NexStar Resource Site

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Hand Control Version 4 for the NexStar GPS, CPC, LCM, SE, SLT, GT and 'i' Series

Update - this hand control has been replaced by the
NexStar+ hand control as of February 2012.
More details here.

Click here for a consolidated User's Guide to all the new features in hand control version 4.

In February 2005, Celestron introduced NexStar hand control version 4.  First available to the public with NexRemote, version 4 is also available on the new user-upgradeable NexStar hand control.  The upgradeable hand control ships as standard equipment on the CPC, LCM, SE and SLT.  The upgradeable hand control is also available for purchase separately for owners of existing GPS, GT and 'i' Series scopes.  This version also shipped with the last of the GT scopes (they have been replaced by the SLT) with these differences - while the GT-compatible version for the upgradeable hand control is 4, the hand control that shipped with the last of the GTs will not be user upgradeable and the version number was 104.  At least some of these NexStar GTs with the version 104 hand control have been re-branded as the Celestron StarSeeker - distinctive by its blue-green optical tube - sold through Orion.  Note that the GT hand control is compatible with Tasco StarGuide mounts.

The only NexStars this hand control will not work with are the original NexStar 5/8 (non-i Series) or the very newest mounts like the Evolution.  It is compatible with the following mounts:

  • CPC Series
  • CPC Deluxe HD Series
  • NexStar SE Series
  • NexStar SLT Series
  • Astro Fi Series
  • LCM Series
  • NexStar GPS Series
  • NexStar 5i/8i
  • NexStar GT Series
  • CGX and CGX-L Series
  • CGEM Series
  • CGE Pro Series
  • CGE Series
  • AS-GT Series (Advanced Series with GoTo)

Though there is only one actual version of hardware for this hand control, Celestron sold it under several part numbers indicating which firmware was loaded at the factory.  The correct firmware must be loaded for the particular model of telescope you are using - in fact, you can share the same hand control with different telescope models by re-programming between uses.  See Firmware Versions on this web site for details.  Part numbers used are as follows:

  • GPS, CPC, SE or i Series:  Celestron part number 93998. NOTE: When used on the GPS models, the new hand control requires motor control firmware 4.06 or higher.  After checking the version on your scope, if you need to upgrade, read this.  Note that GPS scopes with motor control firmware lower than version 3 cannot be upgraded by the owner - more details at the link just referenced.
  • CGE, CGE Pro, CGEM or AS-GT:  Celestron part number 93997.
  • SLT or LCM: Celestron part number 93996.
  • GT, StarSeeker or Tasco StarGuide:  any of the above will work, but you will need to load the correct firmware (GT 4.03) to work with these telescopes.  Note: Celestron was previously offering part number NXW210-GT; that hand control was NOT a user-upgradeable hand control, it was version 104.0.

Some additional notes about the 104/4 version firmware for the GT/StarGuides.  This version greatly improves tracking accuracy, keeping objects in the field of view for as long as you care to view them.  The tracking is still suited mainly for visual and perhaps web cam imaging as the necessary corrections made by the hand control are significant and don't lend the scope to imaging.  Also, this version supports the more advanced serial port control commands.  This allows programs like NexRemote and NexStar Control Pad to work with the GT/StarSeeker scopes.

The following new alignment methods are available in NexStar hand control version 4.03:

Since there is no longer a Quick Align method, if you wish to do some indoors testing follow this guide to perform an Indoor Alignment.

The following new features are available in NexStar hand control version 4.03:

Additional new features were added as the firmware was updated, refer to the Firmware Versions section of this web site for details.  Also, see the Manuals section of this web site for a version 4 user's guide detailing use of the new features.

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Michael Swanson
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