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New Celestron will not track

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#1 Gregory2012

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 05:47 PM

Hi,

 

I swear, I can not believe I am going through this crap again.

 

I have one week old Celestron EdgeHD with the CPC Deluxe fork mount. When I booted the scope for the first time, I got the dreaded errors 16/17 Mode undisclosed. That all of a sudden stopped. And now the scope powers up normally. Not sure what that was about.

 

I have my settings according to instructions. I did a one star alignment for testing purposes only. I will not have too much skies until around March or April. So this is done in my office. I physically set the scope up according to instructions. I have me settings set to Alt/Az and I then slew, attempting a one star alignment (guessing the actual location in the sky) and it's at this point I get a Align Successful. I then try to slew to second star and the scope goes in the wrong direction, always West when I ask it to slew North or East after the alignment.

 

My coordinates settings are accurate but that wouldn't make any difference. Now the scope will not track. It hasn't tracked since I got the **** thing. Why is Meade and Celestron such cowards in their manufacturing an excellent product? Meade is going down, but they don't change a **** thing.

 

This is my second Celestron Edge and the other one was sent back to Celestron three times.

 

I tried talking to the Live Chat over at Celestron, but the lady (Jessie) said I wasn't answering her question appropriately (I tried to give every bit of info I could) but she insisted on yes or no answers and her questions kept including topics not relevant to the problem. She suggested I did not know the same motors were used for both tracking and slewing. But when she accused me of not answering her questions appropriately, I gave up and sent a repair ticket. I'm not sending this scope to Celestron, it is a major endeavor to ship these things. Huge and heavy. I went thought that process once already. Each time the scope came back after repairs it still didn't work, but for a different reason. I sold it at a significant loss.

 

Now I am seriously thinking of selling this new scope, again at a significant loss just to stop the headaches.

 

When I look at the comm logs, it shows the scope is not moving in RA. The scope being set up in Alt/Az. Tracking set to Alt/Az. Even though I am in Alt/Az mode, the scope just sits there. No movement. Slews fine in terms of going somewhere, but will not track.

 

Thank you everyone, you have been a great help in the past, so hopefully we can figure this out.

Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.

 



#2 kurbs

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:01 PM

Actually Jessie is a guy. Secondly i believe you would only send the mount. Not the OTA or tripod. Ping them again and see what they say.

 

Sometimes depending where you got it they may just take it back and refund you're money.


Edited by kurbs, 07 January 2020 - 06:03 PM.


#3 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:20 PM

Sometimes it goes the wrong way due to cord wrap. If you let it continue it ends up where it should.

 

To know if it is tracking indoors you would have to wait an hour or so to see if it is moving because it would move so slowly.

 

These are just some ideas that may or may not apply to your situation.



#4 Bean614

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:45 PM

How can you tell that the mount isn't tracking if you're set up indoors??  If Indoors,  NOTHING you're looking at is, or appears to be, MOVING in relation to you.  So, if you're focused on a streetlight,  and it is moving in your eyepiece view, the scope IS tracking!



#5 wyzguy

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:50 PM

Sorry to hear about your hassles Gregory.  I had one voluntary repair with Celestron on a non warranty 11 inch XLT and it took three tries to correct it.  It kept coming back with different issues.  As WWG mentioned call the guys you bought it from and get them to help with Celestron.  They often have much better access to support being a dealer if they are legit and can help you.  It's their responsibility also when there is a problem with something they sold you.  I know they are typically drop shipped from Celestron's warehouse but still, they are the seller and owe you proper support.  

 

Good luck my friend!



#6 John Rose

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:21 PM

Do you have a nearby astronomy club?  There should be some experienced Celestron owners who may be able to help.

 

Wyzguy's comment about contacting the dealer is also a good suggestion. If it is a real astronomy dealer. People who own and work at such places are there because they enjoy astronomy and telescopes. If remuneration was their main goal they would be working some where else!

 

Sounds like  technical support may be following a series of preloaded questions requiring only a yes or no. Trying to provide too much information before they are ready does not help. Some times those questions help them to get to the correct screen or some times, the correct person who does know how to help.

 

I do not have much experience with the CPC series.But the ones I have seen did work very well. 

 

Good luck, John



#7 aa6ww

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:31 PM

You can go into the Menu and find the area that shows the coordinates on the display and see if they are moving or not.

Probably just a setting issue.

 

...Ralph



#8 RTLR 12

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 09:30 PM

The mount won’t start tracking until the alignment is completed successfully.

Stan

#9 Gregory2012

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 12:27 AM

Thanks everyone.

 

The mount should move regardless of which star I align on. Indoors or out, you will see the scope move in the direction of any star. So, if I have received an Align Successful, then the scope should start tracking. I have no skies at present, so even guessing where the star's location, the scope should track after a rudimentary alignment if Align Successful is noted.

 

I have done all my business at High Point Scientific. They have provided every thing I have needed. I contacted them about this problem before the holidays. There immediate response was to ask if I had tried moving the controller connection to one of the Aux ports. I did try that after reading about the Error 16 and 17 here in the forums. Then they stopped talking to me for some reason. Like I fell through the cracks. Yesterday, still no response, I decided to leave a review about this scope. In my review I stated the problem and that fact HPS was being really slow in responding. Well that review (of course) was not posted. Then, all of sudden I get a reply to my original question. But the email was short and to the point. " At this point we need to bring in Celestron." Well I had already done that. This happened the next morning after trying to post my review.

 

This is the second scope in a row, they have sold me that didn't work.

 

I found a setting in my menu tree where it states "tracking off." I assumed it means that if select that function it will turn off tracking functions. But now I am wondering if I need to hit that selection to turn tracking on. It seems I had tried to change this setting in the past few nights, but it kept defaulting back to off. I wished my memory was just little better, I had forgot that part. So I will check that out and get back to you.

 

Very kind of you,

Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.



#10 mclewis1

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 11:31 AM

Don't screw with it. Do a Factory Settings reset and treat it like it was new out of the box (which it of course basically is). The reset will simply ensure that you have all new data loaded in the hand controller.

 

What firmware level is the hand controller running? (Version command)

 

After doing this ... 

 

What do you see for location data? (after getting a GPS link)

After an "alignment sucess" can you goto other targets in the generally correct area of the sky regardless of the direction it goes in?

As Steve mentioned the corp wrap setting will affect which direction the scope will approach some targets.

If after a sucessful alignment you point the scope out a window and focus on a remote object you should see the movement in the eyepiece from the tracking.


Edited by mclewis1, 08 January 2020 - 11:35 AM.


#11 Gregory2012

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 02:24 PM

Hi Mark,

 

Thank you for your response.

 

First, I did a reset yesterday, so I am hoping that may clear any issues. I read on the Nexstar site that doing the reset had cleared a lot of problems. After doing an alignment, I can use my Sky program and have it slew to another target, doesn't appear to be an issue.

 

The Sky has digital setting circles, watching this data, both Alt and Az numbers are changing in the right direction (increasing in value) indicating the scope is moving. But when I look maybe 30mins to an hour, it appears not to have moved. But maybe I am just being impatient. Later I am going to attach a blue laser and watch to see if the light is moving. That should clear things up.

 

One other oddity. Last night I was working with the scope. Had it sitting somewhat on a NW star. I was studying my celestial map when I heard the scope move as if it were slewing. This only lasted about 1-2s. After that, it appeared the scope may indeed be tracking.

 

Thanks Mark,

Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.



#12 photoracer18

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 03:22 PM

The way I test or setup a mount indoors doesn't require fudging the stars you can't see. Also works for polar aligning some types of mounts indoors or when you have no view of Polaris.

 

What you need is a smartphone loaded with one of the good planetarium programs, I use Sky Safari 6 Pro. As long as the phone can pickup the GPS satellites this will work. On a scope like your stick the phone on a flat surface on the back of the OTA (Velcro or other method). Once you have the sky up on the phone use the HC to move the scope so that the phone is pointed at an alignment star. If you need to magnify the view in the phone to get it as precise as possible. You can do 2 or 3 star alignment if you want. Once successful in the scope allow it to slew to a visible object above the horizon, even indoors. The phone should be pointed at the object you want. Letting it sit and track for awhile should show it keeping the object in the center of the phone display. If not then you have a problem.

 

You can use a version of this method to polar align a GEM mount provided it has a flat surface on the back of the polar axis (most don't but I have a couple) if not its possible to modify one of those smartphone camera adapters to clamp to the back of some mounts or maybe to the scope cradle or scope itself. Bring up the NCP on the phone display and then align the mount using the adjusters, magnifying the display until you are maxed out in the phone and centered. It can actually be more precise than a polar alignment scope if done right, and the NCP can be blocked by trees or clouds. It also doesn't care what year it is like a polar scope either.


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#13 Don W

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 05:20 PM

That's a brilliant solution, Photoracer18!

 

I usually do a fake alignment but this is better.



#14 Gregory2012

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:11 PM

Wow!

 

I have to admit, High Point Scientific came through with flying colors. I now have placed them at the top of my favorites list.

 

After having a bad experience with their support, they have done a complete 360. They are now offering to send me a new scope. I will then be allowed to test the two scopes and send mine back if it is truly messed up. I can then send the bad scope back. They're doing it this way, because they first said if I send the scope back to them, they will send my a new one. But I told them, the outside carton had been destroyed by UPS, so I would have to have it boxed again before shipment.

 

That's when they told me a new scope would be sent, and I could use that shipping container to send my scope back to them.

 

I have been at this for over twenty years. This is the finest offer any company has ever given me.

 

I'm not much for providing companies with feedback, most don't seem to care. But High Point Scientific has come through with flying colors. I would recommend their outfit with out hesitation to anyone who wants to be protected against bad gear.

 

I have decided to go through with the exchange. Today I had a dentist appointment. So I set the scope up to run while I was gone. When I got back about 2 hours later, the scope did not move in AZ and the tube was pointing down about six inches form where I had placed it. Pointing below the horizon. So I am now going to send it back.

 

I want to extend a well deserved thanks to every one. You gave me lots of info, some I hadn't realized before. This is truly a great place to be when you have Cloudy Nights. During all of this, I gave another item away, so it's been a great pleasure working with you.

 

So my sincere appreciation.

Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.


Edited by Gregory2012, 08 January 2020 - 10:14 PM.

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#15 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:34 PM

If it was pointing to the west then it would go down over 2 hours if it was tracking correctly.



#16 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:42 PM

Wow!

 

I have to admit, High Point Scientific came through with flying colors. I now have placed them at the top of my favorites list...

I may be mistaken (old age and such), but when Pocono Optics went kaput many years ago, Mike P. and some of other employees formed Highpoint. They were a really helpful group and were actively involved in the astro-community and events.


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#17 Gregory2012

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:43 PM

Thanks,

 

Yes, you're correct. But in my case, the scope was pointing East and about twenty degrees above the horizon.

 

Thank Steve,

Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.



#18 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:56 PM

I bought a C11 OTA from Highpoint Scientific in 2012. It arrived with a cracked corrector. I sent them a picture and within minutes I was emailed a tracking number for another new C11 they were sending me and also a prepaid return shipping label for the broken one. They're awesome.



#19 mclewis1

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 11:52 AM

Greg,

 

That's great news on the replacement. 

 

One thought on watching the scope and hearing the tracking motors ... With an alt az scope it is synthesizing an RA motion so both the alt and az axis are being driven at different rates in different parts of the sky. The Celestron NexStar firmware will reload or update the tracking data for the motor controllers every 30s or so (the exact amount depends on where you are pointed). So you can often see (or more correctly hear) changes in the movements of each axis ... the sound isn't always consistent.



#20 Gregory2012

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:12 PM

Well guess what?

 

Hi Everyone,

 

The scope is running as it should. It IS tracking, targeting and no longer exhibiting any issues or errors.

 

At first, I tried to do a Skyalign, but when it defaulted to reading the GPS signal, the process just sat there. Instructions state the GPS will not work indoors. So, I had been using a one star alignment (didn't require a GPS signal) while indoors. I would first have to enter date and time. I would estimate the position of a star, slew to that star's location. I would hit align.

 

The HC displayed "Align Successful." After that, the scope would not track and I couldn't change that behavior. In times like this, I re-read my documentation and comments here. I read about the Auto Two Star alignment. I also found where I could turn off the GPS sensor. Turning off the GPS, I tried the Auto Two Star. Again, picking and estimating the general position of the first star. The HC then gives you the option of which "second" star I wanted to try. The scope then slewed to that star with surprising accuracy and again I get the "Align Successful" display.

 

Only this time, the scope is apparently on it's way to becoming a family member. It is targeting, slewing AND tracking. I used a laser pointed in the direction of the OTA, and within minutes I found the scope had moved. I used a piece of tape to mark the original spot on the ceiling where the laser was hitting and just as hoped, the scope was quite obviously moving in the appropriate direction.

 

I did this three times last night and the scope worked each time. Various slews to different locations in the sky, all successful.

 

This change not only excited me, but made me feel quite bad. I have to talk to High Point Scientific today about a new scope their sending me.

 

So, my last question after all of this, was it user error?

Have a great day,

Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.


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#21 Steve C.

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:30 PM

Gregory, I've found the Celestron Computerized Telescopes forum here quite helpful for any problems with my Celestrons.

 

https://www.cloudyni...zed-telescopes/


Edited by Steve C., 10 January 2020 - 04:30 PM.


#22 junomike

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:03 PM

most likely no user error per se.

Many have had issues (including me) using Sky Align and a 1 Star Alignment isn't reliable enough to evaluate the system (IMO).


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#23 mclewis1

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 09:36 AM

I'm wondering about the GPS part. Without a GPS link but with it still turned on I wonder if the mount will track (despite the Align successful message). I have a feeling (but I'm really not certain) that if you had been able to get a GPS link indoors you wouldn't have had problems.



#24 rmollise

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 07:36 PM

Thanks everyone.

 

The mount should move regardless of which star I align on. Indoors or out, you will see the scope move in the direction of any star. So, if I have received an Align Successful, then the scope should start tracking. I have no skies at present, so even guessing where the star's location, the scope should track after a rudimentary alignment if Align Successful is noted.

 

I have done all my business at High Point Scientific. They have provided every thing I have needed. I contacted them about this problem before the holidays. There immediate response was to ask if I had tried moving the controller connection to one of the Aux ports. I did try that after reading about the Error 16 and 17 here in the forums. Then they stopped talking to me for some reason. Like I fell through the cracks. Yesterday, still no response, I decided to leave a review about this scope. In my review I stated the problem and that fact HPS was being really slow in responding. Well that review (of course) was not posted. Then, all of sudden I get a reply to my original question. But the email was short and to the point. " At this point we need to bring in Celestron." Well I had already done that. This happened the next morning after trying to post my review.

 

This is the second scope in a row, they have sold me that didn't work.

 

I found a setting in my menu tree where it states "tracking off." I assumed it means that if select that function it will turn off tracking functions. But now I am wondering if I need to hit that selection to turn tracking on. It seems I had tried to change this setting in the past few nights, but it kept defaulting back to off. I wished my memory was just little better, I had forgot that part. So I will check that out and get back to you.

 

Very kind of you,

Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.

 

Tracking is very slow. Imagine the movement of the hour hand of a clock.  If you intend to keep this telescope, the best thing you can do is contact the people at the local astronomy club. Someone there will be able and willing to help you.




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