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AbsolutelyN

AZ EG-6 GT - power led not lighting up

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Hi

After using my az eq6 mount last night I covered it up with telescope cover and left it outside. I've done this many times with no issues. At lunchtime today I was going to create some flats so turned everything on but found the mount power light is not coming on. I've only one power cable to test with so have ordered a second one, but the fuse in the cable seems fine and I've switched it with another fuse and that makes no difference. Different power sources makes no difference either. I'm assuming it may be the board inside the mount so have ordered a spare. Just wondering if anyone has had this issue before? Any idea what could be the cause or tips for fixing/preventing again? 

When connecting via EQMOD configuration finds the mount on port 3 as usual - however it won't connect.

Many thanks!

 

 

Edited by AbsolutelyN

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you should check the cable. There may be a bad connection somewhere. The mount is sensitive to low supply voltage, where 12 V isn't always enough.

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As above, what power supply are you using and have you verified it is definitely not the fault?

Also has the mount got wet - either from water leaking through the cover or through higher than normal amounts of condensation. 

This very cold but damp weather can increase the amount of moisture that forms on things. Damp can also be cumulative/ slow acting so there may be moisture issues that have been there for some time but have only just started showing.

But, as always stay with the simple stuff - power lead and power supply. As wimvb says and to expand a little the power requirements of the mount, if you read the instructions, are at least 3 amp at 12v and SW actually recommend higher voltages - 14v + and at least a 2 amp supply. 

Mine was struggling until I unleashed a monster psu I use for my ham radios. That thing would power a medium sized house so the mount barely registers on it :)

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Many thanks for the thoughts. I've mostly been powering it with a tracer battery but sometimes use it with a mains AC to DC Power Supply. I've tested the cable for continuity and seems ok but I do sometimes put cables in a dry box and am wondering if the cable has been caught by the lid (though it looks fine). I've ordered a new, higher quality cable, a Nevada PS-08 6-8A Regulated Linear Power Supply and a replacement board which I can cancel/return if the cable fixes it. It's always seemed dry when taking the scope cover off so not aware of it getting wet or damp, might think again about leaving it out permanently though and only leave out multiple days in dry settled periods.  

Edited by AbsolutelyN

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I had an issue like yours, where the mount had, and still does, live outside, but one morning after a heavy dew, the mount appeared to be dead.

After checking all the cables, power supplies etc., my attention turned directly to the mount. Bringing it inside for inspection & testing, I found that the problem was a blown power FET on the motherboard. The FET in question is mounted directly behind the, for me, unused Guide Port (PCB track side).

On closer inspection I could see a fine spider's web had been constructed in the port, which together with the heavy dew, shorted & blew the FET. Luckily, the fix was to simply replace the FET & dry everything out, and to ensure it doesn't reoccur, I now fit a 'blank' RJ11 plug in the socket, to stop a reoccurrence. 

 

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Get a multimeter - just a cheap one from B&Q will do it and see if you have 12v at the tip.

Its a useful thing to have in any case.

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Great point on the auto-guider point, will put an empty plug in that.  Just measured the old cable attached to tracer battery with multimeter  and it measured 13.35 so I'm guessing it is the circuit board rather than the cable.  I checked power on other side of the board so I don't think it's the switch as power is clearly getting in.

With a moment of inspiration I suddenly thought of connecting the hand controller (for first time ever). It comes up with an error message:

Initializing...

CAUTION...

RA/Azm....
No response!

I assume this is possibly the RA motor? Any thoughts much appreciated.

Edited by AbsolutelyN

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Hmm, it could be that the control system, isn't getting a response back from the motor driver, if so that it would probably require a new board, or maybe the motor connection has 'dropped' out, therefore the motor driver is reporting back the failure. If so, it would be worth checking the internal connections, from the PCB to motors\encoders etc... 

If you are going to check, BE VERY CAREFUL, as the connectors are small and easily ripped off the PCB 😱  …. I know as it's happened to me...

 

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Quick update on this one. A new AZ-EQ6 GT motherboard arrived in the post this morning. Very easy to install (despite no instructions) and the mount thankfully appears to be working perfectly again. Still not sure on the cause but from now on it's going to be powered by a nevada regulated mains power supply and I'm unlikely to leave outside permanently in all weather.  Thanks for all the help and suggestions getting this fixed, much appreciated.

I read that you can coat the electronics inside a mount with ACF-50 anti-corrosion spray. Does anyone know if this is ok and safe for the motherboard of a skywatcher mount?  
 

Edited by AbsolutelyN

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Personally, I wouldn't. If I was to spray with anything it would be Servisol 10, but inside the mount, probably not even then.

The mount has been designed to work outdoors, so as long as you take reasonable measures to reduce ingress of water, you should be ok.  

 

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