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Old Nexstar firmware update

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#1 altair05

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 01:56 AM

I have an old Nexstar 11 GPS, not used regularly in recent years and I'm trying to solve the problem with the GPS rollover issue. It still connects with GPS and reports correct position and time but the date is 20 years out. I'm wondering if I can still successfully update firmware to fix this. I have two hand controllers, one is the original which used the north and level technology. When I look in Utilities for version number it shows 2.2  4.6  4.6  10.1. Not sure what these numbers refer to. The 2nd hand controller which I purchased later after Celestron abandoned the level north system, has version numbers HC 4.03, MC 4.06. I used to use the older hand controller by preference as I liked the simplicity of the GPS align feature. Just point it north and roughly level and it would automatically move to 2 stars.

 

I've never done any firmware upgrading before. Is it possible to upgrade firmware on either or both of these hand controllers to fix the GPS issue?



#2 Supernova74

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 02:26 AM

Firstly have you used the scope of late!?i would try to align firstly to see if it’s needed 



#3 altair05

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 02:30 AM

Yes, tried it out over the last two nights. As I said, it reports the date incorrectly. Reports a date of August 2001. I can manually input date but it would nice to have all this be automatic.



#4 Supernova74

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 03:03 AM

Well I’m only really familer with the Meade firmware update!? Your scope is getting on a bit now isn’t it I’m sure someone on here will able to help tho,have you looked online maybe!?sorry I cannot be any more help



#5 altair05

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:49 AM

Ok, just did some further reading on CN,  installed MC update and HC update on my computer. It looks like my 2nd handcontroller is updateable but not the first. Shame as I really liked the original GPS align feature and my Nexstar 11GPS has inbuilt compass and level to accomodate that. It also has an altitude index mark on the scope but the corresponding alignment mark on the fork arm must have rubbed off through the years. Are these meant to just level the OTA?

 

I've downloaded v. 0406 of the MC firmware and v. 4.22 of the hand controller updates. Have yet to install them. Does it matter what order I do this in? Do I need to install the MC update before the HC update? 



#6 mlord

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:56 AM

Ok, just did some further reading on CN,  installed MC update and HC update on my computer. It looks like my 2nd handcontroller is updateable but not the first. Shame as I really liked the original GPS align feature ..

 

That GPS Align feature got removed from subsequent firmware by the Lawyers, after a legal battle with Meade.  I think it could well be worth the effort to keep the feature, since you have it already!

 

The "fix" is a bit more complex though --> you would have to replace the internal GPS receiver with a current model receiver (under $20).  I believe this has been done before, in the earlier days of the HomeBrew GPS thread in these forums.

 

There are two approaches to that:  replace only the receiver, or replace the receiver and its companion PIC chip with a full HomeBrew GPS module using the same internal 6-pin connector.

 

If you're not confident enough to explore the idea, then give up keeping the GPS align.  smile.gif

 

Cheers


Edited by mlord, 13 April 2021 - 08:57 AM.


#7 mlord

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:57 AM

Link to HomeBrew/DIY GPS thread:

https://www.cloudyni...le-gps/?hl= gps



#8 altair05

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:33 AM

Thanks for the info, but definitely beyond my level of technical expertise. 

 

Still wondering about order of updating HC and MC firmware.



#9 mclewis1

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 03:02 PM

Graeme,

 

Do the hand controller - to NXS4.22 and just leave it at that. Your motor controllers have the latest firmware 4.06 ... the SA type of firmware was just used to prevent folks from going back to older firmware (I believe a legal requirement).

 

When you run the Version command you'll see that HC firmware version, the two motor controllers (Alt and Az) and the GPS firmware levels.

 

2.2 (the old original hand controller) or 4.03 (a very early v4 HC)

4.6 same as 4.06, the number displayed will depend on which HC is reading it.

4.6

10.1 the firmware on the GPS board 



#10 Orion68

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 06:58 PM

I went through the same process last year when trying to use my Nexstar 11 GPS. I ended up doing what Mark and Mike (Swanson) suggested and that got me back on track.

 

Totally understand how you feel about losing the level North routine, I felt the same way. Here are a couple of options you may want to consider.

 

You can still use your old hand controller even though the date in the HC will be wrong. When the scope goes through the level North dance watch the HC display closely and when the date/time appears press Undo immediately. Then you can cycle through all of the GPS info on the HC display - press enter on each piece of information except the date. When you come to the date on the HC display manually change the date and press enter. Then keep pressing enter to cycle through all of the other information . It should all be correct,as shown in your HC, except the date. Once you have pressed Enter on the last piece of information the scope should slew to the first alignment star, just as it normally would have done before the rollover issue. From there just continue the alignment process. There is one caveat, do not go into the Menu settings on the HC and enter the "View Time/Site" menu item. If you do your scope GPS will pick up the wrong date and ruin your alignment.

 

There is another decent option for you. Use the upgraded V4 HC and try the Auto 2 Star alignment routine. Before booting up the scope line up on Polaris (if you can see it) and just leave the scope pointing at Polaris. Then boot up your scope and when it asks what alignment method to use, pick "Auto 2 Star". This routine requires you to slew to your first star. Since you have already pointed your scope at Polaris you can make short work of aligning on your first star (Polaris). After completing alignment on Polaris the scope will automatically slew to the second star. Really easy and quick. 

 

Good luck. 


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#11 altair05

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:46 PM

Thanks so much for all the feedback. I'll proceed with the firmware update of the version 4 hand controller and also experiment with some of the methods suggested in this last post including manually changing the date in the old hand controller. I did try doing this before but went in to menu to change the  date and it didn't align successfully. I'm in southern hemisphere however so Polaris is a no go for me in the auto 2 star routine. Can I initially line up on another star instead?


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#12 Orion68

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:58 PM

Yes, your first alignment star can be any number of stars, whatever is allowed in Nexstar. The thing is, you will have to manually slew to your first star when using Auto 2 Star alignment. I picked Polaris because it doesn't move much. For you just pick a star that you are familiar with and that is allowed by Nexstar.

 

Have fun!



#13 Orion68

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:24 PM

One other thing I meant to suggest.

 

Since your scope won't be automatically leveling itself like it did before, take a few minutes to carefully level the tube (after leveling the tripod first) and it should help when slewing to the 2nd alignment star.

 

Not at all necessary to be this fussy, but it is really fun to see the scope automatically slew to that 2nd alignment star and put it near the center of the finder scope!



#14 altair05

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 11:43 PM

Don't quite understand the role of levelling the tube if you're proposing pointing to the first alignment star before booting up the scope. Are you supposed to level the tube, boot up and then use hand controller to move to alignment star 1?



#15 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:10 AM

Orion68's comment applies to the new(ish) "Auto Two Star" alignment method in the newer hand controls (most of us consider that to be the easiest/quickest option).  The optical tube itself doesn't need to be level at the start in order for it to move somewhat accurately to the second star, but the tripod must be fairly close to level (using an actual level, not eyeballing it).  In fact, for the scopes with releasable clutches like the NexStar 11 GPS, I release the clutches, swing close to the first star, lock the clutches and then start the alignment routine.  Makes it even faster.

 

You may find my free "Hand Control Version 4 User's Guide" to be useful.  It focuses on the new features that were introduced with version 4.  Download it from here:

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

 

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



#16 altair05

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:43 AM

Very helpful! Thanks so much Mike.

 

I've now installed HC 4.22 successfully and I was just about to google an updated Celestron manual to become familiar with the alignment options. Your handbook fits the bill perfectly. Much appreciated.



#17 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 01:18 AM

Would have been about the 4th hit smile.gif

 

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#18 Orion68

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 02:49 PM

Yes, Mike is correct, level the tripod first.

I then use a level tube as a means of insuring that the base of the scope is sitting squarely on the tripod. In my case the scope base is not perfectly level, even after leveling the tripod.

Yes, you are correct, this step is done before powering up the scope. Once your scope is level, then you can point the scope tube wherever you want.

Hope I didnt confuse you. If you want more detail you can PM me. It sounds more difficult than it is. I only do this step because even with a level tripod the base of my scope (after mounting on the tripod) is not level. You may not have this issue.


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