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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
My Atlas died...
      #4491306 - 04/02/11 12:18 PM

So I set up for some Saturn imaging Friday evening and when I plugged in the 12v cord the Atlas did not power up. No red light, no hand set, nothing. I sometimes keep my Atlas outside for extended periods of time but when it stays out the saddle and main housing are wrapped in a terry cloth cover with a commercial dessicant dehumidifier cartridge. I then put a Telegizmo 365 cover over the whole rig and it has always stayed bone dry. I took the head off the mount and carried it inside for inspection but could find absolutely nothing out of the ordinary...it simply will not power up. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I might check out? I have used three different power adapters (all appropriate) and confirmed the lines were hot, but the mount doesn't show a flicker of life. I would appreciate any suggestions on how to attack this issue, right now I am afraid I will have to pack the equatorial head up and send it to California; and I am many months past my warranty period (it's one year, yes?). Thanks for looking in...

Clear Skies, BrianB


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PGW Steve
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/03/06

Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4491756 - 04/02/11 03:54 PM

Were you able to determine if the plug that goes into the mount actually had power? I recently had to resolder the wire onto the center post of the male 12v plug. Ohhh idea...can't you plug the 12v thingy into the handbox to see if it powers up?

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BPO
sage


Reged: 02/23/10

Loc: South Island, NZ
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4491851 - 04/02/11 04:44 PM

Hello BrianB.

Recently I upgraded the internal control PCBs in my school observatory's EQ6 Pros to the then-latest versions (Rev. C, v2.04) at a cost of US$120 per board. So that's an option if your Atlas control boards are fried and the mount is out of warranty.


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BPO]
      #4491937 - 04/02/11 05:44 PM

Are there any fuses that might have blown?

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Duncan Kitchin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/16/04

Loc: Beaverton, OR, USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4491983 - 04/02/11 06:20 PM

I've just replaced the motor control board in my Atlas due to another problem, but yours sounds more like a loose connection somewhere.

IIRC the LED is connected very directly to the power feed, so if that's not coming on there's something very basic (and hopefully easily fixed) wrong with the power connection.

Regards & Clear Skies
Duncan


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Duncan Kitchin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/16/04

Loc: Beaverton, OR, USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: Duncan Kitchin]
      #4492082 - 04/02/11 07:29 PM

Quick follow-up:

Just opened mine up to check (it's sitting right here next to my computer with me having recently had it apart to replace the board) and yes, the LED connector is on the board right next to the power socket. So if the LED is out something very basic is wrong with the power supply.

If the LED and the fact that nothing else works is due to a single fault, then as far as I can see either:
a) You have a disconnection in the power plug on the cord (or a blown fuse in the cord - several of mine have one hidden in the cigarette lighter plug) or
b) There's a dead short across the power supply somewhere.

Assuming absence of large clouds of smoke, I'd have to go for option a)...


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mikejm57
member
*****

Reged: 03/12/08

Loc: Bay Area, CA.
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: Duncan Kitchin]
      #4492118 - 04/02/11 07:42 PM

The fuse in my 12V cord blew not long ago. In fact I don't think it blew as much as it (the fuse element) just broke.
This fuse is in the tip of the 12V lighter plug and replacing the fuse made it work again. If you have not checked the fuse, do that first.


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #4493193 - 04/03/11 10:47 AM

Quote:

Were you able to determine if the plug that goes into the mount actually had power? I recently had to resolder the wire onto the center post of the male 12v plug. Ohhh idea...can't you plug the 12v thingy into the handbox to see if it powers up?




Hi Steve,

I checked the 12v plug in the hand set and it powered up all right, I also pulled the panel and checked the soldered connections...they look good. Thanks for the suggestions.

Clear Skies,
Brian


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: Duncan Kitchin]
      #4493244 - 04/03/11 11:12 AM Attachment (54 downloads)

BPO, John, and Duncan

I pulled the board and took a series of pix for Orion. While all the connections and solder points look good, there is one component between the 12v jack and autoguider port that looks like it may have overheated. The shrink wrap plastic jacket with the component code is all deformed and looks like it may have overheated. I have enclosed a picture below. Thanks for the suggestions, any thoughts on the image?

Clear Skies,
Brian


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: mikejm57]
      #4493255 - 04/03/11 11:16 AM

Quote:

The fuse in my 12V cord blew not long ago. In fact I don't think it blew as much as it (the fuse element) just broke.
This fuse is in the tip of the 12V lighter plug and replacing the fuse made it work again. If you have not checked the fuse, do that first.




Thanks Mike, I checked the cords on my other mount (a Sirius) and they worked all right. I appreciate the suggestion...

Clear Skies,
Brian


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4493295 - 04/03/11 11:33 AM

Quote:

there is one component between the 12v jack and autoguider port that looks like it may have overheated.




Yes that capacitor has failed. It was across the input power lead. The feed to it (and thus to the rest of the circuitry) was killed by the shorted cap (probably a trace on the circuit board has failed) so you'll need to fix that and reestablish the power feed after you replace the cap.


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #4493428 - 04/03/11 12:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:

there is one component between the 12v jack and autoguider port that looks like it may have overheated.




Yes that capacitor has failed. It was across the input power lead. The feed to it (and thus to the rest of the circuitry) was killed by the shorted cap (probably a trace on the circuit board has failed) so you'll need to fix that and reestablish the power feed after you replace the cap.




Hi John,

Lacking the electronics skills to rework the board (assuming nothing else is toasted) I'll likely replace it instead...I can get a new one from Orion. Thanks for the input.

Clear Skies,
Brian


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Asimov
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/11/10

Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4493470 - 04/03/11 12:41 PM

Toated, yes. Glad you found the problem at least Brian.

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Duncan Kitchin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/16/04

Loc: Beaverton, OR, USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4493471 - 04/03/11 12:43 PM

That's unfortunate - would have been nice of there was an easy fix - but at least you know what the problem is... and Orion were very efficient at getting me back up and running when the board in mine failed just recently.

Regards & Clear Skies
Duncan


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: Duncan Kitchin]
      #4494624 - 04/03/11 10:35 PM

That capacitor is a $0.50 part. And you can replace it quite easily (takes all of 2 minutes). Well that's what I'd do..

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Littlegreenman
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/09/05

Loc: Southern California
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: orlyandico]
      #4495055 - 04/04/11 04:28 AM

Quote:

That capacitor is a $0.50 part. And you can replace it quite easily (takes all of 2 minutes). Well that's what I'd do..




You might try an electronic repair shop...although they usually have a minimum. Maybe an ad in Craigslist:

"Astronomer needs simple, electronic capacitor replaced.."

This is one of those things where you ask yourself how much do you want to throw at a repair job with no guarantee it will work.

Good luck.
LGM


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BCB
Undercover Saboteur
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Look over your shoulder
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: Littlegreenman]
      #4495108 - 04/04/11 05:40 AM

Get in touch with me.. I can help you out with that... AND save you some cash at the same time..

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Jb32828
sage
*****

Reged: 08/01/10

Loc: Orlando, FL USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BCB]
      #4496105 - 04/04/11 03:37 PM

Even for the absolute rank amateur investing in a small desoldering iron and soldering iron can save you a lot of cash. These capacitors are easy to replace, and if you have any LCD monitors or TVs eventually you will have a capacitor or several blow out and the choice is simple whether to fix it or buy new.

At a 120 dollar repair bill, I am buying a soldering kit and DIYing it.


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: Jb32828]
      #4496803 - 04/04/11 09:48 PM

what Jason said. :-)

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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4498988 - 04/05/11 07:55 PM

Thanks for the encouragement guys, I have a bud of mine who is a hard core computer wonk (builds his own) taking a look now. If he doesn't feel comfortable for some reason I may be getting back with you BCB...thanks. I am also still waiting to hear from Orion, we'll see how that goes.

Clear Skies,
BrianB


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: My Atlas died... new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4499505 - 04/06/11 12:47 AM

Test you power source to make sure you don't have an over voltage situation.

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