Starry Night V7 | Instructions for All Orion GoTo Telescopes


    I had called up Orion support a few years ago to get my SkyQuest XT12G working, and they gave me great instructions.  However, things have changed a bit for Starry Night Pro Plus 7, so I thought I'd post the updated instructions here to help folks out.  I never posted the instructions for SNPP6, which I hogged all to myself, but I can post it if people need me to.

    First know this:  It was confirmed to me by Orion support that all Orion GoTo telescopes are controlled by the Celestron control set, so you will be able to control your Orion telescope in any software product that includes Celestron telescope support.  Keep in mind, however, that you will still need to add an additional ASCOM driver (it was included in SNP6 as Celestron NexStar 8, but not included in SNP7) and also enter the specs from your specific scope on top of that, so keep reading.

    Starry Night Pro Plus 7 scope control for the Orion SkyQuest XT12G (and all other Orion GoTo telescopes):

    1. RS232 cable required for Starry Night Pro Plus 7 usability, part#52419 from Orion.
    2. Orion support says same DB9 to USB (RS232-USB) cable available from Radio Shack, known to work (install by directions).
    3. Collimate and align the scope as normal and accurately as possible
    4. Plug everything in (scope, laptop)
    5. Install the additional ASCOM "Celestron Unified" telescope driver (separate download from ASCOM site)
    6. In Starry Night, go to Telescope tab/panel (left side of screen, after enabling via View/Show Telescope Panel):
      1. “Configure” button
      2. Select “Celestron Telescope Driver"
      3. Click on Properties, and then select “Advanced Setup" checkbox as the scope model
      4. Select proper com port that was assigned to the RS232/USB cable
      5. Scope Numbers to enter specific to the Orion SkyQuest XT12G:

                                        i.      Aperture:  305mm (get the correct number for your specific scope)

                                        ii.      Focal:  1500mm (get the correct number for your specific scope)

                                        iii.      Obstruction:  70mm (get the correct number for your specific scope)

                                        iv.     Set track mode to AltAz (or whatever track mode your scope uses)

                        6.  Enter correct site/GPS location info

                        7.  Click OK

            7.  Once it’s all entered, click on “Connect” in main panel.

            8.  Once connected, right-click on objects and select either “Center” or “Go To” to slew the scope to target and start tracking.


    Look up your scope's specs on Orion's web site.  For example:  Orion SkyQuest XT12G Specs

    Bonus:  I have also developed a cell phone/tablet app that quickly gives you GPS coordinates in both ASCOM and Orion GoTo formats (which are annoyingly different).  The app is called "Quick GPS for Orion GoTo Telescopes".  Look for the app on Google Play for Android devices.   Sorry, I don't support Apple's products or their greedy control-freak developer restrictions.


    • Avatar
      Sophie Cheng

      Hello Robert,

      Thank you for posting this helpful information on here! 



    • Avatar
      Jeff Murray

      Update for Orion 14XXg...probably work for other XXg models:
      My HC (scope hand controller) did not have a type A USB port so the above cable from Orion wouldn't fit. The HC has a USB type B port so the cable needed is a USB type A to type B cable...a printer/scanner cable setup.

      Next you have to create a Comm port since current laptops don't have serial ports.
      Once you align your scope and connect the HC to the laptop you will need to open the Device Manager (search for it in the lower left search bar of the laptop) and look for a new device that plugging in the cable created (you can find it by unplugging the cable and see what disappears). Right click and open Properties. It reports that the device isn't working and needs drivers. Search for the drivers and it will auto install creating the COMM port you need. Mine was COMM3.

      I restarted the computer just to make sure everything was all lined up.

      Follow Robert's instructions above. You might have to check the "Show all Com Ports" box to get the Com you created to show up.

      Make sure you DO NOT enter PC Direct Mode from the HC as directed by the Orion documentation you received with your scope. It didn't work for me in PC Direct Mode.

      Works great!