NexStar Resource Site

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Original GT Hand Control: Known Bugs

This only applies to GT scopes with the "original" hand control.  NexStar GT scopes purchased since January 2002 do NOT generally have the "original" GT hand control.

The original GT hand control (the "GoTo" control for the NexStar 60/80/114/4) has several documented flaws, chief among them:

  • No official RS-232 support - however see my PC Control page for additional details
  • Won't save observation locations in the Eastern Hemisphere
  • Won't save backlash settings
  • Cordwrap feature not functional
  • Occasional lockups and runaway slews
  • Very touchy keypad that often leads to double key entries
  • Light Control feature not functional
  • Tracking Rate defaults to Solar
  • STAR button prompts for 1-5560 while there are only 2823 stars in the hand control database

Celestron released an updated hand control with all telescopes manufactured after December 2001. All of the above issues have been corrected.  Read my review of the new GT hand control here.   In February 2005, Celestron announced a user-upgradeable hand control that is compatible with the GT and Tasco scopes - this hand control will be available for purchase through Celestron dealers late in 2005 - read this for more information.

To determine if you have the original model power up the scope, press Enter, then press the 6 button on the number pad repeatedly - if it cycles through Auto Align, Two Star Align and Quick Align it is the December 2001 model.  If it also includes SkyAlign, it is the 2005 model.  If it only displays Auto Align, it is the old model.

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Michael Swanson
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