Celestron Nexstar Evolution, Linux, Open Source

Here is information I’ve collected on my Celestron Nexstar Evolution EdgeHD 8″ Telescope

A good choice of case, hundreds of dollars less expensive than the JMI and $170 less than Pelican at this writing, is this Monoprice Case. It’s a rugged hard case and waterproof with IP67 rating for the price of the soft Celestron case, $170 less than the Pelican 1660, hundreds less than a JMI case (at this writing February 2019).

The Celestron Firmware Manager is written in Java, and works on any platform with a modern Java runtime engine, including Linux with OpenJDK. There is no requirement for Microsoft Windows. You may have to grant permssions on the serial device (by putting the operator in the “dialout” group on Linux). And I saw someone claim that you need to turn CR/LF mode on with these commands. so that the serial device will behave more like one on Windows:

stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 -icrnl

stty -F /dev/ttyUSB0 -ocrnl

Change /dev/ttyUSB0 to your serial device as appropriate.

Since Oracle is going to restrict Enterprise Java in the coming months, a lot more people will be running OpenJDK on all platforms.

The Celestron Firmware Manager almost works using WiFi. It won’t, however, update the boot file for the Evolution mount using WiFi, and corrupts the firmware, leading to distressing indications on your hand controller that it can’t determine the model of the telescope. This, fortunately, doesn’t brick your telescope. You can recover using a USB cable connected to the hand controller rather than WiFi. With older hand controllers, this will be a serial cable, but the current vintage of hand controller (in particular, the one that comes with StarSense) has an embedded serial-to-USB adapter and requires a mini (not micro, not USB C) USB connector. This connector style is getting a little old, but I had one on hand.

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