NexStar Resource Site

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Hand Control Compatibility

Although many of the NexStar hand controls (HC) are identical in appearance, they are not universally compatible. Following are the various NexStar hand controls that have been available since the introduction of the original NexStar 5.

  • NexStar+ Hand Control - In February 2012, Celestron introduced a new NexStar+ hand control - read this for more details.  This hand control is visually identifiable by new labels on some buttons (for example, the bottom left button is now the Celestron symbol) and a "+" next to the NexStar label just below the LCD display.  This hand control is compatible with all Celestron computerized mounts except the original NexStar 5/8, the NexStar GT and the Ultima 2000. Two caveats:
    • The original CGE may have intermittent problems with this hand control depending upon the version of electronics hardware in the mount - the reported symptom is intermittent NO RESPONSE errors on the NexStar+ hand control. 
    • As of mid-2012, the NexStar GT models sold through special resellers (Costco NexStar GTs, the Orion StarSeeker models and NexStar GTs sold in Japan) have the NexStar 4/5 SE motor control board and are sold with the NexStar+ hand control.

    Note that the correct version of firmware for each specific mount must be loaded into the hand control for correct operation - see the Firmware Version section of this web site for details.  The firmware version displayed by this hand control is Version 5.  As of February 2012, this hand control is available for purchase separately and ships with all current mounts. 

     

  • StarSense Hand Control - Introduced with the SkyProdigy series of auto-aligning telescopes in 2011, this hand control is also shipped as part of the StarSense AutoAlign accessory kit.  See Celestron's website here for the list of mounts compatible with this hand control and accessory kit.

 

  • NexStar Version 4 Hand Control - In February 2005, Celestron announced the CPC series, followed shortly thereafter by the SE and SLT series, all of which included this user-upgradeable hand control.  This hand control is compatible with all Celestron computerized mounts except the original NexStar 5/8 and the Ultima 2000.  From February 2005 through February 2012, all mounts shipped with this hand control.  Note that the correct version of firmware for each specific mount must be loaded into the hand control for correct operation - see the Firmware Version section of this web site for details.  The firmware version displayed by this hand control is Version 4.  As of January 2006,  this hand control was available for purchase separately (read this), but has been replaced by the NexStar+ and is no longer manufactured.

 

  • NexStar 5/8 Hand Control - The original NexStar hand control, it is only compatible with these two scopes.

 

  • NexStar GT Hand Control - this hand control has been sold with several different versions of firmware (see the Firmware Versions section of this web site for more info).  This hand control is only compatible with the NexStar GT, Celestron StarSeeker and Tasco StarGuide telescopes (any model of optical tube).  At one time, this hand control was offered for sale separately as Celestron part number 93961.  Note that the NexStar Version 4 hand control (above) can also be used with the NexStar GT mount.

 

  • NexStar GPS and "i" Series Hand Control - Versions 1.2 and 1.6 are only compatible with the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS scopes.  Version 2.2 is compatible with the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS and NexStar 5i/8i - at one time this hand control was offered for sale separately as Celestron part number 93962 and was also known as the "iComp" hand control.  Version 2.3 is compatible with the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS and NexStar 5i/8i/8i Special Edition.  Note that all of these mounts are also compatible with the NexStar+ and NexStar Version 4 hand controls (above).

 

  • CGE Hand Control - Version 3.01 is the original version shipped with the CGE and is only compatible with the CGE mount.  Note that the CGE mount is also compatible with the NexStar+ and NexStar Version 4 hand controls (above) and towards the end of its run, shipped with the Version 4 hand control.

 

  • Advanced Series with GoTo (AS-GT) - Versions 3.03 and 3.04 were the original versions shipped with the AS-GT and are only compatible with the AS-GT mount..  Note that the AS-GT mount is also compatible with the NexStar+ and NexStar Version 4 hand controls (above) and more recently shipped with either of those hand controls.


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