Saturday, May 14, 2011

CGE Gets New Cables

I have been plagued with connection problems in the RA and DEC cables on the CGE since the second day after I received it.  Typically, run-away slews as the controller is unable to receive encoder pulses to detect mount movement.  My first instance of this problem was in the middle of the New Mexico desert on my first field-trip with the new mount over a year ago.   I wasted the entire evening under magnificent skies debugging the mount with a multimeter.  The problem is that the RJ-45 connectors do not make very secure connections, especially since Celestron chose to run a 9th signal wire through the connector shield.  You got to be kidding!

I finally bought one of Gary Bennett's CGE cable kits. This completely replaces the cables and the crappy RJ-45 sockets with beefy screw-on 8-pin connectors.  These are very well designed kits and require no irreversible changes to the mount.

In the image below, note the connector block on the left side of the pier.  This is were the RA and DEC cables plug in.  The connector circuit board under the plate is also replaced.  Shadowed behind the orange knob, you can see where the other end of the RA cable plugs in.  Again, Gary has provided a single-block aluminium piece that, along with another circuit board replaces the original RJ-45 socket.

Full view of the new CGE Cable Kit from Gary Bennett.

Update September 2012 - Cables have been going for a year and a half.  Not motor runaways since I replaced the cables.  Best money I ever spent on this mount.