Update or not update


Hi all,
I am currently using OnStep
  • OnStep 1.20B
  • OnESP1.6c
  • SmartHandController
  • STM32 V1.5 Breakboard
I am wondering if I should do an update, what do you think?
What is the benefit of the new version 3.6 or 2.2 compared to mine?

Mike Ahner

Hi Zeppy,

Most will probably recommend you upgrade, that's normal. But for me, I see controllers like OnStep as different from desktop computers, laptops or other upgradable items. Generally speaking, controllers are dedicated to doing one thing very well (like controlling a telescope) and are not general purpose systems. Basic telescope control doesn't really change, in my view, and if what you have is working well for what you are using it to do, then I wouldn't recommend changing anything. However, later if you find your needs change and a new feature is included, then it's an easy decision to upgrade.

I've been using OnStep v2.2 since last summer (2019) and it works very well for me at this time, since my needs are simple. Later this year, I may add Sky Planetarium to my telescope and if I want the most of SP's benefits, probably I would be better to update at that time. And I know there have been bug fixes in many parts of OnStep but so far these are in functions I don't utilize so there is no real affect to me.

Some people will always want new features, some people seem to get bored with the same layouts, menus, etc. and want to see changes to the UI, but in the industrial world, simple is best and if it works then companies save money by not changing just for the sake of change. I tend to follow this same approach, for better or for worse.

If you do update, I would suggest going to 3.16 and skipping 2.2. There is nothing wrong with 2.2 but like your version, there won't be any updates for it in the future. Version 4.x has gotten somewhat bigger and I seem to recall that not all of the new features will fit in a STM32 Bluepill, so I don't know if I'll ever move to the 4.x versions.

The good thing is, if you already have or can buy addtional STM32 Bluepill modules, you can program each one with a different version and simply swap out the version you want to try today. Very easy. Then if you have any issues with the updated version, you can easily return to a known working system until you figure out what to do.

Others will give you better information about the advantages & features of the newer versions, I don't try to keep up with the all changes & enhancements any more. Anyway, good luck with it and of course, don't forget to have fun.


Khalid Baheyeldin

If what you have works and satisfies your needs, then there is no need to upgrade.
On the other hand, if you want new features, then that could be the motivation for upgrading.
Do not use 2.2 anymore. 3.16 is the latest stable version. If you upgrade, then upgrade to that.
The most significant new feature is spiral search, which is in master, so not yet in a stable release.