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#1 tjensen

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 09:23 AM

Got the CGE on the new pier and started the polar alignment routine. That went ok, so then I went back to redo the alignment... did a 2 star with 2 calibration stars and that was fine... then I tried to slew to Saturn and everything went to pot... the scope slewed around and ended up pointing at the ground. I restarted, redid the alignment, tried the Saturn slew and the dec did a 720 rotation and pointed at the ground... restarted realigned and tried a slew to Regulus, and ended up pointed at the ground again. Finally gave up and set it back to home position... it undid the 720 degree rotation and went home fine.

So why would I be able to get a good 2+2 star alignment, but not be able to slew to anything?

HELP!

Cheers
Tim

#2 David Pavlich

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 09:56 AM

That's strange considering the alignment went ok. Did you try to goto something like M3 or M65?

I'm sure you checked all of the data that's input. Do you have a GPS module for it? I'd run through the menu and make sure that the information is correct. Do a goto to something besides a planet. If you have the haywire slew again, it could be that the firmware has a hiccup. You may need to log on to Celestron and get the latest update for the controller.

Otherewise, I'm lost. Wait...one more thing...what cable do you have to the Dec axis? I don't think that should have an affect considering Saturn's position. I found that if the CGE went close to zenith with the stock cable, it would go nuts once in a while.

David

#3 tjensen

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 10:10 AM

Hi David,
I've replaced the control cables... first thing I did when I got the mount. I tried a slew to Regulus and it did the same thing. No GPS. I was wondering about the firmware too. I did not try using a different object for a goto other than Saturn and Regulus. The firmware is an easy fix... I updated it a few weeks ago, so I think I still have the file. I'll try that and see what happens

cheers
T

#4 rmollise

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:16 AM

Got the CGE on the new pier and started the polar alignment routine. That went ok, so then I went back to redo the alignment... did a 2 star with 2 calibration stars and that was fine... then I tried to slew to Saturn and everything went to pot... the scope slewed around and ended up pointing at the ground. I restarted, redid the alignment, tried the Saturn slew and the dec did a 720 rotation and pointed at the ground... restarted realigned and tried a slew to Regulus, and ended up pointed at the ground again. Finally gave up and set it back to home position... it undid the 720 degree rotation and went home fine.

So why would I be able to get a good 2+2 star alignment, but not be able to slew to anything?

HELP!

Cheers
Tim


Did you try a slew to anything other than a planet? If not, do so, and if that works, that indicates a problem with time/timezone/position inputs.

#5 jrbarnett

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:50 AM

Yep Rod, he did.

"I tried a slew to Regulus and it did the same thing. "

I'm interested potentially in a CGE and am curious as to what's happening with his mount.

Regards,

Jim

#6 tjensen

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:58 AM

I'll update this thread on Monday (no internet at home).

The fact that the alignment routine works ok makes me wonder about a software glitch when it tries to make final calculations for a slew. I did suffer from a power interruption in the middle of a slew (tripped over the power cord in the dark), so i don't know what that might have done.

I'll update both the mount and HC firmware, do a factory reset, and give it another go.

Up until last night, it was working great!

#7 jrcrilly

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:05 PM

I'll update both the mount and HC firmware, do a factory reset, and give it another go.

Up until last night, it was working great!


I'll bet the reset fixes it. I know that once the cone correction data in my CGE got scrambled and it went wacky until I did the reset.

#8 Bowmoreman

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:37 PM

I'll update both the mount and HC firmware, do a factory reset, and give it another go.

Up until last night, it was working great!


I'll bet the reset fixes it. I know that once the cone correction data in my CGE got scrambled and it went wacky until I did the reset.


I had the same problem once after tripping over the power cable in the middle of a slew... had to reset, and then everything was fine again...

That's where I'd bet my $$ on this one!

clear enough skies

#9 starbob1

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:56 PM

I just got a new CGE.What better cables are their han the stock.Thanks BOB

#10 tjensen

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:44 PM

I just got a new CGE.What better cables are their han the stock.



These were recommended to me Marty Cables

#11 DrBuck

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:00 PM

I did suffer from a power interruption in the middle of a slew (tripped over the power cord in the dark), so i don't know what that might have done.

If you had a power interruption, then you would have to start all over with your alignment procedure etc. at least your hand controller hasn't quit accepting any inputs like mine has!! :(

#12 David Pavlich

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 09:39 PM

I just got a new CGE.What better cables are their han the stock.Thanks BOB


What Tim said!! Order them NOW! If you do, you'll cut out about 98% of the hiccups that happen with the CGE. 3 ft. for the Dec. axis, 2 ft. for the RA axis.

David

#13 Snaproll

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:21 AM

I have to give the Marty cables a thumbs up too. I'm still having runaway problems with my CGE, but not nearly as frequently and especially if the mount has sat for a long time. I used it the other night to image M51. I fired it up during the day and asked for Sirius and it slewed to about the right RA and then dropped below the horizon in Dec. I did a couple more 'gotos' to stars that should have been up and I could tell it was pointing into the twilight zone. After dark I realigned and things were ok.

I've had the mount for about a year and a half now, and am not real happy with it. It's "ok", but for the money it should be somewhat better than "ok". It works most of the time, it tracks ok, it guides well, but it just seems 'glitchy' from time to time. Whether it's the cables or whether I just got spoiled using my old LX200 which was bulletproof year after year I don't know. I haven't had a lot of time or suitable conditions in the last year to really mess with it, but it just seems to have more glitches than it should for the money.

#14 CounterWeight

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:21 AM

I've been using this mount since last October when I got back into the hobby. I actually had my first dec runaway in a long time a few sessions ago - and I've been using the flat cables for the past several months. It was my first runaway since replacing the cables - I removed and reseated the cable and all has been well since. The cables/conx used are the only real weak spot in an otherwise terrific mount/goto controller system.

I have to say when it's 'firing on all four' it's very accurate and capable mount - the goto firmware is very 'robust', nights sky tour... constellation tour... SAO, IC, NGC (and other)catalogs, can easily attach computer for planetarium control, has nexRemote and can use that with a gamepad... easily connect autoguider... packs a decent scope load no problem (my max was a C11 with an FS128 on top :) noisy - but it did it :) but then I went to an 80mm for a guider) currently I'm using the TOA-130 with the 80ED as a guider.

Other complaints are all the screws needed to loosen and tighten for the pa routine and that the pa can shift when tightening them (I find it an art form to get it right each time) and remember the preferred sequence for doing so. I find it more an issue depending on the overall load on the mount.

I've also had issues with the clamps on the tripod legs when extending. The plastic t-handles slip loose when tightening/loosening enough to hold larger loads and keep the legs from 'slipping'. I've at this point included a pair of pliers into my mount kit and give it a shake or two to verify slipping before commiting to a night of fun. These are only time wasters and not really critical to operation and performance once properly completed.

I achieved my goal of doing 12 minute guided exposures to get the leo triplet and m81/82 to my liking...

No - it's not perfect or problem free, but for what all it is capable of doing (you may not need all) 'out of the box' I dont think there is anything else in the price range / load range that can compete? Mounting on a pier I think would be best, but it's a no/go where I live at present.

#15 Snaproll

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:52 AM

'out of the box' I dont think there is anything else in the price range / load range that can compete?


Unfortunately there isn't in a GEM. It probably is the best price point mount.

I would much prefer a fork mounted scope (assuming it was as reliable as my LX200GPS was), but I also want one that is portable, and above 10 inches, the weight of a fork mounted scope is just prohibitive for me, so it meant the CGE1400. I looked intp the RCX's and even if they didn't have the problems they did, the weight of the OTA/mount was still something like 150 lbs.

The CGE Pro looks like it addresses a lot of the CGE shortcomings, but at least for me, it's not worth the extra money to upgrade. When the CGE works, it works well. When it doesn't, a reset or realignment is cheaper.

One other issue with the tripod... Those rings that the "T" handles are in can slide up if not tightened down well, (the actual collar the "T" goes into and that holds the lower spreader bars). When the upper spreader is tightened, this puts a tension on the lower spreader and the rings of the lower spreader have a tendancy to slide up. This makes that leg soft and unstable, forcing the upper spreader bar to be tightened further, which causes more movement. Eventually the upper spreader is working like a nut cracker, putting more force upper leg pivots. These are already weak and I remember seeing photos of one or two where the casting actually failed at the bolt pivots. Virtually every allen screw on my tripod was loose. I also wrapped some electrical tape above the lower spreader rings to act as a jam if they did come loose and start to drift up. I rarely use the tripod since I have a pier, but if everything is tight, it is rock solid when I do go on the road.

#16 jacktechie

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 08:40 PM

Just got my CGE mount a couple of weeks ago. 2 of 3 inner legs extended to level the mount. First use, the north plastic ring on the bottom started slipping slowly throughout the night - southeast ring OK. Tightened that, second time the north inner leg retracted slowly throughout the night - SE leg OK. I can't believe I have to tighten both so much to prevent slippage. For the plastic rings, I bought three 2 1/16 - 3" stainless steel hose clamps at Lowes for a bit over $3 and put in on over strips of old rubber mouse pad backing. That will fix it. Tape's good but this is better.
Jack

#17 DrBuck

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 10:28 PM

I really have to hand it to you guys that set up your equipment everytime you want to observe :bow: what dedication!!! Of course, spending hours and hours and extra money to build an observatory should be called dedication also. I really think its driven by pure laziness :grin: :grin:

#18 Trebor777

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 10:45 PM

Just got my CGE mount a couple of weeks ago. 2 of 3 inner legs extended to level the mount. First use, the north plastic ring on the bottom started slipping slowly throughout the night - southeast ring OK. Tightened that, second time the north inner leg retracted slowly throughout the night - SE leg OK. I can't believe I have to tighten both so much to prevent slippage. For the plastic rings, I bought three 2 1/16 - 3" stainless steel hose clamps at Lowes for a bit over $3 and put in on over strips of old rubber mouse pad backing. That will fix it. Tape's good but this is better.
Jack


Inside the tripod legs there's brass, I guess you'd call them pressure pads that the bolts in the leg press against. I removed those, one because 2 of the 3 were already dislodged and had actually got wedged inbetween the inner/outer legs so I couldn't adjust them at all.

Over-tightening of those bolts isn't a good thing. In the long run you'll end up putting dents into the legs and wont be able to extend them at all. I suggest maybe taking apart the tripod legs and seeing what's going on in there. (or if it's new, see if Celestron will replace the tripod).

Taking apart the legs is easy. I was able to take them apart, remove (dislodge actually) those brass pressure pads in under an hour. my tripod works great now, I can extend the legs, there's no slippage at all. The bolts now just press directly against the legs, and it doesn't take too much pressure for them to hold. I'm mounting close to 50lbs on the CGE. No slippage of the tripod legs.

Check out the thread here

Note in the pic, the pressure pad on the right - you can see where the bolt did at one time press against the pad a slip. I'm better those pads your issue, but the only way to know is to get in there and look.

Attached Files



#19 darylf96

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 11:29 PM

David:

Exactly which cable did you buy on the site? I just ordered two sets of the CAT5e Super Flat shielded patch cord, 2" and 3". Hope I ordered the right stuff!

Daryl

#20 darylf96

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 01:35 AM

Dr Buck:

Setting up in daylight ain't so bad, but breaking down at 4am when you are tired, it's dark, and you fear dropping a crucial nut or screw, then find that everything is coveed with dew that you must eliminate before packing up - then trying to drive home on winding roads hoping not to hit another deer - it takes either dedication or lost grey matter to engage in this crazy hobby!

Daryl

#21 David Pavlich

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 08:16 AM

David:

Exactly which cable did you buy on the site? I just ordered two sets of the CAT5e Super Flat shielded patch cord, 2" and 3". Hope I ordered the right stuff!

Daryl


I ordered the stuff that's first on the price list at the bottom of the page. The second is the same, just industrial strength. :grin: Frankly, it's so inexpensive, I order 2 of each.

David

#22 tjensen

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 08:33 AM

Hi All
Well you were right... reset fixed it. I just haven't used the mount enough to know the ins and outs yet. Got the Polar alignment done on the weekend and I've got some preliminary images to work on over the next few days. It's going to be clear for another day or two so I want to capture as many photons as possible before getting deeply into the processing.

Tonight is PEC training while I wait for the Triplet to cross the meridian (I still have to get used to that).

My LX200GPS was too twitchy for good long exposure AP. Even after a Supercharge. So I got the CGE to go on my new pier in the hopes of having a more stable, reliable platform. I think it will work well once I've crested the learning curve and have it well aligned and trained.

I'll keep you posted.

BTW, speaking of imaging (I know, wrong forum... but just a quick question)... it seems like Saturn is a bit "flat" to me these days (low contrast on surface features, not much detail to be seen)... Does anyone else think so?

Cheers
Tim

#23 David Pavlich

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:51 PM

Hey...great news, Tim! In all the time I had a CGE, I used the reset once and it worked. I also did the same with my LXD75. Should'a thought of it before. :foreheadslap:

Anyway, glad you're back in the saddle, as it were.

David

#24 darylf96

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 12:51 AM

Tim;

i will get back to you when I check out Saturn. Last year on a good night of seeing, I had unbelievable views of Saturn with my 6 inch achro - no fringing at all and fabulous detail and very true color rendering. Some friends shared my view and said it was the best they had ever seen. I'm afraid Saturn is not nearly as well placed this year, which is probably why your views are not so great. Really glad you fixed your problem with the CGE, Tim! Re the "reset" are you talking about resetting to factory settings? I do that everytime the mount starts pointing everywhere but where I expect it to go!

Daryl

#25 darylf96

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 12:55 AM

David:

Yeah, I bought two sets of each length from the 2nd page, bought the shielded type, which I hope will work OK. I have had problems with the stock cables, so I hope that these will help. Actually, I have new cables I got from ScopeStuff I haven't used yet, but youe enthusiasm for these flat cables gave me the urge to buy 'em.

Clear Skies!
Daryl






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