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CGE and CGE Pro motor

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#1 DarkRise

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:55 PM

Just wondering if the original CGE motors are compatible with the CGE pro?

#2 DuncanM

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:27 AM

No, I am fairly certain that they are not.



#3 EFT

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:55 AM

No, they definitely are not. 



#4 dfva

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 12:49 PM

If you are looking for a CGE motor, check with Starizona.  The had some not too long ago.  They are rare now and expensive



#5 EFT

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:36 PM

I am still able to get CGE motors but they are definitely expensive but not as expensive as the CGE Pro motors.  The cost of US-made motors is probably the reason they went with cheap Chinese motor in the new mounts.



#6 DuncanM

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 03:06 PM

It's too bad that Celestron didn't utilize an off the shelf motor/gear box from Pittman. OTOH, if a mechanically compatible motor/gearbox could be found then it could be used by converting the mount to a Scitech servo controller.



#7 Jesus Munoz

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 03:58 PM

It's too bad that Celestron didn't utilize an off the shelf motor/gear box from Pittman. OTOH, if a mechanically compatible motor/gearbox could be found then it could be used by converting the mount to a Scitech servo controller.

That would have been the best way, but unfortunately... confused1.gif



#8 junomike

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:00 PM

I am still able to get CGE motors but they are definitely expensive but not as expensive as the CGE Pro motors.  The cost of US-made motors is probably the reason they went with cheap Chinese motor in the new mounts.

Ed, can you give a rough ballpark cost (here or via PM).



#9 Jesus Munoz

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:10 PM

 

I am still able to get CGE motors but they are definitely expensive but not as expensive as the CGE Pro motors.  The cost of US-made motors is probably the reason they went with cheap Chinese motor in the new mounts.

Ed, can you give a rough ballpark cost (here or via PM).

 

Celestron told me $589 each one. 


  • Real14 and calypsob like this

#10 junomike

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:18 PM

 

 

I am still able to get CGE motors but they are definitely expensive but not as expensive as the CGE Pro motors.  The cost of US-made motors is probably the reason they went with cheap Chinese motor in the new mounts.

Ed, can you give a rough ballpark cost (here or via PM).

 

Celestron told me $589 each one. 

 

jawdrop.gifbigshock.gifbombdrop.gif



#11 EFT

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:44 PM

If I am still able to get the CGE motors, the cost would be $400.  It is always possible that they have completely run out though.  I would have to check.  The CGE Pro motor is $586.

 

The CGE is a dying beast at this point.  The power boards are not longer available and the motor boards come in and out.  I'm actually to the point where I am selling the parts from my own CGE.  We are coming up on 9-10 years out of production at this point.  Since the CGE was a US-made product and Celestron is now almost all Chinese-made (although some motors come from India), Synta seems to have very little interest in continuing the product of spare parts since the actual market for them is pretty small.

 

I'm sure that some ingenious person could figure out how to retrofit the CGE with new motors and the Scitech system.  But it would take some work and would not be cheap.  Good servo motors in this class can be fairly expensive no matter what you do.  Unfortunately, the motors made for Celestron were propriety and could not be obtained directly from Pitmann.  In addition, the motors are not particularly repairable if you contact companies that service small servos.  These are brushed motors which mean they will eventually wear out but the brushes are essentially non-replaceable. 



#12 DarkRise

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:19 PM

There is no way the motor can be refurbished or re-brushed ?


Edited by DarkRise, 15 January 2018 - 07:19 PM.


#13 Ken82

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 02:14 PM

How long are celestron likely to support the cge pro ? I wouldn’t be happy if this wasn’t for a considerable period of time given the financial outlay on this mount.

#14 EFT

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:21 PM

I have looked into having the CGE motors repaired/fixed by servo shops specializing in small servos before and had no luck.  The CGE Pro motors are essentially the same problem.  Repairing that would have helped a lot of people, but I could never find anyone who could do it (even when I sent them a motor to examine).  From my disassembly of the motors to see what might be done, I see no good way to repair them or even replace the brushes, but I am not an expert and may not have the necessary tools.  I know that when I have taken them apart, I have been unable to get them back together (which is something I am fairly good at).  Motors with brushes that are meant to be replaceable are typically easy to replace them on.  The good news, to at least some extent, is that motors like these are generally more likely to encoder electronics problems than actual motor problems earlier on (although I have seen some obviously failed motors).  While you can't get just an encoder from Celestron, it may be possible to source an encoder from elsewhere.

 

In regards to how long parts will remain available, it is hard to say.  It depends largely one how many mounts were sold in the first place (which is probably not very high) and how much excess stock of parts they produced before the end of the product life and if they are willing to produce more as time goes by.  The CGE and CG-5 mounts are probably a bigger problem due to the cross-over to Chinese production during their life cycle.  It could be that the CGE Pro will be supported longer.  Unfortunately, the new mounts do not use the same motors as the CGE Pro.



#15 calypsob

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:25 PM

 

 

I am still able to get CGE motors but they are definitely expensive but not as expensive as the CGE Pro motors.  The cost of US-made motors is probably the reason they went with cheap Chinese motor in the new mounts.

Ed, can you give a rough ballpark cost (here or via PM).

 

Celestron told me $589 each one. 

 

HOLY SMACKS!  


Edited by calypsob, 16 January 2018 - 05:27 PM.


#16 calypsob

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:28 PM

If I am still able to get the CGE motors, the cost would be $400.  It is always possible that they have completely run out though.  I would have to check.  The CGE Pro motor is $586.

 

The CGE is a dying beast at this point.  The power boards are not longer available and the motor boards come in and out.  I'm actually to the point where I am selling the parts from my own CGE.  We are coming up on 9-10 years out of production at this point.  Since the CGE was a US-made product and Celestron is now almost all Chinese-made (although some motors come from India), Synta seems to have very little interest in continuing the product of spare parts since the actual market for them is pretty small.

 

I'm sure that some ingenious person could figure out how to retrofit the CGE with new motors and the Scitech system.  But it would take some work and would not be cheap.  Good servo motors in this class can be fairly expensive no matter what you do.  Unfortunately, the motors made for Celestron were propriety and could not be obtained directly from Pitmann.  In addition, the motors are not particularly repairable if you contact companies that service small servos.  These are brushed motors which mean they will eventually wear out but the brushes are essentially non-replaceable. 

And this is why I will never buy another Celestron product for the rest of my life. 



#17 DuncanM

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:47 PM

I think that motor encoder problems are much more likely than motors with worn-out brushes.

 

The ideal solution would be for Celestron to source a mechanically compatible motor (and/or produce modded hardware to fit it) and then issue firmware updates to enable compatibility with existing controllers and/or supply replacement controllers. I'm not holding my breath...

 

The next ideal would be for a stepper/servo motor replacement kit that could utilize 3rd party controllers.



#18 DuncanM

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:56 PM

 

 

And this is why I will never buy another Celestron product for the rest of my life. 

 

Really? How long should Celestron stock parts for old mounts? Forever? 

 

This is a business opportunity for some enterprising person to design and build replacement parts. In these days of CnC machining it shouldn't be all that hard to prototype the needed parts and then have them produced in batches. 



#19 WadeH237

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:05 PM

If Celestron can't make it work at $500+ for a replacement motor, I don't see much of a business opportunity.



#20 DuncanM

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 09:00 PM

If Celestron can't make it work at $500+ for a replacement motor, I don't see much of a business opportunity.



Do you really think that cgemii motors cost $500 each? The problem aiui is that the Cgem motor isn't physically compatible with the cgepro or cge but celestron could make the needed parts in a kit so that a Cgem motor could fit. Alternatively synta could make a conversion kit to allow the use of their stepper drive system. OTOH a third party could certainly do this. However since parts are still available there's been no volume demand.

#21 WadeH237

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:08 PM

No, I don't think that the motors cost $500 each.

 

What I am saying is that, if the margin that Celestron gets by charging $500+ does not make financial sense enough, that it probably won't for anyone else either.  We are talking about an extraordinarily small market here.



#22 EFT

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:41 AM

 

This is a business opportunity for some enterprising person to design and build replacement parts. In these days of CnC machining it shouldn't be all that hard to prototype the needed parts and then have them produced in batches.

While this is true, there is no money in it unless you can do it all yourself, and even then there probably wouldn't be much.  Certainly nothing to make a business out of.  CNC seems like it should be easy and cheap but it is really neither.  I can design parts and machine them but I work in plastics, not metals, at this point.  CAD and CAM software is expensive, and the best stuff is ridiculously expensive.  CNC machines are very expensive and getting time on multi-axis (four or five) machine costs quite a bit, even for relatively simple parts.  I make my TEMP-est fans on my own 3-axis CNC mill with software packages I own because it was simply uneconomical to have someone else do the machining, much less the design.  But I started with a very small machine basic software and worked my way up and there is just enough volume to make it worth it.  There will be very little volume a CGE retrofit when it comes down to it. 

 

While I have long had some interest in this, the cost for a retrofit is not something I am sure most people would consider worth it.  While the CGE is a reasonably good mount, it is by no means a great mount and right now they are only worth about $1500.  Just the basic Sitech controller and motors (assuming the ones they have fit the enclosure) would cost $800 and frankly I would go with the better controller which then takes it up to $1295.  The motors that Sitech carries have the encoders and gearboxes that are needed and they might even have the proper screw pattern for the existing worm/motor block, but their size and configuration might be problematic.  If those motors won't work, then you can expect to probably spend at least $200-300 per motor for something else that would be readily and reliably available.  Beyond the Sitech and motor costs would be the cost of a new worm/motor block, if that is needed.  The cost of producing that would probably end the project by itself because of the level of precision necessary (for the motor mount and worm/bearing positioning) and the small numbers needed (short runs cost a ridiculous amount per piece and long runs can stick you with a lot of unpaid for stock).  Frankly, if the original worm/motor block could not be used, I don't think that the project could be done reasonably.  In addition, some small parts would need to be made to cleanly connect the mount to the Sitech controller (like Gary Bennett does with his cable retrofits) unless you just want to leave the tops off the motor enclosures and leave everything exposed. 

 

While the project might be expanded to cover the CGE Pro mounts eventually (once parts run out or people give up on the Celestron control system), overall, it is really a fairly ambitious project with a lot of monetary risk involved where it is very unclear whether there is a sufficient market.  This is how I have to approach things from a business stand point. 



#23 DuncanM

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 03:20 AM

I understand the difficulties involved and it is one of the reasons that I dislike servo motor systems due to their dependence on reduction gear boxes. The easiest 3rd party approach might be a conversion kit to utilize stepper motors with an Eqmod compatible controller.  I would suggest a modified motor bracket to mount a stepper motor that then drives the worm via a belt drive and a 2/3/4 - 1 reduction pulley wheel system.




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