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Celestron 130 SLT Alignment fail and fail and fail.


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Hello All,

I am just starting out and bought the Celestron 130 SLT. It’s been a month to the day and no matter what I try and followed all the suggestions, I cannot get a successful alignment. Here is my list of things I have taken care of:

Used an external battery source.

Set the scope due North and horizontal.

Tripod is perfectly levelled.

Checked the mount is on right side of tube when standing behind.

Factory reset handset and started from scratch.

Used actual coordinates instead of City database. Confirmed coordinates by two sources - Google Maps and Skywalk.

Ensured coordinates go in the right way.

Used precise time from time.is and no daylight savings.


I live in Dubai so time zone is 4.

Tried two star and Auto two star. With two star, after 2nd star is aligned, scope keeps spinning in circles. Auto 2 star suggests a second star that I can’t see, manually selected the star. Alignment fails.

Skyalign - fails every time except a  few times I did get “Match Confirmed” “Press Back….Enter” each time when I do it says Alignment failed.

Tried planet alignment with Jupiter. Scope goes into continuous spin after alignment.

I think that’s about everything and I have done this over and over again.

 Could someone please help.

AK

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ash1e said:

Set the scope due North and horizontal.

You don't need to do that with a Celestron mount. But I doubt this is an issue.

 

4 hours ago, Ash1e said:

With two star, after 2nd star is aligned, scope keeps spinning in circles

Mine never did that. This suggests that your mount has a fault.

 

4 hours ago, Ash1e said:

Skyalign - fails every time except a  few times I did get “Match Confirmed

The Skyalign fails if one or more of the stars used are not in the alignment star shortlist.

 

4 hours ago, Ash1e said:

Tried planet alignment with Jupiter. Scope goes into continuous spin after alignment.

It should not do that. The mount may be faulty.

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14 hours ago, Ash1e said:

Used an external battery source.

Scope goes into continuous spin after alignment.

Random runaway of mounts is often caused by poor power supply, so check the supply and the connections

14 hours ago, Ash1e said:

Auto 2 star suggests a second star that I can’t see,

When the Star Alignment offers a star that can't be seen, that often means your Location, Date , or Time setting is wrong.

To get going, enter the closest city from the choices, and make a note of the figures. Later you can Edit that to your accurate location, using the same format.

Date is entered mm/dd/yy, American format.

Time and Time Zone look right to me.

Michael

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So, I tried everything suggested. Mount is Northern Hemisphere configured as it shows me stars that are visible to me.

I even tried 1 star alignment on Rigel - after Align, mount went into endless spin. I was able to access the menu though (while the mount was spinning) and selected Andromeda galaxy from named objects, scope started to reposition and went into a near 90 degree angle, fouling with the tripod, I don’t know what happened but the scope then fell out of the “dovetail” (which is not a dovetail by any description). Now I have a bruised tube and one of the screws behind the tube is bent.

I mounted the scope again and checked the optics, I was able to see the Orion Nebula the focus does seem to work on Rigel etc. but Finder scope and primer definitely are now out and by collimator has been lost by Amazon.

Anyway, two star alignment also didn’t work.

I will just have to send the scope and what I presume is a defective mount in for repairs under warranty. Unfortunate.

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16 hours ago, Ash1e said:

So, I tried everything suggested.

It still sounds like a power problem.

I believe the mount has a 5.5mm power socket with a 2.1mm centre pin ?

If you have a power supply with a 5.5 x 2.5mm plug, the connection will be loose and can cause uncontrolled "runaways" when high current is required eg slews

Michael

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Before you send it back, turn it on and wiggle the power lead where it plugs into the mount. See if anything bad happens on the display.  If it does, check you have the right plug (see previous post) and consider attaching a cable tie to stop the cable moving at the plug.

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4 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

Before you send it back, turn it on and wiggle the power lead where it plugs into the mount. See if anything bad happens on the display.  If it does, check you have the right plug (see previous post) and consider attaching a cable tie to stop the cable moving at the plug.

I am using a Ultracell UL18-12 Rechargeable VRLa Lead acid Battery, 12V 18ah. Could this be the problem?
 

I also have the AA batteries in the mount. I am certain the power being used is from the lead acid battery - I note the slew rate difference between AA and the 12V battery when switched. I have not used AC power because I don’t have the adaptor.

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Just now, Ash1e said:

I am using a Ultracell UL18-12 Rechargeable VRLa Lead acid Battery, 12V 18ah. Could this be the problem?
 

I also have the AA batteries in the mount. I am certain the power being used is from the lead acid battery - I note the slew rate difference between AA and the 12V battery when switched. I have not used AC power because I don’t have the adaptor.

And the connection  pin is a solid 5.5mm and not 5.5x2.5.

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3 hours ago, Ash1e said:

And the connection  pin is a solid 5.5mm and not 5.5x2.5.

It is not clear what you mean. The correct plug has a 5.5 mm overall diameter and a 2.1 mm inner (a hole).  The point I am trying to make is that these plugs are liable to give a poor connection, as I have experienced with more than one mount, unless the cable is restrained to stop it pulling on or twisting the cable, or unless the inner pin on the mount is fettled to give a better contact.

The amp-hours of the lead-acid battery is irrelevant, except that it prompts me to ask: did you make up your own lead and plug? In which case you could have used the wrong plug, as a previous post suggests.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/282995139329?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=7101533165274578&mkcid=2&itemid=282995139329&targetid=4584826055637456&device=c&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=412354546&mkgroupid=1299623041023876&rlsatarget=pla-4584826055637456&abcId=9300541&merchantid=87779&msclkid=0d83cf88dee4135c98e1ae580ebc8b5c

Edited by Cosmic Geoff
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19 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

So have you done the test I suggested above?

Wiggle the plug on the mount to see if the connection is poor.

How are you connecting the battery plug to the Ultracell, which appears to have lug connections ?

Wiggle those connections too.

Does the power led or the handbox display flicker ?

Michael

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Since we're wondering if the connections are intermittent:

Your cables may work, but there are many connections that could be to blame.

If you do find the lights flicker:

There's probably a fuse in the black item in the croc clip cable, and another in the "Cigarette Lighter" plug, which could be loose.

Ideally dispense with the croc clip cable, cut off the "Cigarette Lighter" plug on the other cable, and attach that end by bolts through the lugholes on the battery, crocodile clips aren't the best connection.

Michael

 

 

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20 hours ago, michael8554 said:

Since we're wondering if the connections are intermittent:

Your cables may work, but there are many connections that could be to blame.

If you do find the lights flicker:

There's probably a fuse in the black item in the croc clip cable, and another in the "Cigarette Lighter" plug, which could be loose.

Ideally dispense with the croc clip cable, cut off the "Cigarette Lighter" plug on the other cable, and attach that end by bolts through the lugholes on the battery, crocodile clips aren't the best connection.

Michael

 

 

Ok. In week give it a try once the weather clears here. It’s heavily overcast since the past 3 days.

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1 hour ago, Ash1e said:

Ok. In week give it a try once the weather clears here. It’s heavily overcast since the past 3 days.

Why wait on the weather? You can do the suggested test indoors.

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On 06/01/2022 at 19:53, Cosmic Geoff said:

Why wait on the weather? You can do the suggested test indoors.

Dear Michel,

I tested the cable connections. There was no flickering of handset display. If I unplug the power and the source is then batteries, the handset of course dims.

I tried the two star alignment again, it failed. I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier but in more than one occasion I did get “Match Confirmed. Press Enter….Back….” When using Skyalign. But choosing either Back or Enter led to Alignment Failed.

After spent well over a month on trying what is supposed to be a routine task,  I have sent the scope back. Frankly I am little impressed by Celestron and somewhat discouraged with the efforts. Not to mention I invested in couple of good eyepieces already.

I hope the repairs are successful. I will post the end result nonetheless.

 

Many thanks for your help.

 

Ashwani

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Just now, Ash1e said:

Dear Michel,

I tested the cable connections. There was no flickering of handset display. If I unplug the power and the source is then batteries, the handset of course dims.

I tried the two star alignment again, it failed. I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier but in more than one occasion I did get “Match Confirmed. Press Enter….Back….” When using Skyalign. But choosing either Back or Enter led to Alignment Failed.

After spent well over a month on trying what is supposed to be a routine task,  I have sent the scope back. Frankly I am little impressed by Celestron and somewhat discouraged with the efforts. Not to mention I invested in couple of good eyepieces already.

I hope the repairs are successful. I will post the end result nonetheless.

 

Many thanks for your help.

 

Ashwani

Apologies - your name was misspelt Michael. 

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18 minutes ago, Ash1e said:

Dear Michel,

I tested the cable connections. There was no flickering of handset display. If I unplug the power and the source is then batteries, the handset of course dims.

I tried the two star alignment again, it failed. I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier but in more than one occasion I did get “Match Confirmed. Press Enter….Back….” When using Skyalign. But choosing either Back or Enter led to Alignment Failed.ops 

After spent well over a month on trying what is supposed to be a routine task,  I have sent the scope back. Frankly I am little impressed by Celestron and somewhat discouraged with the efforts. Not to mention I invested in couple of good eyepieces already.

I hope the repairs are successful. I will post the end result nonetheless.

 

Many thanks for your help.

 

Ashwani

Sorry to hear about your problems and I hope you get things sorted. If it is any consolation I have the same scope and after a couple of false starts which were my own fault it behaves very well and is a joy too use. After trying 3 types of goto scopes I think the Celestron is far more user friendly (IMO) than any of the other scopes I have used. 

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