Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

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Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#1

Post by jruckgaber »


Hi Folks,

I'm new to this forum, so there may have already been a response to this issue.

I have a Celestron 8 inch NexStar GPS scope. I took it out the other night and attempted the GPS align. I had a bit of an issue initially getting it to find the GPS satellite. After powering off and then back on, it found the satellite.

Once the scope confirms the time of day, it started its alignment process. However, the stars it was looking for (except for Polaris) were not even in the sky at that time of night. They would only appear much later in the evening.

I tried this a couple of times, and same issue occurred.

For example, one of the alignment stars (Capella) was about 20 degrees above the horizon at the time I tried the alignment process. However, after slewing, the scope pointed almost straight overhead for that star.

Again, I tried a couple more times and the scope's pointing was way off.

I then tried a 2 start alignment - same issue.

Some other facts that may be pertinent. I was powering the scope with a fully charged, and relatively new, Celestron PowerTank Lithium battery. It was also cold - about 30 degrees. The scope and battery were sitting outside for over an hour to acclimate to the cold.

Any ideas what might be wrong here?

Thanks,

Jeff
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#2

Post by Lady Fraktor »


Have you checked the information that was put into the hand controller is accurate?
The GPS will not change DST times, that has to be done manually.
See Far Sticks: Antares 105mm f/15 (modified), AOM 105mm f/9.5, Celestron 150mm f/8 (modified), Stellarvue NHNG DX 80mm f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
HD Pointy Things: EQ-5, TAL MT-1, Vixen SXP, Vixen AXJ
LD Pointy Things: Celestron SLT, Manfrotto 055B/ RC128, Manfrotto 028B/ Stellarvue M2C/ Argo Navis
Light Benders: 2” Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2” Stellarvue Deluxe, 2” TAL/ NPZ dielectric, 2” Baader Amici prism, 2” Long Perng Amici prism, 2” Baader Herschel wedge, Vixen 1.25" flip mirror
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#3

Post by Lady Fraktor »


Other issues with the older GPS telescope:
1. Have you used it recently?
These I believe had a coin battery installed (GPS unit) and if it has run down you can try leaving the mount plugged in for 12-24 hours to see if it will re-charge.
If the information is still wrong then you may have to replace the battery. Some models had the battery soldered in place so you will need to de-solder the old before replacing.

2. If it is a Version 4 HC and needs the GPS time/ date update you can get it at www.nexstarsite.com, the HCupdate download files are there.
If needing the cfm file it is on Celestron site.
In the meantime if the time/ date is wrong but co-ordinates are right you can just change the time/ date manually
See Far Sticks: Antares 105mm f/15 (modified), AOM 105mm f/9.5, Celestron 150mm f/8 (modified), Stellarvue NHNG DX 80mm f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
HD Pointy Things: EQ-5, TAL MT-1, Vixen SXP, Vixen AXJ
LD Pointy Things: Celestron SLT, Manfrotto 055B/ RC128, Manfrotto 028B/ Stellarvue M2C/ Argo Navis
Light Benders: 2” Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2” Stellarvue Deluxe, 2” TAL/ NPZ dielectric, 2” Baader Amici prism, 2” Long Perng Amici prism, 2” Baader Herschel wedge, Vixen 1.25" flip mirror
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#4

Post by jruckgaber »


thanks Lady Fractor - where is the GPS unit? You are not talking about the hand held remote or are you?

I went to look for the HCUpdate and it's giving me an error when I attempt to execute the *.exe file

Celestron HCupdate (1.1.14) is not allowed to run on Win (6.2)

Setup Aborted!

I have Windows 11 on my laptop - so I'm not sure what this error is telling me.

at any rate - no success.

I will plug in the scope for 12-24 hours to see what happens.
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#5

Post by Lady Fraktor »


Is you telescope Version 4? The early GPS telescopes could not be updated so important to check.
The version 4 updates can be downloaded to your computer then downloaded to the HC or MC without being connected to the internet.
cfm files you must be online.

In case you need to replace your battery here is the guide.
https://www.nexstarsite.com/Book/Updates/GPSBoard.htm
See Far Sticks: Antares 105mm f/15 (modified), AOM 105mm f/9.5, Celestron 150mm f/8 (modified), Stellarvue NHNG DX 80mm f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
HD Pointy Things: EQ-5, TAL MT-1, Vixen SXP, Vixen AXJ
LD Pointy Things: Celestron SLT, Manfrotto 055B/ RC128, Manfrotto 028B/ Stellarvue M2C/ Argo Navis
Light Benders: 2” Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2” Stellarvue Deluxe, 2” TAL/ NPZ dielectric, 2” Baader Amici prism, 2” Long Perng Amici prism, 2” Baader Herschel wedge, Vixen 1.25" flip mirror
Jewellery: Antares to Zeiss, now only slightly more than 1 person requires!
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#6

Post by jruckgaber »


Confused. How can I tell if my telescope is version 4?

You indicate version 4 can be downloaded. Version 4 of what software? Isn't that the HCUpdate I mentioned that I'm having an issue with? Or is it something else?

When/if I get it downloaded to my computer, how do I download this to the HC or MC? What is the HC or MC?

I've been looking through my telescope for years - so, I'm pretty knowledgeable about what's in the sky, etc.

What I'm a novice with is this type of stuff related to updating the software for the telescope and some of the terminology you are using.

Please provide clearer instructions.
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#7

Post by Lady Fraktor »


You go into the utility menu in the HC and it will show the version installed. If a version is not shown the HC is not updateable.
If less than version 4 it is likely the HC cannot be upgraded.
If version 4 you can upgrade both HC and MC using HCupdate and MCupdate available from nexstarsite.com
If version 5 then you can download the proper files from Celestron site using the cfm files.

On nexstarsite it shows you which cable(s) you will need to download depending on version
Version 4 and Version 5 use different programming language so are not compatible with each other.
See Far Sticks: Antares 105mm f/15 (modified), AOM 105mm f/9.5, Celestron 150mm f/8 (modified), Stellarvue NHNG DX 80mm f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
HD Pointy Things: EQ-5, TAL MT-1, Vixen SXP, Vixen AXJ
LD Pointy Things: Celestron SLT, Manfrotto 055B/ RC128, Manfrotto 028B/ Stellarvue M2C/ Argo Navis
Light Benders: 2” Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2” Stellarvue Deluxe, 2” TAL/ NPZ dielectric, 2” Baader Amici prism, 2” Long Perng Amici prism, 2” Baader Herschel wedge, Vixen 1.25" flip mirror
Jewellery: Antares to Zeiss, now only slightly more than 1 person requires!
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#8

Post by JayTee »


The following answers are in addition to the excellent info Lady Fraktor (Gabrielle) has provided.
jruckgaber wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 2:23 pmConfused. How can I tell if my telescope is version 4?
Version 4 only relates to the version of your hand controller (HC). The Nexstar site will tell you how to tell the difference.
jruckgaber wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 2:23 pmYou indicate version 4 can be downloaded. Version 4 of what software? Isn't that the HCUpdate I mentioned that I'm having an issue with?
Version 4 of the HC software can be downloaded from the Nexstar site. Yes, it is the HCUpdate software. https://www.nexstarsite.com/OddsNEnds/H ... rsion4.htm
jruckgaber wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 2:23 pmWhen/if I get it downloaded to my computer, how do I download this to the HC or MC? What is the HC or MC?
Follow the instructions from the link in the previous answer
jruckgaber wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 2:23 pmI'm a novice with this type of stuff related to updating the software for the telescope and some of the terminology you are using.
After reading the Nexstar info, you should be a novice no longer. Additionally, MC stands for Motor Controller

Cheers,
JT -- Proprietor - Rimrock Observatory
∞ Primary Scopes: #1: Celestron CPC1100 #2: 8" f/7.5 Dob & #3: CR150HD f/8 6" frac
∞ AP Scopes: #1: TPO 6" f/9 RC #2: ES 80mm f/6 APO
∞ G&G Scopes: #1: Meade 102mm f/7.8 #2: Bresser 102mm f/4.5
∞ Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs -- The El Cheapo Bros.
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM70AG, SW EQ6, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG, WYZE Cam3 (x2)
∞ Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70², 25X100
∞ EPs: ES: 21 100° & 30mm 82° X-Cel LX: 9, 12, 18, 25mm 60° GSO SV: 15 & 20mm 68°
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#9

Post by jruckgaber »


Hi Lady Factor,

So with some trial and error, I got to the version screen and it shows: 1.1 4.5 4.5 10.1. Right after that is displayed, I get a screen that shows No Response with the number 1. When I press Undo, I get No Response with the number 110.1.
I don't know what this all means and the manual is useless.

Also, another problem, possibly.

If I click on the Menu button on the remote and navigate to View Time-Site, when I press the down button, I see GPS Linking Local = 10.40.56 - which is the correct time of day. But, when I press on the down arrow again, I get GPS Linking 04/13/03 - which is obviously the wrong date. But I'm unable to change that date. Could this be explaining my alignment issues?

Thanks for your help here. I hope I can get this resolved!

Jeff
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#10

Post by Lady Fraktor »


Yes there was a GPS update released in 2019 due to the GPS satellite date rollover, sometimes you can trick the HC by pressing align after the GPS has finished and change the date then.

Looking at the version numbers it seems your HC is not upgrade-able. I would contact Celestron Tech and see if the new Nexstar+ HC will work with your telescope.
Keep those numbers close as they will need to know those.
You may also be able to find a upgrade-able one on ebay or such.

The no response errors may be caused by the gps rollover so try changing the date and see what happens.

Hopefully you can get this worked out and use the telescope again. :)
See Far Sticks: Antares 105mm f/15 (modified), AOM 105mm f/9.5, Celestron 150mm f/8 (modified), Stellarvue NHNG DX 80mm f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
HD Pointy Things: EQ-5, TAL MT-1, Vixen SXP, Vixen AXJ
LD Pointy Things: Celestron SLT, Manfrotto 055B/ RC128, Manfrotto 028B/ Stellarvue M2C/ Argo Navis
Light Benders: 2” Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2” Stellarvue Deluxe, 2” TAL/ NPZ dielectric, 2” Baader Amici prism, 2” Long Perng Amici prism, 2” Baader Herschel wedge, Vixen 1.25" flip mirror
Jewellery: Antares to Zeiss, now only slightly more than 1 person requires!
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#11

Post by jruckgaber »


Hi Lady Fraktor,

Long story short, I spoke with Celestron technical support and they indicated that my handheld remote needs to be replaced. But the new model of the remote is back ordered till July 2023. I placed an order for it.

For now, he indicated I need to turn GPS off on the telescope and do a 2 star alignment instead. With that method, I can enter the correct date and time, and my latitude and longitude. He said I should be able to do the 2 star alignment after that. Its been cloudy / rainy the past 2 days, so no opportunity to get the scope out.

I also had ordered a replacement GPS battery, but the support person said it's probably not necessary and would need to be soldered in place. That's the last resort.

We'll see how this all goes.

Thanks for you help,

Jeff
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#12

Post by Gordon »


Glad you at least got some resolution!

Hopefully the two star alignment will do the trick and you can get some use out of the scope.

Be sure to give us a report on how things go!
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Mounts: Orion Atlas EQ-g mount & Skywatcher EQ5 Pro. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. ZWO mini guider. Image camera: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI533mc-Pro, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, N.I.N.A, StarTools V1.4.

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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#13

Post by Lady Fraktor »


Hopefully this will take care to keep your telescope operating for much longer!
Sad that it is such a long wait though.
In the meantime you could always look for a used HC on various sites like astromart or the bay of evil ;)
See Far Sticks: Antares 105mm f/15 (modified), AOM 105mm f/9.5, Celestron 150mm f/8 (modified), Stellarvue NHNG DX 80mm f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
HD Pointy Things: EQ-5, TAL MT-1, Vixen SXP, Vixen AXJ
LD Pointy Things: Celestron SLT, Manfrotto 055B/ RC128, Manfrotto 028B/ Stellarvue M2C/ Argo Navis
Light Benders: 2” Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2” Stellarvue Deluxe, 2” TAL/ NPZ dielectric, 2” Baader Amici prism, 2” Long Perng Amici prism, 2” Baader Herschel wedge, Vixen 1.25" flip mirror
Jewellery: Antares to Zeiss, now only slightly more than 1 person requires!
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Re: Celestron NexStar GPS alignment issues

#14

Post by JayTee »


I have a number of Celestron hand controllers. They are all interchangeable as long as you stay in the alt az category of mount. Two of these (labeled SLT at the bottom) were obtained on eBay for less than $50. They work perfectly.
20221117_134323.jpg

Disregard the iOptron HC, it muscled its way into this image. The point of the picture is to show you that they all look identical.
JT -- Proprietor - Rimrock Observatory
∞ Primary Scopes: #1: Celestron CPC1100 #2: 8" f/7.5 Dob & #3: CR150HD f/8 6" frac
∞ AP Scopes: #1: TPO 6" f/9 RC #2: ES 80mm f/6 APO
∞ G&G Scopes: #1: Meade 102mm f/7.8 #2: Bresser 102mm f/4.5
∞ Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs -- The El Cheapo Bros.
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM70AG, SW EQ6, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG, WYZE Cam3 (x2)
∞ Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70², 25X100
∞ EPs: ES: 21 100° & 30mm 82° X-Cel LX: 9, 12, 18, 25mm 60° GSO SV: 15 & 20mm 68°
Image

I never met a scope I didn't want to keep. "My God, it's full of stars." Searching the skies since 1966!
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