CGE Upgrade Kits
FEB 2011 - Updated RA-DEC Cable Replacement Kit
April 2011 - 2 New Mount Control Kits
Kit # 1: Hand Controller / AUX1 / AUX2 (GPS)
Kit # 2: PC Port / Guide Port / Power Supply
RA/DEC Cable Replacement Kit - New Hardware!
Mount Control Kit # 1
Mount Control Kit # 2
The original RA/DEC Cable Replacement Kits, now in their 3rd year, continue to solve the most common complaint about the CGE mount. Namely, the external CAT5E cables, and more importantly, the RJ45 (Ethernet) plugs.
BUT… the mount is still left with numerous “phone plugs” that are used to communicate with the mount:
The factory original plugs (phone plugs) for these devices are just not meant to be subjected to dew, frost, dust, tree sap (airborne), or constant motion and “tugging” on such a weenie connector.
Proof of this is comes in the form of the number of incidents of loss of communication with the mount (Error Code 16/17 for example) which usually requires shut down and starting the alignment process from scratch. For astrophotographers, it is not uncommon that the restart process can take an hour or more (align, plate solve, focus). Clear, dark skies are too precious to be wasted on a poor design choice using parts that cost only a few pennies yet cause so many problems.
The solution I offer is to replace the plugs and sockets with robust plugs and connectors that are immune from the effects of Mother Nature.
Celestron's CGE Mount is a great mount but it, like any other mount that is affordable for the average guy, it does have some quirks. If you are like me, it only took 2 months before my brand new CGE mount began giving me heartbreak. I made many wrong assumptions about what the problem might be but in the end it was the external RA and DEC motor cables and their failure to maintain proper electrical contact that was the real cause of my misery.Celestron's design choice to use Ethernet patch cables is bad enough, but to place the connection points where they need to make a 90º bend is just plain bad design (especially on the DEC cable that rubs against the RA shaft housing). I subscribe to several astronomy web forums and the CGE cable problem is, by my estimation, the most commonly reported problem in search of a solution.