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FlyBD5
sage
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Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
CG-5GT prepurchase
      #5914908 - 06/11/13 11:45 AM

What should I look for when inspecting a used CG-5GT mount that I am interested in purchasing?

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pjensen
super member


Reged: 04/08/12

Loc: Highland Village, Tx
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5914996 - 06/11/13 12:36 PM

Quote:

What should I look for when inspecting a used CG-5GT mount that I am interested in purchasing?




If it is possible, do a 2 star + 4 alignment and see how good the goto is. Try a couple of double stars - are they in the eyepiece field of view?

This will bring out any problems, if there are any.


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FlyBD5
sage
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Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: pjensen]
      #5915090 - 06/11/13 01:40 PM

Okdok. Thanks!

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5915109 - 06/11/13 01:50 PM

also flip over the hand control and make sure it has a little phone jack at the bottom. it is a serial interface so you can upgrade the HC and MC firmwares if needed and also control with computers etc. the earliest versions of the mount had non upgradable HC's with no port.

lastly don't be alarmed if it sounds like its dying while slewing! it's simply just singing to you while it moves


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: frito]
      #5915123 - 06/11/13 01:58 PM

Quote:

also flip over the hand control and make sure it has a little phone jack at the bottom. it is a serial interface so you can upgrade the HC and MC firmwares if needed and also control with computers etc. the earliest versions of the mount had non upgradable HC's with no port.




Nexstar handboxes have always had that port, even in models long before the CG-5GT came out - but in early versions it was used only for PC control of the mount. The later, upgradable handboxes are much to be preferred over the older, non-upgradable models (some very powerful and desirable features are available only on the later model) but you can't tell them apart by looking at them. If you power the mount up, you can check the installed firmware revision and that will tell the tale but I don't remember what version was first implemented on the upgradable hardware. I can check that unless someone here remembers it.

Edited by jrcrilly (06/11/13 02:04 PM)


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Fred1
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Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5915134 - 06/11/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

- but I don't remember what version was first implemented on the upgradable hardware. I can check that unless someone here remembers it.




4.xxx is the upgradeable version. If it says 3.xxx then its isn't upgradeable.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: Fred1]
      #5915143 - 06/11/13 02:13 PM

Quote:


4.xxx is the upgradeable version. If it says 3.xxx then its isn't upgradeable.




Thanks! I've owned both, but not recently.


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5915145 - 06/11/13 02:15 PM

well there you go, ignore me. i for some reason thought the non-upgradeable ones had no port, not sure where i got that from.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: frito]
      #5915154 - 06/11/13 02:22 PM

Quote:

well there you go, ignore me. i for some reason thought the non-upgradeable ones had no port, not sure where i got that from.




Still, you raised an excellent point. ASPA alone makes the later version far more capable.


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FlyBD5
sage
*****

Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5915172 - 06/11/13 02:33 PM

True, I should still check for the port and the version. I'm looking at two, one is new, still in the box, the other is used, about 18 mos old, all firmware upgraded for HC and MC, -and- proven good results in astrophotography.

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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: frito]
      #5915487 - 06/11/13 05:21 PM

Quote:

also flip over the hand control and make sure it has a little phone jack at the bottom. it is a serial interface so you can upgrade the HC and MC firmwares if needed and also control with computers etc. the earliest versions of the mount had non upgradable HC's with no port.

lastly don't be alarmed if it sounds like its dying while slewing! it's simply just singing to you while it moves




Well..not exactly...since the original non-upgradeable HC also has the serial port on the bottom that allows control with a laptop. The only way to tell is by checking the firmware version (in the HC menus). If it is 4.x, it is upgradeable. 3.x? Uh-uh.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5915710 - 06/11/13 07:32 PM

How much you paying?

You can get a brand new one on clearance with the latest hardware and firmware for $549.

- Jim


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FlyBD5
sage
*****

Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5915797 - 06/11/13 08:32 PM

Just picked up for $420, new in the box, unused. Firmware is easy to update, it's got the right hand control (NexStar, not NexStar+, makes no difference to me and I can upgrade the hand control later if I want to.) I'm pleased. Thanks, folks! Much obliged for the help!

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FlyBD5
sage
*****

Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5916145 - 06/12/13 12:11 AM



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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5916245 - 06/12/13 01:52 AM

congrats.

i was going to say, at those ages they will be newer versions. i'm the third owner of my CG-5. the non-upgradable firmware ones are not very common and are pretty darn old.


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5916247 - 06/12/13 01:53 AM

Quote:

Quote:

well there you go, ignore me. i for some reason thought the non-upgradeable ones had no port, not sure where i got that from.




Still, you raised an excellent point. ASPA alone makes the later version far more capable.




yes, i love the ASPA, i'd probably be frustrated as hell trying to image with my CG-5 unguided with no polar scope without it.


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FlyBD5
sage
*****

Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: frito]
      #5916614 - 06/12/13 09:53 AM

What a difference in the motors and stability. Wow. It's all set and ready to go for a family Father's Day star party.

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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5916821 - 06/12/13 12:05 PM

PMJI, do any of you guys know how to upgrade an HC so that the All Star alignment procedure is available? TIA.

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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5916830 - 06/12/13 12:08 PM

Here you go...

http://www.celestron.com/c3/support3/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewar...,255


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FlyBD5
sage
*****

Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5916892 - 06/12/13 12:39 PM

Quote:

Here you go...

http://www.celestron.com/c3/support3/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewar...,255




Add to that =patience= as the process takes a bit of time, and make sure the mount is plugged into AC power while you are upgrading the firmware. Failure to complete the update correctly may cause self-inflicted premature hair loss.


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RTLR 12
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5917316 - 06/12/13 04:36 PM

The whole process takes less than 30 minutes. I have never had a problem doing an update and I have done many. I also have never used AC power with my mounts.

Stan


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FlyBD5
sage
*****

Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5917343 - 06/12/13 04:53 PM

Quote:

The whole process takes less than 30 minutes. I have never had a problem doing an update and I have done many. I also have never used AC power with my mounts.

Stan




Be that as it may, updating firmware on anything on battery power is an unnecessary risk when AC power is available. Take it from someone who has worked as a firmware development engineer.


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RTLR 12
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5917380 - 06/12/13 05:21 PM

That's very true. Some people just aren't properly prepared.
I, however, know my equipment and it's capabilities.

Stan


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DaveJ
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/07/05

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5917446 - 06/12/13 05:58 PM

Quote:

That's very true. Some people just aren't properly prepared.
I, however, know my equipment and its capabilities.




I wholeheartedly agree with Stan on this one. I've used batteries during firmware updating for the past eleven years. With occasional AC power outages (even though they're rare), batteries are significantly safer than AC. I've never had any kind of problem. I always use a laptop to do the updating and it's on a separate external battery, as well.


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FlyBD5
sage
*****

Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5917532 - 06/12/13 06:57 PM

I will meet both of you in the middle and strongly suggest fresh batteries and AC power. At the same time.

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RTLR 12
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5917559 - 06/12/13 07:20 PM

I think using 120 volt to power a 12 volt system is a risk. I've never had one of my SLA AGM batteries surge. The small amount of battery reserve needed to power a mount for an update is so small that if you use a battery that doesn't have enough voltage capacity to complete the job, I consider it a self inflicted operator error.

Stan



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FlyBD5
sage
*****

Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5917564 - 06/12/13 07:25 PM

Quote:

I think using 120 volt to power a 12 volt system is a risk. I've never had one of my SLA AGM batteries surge. The small amount of battery reserve needed to power a mount for an update is so small that if you use a battery that doesn't have enough voltage capacity to complete the job, I consider it a self inflicted operator error.

Stan






Pardon me, but this is where your common sense and mine diverge. Converting 120vac to 12vdc is hardly a black art, and has been done quite successfully since the last millennium. As to voltages and batteries, do you always check the voltage on every one of your batteries before using them? Including all six that a NexStar SE mount requires to operate without a wall wart?

Sorry, but no, this is not good advice, IMO.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5917597 - 06/12/13 07:45 PM

Quote:



Pardon me, but this is where your common sense and mine diverge. Converting 120vac to 12vdc is hardly a black art, and has been done quite successfully since the last millennium. As to voltages and batteries, do you always check the voltage on every one of your batteries before using them? Including all six that a NexStar SE mount requires to operate without a wall wart?

Sorry, but no, this is not good advice, IMO.




Well, yes and no. AC supplies are very reliable. They don't all produce DC of the same quality, but they are pretty reliable. What might not be reliable is the power in your neighborhood on a summer day.

I would NOT recommend powering your scope off internal batteries for anything. It's a waste of money and not overly reliable.

Most people who refer to batteries are powering their scopes with 12vdc jump start battery packs or deep cycle marine batteries, which if they are taken care of are probably the best way to power the scope during a firmware update.

You're not slewing or anything, so you don't need much current. A power loss would be the problem and is more likely with AC or your internal batteries than with a halfway decently maintained jumpstarter or marine bat'try.


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FlyBD5
sage
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Reged: 02/12/13

Loc: Boston MA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: rmollise]
      #5917604 - 06/12/13 07:49 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Pardon me, but this is where your common sense and mine diverge. Converting 120vac to 12vdc is hardly a black art, and has been done quite successfully since the last millennium. As to voltages and batteries, do you always check the voltage on every one of your batteries before using them? Including all six that a NexStar SE mount requires to operate without a wall wart?

Sorry, but no, this is not good advice, IMO.




Well, yes and no. AC supplies are very reliable. They don't all produce DC of the same quality, but they are pretty reliable. What might not be reliable is the power in your neighborhood on a summer day.

I would NOT recommend powering your scope off internal batteries for anything. It's a waste of money and not overly reliable.

Most people who refer to batteries are powering their scopes with 12vdc jump start battery packs or deep cycle marine batteries, which if they are taken care of are probably the best way to power the scope during a firmware update.

You're not slewing or anything, so you don't need much current. A power loss would be the problem and is more likely with AC or your internal batteries than with a halfway decently maintained jumpstarter or marine bat'try.




All of which points to exactly what I said. The safest way to do so is to power with both during a firmware update. Anyway, this thread is diverging and I've made my point clear. Off to other pastures.


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RTLR 12
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Reged: 12/04/08

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Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5917621 - 06/12/13 07:56 PM

Here is some good advise...

I don't use 8 AA batteries to power y mounts, but yes, I do check the voltage of all of my batteries before I use them. Would you drive for hundreds of miles to the field just to find out that you have a dead battery. I check my batteries if I traveling hundreds of miles or just going to the back yard. Anyone that doesn't is just plain foolish.

Now you can take your football and go home.

Stan


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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: rmollise]
      #5917693 - 06/12/13 08:46 PM

Uncle Rod, as usual, has given the most level-headed advice in this thread. Listen to what he says.

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5917765 - 06/12/13 09:28 PM

Quote:

Uncle Rod, as usual, has given the most level-headed advice in this thread. Listen to what he says.




agreed.

I will add to his advise that on the CG-5 specifically make sure you put the power cord in as far as it will go and give it a good wiggle to make sure you are not currently suffering from the bad connection jack issue that often crops up on these mounts. within weeks of getting mine i started to have the power go off on it out of nowhere esp when using the 12V cable, my 120V celestron adapter worked fine even when the 12V was being intermittant (yes its the correct 12V cable, both are original celestron power adapters)


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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: frito]
      #5917769 - 06/12/13 09:30 PM

oh and make sure what ever computer you are using is not set to go to sleep in 10 min or something, mine was when i did my update. HCupdate was crashed after i woke up the computer, fortunately the mount was fine and all i had to do was start over from the top again, the process does take about 15 min for the HC and MC respectively

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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5918000 - 06/12/13 11:40 PM

Quote:

Here you go...

http://www.celestron.com/c3/support3/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewar...,255



Thank you!


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CG-5GT prepurchase new [Re: FlyBD5]
      #5918324 - 06/13/13 08:16 AM

Quote:



All of which points to exactly what I said. The safest way to do so is to power with both during a firmware update. Anyway, this thread is diverging and I've made my point clear. Off to other pastures.




Well, have fun wherever you are.

However, there is no need to power a scope with both AC and battery during a firmware update. A fully charged battery is the safest way, and what I've been doing for over a decade.


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