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Nexstar 11gps error codes 16 and 17

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#1 John P

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 06:14 AM

I'm wondering if anyone can help me with a problem I'm having with my Celestron Nexstar 11 GPS. The 12v. input jack lost it's nut and fell into the base. I believe as a result, the telescope is un-operative and shows error code 16 or 17 (it's shown both), "no response" Emails with Celestron's support are slow and uneffective and so far all I've learned is they think it's a power problem. I've repaired the input jack and still get the error message and can go no further than that with the hand controller. I realize Celestron's support staff are probably busy, but it's frustrating to wait days for essentially meaningless replys. "Unofficial" support sites indicate it's a serious problem...sort of the kiss of death. Anyone else experience this problem and if so, is there anything you might recommend.

#2 Ken Hutchinson

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 09:45 AM

Those error codes indicate that the hand control cannot communicate with the motor control boards. Address 16 is the AZ motor and 17 the ALT motor or vice versa, I don't remember which for sure. Power could be a problem. If you are using a battery is it fully charged? Try the AC adaptor too, do you get the same result with both? How did you repair the power connector, did you replace the connector or just the nut that holds it on? There are subtle differences between connectors, it's possible you got the wrong one if you replaced it. It might mate mechanically with the plug on the power cord but not make good electrical contact. Does wiggling the connector help?

A completely different possibility is that the connector the hand control plugs into could be dirty. Try removing and inserting it several times to wipe it clean. You can also plug it into the "AUX" ports on the base of the scope. If that solves the problem you may have to clean the contacts in the fork arm connector with alcohol or contact cleaner from Radio Shack on a cotton swab. Or you can just leave the HC plugged into one of the AUX ports, many people seem to prefer that.

These error codes are fairly common. They aren't usually the kiss of death, they are usually either power or connector related. Sometimes they are an indication of a failure in the HC or the motor control boards. You can also try running the scope with hcAnywhere in place of the HC. If that works you probably have a bad HC. If it doesn't work and if you haven't used hcAnywhere before it may not mean anything. Trying to debug problems with new software and possible scope hardware problems at the same time is not a good idea.

Ken

#3 Dennis

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 11:05 AM

John: Celestron service department recently moved to a new building, so they are backed-up slighty. Call into the main number, and leave a message with tech support. They will get back in touch with you. Follow Ken's excellent suggestions and hopefully you'll eliminate the problem. Good luck!

#4 Dennis

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 12:59 PM

John, check out my "Houston we have a problem post". I want to vouch for Celestron's support.

#5 John P

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:56 AM

I appreciate the responses and Ken, I've tried several of your suggestions and will try those I haven't this weekend. With some luck, perhaps the problem(s) are as simple as you suggest, and Celestron seems to be leaning toward. This is a great telescope and I was using it with better results than my previous 38 years in amateur astronomy. It's an on-going bummer to have it failing me.

#6 John P

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 05:33 AM

Dennis, for some reason I can not locate your "Houston we have a problem post" although I read someplace you mentioning you fried your electronics. Do I really want to read it?

#7 Mess11

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Posted 05 March 2004 - 10:31 PM

Had the same problem with my Nexstar 8i and it was a power problem.
Had to have motor board replaced.

#8 John P

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 07:07 AM

It's only fair I complete this thread. I finally got some real help from Celestron regarding my error 16 and error 17 codes, and sure enough, it was the motor board. Celestron really came through and overnighted a replacement board with instructions, the change went exactly as the instructions said, and everything appears to now be ok although the skies have not allowed a complete test. Thank you Celestron

#9 Dennis

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 07:23 AM

Thanks for closing the loop. Glad you're back on the air! Clear skys!


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