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Chris Rowland

Celestron StarSense Accessory

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Just read your topics,to clarify the first mount had a num 17 error that I believe is a handset problem, this was the nextstar handset and the mount and handset were both replaced and worked okay, I purchased the starsense at a later date and had the error model num on start up the camera was plugged into the aux socket and the starsense handset in place . I have the gps unit on back order and I understand when I have that unit the camera plugs into the gps and the gps plugs into the Aux port, unless there is a better way ! .

Still waiting for the return of the mount , but there never seems to be any explination of what the problem has been not that I could do anything about it but sometimes it is just nice to know.

Cheers adrian

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If you have 2 AUX ports like on the AVX mounts it's best to plug the GPS in one and the SS in the other.

Peter

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There are two ports on the nextstar mount one is marked as aux the other is marked as guide can they both be used as aux or is the guide port only for guideing , hope you dont mind me asking Peter but I hate plugging things in and not being sure of the concequences

Adrian

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No I don't think you can use the guide port as an AUX - sorry. I am not 100% sure but I would advise against it.

Peter

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The aux and hc ports on the slt mounts are the same. If you have gps in one you can plug camera or HC in either the free port on mount or pass-thru connection on gps. Both ways work. Not sure about other mounts and guide ports are for st4 guiding only I think. Beware that port on base of HC is for serial connection only and has +/- 12V levels so only connect to a PC.

Sent from my Samsung G4S using Tapatalk.

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thank you both for that info, when the mount returns from celestron I will tread carefully, and let you know the outcome.

cheers adrian

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Just picked up my nextstar 8 se mount from the dealers that has been back to celestron for the num error fault that was preventing the starsense camera from starting up from switch on, all seems to be okay now, the feedback from celestron is the problem was caused by a software fault and not the hardware. Still awaiting the gps unit and clear skies, so fingers crossed .

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I have been writing on the Celestron site although I'm a bit underwhelmed by the support.

My SS HC will allow firmware update when connected directly to a CG5 but not via a splitter. Since I can't use the splitter then I can't update the camera

If I try to start the SS HC connected to the CG5 in normal everyday mode then the HC claims not to be able to identify the mount (despite the fact that it can when doing a firmware update)

Sounds like I'm going to have to probe the interface with a logic analyser at the weekend to see whats going on - if that doesn't work I can see the SS going back!

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I downloaded CFM 1.7.3325 as suggested in a post earlier, as my new SS had the following firmware; HC 01.07.13311 and  the SSC has 01.01.13285.

The CFM recognises the HC as a StarSense, downloads all packages but finds no packages to install.

The HC says "BOOT LOADER CFM Request"

Near panic :-)

I quit the CFM and its now working. No idea why it wouldn't work the first time.

Couldn't detect the camera, I was connected through a USB hub, now connected directly.... That worked, I have a green tick ....Yay..

Top tip - Connect both HC and camera through separate USB ports on the computer, not both  together through a hub. The hand controller is fine through the hub, but not it seems the camera,.

Is there an update log anywhere that states what this update does?

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I have been writing on the Celestron site although I'm a bit underwhelmed by the support.

My SS HC will allow firmware update when connected directly to a CG5 but not via a splitter. Since I can't use the splitter then I can't update the camera

If I try to start the SS HC connected to the CG5 in normal everyday mode then the HC claims not to be able to identify the mount (despite the fact that it can when doing a firmware update)

Sounds like I'm going to have to probe the interface with a logic analyser at the weekend to see whats going on - if that doesn't work I can see the SS going back!

Billhinge, do you know if the port splitter contain any active components or is it just a plug & 2 sockets wired in parallel?

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Dave

I don't know, however if you sign up on team Celestron site they will mention a new version of a splitter on the way (bit like Christmas) - draw your own conclusions  :grin:

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I am on the Team Celestron site (also as tekkydave) and have been monitoring the SS problems. I don't personally have any issues but I also dont need the splitter as I have an SLT mount with 2 aux ports. It looks like people having problems are those using an aux port splitter. I'm curious as to what is inside one of these things. I don't fancy spending £20 just to find out :grin:

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likewise, I spent enough cracking open devices to see what makes them tick - I'm being good an waiting for a while before I decide to call it a day

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From reading stuff elsewhere, specifically on the Nexstar resource site http://www.nexstarsite.com/PCControl/ProgrammingNexStar.htm I can see that the aux bus that Celestron uses gives each device a number and it responds to commands when addressed. There is a link to a PDF document http://www.paquettefamily.ca/nexstar/NexStar_AUX_Commands_10.pdf that details how the main control board connects to devices including the aux ports and all the commands that the author has discovered. The diagram shows that if 2 devices are on a single aux port connected via the splitter then they are sharing a connection to the main board. Of course this only relates to the Nexstar mounts but other Celestron mounts may be similar. I suspect that having both devices communicating simultaneously on the same port is what is causing the problems when using the port splitter. I may be way off the mark but it seems logical to me - you wouldn't put 2 serial devices on the same com port and expect them to work. I realise the mount is using a packet type method of comms and they all have unique addresses but there has to be some arbitration going on at the bus level to ensure multiple devices don't 'speak' at the same time. I'll bet the improved splitter has some logic in it to block one port while the other is in use.

Edited by tekkydave

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If anyone has an old or dead splitter they want to sacrifice for the greater good they can send it to me and I'll take it apart and see what's in it :grin:

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I bought one of the keyspan usb serial adapters, quite expensive but it works and comes with a diagnostic app (windows only) - the keyspan works well on OS X 10.9.3 for any mac people (latest drivers on website - needed a reboot to work with CFM)

If you have problems then you know its not your usb serial adapter at fault

My HC is detected & updated but CFM fails to detect my SS Camera, hopefully the new splitter may resolve this ?

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I bought one of the keyspan usb serial adapters, quite expensive but it works and comes with a diagnostic app (windows only) - the keyspan works well on OS X 10.9.3 for any mac people (latest drivers on website - needed a reboot to work with CFM)

I bought the Keyspan USB adaptor too. It works fine with my NexStar 4 SE, StarSense and Windows 7 Professional. I originally ordered a cheaper adapter, but changed my mind and decided to spend the extra on the Keyspan adaptor because of their reputation for compatibility.

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Hi I had this problem it would detect the HC but not my camera , what I did was plug the cable into my USB3 port of my laptop and then it updated the firmware on the camera

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

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Hi I had this problem it would detect the HC but not my camera , what I did was plug the cable into my USB3 port of my laptop and then it updated the firmware on the camera

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

How did you get CFM to work without the HC? Are you saying you used a USB 3 port rather than a USB 2 port?

I just tried connecting HC to serial port and camera to USB 3 and it didn't work, I had the the cable running from camera to splitter as well

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I've always had trouble manually aligning my scope - you see a target star clearly until you look through the eyepiece and there are so many stars you're not sure which is which. A Rigel Quickfinder helped with that.

The Starsense accessory, whilst not yet being perfect (but at least it improves with every software release) has reduced my set up time from hours to minutes and I now have enough observing time left in a session to actually study some objects and be confident that I know what I am looking at.

I have to set up the scope from scratch everytime because I can't leave it out. 

I think I'm sort of glad to discover it's not just me! As yet I've never got my VX mount to align and track properly, and as you say once you find something you recognise I then can't identify it in the Finderscope, let alone the eyepiece! So if the Starsense actually ends up being reliable I'm likely to be very interested - in the meantime i'll look into the Riger Quickfinder. I have to say I find the red-dot finder on my Nexstar is a lot easier!

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Anyone with a CG5 received one of these new splitters yet ?

I sent a request to celestron support and my UK supplier a week ago but they are not responding to my emails

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Hmm, just received an invoice from the US in the post this morning, apparently a replacement splitter is being sent from the US by surface mail 

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