NexStar Resource Site

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Upgradeable Version 4 Hand Control

January 2006

Update - this hand control has been replaced by the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

In January 2006, Celestron began offering the version 4 user-upgradeable hand control for owners of older telescopes.  This hand control was introduced with firmware version 4 and is compatible with all NexStar GPS, CPC, LCM, i Series, SLT, GT, StarSeeker, Tasco StarGuide, CGE, CGE Pro, CGEM and AS-GT telescopes.  The only NexStars this hand control will not work with are the original NexStar 5/8 (non-i Series). 

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.  The following "models" of hand control are available with the correct firmware for the various telescope series:

  • 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.

Originally, these hand controls were only available directly from Celestron.  The cost was $150 for a replacement hand control or $75 if you traded-in your old hand control.  As of May 2007, they discontinued this offer.  The hand control was then available for direct purchase from most Celestron dealers.

After receiving a new hand control, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the process for upgrading the firmware - click here.  You may also need a manual addendum or my user's guide for the new features - see the Manuals section of this web site for the latest available.

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Michael Swanson
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