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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Is my CGE toast?
      #4116388 - 10/14/10 09:03 PM

Well, over the years there have been hundreds of threads and countless posts about CGE problems. I think I have read most of them but after three years on a used CGE I'm having some problems.

I started having some problems getting an alignment success last week. First I checked my power supply and find that I have 12 volts in a good supply. Seems to be a good tight fit at the electronics pier as well.

The cables I have used for three years are not "flat Marty cables" but have worked flawlessly for three years. I ordered new Marty cables and received them yesterday.

Last night I went out and set up with the new cables. When doing a two star alignment the scope slewed to Arcturus almost perfectly, then Altair and asked the usual about calibration stars. I do not remember what the first calib star was but where the scope ended up pointing was no where near a bright star. It was a very dark part of the sky with no star to align on.

I decided to start over. Turned off the power and started over double checked location, time, daylight time etc. and everything was in order. I did a solar system alignment and picked Jupiter. The scope slewed to a location very close to Jupiter. I centered the planet and got "alignment success" So I got to observe Jupiter for a while. I asked it to slew to the moon and it started to slew but ended up no where near the moon.

Started over a third time. Turned off the power and turned it back on again and low and behold Polaris was still dead center at the starting position. (good eh)? Now Arcturus is too far West. First alignment star is now Vega. I pressed enter to slew to Vega and for a few seconds it slewed at high speed but slowed to a guiding speed shortly after starting the slew. Finally after several minutes it was near (very near) Vega. I centered the star and went on to the second star. Denub I believe? It is not important. What is important other than the slewing speed is that the first calibration star was not even in the same hemisphere. WAY off.

Same or similar problems over and over for hours.

So, long story short what I see is.

Motors are working.
Encoders seem to be functional but maybe that is what slowed the slew?
Cables are new and worked the same with the old ones.
Power supply seems more than adequate.
Tracking is right on like always.
Doesn't seem to be any exceptional backlash or any other mechanical problems.

The handset had some challenges when I bought it three years ago, crooked display and several burned out lights in number keys but has worked well for three years. It has been updated to the latest updates. 4.16? I'm going from memory here but it is the latest and most up to datest.

So, after reading all my typing what do you think? I have a friend with a Celestron SE. Should I try his handset on my mount or is that asking for more trouble for me and him?

Well let me know what you think and thank you in advance.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4116494 - 10/14/10 10:06 PM

Celestron and Meade seem to have a penchant for going off the deep end. I still own a Meade and had a couple of CGEs. My fallback was to to do a system reset. Put the electronics back to default settings and start over. A pain, yes, but if you aren't having a power delivery problem, this usually fixes it.

David


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4116506 - 10/14/10 10:10 PM

David:

That is a great start. Thank you! It didn't even cross my mind since I'm still po'd from last night. Do you have to update the firmware after a reset? You do that from the Celestron download right?


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jbattleson
Happily Retired
*****

Reged: 03/02/09

Loc: Nebraska
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4116570 - 10/14/10 10:36 PM

No, a reset will not effect the firmware.

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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: jbattleson]
      #4116598 - 10/14/10 10:46 PM

John:

Thanks! I've been doing some reading. It has been quite a while since my last update but I found some info on the updates and on the reset. I don't know how I will do my next update since I don't have anything with a 9 pin sr. port anymore.

Looks like a simple thing except for digging out all the coordinates of the favorites I have entered in the past.

Thanks again to both. I'll keep you posted after I reset.


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BillStar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/29/10

Loc: Connecticut & North Carolina
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4116922 - 10/15/10 02:49 AM

FWIW, I would NOT try the SE hand control.

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tomo
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 06/14/10

Loc: Shelby Twp, Mi
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: BillStar]
      #4117063 - 10/15/10 07:27 AM

Steve,

I agree with David's idea of a factory default setting refresh. I had almost identical problems to you and the reset done the trick. My closest guess to what was going on was that my control software (Stellarium) was sending it "bad" config data somehow and even though this was not evident from looking at the HC, it did affect the sky map in the CGE brain.

Good luck.


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4117120 - 10/15/10 08:07 AM

Quote:

So, after reading all my typing what do you think? I have a friend with a Celestron SE. Should I try his handset on my mount or is that asking for more trouble for me and him?



Steve, No that's not a good idea. You could use the HC if you flashed new firmware into it but just plugging it into your CGE isn't a good idea. I'm not sure what would happen but the HC isn't going to be happy talking with a pair of MCs that identify themselves as CGE.


I think you should be considering the following ... (in relative order of importance or complexity, or in the order that I'd do them ... )

Factory Settings reset
Swap the power cable (or check it out very carefully)
Do the aluminum foil upgrade to the RJ45 connections (add a little foil around the plug to ensure a solid electrical and physical connection down in the socket.
Run the mount from Nexremote (bypassing your HC).
Another look at the internal connections.


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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4117436 - 10/15/10 10:56 AM

I changed my mind, your friend.

Bill


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Bill Cowles]
      #4117527 - 10/15/10 11:40 AM

Thanks guys!

I'll be out tonight and will try a couple of these things out.

Bill:

"chicken"!


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MikeML
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/09/04

Loc: NJ
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4118038 - 10/15/10 02:50 PM

FWIW. Have used a CGE for the past 6 years, had 2 problems. One was cable connection, replaced with Marty's cables the other required reflashing the hand control.

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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: MikeML]
      #4118133 - 10/15/10 03:23 PM

Quote:

FWIW. Have used a CGE for the past 6 years, had 2 problems. One was cable connection, replaced with Marty's cables the other required reflashing the hand control.




Thanks Mike:

I'll know this evening if it is or


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4118357 - 10/15/10 05:08 PM

I'm not clear about the caution not to use another HC for testing. Does the CGE use a different handset or cable interface? I'm fairly sure that I've swapped my CG5 and CGEM HCs around and the CG5 unit identified itself correctly as a CGEM. I may be wrong but it appears that it identifies the mount from the onboard mount firmware, not what's stored in the HC. You may have to do a factory reset, run through mount calibration, etc. ... Someone have a different experience?


Edited by BlueGrass (10/15/10 05:09 PM)


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4118570 - 10/15/10 06:47 PM

Quote:

I'm not clear about the caution not to use another HC for testing. Does the CGE use a different handset or cable interface?




All of the German EQ mounts use the same firmware. The various alt/az mounts have their own.


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4119171 - 10/15/10 11:42 PM Attachment (56 downloads)

GREAT JOY everyone.

Looks like a reset has done the trick. If you would have seen my CGE this morning you would not have believed it. I tore it down to just about "paint ready" I did not remove the bearings but I removed motors, swithches, anything that would come out easy. Cleaned the gears, added a little light lubrication, adjusted microswitches, just pimped and polished everything and finished just before sunset.

I went to a club outreach event around 7:00 just long enough to say hello to everyone and drum up support for my campaign for board member for 2011.

I got home about an hour ago and went through the alignment process with four calibration stars. PERFECT!!! Once again near perfect gotos and flawless tracking. I missed Io darting in front of Jupiter but I'm on my way out to watch the shaddow transit now.

We are ready for one last public star party for the Salt Lake Astronomical Society tomorrow night. (weather permitting)

Thanks everyone for your help and advice. I really appreciate it. Remember "reset".


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4119292 - 10/16/10 12:46 AM

Hip, hip, huzzah!



Regards,

Jim


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4119406 - 10/16/10 02:09 AM

Steve, good to hear. Have to say, seeing that D&G in person, the pictures just don't relay the true size...

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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4119610 - 10/16/10 01:11 PM

Thanks again you to all of you.

George:
You ought to see the 8".


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nemo129
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4119687 - 10/16/10 01:44 PM

Nice picture...Wow!! 8" refractor!! The views must be stunning! Glad to hear you got the CGE issues sorted out!

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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4120110 - 10/16/10 04:48 PM Attachment (52 downloads)

Maybe the next outing ... the view of Jupiter at Lakeside was simply great. Thanks! Here's one of the shots I took during everyone's setup....

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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4120893 - 10/16/10 11:32 PM

Has anybody seen my scope, I'm positive I loaded it into my van?

Bill


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Bill Cowles]
      #4120964 - 10/17/10 12:17 AM



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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Bill Cowles]
      #4121517 - 10/17/10 09:46 AM

Quote:

Has anybody seen my scope, I'm positive I loaded it into my van? Bill



Steve's D&G ate it ...

Uuuuuurrrp.



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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: mclewis1]
      #4122073 - 10/17/10 01:56 PM




Thanks George!

That is a great picture. I just stole it.


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4122161 - 10/17/10 02:35 PM

You're welcome. I like it because it gives us a true perspective of the size of your mounted D&G. Almost need a bigger truck Steve...

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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4122318 - 10/17/10 03:48 PM Attachment (46 downloads)

Here is the true perspective on Steve's D&G.

Bill


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Bill Cowles]
      #4122460 - 10/17/10 05:03 PM

The wide angle lens makes the 8"f/12 and my belly look larger than they really are.

The CGE has been a wonderfull investment. A great mount. I was sad last week to think it might be "going away".

Edited by Steve Fisher (10/17/10 05:04 PM)


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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4122646 - 10/17/10 06:28 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

Is this better and where is it going?

Bill


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4122714 - 10/17/10 07:11 PM

Quote:

The wide angle lens makes the 8"f/12 and my belly look larger than they really are.


Steve, Are you in that picture? ... all I can see is scope, and more scope.

Bill, Steve has been telling us about the 8" for a while. It makes the CGE look like a department store mount ... and Steve a midget
It's nice to see a good shot of it. Thanks.


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Bill Cowles
MacGyver
*****

Reged: 04/16/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: mclewis1]
      #4122749 - 10/17/10 07:25 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

Here is a better image of the CGE with his "little" 6" D&G.

Bill


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nofxrx
Vendor (HyperCams & Mods)
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Bill Cowles]
      #4122798 - 10/17/10 07:51 PM

Hey Steve!(and George! )

I was wondering if you have had a chance to check out the drive accuracy of the CGE after your teardown,clean,re-grease, and reassembly?
Does it run a bit more smooth now?

I am getting my CGE next week. I have owned one in the past and loved it. But after owning an Atlas and seeing the difference a HyperTune made, I am kicking around the idea of tearing down the CGE for atleast a good cleaning and re-lube with SuperLube. And obviously getting the gear/worm mesh nice and perfect..

Just curiosity. have been following the thread.

Congrats on getting everything back up and running!!
My CGE needs a complete electronics pier workup. It does not come with the pier as it was stolen, so I ordered ALL of the components and boards from Celestron and am going to build it myself..but, all total, this will cost me $1k! So I am hoping it works out..

Take care!!


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: nofxrx]
      #4124993 - 10/18/10 05:45 PM

Quote:

Hey Steve!(and George! )

I was wondering if you have had a chance to check out the drive accuracy of the CGE after your teardown,clean,re-grease, and reassembly?
Does it run a bit more smooth now?

I am getting my CGE next week. I have owned one in the past and loved it. But after owning an Atlas and seeing the difference a HyperTune made, I am kicking around the idea of tearing down the CGE for atleast a good cleaning and re-lube with SuperLube. And obviously getting the gear/worm mesh nice and perfect..

Just curiosity. have been following the thread.

Congrats on getting everything back up and running!!
My CGE needs a complete electronics pier workup. It does not come with the pier as it was stolen, so I ordered ALL of the components and boards from Celestron and am going to build it myself..but, all total, this will cost me $1k! So I am hoping it works out..

Take care!!




Brent:

That is a hard question for me to answer. I am a 100% visual kind of guy. So while fairly long periods of tracking have been accurate enough to keep things in the eyepiece I cannot tell you if the tracking on "my" CGE is good enough for AP.

I bought my mount used and after using it for three years I started to experience some challenges with it just three weekends ago. Prior to that my gotos have been dead on and tracking has been great for my visual needs. Those challenges appear to be fixed now.

I found some signs of use but no metal or any other undesired material in the lube that was in the mount. I found the lubricant that was used was not in any way a sticky or thick lubricant. Nothing but the good stuff here.

I believe the reset mentioned above cured my problems as outlined in my original post. I am pleased I tore the mount down. I know what kind of shape it is in now. (peace of mind)

Your project sounds ambitious but doable and I'm sure you will end up with a great mount.

Keep us posted.


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nofxrx
Vendor (HyperCams & Mods)
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4126157 - 10/19/10 06:37 AM

Hey Steve!
Yea, I knew you were a mainly visual guy, I just figured that with an 8"F12 refractor, you would notice some bad tracking fairly quickly.
I have never taken apart a CGE yet, but I dont think it is too big an issue. I am fine with electronics/components..it is just the mechanical stuff that I am not too keen on. I mean, I have a bit of experience with most things like this(I think they say: "a jack of all trades,and a master of none.."..LOL).So I am confident I can atleast relap the gears/worm,etc. I am only concerned with the meshing.
Is the purpose to get a tight fit, with no play? those are the kind of things I will be needing help with.

The Celestron PC-Boards showed up Saturday, and the mount will be here this week sometime..
I also have the Losmandy MA Pier/Tripod Adapter for the mount to sit into(since I do not have an electronics pier). And am waiting on it before I build my electronics box so I can use the Losmandy Drive brackets on the pier adapter to hold the electronics for the CGE...I think it will work out pretty well..

I will check back with updates.and maybe send ya a PM if I hit any snags with the mount itself..lol

Thanks again for the response!


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: nofxrx]
      #4126632 - 10/19/10 11:15 AM

Brent:

Please do keep me posted and feel free to P.M. and ask questions if you like. I might just be guessing but if I can help, I will.

I assume there are actual measurements for backlash and end to end play in the gearing with tools to measure it. Since I started my mechanic career on a ring and pinnion gear in a early 60's Chevrolet things have changed. I guess now days I just have a feel for where it will work. It works for me but may not be good enough for long exposure photography.

Looking forward to your progress.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4128271 - 10/19/10 10:03 PM

Does the FAA require a flashing red light on the tip of those things?








David


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4129643 - 10/20/10 01:41 PM

Quote:

Does the FAA require a flashing red light on the tip of those things?








David




No but from where I observe, if I point the telescope West I have to set the handbox for a different timezone.


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Don Allen
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Charleston, SC
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4130612 - 10/20/10 08:28 PM

"No but from where I observe, if I point the telescope West I have to set the handbox for a different timezone."



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mikeinfortmyers
member


Reged: 03/22/11

Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #4485638 - 03/30/11 10:02 PM

Steve, I was trying to find a closeup picture of your CGE. You have an extension? This is exactly what I need for my CGE and F12 refractor. Did you make it or is it available somewhere?

Mike


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: mikeinfortmyers]
      #4488071 - 03/31/11 10:23 PM

Lot's of PM's sent.

Thanks Mike!


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Steve Fisher

*****

Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Is my CGE toast? new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #4488098 - 03/31/11 10:32 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

But since you asked, I did find a picture of it as well.

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