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Celestron CPC1100 does not link to satellites, new battery

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#1 winglift

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:24 PM

My Celestron CPC1100 will not link to satellites. This is a  new telescope to me, purchased used, and I have read the other posts concerning this topic and followed the advice suggested. I powered it up for a couple of days w/o HC and it did not make any difference. I ordered and changed the battery, Seiko MS621FE, on the GPS module and that did not fix it either.

 

This telescope included a SkyQlink module, but not sure how to get it to work. I followed the instructions that I was able to obtain on the internet, but that did not work and assume that I am missing something.

 

I am sure that I am not the first to encounter this and rather that muddle through this would appreciate any suggestions.


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#2 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 12:25 AM

On this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...nds/GPSLink.htm

Read through the entire article.  Since you already changed the battery, it seems likely the issue is either a bad cable connection inside the mount or the GPS module has died.

 

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



#3 mclewis1

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 09:19 AM

I'd do a Factory Settings reset of the hand controller and then go check that the GPS setting is on ... both of these functions are under the Utilities menu. I might also turn the GPS off and then back on even if the setting says it's already on.

 

If the GPS setting doesn't "stick" and stay ON when the scope is powered off and on then you probably have a failure of the GPS hardware.


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#4 winglift

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 02:35 PM

On this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...nds/GPSLink.htm

Read through the entire article.  Since you already changed the battery, it seems likely the issue is either a bad cable connection inside the mount or the GPS module has died.

 

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

Thanks Mike. I had read the article that you referred to and it refers to a very detailed description regarding discharging the capacitor  type GPS module, however this one has a battery. The interesting thing about this is that both modules look identical and the dimensions and contacts of both the capacitor and battery also look identical. It should be prefaced with a warning to make sure that the module is a capacitor instead of a battery before following that procedure. Does anyone know when Celestron decided to go with a battery storage instead of a capacitor?

 

Best wishes.



#5 winglift

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 02:45 PM

I'd do a Factory Settings reset of the hand controller and then go check that the GPS setting is on ... both of these functions are under the Utilities menu. I might also turn the GPS off and then back on even if the setting says it's already on.

 

If the GPS setting doesn't "stick" and stay ON when the scope is powered off and on then you probably have a failure of the GPS hardware.

Thanks for that info. I just did a factory reset and cycled GPS off to on and it did change the time and location, but still waiting for the GPS to link. The module does blink, as before, the red led which seems to indicate that it functions, but it never links to satellites. Do you know if Celestron repairs these or sells replacement units and what they cost?

 

Best wishes.

LeRay



#6 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 09:41 PM

Thanks Mike. I had read the article that you referred to and it refers to a very detailed description regarding discharging the capacitor  type GPS module, however this one has a battery. The interesting thing about this is that both modules look identical and the dimensions and contacts of both the capacitor and battery also look identical. It should be prefaced with a warning to make sure that the module is a capacitor instead of a battery before following that procedure. Does anyone know when Celestron decided to go with a battery storage instead of a capacitor?

 

Best wishes.

Hi LeRay,

 

Battery was the old model, capacitor is the new and current.

 

Yes, Celestron will repair it though since it is out of warranty you would probably save money (on shipping at a minimum) by just getting a new GPS board and receiver/antenna and replacing them yourself.  They do sell replacement parts of the CPC, but the items required and the price vary according to the GPS gear in your particular scope (Celestron has used various GPS receivers through the years).  This is their online parts store, but it isn't all conclusive of their inventory:

https://www.celestro...ons/spare-parts

Most likely you do have the model with the small interface board (check first!) and the receiver with incorporated antenna which they list there on their site.  You could try just swapping out the interface board first as it is relatively inexpensive.  Then if that doesn't work, you could spring for the GPS receiver/antenna.

 

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



#7 winglift

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:01 AM

Hi LeRay,

 

Battery was the old model, capacitor is the new and current.

 

Yes, Celestron will repair it though since it is out of warranty you would probably save money (on shipping at a minimum) by just getting a new GPS board and receiver/antenna and replacing them yourself.  They do sell replacement parts of the CPC, but the items required and the price vary according to the GPS gear in your particular scope (Celestron has used various GPS receivers through the years).  This is their online parts store, but it isn't all conclusive of their inventory:

https://www.celestro...ons/spare-parts

Most likely you do have the model with the small interface board (check first!) and the receiver with incorporated antenna which they list there on their site.  You could try just swapping out the interface board first as it is relatively inexpensive.  Then if that doesn't work, you could spring for the GPS receiver/antenna.

 

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

Okay, I had it backwards concerning the versions. That makes sense after thinking about it, thanks. I am not sure about the size of the interface board, because I do not have a comparison. Attached photo of GPS side of my CPS1100. I looked on the link that you provided and did spot the GPS unit, but will have to contact Celestron to find out version, not sure if the newer version will replace battery or earlier version? So, now there is a separate antennae, as I assume that this version has a built in antennae?

 

Best wishes.

LeRay

Attached Thumbnails

  • K072219-0863s.jpg


#8 winglift

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 07:02 PM

I called Celestron today, after about 2 1/2 hours wait on line, to find out what they had to say about this problem. He said that there was some kind of roll over and that I needed to update the hand controller. Apparently you need a couple of cables to attach to the HC, telephone>RS232 and RS232>usb. I hate to buy two cables for a one-time use. After you download the hand controller update you start it after connecting the HC to the computer. I am somewhat surprised about this since it probably affects others.

 

Best wishes.

LeRay



#9 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 08:19 PM

Hi LeRay,

 

I guess we should have asked you this at the beginning:  when you say "My Celestron CPC1100 will not link to satellites", do you mean the HC never reports the GPS has linked or it does link and the date is incorrect?  The GPS rollover problem (the one fixed by updating the firmware) does NOT prevent a link, it just returns a bad date (generally 19 years in the past) after a link.

 

The cables aren't necessarily a one-time use.  You may need to update again in the future and this also allows you to connect an external computer to the scope for enhanced control:

https://www.nexstars...m/PCControl.htm

 

Another question - when you check the Version command on the Utilities menu in the HC, what versions are reported?

 

The picture you posted shows you have the usual small interface board I pointed to before and the GPS receiver is the type with the integrated antenna (the gold plate) at the top of the fork arm.  The replacements they have at their website should work but it might be good to ask them if they would allow a return if this doesn't fix your problem (presuming we aren't just looking at the GPS rollover problem).

 

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



#10 winglift

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 10:48 PM

Hi LeRay,

 

I guess we should have asked you this at the beginning:  when you say "My Celestron CPC1100 will not link to satellites", do you mean the HC never reports the GPS has linked or it does link and the date is incorrect?  The GPS rollover problem (the one fixed by updating the firmware) does NOT prevent a link, it just returns a bad date (generally 19 years in the past) after a link.

 

The cables aren't necessarily a one-time use.  You may need to update again in the future and this also allows you to connect an external computer to the scope for enhanced control:

https://www.nexstars...m/PCControl.htm

 

Another question - when you check the Version command on the Utilities menu in the HC, what versions are reported?

 

The picture you posted shows you have the usual small interface board I pointed to before and the GPS receiver is the type with the integrated antenna (the gold plate) at the top of the fork arm.  The replacements they have at their website should work but it might be good to ask them if they would allow a return if this doesn't fix your problem (presuming we aren't just looking at the GPS rollover problem).

 

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

Hi Mike,

The HC never indicates that it is linked and I just checked the version, 4.13. It might be easier just to see images of HC, attached. It has never indicated that it has linked to a satellite and with the arm cover off, both before and after I replaced the battery, the GPS module led just blinks about 16/min.

 

Best wishes.

LeRay

Attached Thumbnails

  • K072219-0921.JPG
  • K072219-0942.JPG
  • K072219-0957s.jpg


#11 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:06 PM

Hi Mike,

The HC never indicates that it is linked and I just checked the version, 4.13. It might be easier just to see images of HC, attached. It has never indicated that it has linked to a satellite and with the arm cover off, both before and after I replaced the battery, the GPS module led just blinks about 16/min.

 

Best wishes.

LeRay

Okay, so you will want to update the firmware on the HC, but that isn't going to fix the problem with the GPS not linking.  All of our previous conversation regarding that issue still applies.

 

On this page of my website:

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

See the article "CPC Series" to see what changes have occured since HC 4.13.  You will probably agree you want to perform the update.  Then on that main Firmware page, see the article "How to Upgrade Hand Control Firmware - Version 4 Hand Control" for instructions.

 

And I just realized we ignored your SkyQLink question.  That WiFi module plugs into one of the AUX ports on the base and then you can use the SkyPortal app (free) on a smartphone/tablet to take the place of the hand control.  For a more capable app, SkySafari Plus/Pro will do the same thing.  On this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...m/PCControl.htm

see the paragraph which starts "The first is Celestron's WiFi solution."  SkyQLink is essentially the same as the SkyPortal WiFi module I discuss there - just an older version with a little less distance range.  Note that this solution doesn't use the CPC's GPS module at all, so if you find you like it, you might not feel the need to fix the GPS in the mount.

 

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



#12 winglift

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 02:48 PM

Okay, so you will want to update the firmware on the HC, but that isn't going to fix the problem with the GPS not linking.  All of our previous conversation regarding that issue still applies.

 

On this page of my website:

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

See the article "CPC Series" to see what changes have occured since HC 4.13.  You will probably agree you want to perform the update.  Then on that main Firmware page, see the article "How to Upgrade Hand Control Firmware - Version 4 Hand Control" for instructions.

 

And I just realized we ignored your SkyQLink question.  That WiFi module plugs into one of the AUX ports on the base and then you can use the SkyPortal app (free) on a smartphone/tablet to take the place of the hand control.  For a more capable app, SkySafari Plus/Pro will do the same thing.  On this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...m/PCControl.htm

see the paragraph which starts "The first is Celestron's WiFi solution."  SkyQLink is essentially the same as the SkyPortal WiFi module I discuss there - just an older version with a little less distance range.  Note that this solution doesn't use the CPC's GPS module at all, so if you find you like it, you might not feel the need to fix the GPS in the mount.

 

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

Hi Mike,

Okay. Concerning the hand controller update, I am working on a cable and trying to find out the pinouts for the connectors since I want to get this fixed asap and $40 for these is just not worth it for me at this point. The RJ22 connector on the hand controller has four connection points as does the USB and if someone could share the pinouts from the adapters would make things simpler. My guess it that only 3 or possibly 2 are used.

 

Thanks for recognizing my question concerning the SkyQLink. That was very helpful and based upon your signature credits, I can see that you know a thing or two about this. Thanks. I already have SkySafari Pro and had no idea how to use it with the SkyQLink. I downloaded a pdf and apparently there are a couple of ways to connect depending upon the switch position, but have not been able to see anything that says it has linked up.

 

I will probably opt to fix the GPS anyway as it just bothers me that it doesn't work.



#13 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 08:18 PM

Hi Mike,

Okay. Concerning the hand controller update, I am working on a cable and trying to find out the pinouts for the connectors since I want to get this fixed asap and $40 for these is just not worth it for me at this point. The RJ22 connector on the hand controller has four connection points as does the USB and if someone could share the pinouts from the adapters would make things simpler. My guess it that only 3 or possibly 2 are used.

 

Thanks for recognizing my question concerning the SkyQLink. That was very helpful and based upon your signature credits, I can see that you know a thing or two about this. Thanks. I already have SkySafari Pro and had no idea how to use it with the SkyQLink. I downloaded a pdf and apparently there are a couple of ways to connect depending upon the switch position, but have not been able to see anything that says it has linked up.

 

I will probably opt to fix the GPS anyway as it just bothers me that it doesn't work.

Regarding the cable for the RJ22 port, on this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...m/PCControl.htm

refer to the link for the "Hand Control RS-232 Port Cable" in the yellow box on the right.

 

Regarding SkySafari Pro and the SkyQLink - keep the SkyQLink set for direct connect and connect your smartphone/tablet's WiFi to the SkyQLink-XX network.  Then in SkySafari, set the connection type to Celestron WiFi.  Start any new session with the "Connect and Align" button and follow the on-screen instructions.  More details in my book (the SkyPortal sections apply in this case).

 

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



#14 winglift

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 03:25 PM

Regarding the cable for the RJ22 port, on this page of my website:

https://www.nexstars...m/PCControl.htm

refer to the link for the "Hand Control RS-232 Port Cable" in the yellow box on the right.

 

Regarding SkySafari Pro and the SkyQLink - keep the SkyQLink set for direct connect and connect your smartphone/tablet's WiFi to the SkyQLink-XX network.  Then in SkySafari, set the connection type to Celestron WiFi.  Start any new session with the "Connect and Align" button and follow the on-screen instructions.  More details in my book (the SkyPortal sections apply in this case).

 

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

Concerning the cable info, that will make things much easier. Working on getting the cable made and updating the firmware on the hand controller.

 

Success! I was able to get the SkyQLink to work with SSP thanks to your directions. Looking forward to using it finally. I will be using a wedge after getting used to it in the standard position and I am assuming that SkySafari Pro will accommodate that. For now its great to have this working.

 

Best wishes.

LeRay


Edited by winglift, 24 July 2019 - 03:26 PM.


#15 mclewis1

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 10:03 AM

Okay. Concerning the hand controller update, I am working on a cable and trying to find out the pinouts for the connectors since I want to get this fixed asap and $40 for these is just not worth it for me at this point. The RJ22 connector on the hand controller has four connection points as does the USB and if someone could share the pinouts from the adapters would make things simpler. My guess it that only 3 or possibly 2 are used.

LeRay,

 

Please don't try to directly wire up a cable without the USB adapter electronics. USB and RS232 serial are absolutely not the same thing electrically and tying them together can result in letting the magic smoke out.

 

It's can be a good idea to remove some of the physical connectors to make a single cable (makes it more reliable) but you must still have the electronics in place to create an RS232 serial interface to connect to the hand controller that has that RJ22 connector.



#16 winglift

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 10:10 PM

LeRay,

 

Please don't try to directly wire up a cable without the USB adapter electronics. USB and RS232 serial are absolutely not the same thing electrically and tying them together can result in letting the magic smoke out.

 

It's can be a good idea to remove some of the physical connectors to make a single cable (makes it more reliable) but you must still have the electronics in place to create an RS232 serial interface to connect to the hand controller that has that RJ22 connector.

Okay. Getting back to this. I appreciate the concern, but I used to make cables so this is quite easy for me. In the mean time I will use the cable information that Mike provided. I am curious, in the diagram for the adapter cable, if pin 2 (2nd from left) on the RJ9/22 is connected to the DB9?



#17 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 01:12 AM

Hi LeRay,

 

No, only pins 1, 3 and 4 are connected to the DB9 pins indicated in the second drawing (DB9 pins 2, 3 and 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



#18 winglift

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 06:10 PM

Hi LeRay,

 

No, only pins 1, 3 and 4 are connected to the DB9 pins indicated in the second drawing (DB9 pins 2, 3 and 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

Hi Mike,

Thanks for that information. I have it working and ready to go, however not sure of the version required since there is a newer version/patch for NXS4.21 designated as NXS4.22 which is identified as a patch. Question is the 4.22 all that I need to download which includes the patch or do I need to update the HC to NXS4.21 first?

 

I made a couple of these cables DB9>RJ9 according to your diagram.

 

Best wishes.

LeRay



#19 winglift

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:04 PM

Success, thanks Mike. I went ahead selecting NXS4.22 which is labeled as a patch, but it seems to be inclusive of 4.21, no need to install that prior.

 

Now back to the GPS which you are probably correct in that the HC firmware update will not fix that, but will see.

 

LeRay



#20 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:38 PM

Hi LeRay,

 

You're all set on the HC firmware.  From my "how to" article (https://www.nexstars...wToVersion4.htm):

"Note that it is not necessary to install each version in succession until you reach the newest version - each version is a complete firmware load and stands on its own."

 

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



#21 winglift

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:51 AM

I kind of assumed that was the case which was why I went ahead with that, however normal convention is that a patch for a program is something that you apply to a current program whereas an upgrade or version is a replacement for a program. Probably some clarity in the description would have helped.

 

Thanks to you for that and getting me going on the SkyQLink. I want to get the GPS fixed and will see what Celestron says about it.

 

Best wishes.

LeRay



#22 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 08:32 PM

patch = something applied to a current program

 

Can't argue with you there LeRay! 



#23 winglift

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 08:47 PM

I need some advice about a replacement GPS unit. There is a complete, see photos, for sale on a popular auction site that apparently is new stock from a store that went out of business. The unit does not have a number on the face of the GPS unit whereas mine has, 440A20. I actually have committed to buying it, but he is waiting for me to decide if I want it. What I do not know of course if it is really new stock and unsure if it would be compatible because this one does not have an id number on the face. I am not familiar enough with this to see if it is worth the chance.

 

Attached Thumbnails

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#24 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 09:17 PM

Hi LeRay,

 

The key thing is for the receiver (the part on the silver bracket) to match with the interface board (the small board with cables connected to both ends).  So, if all of the items shown in the bottom picture came out of the same mount, you will be able to use them successfully in your mount (assuming everything is in good working order).

 

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



#25 winglift

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 09:33 PM

Hi Mike,

Thanks for that information. It will ship tomorrow.




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