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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
CGE issues..
      #5766053 - 03/30/13 02:00 AM

Hey guys!
My CGE has been acting up lately(over the last year lol), and I do not know what to do..

What happens is:
Turn on Power
Everything starts up perfectly and there SEEMS to be no issue(HC says "CGE
Ready, Press Enter to begin Alignment"(or something like that))
can move RA in either direction, at any speed, all fine
once i go to move the DEC the motor keeps going...and going and going
it will not stop for ANYthing until I switch off the power
It turns in the direction I push on the HC..meaning it is not stuck turning only one direction..


After a few seconds of "not responding" to commands when DEC 'runs away', the mount will show the Error 16/17 message.
but..
I know it is not the cables. I have/tried multiple sets of them.
some are some very expensive Cat6 cables.
The ONLY thing I can think of is the MCB(Motor Control Board).

Now, I did already replace IC3(74HC240) and IC5(forget the specs) on the MCB just because they are easy to find/cheap and are easy to replace...but still does the same thing post-repair(attempt)..
The 'main' ICs hold the Celestron Firmware/software, and one cannot replace those(AFAIK) as there is no way to load the software..again, AFAIK..

I am an EE, and I have gone over all the boards, checked all the wiring, solder joints, etc. and made sure it all matched the schematics from the CGE Yahoo Group

testing and troubleshooting til no end...and still does the same thing...


SO...with all of that..
I am wondering if I should just replace the MCB..or, try something else..if so, what?

Is it possible the motor is bad? (I wouldnt think so, but could be wrong)

What about the limit switch(DEC only has one)..?


I would just hate to spend $230 on a new MCB and that is not the issue..
Also true for the motor(at ~$380!)..

Maybe something similar has happened to someone here before..?
ANY help or advice is greatly appreciated! ;-)

Thanks,
Brent


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gfeulner
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/07

Loc: Bergen county, New Jersey
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5766080 - 03/30/13 02:36 AM

Brent- check the limit switch to make sure it's making contact. There's a switch on each axis. Also there's a very good CGE forum on Yahoo groups (you would have sign up). There's a lot of threads on there concerning this problem. Gerry

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jbalsam
sage
*****

Reged: 07/06/12

Loc: Darnestown, MD
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: gfeulner]
      #5766369 - 03/30/13 09:35 AM

Ah, the thrill of being a cge owner... I just replaced my mcb because of a burned main ic.

I've had motor runaway problems with brand new high quality cables, and it's been because of poor contact between the shielding on the cable plug and the hole in the mount. My "fix" is wrapping a rubber band around the mount so it pulls the plug in one direction and keeps good contact.

While the mount is running away, have you tried wiggling the plugs at their two end points? That's a pretty obvious first thing to do, so I assume you did it, but I want to make sure.


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jbalsam]
      #5766526 - 03/30/13 11:09 AM

It's a good point about the wiring just inside the connectors. It's very common to believe that replacing the external cables fixes the runaway problems when in fact the RJ connectors and the wiring behind them can often also be a problem. Ensuring that the cable routing is away from the motors and isn't rubbing at any points is also important.

This is one of the many benefits of Gary Bennett's replacement cable kits, you get more than just new bullet proof external cables and connectors.


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

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5767438 - 03/30/13 07:32 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys! much appreciated!

I have the same post up on the Yahoo group as well.

I am going to try a few suggestions here, and from the Y! group too, and hopefully narrow down the culprit...
I am thinking the switch may be the problem..but just do not see how as the motor will run away in both directions, and there is only one limit switch in the DEC housing anyways..
I need to take a step back and think simple and go from there..

I did NOT know that the problem with the "cables" was actually the port itself, inside the mount. I thought it was the actual cables themselves..so that is something new I learned. And something else I need to check.
All the cables I have are shielded and very heavy duty, but if the connector is junk, then it doesnt matter how nice/properly made/working the cables are

Quote:

Ah, the thrill of being a cge owner...




Yea...it is a love/hate relationship. when working=LOVE it. could not ask for a better mount.
It's just that it doesnt always work LOL


Thanks again, I will report back with (hopefully good) further news!


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

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5767444 - 03/30/13 07:36 PM

Quote:

This is one of the many benefits of Gary Bennett's replacement cable kits, you get more than just new bullet proof external cables and connectors.




This is actually how I got into this mess.
I did the cable mod myself...must have gotten a wire or two crossed, and down came my mount. has not worked right since.
I have replaced/repaired everything back to STOCK condition just because I could not find the fault in my wiring(and actually, there may have never been one. it just happened that my mount decided to develop issues precisely at the same time as when I performed the cable mod..)..



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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5767604 - 03/30/13 08:56 PM

You don't want "heavy duty" cables. You want cbles with the softest, most flexible casings and ends possible. The stiffer the cable, the more likely it is you will face the problem.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (03/31/13 12:36 AM)


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

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5767673 - 03/30/13 09:37 PM

Well...an update.

No matter what, the DEC motor(or Motor #2 fwiw) is always the run away motor...
I have swapped cables, ports, and everything in between, and then swapped the motors(RA to DEC and DEC to RA), and STILL, the "DEC" motor runs away.

I also tested three HCs. One is marked "Bad" from many years ago, though I have no clue what is wrong with the HC..
Two are ASGT HCs, but worked just fine years ago..
The newest one, the one I normally use, is the latest EQ version with upgrade-able firmware...
That is something I have not been able to try...the firmware for both the HC and MCB...I do not have the USB/Serial cable needed..


I did test all three limit switches(2xRA and 1xDEC) and all three Ohm out to 0.0-0.2 Ohms...when the switch is closed.

I do not know why, maybe the internal encoder is bad, but my only guess at this point is that I have a bad motor..

Maybe I need to buy a serial/USB cable and update the FW?
(I wouldnt think that that would cause these kinds of issues, but ya never know....at least when it comes to the CGE)..

What do you guys think??

Just junk it and buy a Mach1GTO? (HA! I wish!! I wouldnt have even started this thread if buying a new mount was feasible..lol)


Thanks again for everyone's input so far, it has been a tremendous help!

Edited by nofxrx (03/30/13 09:41 PM)


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5767693 - 03/30/13 09:48 PM

Hi,
I agree with Jim. I have new stiff cables and they already have caused problems at the connections.

I would try and update the firmware.

neilson


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

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5767699 - 03/30/13 09:51 PM

Quote:

You don't want "heavy duty" cables. You wand cables with the softest, most flexible casings and ends possible. The stiffer the cable, the more likely it is you will face the problem.

Regards,

Jim





Thanks, Jim!
I never thought about it like that, but it does make sense.

I have tried everything from the "Flat" cables I bought years ago for the mount, to new (heavy duty) Cat6, to just random E-Net(RJ45) 8p8c shielded cables..

Do you think my problems could still be related to the cables(ports/etc)?

I have had the "cable issue" before, but it was random and intermittent at best..and just a quick jiggle of the cable/plug or unplug and re-seat and the problem went away...
this is 100% all the time. the DEC motor just runs and runs and runs.
But ONLY ONCE you press a directional button on the HC to move the DEC axis, otherwise the mount works just fine.

I suppose, WORST CASE SCENARIO...
I could spend several nights dialing in my Polar Alignment(PA) as I am setup on a permanent concrete pier, and then just disable the DEC drive altogether..?
And obviously GOTO would be worthless..unless I could use setting circles for DEC..IDK..

I would have to have PERFECT PA as I do 99% imaging..so drift would ruin everything as guiding always eliminated that small amount of drift that I had over many hours of imaging..

I just hate the idea of shelling out $380+ for a new motor just to find out it is something else..a bad cap, or something that has eluded me thus far..

But what other choice do I have?

agh..



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gosavich
member


Reged: 12/22/08

Loc: Tempe, Arizona, USA
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5767904 - 03/30/13 11:55 PM

Brent,

Have you verified that all of the cables routed in the electronics pier are properly connected to their assigned headers and there are no misalignments that would cause incorrect signal mapping? When I modded the cables on my CGE, I mistakenly misaligned one of the internal connectors with its associated header leaving one pin exposed. It just so happened to be the Dec motor control cable. When I powered the mount on for the first time, everything seemed ok, but then the Dec motor started running and it would not switch off.

You probably have already done this, but its worth double checking the seating of all the internal connectors. It might also be a cracked trace on one of the RJ-45 connector boards. They are all routed micro strip, and years of insertion/extractions of the external facing connectors can cause the small boards to flex and eventually cause the traces to fail. A DMM would help you to diagnose that particular problem. In fact, I would beep out the dec motor control signals all the way from the motor control board in the pier to the motor in the DEC housing before throwing the towel in.

Good luck.

Matt


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5767913 - 03/31/13 12:01 AM

Hey Brent...I have a soft spot for the CGE but it does have its quirks. First, did you do a factory reset? If not, do that before you do anything else. Get it back to default, then enter the proper information. If it's still on the fritz, look at Gary Bennett's cable modification. I had to replace the Dec board because the socket was worn out due to using the stock cables. The movement eventually makes the socket useless. Once I replaced the board, I used Marty Cables and never had the problem. But the Bennett mod is the way to go.

Also, make sure that the Dec limit switch is adjusted properly as has been posted. Take the cover off of the Dec axis and the RA axis. You can compare the action of the RA switch with the Dec switch. It takes very little misalignment to make the ole' girl go crazy.

David


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5767953 - 03/31/13 12:34 AM

Your issue is starting to sound like the motor control board, maybe. I thought you indicated that you had switched the motors. If so, if Dec runs away no matter which motor is in the Dec position it sounds like the issue is the controller board.

You might also contact Gary Bennett for his opinion.

What about buying a second, used CGE for parts? You might find one for $1600.

Also, I recommend the Keyspan USB to Serial adapter if you want to flash hand controllers and the like.

- Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (03/31/13 12:45 AM)


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bogg
sage


Reged: 11/17/09

Loc: Bruce County Ontario
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5768230 - 03/31/13 08:36 AM

I agree with jrbarnett sounds like if you switched the motors and the problem moved then it may be the controller board. I had a runaway motor and when I switched the motors the problem moved. It was the board on the motor. Talked to Celestron and they sent me a replacement motor with board. It was not that expensive. Try celestron they may be able to help you.

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5768707 - 03/31/13 12:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

This is one of the many benefits of Gary Bennett's replacement cable kits, you get more than just new bullet proof external cables and connectors.




This is actually how I got into this mess.
I did the cable mod myself...must have gotten a wire or two crossed, and down came my mount. has not worked right since.
I have replaced/repaired everything back to STOCK condition just because I could not find the fault in my wiring(and actually, there may have never been one. it just happened that my mount decided to develop issues precisely at the same time as when I performed the cable mod..)..






You have to be very careful with the cable mod. There are some boards in some mounts that are mislabeled so that the connections indicated on one side of the board are different than the markings on the other side of the board. If you use the markings on the wrong side of the board, you fry the motor board. Even I have done this. You have to look at Gary's instructions in regards to the two different boards and determine which one you have and then be very careful to wire it correctly.

I didn't realize that you had done the cable mod. If the problems started occurring right after the mod, then it is likely that you fried the motor board and will have to replace it.


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

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: EFT]
      #5769406 - 03/31/13 06:09 PM

Wow, thanks again for all the info!


Matt: Yes, I have gone over them many times already, BUT, this sorta goes into Ed's post, I did not know about the board being mis-labeled on one side, so will have to check into this further.

David: Hey man!
Yes, I checked all three switches(2x RA and 1x DEC) and all are working perfectly, set right so that they switch on and off, and all have Ohm'd out to 0 Ohms when closed(well, 0.1-0.2 Ohms). So I THINK they are fine, but I am going to replace atleast the DEC one just for the piece of mind since when I first tested it, it 'rang out' to ~12-14 Ohms..but after playing with it a few times in and out of the mount, tryin it on the RA axis, etc..it now reads 0 Ohms...so I am weary of it..

I have NOT done a factory reset. See, this is why I love CN(or anywhere you can find good advice ). I needed to step back and think of the simple things for a bit and this is one that I needed to find/do..I will do that. thanks!


Jim. No, the DEC motor runs away no matter which POSITION it is in, meaning if I move the DEC motor to RA and RA to DEC, the (original) DEC motor is STILL the 'bad' runaway motor. meaning the problem follows the MOTOR!

If I could afford to spend any more $ on a mount I would cut my losses with this and buy a CGEM or Atlas..but since this doesnt seem to be a money pit/endless battle(knock on wood!), I am going to try and get it working again.


Eric, Are you saying the little RJ45 connector board IN the motor housing is what they sent you? or the encoder(??) board that is on the RA motor??
There are no "boards on the motor" itself, everything is internal, but the encoder board for the worm encoder IS mounted on the RA motor..

My problem is also moving WITH the MOTOR, so I am leaning towards the motor being the issue, not the MCB.


Ed, I have replaced both IC3 and IC5 of the MCB, which did not help...but they are cheap and easily replaceable, so I did just for piece of mind. But yes, once you fry one of the main ICs, you are done. end of line.

I just found the pics of Gary's showing the Power board and how there are two versions, with different markings/positions for the cables..like you said.
Fortunately, I have the newer board, and checked both sides and it IS wired properly


Okay...what's next? lol

Seriously could not ask for better help!
thank you all!

Will update soon with more info as I have a friend sending me a MCB that works, which I hope will prove it is the motor that is the issue.
Of course I will do all the things mentioned here FIRST, before hooking up that MCB to my system(dont want to possibly ruin another one!)

Cheers!


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bogg
sage


Reged: 11/17/09

Loc: Bruce County Ontario
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5769572 - 03/31/13 07:47 PM

Nofxrx they sent me the whole motor. There was a small board with an encoder or controller as part of the motor assembly. According to celestron part of the motor. I am sure that they add the circuitry to the motor for this application. Looking back at some old pictures I took the motor may have been from an earlier mount I owned not sure if it was out of the CGE. The motors should be similar though.

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

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Palm Bay,Florida
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: bogg]
      #5769911 - 03/31/13 11:43 PM

gotcha!
Thanks


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: nofxrx]
      #5772037 - 04/02/13 12:34 AM

I misunderstood your original comment about moving the motors around. If the run-aways follow a particular motor, the motor rather than the MCB is likely the problem.

Keep us posted.

- Jim


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jbalsam
sage
*****

Reged: 07/06/12

Loc: Darnestown, MD
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5779560 - 04/05/13 12:42 PM

When you moved the motor, did you move the plug-in-port with it? If you did, the problem might be following the bad grounding connection at the socket. Did you try wiggling the cable for the motor while it was running away? I didnt see you mention in any of your responses that you specifically tried that. Try keeping some pressure back against the plug before you give a slew command. I don't mean push it in harder to to the plug hole, i mean push it back against the side wall of the plug so the metal casing surrounding the plug presses firmly against the metal casing of the plug hole.

Again, my only experience with this problem was resolved by doing this and there may be many other reasons it's happening. But this is the most common reason. Also, maybe check for connectivity between the shielding in the plug hole and the pins on the circuit board it's supposed to connect to (I'm sure there's a wiring diagram available somewhere... I don't have one handy to link you to though, sorry).


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jbalsam]
      #5780215 - 04/05/13 05:33 PM

Motor encoder? Easy to ding when doing the mod if not careful. The plug ports are an easy test as the two stock ones are interchangeable and just plug onto the controller board.

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Frank
sage


Reged: 01/18/09

Loc: Netherlands
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: EFT]
      #5788416 - 04/09/13 03:05 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

This is one of the many benefits of Gary Bennett's replacement cable kits, you get more than just new bullet proof external cables and connectors.




This is actually how I got into this mess.
I did the cable mod myself...must have gotten a wire or two crossed, and down came my mount. has not worked right since.
I have replaced/repaired everything back to STOCK condition just because I could not find the fault in my wiring(and actually, there may have never been one. it just happened that my mount decided to develop issues precisely at the same time as when I performed the cable mod..)..






You have to be very careful with the cable mod. There are some boards in some mounts that are mislabeled so that the connections indicated on one side of the board are different than the markings on the other side of the board. If you use the markings on the wrong side of the board, you fry the motor board. Even I have done this. You have to look at Gary's instructions in regards to the two different boards and determine which one you have and then be very careful to wire it correctly.

I didn't realize that you had done the cable mod. If the problems started occurring right after the mod, then it is likely that you fried the motor board and will have to replace it.




See the pictures attached: this is the mislabelling on the boards, causing my boards to end in blue smoke. Terrible!


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: Frank]
      #5788429 - 04/09/13 03:08 PM

Yep. That's it and it's gotten a lot of people, including me.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: Frank]
      #5789327 - 04/09/13 11:05 PM

Note to self: Look at the *front* of the board when deciding which side to connect which harness to.

Regards,

Jim


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Frank
sage


Reged: 01/18/09

Loc: Netherlands
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5789468 - 04/10/13 01:31 AM

You're right ...

The problem with the CGE boards: after installation in the column, only the back side is visible. Excactly there is where I made 'my' mistake (actually, a Celestron mistake). Waiting for a new board took months and months (as I'm living in Europe, I do not have access to the Celestron spare parts web shop (only assible by US citizens).

Edited by Frank (04/10/13 01:31 AM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: Frank]
      #5791519 - 04/10/13 10:58 PM

Frankie, next time you need a little sumthin' sumthin' from Celstron US' parts store, you let your uncle Jim know and we'll see what we can do about hookin' you up.

- Jim


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jbalsam
sage
*****

Reged: 07/06/12

Loc: Darnestown, MD
Re: CGE issues.. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5798142 - 04/14/13 11:37 AM

Good grief. I never heard about the mislabeling on the boards. Makes me glad that when I switched out my board I didn't pay attention to the labels, I just switched one cable at a time from the old board to the new board to make sure they went into the same sockets.

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