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Electronics Failure?

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amydove Posted: 05-11-2018 3:14 PM

Hello,

I have a Paramount ME (with a 14" Celestron Edge HD on a Pier-Tech pier, used with The Sky 6 software, all purchased and installed in late 2009), and two nights ago it did not turn on correctly. The night before that it was used for a few hours and was fine, no errors or issues. (Admittedly it was used by a student of mine, so he could be fibbing, but I am inclined to believe that he didn't do something stupid to it.) I just checked again today and it still isn't working. When the power switch is turned on, the two blue LEDs come on and remain steady, but the orange LED is not on (as far as I can see in the semi-daylight). There is no audible feedback - no beeps, and no hum. TheSky6 cannot connect to it ("Paramount ME not responding. Please check communications port setting, power and connections to the control system.") I have checked all of the cords and connections. The joystick does not home or slew. (The joystick red light can be turned on, so it is getting power.)

What are my next steps?

Thanks,

Amy

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,675
Software Bisque Employee

amydove:
What are my next steps?
This article describes the troubleshooting process. 

  • If the either board needs replaced, you may need to return them to Software Bisque for repair.  While we can't guarantee it can be repaired, (some components are no longer manufactured), we can try.
  • The MKS 5000 Control System Upgrade is an option if the PCBs cannot be fixed.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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Thank you, I will go through those steps and hope for the best. 

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Posts 9

Thanks for your help. I checked the power supply and it is at 46.5 V. The leads on the 6-conductor cable are 46.5V, 11.3V, and 4.8V. Do you think that this is enough discrepancy to cause the behavior we are seeing? Should we try a new power supply?

Thanks,

Amy

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,675
Software Bisque Employee

amydove:
The leads on the 6-conductor cable are 46.5V
This should be 48V, minimum. 

amydove:
Should we try a new power supply?
Yes.  Replacement Paramount ME Power Supply Units are available on the Software Bisque Store.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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Great, I'm glad it is likely an easy fix. Thanks for your help.

Incidentally, what is the typical lifetime of a power supply? We replaced ours in 2015, so I'm wondering it this is expected, or if we should be looking at what is causing our power supplies to fail.

Amy

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Posts 26,675
Software Bisque Employee

amydove:
Incidentally, what is the typical lifetime of a power supply?
I have empirical evidence, only.  Many have been in use more than decade.

amydove:
We replaced ours in 2015, so I'm wondering it this is expected, or if we should be looking at what is causing our power supplies to fail.
See this related post for suggestions and recommendations.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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Hello again,

We have received the new power supply, ordered from the link you gave above. We checked it right out of the box and it is 46.2 V.  This is discouraging. Should we exchange for another one, or does this suggest that the power supplies generally are less than 48V, and therefore that is not our issue?

Thanks,

Amy

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,675
Software Bisque Employee

amydove:
We checked it right out of the box and it is 46.2 V.
To be sure, what does the sticker on the back of the PSU read for the OUTPUT voltage?

The 48V Paramount PSUs deliver 48V, not 46V:

Otherwise, I'm not sure why a 48V spec PSU would deliver a lower voltage.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

Posting Etiquette

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 1,474

Are you using a quality accurately calibrated voltmeter to test? Have you tried putting a small load on the power supply?

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Posts 9

We are on a college campus, and I have been having my lab tech help with this process, so I imagine that several different meters have been used throughout this process.

The output does say 48V (see picture attached). So does the old one we are trying to replace. Neither of them has more than 2A of power. Certainly not 4.6A. Perhaps that is part of the problem?

Neither matches the part number shown in the photo you posted. The new one is XP Power HUP80-18. The old one (from 2015) is MeanWell GS90A48

 

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Posts 3,208
Software Bisque Employee

amydove:
Neither of them has more than 2A of power. Certainly not 4.6A. Perhaps that is part of the problem?

Neither matches the part number shown in the photo you posted.

The label you pictured and amperage you're reporting match the power supply specifications for the Paramount ME. The higher-amperage supply that Daniel pictured is for a Paramount ME II. The point of his picture was to show the voltage, not the amperage.

I don't personally have a power supply at hand to check, but I note that the specifications indicate a 3% tolerance, and 97% of 48V is 46.56V. Are you measuring this under load, or—as in Daniel's picture—with no load?

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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We were measuring with no load. We have tried the new power supply on the telescope and it also didn't work.

At this point I am guessing that the problem is the electronics board. Daniel's post above indicates that we can send it back for possible repair. However, I need for this to get resolved sooner rather than later (I have a student researcher and public viewings this summer) so I may go ahead and order a new electronics board. I just want to confirm that it would be the Paramount ME MKS 5000 Control System Upgrade linked above, correct?

Thanks,

Amy

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 3,208
Software Bisque Employee

Yes, provided that your ME still has an MKS 4000 telescope control system (TCS). See this Bisque TCS Control System Identification document for verification.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

Not Ranked
Posts 9

Ok, thanks, I'll head out to the observatory tomorrow and double check.

Amy

http://www.bisque.com/sc/media/p/147165.aspx

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