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Feel so stupid!

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#1 Hilmi

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:25 AM

My mount battery was running low (the memory back up battery on the main Gemini II unit). So I went out shopping for batteries, you have no idea how hard it is to find CR 2354 in retail. I got back home, disconnected all the cables and installed the new battery then hooked up the cables again and started rebuilding my model.

I spent 3 hours trying to figure out why the mount kept on pointing far off from where it was supposed to go. I re-entered the location several times, no luck. I checked the time. I formatted the memory and re-installed the firmware. I did the obligatory sacrificial chicken all to no avail. Then all of the sudden I noticed that i had the Dec and Ra cables swapped :foreheadslap:

My mount has been so well behaved since the latest firmware update and replacement of warm gear, but I had already gotten used to blaming the mount for all the problems, so it never crossed my mind that this could be a user generated error :o

#2 David Pavlich

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:43 AM

:lol: Much more common then you think. Of course, I would never do something like that. :whistle: :wron: :grin:

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#3 Raginar

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:47 AM

:D I think we've all been there.

#4 kolsen

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:30 AM

I did the same thing after updating to the latest firmware. Instead of looking at the obvious I blamed it on the new firmware. It sure works great when you plug in the right cable... :grin:

#5 MHamburg

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:33 AM

So I finally got my CGEM all put back together with some help from Ed Thomas and grabbed a few hours of cloudless sky to polar align and calibrate go-to. No matter how I tried to polar align using the drift method (which I had been successful at in the past)the target star(s) wouldn't stay still. I was stumped and chilled. It wasn't until I was driving home (my observatory is 3 1/2 hours away)that it dawned on me that Ed had probably turned the tracking off to work on the mount. I am returning this weekend to see if I'm right (I hope!)

Michael :foreheadslap: :praying:

#6 CharlesW

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:02 AM

I feel your pain. Could you color code the connectors? I look for any way I can idiot-proof my equipment against me. Doesn't always work, I just destroyed my cheap inverter by hooking it up bassackwards. No color coding yet.

#7 Hilmi

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:51 AM

Color coding! I love the idea. I won't use stickers since they make a mess in the heat in Oman. I'll go steal some of my wife's nail polish.

#8 Raginar

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:40 AM

Charles, that's a great idea! Time to rob my wife's scrap booking supplies...

#9 WesC

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 01:27 PM

I've always wondered why the cables aren't color coded or the connectors shaped differently so this doesn't happen.

#10 csrlice12

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 01:36 PM

Hilmi and Chris: Even though you're on opposite sides of the planet, wife's aren't different.....NEVER steal their beauty or hobby supplies...just a word of experience.....

#11 Hilmi

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:02 PM

I'm not too worried, I just got her a $150 face cream and offered to buy her a gold necklace (in preparation for the GSO RC8 scope I just placed an order for). I'm sure I'll be forgiven the nail polish as long as it is done before the scope arrives.

#12 buddyjesus

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:55 PM

sticker tags would clarify that for you and speed up your setting up.

#13 Hilmi

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:41 PM

Glue from stickers starts to spread and make a mess when weather outside gets around 120 F

#14 urbanMark

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 01:58 AM

Color coding! I love the idea. I won't use stickers since they make a mess in the heat in Oman. I'll go steal some of my wife's nail polish.


Better yet, get some colored shrink tubing. Not sure what outlets you have for electronics supply over there, but I'm certain you can find shrink tubing in dozens of colors in any corner of the world these days. I've used this method to label cables in a recording studio - and believe me there are a lot of cables to keep track of in a studio. I did the same with my G-11 Ra/Dec cables - Red for "R"a, and Blue for Dec.

#15 Maverick199

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:54 AM

We all have had our moments of stupidity, like wondering why the scope is not slewing when all along the diagonal base was hitting the H/C support.

#16 Hilmi

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:03 AM

Red for "R"a, and Blue for Dec.


I'm sure the wife can find a color that starts with the letter D. Till I got married I never knew there was a color starting with the letter F.


Jokes aside, I like your idea of heat shrinking tube. I'll go dig up my supplies and see what colors I have in that size!

#17 ASTERON

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:45 AM

Hilmi,
If ya cant find the right colored shrinkwrap how about tying the leg of the Sacrificial Chicken to the RA cable? that should make it quite visible to the naked eye and very distinguishable from the DEC cable :foreheadslap:

This reminds me of the joke about the guy who couldn't distinguish his right hand from his left hand, so his mother put a "Batata" (sweet Potato) in his right hand and a "bandoura" (Tomato) in his left hand and he never mixed left and right again (as long as he was still holding the vegetables).
:step:
If I had a dollar for each time I switched cable polarities on something electrical I would be very rich :rofl5:

#18 urbanMark

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:52 PM

If I had a dollar for each time I switched cable polarities on something electrical I would be very rich :rofl5:


You and I may not be very rich, but the semiconductor companies that get to make replacement parts every time we fry something (by hooking up cables wrong) certainly are. :(

Swapped cables, power not turned on (or connected), units set to "bypass" mode, I swear I have no idea what you guys are talking about. :whistle:

BTW - another option to shrink tubing - some connectors are available with colored hoods. Of course this doesn't help if the cable is already constructed. Here is a photo from several years back when I had a Gemini 1 w/ RJ-45 connectors. These cables were easy to make and colored hoods were/are available. Unfortunately I didn't consult my wife (or Hilmi's) to find a suitable "D" color...

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