-- a division of Tele Vue Optics, Inc.
STAR BOOK Controller Upgrades

For optimum STAR BOOK controller performance,
it is highly recommended to install the latest available upgrade.

Table of Contents

Starting with the release of STAR BOOK firmware Ver.1.2 Build 29, KeyCodes are no longer required for autoguider activation.

No Chart Problem for Year 2016 and Onward

If you start up an older Star Book and end up in Scope Mode without a sky chart and the buttons don't work:

1) Restart the Star Book. When you get into the Configuration menu, go into Local Time Setting and set the year back to 2015 or earlier. For best performance, set the year to match the current leap-year cycle. For leap years 2016, 2020, 2024… set it to 2008 – also a leap year. You can then use the Star Book to go to fixed targets like stars and nebulae. Unfortunately the moon and planets positions in the Star Book will be wrong.

2) After you've reset the year and confirm you see the Star Chart (red stars visible), you can use the Star Book as is or fix the problem completely by upgrading the Star Book firmware as described in the next section. The upgrade allows you to set the correct year and comes with a bunch of other features -- and the Star Book will go to planets and other objects as it used to.

How to Upgrade Your Star Book Hand Controller

Vixen Japan Website

Be aware that there are multiple versions of the hand controller (STAR BOOK, Type-S, and TEN) for multiple mounts (GP, AXD, SKYPOD, etc.). Here we discuss STAR BOOK updates for SX/SXD – the original Sphinx mount. The latest firmware upgrade, warnings, troubleshooting, and instructions are on the international Vixen Japan website here:


That page is broken up into sections: at top is the version name of the latest update, followed by a description of the update contents. That is followed by a warning and the update procedure, next is the download procedure – click the big red Update Program button to download the update. The next section contains screen shots and notes on doing the update on various versions of Windows followed by an update history section.

STAR BOOK Upgrade Notes

Read over the contents of the Vixen Japan website for doing the update. What follows here are additional notes, clarifications, and troubleshooting tips. If anything below contradicts the Vixen Japan site, follow the instructions on the Vixen Japan site.

Major upgrades can cause loss of user entered data. So be ready to re-enter location, time, sound volume, LCD brightness, etc. after an update.

You can do the update by plugging an Ethernet "crossover" cable between the Star Book and your computer. If your computer's Internet Protocol is set to "Obtain an IP address automatically", we've found that the crossover cable often works without modifying your computer's IP / Subnet address.

The RJ-45 Ethernet crossover cable should be clearly labeled (red oval)

Alternatively, you can do the update with a straight/patch Ethernet cable by plugging the Star Book into a network. A home WiFi box often has Ethernet ports in the back to plug into. You can also plug into a business network, but check with IT personnel to ensure that the Star Book and any address modifications on computer does not cause IP address conflicts on the network.

Download the update from the Vixen Japan site and save it on your local drive. Network drives may be lost if doing the connection with the Star Book.

After connecting the Ethernet cable to the Star Book and powering it up, wait a minute and open the About STAR BOOK dialog in the Configuration menu when it opens up. If the IP or Subnet mark are all zeros: close the dialog and reopen it after a minute. Write down the IP and Subnet addresses as you'll need it later. Then continue through the menus to the star map.

If using straight cables, the Star Book's IP and Subnet values may differ from the default ( / This means the WiFi router or network has assigned these to the Star Book. In this case, there may be no need to change the IP/Subnet of your computer as it is setup for the same network. Likewise, if the Star Book keeps the defaults while plugged into a network, you'll have to change your computer's IP/Subnet addresses as instructed on the Vixen Japan page.

The firmware update may not work if any of the menus are open in the Star Book: make sure to get past all the startup menus and the screen just shows the red Scope Mode star map. If the star map does not display, unplug the power, restore the power, and in the Configuration menu go into Local Time Setting and set the year back to 2015 or earlier. You should be able to get to the star map now.

With your computer and Star Book connected, test your connection by entering the Star Book's IP address in your computer browse (with crossover cable it is usually You should see the web page built into the Star Book. If it doesn't work at first, try waiting another minute and then refreshing the browser. If you connect, you'll see a page with an update link – but don't use that link – follow the instructions on the Vixen Japan page. If after several attempts the browser connection doesn't work, then follow the instructions on the Vixen Japan site to reset the IP/Subnet on your computer to communicate with the Star Book. Write down the current settings on the computer before you start. Again, on a business network check that your modifications don't cause any network conflicts.

After the connection between your computer and Star Book has been verified, follow the instructions on the Vixen Japan page to do the update. Basically you open the updated saved on your computer and verify the IP address of the Star Book. It will then run for a while.

After completing the update, power cycle the Star Book and check/reset the date/time, location, etc. settings. Then repair your computer's IP/Subnet settings if you had changed them.

For information call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday:  845 469 8660
Copyright  2002-2015 Vixen North America, 32 Elkay Dr., Chester, NY 10918. All rights reserved.
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