Author Topic: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository  (Read 1274 times)

russnappditcva

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CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« on: January 04, 2018, 05:34:32 AM »
I was thinking it a good idea to establish a repository of observations, ideas, concerns, solutions, video links, PWI updates, related to the new Celestron CGX and CGX-L mount.  It would be of benefit to collect comments in one location for review and to expound upon.

There have been instances of improper pulley alignments, home position indexing, initial factory setup concerns, audible controller/motor noise. Still to follow would be tracking performance data.

I received my CGX-L mount yesterday and am impressed with the build quality and attention to detail. One big positive comment relates to the handles on the mount. A godsend and insightful addition. The mount is extremely heavy and ungainly and the two handles afford good purchase and balancing for transport. Good job Celestron! The audible noise appears normal and though I have my thoughts as to the source, I'll wait until I look at the circuits and poke around before offering my assessment. Oh yes ... make sure you remove the transparent film protection from the NexStar hand controller. I was somewhat distressed initially that my display was murky and scratched in several places! Remove the film. My bad!

I was able to link the Celestron/Planewave PWI software to the mount and will build pointing models and assess goto, slewing, and tracking performance soon. Additionally, I am anxious to control the mount with SkyX and SkytechX.

More to follow ...

dan
Seaside, Oregon



Mortimer Concepcion

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 06:19:42 PM »
An interesting afternoon. I would imagine new CGX and CGX-L owners would start by installing the Celestron Firmware Manager and ensuring they have the latest firmware available. Getting the CFM installed was problematic. You need to have Java installed and the only way I could run CFM.jar was via the Windows DOS window (command line). After completing, CFM issued a notification that there was a later version available, so I had to repeat the process once again. CFM showed 11 packages to update, which it did in a lengthy process, only to yield a 'successful' status immediately overwritten by 'CGXL NOT updated successfully'. I am confident the updating was successful and this is a bug in CFM. However, it would be interesting to note what others experienced. I am showing a MC version of 7.13.6350 and GEM version of 5.29.6225. Let me know what you find.

The mount is relatively quiet at slew rates less than maximum. At .5 degree/second it is whisper quiet and very smooth. Unfortunately, I have been less successful with the Ascom interface using TheSky and SkytechX. Both programs allow me to move the mount via the virtual hand-paddles but I have been unable to synchronize and slew to an object from both programs. I'll continue down that path later today.

The Celestron/Planewave software worked flawlessly. I created a pointing model and could slew to and track objects.

My wife and I went to dinner in Portland last night, and upon our return, let's just say she didn't seem impressed when she saw the CGX-L for the first time down in my studio. 'Oh my God ... ' is what I remember hearing as I ran for cover.

dan
Seaside, Oregon


Jeff Jubenville

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 05:27:04 AM »
Update - I managed to get the CGX-L Ascom driver to play with TheSky (Serious) and SkytechX. It was a synchronization issue. Slews and tracking working well now.

lodbelimfo

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 03:39:46 AM »
Hi Dan, I have a really noticeable DEC motor audible controller/motor noise. I also have 7.13.6223 and logged a ticket with Celestron. Any more research on what is causing this, and can it affect guiding? I'm a little worried, coming from CGEM DX and it was quiet. This noise sounds like electronics leaking, like capacitors and stuff but I'm hoping it has to do with firmware trying to check and re-check or something because I noticed it gets worse when you slew away and sometimes it went away when I sync-ed on a star. I'm also into it for about an hour hooked up only in my living room with nothing on it (not that it makes a difference). I'm direct connect to a battery. thanks Marty

arovuzar

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 05:36:34 PM »
It could just be DEC backlash take up. When is this happening? If your guiding, the PE plot can tell you what DEC is doing, and a fair bit of DEC activity is simply unwinding backlash, and does not result in movement.

erparepe

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 12:24:46 AM »
Thanks Viking1, yeah when I change the anti-backlack settings, the motor changes sound and also depending on how much dec has to be changed - pointing north, south, west, east... I just want to make sure this does not interfere with guiding or also is a motor failure coming like a bad disk drive about to go dead. See what the techs at Celestron will say. You can't turn off the dec motor?

isveheartle

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 12:17:45 AM »
Some guide software will allow you to guide just RA. For precisioned aligned mounts, there will still be DEC backlash unwinding now and then, in fact much of DEC PE activity is not real movement, just backlash unwinding. I suggest you check your worm blocks for binding, as mine arrived from the factory, with no spring movement at all - the worm was cranked down hard against the ring. You should be able pull the worm block back from the ring, against the spring pressure, there needs to be a min of 1mm of available movement. If you can't move it follow the directions in the manual to adjust the worm tension.

handvestlazo

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 02:05:34 AM »
Hey Guys,

Great idea on a repository for the CGX. I have been reading through glend, Dan and tocster threads. I did not receive my mount in the first wave and my purchase of the CGX was from OPT. I asked them to do a bench test ( US$90.00 ) prior to shipping. So far I feel pretty luckyto not have any of the issues that I have seen but then again I have not removed my cover and poked around...

I plan on taking a good look at the RA and DEC belts and motorsthis coming weekend and doing glend's mod if necessary.

Jim

ransgesislu

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2018, 02:07:10 PM »
I purchased the CGX a month ago and after one night of use, I could not get the mount to find home position after starting up. It would go back and forth indefinitely or go to one side and not stop. Celestron tech support had me do a factory reset. This worked temporarily but soon I had trouble again anda factory reset wouldn't work. After another call with tech support, I sentit to Celestron for repairs.A fewweeks later I received a note saying it has been repaired: wires and connections checked, firmware updated and everything working to specs. I was not able to get any more specifics on what was actually wrong with it via email or through tech support so I was worried. It arrived yesterday. It initially workedbut after turning it on and off a few times, it could not find home again. I did a factory reset and that worked. An hour later it can't find home again and factory reset doesn't fix it. Anyone else have this problem? I'm calling ita lemon and exchanging it.

aththrilnalo

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2018, 08:12:22 PM »
Quote
Hey Guys,
Great idea on a repository for the CGX. I have been reading through glend, Dan and tocster threads. I did not receive my mount in the first wave and my purchase of the CGX was from OPT. I asked them to do a bench test ( US$90.00 ) prior to shipping. So far I feel pretty lucky to not have any of the issues that I have seen but then again I have not removed my cover and poked around...
I plan on taking a good look at the RA and DEC belts and motors this coming weekend and doing glend's mod if necessary. 
Jim

You had an OEM authorized distributor do a pre-buy inspection on a brand new product they sold you? Wow 😳
Did OPT provide an additional warranty with this service? Did they provide performance testing information?
Shawn

grountentaybrig

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2018, 03:25:26 AM »
Quote
Quote
Hey Guys,
Great idea on a repository for the CGX. I have been reading through glend, Dan and tocster threads. I did not receive my mount in the first wave and my purchase of the CGX was from OPT. I asked them to do a bench test ( US$90.00 ) prior to shipping. So far I feel pretty lucky to not have any of the issues that I have seen but then again I have not removed my cover and poked around...
I plan on taking a good look at the RA and DEC belts and motors this coming weekend and doing glend's mod if necessary.
Jim

You had an OEM authorized distributor do a pre-buy inspection on a brand new product they sold you? Wow
Did OPT provide an additional warranty with this service? Did they provide performance testing information?
And people tend to see these pre-buy tests (OPT, Company 7 etc.) as a positive, value-added service. Well, it is called amateur astronomy.

Rick Perrigo

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 02:48:36 AM »
I love the irony in Celestron's inclusion of viewing windows onto what appears to be problematic components. What were they thinking?
Perhaps the CGX-L is a different beast, but I have decided to not pop the covers off and look too closely. I suspect everything is fine as the mount exceeds my expectations. I saw a few photos of motor controller boards from another type of mount and was appalled by the solder-flux residue left on the boards and the quality of soldering. Some things are better left unknown!

Big evening tonight. Mount characterization, PHD2 metrics, hot coffee, and a good measure of fun! I am finding that after a long day of struggling with the problems of the world and the associated angst that surfaces, that just sitting beneath the stars and gazing towards unfathomabledistances and attempting to explore the meaning of my existence as my little brain can ... is incredibly calming and uplifting. At least that is what I could tell a therapist (and wife)to help justify the expenses incurred!

dan
Seaside, Oregon




Danny Rodriguez

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Re: CGX, CGX-L empiricism and heuristics ... a repository
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 10:37:58 AM »
Quote
And people tend to see these pre-buy tests (OPT, Company 7 etc.) as a positive, value-added service. Well, it is called amateur astronomy.

If I were paying $90 for an inspection, I would certainly expect some kind of written assessment.

For that price, it seems like it would be appropriate to at least produce a measured periodic error curve, and also to program PEC for the customer. This is something that could be done pretty easily in the shop with the proper equipment. You would need to have high resolution encoders and the ability to read and analyze the data, plus software to upload the correction curve to the mount. All of this stuff exists and should be within the budget of someone providing this service commercially.

Note that I don't know what specific service OPT did for $90, or indeed any details of the transaction other than what's been posted here. It's possible that they did something that I haven't thought of. I have been a very satisfied customer of theirs for many years.