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Old 8" Ultima 2000

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#26 grsnovi

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Posted 09 April 2023 - 07:30 PM

Celestron 10-98

 

v15.4

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Edited by grsnovi, 09 April 2023 - 07:31 PM.


#27 Michael Covington

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Posted 09 April 2023 - 07:32 PM

These chips can be duplicated, if anyone has a copy of the latest one.


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#28 grsnovi

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Posted 09 April 2023 - 07:43 PM

Let me make sure that I'm clear...

 

If I set up manually and tell the scope that I'm using Altair and Arcturus (for example) I ought to be able to then use the GoTo function to GoTo named stars or other DSO's from the GoTo library.

 

I should also be able to manually locate Saturn (for example) and then use sidereal tracking to keep Saturn centered - Do I have this correct in my head?

 

What I can't do would be use the GoTo function to find any planets (so, Uranus, Nepture and Pluto are out - Pluto was still a planet in 1998 right).

 

Will I be able to find Earth?



#29 Michael Covington

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Posted 09 April 2023 - 10:25 PM

Let me make sure that I'm clear...

 

If I set up manually and tell the scope that I'm using Altair and Arcturus (for example) I ought to be able to then use the GoTo function to GoTo named stars or other DSO's from the GoTo library.

 

I should also be able to manually locate Saturn (for example) and then use sidereal tracking to keep Saturn centered - Do I have this correct in my head?

 

What I can't do would be use the GoTo function to find any planets (so, Uranus, Nepture and Pluto are out - Pluto was still a planet in 1998 right).

 

Will I be able to find Earth?

I am not familiar with the details of the Y2K problem on this telescope, but if it cannot represent the current date, then it cannot compute the positions of planets or the sun or moon in the sky.  Apart from that, it should have no trouble finding and tracking stars and deep-sky objects, or other objects whose r.a. and dec. you type in.

This is just speculation, though.  It seems odd to me that a telescope built so near to 2000, and named Ultima 2000, would have a "Y2K problem."  I am wondering if this is a distorted account of the GPS calendar rollover, or something like that.  This telescope isn't using a GPS receiver, is it?

We need to hear from someone who knows the Ultima 2000.



#30 dnrmilspec

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Posted 09 April 2023 - 11:01 PM

I have been using Ultima 2000's  for about 25 years and have had a couple of them.  My current one is a keeper.  I really enjoy this scope.  To answer your first question, they do not use GPS.

 

Prior to the chip update the date input was two digits.   So when you put in 01 for 2001 it defaults to 1901/02 etc.  My scope was updated before the bug happened (2000) and some of the scopes were built later in 1998/1999 and had the fix applied already. 

 

Though I have had this scope for a long time it has been updated so I really don't recall the issues entirely but finding planets is not possible with the old chip installed.  I will call my contacts on Tuesday and check with them about what to expect.  I think the scope will work fine other than that.  I will also see if I can get a new chip for the OP if they have one lying around.  My guess is that they don't but it does not hurt to ask.


Edited by dnrmilspec, 09 April 2023 - 11:02 PM.

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#31 grsnovi

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Posted 10 April 2023 - 01:03 AM

...but finding planets is not possible with the old chip installed. 

I'm sure you mean that finding planets using GoTo (and the date) isn't possible. I think that if I find a planet (Mars, Jupiter or Saturn) manually and center it, then track using sidereal it will maintain the planet in the FOV. I'm not worried about Mercury, Venus, Uranus, Neptune (or Pluto, or Ceres, etc...).

 

I also would assume that if I manually center a point of interest on the Sun or Moon and then drop the scope into either Solar or Lunar tracking it will also track.

 

What is lost given the Y2K problem is the ability to GoTo the planets based on the date/time.



#32 dnrmilspec

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Posted 10 April 2023 - 08:47 AM

I'm sure you mean that finding planets using GoTo (and the date) isn't possible. I think that if I find a planet (Mars, Jupiter or Saturn) manually and center it, then track using sidereal it will maintain the planet in the FOV. I'm not worried about Mercury, Venus, Uranus, Neptune (or Pluto, or Ceres, etc...).

 

I also would assume that if I manually center a point of interest on the Sun or Moon and then drop the scope into either Solar or Lunar tracking it will also track.

 

What is lost given the Y2K problem is the ability to GoTo the planets based on the date/time.

That is correct.


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#33 Michael Covington

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Posted 10 April 2023 - 09:34 AM

It is shameful that a product introduced very close to the year 2000, and named "2000," did not provide for the rollover to the year 2000.


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#34 dnrmilspec

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Posted 10 April 2023 - 09:35 AM

Pretty amazing.

 

Back in those times though there was a lot of that sort of thing.  I remember the hoopla about the entire infrastructure shutting down on Jan 1.  We all watched Australia at the stroke of midnight.  Bupkis. 


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#35 grsnovi

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Posted 10 April 2023 - 11:28 AM

The whole Y2K thing (mostly) turned out to be a mere hic-cup.

 

The fact is the way that Celestron stored the year as 2 digits was a stupid mistake that they easily fixed.


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#36 Matthew Ota

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Posted 14 April 2023 - 12:36 AM

I have had experience setting up this make and model of telescope. It is very difficult to use as it has no clutches and has to be finely balanced to work. In addition, the firmware had issues with tracking planets. I would highly recommend deforking it and placing the OTA on a GEM mount.

 

First post here on CN.

 

I have 2 scopes in the garage that haven't been powered up to track in years. I believe the 8" Celestron scope would be great if only I knew to where the hand control has vanished.

 

Does it make sense to remount this scope on a new mount and if so what should I be looking at?



#37 dnrmilspec

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Posted 14 April 2023 - 08:15 AM

I have had experience setting up this make and model of telescope. It is very difficult to use as it has no clutches and has to be finely balanced to work. In addition, the firmware had issues with tracking planets. I would highly recommend deforking it and placing the OTA on a GEM mount.

I could not disagree more.  I find it infinitely easier than most GOTO telescopes.  (It does have clutches by the way.)  It does have to be balanced but has the means to do that built in.  Sometimes folks lose the weights that come with it.    I routinely use it with a 2" AP diagonal and 31 Nagler.   I also use mine with Hyperstar.    It has the ability to move the tube manually and freely during alignment and after without loosing alignment.  The GOTO is intuitive.  It will track the planets but just not goto them unless you have the later version (I do) or can update the hand controller.  I really don't need goto to find Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon.  YMMV.  Oh yes.  It has batteries in the base that will power it for more than one night.  It is very quiet making it a joy to use at star parties.  I wish Celestron would resurrect it. 



#38 grsnovi

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Posted 14 April 2023 - 10:51 AM

In addition, the firmware had issues with tracking planets. I would highly recommend deforking it and placing the OTA on a GEM mount.

I was considering remounting it however since finding the hand control I'm going to use it "as is" for a summer of visual observing. With the Y2K issue it won't GOTO planets anyway but it still ought to track them once I find them. I was thinking of putting it on an AVX but that will depend on where I end up.

 

I could not disagree more.

Thanks for that. I'm optimistic. From all I've read the OTA is quite good. Some 30 years ago I purchased a Meade 90mm ETX which wasn't a GOTO scope. I know how to find things without the use of a computer. The 8" belonged to my wife before we met so it's a bigger scope that does have GOTO.



#39 grsnovi

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Posted 15 April 2023 - 01:56 PM

Wondering about the Antikthera Mechanism...

 

So if everything lines back up every 19 years...

 

...the Ultima 2000 had a Y2K bug due to the fact that the initial eProm used the last 2 digits of the date.

 

If I were to subtract 57 years from the current year (19 * 3) and plug that into the hand control for the Celestron - would that "fix" the Y2K bug?

 

I selected 57 so that I wouldn't have to redo15 years from now.

 

I don't think this would work.

 

Venus requires 0.66 earth years to round the sun.

  Mars requires 1.88 earth years to round the sun.

Jupiter requires 12 earth years to round the sun.

Saturn requires 29.4 earth years to round the sun.

Uranus requires 84 earth years to round the sun.

 

These orbits don't seem to tie into the Metonic cycle.So if everything lines back up every 19 years...

...the Ultima 2000 had a Y2K bug due to the fact that the initial eProm used the last 2 digits of the date.

 

If I were to subtract 57 years from the current year (19 * 3) and plug that into the hand control for the Celestron - would that "fix" the Y2K bug?

 

I selected 57 so that I wouldn't have to redo15 years from now.

 

I don't think this would work.

 

Venus requires 0.66 earth years to round the sun.

  Mars requires 1.88 earth years to round the sun.

Jupiter requires 12 earth years to round the sun.

Saturn requires 29.4 earth years to round the sun.

Uranus requires 84 earth years to round the sun.

 

These orbits don't seem to tie into the Metonic cycle.



#40 Michael Covington

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Posted 15 April 2023 - 02:30 PM

That cycle is only for the lunar orbit, isn't it?



#41 grsnovi

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Posted 15 April 2023 - 02:54 PM

That cycle is only for the lunar orbit, isn't it?

Not sure - I recently watched a video on the Antikythera Mechanism and it seemed as if more celestial bodies were involved. Maybe I should watch it again? The solar years of the planets don't seem to have anything to do with the 19 year cycle so it's unlikely that attempting to "trick" the built-in s/w by using an old date isn't going to work.

 

Not that I can't  find the planets...



#42 OskiBear

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Posted 22 March 2024 - 07:42 PM

jumping in late here - but does anyone have a corrected chip that they'd like to loan me? I volunteer for a local amateur club, and we've just rec'd, as a donation, an Ultima w/ the v15.4 chip. I'm handy enough w/ EPROM burners etc to attempt to make a copy, and would be happy to supply others w/ updated chips if things work out. Apparently the corrected chips aren't available any more, at least the places I've checked.

 

thanks, in advance

Rich 



#43 Michael Covington

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Posted 22 March 2024 - 09:06 PM

Better yet, someone should read the code from it and make the file available.  Permission from Celestron would be needed, and this might actually prompt them to host the file themselves.



#44 grsnovi

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 01:08 PM

It should be a simple fix that's for sure.



#45 dnrmilspec

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 07:50 PM

Reprogramming them is probably not hard.  I just spoke to  a tech friend (works for NASA on the JWT) and he said it could be done.  So I asked him if he could clone mine, which is bug free.  Sadly he said that he could not.  He suggested that someone at Celestron might have the data somewhere and from it the chips could be programmed or, if necessary, reproduced.  It would not take a minute to write to Celestron and ask the question.  Who knows?

 



#46 Bill Jensen

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 06:59 PM

Not to sidetrack Gary's original post, but as it turns out I have the opportunity to grab one of these Ultima 2K scopes on a local charity auction. Perhaps less than $300, depending on how things go by Saturday night. Not that I need another scope with  three dobs. It has the controller, however it is unknown if it has the old eprom. It has a nice full size Thousand Oaks solar filter as well. 


Edited by Bill Jensen, 18 April 2024 - 09:46 PM.


#47 Michael Covington

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 09:38 PM

It is *easily* worth $300.  There are surely people who would really like to have it as a collector's item.


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#48 dnrmilspec

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 11:19 PM

I really like mine.  The optics are fantastic and still in perfect shape after 25 years.  The mount is the easiest I have ever used.  Quiet and accurate.  Here is a link to Company7's page from the time it was released.

 

http://www.company7....ducts/sch8.html

 

This was a very sophisticated telescope and overbuilt for the task at hand.  If you don't want it for $300.00 I certainly do. 

 

It can be used just fine now.  You will adore the fact that you can move the tube around manually without loosing alignment and it build quality.  Did I mention that it slews almost silently.  Strong tripod.  I wish they still make them. 


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#49 mlord

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 05:44 AM

Some faint hope may exist for modernizing old mounts like this. I'm just beginning a project to implement the Nexstar mount AUX commands in the HBG3 accessory (HomeBrew Gen3).

The initial aim is to translate the Nexstar mount commands to work with Sky-Watcher/SynScan mounts, enabling those to work as if they were Celestron mounts, compatible with all Celestron accessories and software.

Once that is done, it should be possible to then add translations for other mount types, including perhaps the Optima mounts.

This is a long-term project, aiming to have SynScan by 2025.
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#50 Bill Jensen

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 05:45 PM

Just a follow up on my earlier post, the auction with 25 hours to go has pushed the Ultima 2K to $375. Good to see that the school which is the beneficiary of the auction will be getting a nice price. I think I am "out" though. Not interested in a bidding war on something that I have not seen or tested. 


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