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Celestron CGE lockup

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#1 DrBuck

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 11:57 AM

I have had a continuing problem with my CGE over the past 16 months. After using it for several hours during the night, the handcontroller locks up. None of the keys work at all. If I turn the unit off or unplug it from the pier, the word initializing appears for a split second but it goes completely blank with just the background light on. Turning it on and off half a dozen times does no good. This forces me to manually put the scope in its home position which loses all tracking info. By the next morning, I turn it back on and it works fine. How many of you have to heat your HC after several hours of use?? Anyone else having this problem?. It spent over 4 months back at Celestron last year. They replaced the HC first, then kept the whole unit for nearly 2 months and could not find the problem. Then after sending it back again, they replaced all the electronics in the pier but just last week it did the same exact thing again and the temp was only 40 degrees. :confused:

#2 Asimov

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:31 PM

Yes, I've had that problem, as well as many others too numerous to mention. That's really telling me something! Celestron keeping the mount for over 4 months!? As well as the other details you mention. :foreheadslap:

What a nightmare. I wouldn't know what to suggest at this stage apart from check all cable connections, check the boards for fizzled chips, the list goes on. Suffice to say I know EXACTLY how you feel.

This thread might help & it might not too!

http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

#3 Asimov

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:00 PM

I just remembered something. Once it has failed to initialize & you have the blank screen hit 'UNDO' several times. Eventually the display should come up with something.

#4 DrBuck

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:24 PM

Thanks for your reply. Actually due to sending the HC back and the actual unit itself being sent back 3 times, the total amount was 5 months, but not longer than 50 days at a time and that was last summer. When it locks up, none of the keys work, I must have punched UNDO a 100 times during the glitch. I just wonder how much temperature has to do with it. I know that my Meade LX 200 HC worked at 8 degrees above zero!! I am waiting for Celestron to respond to my claim of invoking the Lemon Law and get a full value refund or trade in on a CGE pro. (maybe the pro is better)! :grin: :grin:

#5 Eddgie

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 05:45 PM

I have had this problem twice over serveral years. I did a "Reset" and the problem would go away.

Also, check the grounding of the DEC and RA cables. The cables ground out though the shell of the connector. If the ground is flakey, you can get weird symptoms.

Good luck.

#6 Asimov

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 05:58 PM

Well seeing you've had all the electronics replaced once before I'd say it's basically already replaced. How many lemons can one get in a row I wonder?? ;)

Anyway, I don't think the HC gets overly temp. effected. I imaged with mine in winter in WV for the first 18 months & the only thing I saw was the scrolling read out was slower than normal.

#7 CounterWeight

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 01:54 AM

I had an issue something like that, replaced the cord going to the HC and it stopped happening. Does it only happen after you handle the controller or just all by it's self?

#8 Bitfodder

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 02:56 PM

My HC did many funky things during long sessions. I turned the mount off and back on to get it going.

Another issue I had was a "receiving data" message on power-up. I clipped the mod plug and put on a new one and that solved this issue. After that it was fine even on the longer sessions.

#9 DrBuck

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:17 PM

How does one do a reset when none of the keys on the HC work? I have replaced every cable and the HC itself has been replaced, but the problem keeps happening. I left a message on the Celestron supervisors phone who is familiar with my problem on Monday, also sent a detailed e-mail on Monday, talked with technical support on Tuesday and Thursday, left another message on the supervisors phone on thurday------------here it is friday morning and I still have not heard a word from them.

#10 Asimov

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:28 PM

I think you'd better invoke that lemon law yourself..

#11 DrBuck

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:43 PM

If I don't get an answer from them today, I will invoke the lemon law----just have to find out how??

#12 Asimov

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:03 PM

Well I know what I'd be doing If I were within driving distance of Celestron lol..

#13 DrBuck

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 01:17 PM

Well I know what I'd be doing If I were within driving distance of Celestron lol..

Unfortunately they are about 9 hours away. This morning I opened the observatory and did a tour of about 9 objects, found Jupiter (during the day) and then put the hand controller in a small ice chest with gel packs around it. after 10 minutes it was still working perfectly, but after 20-25 minutes it quit working and locked up again exactly as before---nothing worked. I then heated it with a hair dryer until it felt quite warm, left it sit for another 20 minutes, turned it off and on, unplugged and replugged it in all three ports, jiggeld every wire I could but nothing would bring it back to life. So, I then put the scope in home position manually, put everything away. Closed the roof of the OBS., turned it back on again and it worked just fine. It may or may not have gone dead due to cold temperature or maybe just the amount of time that it was on. I am beginning to suspect that it has something to do with one of the position sensors, since it seems to come back quickly after repositioning the scope manually. WHO KNOWS AT THIS POINT. At least now I know that warming it does not bring it back to life. :tonofbricks:

#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 03:31 PM

Replacement hand controllers are in short supply, allegedly due to a bad batch of them and the need to replace so many. Maybe put in an order for a new hand controller?

Cheers,

Jim

#15 drksky

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 03:59 PM

In stock at OPT right now, if you believe their web site.

#16 Asimov

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 01:25 AM

I don't actually believe the HC is the fault but I could be wrong. I was having much the same symptoms at one stage (as recorded in my thread) but it turned out not to be the HC.

At least you only seem to be getting ONE error, which can make it easier to diagnose..

#17 DrBuck

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 04:50 PM

I seriously doubt that its the hand controller since its been replaced at least twice. (or so I was told). It has never given me an error number or anything like that ----it just stops working---------The Supervisor at Celestron is supposed to call me tomorrow---------we'll see what happens then.

#18 DrBuck

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:10 PM

Well, today, I called Celestrons technical support and asked for one of the tech guys, The first tech guy I talked to said that his supervisor would be calling me shortly about the problem. Was around 3:20 pm. I waited until 5 pm and no call from the supervisor and no e-mail either. It has now been a week since I left a message on the supervisors phone mail. ------ya think i'm being given the runaround??????

#19 Asimov

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:14 AM

I'll have to think about your question for about .2 of a millisecond...

#20 DrBuck

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 10:20 AM

I'll have to think about your question for about .2 of a millisecond...

Its actally worse than that. They said that they have done everything required under the warranty and will not be offering exchange or replacement for a mount that is working properly.------They believe that I am making all this up I guess since they could not reproduce the problem at the factory. I guess I will just have to use it until it quits again and then see what they have to say. May have to get a lawyer-------

#21 DrBuck

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 10:25 AM

They may think that i am trying to scam them since I suggested that they take it in on trade for a CGE pro.-- I only did that to offer an easy way out of this situation, but I would really rather not spend the extra 2600 dollars at least to get it set up in the observatory----I just want mine to work as advertised----------

#22 Asimov

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 04:40 AM

Well if it's an intermittent problem (which it is) Celestron need to take this into account & respond in the necessary fashion/conduct the necessary tests based on an intermittent problem rather than hope 'you'll just go away'..

#23 Eddgie

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:17 AM

I still think your problem lies with the contacts for the DEC and RA cables in the semi-pier, or the grouding.

There have been a few cases were people have esentially rebuilt their CGE mounts using after=market connectors (and this is a big job that I DON'T recommend unless you have some soldering skill and light mechanical ability) and in those cases, ALL of the ills of the CGE erratic behavior have COMPLETELY disappeared. I have seen the reports right here on these forums with a link to a page that showed the modifications.

I have also had different mounts over the years that had problems with the spring contacts in the female RJ connectors. In some mounts, I have had to actually reach under these contacts with a tool with a tiny hook at the end (the tool is called a Spring Hook) and GENTLY reform the contacts that press up against the male jack on the cable. This has cured at least two LXD-55s of intermittent problems, and one CG5 ASGT.

You might also try a contact cleaner called DeuxIT This is a contact cleaner.

I think that the problem is that RJ type jacks were never really intended for use outside, and they are supposed to be "Self Cleaning" which means that when you and re-insert the connector, the contacts are supposed to "Wipe" against one another. The problem that I see is that these contacts are used in an environment where dewing is likely and corrosion may build up on the contacts. Just a guess. I don't know for sure, but I DO know that I have had a problem with several mounts from both Celestron and Meade in this area.

DeoxIT is available from Parts Express and locally at Radio Shack or Fry's Electronics.

Good luck.

#24 Cotts

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:30 AM

Dr.: I'm a 'cup-half-full' sort of fellow so I'm going to assume that Celestron will eventually give you recompense. Assuming they do may I suggest (in no particular order), Losmandy, AP, Takahashi, Mountain Instruments etc., etc.

If I ever received treatment like that from a company it would be the last time they would EVER see me.

Be sure to tell them about this thread, too.

Good Luck

Dave

#25 CounterWeight

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 01:05 PM

A way around any soldering, is the Gary Bennett upgrade to the cabling. Folks who have installed it swear by it. Caveat - yes I do have one for slae in the S&S. I bought one, but ended up not installing it as I moved away from the CGE mount, and the ?support? given, and the company.

If it's (whatever the cause) not the section cabling/interconnection for the motion heads electronically that is causing the issue, he's still got a showstopping intermittant problem. The HC goes through one pass thru board (the one it connects to on the pier - not a shield ground use conx) and to the NXW 432 board again passed thru (this is the power connx board with the battery) then to the M/C board. There is some logic on the 432 board that may affect it I think? Here's an image of the back...

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