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Dreaded Hand control error message 16/17

Celestron Equipment SCT Mount
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#1 Surrey_skies

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 05:17 AM

Hi all - please could I seek advice.  I have a new Celestron CPC XLT telescope.  It worked fine for a few sessions but has started failing with what appears to be a very well known error message ‘No Response 16 (or 17)’ on the hand controller.  I’ve read through many discussion threads on this topic and am also awaiting a call back from a Celestron engineer.

 

My question is this please - is this problem mitigated by the latest generation of Celestron HD deluxe models - or is it also known to occur in these higher end telescope setups. 
 

I don’t mind spending money (a lot of money!!!) on a quality product, but I feel ripped off with a shoddy product that has a really annoying (and seemingly common) intermittent  malfunction.  
 

If the newer cpc models don’t have the problem then I’ll consider upgrading - but would very much appreciate any thoughts.

 

thanks



#2 wrvond

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 05:56 AM

Make sure the controller cable plugs in with a positive click.



#3 mclewis1

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 10:47 AM

Surrey ... welcome to CN.

 

With a brand new scope you are generally looking at two different areas causing the NR16/17 errors. Are you indeed getting both errors (randomly one or the other)? When do they occur (immediately on power up or only after starting an initial alignment, etc.)? Can you back out of the error condition and browse through the menus?

 

In general the two areas are 1) power and connectivity, and  2) failure of the motor controller board.

 

A problem with the connection from the hand controller to the motor controller board in the mount. This is usually an issue as wrvond has suggested with the RJ connector or the cable going into the connector. Visually checking the connector (looking for bent pins in the socket), and plugging the HC connector into an AUX port are the troubleshooting methods here. Beyond this your into steps that would possibly endanger your warranty (opening the base, moving cables, replacing connectors, etc.).

 

The power problem can be either insufficient power (from a bad power source) or connectivity issues related to those mentioned above or with the DC power socket on the base. Insufficient power can make the motor controller board appear to be failing (low power can make the micro controller on the board intermittently fail so it doesn't respond to the HC's requests). Have you tried a different power source?

 

An actual failure of the motor controller board is very rare but could be caused by plugging inappropriate devices into the AUX or Autoguide port.



#4 Surrey_skies

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 11:23 AM

Many thanks for your helpful replies.   
 

… yes .. the HC connector goes in with a good click

 

… no, I haven’t connected anything to the aux or autoguide ports

 

… I wondered if my new  battery power bank wasn’t up to the task - so I’ve got a mains power source - 12V 10Amp,  which should be more than enough… and it has a digital readout indicating 12.4 to 12.5V when in use.

 

…. The error codes (both 16 and 17)  usually occur when I’m aligning the scope - yes - I can go Back through the menu,  but the error codes persist.  I have to abandon the session

 

It seems (unscientific - but a general observation) that the errors occur when the scope is chilled outside for a couple of hours ….  When I try to replicate the errors indoors on a warm scope it all works fine.

 

I’ve tried chilling just the HC - this hasn’t caused any error codes (with an indoor, warm scope), so maybe it’s a cold scope base that’s the problem…. Just a thought..

thanks again.  Much appreciated..   do you know of these problems occurring on the HD deluxe range of the same cpc telescopes.  Thanks



#5 Surrey_skies

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 01:32 PM

To add - tonight’s a great viewing night, clear and cold.  I setup the scope and immediately and successfully went through the 3 star skyalign process, then went inside to leave the scope to chill down ready for viewing.

 

30mins later unfortunately I find the HC reports a No Response error 17, that repeatedly occurs after cycling power, changing aux slots etc.   Interestingly - the base has lost gps and reports an incorrect time (approx 20mins behind actual), whereas it was correct when I started the original alignment

 

thanks again for any thoughts - much appreciated. 



#6 mlord

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 05:55 PM

With it having been intermittent (by your reports) before complete failure, it sounds like a connectivity issue.  There's a loose connection or a broken wire somewhere.   Any signs of wear and tear on the hand-controller cable?  Particularly near the two ends?



#7 Surrey_skies

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:08 AM

Thanks - yes - the problem is intermittent, but once it’s started happening outside I haven’t successfully restarted viewing … I’ve abandoned and brought the whole setup inside.  Next day it starts working ok. 
 

Thx HC coiled connector wire seems ok and intact … it’s nearly new….  Thanks for your suggestion

 

thanks again



#8 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:19 AM

It sounds like what is known as a cold solder joint.  The term comes from not heating both surfaces sufficiently and thus the solder only bonds to one (or neither) of the surfaces.  Devices with a cold solder joint may pass quality assurance testing but then if they are exposed to significantly hotter or colder temperature, or flexure of the circuit board, intermittent failure can occur.  Colder temperatures are most frequent in surfacing the problem as the metal in both surfaces contracts and opens the circuit.

 

That's just a guess from thousands of miles away, but in any case, since it is new, you may want to contact the dealer you purchased from about a replacement, or contact Celestron about warranty repairs.  Since it started right out of the box, push hard to have them cover shipping both ways.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com


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#9 Surrey_skies

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 01:55 AM

Thanks again - sounds very plausible.  Celestron have decided to send a new hand control - so I’ll give it a go.  Not very optimistic, but I’ll report the outcome.

 

thanks again. 



#10 Surrey_skies

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 07:12 AM

Credit to Celestron and the dealer - I received a new hand controller today.

Unfortunately the same error behaviour occurs - the scope works ok when setup at room temperature, but after 40 minutes at zero C outside I get error code 16/17

The saga continues - back to the dealer now.

Thanks all for you suggestions and expert advice

#11 mlord

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 08:25 AM

Good to have it narrowed down now!  So likely just a bad solder joint on one of the internal boards in the mount.  Fixable by just about anyone with electronics experience, or by Celestron.

 

It is very much under warranty, so follow that avenue.


Edited by mlord, 18 January 2022 - 08:26 AM.


#12 spongebob@55

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 09:38 AM

could it possibly be your battery's output dropping significantly by getting very cold as it sits outside awaiting acclimation, then causing an underpower situation?

SB



#13 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 07:27 PM

could it possibly be your battery's output dropping significantly by getting very cold as it sits outside awaiting acclimation, then causing an underpower situation?

SB

Good suggestion but in post #4 Surrey_skies noted switching to a 10 amp power supply with no improvement.



#14 Surrey_skies

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 10:19 AM

Thanks all.  Scope has been shipped back to the dealer - Celestron technician said this was the only solution now.

 

thanks for all your expert comments. 


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#15 Surrey_skies

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 10:50 AM

All credit to Wex Photo Video in the UK - the dealer I got the telescope from. They’ve picked up the scope and refunded my money. Very quick and efficient and no fuss. I’m eagerly looking forward to my new upgrade scope (when the boat from China comes in).

Thank you Wex
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