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Starsense + CGX woes

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#1 mr1337

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 10:43 PM

Just got a used CGX today from OPT and hooked up the 8" EdgeHD OTA with starsense and my starsense handset plugged into the Celestron gps unit (which worked great). After 6 or 7 attempts at starsense manual alignment I went full auto, and it failed every one. Found plenty of stars but failed the alignment. Didn't even get to try to ASPA yet.

Has anyone else had issues with a cgx and starsense? Should I be doing it the same way as on the evolution mount? I set it up with the counterweight leg pointing north, made sure RA and DEC were well balanced. It did sound a little gritty when rotating the axes with the clutch off... Not sure if that is the normal or not but it's got me a little worried there is something going on with this mount.

Thanks for any advice!

#2 ishorx

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 01:40 AM

do you have a manual for the cgx,.....does it have index marks that you set it up with,......does your starsense recognize your new mount and is set for it?



#3 Noah4x4

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 01:42 AM

If an older/used mount, have you updated the firmware?

 

There are multiple firmware updates for the CGX mount + Starsense. For example;

 

Version 1.19.17055 (12/2017) for the Starsense HC recreated all ASPA routines for both wedge and GEM mounts.

 

Between 9/2016 and 8/2018 there were five firmware updates specifically for the CGX mount including changing default guide rates and reducing false alarms on RA and Dec sensors. You mention it sounding 'gritty'. A fix in 8/2018 retuned the feedback loop to reduce the 'buzzing' on some mounts. Maybe that is what you are experiencing?

 

As regards the Nexstar + HC, there are multiple CGX updates in versions 5.29.6225 and 5.29.6226 to correct error messages and reports.

.


Edited by Noah4x4, 29 September 2018 - 01:44 AM.


#4 ishorx

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 01:42 AM

also are you plugging the starsense into the right port



#5 mr1337

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 06:12 AM

Thanks, will try updating the firmware today.

Ishorx, its plugged into an aux port the same way it is done on the Evolution. I can try plugging it into the aux directly instead of the aux on the GPS unit though, since that's a new variable.

#6 skaiser

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 10:46 AM

Cgx has home and limit switches.

start with scope mount at least roughly polar aligned.

when you first start the align with starsense or without, your system should home out. 

Make sure lens cap is off starsense.

be sure you have made all the settings in the hand control for your location/ time.

if this was used by someone else you can bet it does not have the correct base settings for your location.



#7 mr1337

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 11:37 AM

Thanks skaiser, I started with the tripod leg that has the counterweights over it pointed north, should that have been the mount itself?

Definitely started out at home position, similar to my Evolution mount. Using the GPS accessory, so time date and location were spot on.

After a mistake with lenscap early on, I always take the caps off for starsense and finderscope all at the same time ;0)

I did notice the Starsense mamual align was asking for 4 points before it failed out, whereas normally it only aks for 3.

Should I be worried about the gritty sound? I hear it before i power it up or put any weight on it, just have to take the clutch off...

#8 skaiser

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 08:57 PM

So , without power, and clutch loose, you get the gritty sound , while moving the axis by hand?

i do not hear anything like that.

the usual noise a lot of cgx owners report is from the belt drive system , during powered moves.

 

Per Noah, a good idea to make sure starsense sw is up to date.

Just want to make sure the cgx is homing on it switches.. 

 so if you intentionally offset both axis, then power up and select align on hand control, the hand control should msg it is homing, the go into starsense seek mode.

 

also does the starsense seem to be going through the sequence, searching, finding, solving, solved...

for each position it moves to.?



#9 mr1337

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 11:56 PM

Firmware seems to have been the issue. I'm out imaging right now and have gotten a few nice captures of 60s with nice round stars. I did have an issue where the mount send to forget where it's home position was so I started over with alignment but will have to check that out tomorrow in the daylight. I still need to run PhD they my main imaging camera and see what kind of error I'm looking at unguided. Definitely a ton more solid than the Evolution mount, even with the hyperstar.

I will try to record the sound of the squeak I'm hearing tomorrow as well, maybe I'm just being paranoid...

Btw, this is what I'm looking at on my screen right now ;0)
https://drive.google...ew?usp=drivesdk

Edited by mr1337, 29 September 2018 - 11:56 PM.

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#10 skaiser

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 06:35 AM

Nice image!

 Glad things seem to be working better.

Will be interesting what your noise sounds like.

take care



#11 mr1337

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 08:58 AM

Ok, put the video up here:
https://drive.google...ew?usp=drivesdk

You can hear what sounds like metal rubbing or vibration at the beginning and again and 45 sec in, only when the mount is rotating counter clockwise (with the stars).

#12 junomike

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 01:04 PM

My SW EQ5P makes that exact sound (and then some). Never had an issue.

I don't think It's that bad myself, but I can see why you are concerned.



#13 skaiser

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 07:45 AM

This is a typical thing for the cgx mount drive system.

it is not a major issue but can be annoying over time.

if you search on google, “Celestron cgx noise” you will find a number of videos on one adjustment .

the cgx manual also gives information on adjustments to tweak the drive.

this is mainly to adjust the tension of the worm on the worm gear.

i also did a shim adjustment on the motor mount so the belt tracked in the center of the drive pulley.



#14 mr1337

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 09:57 PM

Thanks skaiser, I just found that post as I saw your reply: https://www.cloudyni...on-issue/page-2

Definitely the same issue, confirmed after the concerts came off and started slewing.

How did you shim it? Looks like the shaft is too short...

#15 skaiser

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 05:53 PM

Here is how I was able to shim the motor drives so the belt tracks in the center of the pulley.

 

Cgx motor drive1
This shows the drive motor system.
 
Cgx belt Mis track1
Here is how my drive belt was tracking before I shimmed the motor.
The belt was riding on the edge of the flanged pulley on the worm.
 
motor shim1

I used aluminium flashing (approx 0.006" thick) , purchased from local lumber store.

I had to double it over a few times to get it thick enough so the motor was aligned properly for the belt tracking. I also had to shim it in two locations (under the upper and lower screw locations, under the mount block). The picture shows the upper shim (red) I was putting in place. The picture also shows the 3 screws (green circle) that have to be loosened (not removed all the way) so you can slip the shim under the motor mount base.

The shim was trimmed off so it was not sticking out too far from the mount structure.

Final shape was "L" shapped.

 

Cgx belt center tracking
Here , after several shim thickness experiments, is how the belt is tracking.
 
Note: it takes a bit of skill to insert the shims under the motor mount. Good lighting and some needle nose pliers to push the shim under the base by the screws. 
The Shim should only go under the motor block about 1/8" so when you tighten the screws it causes the mount block to tilt. I'm assuming most of the CGX mounts have a similar tilt problem since the parts are probably machined the same way.
 
I had to do this for both axis.
 

 

 

 

 


Edited by skaiser, 03 October 2018 - 06:04 PM.

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#16 mr1337

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 08:34 AM

Wow, super helpful, a picture is definitely worth those 1000 words! I'll have to try this once I get my latest issues sorted...

So about that, just had my single most frustrating night out so far.... The kind where nothing works and you can't reason out why. I work in technology and programming world so not entirely unfamiliar with this experience in a regular basis. ;0)

I hooked up everything the same way I did before this last weekend when I had success, only difference is that I was trying out the HC that comes with the scope in the basement just to make sure sure it worked and could slew etc.

Once I removed lenscaps, made sure everything was balanced, was roughly polar aligned, hooked up the Starsense and Starsense HC I tried to use starsense auto align. Worked fine this last weekend after I updated firmware but last night it was acting very strangely - it would start capturing an image before the slew completed, sometimes would get stuck searching when pointing at my house. So I decided to do starsense manual after 3-4 tries. No luck, even after detecting 100 stars at each alignment point, the alignment ended up failing.

Then tried to forgo starsense and just do a 2 star align with the standard HC. For some reason it wouldn't save my location information and wouldn't detect the GPS device it was hooked up to. So decided to play it safe and hook up the HC to my laptop and update firmware. Already did that with Starsense and mount separately and everything seemed to work fine after that so was thinking there may be a mismatch between the HC and mount. After going through the 11 updates and power cycling the mount, still had the same issue. After getting fed up with that moved back to starsense and reset the HC and updated firmware again. 3-4 starsense auto and 3-4 manual attempts later still no good alignments. On a hail Mary, decided to install the Planewave software, but after getting about halfway through setup I ran out of time, being a weekday and all...

Should the CFM tool be updating anything if those updates aren't needed? I feel like I can just clicking the update button and it will update the same version over and over instead of telling me that the latest versions are already installed.

Anyway, after about 3 hours I managed to not actually get the scope to do *anything*
Ugh.

I guess next time I get a clear sky I can try hooking up the Starsense to the Evolution mount again to see if there is something physically wrong with it, otherwise I have no idea why it would work fine the previous session but not at all last night. Still no clue why the standard HC is acting so weird. Pretty much the whole reason I went with the CGX to begin with is to be able to have faster setup with the Starsense and my tree-ringed driveway without a clear view of Polaris.

Also, should I be able to move the RA axis with the clutch on? It just feels like it slides under the clutch even without any weight on it and I know the clutch on my Evolution mount is rock solid when it is tightened down. The lever is pretty easy to push down into the locked position, not much resistance...

Thanks for any ideas!

#17 skaiser

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 09:16 AM

With scope balanced, the clutch should hold pretty firm.

push the clutch lever down firmly!

I won’t be near my mount for a week or so, but will confirm how firm the clutch is.

 

as for starsense failure.

i have experienced total failures also.

every time , it has taken one or a couple, complete shutdowns, and it would start working normally.

the joys of a software controlled system. As you are well aware of if dealing with tech and programming.

( i retired from design and programming of automation equipment)

I suspect the scope software just glitches sometimes on startup and it just takes a power restart.

i will also try switching between starsense and standard Nexstar + hand control.

 

I’m pretty sure CFM doesn’t worry about the software version On the hardware.

It just does the updates. 

 

 It really does work very well most of the time.


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#18 mumbles

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 08:38 PM

With scope balanced, the clutch should hold pretty firm.
push the clutch lever down firmly!
I won’t be near my mount for a week or so, but will confirm how firm the clutch is.

as for starsense failure.
i have experienced total failures also.
every time , it has taken one or a couple, complete shutdowns, and it would start working normally.
the joys of a software controlled system. As you are well aware of if dealing with tech and programming.
( i retired from design and programming of automation equipment)
I suspect the scope software just glitches sometimes on startup and it just takes a power restart.
i will also try switching between starsense and standard Nexstar + hand control.

I’m pretty sure CFM doesn’t worry about the software version On the hardware.
It just does the updates.

It really does work very well most of the time.

I've had starsense completely freeze up aswell, or even start slewing and not stop during it's alignment. It's pretty annoying sometimes. I also noticed when it says it found 100 stars it actually means something is blocking it's view.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

#19 skaiser

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:16 PM

From my research, the starsense software returns a  maximum number of upto 100 stars.

In decently dark sky’s my starsense usually returns 100 stars.

if I start at dusk, then it will usually solve for sky position with as few as 20 stars.




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