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VX Mount - HC dead

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:02 PM

So it's been raining here for like a week. Bought a new IDAS P2 filter. Go outside and it's a clear night and get excited to try out the new filter. Set everything up (PITA). Turn on mount, get red light, HC doesn't light up and nothing on the LCD. I tried both battery and a/c and get nothing. What a waste of a good night...

I sent an e-mail to support and after some research seems like I need a new HC. Mount has been great up until tonight. Depressed and mad...was going to travel to a dark site tonight, but got held up working on the house.

Is there a reset on the HC? Seems like there should be some kind of reset button. Is there a procedure like holding a button then powering on?

#2 SeattleScott



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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:24 AM

That stinks. But you realize that eq mounts can actually be used without the computer, right? Rumor is Galileo didn't have a computerized goto mount. Sure, work on getting a new hand controller. But no need for the scope to gather dust while you wait.

I have found Celestron customer service quite good.

#3 Raginar


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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:43 AM

How do you use it without a HC? :) It's going to be real tough manuevering around with just the clutches disengaged.

I don't suppose it's just the HC LCD? Maybe you can still use it as a pass through for computer control?

#4 MartinTreadgold


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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:43 AM

how does the RJ-11 plug look like.. any damage on:-

- The socket on the HC?
- The RJ-11 plug into the HC?
- The Socket on the VX mount?
- The RJ-11 plug into the VX mount?

could also just be the cable, make sure you return the cable also...

Best Regards




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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:02 AM

Thanks for the ideas..

1. All connections look good
2. Last time I used it - week ago the mount worked great
3. I realize you can still view with the clutches, but wanted to take pictures (new filter)
4. To make things even worse I have a new scope coming on Monday - will use the clutches until it is fixed

Does anyone know which pins are for power? I can check the plug on the mount to see if its getting power. Hope its not the main board and just the HC - suspect HC since I got the power light on the mount. Either way I went to bed not happy, but realize there are many things that could be worse. Just sucks to not take advantage of a nice clear sky. I will call Celestron on Monday. If it's the HC I may buy a spare to have just in case. I would be super *BLEEP* if I went to a dark site and this same situation happened.

#6 bunyon



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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:25 AM

Unfortunately, the newer computerized mounts don't include slow-motion controls so they're extremely hard to use without the computer. I suppose one could hack them to add such controls but it would be tough and void the warranty.

I realize it wouldn't be good to make and sell a mount with a backup failsafe for the computer but, for visual use, it would be nice.

#7 Whichwayisnorth


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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:22 PM

Just an FYI. This seems to be an issue that happens more than it should. I had a dead HC to which required replacement. Several others here on CN reported the same. It is just the HC btw. I can connect my SkyQ to it and move the mount around but unfortunately the VX firmware tells SkyQ that it is a Alt/Az mount not a GEM so it is not compatible until they fix the bug. Which BTW should have been fixed by now but I guess their firmware people have been pulled to the CGEM to fix other issues. Do you hear me Celestron? I want to use my SKYQ addon that is worthless until you fix it!

Anyways, nothing you can do but get celestron to send you a new HC. They will tell you they are going to "test" the new one for a few days before they send it. Keep the pressure on. Explain you are busy with outreach and have plans that are going to be canceled. Whatever you need to say to get them to push it.

For the record my replacement HC hasn't had any problems thus far.

#8 SeattleScott



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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:29 PM

It isn't that hard to do fine movement with an eq mount without the motors. You just apply some tension on the axes. You know, just partially engage the clutches. It is pretty much the same as using a Dob in that respect. Sure, I do normally plug in and take advantage of my mount's tracking and use the HC for fine movement. Otherwise I could save money and get a Dob. That being said, there have been nights when my battery died or I forgot the power cable, and I was still able to make a good evening of stargazing out of it. Not ideal, but not a reason to waste a good night of seeing.



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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:13 PM

Great advice...thank you

I am going to purchase another HC as a spare. Not cheap, but if this ever happens again I will have something to use during replacement. I assume it's going to take a week or two for my replacement. Spare will be here on Wednesday.

#10 bayleyjordan


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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:02 PM

My vx HC died on my first real viewing session too. I set it up inside the day I got it, worked fine. Took it out on Friday, first clear night, HC died right after I got it aligned. Extremely disappointed. Calling hps and celestron in the morning.

#11 SeattleScott



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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:40 PM

Probably not a bad idea to get a spare. My HC went on the fritz once, right as Jupiter reached opposition. Without tracking I couldn't zoom in as much. Flashing the bios fixed it a few days later.

#12 dgcms


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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:59 PM

Same thing happened to me. HC died the 3rd time I used it. No display, no response to any push buttons, completely dead. Got a new one shipped to me and haven't had a problem since. Good luck.

#13 SteveSMS


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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:22 AM


I too have been in the dead VX HC situation. I had a very nice experience with Celestron's customer service despite my dismay that a brand new piece of equipment failed. They replaced the HC immediately with zero cost to me. I've used the new HC several times with no problems.

Clear Skies,


#14 Brian Risley

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:25 AM

It would be interesting to compare serial #'s on the mounts for those that had a dead HC just after purchase.



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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:33 PM

Just got my replacement HC. Works perfect now. Contacted Celestron and they are going to replace the dead HC. Took 15 minutes on hold, but they were very nice and offered to replace it no questions asks other than to mail them the old back. I feel better now having a spare. Weird how some many users are having the same issue. Hope the spare/replacement lasts. Where is the serial number located on the mount?

#16 jrbarnett


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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:04 PM

Yep. Bad batch of HCs shipping with the VXs currently. You are not alone. Typical Celestron half-butted QC. They'll eventually sort it out. If it's a new mount, and you bought from a reputable dealer, send it back for another. Do this until you find one with a working HC. Celestron will move a little faster if it has a dozen dealers inundating it with returned mounts.

Let me say that Celestron has the best values in mounts today, but they also seem to stumble on QC and sit back and wait for returns rather than acknowledging a problem and proactively shipping replacement HCs to dealers.



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