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EA2007

Help with NexRemote to PC via RS-232 cable

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Hello,

I am having trouble connecting my Scope to my PC.

I have a Celestron NexStar 4SE (version 4.12), the supplied RS-232 cable along with a RS-232 to USB converter (because I know of no laptops that have a RS-232 port these days!! - why Celesetron, why??). The coverter came with a mini-cd containing a multitude of different drivers.

I have installed the NexRemote software on my PC along with pretty much all the available drivers on the CD (as I don't know which one is specific) and connected all the cabeles up, started the program and greeted with the settings interface. I have my NexStar connected upto a 12V power tank and the scope is switched on. The RS-232 cable is placed into the base of the hand control.

The PC version of the 'hand control' states the follwing:

- PC Port: 3 or 9, where 9 can be either 9, 10, 11 or 12 depending on which USB port I am using, don't know what PC port '3' is.

- Model: NextStar 4/5SE

- Virtual Port: None

If I choose 'PC Port 3' then I get the following: Unable to connect with telescope

However if I choose 'PC Port 9, 10, 11 or 12' then I get : Internal Error

Can anyone help, I tried to do this earlier on in the summer and pretty sure that I got it to work, but a few months later it isn't working.

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I'm having the same problem :(

Did anyone find a solution to this? It used to work but all of a sudden I get this error constantly.

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Its asking for the COM port number that your computer assigns the USB to serial device. If you go to the device manager in you comp under COM's & Ports will be listed you USB to serial device and beside it the COM Port Number its been assigned. If you chop and change the USB port you use then it will re-assign a COM port for each USB port.

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Here's a screen grab for the one i use in work.

I'm in work now but if you can hang on until tomorrow i can send you more relevant screen shots from my setup

post-9689-0-85812100-1350845157_thumb.jp

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I had similar issues with celestron HCUpdate program which is used for updating GEM Nexstar handsets.

What worked for me was going into the windows hardware config setting and doing discover new hardware when the HCUpdate was running

(sorry I don't recall the full the details as I normally use a mac at home these days so tend to avoid windows when not at work)

When I did that new additional ports appeared on the menu - either port 8 or 9 from memory

By the way the connection worked for me with a DIY cable from ebay so I suspect the issue isn't cable related although I did have to manually install windows visual basic files

see this thread

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Oh & Uninstall the drivers and reinstall latest drivers from manufacturing website, CD version are often out of date by the time the product is bought.

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Thanks for your replies guys. I've uninstalled and reinstalled everything numerous times (nexremote, RS232 drivers etc).

The only strange thing I notice is that when i look at the coms port it never shows a 'prolific USB to serial' connection, it simply isn't listed. It assigns a COM port to what I assumed was the telescope, but i doesn't mention anything about the prolific cable.

Would I see two seperate entries under ports for the telescope and thr RS232 connection? Or would it be just one one? If it's just one then it doesn't look like it is recognising the connection properly if it isn't displaying 'prolific' in the ports list. I'll have to see if I can find some drivers for it, but I basically just bought a cable from Amazon that fit into the RS232 cable supplied with the telescope and had a USB connection at the other end. I'm not even sure if there is a manufacturers name on the adaptor cable I bought.

What I find odd is that it worked before without any problem what so ever and I haven't changed anything. Very odd.

Does anything I have detailed narrow down the issue at all?

I have searched for loads and loads of RS232 drivers and installed loads of them, but none of them seem to make any difference.

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I'm guessing it's still a driver issue if it isn't specifically showing the 'prolific' part, so I am now in a new hunt for drivers! I have a few leads which I will check tonight when i get home to see if they work or not.

Thanks again for the replies :)

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Yes, that's the one I eventually found, thanks for that. Funny how I searched and searched and searched yesterday but couldn't find that particular driver! ha ha

I appreciate all your help, :)

Best regards

Chris

(I have no idea why this font has suddenly gone so small!)

Edited by euphony

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If you only using the Nexstar handset software then you dont need the ASCOM drivers, its only once you get into things like PHD, Alignmaster or controling your scope through a planetarium software that they come into play

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EA2007 when you say you 'have installed the Nextremote software' on your PC , is it the one when you run it a picture of the hand controller appears on your laptop ? ie with the 1-9 buttons, star buttons etc ? i thought you needed the Ascom drivers for that to communicate with the 'real' hand controller my mistake, i have it on my laptop as well ill take a look when i get a minute.

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Are you sure it's a real Prolific USB to serial device? There are a lot of clones about and they can be doubtful - to say the least.

Even a good Prolific device can be problematic. I've got one that's fine on a short cable (2m) but is very unreliable with a long cable (5m). FTDI and IOGear USB to serial adaptors are fine with the long cable.

Chris

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Are you sure it's a real Prolific USB to serial device? There are a lot of clones about and they can be doubtful - to say the least.

Even a good Prolific device can be problematic. I've got one that's fine on a short cable (2m) but is very unreliable with a long cable (5m). FTDI and IOGear USB to serial adaptors are fine with the long cable.

Chris

You can get good length on these if you use the right combination of cables. My setup works well as follows.....

PC > 5m Active Repeater USB 2.0 Extentsion Cable > Mains Powered 7 Port USB 2.0 HUB > Prolific USB-Serial Cable > 3m RS232 - Handset Cable

Before i built my OBS i was looking at creating a wiring solution that would run from the scope to the house, once i got the OBS up & running i used this cable & run it around the back of the OBS and keep alll the cable out of the way. The links for the bits are as below......

http://www.cdlmicro....blelead-5m.html

http://www.maplin.co...ktop-hub-513864

I cant for the life of me remember where i got the longer RS232 cable from but it was recommended to by people here, as for the prolific adaptor i must have just got lucky with mine being genuine because its always worked.

As for the Nexstar software im sure i installed it and it was working prior to me even realising what ASCOM was all about, i suppose its possible there might be some on the disc.

I think strip everything out and start again, clean installs..... Just a thought are you using Windows Vista by any chance? That was notorious for drivers not working well for hardware devices.

Cheers

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Are you sure it's a real Prolific USB to serial device? There are a lot of clones about and they can be doubtful - to say the least.

This is the conclusion I have come to having tried everything mentioned here and more. I have read about many people having problems with this type of device due to the clones you mentioned, and that a lot of these are coming from China. I ran the chipset identifier that came with the latest prolific zip download and guess what? It told me there was no chipset identified, no matter what port I plugged the device into. Darn and blast it!

So, I have now ordered a new one to see if that sorts the problem out.

What a pain in the ...... :p

Edited by euphony

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It's a good job it's misty and cloudy all week :evil:

:tongue:

Edited by euphony

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