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Celestron AVX Mount is not working

Celestron mount
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#1 Matt8992

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 11:57 PM

So I am hoping enough people have had this problem to help...

My Celestron AVX Mount has worked fine the past couple of months (bought it in March).

Here is a step by step of the issue:

1. Bought a 12V wall adapter. It has worked fine up until today when I tried to connect my new Orion Starshoot Autoguider into the mount as well.

2. Plugged in the autoguider cable from camera to the guide connection on the mount.

3. Turned mount on.

4. Nexstar Hand Controller now says No Response 16/17.

5. I noticed the red light on the mount is barely glowing red when usually it is bright red.
6. Went online to see that No Response 16/17 is usually an issue due to lack of power being supplied to the mount.

7. Checked the specs on the 12V Wall Adapter and there it was.... It was a 12V 1A output when I need 12V 2.5A.   

8. So I plugged the mount into my SUVs cigarette lighter to see if it powered on fully and still the light is not lighting up and the mount is not working.

 

 

So, did I mess up the power chord itself or is the mount possibly effed?  I dont think it is the hand controller since the Mount Red light is barely glowing. It seems like a power issue. I am hoping its just the chord.



#2 sg6

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 02:05 AM

16 and 17 are usually that the 2 drive boards are out of communication.

Could be power, could be a pin and could be you need new drive boards.

Synta must make a fair bit of revenue in new drive boards, not helped that they use 5v and 6v components on a 12v system - saves them 1c or 2c, and they get to sell a whole new board for $$.

 

Check the cables for good connection, check the sockets that the cables go into for good connection.

 

These errors are well known here, have been for years. Some people have worked out the most likely components that go pop - at least those that are not chips - and so can be replaced. And Error 16 and 17 are the biggest reason I have never bought a Skywatcher/Synta mount. As astronomers we do seem to put up with a lot of garbage.



#3 SonnyE

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 05:30 AM

Oh. Yep saw that 3 times with my AVX....

The first time, I hauled it down to Celestron to get it repaired under warranty. Took a month.

Then, about 8 months later, I just used their supplied shipping label and sent the whole kit and caboodle to them. Took 3 weeks.

Last November it cratered again. It got replaced. 3 failures in 4 years

Lucky for me a fellow CNer contacted me and bought the head for parts.

 

When it comes back, use a 12 volt battery ONLY to power it. And hopefully you'll make it to 4 years.

 

I have a Losmandy GM811G HD as its replacement. I recommend it.



#4 rajilina

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 09:12 AM

I had a power issue yesterday with my AVX. Did a search to see if others have had this problem and found this thread.

 

Last night I went to power up the mount, and nothing. No glow whatsoever from the red LED on the mount. I checked my power tank, the cord connections, everything. I asked the hubs for help since he's good at this kind of stuff. He took off the plastic cover, and found that the connector to the outside (the silver metal pin and nut to which you attach the power cord) had become loose. So every time I was twisting the knurled ring on the power cord to remove it, it was also twisting the connector on the mount, eventually bunching up the wires inside to the point where they were pulled out of yet another plastic connector to the main control board. Opening up the control box, putting the loose wire back in its plastic connector and screwing the metal connector down tight so it couldn't turn, solved the problem.

Everything powered up and it worked fine after that. But I am paying close attention now to how I detach the power cord when I'm done using the mount ...IF I detach it at all.

 

You might want to open up the cover and see if your power wires are coming loose as well, or these connectors are not tight in the control board. I now hear this is a common problem with the AVX.


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#5 Matt8992

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 11:59 AM

I had a power issue yesterday with my AVX. Did a search to see if others have had this problem and found this thread.

 

Last night I went to power up the mount, and nothing. No glow whatsoever from the red LED on the mount. I checked my power tank, the cord connections, everything. I asked the hubs for help since he's good at this kind of stuff. He took off the plastic cover, and found that the connector to the outside (the silver metal pin and nut to which you attach the power cord) had become loose. So every time I was twisting the knurled ring on the power cord to remove it, it was also twisting the connector on the mount, eventually bunching up the wires inside to the point where they were pulled out of yet another plastic connector to the main control board. Opening up the control box, putting the loose wire back in its plastic connector and screwing the metal connector down tight so it couldn't turn, solved the problem.

Everything powered up and it worked fine after that. But I am paying close attention now to how I detach the power cord when I'm done using the mount ...IF I detach it at all.

 

You might want to open up the cover and see if your power wires are coming loose as well, or these connectors are not tight in the control board. I now hear this is a common problem with the AVX.

I just took mine apart as well and checked all connections to confirm they were fine. Everything looks good.  I am waiting on my 12V 5A power chord to come in tomorrow to see if that is the issue :(   

To add to this issue, my SkyWatcher came in today and the focuser is broken :(



#6 grukx

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 04:37 AM

I agree with battery only for avx. Their motor board is horrible, on my third now. I even regulate the battery to 11.5v now. A 50000mA lipo power pack gets me through several nights of mount, camera and raspberry Pi. Power draw is seldom above 1-1.2A unless you are slewing fast with heavy equipment. A 3A supply is more than enough.



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Edited by grukx, 04 July 2020 - 04:38 AM.


#7 rmollise

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 10:02 AM

I've used the Celestron AC supply for going on 8 years--zero problems.

 

What kills the motor control board? Plugging it into a power supply with a cord of the wrong polarity. ;)


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#8 Michael Covington

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 10:31 AM

It is regrettable that most mounts are not protected against reverse polarity.  One fuse and one diode would do it.  Power supplies with the same connector but opposite polarity are common.

BTW, the OP's problem seems to have been low voltage (from a supply that can't deliver the requisite number of amps), not reverse polarity, and it shouldn't have caused any actual damage, just inability to use that particular supply.


Edited by Michael Covington, 04 July 2020 - 10:33 AM.

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#9 mdbradshaw

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:57 AM

It is regrettable that most mounts are not protected against reverse polarity.  One fuse and one diode would do it.  Power supplies with the same connector but opposite polarity are common.

BTW, the OP's problem seems to have been low voltage (from a supply that can't deliver the requisite number of amps), not reverse polarity, and it shouldn't have caused any actual damage, just inability to use that particular supply.

What if he damaged the supply by overloading it, and in the process of it going bad it sent a spike through the main board?

 

The other thing is what if he plugged the ST4 cable into an AUX port instead of the guide port...if he has the earlier model with all 6p6c ports then it's a distinct possibility, and was a known source of damage for the early AVX mounts.



#10 Michael Covington

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 01:30 PM

What if he damaged the supply by overloading it, and in the process of it going bad it sent a spike through the main board?

 

The other thing is what if he plugged the ST4 cable into an AUX port instead of the guide port...if he has the earlier model with all 6p6c ports then it's a distinct possibility, and was a known source of damage for the early AVX mounts.

The spike possibility had occurred to me -- I've never seen it happen, but if components failed in the overloaded supply, there might have been a voltage spike.

 

As for the ST4-in-the-wrong-port, again I call out for competent electrical engineering... equipment should be designed so that easy-to-make errors do not cause damage.



#11 EFT

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 03:33 PM

The power supply is definitely the problem.  1 amp is definitely not enough.  2.5 amps is not enough.  3 or better is what is needed and my recommendation is to use 5 amp wall supplies that leave no questions in that regard.

 

While the No Response 16/17 is an indication of an inability to connect to the motors essentially, it also occurs when the system doesn't not have enough power with these mounts.  The fact that your mount still gets power and the hand controller displays the error means that the motor board is just fine.  The dim light is also a sign of insufficient power (although the light on the AVX mounts is never very bright).


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#12 EFT

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 03:41 PM

Another issue with power supplies is insufficient voltage.  This needs to be checked with a multimeter.  Just looking at the label when there is a power [problem] isn't enough since there are many power supplies out there don't provide the voltage that they are rated for.  In lue of having a meter, changing to a different power supply with the correct rated voltage and amperage or changing to a properly rated battery is the next best way to check things out.  I'm a power supply packrat, but if you look around your house your are likely to find other AC/DC 12 volt power supplies powering electronics.  They often have the correct 2.1mm plug (although some will have the 2.5mm plug which will not make good contact) and if they are rated for sufficient amperage, then you can use them for testing. 


Edited by EFT, 05 July 2020 - 04:27 AM.

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#13 Echolight

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 08:45 PM

I had a power issue yesterday with my AVX. Did a search to see if others have had this problem and found this thread.

 

Last night I went to power up the mount, and nothing. No glow whatsoever from the red LED on the mount. I checked my power tank, the cord connections, everything. I asked the hubs for help since he's good at this kind of stuff. He took off the plastic cover, and found that the connector to the outside (the silver metal pin and nut to which you attach the power cord) had become loose. So every time I was twisting the knurled ring on the power cord to remove it, it was also twisting the connector on the mount, eventually bunching up the wires inside to the point where they were pulled out of yet another plastic connector to the main control board. Opening up the control box, putting the loose wire back in its plastic connector and screwing the metal connector down tight so it couldn't turn, solved the problem.

Everything powered up and it worked fine after that. But I am paying close attention now to how I detach the power cord when I'm done using the mount ...IF I detach it at all.

 

You might want to open up the cover and see if your power wires are coming loose as well, or these connectors are not tight in the control board. I now hear this is a common problem with the AVX.

That's interesting. I haven't been screwing mine on. I just plug it in.



#14 mdbradshaw

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:29 PM

That's interesting. I haven't been screwing mine on. I just plug it in.

It would be worth getting an adapter that allows you to firmly screw it on.  I've found that some plugs without the locking screw don't fully seat on the AVX/CGEM/CGE mounts with the threaded ports.  They seem to fit, but they don't end up sitting deep enough, and the power connection is bad or intermittent.  The locking plug gets pulled tight to the port and makes a proper connection.



#15 EFT

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 04:12 AM

The big problem is that they give you a cord with a screw-on plug but then use a socket that it not really deep enough for the screw-on plug.  At best, I can sometimes get a thread or two to catch.  It's unfortunate that they didn't take the time to get the specs matched.


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#16 Michael Covington

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 08:46 AM

The screw-on plug is a Switchcraft S761K.  I don't know if the socket they are using is Switchcraft's matching one.



#17 SkipW

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 10:26 AM

The big problem is that they give you a cord with a screw-on plug but then use a socket that it not really deep enough for the screw-on plug.  At best, I can sometimes get a thread or two to catch.  It's unfortunate that they didn't take the time to get the specs matched.

Really? All the cords (three Celestron AC adapters and three Celestron 12V cigarette lighter adapters) thread securely to both the AVX and CGX. The only time that problem happens to me is with the CG-5 ASGT; there the threads of the collars don't catch at all, but the connection is fine.



#18 rajilina

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 02:12 PM

It would be worth getting an adapter that allows you to firmly screw it on.  I've found that some plugs without the locking screw don't fully seat on the AVX/CGEM/CGE mounts with the threaded ports.  They seem to fit, but they don't end up sitting deep enough, and the power connection is bad or intermittent.  The locking plug gets pulled tight to the port and makes a proper connection.

My cord will screw on pretty tight. But If you just plug it and don't actually use the screw, the connection isn't very good, which is why I give it a few turns, otherwise I wouldn't have ended up with the problem I did. Unfortunately the corresponding connector on the mount wasn't very securely attached at the factory, contributing to my power problem.

 

I'm just going to have to be careful how I unscrew it in the future, or, just leave that portion of the cord semi-permanently attached to the mount head instead of putting it on and taking it off after every session.



#19 SkipW

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 03:01 PM

That quote is not mine. It's post #14 from mdbradshaw.



#20 SonnyE

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 08:31 PM

I've used the Celestron AC supply for going on 8 years--zero problems.

 

What kills the motor control board? Plugging it into a power supply with a cord of the wrong polarity. wink.gif

And what if a Celestron Power supply, and the supplied power cord are the only things used, Uncle Rod?

 

Huey Lewis said it best, "Sometimes Bad is Bad."

 

Glad you got a good one. My group of 6 had a 50% failure rate. Not good odds.



#21 Matt8992

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 02:32 PM

The power supply is definitely the problem.  1 amp is definitely not enough.  2.5 amps is not enough.  3 or better is what is needed and my recommendation is to use 5 amp wall supplies that leave no questions in that regard.

 

While the No Response 16/17 is an indication of an inability to connect to the motors essentially, it also occurs when the system doesn't not have enough power with these mounts.  The fact that your mount still gets power and the hand controller displays the error means that the motor board is just fine.  The dim light is also a sign of insufficient power (although the light on the AVX mounts is never very bright).

Could it be that when I connected everything to PHD2, ASCOM, and Starry Night that I somehow updated the handcontroller or messed up something on it that is causing this?   Also, I got a 12V, 5A wall plug and its still giving me the same No Response message.
 



#22 EFT

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 04:31 PM

If you are now using a sufficient power supply then that brings it back to the board/firmware (as long as the power socket on the mount has a good connection to the board and the cable).  PHD2, ASCOM, and Starry Night (or any other external software) should never have a negative effect on the mount hardware/firmware that would cause this type of problem.  

 

So we are back to the board and/or firmware probably.  Updating firmware always has risks.  It is possible that something went wrong with the firmware update that is now causing a problem.  It is also possible, but unlikely (because we haven't seen this that I know of), that the firmware has a bug.  Try reloading the firmware and if that doesn't work, try going back to an earlier version.  If that doesn't work and all the cables and connections are good, then it is most likely to be a bad board.


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#23 Matt8992

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 08:26 AM

UPDATE ALL:

I ordered a new motor board, got it in yesterday and everything works like a charm now.  Thank you again for all the advice and comments. I have noted all this in my notebook as things to keep an eye on or keep track of. I also have a celestron portable battery to make sure I'm providing enough amps and voltage.


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#24 WadeH237

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 11:00 AM

I even regulate the battery to 11.5v now.

I just noticed this thread and comment.

 

If you are regulating the voltage, I would suggest at least 12 volts.  The lower the voltage, the higher the amperage, and it's the amperage that stresses the motor controller.


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#25 grukx

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 01:05 PM

Wanted it so that the dropout of the regulator let me go down to 12v on the battery. Loose a tiny bit of torque with 11.5 as well. Mount has been running flawlessly with this. Not sure about the amp statement though, normal model of dc-motor would be as a resistor and a back emf source, and lower voltage would then equal lower current. Have not studied the components on the motor driver boards in detail though. Just assumed they would be some kind of integrated H-bridges. I have not seen an excessive current pull on regulator so far. Analoge electronics is not my strongest side so I may be wrong on my assumptions.

Geir

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