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skywatcher 127 help!!


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ok, had my telescope around a year ago, uptill about 8 week ago it hadnt had much use.

just been out in the garden setting up to have a nosey at whatever i can see and all of a sudden everything stops, the synscan went off and no power at all.

i immediately thought it was the power connection on the mount as it had come lose once before but on checking it seemed fine.

so i decided i better pack it up n find out what was wrong, took telescope off mount then took the mount off the tripod, at this point i heard a little rattle from inside the mount.

so i gave it a little shake and something was definately floating around inside.

i took it in the house n undid the 2 screws holding the side cover on and gave it a shake to see what it was, and a black something dropped out followed by a silver something. on closer inspection it appears the black thing is some kind of chewed up resistor n the silver bit was the cover of the resistor!

my question being, what the hell do i do?

do i contact the supplier? (if i can remember who it was, bought off the internet :-s )

or contact the manufacturer?

this is definately not normal n its nothing i could have caused as its inside the mount.

im annoyed as i was gonna show my other halfs daughter saturn for the first time tonight, she was well excited!

any advice greatly appreciated.

Dell

oh n sorry if this isnt the right section for this

Edited by GazOC
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ok, i havent yet paid my hands on the paper reciept but i have got the payment made to the company on my card statement.

one problem, the telescope was bought from telescope planet which it appears has ceased trading!!!!!

what the hell can i do?

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their website says they cant deal with enquiries from the general public!?

"We are unable to respond to queries of a technical nature from the general public, please contact your nearest dealer/stockist for this assistance"

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Oh, just ignore that - what they mean by that, is that they don't want to be deluged by people asking questions that should be answered by dealers - which is of course most questions, e.g "Which eyepieces are the best match for scope X?", "What kind of adaptor ring will fit scope Z" and so forth.

But your question isn't "technical" it's procedural - "Can I send this to you for repair?"

Edited by great_bear
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ouch, if it's any consolation, the scope is a mighty fine little scope and (if it came with the same dovetail as mine) will fit on a camera tripod so all is not lost even if OVL don't sort it out and if you bought the package it wouldn't have been that much more than just the scope. Some people even prefer non-goto scopes...:D

good luck getting it sorted.

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spoke to ovl today, they asked me to email full details including pics and they'd see what can be done, fingers crossed they will sort it out.

heres a couple of pics of the fault

DSC08118.jpg

DSC08120.jpg

DSC08123.jpg

looks like a resistor or something, it "was" the same as the black cylindrical object next to the remains of the other one.

Dell

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Thats a capacitor, and judging by the gunk all over your pcb it must have popped for some unexplained reason. If you knew what size capacitor it was then you could have a go at changing it yourself, but see what ovl say first.

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Yup its a capacitor - never seen one go quite like that before. Problem is its oozed its electrolyte all over the board. Thats potentially very nasty as the electrolyte is usually rather like battery acid.

The board could be cleaned up and the capacitor replaced but it maight be wasted effort because it may have damaged other components on the board.

OVL are your best bet for sure with this and you will find them pretty good to deal with (they sorted out some problems I had ages ago).

Telescope Planet did in fact go bust a few months ago. Dont be too downhearted though. Its entirely possible to get a new board from the factory or failing that you could put the scope on a new mount if the worst came to the worst so its not a total loss.

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Yup its a capacitor - never seen one go quite like that before. Problem is its oozed its electrolyte all over the board. Thats potentially very nasty as the electrolyte is usually rather like battery acid

Well pointed out... Its also toxic as well as corrosive, so it needs a good clean.

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Its entirely possible to get a new board from the factory or failing that you could put the scope on a new mount if the worst came to the worst so its not a total loss.

It's still under guarantee, and I'm sure OVL will honour that.

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You could try cleaning the board up. Most of the gunk looks to be dry so any damage it has done will be long done by now.

Obviously you'd need a capacitor but thats not impossible - the one on the board is a bog standard one and Maplins or RS could get one.

To clean the board up remove it from the mount, make sure it doesnt have anything like a button cell battery on board (unlikley but be sure). Give the board a light dousing with isoprop alcohol around the affected parts and use a soft brush on it. NOT a nylon brush - get a sable brush on it. I use an old cosmetic brush for this kind of thing. Gently brushing with isoprop may get it off followed by soaking the board in warm water (but not for too long). Make sure its thouroughly dry before doing anything ele with it. Bear in mind the electrolye in contact with water will become acid again so protect your skin - think of it as battery acid which is pretty much what it is.

Electronics can usually survive water so long as theres no power applied while its damp - make sure all the gunk is off before leaving to dry. You dont want to risk reactivating it and letting it do more damage.

Once the boards cleaned up the capacitor (or whats left of it) could be desoldered and replaced. It might not be hard to work out is value if you have the bits and my bet would be its the same value as the one next to it.

In all of this you'd need to take precuations against static.

If your really stuck (ie a replacement board turns out to be expensive - the ones in the HEQ5 are around a £100) I could have a go at repairing for you free of charge apart from postage on the understanding theres no guarantee it will work again if you like.

It should be ok but you cant ever tell with this kind of fault. Something may have caused the capacitor to blow and it might well just blow the next one. If it was an electronic fault which blew the cap (such as a monster voltage spike) it may have wrecked other components. Purely guessing I reckon the two caps are part of the boards voltage regulation - they are close to what I imagine is the power for the board and the square black thing is I guess a dc/dc voltage regulator of some kind. Usually these are onboard to protect the electronics against over voltage.

Typically 12v stuff has something like an LM2940 or 2934 which stops the voltage exceeding 12v when you may be powering from a cars electric which may run over 12v or a car battery where the battery may supply up to 14volts. The caps are there to provide smoothing to the input voltage.

I have seen something similar (although less spectacular) on a guitar amplifier years ago.

My bet is OVL will sort this out for you without a hassle - do let us know how you get on.

Edited by Astro_Baby
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Yes - and thats advice only if OVL wither wont fix it or want to charge - perosnally I think its much more likely they will just replace it.

When my 200/HEQ5 was delivered with problems and the dealer wasnt interested OVL jumped in and sorted it all out. One of those moments when you relaise why a serious dealer is worth the small extra amount of cash. The dealer mine came from just walked away and was kind enough to suggest that 'well women dont understand technology' :p Just as welll he said that on a phone and not face to face :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know if you ever got sorted with this, but if not, you might be interested that there is a replacement PCB (complete with components) in Scopes n Skies AstroBoot for £20 right now.

They refer to it as a "SuperTrak" board - it looks identical to the one in your photo, but you'd need to check I guess...

Edited by great_bear
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FWIW There was a MAJOR problem with capacitors a few years back, some plant that was making them had a really bad batch and they were exploding just like that, a lot of the major PC motherboard manufacturers had a serious headache because of it. it's just possible that this is from said batch and if so, I reckon OVL will be familiar with the fault.

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  • 3 months later...

just thought id fill u guys in.

After 6 months of trying to get something out of OVL ive finally given in and bought a new PCB from Scopes N Skies (Thanks for the heads-up Great_Bear).

£20 isnt a bad price thankfully!

OVL have been near on USELESS! ive spoke to them numerous times over the phone, even spoke to the director personally but still no joy.

according to them, they never recieved any emails (even when i emailed them while i was on the phone to them!!!!!) so, opted for a printed letter and photo's sent by snail mail and guess what, nothing! no aknowledgment what so ever, and when i try and ring i get no answer!

so, for the sake of 20 quid ive given up and i gotta say, im so excited about getting my telescope up and running again, its been a long 6 months lol

as for OVL, im not writing them off just yet, im putting it down to miscummunication at this time, but we will see :eek:

thanks to everyone that offered advice.

Dell

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