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NexStar Evolution HD8 - unexpected mount/SkyPortal behaviour after firmware updates


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Hi Folks

I took delivery of a Nexstar Evolution EdgeHD 8 with StarSense last March and its been going along nicely for the most part. I've had some of the same minor issues many others have reported and generally found workarounds or fixes both here and on Michael Swansons excellent web site.

Having some minor residual issues I thought I'd check how up to date the firmware was on various parts of the system - easy enough to do with CFM. Needless to say much of it was well out of date with the StarSense HC and the mount being notably several versions behind so I decided to update the firmware on the Evo mount, the built-in Evo Wifi unit, StarSense HC and StarSense camera.

CFM updated these as follows-

WiFi Accessory  (AMW007)   on Link: NETWORK using portal: /  - updated to App version =  

StarSense HC   on Link: NETWORK using portal: StarSense+ HC   - updated to App version = 1.20.20265  

Evolution   on Link: NETWORK using portal: Motor Controller   - updated to App version = 7.17.98  

StarSense Accessory Camera   on Link: NETWORK using portal: SSA camera   - updated to App version = 1.2.13343  

Here's the unexpected part - Following the above firmware updates, when connecting the Celestron Sky Portal app (latest iOS version on iPhone - direct connect mode) the Evo starts to track BEFORE any align is performed. It does so in Azimuth only -  as soon as the SkyPortal app connects to the mount!! (It does this irrespective of whether the HC is connected or not). This did not happen prior to the firmware updates.

Equally significant - it does NOT happen when -

  • using Sky Safari 6 Pro (iOS on iPhone) - this app will let you use the on screen buttons to move the mount BUT it still needs to run an align prior to it starting to track [EDIT: Checking this again this morning it looks like iOS SkySafari 6 Pro also causes the mount to track when the app connects  - though the MacOS version of Sky Safari 6 Pro doesn't start to track until you do an Align. ]
  • and it doesnt happen when you connect Celestron CPWI to the mount. Like SkySafari 6, you can move the mount but it wont track until you do an align.
  • and the StarSense Hand Controller also needs to run an alignment before it will track.

Anyone else seen this odd Sky Portal app behaviour - either before or after firmware updates ???

While it doesn't appear on the face of it to cause any issues since an align is always going to be required, I get nervous when unexpected things happen. Hopefully confirm all is well as soon as we get a clear night.



Edited by johncneal
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