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Houston, we have a problem

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#1 Dennis

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 12:56 PM

About 10 days ago, I did something very careless. Simple mistake. Stupid.

I've been in a bit of a fog with my sweetie in a major health battle. I'm usually much more careful around electronics.

Anyway, I haven't been fond of the HandController, particularly when using big fat gloves. So, I decided to build a little switch box which plugs into the AutoGuide connector. 4 momentary switches for pointing the scope. Easy to use with big fat gloves when it's cold out.

Checked the wiring. Fine. Went to scope, plugged it in and pushed a button on my new box. My hand controller suddenly went dead. I looked down at the connector where I plugged in my little box ... wrong connector. I had plugged it into the Aux 2 connector rather than the AutoGuide connector. :foreheadslap: I un-plugged it and tried normal operation of my scope. Error 16 ... then a menu came up. I pressed align ... Error 17. Shut off the scope and tried again, same responce. Houston, we have a problem. :bawling:

I pulled the base cover, removed the board containing the connectors and pulled out my Fluke meter. Power supplies ok. However, Aux 1 and 2 connectors have 12v on one of the pins. So, my little switch box connected 12v to a signal line. poof! Scope's electronics are useless.

I called Celestron to try to speak to someone, but could only leave a message with tech support. So I did. Got a call later that day from a tech. I explained to the tech exactly what I'd done. I told him I know it's under warranty, but I did the damage and expect to pay for it. (I'm thinking no new EP's for a year) He agreed to let me send in just the HC and one other board, and said they'd take care of it. I sent them in last tuesday. Today I just received new replacements ... free of charge! Now, I call that great support! Thanks Celestron!!! I am very grateful!

In the meantime, I've been using the scope using the old fashion star hopping method. A great education.

Just wanted to share my foolish experience so that others will avoid this mistake, and to say Celestron support is alive and well.

#2 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 01:07 PM

doh! :foreheadslap: glad to hear celestron pulled through for you. they get a big thumbs up. :waytogo:

#3 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 01:17 PM

Whew! I'm glad and frankly not surprised at Celestron's response. They may need improvement in the communications department (just letting "us" know what is going on), but their customer support has always been top notch in my experience.

Clear skies and careful plug in's ;)
Jeff

#4 rboe

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 04:49 PM

Dennis; one cheap lesson. You're out some time and that was about it. One lucky dog! In the past I've come clean with vendors on issues - thankfully not too often - and they really appreciate. Some times you pay, sometimes you don't, but you get great service in either case.

Thanks for pointing that out.

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 07:30 PM

Thats a great story about customer support and being carefull when doing retrofits.

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 09:09 PM

Dennis, thanks for sharing that. I bought the same scope and was hoping that I'd never have to call Celestron support. Now I don't have to worry -- congradulations.

#7 John P

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 06:21 AM

Finally found your thread, thank you. I'm rather new at this website stuff and didn't realize there was a forum specific to Celestron GPS's till now. I'm going to attempt to clean all the connectors etc. before I panic over my error codes 16 and 17's. And I hope I end up having your success with Celestron's online support...I have not yet. Should I need to remove boards, etc...can you recommend a site I could use for guidance?

#8 Mike28

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 05:48 PM

We've all pulled a few mistakes in past. I set my Nagler 17mm on ground that happend to have pebbles and at bottom of EP is a big honking piece of glass. I thought I really scratched that sucker but turned out all it needed was a little careful cleaning solution and a prayer of thanks from me. Recently My NS11GPS tipped over sidways when one leg dropped as I was cleaning scope down. I flung myself infront of it and caught it while on my back! That was then prayer #2 from me! And yes Celestron is very forgiving to a point. Their customer support is really great! I take my hat off to them!

#9 Dennis

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 05:11 PM

Should I need to remove boards, etc...can you recommend a site I could use for guidance?


John, sorry it took a while for you to find this. There is no site that I know of. If you haven't had experience with of electronics, I'd refrain from trying to do this yourself. I do hope it's just a connection problem! Good Luck!


#10 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 09:14 PM

Error codes 16 and 17 indicate the main firmware (sitting in the HC) is unable to communicate correctly with the Alt and Az motor controllers. There are a number of things that can cause this.

I highly recommend you check the following sites for info about cures for these problems as well as descriptions of disassembly.

http://www.nexstar11.com

http://www.nexstarsite.com

Clear skies,
Jeff

#11 John P

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 09:04 AM

Thank you for the comments and advice concerning my error 16 and error 17 codes when I start up. I've done all I'm comfortable doing myself and still have the problem. Celestron has yet to respond to my email of a week ago, and in calling their technical support on the phone, all I've managed is the dreaded voice mail and no return call from that either...after 3 messages being left. This is frustrating and discouraging.


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