RA/DEC Cable Replacement Kits have been in production since 2009. Hundreds of kits have been built. The mount has been out of production for quite a few years now and kit orders have slowed to the point where I will be retiring the product as soon as my parts stock has been depleted.
I have enough parts to make 5 more "basic kits" kits. My supply of "Drill-Less Adapter Blocks is now sold-out and I have no plans to fabricate more. So, the kits that are still available will require you to drill holes in the side of the motor housing. Hundreds have done so, and it's not as scary as it seems.
These will probably be the last kits made before they are
Mount Control Kits (Kit # 1
and Kit # 2) - Plenty still available.
Some Background History:
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.
Like many others, I tried
the VIP cables and the bending of the metal shield, paper clips, bubble gum,
etc., but ultimately all of these methods failed to offer a permanent
solution. Those cables (of any brand) are stiff and simply do not want to
bend (especially in cold temperatures) and the result is that they will not
maintain a good connection in the RJ45 socket.
For me, the solution was to use an entirely
different type of cable connector and to relocate the cable connectors to an
orientation that did not require them to bend at sharp angles. I chose to
use the same connectors that I have used in many of my electrical projects.
In this case I would use the 8-pin version of what I call a "military style"
I was able to "MacGyver" a simple, "less elegant"
(see the "do-it-yourself" version) but then I
learned how many other CGE owners were suffering and decided to share my
success. Knowing that most folks are less "confident" with a soldering iron,
I decided to design and manufacture (all done by hand) a ready to install
kit. New Option! New "drill-less" adapter block option. Installation takes
90 minutes or less and eliminates the need to drill holes in your motor
housing for the chassis connectors.
This kit has several options.
Please refer to the Cable
Kit Options page for more details.
There are now over 200 kits,
in 20 countries, in service.
What People Are Saying? Click Here
Note to buyers:
I am NOT a business. The service I provide is
a semi-not-for-profit service to fellow CGE owners.
As such, I cannot make any guarantees other than the kit will work if
installed correctly. I do not attempt to make a profit, but I do not want to
lose money either. So, the fee I charge is based on a minimum wage (kit
construction only) plus the real cost of parts, sales taxes, shipping, and
other shop supplies. The things I do NOT charge for are considerable. For
instance: advice, writing manuals, R & D, website, etc., etc. It is my
sincere hope that you will not have a need for my services, but if you do,
consider that making these kits easy for you to install means more work at
my end. This explains why, even at minimum wage, the kits are not