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Nexstar 4GT

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#1 Sensei1956

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:27 PM

I'm kinda new to all this and there is so much information out there it's hard to get a handle on it all.  I have an older Nexstar 4GT, the hand control is version 101.0.  Can I update the software for it and if not can the control itself be replaced with a newer version?
Thanks to everyone that post information here.  I've learned a lot but have still only scratched the surface.



#2 barbarosa

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:55 PM

https://www.nexstars...GTFirmware.htm  might have the answer. For other models check  https://www.nexstarsite.com/Firmware.htm



#3 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 11:06 PM

I'm kinda new to all this and there is so much information out there it's hard to get a handle on it all.  I have an older Nexstar 4GT, the hand control is version 101.0.  Can I update the software for it and if not can the control itself be replaced with a newer version?
Thanks to everyone that post information here.  I've learned a lot but have still only scratched the surface.

The version 101.0 GT hand control cannot be updated.  You can purchase a used (as they are no longer manufactured) version 4 hand control and load the GT 4.03 or GT 4.04 firmware.  It is quite an improvement for most GT mounts.  One common source is a search on ebay.com for "nexstar* hand controller".  Regardless the mount in the description of the eBay advertisement (GT/CPC/SLT/LCM/etc.), any version 4 HC works once it is loaded with the correct firmware.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#4 Sensei1956

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 10:31 AM

Mike, I feel kind off stupid right now.  I can't find any controllers that say version 4 HC.  I see wording like this:

 

Celestron NexStar+ Hand Control USB Connector

Features
•Huge database of over 40,000 celestial objects
•Automatically slews to objects in a variety of catalogs
•Tour Mode shows most popular objects
•Dual line, 16-character LCD screen
•Customizable max slew speed
•Ability to connect to your PC directly

Product Description

The Celestron NexStar+ AZ Hand Control is the standard computer accessory on all current altazimuth mounted Celestron go-to telescopes: SLT, LCM, SE, NexStar Evolution, and CPC, and CPC Deluxe computerized telescopes.

The NexStar+ Hand Control is compatible with all altazimuth (AZ) NexStar telescopes.

This hand control includes USB Flash Upgradeable Technology via the Internet, allowing users to upgrade its software with Celestron Firmware Manager.

 

Is this what I'm looking for?



#5 astrovoyeur

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 12:44 PM

Mike, I feel kind off stupid right now.  I can't find any controllers that say version 4 HC.  I see wording like this:

 

Celestron NexStar+ Hand Control USB Connector

Features
•Huge database of over 40,000 celestial objects
•Automatically slews to objects in a variety of catalogs
•Tour Mode shows most popular objects
•Dual line, 16-character LCD screen
•Customizable max slew speed
•Ability to connect to your PC directly

Product Description

The Celestron NexStar+ AZ Hand Control is the standard computer accessory on all current altazimuth mounted Celestron go-to telescopes: SLT, LCM, SE, NexStar Evolution, and CPC, and CPC Deluxe computerized telescopes.

The NexStar+ Hand Control is compatible with all altazimuth (AZ) NexStar telescopes.

This hand control includes USB Flash Upgradeable Technology via the Internet, allowing users to upgrade its software with Celestron Firmware Manager.

 

Is this what I'm looking for?

I think this is what you need. https://www.ebay.com...cAAOSwrVRdwZU1 

I bought one a month ago for an old GT.  However it came with 4.04 firmware installed which needs to be down graded to 4.03.   I haven't got around to doing mine yet. 

 

Let me know if you get one and are successful with the firmware change.



#6 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 08:00 PM

The link astrovoyeur provided is exactly what you need.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#7 Sensei1956

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 08:45 PM

astrovoyeur and Mike thank you both so much, I just ordered one.  I am very excited to start on this adventure.  We have an off the grid cabin in northern WI in the middle of nowhere and the star gazing is heavenly if you will excuse the word play.

Thank you again,
Sincerely
Mike Homann


Edited by Sensei1956, 28 May 2020 - 08:50 PM.

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#8 Sensei1956

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 02:46 PM

I have another question, what power supply should I purchase for my old nexstar.  Is it a standard jack for all nexstar?



#9 Geo.

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 03:52 PM

Yes, you need a coaxial plug that's 5.5mm barrel and 2.1mm center pin receptacle. 12VDC plug barrel, ground center pin, positive..



#10 Sensei1956

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 04:24 PM

Thank you Geo.



#11 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 10:51 PM

Specifically, I recommend one of the inexpensive TalentCell lithium power packs, attached to the fork arm as I show on this page:

https://www.nexstars...owerSources.htm

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#12 Sensei1956

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 09:26 PM

Last question for now, I have my newer remote what software version do I want to load on it?



#13 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 11:39 PM

Load the firmware named "GT 4.03"

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com


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#14 Sensei1956

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 08:31 PM

Thank you Mike.



#15 Sensei1956

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 07:12 PM

Well now that I have pulled all my hair out I'm back.  I got my nexstar+ GT remote and the software is 4.04, Mike said I should down load 4.03.  So I found the proper software download and purchased USB to RS-232 cable.  The number on it is 4P4C-5M and it says for Celestron.  When I try to update is says (see picture below)
Any ideas?Annotation 2020-06-20 190612.png


Edited by Sensei1956, 20 June 2020 - 07:13 PM.


#16 astrovoyeur

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Posted 21 June 2020 - 08:37 AM

Well now that I have pulled all my hair out I'm back.  I got my nexstar+ GT remote and the software is 4.04, Mike said I should down load 4.03.  So I found the proper software download and purchased USB to RS-232 cable.  The number on it is 4P4C-5M and it says for Celestron.  When I try to update is says (see picture below)
Any ideas?attachicon.gifAnnotation 2020-06-20 190612.png

It looks like you skipped the step in HCupdate to choose which COM port your hand controller is connected to.   

 

If you don't know for sure you can check which ports are active by looking at your PC's "Device Manager" under "Ports (COM & LPT)"  making sure first your serial cable and HC are connected.    

You'll probably see several  (COM1)  (COM3) etc.     If its not obvious which COM is connected to your Hand Control, then try each one in HCupdate until it finds your Hand controller. 


Edited by astrovoyeur, 21 June 2020 - 08:38 AM.


#17 Sensei1956

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Posted 21 June 2020 - 03:25 PM

I'm not sure but after pushing enough buttons and downloading stuff I found it.  My device manager did not show any com port but after a few updates one showed up.  The program recognized it and updated the control.  It updated fine.  Thank you Astrovoyeur.  Are there any programs that I can install on my laptop that will control my telescope  from the laptop?



#18 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 21 June 2020 - 09:40 PM

I'm not sure but after pushing enough buttons and downloading stuff I found it.  My device manager did not show any com port but after a few updates one showed up.  The program recognized it and updated the control.  It updated fine.  Thank you Astrovoyeur.  Are there any programs that I can install on my laptop that will control my telescope  from the laptop?

Good to see you got is working.  

 

There are a ton of programs that interface with NexStar scopes.  On this page of my website:

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

look for "Software/Apps Compatible with Celestron Telescopes" in the yellow box on the right.  Also, had I gotten to your message yesterday, on that same page I would have directed you to "Troubleshooting Serial and USB Connection Problems" to help resolve your connection issues.  And, be sure to read that entire main PC control page to gain a better understanding of your options for wired and also wireless control of the scope.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#19 Sensei1956

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 09:31 PM

Thank you Mike,

The laptop had no ports listed so I did a few updates and then it showed the port it was plugged into.  I just put the number into the proper box when asked and off we went.  Had no problem after that.

I have downloaded NSControlPad and NexStar Observer List from you site yesterday and am reading everything I can find on it.  Do you have one program you like best?

 

Again thanks for all you do.

 

Sincerely

 

Mike



#20 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 10:01 PM

Hi Mike,

 

I generally use NexStar Observer List (NSOL) to build a list for the night.  But I don't usually take a laptop out with me.  Instead, I use SkySafari Plus connected via a Bluetooth adapter plugged into the bottom of the HC.  Added bonus, my personal copy of NSOL generates exports that work with SkySafari Plus so I can pull that into SkySafari and have access to the NSOL list that way.  The publicly available version of NSOL does not have the feature and though I've mentioned it a few times, it hasn't generated any interest so I haven't expended the somewhat significant effort required to create a new public version.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com


Edited by Michael_Swanson, 22 June 2020 - 10:10 PM.


#21 astrovoyeur

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 06:54 AM

Hi Mike,

 

I generally use NexStar Observer List (NSOL) to build a list for the night.  But I don't usually take a laptop out with me.  Instead, I use SkySafari Plus connected via a Bluetooth adapter plugged into the bottom of the HC.  Added bonus, my personal copy of NSOL generates exports that work with SkySafari Plus so I can pull that into SkySafari and have access to the NSOL list that way.  The publicly available version of NSOL does not have the feature and though I've mentioned it a few times, it hasn't generated any interest so I haven't expended the somewhat significant effort required to create a new public version.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com

Pretty slick Mike I didn't know about NSOL.   I'd be very interested in the SS skylist export feature.   I wrote a script that converts excel observing lists into SS skylist that can be emailed to my android or ios devices that have SS installed.  Considering SS will update the imported skylist with info from its own catalogs, I create the initial skylist using the objects name only. 

My program isn't easily distributed and could be replaced with yours which includes other useful features. 

Let me know if you update NSOL to include the export to skylist. 

 

Jeff



#22 Sensei1956

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the info guys.

I have downloaded nexremote, nexstar observer list. 
As you know I purchased a used GT remote, updated the unit to 4.03 and last night I tried to set the unit up and after I put in all the info for the site  I got a message that said "there are no objects in the alignment zone”.  Do I still need to upload a data base to the hand unit or is there something wrong or is it me? In this case it was the solar system alignment.

I have also had trouble with the menu, finding some of the items for setting up the scope.  When I read the instructions for the setup of the scope.  One example is the RS-232 under menu is not there.  It just seems like things are not where they are supposed to be.

If I am using the nexstar remote do I have to some how setup the RS-232 port? 

 

I have read all the manuals and the addendum for my nexstar 4 GT and I’m still having some difficulties.  Could my scope be a nexstar 114gt and would that make a difference or is that the same scope?  Any more suggestions on reading that might help me?

Sincerely,

Frustrated



#23 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 09:44 PM

Hi,

 

With Solar System Align (not very accurate but at least gets the system tracking and allows GoTo to point to the right general area), a planet, the Moon or the Sun would need to be above about 15 degrees and below about 70 degrees altitude (working off my very old memory here so don't quote me).  Point being, as long as you entered your date, time and location correctly, I would say any solar system objects currently above the horizon were too high or too low in the sky.

 

The old manual won't help you much at this point.  You need to download my "Hand Control Version 4 User's Guide" from here:

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

 

The RS-232 (serial) port on the bottom of the hand control is now active at all times so there is no longer a menu item to activate it.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com



#24 Sensei1956

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 03:23 PM

Mike, I was looking at the moon at the time.  I had entered all information including, time, day, date and location and as I recall it said No objects in the alignment zone?  Well yes there was.   I put the data in 3 different times.  It's like the control was missing data.  I'm heading to the cabin tonight and I will try again.  I'll let you know what happens.




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