any longer.  This fix for the GPS rollover was likely the last time we see any updates on v4.  And they are only available on the used market.

 

One other advantage with the v4 HC is that some older NexStar 8/11 GPS mounts have problems with the latest firmware on the NexStar+ HC.  On those mounts the NexStar+ HC has intermittent "no response" errors (momentary lost communication between the HC and the mount) and associated with that the arrow buttons are sluggish (press and release not immediately recognized by the mount).  Celestron is aware of the issue and may eventually fix it in future firmware.

 

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


Edited by Michael_Swanson, 05 June 2019 - 09:20 PM.

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#203 mclewis1

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:55 PM

Another vote for the ver 4 NexStar hand controller vs. the newer + model.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to recently see the vendor "Wing and Son" who often sells products in the CN classifieds offer some v4 hand controllers. This vendor seems to regularly get what appear to be returned but functional hand controllers (and lower end Alt Az mounts) and offer them up for sale here on CN.

 

Even if there isn't a current ad I would get their contact info from an older ad and contact them directly to see if you can still get a good example of a v4 hand controller. The vendor will also re flash the firmware to whatever you want.


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#204 Callisto9993

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 09:20 PM

I have located a version 4 for sale.  HC: NXS 4.21  MC: 5.18  5.18

 

Ad from Wing and Son says it is compatable with CPC, 6/8 se, 4/5 se, GPS and GT Mounts.

 

Is this what I am looking for to replace my N11 version 2.2?

 

TY in advance!



#205 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 09:31 PM

I have located a version 4 for sale.  HC: NXS 4.21  MC: 5.18  5.18

 

Ad from Wing and Son says it is compatable with CPC, 6/8 se, 4/5 se, GPS and GT Mounts.

 

Is this what I am looking for to replace my N11 version 2.2?

 

TY in advance!

Yes, that will work on the NexStar 11 GPS.  You will then need to load the new version 4.22 firmware to fix any GPS rollover issues.  Instructions for loading version 4 firmware found here at my website:

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

The article "How to Upgrade Hand Control Firmware - Version 4 Hand 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



#206 Callisto9993

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 11:15 PM

Yes, that will work on the NexStar 11 GPS.  You will then need to load the new version 4.22 firmware to fix any GPS rollover issues.  Instructions for loading version 4 firmware found here at my website:

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

The article "How to Upgrade Hand Control Firmware - Version 4 Hand 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

Thank you so much!!



#207 mclewis1

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 08:51 AM

With your "new" V4 hand controller if you want a user manual to refer to just download the Celestron CPC manual from Mike's website.

 

I'd also just verify that everything is working properly with your new hand controller before doing an upgrade to NXS 4.22 firmware. It might be a little strange with the GPS rollover date issue but you should be able to ensure that your new HC and scope are happy together (no obvious errors other than the date). Then go ahead and upgrade the firmware following the instructions on Mike's site.

 

Before you go and use the new HC for the first time under the stars just take a moment to say goodbye to that nice GPS level north auto alignment that was on your GPS scope when you used the v2.2 HC.


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#208 Callisto9993

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 03:11 PM

With your "new" V4 hand controller if you want a user manual to refer to just download the Celestron CPC manual from Mike's website.

 

I'd also just verify that everything is working properly with your new hand controller before doing an upgrade to NXS 4.22 firmware. It might be a little strange with the GPS rollover date issue but you should be able to ensure that your new HC and scope are happy together (no obvious errors other than the date). Then go ahead and upgrade the firmware following the instructions on Mike's site.

 

Before you go and use the new HC for the first time under the stars just take a moment to say goodbye to that nice GPS level north auto alignment that was on your GPS scope when you used the v2.2 HC.

You know, Mark. mine doesn't have the Level North feature. I think the later models than mine had it. OH and if I didn't say, THANK YOU for the Wing & Sons tip. I found them on EBay and they have been great to deal with. Very conscientious!!


Edited by Callisto9993, 11 June 2019 - 03:53 PM.


#209 mclewis1

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 05:57 PM

Jesse, 

If you had a v2,2 hand controller you had that function. It's just not called anything like "level north". It's the Auto alignment in the GPS scopes where the scope will go from its starting position (being roughly level and pointed north/south) and will do a little dance as it finds actual north and then goes off to the first alignment star automatically.

 

In the v4 firmware the scope won't do the little "dance" and automatic slew any more, it will wait for you to manually slew to the first alignment star, then it will automatically slew to the 2nd alignment star if you've selected a 2 star alignment. If you don't know star names you can use the Sky Align feature where you just manually slew to 3 bright widely spaced stars.


Edited by mclewis1, 11 June 2019 - 05:58 PM.

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#210 Callisto9993

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 09:53 PM

Jesse, 

If you had a v2,2 hand controller you had that function. It's just not called anything like "level north". It's the Auto alignment in the GPS scopes where the scope will go from its starting position (being roughly level and pointed north/south) and will do a little dance as it finds actual north and then goes off to the first alignment star automatically.

 

In the v4 firmware the scope won't do the little "dance" and automatic slew any more, it will wait for you to manually slew to the first alignment star, then it will automatically slew to the 2nd alignment star if you've selected a 2 star alignment. If you don't know star names you can use the Sky Align feature where you just manually slew to 3 bright widely spaced stars.

Yes. I have used it so many times, I never thought about that part of it. I usually hit the GPS Align button and go mix a drink! But, looking in my old manual on page 17, #2 "Once GPS Align has been selected, the telescope will begin to move to its north and level position." At this point I am usually back outside and centering the first star and then....the magic that is the Nexstar scope. What a machine!!



#211 astrovoyeur

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:13 AM

.the magic that is the Nexstar scope. What a machine!!

lol,  As I recall back in 2006 Celestron was ordered by the courts to remove Meade's patented alignment procedure from Celestron products.

 

https://www.skyandte...-endlitigation/


Edited by astrovoyeur, 12 June 2019 - 07:17 AM.


#212 mclewis1

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:41 AM

And that's why it's not in the V4 firmware. Still though the lack of an automatic level/north auto alignment hasn't stopped the CPC series from dramatically outselling Meade's LX90/200/600 series over the past 10+ years.



#213 astrovoyeur

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 08:37 AM

 

Personally, I prefer the v4 hand control - easier to read and the NexStar+ HC abandoned the direct access buttons for the Messier

Mike I agree the v5 display is hard to see, but it can be improved by activating "bold text" in the HC setup.    Messiers can still be accessed directly by pressing the "Help" button which provides no HELP, go figure????   



#214 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 06:43 PM

Mike I agree the v5 display is hard to see, but it can be improved by activating "bold text" in the HC setup.    Messiers can still be accessed directly by pressing the "Help" button which provides no HELP, go figure????   

Yep, bold and contrast setting help to improve but v4 is still easier on my aging eyes :-)


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#215 jae62

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 10:11 PM

Mike, I have Nexstar11GPS from 2004 with Version: 2.2, 4.5, 4.5, 10.1. I just ordered the following hand controller- Celestron Nexstar+ Hand Control USB, AZ 93981 (Black). I believe this should work on my scope correct? What is the link with procedure and needed upgrade software? Does the hand controller have to be connected to the telescope to upgrade the software? Thanks in advance and I've owned your book and found it very helpful over the years, great resource! John E.

Edited by jae62, 12 June 2019 - 10:12 PM.


#216 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 10:50 PM

Mike, I have Nexstar11GPS from 2004 with Version: 2.2, 4.5, 4.5, 10.1. I just ordered the following hand controller- Celestron Nexstar+ Hand Control USB, AZ 93981 (Black). I believe this should work on my scope correct? What is the link with procedure and needed upgrade software? Does the hand controller have to be connected to the telescope to upgrade the software? Thanks in advance and I've owned your book and found it very helpful over the years, great resource! John E.

Hi John,

 

A couple of things. 

 

The NexStar+ (and NexStar version 4) hand controls will only work on the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS if the motor control is upgraded to version 4.06 (which would display as 4.6 on your version 2.2 HC).  My article for updating the motor control is here:

https://www.nexstars...pgradeHowTo.htm

You should probably be able to update the motor control via the USB connection on the bottom of the NexStar+ hand control once it arrives, but if MCupdate cannot see the mount via that connection you will need to build or purchase the PC Port cable I mention in that article.

 

Second, for the NexStar+ hand control, Celestron has not fixed the rollover problem for NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS mounts that are currently displaying a date 17.5 years in the past or a date like mm/dd/5.  They have fixed that problem in the version 4 hand control.  Hopefully they will release a fix on the NexStar+ hand control soon.  I'm tracking that here:

https://www.nexstars...GPSRollover.htm

 

As far as updating the firmware on the NexStar+ hand control, that would be this article:

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



#217 jae62

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 07:19 PM

Mike, I just took the scope outside and did a GPS link. The date was 10/28/05 (just as expected with the rollover issue) I did recheck the version and the good news is it appears to be 2.2 4.6 4.6 10.1. that looks like I was incorrect with 4.5 in my previous post. Am I correct in that I do not have to update MC firmware?

A Strange thing does happen when displaying the version information on the hand controller. After a few seconds the display changes from version numbers and says "no response 1". John

Edited by jae62, 13 June 2019 - 07:54 PM.


#218 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:41 PM

Mike, I just took the scope outside and did a GPS link. The date was 10/28/05 (just as expected with the rollover issue) I did recheck the version and the good news is it appears to be 2.2 4.6 4.6 10.1. that looks like I was incorrect with 4.5 in my previous post. Am I correct in that I do not have to update MC firmware?

A Strange thing does happen when displaying the version information on the hand controller. After a few seconds the display changes from version numbers and says "no response 1". John

Great John - you are correct that your MC is all set.

 

Regarding the "no response 1", I had to do a quick search at my site to retrieve this detail:

https://www.nexstars...NoResponse1.htm

Bottom line - nothing to worry about.

 

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



#219 jae62

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 06:13 AM

Mike, great to hear that that error message is not problematic. The new NexStar+ hand controller. Should be delivered today. I will work on updating the firmware to NXS4.22 using my Toshiba laptop running Windows 10 and my wife's USB cable that goes to her camera. Hopefully it will go well.
I will let you know if I run into any problems.
Thank you so much for all your help!!! John
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#220 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 06:38 AM

Hi John,

 

Firmware NXS 4.22 is for a version 4 hand control, not the NexStar+ hand control.  As I mentioned above in post #216:

 

Second, for the NexStar+ hand control, Celestron has not fixed the rollover problem for NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS mounts that are currently displaying a date 17.5 years in the past or a date like mm/dd/5.  They have fixed that problem in the version 4 hand control.  Hopefully they will release a fix on the NexStar+ hand control soon.  I'm tracking that here:

https://www.nexstars...GPSRollover.htm

 

So, until they release a fix for the NexStar+ HC, you will still need to turn off GPS in the hand control menu.

 

Instructions for updating the firmware on the NexStar+ hand control are found here:

https://www.nexstars...exStarPlus.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



#221 Callisto9993

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 09:31 PM

Just wanted to report the success I had with purchasing the V4 HC from Wing and Sons on EBay. It was in very good condition and worked perfectly! I have had several nights of great observing since I received it. It is almost identical to my V2.2 in it's functionality, differing in that I am now using SkyAlign.

 

 Thanks again for the help!!


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#222 jae62

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 05:52 PM

Mike, I contacted Celestron support on 6/14/19 to see if they made any progress on the Nexstar+ firmware. They emailed me back today (6/20/19) saying the following:

"Hello John,

Thank you for contacting Celestron Technical Support:

My name is Johnny and I would be happy to assist you.To update the NexStar + hand control you will need to use CFM. CFM will automatically select the latest firmware, which contains the GPS fix."

I updated the hand controller by doing the following steps suggested by Johnny.

Before updating the controller the date read:
11/04/5 and the versions was HC: NXS 5.29.6225.

After updating to the latest version HC:
NXS 5.31.9102 and being linked to the GPS the date read : local = 01/15/96.

It appears that the latest update still does not correct the GPS rollover problem.

John

Edited by jae62, 20 June 2019 - 09:34 PM.


#223 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 10:46 PM

Hi John,

 

They are correct in that it does fix the rollover problem for almost all of their equipment.  But, it does not fix it for NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS mounts that display a date ending in /5.  And it won't fix those same mounts currently displaying a date 17.5 years in the past until we get to Aug 17, 2019.

 

No word at this time on progress fixing dates ending in /5.

 

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



#224 jae62

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 06:17 PM

So Mike, the bottom line is if Celestron does not provide a new firmware fix for the Nexstar+ HC the firmware that I just downloaded should start working normally with the correct date after Aug 17, 2019?

Edited by jae62, 21 June 2019 - 06:18 PM.


#225 emflocater

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 08:22 PM

So Mike, the bottom line is if Celestron does not provide a new firmware fix for the Nexstar+ HC the firmware that I just downloaded should start working normally with the correct date after Aug 17, 2019?

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that I think Mike Swanson means that Celestron will start working on a Firmware fix AFTER Aug. 17, 2019. I could be wrong which most the time I am! We'll wait till Mike chimes in officially on this.

 

Cheers

Don


Edited by emflocater, 21 June 2019 - 08:24 PM.



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