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Posts posted by JimS

  1. Received a new Motor Board via First Light yesterday and installed. Powered up the scope and have had exactly the same errors.

    I've flashed the Hand Control a couple of times and it is on version 5.xx. Still showing MC versions as ?.??. I cant contact the scope via the hand control to flash the MC board via the hand controller. Could this be a fault with the hand controller or have I been stupidly unlucky with a second dodgy MC board?

    I have now ordered a programming cable and I will attempt to talk to the MCB directly. Any other suggestions?

    Triple checked the power supply and it is over 13V so that is fine.

  2. You have likely thought about this already but a factory reset might be worth a try ?  :smiley: I have a cgem with gremlins, mine will start an uncontrolled slew sporadically needing a power off to stop. :rolleyes:  

    I had similar issues last year and had a faulty encoder diagnosed, ended up ordering a new motor and it was sorted perfectly.

  3. Hi all,

    Decided to do a 'spring clean' and set up all my gear and check over everything. Set up my CGEM as normal, added the OTA and then plugged in HC and power. Everything was fine and did slewed fine. Walked away for five minutes, came back and had errors 'No response 17' and 'No repsonse 16'. checked the firmware on the HC and the MC board is showing '?.??' for both entries.

    Tried turning on and off but no improvement. Is this s totally dead MC board or will flashing the firmware work? I've got a USB to RS232 cable on order.

    Thanks in advance,


  4. Just tried the get axis position function. The RA axis is working fine and changing as the motor is used. The Dec position sits on 90 degrees exactly without changing when the motor is driven in both directions.

    Suggestions? Repair, replace? Reflash the motor board?

  5. Thanks for the replies.

    The mount is about two years old, and this issue has been intermittent for about a year. Just now seems to be much worse.

    The power supply is fine, I have a voltmeter as part of the set up and it is providing well over 12V consistently.

    I will try the get RA/Dec mode and get back to you.

    I did try a mock align yesterday evening indoors. Again the RA slewed to the 'correct' star and the Dec went straight to maximum and slewed for 10 seconds. Stopped for about 20 seconds and slewed again for 10 seconds. This repeated until I eventually turned off. All the while the handset displaying the 'spinning bar' and the star it was attempting to find.

    I presume that this would indicate that position and speed feedback could be at fault.

  6. Hi

    I'm having some problems with my CGEM mount and I can't seem to find any answers online. Hopefully someone here can help.

    My Dec motor seems to be issues. No matter what setting for motor speed I select, the motor always slews at max speed and also continues for half a second after the hand control is released. The RA motor is fine and slews at each correct speed and stops instantly.

    I've done a factory reset on the hand controller and the problem goes away for a few minutes and then returns. The firmware on the handset and motor board are up to date.

    Could it be a problem with the motor board itself?

    Any help greatly appreciated.

  7. That's a great result for such a small amount of data. You should be very pleased with how well the dustbands stand out, and you can probably still coax a bit more out of it in the post process.

    The core is overexposed, that is all really. See if you can experiment with either shorter subs or smaller ISO (as long as you keep away from the dreaded 800).

    ISO 800 was exactly the sensitivity I was using. Why do you say the dreaded 800?

  8. Hi all,

    Fantastic night last night, took friends and better half out to view Leonids over the Severn Estuary and have a look around the night sky, also first chance to try out the imaging set up I currently have:

    C8 SCT F10 with a 6.6 focal reducer

    Startravel ED80 as guidescope

    Canon 450D

    Logitech C300 webcam as guider

    After a bit of faffing around trying to get the webcam to find and focus on a guidestar, I started taking a series of 4 min subs of M31 using the digital reticle in SharpCap to manually guide the scope. I will at some point invest in a Autoguider....!

    Eventually finished at 3.30am with frost forming all over the equipment, cases and laptop. Time to retreat to bed....!

    Just stacked five 4 min subs with darks in DeepSkyStacker and had a little play in Photoshop. Still a huge amount to learn and experience to gain but I am very happy with my first attempt at exposures longer than a minute.

    All feedback greatly accepted!

    M31 - Andromeda Galaxy 181112 small.tif

  9. what about fitting a shoulder strap, i know having a heavy tool box is a rite pain to carry with the handle

    I like this idea. I might have a little look, although I dont plan on carrying the box much further than a few yards from the back seat of the car to my observing point....! :grin:

  10. Well the first ply box I tried to make was a mess - ply was too thin and I was rushing, so I'll get some thicker stuff and try again. Sockets arrived last week but I need a 27mm or 28mm drill to make the holes. At the moment they're connected with spade connectors and are loose inside the box.

    If it helps, I used a Dremel to create the holes for the sockets. Just used one of the bevell tools to open out a hole big enough to fit the curcular sanding attachment and then gently sanded in a circular motion until the hole was an appropriate size. Would recommend doing outside and with a mask as there is a lot of plastic mess produced.

    Mine is the opposite way round to Jim's in that +ve is on the left on my battery. There's also a subtle difference between my box and Jim's in that mine only has 2 clasps compared to Jim's 4

    Yeah, I fitted a couple of extra clasps myself, anchored by blocks of wood to help distributing the load on the box. Will probably also purchase a couple of luggage straps to further strengthen. It feels very solid at the moment but I would rather strengthen before the box breaks than after....!

  11. Like it!!!

    Jim how do you re-charge it? is the battery fixed in position? & im sorry but i am totally coping!!!!!

    Great Job


    The battery isnt fixed, it simply lifts out of the wooden box once the connections are removed. I charge it with a charger unit I purchased from halfords.

  12. Thats great, do you have a photo of the inside, would be interested to see how you wired it in. Did you take the positive through the fuse box or inline fuse, into the switch, into the volt meter then back to negative batt connection.

    Looks really tidy and compact. Weighs a bit I bet!

    Sent from my galaxy s3 using taptalk 2

    Couple of requests now for the wiring. In answer to above, i haven't wired the voltmeter through the fusebox as I didnt see the need to. The voltmeter has a on/off switch and will only ever be on for seconds at a time, plus only cost a couple of quid so not concerned about protecting it. Minor detail - didn't have any spare fuse capacity......


  13. Nice one! I've been thinking of making a box out of ply/MDF to hold my battery and charger and various connections but your solution is far neater (besides, my woodworking skills sometimes leave a lot to be desired!). What gauge/amp rating wires did you use for the connections and what size fuses?

    The wire is 15 Amp rated, and the fuses are 10 Amp Car blade fuses.

    As for the box it is Wickes 24 inch heavy duty tool box


    Hope that helps! :smiley:

  14. Hi all,

    Just thought i'd share my newly constructed mobile power unit. Constructed from a heavy duty tool box from Wickes, re-inforced with a 7mm plyboard enclosure that also fixes the leisure battery wiring and fuses.

    The leisure battery is 100Ah, and is linked to 6 12V female power sockets, via a fusebox on the positive side.

    I have some future work planned such as adding a voltmeter and a cutoff switch, but for now I am very happy with my efforts so far!





    • Like 3

  15. Hi Martin,

    Cheers for the reply. As mentioned in the post the exposures were two minutes each, and yes it was just tracking not guiding. I'll give your recommendations a go. I was also considering getting a Hypertune kit for the CGEM anyway, worthwhile?

    I'm going to make the switch to guiding soon. I presume that should help to alleviate the problems as well?



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