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Possible NexStar+ Fix for NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS and NexStar 5i/8i

Some NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS or NexStar 5i/8i owners find that their scope has problems with the new NexStar+ hand control.  Common symptoms are intermittent "No Response" errors or the arrow buttons are sluggish.  An option that has helped some is to load an older version of firmware on the NexStar+ hand control.  I provide an older version here on this page and here is the procedure.  It is important to note that this older firmware does not address the GPS rollover issue so if your NexStar GPS mount is affected by the rollover and you need to use this older firmware, you will need to turn off GPS in the hand control menu and manually enter the date and time each session.

BEFORE YOU START:  Celestron has stated that it is possible that loading old firmware on a device manufactured after the firmware may render that device unusable.  For that reason, CFM may prevent you for loading old firmware on your hand control.  That does not confirm there is a danger to your hand control but it is a precaution Celestron has elected to implement.  Proceed at your own risk understanding the worst case scenario is you would need to purchase another NexStar+ hand control.  In the case of a NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS or NexStar 5i/8i displaying the issues reported above when using a NexStar+ hand control, my personal recommendation is to obtain a version 4 hand control rather than use the NexStar+ hand control.

  1. Download version 5.22.3280 from here:
  2. Keep track of the location of this downloaded ZIP file.

  3. Next, locate the folder where you placed CFM and start CFM.

  4. On the Options menu, activate Work Offline (be sure there is a checkmark next to Work Offline). 

  5. Close CFM.  

  6. In the folder where you placed CFM, open the Packages folder and then the Plus folder. Delete everything in that Plus folder.

  7. Open the file you dowloaded above. 

  8. Copy everything from that ZIP file into the Plus folder located in step 6.

  9. Start CFM again and "upgrade" your hand control.  Refer to this article for the normal operation of CFM but note since you are working offline, you will not be downloading new firmware in CFM.

  10. Once complete, the version displayed on the hand control should be 5.22.3280 and it should work with the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS or NexStar 5i/8i.

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Michael Swanson
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