Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:56 PM
I have had one of these for a couple years, bought almost-new. Here are some general comments:
- just last week the power switch failed, costing me a night of observing. Fortunately I had read that this is a weak point of the mount so I took it apart and shorted the switch contacts together with soldered (large gauge) wire, and now just use the power socket as a "switch". My recommendation would be to leave the thirty-five cent switch "on" and plug/unplug for power control.
- The connectors on mine seem to be getting wonky. I get servo connect errors almost every time I take the mount out (at least this season) at some point. Fortunately I can press UNDO twice after an error, jiggle the cables, and try again. I have hit the connectors with contact cleaner with marginal results. This problem seems to've gotten worse over time and I still don't know where the problem is. (I use the Celestron add-on gizmo that allows PC control via some more ports - I'm not sure if the problem is in that but I suspect it's not.)
- Last week, after months of not using the mount, I took it out and did three successive alignments without getting good "gotos". However after a Factory Reset I had some of the best gotos I've had (i.e. several Messier and NGC objects were centered in my 80mm refractor/7mm Nagler EP after the go-to), over a wide swath of the sky. (2 Star Align, 1 Calibration Star, rough visual polar alignment through the mount's (optional) polar scope.) This happened to me at least once before so if things aren't working out, try the reset.
SO - I've had my share of problems but I still think the mount is a good value at its price point. At the moment I'm considering moving up to a CGEM but the weight aspect is putting me off - the AS-GT is pretty light and portable for what it can do. I have done some unguided and guided imaging with it with very satisfactory results.
Enjoy your new toy,
San Jose, CA