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Is my CGE toast?

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#1 Steve Fisher

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:03 PM

Well, over the years there have been hundreds of threads and countless posts about CGE problems. I think I have read most of them but after three years on a used CGE I'm having some problems.

I started having some problems getting an alignment success last week. First I checked my power supply and find that I have 12 volts in a good supply. Seems to be a good tight fit at the electronics pier as well.

The cables I have used for three years are not "flat Marty cables" but have worked flawlessly for three years. I ordered new Marty cables and received them yesterday.

Last night I went out and set up with the new cables. When doing a two star alignment the scope slewed to Arcturus almost perfectly, then Altair and asked the usual about calibration stars. I do not remember what the first calib star was but where the scope ended up pointing was no where near a bright star. It was a very dark part of the sky with no star to align on.

I decided to start over. Turned off the power and started over double checked location, time, daylight time etc. and everything was in order. I did a solar system alignment and picked Jupiter. The scope slewed to a location very close to Jupiter. I centered the planet and got "alignment success" So I got to observe Jupiter for a while. I asked it to slew to the moon and it started to slew but ended up no where near the moon.

Started over a third time. Turned off the power and turned it back on again and low and behold Polaris was still dead center at the starting position. (good eh)? Now Arcturus is too far West. First alignment star is now Vega. I pressed enter to slew to Vega and for a few seconds it slewed at high speed but slowed to a guiding speed shortly after starting the slew. Finally after several minutes it was near (very near) Vega. I centered the star and went on to the second star. Denub I believe? It is not important. What is important other than the slewing speed is that the first calibration star was not even in the same hemisphere. WAY off.

Same or similar problems over and over for hours.

So, long story short what I see is.

Motors are working.
Encoders seem to be functional but maybe that is what slowed the slew?
Cables are new and worked the same with the old ones.
Power supply seems more than adequate.
Tracking is right on like always.
Doesn't seem to be any exceptional backlash or any other mechanical problems.

The handset had some challenges when I bought it three years ago, crooked display and several burned out lights in number keys but has worked well for three years. It has been updated to the latest updates. 4.16? I'm going from memory here but it is the latest and most up to datest.

So, after reading all my typing what do you think? I have a friend with a Celestron SE. Should I try his handset on my mount or is that asking for more trouble for me and him?

Well let me know what you think and thank you in advance.

#2 David Pavlich

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:06 PM

Celestron and Meade seem to have a penchant for going off the deep end. I still own a Meade and had a couple of CGEs. My fallback was to to do a system reset. Put the electronics back to default settings and start over. A pain, yes, but if you aren't having a power delivery problem, this usually fixes it.

David

#3 Steve Fisher

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:10 PM

David:

That is a great start. Thank you! It didn't even cross my mind since I'm still po'd from last night. Do you have to update the firmware after a reset? You do that from the Celestron download right?

#4 jbattleson

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:36 PM

No, a reset will not effect the firmware.

#5 Steve Fisher

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:46 PM

John:

Thanks! I've been doing some reading. It has been quite a while since my last update but I found some info on the updates and on the reset. I don't know how I will do my next update since I don't have anything with a 9 pin sr. port anymore. :grin:

Looks like a simple thing except for digging out all the coordinates of the favorites I have entered in the past.

Thanks again to both. I'll keep you posted after I reset.

#6 BillStar

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:49 AM

FWIW, I would NOT try the SE hand control.

#7 tomo

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:27 AM

Steve,

I agree with David's idea of a factory default setting refresh. I had almost identical problems to you and the reset done the trick. My closest guess to what was going on was that my control software (Stellarium) was sending it "bad" config data somehow and even though this was not evident from looking at the HC, it did affect the sky map in the CGE brain.

Good luck.

#8 mclewis1

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 07:07 AM

So, after reading all my typing what do you think? I have a friend with a Celestron SE. Should I try his handset on my mount or is that asking for more trouble for me and him?

Steve, No that's not a good idea. You could use the HC if you flashed new firmware into it but just plugging it into your CGE isn't a good idea. I'm not sure what would happen but the HC isn't going to be happy talking with a pair of MCs that identify themselves as CGE.


I think you should be considering the following ... (in relative order of importance or complexity, or in the order that I'd do them ... :grin:)

Factory Settings reset
Swap the power cable (or check it out very carefully)
Do the aluminum foil upgrade to the RJ45 connections (add a little foil around the plug to ensure a solid electrical and physical connection down in the socket.
Run the mount from Nexremote (bypassing your HC).
Another look at the internal connections.

#9 Bill Cowles

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:56 AM

I changed my mind, your friend. :smirk:

Bill

#10 Steve Fisher

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:40 AM

Thanks guys!

I'll be out tonight and will try a couple of these things out.

Bill:

"chicken"!

#11 MikeML

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:50 PM

FWIW. Have used a CGE for the past 6 years, had 2 problems. One was cable connection, replaced with Marty's cables the other required reflashing the hand control.

#12 Steve Fisher

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:23 PM

FWIW. Have used a CGE for the past 6 years, had 2 problems. One was cable connection, replaced with Marty's cables the other required reflashing the hand control.


Thanks Mike:

I'll know this evening if it is :bawling: or :jump:

#13 BlueGrass

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 04:08 PM

I'm not clear about the caution not to use another HC for testing. Does the CGE use a different handset or cable interface? I'm fairly sure that I've swapped my CG5 and CGEM HCs around and the CG5 unit identified itself correctly as a CGEM. I may be wrong but it appears that it identifies the mount from the onboard mount firmware, not what's stored in the HC. You may have to do a factory reset, run through mount calibration, etc. ... Someone have a different experience?
:question:

#14 jrcrilly

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 05:47 PM

I'm not clear about the caution not to use another HC for testing. Does the CGE use a different handset or cable interface?


All of the German EQ mounts use the same firmware. The various alt/az mounts have their own.

#15 Steve Fisher

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:42 PM

GREAT JOY everyone.

Looks like a reset has done the trick. If you would have seen my CGE this morning you would not have believed it. I tore it down to just about "paint ready" I did not remove the bearings but I removed motors, swithches, anything that would come out easy. Cleaned the gears, added a little light lubrication, adjusted microswitches, just pimped and polished everything and finished just before sunset.

I went to a club outreach event around 7:00 just long enough to say hello to everyone and drum up support for my campaign for board member for 2011.

I got home about an hour ago and went through the alignment process with four calibration stars. PERFECT!!! Once again near perfect gotos and flawless tracking. I missed Io darting in front of Jupiter but I'm on my way out to watch the shaddow transit now.

We are ready for one last public star party for the Salt Lake Astronomical Society tomorrow night. (weather permitting)

Thanks everyone for your help and advice. I really appreciate it. Remember "reset".

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#16 jrbarnett

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:46 PM

Hip, hip, huzzah!

:thewave:

Regards,

Jim

#17 BlueGrass

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 01:09 AM

Steve, good to hear. Have to say, seeing that D&G in person, the pictures just don't relay the true size... :bow:

#18 Steve Fisher

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 12:11 PM

Thanks again you to all of you.

George:
You ought to see the 8". :grin:

#19 nemo129

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 12:44 PM

Nice picture...Wow!! 8" refractor!! :bow: The views must be stunning! Glad to hear you got the CGE issues sorted out!

#20 BlueGrass

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 03:48 PM

Maybe the next outing ... the view of Jupiter at Lakeside was simply great. Thanks! Here's one of the shots I took during everyone's setup....

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#21 Bill Cowles

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:32 PM

Has anybody seen my scope, I'm positive I loaded it into my van?

Bill

#22 BlueGrass

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 11:17 PM

:rofl2: :whee:

#23 mclewis1

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 08:46 AM

Has anybody seen my scope, I'm positive I loaded it into my van? Bill

Steve's D&G ate it ...

Uuuuuurrrp.

:grin:

#24 Steve Fisher

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 12:56 PM


:funny:

Thanks George!

That is a great picture. I just stole it. :grin:

#25 BlueGrass

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 01:35 PM

You're welcome. I like it because it gives us a true perspective of the size of your mounted D&G. Almost need a bigger truck Steve... :jump:






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