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Autostar 497 Shuts off While slewing

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#1 Pcolon1

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:41 AM

Hey everyone,

I have a LX90 8"LNT on a wedge and have recurring problem with my 497 handbox. Whenever slewing anywhere within 10 degrees of zenith the handbox will lose power. It's not cord wrap as I have led indicators on the cables stating it has power and the power buttin LED is still lit. I have to turn it off and wiggle the cables to the handbox and base and turn it back on. It's frustrating because it loses it's position everytime and I have to go through polar alignment any time. I'm curious to see if you guys have any experience with this problem or know how to fix. I think it may be the connection between the fork mount and the cable. Is it possible that the board is moving around on the inside of the fork? I'm at a loss. It's ruining my evenings.

Thanks in advance!
Philip

#2 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:47 PM

Besides a cable connector problem or power cord problem, it could be a loose connection inside a cable connector end.

It could also be a cold solder joint on a socket on a circuit board inside of the RA or Dec motor housing.

#3 cavefrog

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:46 PM

you might narrow down which wire it is by wiggling only one connector and try turning it on again. reitteration of this might find the culprit. also, just try turning it off and back on again without touching anything. see if you can do something that will repeat everytime.

hope this helps.

Theo

#4 orion61

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:59 PM

Do you leave it outside?
Radio Shack sells really good electronics contact cleaner/lube..
be ready cause it is about 10.00 a can.

#5 Pcolon1

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:03 AM

So I found the problem. The connection for the handbox on the fork arm is loose. Now it makes sense since the led for power is still on and the autostar controller shuts off and loses it's alignment. When I pull down on the cable the connection is good. When I pull up on it, the connection is lost. The pins lose contact with the cable. Will cleaning it work? Or am I destined to use a rubber band forever? It's kind of annoying that I have to watch what I'm doing so it won't lose connection. I tried to take a composite image of the moon and only got one decent section before I packed up. Too cold and frustrating.

Thanks for all the help so far!

Philip

#6 highertheflyer

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:18 AM

Hi Phillip.
My suggestion would be to carefully look into the HBX connection on the mount using a strong flashlight.
And a curved pointed tip tool, lift the brass connector wires up and away from their connector.
Pry them and lift them out of the channel they lay and make them stand up, just a bit.
Of course power will be off!
Then re-insert the cable end and you will find more resistance, press the cable connector into its latched position.
This should solve the problem.
Jim

#7 Pcolon1

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 03:01 PM

Do I run the risk of breaking them? If I do, is the connection replaceable?

#8 highertheflyer

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 05:07 PM

The little wires are quite strong and a bit of a pull on each to extend them outward will not harm a thing.
Give it a try with perhaps a small wire with a hook formed on the end.
Jim

#9 cavefrog

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:16 PM

A dental pick works good for this.

#10 orion61

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:30 PM

Be careful, I broke the connectors on mine for the same reason. I ended up replacing the socket on my handset.
The connectors were loose and corroded. I bought the mount used, and the guy I bought it from used to leave it outside.
He swore it was fine. this is why I never leave my stuff out!
I have a Compustar 14 that is 24 yrs old and is mint condition!
I have extra sockets if you need one. De solder the pins and use small solder, and be careful.
If you need one just let me know. It is a lot cheaper than replacing the electronics.

#11 Pcolon1

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:53 PM

So I ended up wrapping the handbox cord around the base one and a half times and that seems to do the trick to get me through the night. I'd still like to have a fully functioning scope. I don't have any experience soldering. How would you suggest I go about this? How can I get some sockets from you?






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