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CGE Pro OnStep conversion package! It works! Thank you Chad Gray!

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11 replies to this topic

#1 pablotwa

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Posted 01 April 2022 - 06:54 PM

Hi and thank you for reading this.

 

Just like some of you and eventually all of you have and will experience, the RA CGE-Pro motor will eventually fail. The reason being (apparently) is the faulty design by Celestron using a low voltage motor with very high amperage which eventually cooks the brushes. This wouldn't be a problem if Celestron did the right thing and supported their product but not only they don't support their flagship mount but they don't even sell or procure the parts and motors for you to fix the darn thing.

 

Looking around for motors I came across several "vendors" who offered the same faulty motor for anywhere from 450 to over 600 dollars with no guarantee that it's not going to fail again....the company that manufactured these motors require a 6 month lead and a minimum order of 10 motors (all which would eventually fail of course)

 

I tried ordering other mounts but because of the pandemic, wars and excuses we're talking about the end of the year at least...(I need a heavy duty at least 70 lbs and higher payload).

 

Check Mate...but wait!

 

After some research online I came across the Onstep movement and through them, I contacted Chad Gray of https://graydigitalarts.com/. He offered to help and  I purchased his complete CGE Pro Onstep conversion system (brackets,enclosures, motors, hand controller computer..everything!) for the price of ONE Celestron faulty motor and now I'm fully back in business and better!.

 

I received tremendous help from Chad who supports his system fully and even a couple of Zoom sessions helping me setup the software.

 

I have very little mechanical skills I am mainly a Telescope operator and I would never have dared get "inside" the mount before this but his system is very easy to install and the computer is pre programmed so it's mainly a mechanical exercise.

 

Here's the video of my experience installing the system. I didn't even have to remove the mount or the scope to install the conversion kit and the enclosures look professional and neat.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=6VEgF0S9-AE

 

Up until recently I used Sequence Generator Pro but now I use N.I.N.A and the ASCOM driver works great with both.

 

So, since there's no YELP for Astronomers, I thought this would be a great place to voice my thanks to Gray Digital Arts and Chad Gray for his system and to give kudos to the Onstep community for stepping up (pun intended) to the challenge.

 

Sincerely

 

Pablo Lewin

The Maury Lewin Astronomical Observatory

Glendora, CA. USA


Edited by pablotwa, 01 April 2022 - 06:58 PM.

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#2 maadscientist

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Posted 01 April 2022 - 09:19 PM

Fantastic! The astro community is scrappy and resilient. Feel good story for sure!


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#3 dciobota

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Posted 02 April 2022 - 07:54 PM

Man I wish there was such a thing for the ole CGE. I found some stuff online but way too much diy including soldering which due to my hands and eyes I just can't do anymore. Great to know that at least the Pro has some hope.
I may sell mine soon just to avoid experiencing those failures and scrapping it. It's been a great mount tbh.
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#4 Taylor

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Posted 03 April 2022 - 10:57 AM

Man I wish there was such a thing for the ole CGE. I found some stuff online but way too much diy including soldering which due to my hands and eyes I just can't do anymore. Great to know that at least the Pro has some hope.
I may sell mine soon just to avoid experiencing those failures and scrapping it. It's been a great mount tbh.

This is a very DIY kit with no instructions: https://www.thingive...m/thing:5177415

 

And here is an OnStep controller designed by the same guy: https://www.thingive...m/thing:4694885


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#5 dciobota

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Posted 03 April 2022 - 04:37 PM

Thanks Taylor, yup, that's one I was looking at also. I don't have a 3d printer and not likely to get one until after my house is built, which might be from ten months to who knows lol.
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#6 magnusl

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 01:10 PM

Hi!

 

I realize I am coming a bit late to this party... but anyway: 

 

Do you have any performance data for the Onstep conversion? Does the mount track as well as it did before or what is it like? I am thinking about this conversion myself. 

 

Magnus


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#7 rimcrazy

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 01:46 PM

Awesome.  Did not know this existed.  Just ordered it myself.  I received a broken CGE Mount in exchange for a lot of assistance to a friend.  Long story.  The mount is perfect for my old 10" Meade LX200 I want to give to my grandson.  $600 to fix it is a darn site cheaper than getting a new 50# class EQ mount given that I got everything else for free.  

 

Looking forward to getting the kit and finishing putting this together.

 

Thanks for the post.

 

UPDATE: Duh... did not read carefully.  This kit is for the CGE Pro not the CGE.  It was stated, I just missed that little detail.  Chad canceled my order for me.  Back to the OnStep drawing board.  Was working on a DIY solution per the OnStep group so I will go back to that.  Not a big deal.


Edited by rimcrazy, 12 September 2022 - 06:10 PM.

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#8 choward94002

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 02:07 PM

Hi and thank you for reading this.

 

Just like some of you and eventually all of you have and will experience, the RA CGE-Pro motor will eventually fail. The reason being (apparently) is the faulty design by Celestron using a low voltage motor with very high amperage which eventually cooks the brushes. This wouldn't be a problem if Celestron did the right thing and supported their product but not only they don't support their flagship mount but they don't even sell or procure the parts and motors for you to fix the darn thing.

 

Looking around for motors I came across several "vendors" who offered the same faulty motor for anywhere from 450 to over 600 dollars with no guarantee that it's not going to fail again....the company that manufactured these motors require a 6 month lead and a minimum order of 10 motors (all which would eventually fail of course)

 

I tried ordering other mounts but because of the pandemic, wars and excuses we're talking about the end of the year at least...(I need a heavy duty at least 70 lbs and higher payload).

 

Check Mate...but wait!

 

After some research online I came across the Onstep movement and through them, I contacted Chad Gray of https://graydigitalarts.com/. He offered to help and  I purchased his complete CGE Pro Onstep conversion system (brackets,enclosures, motors, hand controller computer..everything!) for the price of ONE Celestron faulty motor and now I'm fully back in business and better!.

 

I received tremendous help from Chad who supports his system fully and even a couple of Zoom sessions helping me setup the software.

 

I have very little mechanical skills I am mainly a Telescope operator and I would never have dared get "inside" the mount before this but his system is very easy to install and the computer is pre programmed so it's mainly a mechanical exercise.

 

Here's the video of my experience installing the system. I didn't even have to remove the mount or the scope to install the conversion kit and the enclosures look professional and neat.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=6VEgF0S9-AE

 

Up until recently I used Sequence Generator Pro but now I use N.I.N.A and the ASCOM driver works great with both.

 

So, since there's no YELP for Astronomers, I thought this would be a great place to voice my thanks to Gray Digital Arts and Chad Gray for his system and to give kudos to the Onstep community for stepping up (pun intended) to the challenge.

 

Sincerely

 

Pablo Lewin

The Maury Lewin Astronomical Observatory

Glendora, CA. USA

I second this wholeheartedly ... my mounts still have some life in them, I baby them and I have extra motors as needed but as the OP said it's not a question of "if" but rather "when" the last motor goes away.  The OnStep product has been a very much DIY project for a number of years, but Chad Grey has made fantastic progress in making the dozens of parts work together in a reasonable fashion ... highly, highly recommended for someone who wants to get some more life out of the CGE Pro mount (which really is an exceptional mount, other than the motors)


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#9 pablotwa

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 08:44 PM

Hi!

 

I realize I am coming a bit late to this party... but anyway: 

 

Do you have any performance data for the Onstep conversion? Does the mount track as well as it did before or what is it like? I am thinking about this conversion myself. 

 

Magnus

Hi magnus

 

My CGE-PRO is working better than ever, 100% reliable, so far no trouble at all and perfect tracking...



#10 Thomas Ashcraft

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Posted 25 September 2022 - 04:47 PM

Hi Pablo and all,

 

Would StarSense still work with this conversion?

 

By the way, thanks for making the effort to share the video. - Thomas


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#11 tjugo

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Posted 26 September 2022 - 10:39 AM

Hi!

 

I realize I am coming a bit late to this party... but anyway: 

 

Do you have any performance data for the Onstep conversion? Does the mount track as well as it did before or what is it like? I am thinking about this conversion myself. 

 

Magnus

I have tested mine, with a DYI conversion and it looks like it can carry the same weight as before the conversion. Tracking wise, I don't know, I need to carefully measure the tracking error.

 

On the bright side, the home sensors and PEC index work with Onstep, and of course, replacing a NEMA17 is super cheap.

 

Cheers,

 

José


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#12 pablotwa

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Posted 13 November 2022 - 11:57 PM

Hi Pablo and all,

 

Would StarSense still work with this conversion?

 

By the way, thanks for making the effort to share the video. - Thomas

Sorry Tom, I just saw this..I don't know the answer to that. I have starsense for a C8 and AVX mount but since I use NINA with plate solving I don't need StarSense anymore..


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