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the_laughing_crow

StarSense Boot loader error

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Just wanted to share my experience with the current version of the celestron firmware manager [CFM] in the hope that the experience may help others.

Equipment:

CGEM mount, StarSense hand controller, StarSense camera, Celestron LiFePO4 battery, usb - serial connector, celestron serial connector, Windows 7 enterprise laptop [8gb RAM, intel i5].

For reasons best know to myself, even though my mount and starsense were doing great, I got it into my head that I should update the firmware because "it'd probably be a good thing". So I ordered a usb - serial connector from Amazon and off I went. I connected everything up as in the diagram and opened up CFM.

  • First Problem: CFM complained that it couldn't save firmware packages and that maybe I should move it to the desktop. It was on the desktop anyway. This was odd as I had downloaded it the night before and it seemed to initiate fine the first time round and downloaded a shed load of packages.
  • Solution: Anyway, I'm aware that Windows 8 does some bloody odd stuff with file permissions so I thought maybe CFM was attempting to overwrite existing files form the night before with "new" ones it was downloading now. So I re-downloaded CFM and overwrote the existing folder with the new one. I opened CFM and this time it was fine. I subsequently realised that you can also get around this problem by closing CFM, deleting the folder "packages" and then reopening CFM. Either way it seems t be a permissions issue and whilst on my laptop CFM could download packages, it was unable to over write them. So every time before I open it I have to delete the "packages" folder.

 

  • Second Problem: The update process got stuck on the 2nd package (2 of 6)  it was installing, which left me with what appeared to be a useless handset which displayed "Boot loader serial Invalid pkg: 0008" everytime I tried to initiate it.
  • Solution: I noticed the updating of packages would always hang on package 2 but it was hanging in different seemingly random places (eg sometimes 18%, sometimes 30%, sometimes 54%). So I just kept hitting the update button after ever crash. SOmetimes CFM would immediately just say the handsets memory was corrupted but I would just again click "update" and after a few goes it would start uploading package one and then start on package 2. Then after about 40 minutes of repeatedly failing at <60% it got all the way to 98% on package 2 and then froze again. Well I kept at it. Then eventually it got through installing package 2 and finally got to package 3 :hello2:. Then 4 :hello2:. Then it got to package 5 and failed at 91% :angry7:. Still onward I ploughed. I then went through half an hour or so of failing at package 2 again. Then oddly it stopped recognising that the starsense camera was attached. I restarted everything and it re-recognised the camera. Onward. Again it kept failing at package 2, then it stopped recognising the camera and this time restarting everything didn't get it to recognise the camera. Sod it, lets see what happens without the camera I thought. It did package 1, then 2, then got to 90% on package 3 and froze, but instead of crashing out like all the other times it went back to the start of package 3 and tried again. This time it got all the way through, then package 4 and then package 5. And then it got to package 6. I watched the progress bar like a penalty shoot out. ANd to my relief it finally got through all the updates.

 

The whole process took about 2 hrs and god knows how many attempts, but it got all the way through eventually. I disconnected the laptop and plugged it into the mount as normal, fired it up and everything seems good. Im yet to go out and use it [cloudy] but at least the handset isn't bricked now.

Jesus Christ what a piece of junk CFM is!!! Anyway the moral of the story is, keep trying.... its probably a lot faster than getting Celestron tech support to help you.

 

 

Edited by the_laughing_crow

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Did you put the handset into receiver mode (bootloader) before you started?

I find the best method has been hidden within the "help" menu of the CFM program :eek:

Start CFM then choose

Help -> Connections from the menu bar

A wizard starts up that walks you through the connections process

This includes an instruction to "Press and hold the Celestron logo button and the MENU button (#7) while turning on the telescope."

 

I think this may be a key stage and if you just click "update" on the main dialog then it is missed! (of course, we all click "update" because there it is in front of us)

- why would clicking "update" not just start the wizard (Doh!) :BangHead:

I've never had an issue when using the "hidden" wizard to get the job done.

 

Next time, try this way to compare?

 

Edited by alanjgreen

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Yeah I was using the celestron + 7 key to fire it into boot loader mode and had seen the little connection wizard window.

Googling has shown a lot of people complaining about the flakey CFM software

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best to report it to celestron - without user feedback they will never know!

There was issue with CFM and starsense when always said updated failed...credit to them they did respond and promised a fix in next release...... that was a couple months back

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Not trying to hijack this thread but I am struggling with CFM too.   I get all the way through the packages, CFM says it was successful but the handcontroller says "BOOT LOADER serial CFM request" and nothing else happens.   If I disconnect the message remains, and the handcontroller does not appear to have updated.  I tried it numerous times.  Any ideas? (I am waiting for a response from Celestron.................)

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Had similar issues - I had to go back to an older version of cfm to get it to work - for some reason the latest one had issues for me.

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Team Celestron forum might be a good place to stop by even though it is not directly tech support there is probably someone there who can point you chaps in the right direction. I think the future plans for CFM are proper installers so dropping the need for JAVA. 

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Thanks tocster.   Do you know which version of CFM worked for you?  (And where I might find it)

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Thanks John.  I have tried Team Celestron, so far without success (no responses to individual messages).   I can try it again if I can figure out how to post on the starsense forum there.

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On 15/07/2017 at 03:27, Barrilles said:

Thanks tocster.   Do you know which version of CFM worked for you?  (And where I might find it)

I will check the version I have on my laptop :)  (sorry - on the train to work at the moment)

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The issue is probably that you don't have installed the latest version of Java or the latest PL2303 drivers for serial to USB adapters.  Neither are supplied as native in Windows 10, so even more unlikely in Windows 8. Both are needed to successfully run CFM without hassle.

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Hello astronomers !!,

First, I want to thank you for all of your posts related with this issue.  I found a slightly different path for the solution, here are my two cents:

1) The attached images show the error with Celestron Firmware Manager always stopping on "Loading Package 2/6", and the successful update.

2) I used two computers, an AstroBar attached to my telescope (Windows 10 Home, 2GB ram, Intel Atom CPU @ 1.33 GHz, 32 bit operating system), where I couldn't resolve the issue; and the home computer that I built ( 32GB RAM, Intel Core i7-6700K Quad Core @ 4Ghz, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit operating system) where I was able to "resolve" the issue.

3) Using the Astrobar:

3.a) I connected the starsense hand-controller and the starsense camera as indicated in the diagram

3.b) After connecting the equipment, I updated PROLIFIC USB to serial driver (using device manager in Windows)

3.c) Eliminated all possible variables: turned off antivirus software completely

3.d) I was able to replicate all the random stops on "Loading Package 2/6" as reported by "StarForming", stops happened randomly at 2%, 3%, 9%, 12%, 23% and 30%.

3.e) Tried the test several times waiting several minutes for the update to resume, clicked the "update" button several times with Celestron Firmware Manager crashing respectively, turned off and on the mount (I have a CGEM PRO mount) leaving the hand-controller always in the proper firmware status " BOOT LOADER serial".  I always got the same random stops on "Loading Package 2/6".

3.f) I called Celestron support and after almost 45 minute waiting I got someone on the call. The only positive recommendation from them was to chose the proper Mount Type under "NexStar+" menu. There are only two options: Alt Az (NX) or Equatorial (GEM), I selected Equatorial (GEM) and clicked "Always to what I selected this time" and then clicked the button "Select". The window will close going back to CFM home screen. I recommend doing this before performing the firmware update.  

3.g) Celestron suggested to send the hand-controller back to claim it as a warranty, I accepted however, meanwhile I waited for Celestron's email with shipping instructions, I decided to give it a try using my home computer.

4) Using my home computer:

4.a) I connected the starsense hand-controller and the starsense camera as indicated in the diagram

4.b) After connecting the equipment, I updated the PROLIFIC USB to serial driver (using device manager)

4.c) I didn't disable my antivirus 

4.d) I ran CFM for the first time, selected the Equatorial (GEM) as my Mount Type. CFM found the 2 devices (my hand-controller and the camera), downloaded the packages correctly

4.e) Clicked "Update" on CFM, and Package 2/6 stopped at 60%

4.f) Exit CFM and I didn't turn off my mount neither do anything on the hand-controller 

4.g) Ran CFM for a second time, and it completed all the update. Package 2/6 was still slow (one percent increment every one or two seconds) but it did finish the update.

5) Exit CFM, turned off my mount, unplugged the USB connections for the update from my home computer, turned on the mount and bingo !

6) Conclusions to take in consideration in your attempts: 

6.a) CFM has issues, and Celestron support are not experts, they only exist to do "problem management" not solving issues.

6.b) It is possible that the combination of Windows 10 home edition with Java and CFM would not work, if this is your setup try a computer with Windows 10 Pro.

6.c) I do believe that the root problem is in the serial communication between the hand-controller and the USB-to-serial driver, it seems that CFM loses "ack" messages from the hand-controller and this problem gets incremented when using a computer with less resources. I can't confirm this, but in my previous life as a network engineer I saw many of these issues with drivers and many type of communication protocols.

6.d) A quick test is to avoid using the USB-to-serial driver, using instead a RS232 interface in the computer, problem is that my computers do not have a RS232 interface.

 

Give it a try and share your findings, happy hunting !!!

Best

G.

 

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I ran into the same problem today. My desktop (Windows 7 Ultimate) had version 2.0.5200 installed, which complained that it couldn't save the firmware packages. The message suggested that I place the CFM folder on my desktop, but it was already there. An post on Cloudy Nights suggested downloading the latest version of CFM, and gave a link, so I did. Version 2.3.7111 would not get past package 2 of 6 no matter what I tried, including all the suggestion here (except using a serial port, since my desktop has none). After hours of trying I finally decided to see if I had CFM on my Windows 10 laptop. It has v2.1.6050, so I ran it (it includes a dialog box reminding you to put the HC in boot loader mode) and it is working as I write this.

Celestron, (and others, I suspect) would be wise to have someone who has never performed an update attempt to perform one with their software and instructions before releasing it to the public. This is the method the USAF uses to verify the accuracy and completeness of new test equipment calibration procedures. An apprentice technician will find flaws in the procedure that an experienced tech will compensate for without even realizing they are.

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