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Updating your NexDome controller firmware.
The firmware for the NexDome controllers is provided as open source software
that is end user modifiable and updateable. For those with minimal / no
software skills, fully functional firmware is provided via the repository
on github. No special skills are required to update your controller in
the field, only a relatively simple software setup and installation is
The NexDome controller is based on the open source Arduino Leonardo
microcontroller. To update the firmware on the microcontroller requires
the ardino development environment to be installed. The software can be
downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux systems from the arduino website located
Begin by downloading and installing the arduino environment for your host
NexDome firmware relies on one external library for controlling the stepper
motors. The library is available here:-
On that page is a link to the library as a zip file, download the zip file
and save it to your computer. A direct link to the zip file here:-
To install the library into your arduino environment, from the Sketch menu
highlight the 'Include Library' option and then select 'Add Zip Library' from
the submenu presented. Using the file chooser then navigate to the copy of
the library you just downloaded, and select it. This should complete the setup
of your environment to prepare for updating your NexDome controller firmware.
Sources for the NexDome project are located online at Start with
this link:-
There are multiple subdirectories at this location. Navigate into the arduino
then NexDome directory, and you will be presented with the file NexDome.ino.
Save this file to your computer.
The next step is to load this file into the Arduino environment. Start the
Arduino environment we downloaded earlier, then from the File menu select Open
and navigate to the NexDome.ino file we just downloaded.
The next step is to prepare for uploading new firmware to your controller. In
the Tools menu, highlight the Board option, and you will be presented with a
list of boards, select Arduino Leonardo from the list. The final step in
in preparing, select 'verify / compile' from the sketch menu, to ensure all
the bits got set up correctly.
After you have confirmed the setup is correct, it's time to update the firmware
on the controller. Ensure the controller is connected to your computer with
the usb cable and all other software that communicates with the controller
(ascom or other drivers) have been stopped. From the tools menu, highlight the
Port entry, then from the submenu of available ports, select the port for your
controller. Final step, from the Sketch menu, select 'Upload'. The controller
should reset, and after the upload, the arduino environment will present the
message 'Done uploading'.