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CGEM: Hypertune or Repair?

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#1 abrock5

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:49 PM

I've had it with my CGEM. It will no longer align. I've quadruple checked all of the usual things. My date, time, DST, time zone, and location are all correct. I've tried a factory reset 3 times. The mount is perfectly level, but it just won't align. I use a 2+4 method and for about a year everything worked perfectly. However, about 2 months ago, my mount went completely stupid. It just does not come close to putting the alignment/calibration stars in the finder scope, let alone the eyepiece.

So my question is, should I have it repaired at Celestron or get it Hypertuned? I know hypertuning in itself is not a repair, but I had always planned to get it HT'd eventually. I read on their website that repairs may cost extra so does this mean they will do repairs as well as the HT service? My other option is send it to the Big C for repairs, wait 3 months, get it back, then send it off to get hypertuned. This seems like a lot of downtime to me. Any thoughts on which option I should go with?

#2 MHamburg

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:53 PM

Have you checked all the cable connections? There have been reports of loose and/or misaligned pins on some of the connectors.
Michael :question:

#3 abrock5

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:00 PM

I haven't checked any internal connections yet. Would that just involve taking off the "faceplate" (for lack of a better term) and giving everything a thorough inspection?

Also, this is not a warranty situation so either way I go, everything will be out of pocket...if that changes anyone's point of view.

#4 Adam E

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:23 PM

HyperTuning / Supercharging / Performance Tuning, whatever you want to call it, is a mechanical thing. It sounds like your problem is electronic in nature, so I don't think any of the aforementioned would help you.

The connector on the cord that runs from the hand controller to the mount can be accessed by removing the six screws from the back of the hand controller and removing the back cover. I recently took mine off because the cord had pulled significantly through the backplate to the point that I saw colored wires vise the outer shroud of the coiled cable on the back of my HC. IMO, the design is poor becasue, over time, the coiled cord will probably pull through the back cover just like mine did. That directly pulls on the connector that connects the cord to the HC itself.

You didn't mention if you had tried updating (or re-uploading) the hand controller and motor controller firmware for the mount. In addition to taking a peek inside the back of the hand controller, I would try updating / re-uploading your firmware. Maybe something is corrupted.

I think I would hold sending the mount off to the Big C repair department (I think some around these parts call that place limbo) as a last resort.

#5 BlueGrass

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:29 PM

Agree with Adam. Try a re-flash of the HC and MC firmware to the latest versions. After those are updated, do a factory reset and see if that helps.

Getting the mount HyperTuned won't necessarily improve your alignment / goto accuracy but if you have severe binding or stiction prroblems, then that could be the probelm. If the mount moves freely through both axis, it does sound like a HC / electrical problem. Good luck.

#6 Adam E

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:29 PM

Oooh, just thought of this one too. If you have a local astronomy club, you could try to get another CGEM owner to loan you their HC for a test. If the mount works fine with a different HC, then you know where the problem lies.

The other alternative would be to buy a second hand controller. It's 150 Bucks, but that's probably cheaper than Celestron repair and a whole lot faster.

#7 bbbri

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:39 PM

If it is still under the 2 year Celestron warranty, you may want to send it to them for repair. Otherwise, you can contact the hypertune people to see if they can help you with your problem.

#8 abrock5

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:14 PM

OK, so I've also heard that Celestron repair is the land of the lost. Also, my 2 year warranty is up so I will consider Celestron as a last resort for now. I have not updated either the HC or MC firmware simply because, up until now, my mount always worked so well out of the box. My thoughts about updating firmware have always been "If it's not broken, don't fix it." So this has given me some good troubleshooting tips. Tomorrow I'll check the wiring and update everything and give it one last test on a clear night.

One quick question: If I update the firmware and then do a factory reset, will I lose my updates?

#9 Adam E

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:20 PM

What do you you mean by "updates?"

If you upload new firmware for the HC and MC, you basically are performing a factory reset by default. All of your user-entered data will be lost such as location, time, any custom entered parameters or settings, etc...

#10 abrock5

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:24 PM

Yeah, I was referring to the firmware as updates...my bad.

#11 ScottD

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:24 PM

One of the other things you may want to consider is your power source. I've seen similar issues with my CPC when running on DC with a weak battery or on AC when I had a problem with the power supply. If you have a voltmeter, it may be worth checking your power source.

#12 abrock5

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:26 PM

Thanks Scott, I had considered that as well. However, I have run the mount off of both a fully charged deep cycle battery and a power outlet plugged into the wall, so I think I can pretty much rule that out for the time being.

#13 Adam E

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:28 PM

I don't know why I keep thinking about this, maybe something feels wrong about sighting in on the electronics...

Have you seen this little blurb from Celestron: 'Calibrate Mount' Utility

I, personally, have never seen it before reading it a few minutes ago. Sounds like it may be worth a go, though.

Actually, now that I'm reading it over for the first time in a while, Celestron has added a ton of stuff to their FAQ / Support List






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