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Old 25-01-2019, 10:05 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Celestron Advanced GT Mount Assistance Please

Not sure if this is the right place to put this but, can't think of where else to post it..

I have recently acquired a perfectly serviceable Celestron Advanced GT Equatorial mount for a bargain price..

Nexstar handset is the V4 handset & it has the latest firmware available on it already.

The Mount control firmware is a little dated at V5.06 but, still functions perfectly well.

To update the Mount firmware, an accessory called the Celestron Auxillary Accessory kit (containing an aux port adapter (not splitter) and the appropriate transfer cable) is required.. problem is, because this mount has been superseded for some time... the kit is no longer available.

Is there any chance that someone has this kit lurking in a cupboard or, perhaps there is an IIS member who has this mount & the kit?

Ideally, could I borrow it to do an update to latest firmware (I doubt it will be updated any further).. I live in Cairns but, would be prepared to pay postage in both directions if I was able to borrow one...

Otherwise, if someone wants to sell me one very cheaply, I'd probably be open to that...

Or, if one of the wise heads on this forum can either:
(a) Explain to me perhaps why not to bother or;
(b) Explain to me any work around there might be

I would be most grateful for a positive outcome on this issue although, not critical to operation of the mount overall...

Thanks in advance...
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  #2  
Old 25-01-2019, 10:51 PM
Karlzburg (Karl)
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If it works well now don't worry about it, I know of a few IIS member still running older firmware on SW mounts.
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  #3  
Old 25-01-2019, 11:04 PM
casstony
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I never update unless there's a problem or a newer feature that I need. Computers can be difficult and it's best not to provoke them
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  #4  
Old 25-01-2019, 11:10 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlzburg View Post
If it works well now don't worry about it, I know of a few IIS member still running older firmware on SW mounts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by casstony View Post
I never update unless there's a problem or a newer feature that I need. Computers can be difficult and it's best not to provoke them
My rational brain (approx 10% of mass) agrees with you both completely...

My OCD (approx 90%) hates things being out of date....

I haven't actually been able to take the mount out for a run; only got it yesterday & it's been raining solid for almost 2 weeks (FNQ Wet Season).. whilst everything appears good indoors.. got to get it outside & run it's through it's paces.. This Celestron all star polar alignment looks good... well to me anyway, who has never done a polar alignment in his life....
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  #5  
Old 26-01-2019, 02:05 AM
Karlzburg (Karl)
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Forget the hand controller and hook straight up to the laptop

My OCD is a right royal
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  #6  
Old 26-01-2019, 10:29 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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What application are you using Karl?

Nexstar remote, Stellarium, something else...

I've bodgied up a connection cable from a spare Meade one I made, just had to change the pinouts on the DB9 connector...

Strange thing is it will communicate with the scope through the handset when in normal running mode (or at least with NSOL) but, when I put the handset into data transfer mode using HCUpdate I get a Commport error...

I cleared all my commports & tried it again but, no joy.. the soldering on the bodgied cable is a bit rubbish but, it works in normal mode, allowed me to send slew commands using NSOL so, not sure what is going on there..

At least if I decide I want to buy a cable, the Celestron one is $29.. unlike Meade at $75 hence why I made one...

Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlzburg View Post
Forget the hand controller and hook straight up to the laptop

My OCD is a right royal
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Old 26-01-2019, 11:27 AM
Karlzburg (Karl)
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I use Cartes Du Ciel but you also need to download ASCOM which is sorta the hub in between your mount and laptop. Also check that your computer can see the cable, apart from the programs it should be right.
My cable was 75 delivered, this hobby is never cheap
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  #8  
Old 26-01-2019, 11:42 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Screenshot shows CdC with ASCOM, and selection of Celestron mounts.....
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Click for full-size image (CdC_ASCOM_celestron.JPG)
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  #9  
Old 26-01-2019, 11:47 PM
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I might have a hand made cable lying around that I used on my GT mount. I'll have a look. But as I made it myself - no guarantees ....

Edit: think I also needed a usb-rs232 adaptor. And stellarium didn't need ascom to run with this mount
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  #10  
Old 27-01-2019, 08:58 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Hi Chris,

likely better than my handmade cable bud... soldering isn't one of my finer skills... LOL...

Don't suppose you might have a DEC cable kicking around either?

I'm experiencing some odd issues.. currently working on fault finding to determine if the mount has issues or just it's new owner...

Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisV View Post
I might have a hand made cable lying around that I used on my GT mount. I'll have a look. But as I made it myself - no guarantees ....

Edit: think I also needed a usb-rs232 adaptor. And stellarium didn't need ascom to run with this mount
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  #11  
Old 27-01-2019, 09:25 PM
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I'm not sure about the old cable I found. It is 4pin RJ plug to male DB9 (pins 5,8,2).

This is different o the one for my CGEM which is 4pin RJ plug to female DB9 pins 5,3,2). As per
https://www.nexstarsite.com/PCControl/RS232Cable.htm

I'm not sure if this is correct for the AS-GT mount??? If it is you can have it. But it might be safer to buy one
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  #12  
Old 28-01-2019, 02:42 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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No worries thanks Chris,

I think the second one is correct from what I have determined. I have now managed to confirm that the cable I have made up is correctly wired.

My handsets are at the latest version of firmware for this version of the handset...

Now troubleshooting a Dec motor issue & have my fingers crossed that it's not a bummed out encoder... my bargain may yet turn into a dud...

DEC cable is good, tomorrow I start opening up & cleaning internal connections very carefully...

Thanks again..
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  #13  
Old 28-01-2019, 10:06 AM
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ChrisV (Chris)
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Good luck. That mount is a bugger to dismantle and reassemble. The main board is held in place by the plastic cover - take pics to make sure you put in back in the right way. I didn't do that and it took a while to get it back in properly. But I'm a bit of a mechanical neanderthal.
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  #14  
Old 28-01-2019, 06:21 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Hi Chris,

Ditto... is the main board under the plastic in the RA head or under the plastic where power/handset/dec cables plug in?

I'm still working up the courage to have a crack at it...

Cheers
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  #15  
Old 28-01-2019, 11:48 PM
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It's right where the power cable plugs in. On the RA.
I vaguely remember there's nothing inside the DEC housing - just the socket to the motor. But its been two years since I had it. If the DEC motor isn't working its worth a shot. Could even be a loose connection on the main board.

One thing. Its not the greatest mount for AP. I used it for live imaging/EAA. Was fine for that, but once I hit 30sec-1min lights for AP it was limited even with guiding.

Last edited by ChrisV; 29-01-2019 at 12:02 AM.
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  #16  
Old 29-01-2019, 12:33 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Thanks Chris,

I managed to get both housings apart & do a bit of cleaning tonight so, now I know exactly which bits you are talking about.

Thankyou for the tip on that main board, that was a bit tricky... when putting it back together...

No improvement on my problem, also I have a butchered screw on the pcb that is screwed into the RA housing...

I want to swap the motors round so, will be attempting to gently remove butchered screw so I can undo that connector only at the pcb, swap them round & see if the problem moves..

I'm coming to the conclusion that I might be on a hiding to nothing.. you may see this mount up for sale in the classifieds for parts...

Oh well, guess that is the risk when you buy secondhand & you don't really have (a) a great understanding of EQ mounts & (b) not a great deal of time to figure it out whilst you are at someones place.

The chap was upfront with me, he'd never actually used it powered up just pointed it where he wanted.. infact, he didn't really know anything about any of the gear he sold me but, at the end of the day.. if I can move some other stuff on that was part of the deal, I'll only be out of pocket a small amount so, no great harm hopefully....

Cheers

Carlton
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