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Paramount ME fails to intitialize

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Mike Moore Posted: 09-13-2018 6:41 PM

My Paramount ME no longer beeps singly when I try to power it up.  I hear the servos whining, and a small torque applied to either RA or Dec by hand causes frequency changes indicating the servos are responding to the motion.  In 20 seconds or so it goes to the continuous rapid beeping.  It was sitting disconnected for 8 months or so prior to this problem. It was set to allow homing from the joystick but it never stabilizes to the point that it will "home". It seems odd that both RA and DEC would drop out more or less "at once". The power supply shows good voltage.  Is there a trouble-shooting algorithm I could follow to diagnose this situation?  Most likely others have had this problem, but the forum format makes it difficult to track down the FAQ for this, sorry for having to re-invent the wheel.

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Mike Moore:
Is there a trouble-shooting algorithm I could follow to diagnose this situation?  Most likely others have had this problem, but the forum format makes it difficult to track down the FAQ for this, sorry for having to re-invent the wheel.
Start here.

Mike Moore:
In 20 seconds or so it goes to the continuous rapid beeping.  It was sitting disconnected for 8 months or so prior to this problem. It was set to allow homing from the joystick but it never stabilizes to the point that it will "home". It seems odd that both RA and DEC would drop out more or less "at once".
Based on this:

  1. Unplug everything from the Instrument Panel and Adapter Panel, except for power and the joystick.
  2. Turn on the mount.
  3. Try to home the mount.
  4. If homing fails, restart the mount, place both axes in the Balance Position, and repeat.  Do the motors rotate (continuously) now?

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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When only the power and the joystick are plugged into the instrument panel and the power is turned on, the RA worm twitches slightly and then seems to zero in on a stable position.  The DEC worm on the other hand twitches and then rocks back and forth, never arriving at a stable position.  In a few seconds the steady beep beep sound is activated and the motors are disabled at that point.  The mount is not "homeable" as it never attains the 'ready to go' point.  It acts the same in the balance position,  the DEC servo acts like it is "hunting", rocking back and forth but never attaining a "known" position to work from.  Until the mount steadies up and gives the single beeps you can't do much with it.  I think I may need to look up the DEC servo replacement "how-to" file?

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Mike Moore:
the RA worm twitches slightly and then seems to zero in on a stable position. 
This means the control system is successfully initializing the RA motor (normal behavior).

Mike Moore:
The DEC worm on the other hand twitches and then rocks back and forth, never arriving at a stable position.  In a few seconds the steady beep beep sound is activated and the motors are disabled at that point.
This means the control system cannot successfully initialize the Dec motor (abnormal operation).

Mike Moore:
The mount is not "homeable" as it never attains the 'ready to go' point.  It acts the same in the balance position,  the DEC servo acts like it is "hunting", rocking back and forth but never attaining a "known" position to work from.
Homing is not possible when both motors are not initialized properly.

Mike Moore:
I think I may need to look up the DEC servo replacement "how-to" file?

  • Paramount ME RA and Dec Motor Timing Belt Replacement (This legacy document is a good reference when accessing the Dec motor.  It references using a sonic tension meter to tighten the belts which is overkill, and no longer recommended; if the belt tension is snug, the mount should operate fine.)
  • See this thread for a recent similar case of a failed Dec motor.

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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I have received a replacement dec motor/encoder unit.  My vintage ME also needs to have a motor "offset" number.  It used to be on a paper sticker on the back of the encoder, but this new unit doesn't have that. It is stamped "116" on the shaft-end face of the motor in a place that is hidden when the motor is mounted. There is also a "200" on one edge of the motor housing with a nearby colored dot.  Which of these might be the motor/encoder offset number I need for my vintage ME I wonder?

 

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Mike Moore:
Which of these might be the motor/encoder offset number I need for my vintage ME I wonder?

Maybe neither, sounds like you need to measure the Dec index angle to be sure.  On a legacy ME make sure the belt is off the motor when you measure it.  In my case before I could get a measurement I had to reset the mount to default config. 

Both resetting the mount and measuring the index angle is done in the TSC.  Telescope tab - Tools - Bisque TSC.

Tom

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The value of 200 may be the right one to use, however, to be sure you could measure the motor index angle, as described on pages 25 and 26 of this document. While the document refers to the MKS 5000 control system, the procedure is the same even if your mount has the MKS 4000.

IMPORTANT: If your Paramount MX mount ID number* is below 500, then you'd need to remove the timing belt from the motor when measuring its index angle. Otherwise, you need merely place the axis in the balance mode during the measurement.

*Your mount ID number is indicated on the card that was supplied with the mount (sample pictured below).

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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