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Advanced VX errors

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#1 Holltim4103

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:30 PM

I just wanted to share my experience and see if anyone else has had similar errors. I have an Advanced VX mount with an Orion 8 inch reflector mounted on it. I have been really impressed with the mount - until now. It was simple to align and simple to set up the polar alignment. The second time I had it set up I was getting two minute subs through the 2 star alignment, 4 star calibration, polar align, then redoing the 2 star alignment and 4 star calibration. Tonight is the perfect night for viewing. Clear sky and no moon until 2:47AM. I brought out the mount, powered it on and got an error on the hand controller. It initially said "bootloader error 00A0." I updated the hand controlled but kept getting an error through the firmware update on my computer saying "device memory corrupted." I uninstalled the firmware update and reinstalled it and got it to update. I powered the mount on and got an error of no response 17 and then no response 16. I skipped through those errors and the hand controller read Advanced GT instead of the usual Advanced VX. I had no motor control on the hand controller. I shut the mount off, let it sit for a while unplugged and now after powering it on I am getting a bootloader error 0008. I called Celestron earlier in the day and they are already sending me a new hand controller. I am hoping by plugging in the new hand controller it will be fixed and up and running. I am so angry right now because I waited a whole month for the mount to ship/arrive and now I am having errors and the telescope is sitting inside on a perfectly clear night. Has anyone had a problem like this? If so did the hand controller fix the problem? What would cause a problem like this? I always have the mount powered to a GFCI protected outlet and use a surge protector.

#2 dragonslayer1

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:06 PM

I don't own the VX but for sure can sympathize with you, there is nothing worse than a good viewing night (sometimes very rare) and a scope that won't work, especially a brand new one.
Kasey

#3 pjensen

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:50 AM

What would cause a problem like this? I always have the mount powered to a GFCI protected outlet and use a surge protector.


What kind of power supply are you using? Have you checked the voltage?

#4 Holltim4103

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:50 AM

I am using the Celestron #18778 2.5 amp AC adapter. I just brought the mount out and tried the DC adapter that came with the mount and still have the error. I have not checked the voltage through the adapter though. The power is on and the hand controller shows me that I have the Advanced GT instead of the Advanced VX. I flashed the hand controller and it still shows the Advanced GT and I have no motor control.

#5 rmollise

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:15 AM

Is this a Plus HC or the older type? You did update it with the version appropriate for it, right (v4s for the old ones, v5s for the Plus)? If you flash a Plus HC with the v4.x firmware or vice-versa you are going to have heap big trouble. ;)

#6 Holltim4103

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:29 AM

Yes, this is a plus HC. I flashed it with the Celestron Firmware Manager 1.1.2361. I just checked the package folder in the CFM and all the files are version 5 for the Plus HC. You had me worried for a few minutes. :)

#7 bayleyjordan

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:33 PM

Just so you know, the new VX mount says it requires a 3.5amp power supply on celestron's specs page, which means adapters for the older CG5 mounts will no longer provide enough power to the new mount. I just bought a VX mount as well, and was using a 2.5amp power supply, and my HC simply quit turning on. No error codes, nothing. I realized the new 3.5amp power requirement after digging around on the internet (its not even mentioned in the manual if i recall correctly), and used a 3.5 amp DC power supply, but the HC was already fried. I got a new HC from the vendor and haven't had a problem since.

I know for sure that Celestron has had problems with the HCs sent out with the VX, as is documented quite a bit in these forums here, and I'm wondering how much of the problem could be attributed to it not being made very clear that the new VX requires a higher amp draw than the CG5. However, I am not an electrical engineer, maybe someone with more expertise could verify that a lower amp power supply can ruin electronics?

Good luck with your new HC.

#8 Holltim4103

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 02:13 PM

Thanks for pointing that out. When I ordered my mount and at NEAF, I was told that the 2.5amp was the adapter to go with but now looking at the specs I see the 3.5amp requirement. Astronomics lists the 5amp adapter as the correct adapter for the VX mount. I swear they didn't say Advanced VX a couple months ago when I was looking at the adapters trying to figure out which one to buy. I wonder if this is my issue. I just ordered the 5 amp adapter to use for the new hand controller. Thanks again, I would have used the same 2.5amp converter.

#9 rmollise

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 02:17 PM

Well, it's easy enough to find out. Use a battery, which will, if fully charged, supply whatever amount of current the mount needs... But, yes, the AC adapter that came with my VX is the 5 amp model...

#10 Holltim4103

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 02:21 PM

Just to follow up, I checked Celestron's site and it says the 2.5amp adapter is compatible with the Advanced VX and Celestron said the 2.5amp adapter is the correct one to go with. I will use the 5amp adapter just in case.

#11 bayleyjordan

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:17 PM

http://www.celestron...hmidt-casseg...

Power Requirements say 12vDC and 3.5amp

#12 Holltim4103

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:36 PM

Here is where I found Celestron stating the 2.5amp adapter is compatible with the VX mounts.
http://www.celestron...ac-adapter.html

I ordered the 5amp adapter anyway because I saw the specs that you pointed out.
http://www.celestron...em-cge-pro.html

#13 pjensen

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:43 PM

I know for sure that Celestron has had problems with the HCs sent out with the VX, as is documented quite a bit in these forums here, and I'm wondering how much of the problem could be attributed to it not being made very clear that the new VX requires a higher amp draw than the CG5. However, I am not an electrical engineer, maybe someone with more expertise could verify that a lower amp power supply can ruin electronics?


Ok, here are some guesses....

At a higher current, the power supply voltage would sag. This puts stress on the voltage regulator and the motor drive transistors.

Another possibility might be the lower voltage would not be sufficient to completely program the chip correctly (some bits not set) - so the HC programming would get hashed.

If it were me, I would use a fully charged 17ah battery and measure the current draw for slewing, tracking and re-programming.

#14 WesC

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:51 PM

Even though I knew that my CGEM requires a 5amp power supply, the day I got it I plugged in my 2.5amp model and it acted really bizarre and eventually started throwing codes at me too. These things are apparently very sensitive to power. Once I powered the CGEM from my Duracell DRPP600 it has run like a champ.

I'm pretty sure that's all you're dealing with.

#15 PaulN

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:42 PM

When I was waiting for my AVX to be delivered,I had an old battery pack on charge. The voltage did not fully come up to 12Vdc but to around 10. I knew I was taking a chance using it, but voltage drops are going to happen in the field. Consequently, when I first tried the HC, I too got a boot loader error. Needless to say, I pulled the plug. I then tried an old Radio Shack 12vdc regulator that worked off of the house current and the HC worked fine. So after a little research - I ordered the 12Vdc 5a power supply. That works great and the power connector has to be screwed in - nice feature.

#16 frito

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 11:42 PM

underpowering electronics in all my experience with computers, car stereos and electronics in general on the power supply end rarely results in fried electronics. shorting something out, reversing polarity or giving something far too much voltage will do that sort of thing, underpowering it will not unless the power supply that is underpowered does not have proper protections in place as it should to protect from damage from too high of current draw. if that is the case then its just *BLEEP* design and/or manufacture on celestron/synta's end of things but then again that might not surprise me.

one thing many people often don't know/forget/understand about electricity is that voltage is forced upon devices, current is not. it is drawn from the load. too much current draw will make bad things happen if there are no safety's in place (fuses and circuit breakers are common examples) but those bad things rarely happen due to said safeties.

#17 mistyridge

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:40 AM

I would recommend the Pyramid model PS-9KX regulated power supply 13.8vdc 5amp constant. You can get them from Amazon for something like $30. I use them to power all my 12v mounts and cameras. Taht is if you are near a rgular ac power outlet. If not a good deep cycle battery.

#18 rmollise

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 07:59 AM

I would recommend the Pyramid model PS-9KX regulated power supply 13.8vdc 5amp constant. You can get them from Amazon for something like $30. I use them to power all my 12v mounts and cameras. Taht is if you are near a rgular ac power outlet. If not a good deep cycle battery.


A deep cycle battery will do the job, that's for sure...but... You don't need a deep cycle battery. A jumpstart battery, one with a capacity of 17ah, will power the mount all night long and is much more convenient. There are quite a few small AC power supplies that will work...MFJ is another source. ;)

#19 pjensen

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:20 AM

underpowering electronics in all my experience with computers, car stereos and electronics in general on the power supply end rarely results in fried electronics. shorting something out, reversing polarity or giving something far too much voltage will do that sort of thing, underpowering it will not unless the power supply that is underpowered does not have proper protections in place as it should to protect from damage from too high of current draw. if that is the case then its just *BLEEP* design and/or manufacture on celestron/synta's end of things but then again that might not surprise me.


This is correct except when re-flashing program memory on the hand controller. Loss of power (or just low voltage) may completely toast the chip's programming. And there is no recovery except to send it in for repair.

So if a hand controller fails to package verify, the absolute worst thing you can do would be to reflash it - if the real problem is a poor power supply.

#20 frito

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 12:46 PM

underpowering electronics in all my experience with computers, car stereos and electronics in general on the power supply end rarely results in fried electronics. shorting something out, reversing polarity or giving something far too much voltage will do that sort of thing, underpowering it will not unless the power supply that is underpowered does not have proper protections in place as it should to protect from damage from too high of current draw. if that is the case then its just *BLEEP* design and/or manufacture on celestron/synta's end of things but then again that might not surprise me.


This is correct except when re-flashing program memory on the hand controller. Loss of power (or just low voltage) may completely toast the chip's programming. And there is no recovery except to send it in for repair.

So if a hand controller fails to package verify, the absolute worst thing you can do would be to reflash it - if the real problem is a poor power supply.


yes loss of power during a flash programming attempt could be catastrophic but it does not fry the chip! it corrupts the software. it is fixable but depending on the device the difficulty of fixing can very. devices that have a bootloader (many) will be able to boot into it and program via bootloader. cellphones are like this for example. devices that do not have a backup for recovering a flash gone wrong can still be fixed via hardware programming devices, some devices have an interface built into them that just requires a serial or parallel cable to be soldered/connected to them, these interfaces are often called JTAG's when i was younger i used to reprogram satellite receivers, not going to say why i did such things but we used JTAG interfaces built into the main boards on them to program the flash chips directly using a PC. if a flash went bad there was never harm done regardless of how it went bad. one just had to try again from the start. if a device has no such interface on its board the only way to recover is to remove the flash chip and put it into a flash chip programmer made to program that specific type of flash chip, this is why on many older and even some newer devices you will see the flash memory is in removable sockets so the manufacture can take the chip out without desoldering, reflash it and stick it back in. used to be very common on PC motherboards.

on the celestron hand controls i'm not certain but i believe when you start them into programming mode you are using a bootloader to do so and even if a flash went wrong you should still be able to get back into programming mode to start over from the top again. the reason i suspect this is because when i was updating my CG-5's HC firmware i had the netbook i was using to do it with set to go to sleep after 10 min. (fresh XP install, its the default setting) i was sitting right in front of the thing watching it and all of a sudden the screen goes blank and i knew right away what had happened and tried to wake it to stop it but it was too late. programming froze at the hand controller, i got back into windows, the celestron software was locked up. i killed the process and started over from the top no harm done, the hand control's software started over from the beginning and all was well. now i never lost power or turned off the mount, for fear it would not be able to get back into programming mode because i was unsure. the software recovered from the situation fine however so it appears they have proper safety's in place at least on the V4 hand control's

one person who i'm sure could definitively answer this question is Derik over at team celestron forums (beta test forums) he is one of their programmers and runs the beta test site team celestron.

#21 pjensen

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 09:30 PM

on the celestron hand controls i'm not certain but i believe when you start them into programming mode you are using a bootloader to do so and even if a flash went wrong you should still be able to get back into programming mode to start over from the top again. the reason i suspect this is because when i was updating my CG-5's HC firmware i had the netbook i was using to do it with set to go to sleep after 10 min. (fresh XP install, its the default setting) i was sitting right in front of the thing watching it and all of a sudden the screen goes blank and i knew right away what had happened and tried to wake it to stop it but it was too late. programming froze at the hand controller, i got back into windows, the celestron software was locked up. i killed the process and started over from the top no harm done, the hand control's software started over from the beginning and all was well. now i never lost power or turned off the mount, for fear it would not be able to get back into programming mode because i was unsure. the software recovered from the situation fine however so it appears they have proper safety's in place at least on the V4 hand control's


It is important to separate a software timeout (windows laptop going to sleep) and a low voltage event during chip programming. Chips have a specific required voltages and pulse widths to program successfully. With incorrect voltages, the chip addressing may go wild - causing an overwrite of the boot loader. With your software timeout, the boot loader was not overwritten - the process simply stopped part way through. So when you restarted it, it was able to rewrite those addresses.

That is my guess... :)

#22 frito

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 09:57 PM

yeah i'm not saying its a good idea to loose power during a program but its possible that you could get back into the bootloader to reprogram it, provided celestron was smart and kept the bootloader separate from the rest of the software on them.

either way i'm sure they just send him out a new HC because to them, the manufacture they are cheap and its the best hassle free way to keep a customer with a new mount happy.

#23 Holltim4103

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:30 AM

Thanks for all the information and tips. The new hand controller arrives next Thursday according to UPS tracking. I have high doubts that it is the hand controller though. I think it is something to do with the motor control board. I was able to update the hand controller successfully and it goes to the alignment options but I get the no response 17 and no response 16. I can go through the menu and make selections however I have no motor control. I also tried updating the motor control board and I get an error that it can not locate the mount. It is driving me crazy having the mount sitting inside on all these clear nights. I did have two spectacular nights with it outside and now it is just a tease. I just wish Celestron would send me a new replacement mount to get me going quicker.

#24 rdandrea

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:48 AM

I was getting a lot of 16 and 17 errors with my CG-5 until I recrimped the cable ends. Haven't had one since. (Knocking on wood.)

#25 frito

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:07 AM

those errors are both communication with RA and DEC errors. could be the hand control but its probably the motor control or one of the connections between all these things.






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