Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

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mikemarotta
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:04 pm
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
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Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

Post by mikemarotta »

It is easy to crash the software.
Working indoors without an instrument mounted, I attempted to run a simple two-star alignment.
  • I missed the second star in the menu, pressed Back too long, and found myself at Select First Star again.
  • So, as I was already pretty close to Vega, I pressed Enter and Align.
  • The mount stood on its head while it wrapped up the Declination cord and jammed one of the mount knobs into the Latitude knob as I furiously loosened screws. I should have just cut the power, of course. (Something like this happened the second time out, also, though it was not as dramatic.)
  • Writing this, and checking my work, the same thing happened again twice. Fortunately, I was ready to flip the switch to Off. Also, fortunately, no instrument was mounted or it would have been a head crash, as when a robot manipulator bashes its own base. The lesson here is the same as it was in 1991: Always stand at the E-Stop when running the robot.
And that is a design flaw here: The paddle has no Emergency Stop, no power cut-off.

In the user manual the call-outs for the control paddle show Keys 5 and 6 as Up and Down and they are called out as Item 11. However, in the text, the instructions call Up/Down Item 10 on pages 13 and 18.

Fuller notes on my blog: Celestron AVX Review, Part 3 at https://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/202 ... art-3.html
Michael E. Marotta
Explore Scientific 102 mm Refractor
National Geographic 70 mm Refractor
Ploessl oculars 40mm to 6mm 2X Barlow
mike49mercury@gmail.com
mikemarotta
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:04 pm
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
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Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

Post by mikemarotta »

I don't know about other manufacturers but there is no way to tell the computerized motors about the size and shape of the load they are carrying. The mount will drive the telescope into the tripod. You have to watch it and cover the Off switch.

With that caveat, I went out for one more four-night session when the skies were clear here. I am fairly satisfied that the AVX mount can be useful, but right now it is disassembled and back in its shipping cartons.

I also bought the Celestron polar scope for this from another source and that arrived in time. The polar scope fits several models across two series from Celestron. It goes into a pathway that opens up when the RA is rotated 90 degrees. The scope requires internal alignment of its own with a hex key (Allen wrench). Once you have found a Earth-based object about a mile away and aligned on that, you can work on Polaris. For that the scope has images of the Big Dipper (Wagon) and the W of Cassiopeia. When one of those is on top of the stars themselves and Polaris is in the center circle, you have alignment. So they say. I have not done it. It is in the cartons with the rest of the gear.

I made several lists of alignment stars for this. As noted, they only give the faux Arabic names of the stars. So, I made tables in Excel that I sorted by Declination and RA order and also alphabetically by constellation.

On the final night out, I did not bother with alignment. I had the Declination set to 30 degrees North with the compass in my cell phone and that was close enough. I loosened the clutches and slued the telescope manually to my targets and then tightened them and used the motor controls to stay on center. The hand controller does let you set the motor speed from 1 to 9 and 5-7 are pretty good for slow enough and fast enough. So, following Sue French's Celestial Sampler, I viewed the double alpha Capricorni (Algedi) and the triple beta Cap (Dabih), and then some other targets that I know such as Messier 22.

Right now, we live inside the city but are looking to move over the winter. A darker sky and more backyard are on my wife's list of parameters. (My Astrotech 115-mm apochromatic triplet is also back in its carrying case as are the Nagler eyepiece and other gear that I bought to go with it.)
Michael E. Marotta
Explore Scientific 102 mm Refractor
National Geographic 70 mm Refractor
Ploessl oculars 40mm to 6mm 2X Barlow
mike49mercury@gmail.com
RMSteele
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
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Re: Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod

Post by RMSteele »

Mike, Thanks for taking the trouble to write up your notes here. I have been very interested to follow your informative and practical reports. I hope you do get a darker sky and a bigger yard/garden this winter.
Kind thoughts to you, Bob
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