NexStar Resource Site

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Ports and Connectors on NexStar 4/5SE Scopes

Click here for a diagram by Larry McNish depicting NexStar cable/port connections.

  • RS-232 Port - located on the bottom of the hand control.  The primary usage of this port is for controlling your scope with the wide variety of astronomy software available for PCs, Macs and PDAs.  A secondary usage is for updating the motor control firmware in the mount - details are found here.  The connector is a 4 conductor RJ-22 - the slim connector used for most telephone handset cords.  The signaling is standard RS-232 levels.  Click here for details on the cable used to connect this port to a PC.
  • HAND CONTROL Port - located in the hand control recess in the fork arm.  The primary usage of this port is for connecting the hand control, however, this port is actually the same as the AUX port on the base of the scope, and so, the hand control can be connected to that port as well.  The connector is a 6 conductor RJ-12.  The signaling is TTL and so a serial port on a PC should not be connected to this port.
  • AUX Port- located on the top of the base of the scope.  This port is designated for "smart accessories", for example, the optional CN-16 GPS module - Celestron part number 93963.  Also, as noted above, the hand control can be connected here rather than in the fork arm.  The connector is a 6 conductor RJ-12.  The signaling is TTL and so a serial port on a PC should not be connected to this port.  See below about the Auxiliary Port Accessory Kit.
  • CAMERA Port - located on the top of the base of the scope.  This port is designed for connecting to many digital SLR cameras.  This allows the telescope to slew through a list of objects, taking timed exposures of each object.  The connector for this port is an RJ-12 and the pin designations are found here.
  • POWER CORD Connector - located on the lower part of the base, right above the tripod head.  This is the connector for the power source driving the scope - details on this connector are found here.

Also, it should be noted that Celestron offers an Auxiliary Port Accessory Kit (part number 93965) that can be connected to the AUX port and then provides the following ports:

  • AUX 1 and AUX 2 Ports.  Two AUX ports with the same function and description noted for the AUX port above.
  • PC Port.  This port can be used with two software packages from Celestron.  The first is for upgrading the motor control firmware, though with hand control version 4.13 or higher, motor control firmware can be updated via the RS-232 port on the bottom of the hand control as well.  The second is for a PC-based virtual hand control called NexRemote - details are found here.  NexRemote can also be used by connecting the PC via the RS-232 port discussed above - the PC port just has the advantage of not requiring the real hand control to even be connected.  The connector for this port is an 8 conductor RJ-45.  The signaling is standard RS-232 levels.  When using NexRemote with the PC port, you need a "programming cable", not the standard RS-232 cable used to connect to the port on the bottom of the hand control.  Click here for details on the cable used to connect this port to a PC.

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