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Thread: Problem solved!

  1. #1
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    Default Problem solved!



    In my observing report -

    Hmmm??? What to do tonight?

    I mentioned having a failed signal from the digital setting circle azimuth encoder. While waiting for cloud to clear and before commencing observing, I removed the encoder wiring loom for testing. I continuity tested all the cables. Naturally the problem resided in the very last cable I tested. As soon as I picked it up I saw the problem.

    On the RJ45 pins 3 & 4 are corroded. These are the azimuth encoder channel A and especially pin 4, the azimuth encoder ground pin.



    A 1m RJ45 ethernet patch cable US$2 from ebay, arrives next Tuesday.

    Problem solved!

    Joe
    40 years in amateur astronomy - 1978-2018
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Problem solved!

    Great sleuthing Joe!

    Heck of a repair cost too! Man, that corroded pin is sticking out like a sore thumb. I remember the good old days before transistors and low voltage when you could open up a 120 volt radio to troubleshoot and find a blown tube or burned resistor or capacitor. At 120 vac, issues were usually obvious. Not so much nowadays with low voltage! Showing my age I guess.

    Thanks,
    Jim

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  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Juno16 For This Useful Post:

    ozeclipse (03-14-2019)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Problem solved!

    Thanks Jim,
    I am a mass spectrometrist, run a large university facility with three room-filling mass spectrometers. I do all my own trouble shooting. I agree that the circuit architecture is nowhere near as open on the newer gear as it was 30 years ago. It's also more reliable.

    I am mentoring a young colleague who will take over from me when I retire in about 5-10 years. We have a 30 year old open architecture machine and two microprocessor based solder direct to board PCB that will be decommissioned if our current grant application gets us money for a new one next year. But I still use my eyes and nose. A few weeks ago, we had a proximity sensor not working on one of the new machines. I traced the voltage found where it disappeared. Removed the board and found the PCB track underneath vaporised. I bridged the missing track with a piece of fine wire. Problem solved. Whilst I can read a complex circuit diagram, for the most part I don't. I am teaching my colleague not to get overwhelmed by a circuit diagram just because she doesn't understand it.

    For the most part, I only use the circuit diagrams to locate pathways, connectors, and track voltages or continuity. Most problems can be diagnosed using this technique without having to understand how the circuit works.

    I am kicking myself that I pulled the encoder loom out. Matt had it beautifully laid and restrained and the problem wasn't in the loom inside the rocker box. It will take a bit of replacing.

    Cheers

    Joe
    40 years in amateur astronomy - 1978-2018
    Astronomical interests : astrophotography, visual observing, night-scapes, solar eclipse chasing, asteroidal occultations
    Bortle 1-2 skies, 149 E, 35 S
    web site : http://joe-cali.com/astronomy
    SCOPES - ATM 18" Dob, Vixen VC200L, ATM 6"f7, ED80
    CAMERAS : Pentax K1, K5, K01 / VIDEO CAMS : TacosBD, Lihmsec

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    Default Re: Problem solved!

    Kind of typical that it is the ground on a low voltage circuit isn't it? With my Radio controlled planes "Black Wire" disease seems to always effect the ground....
    ozeclipse, Gabby76 and burris like this.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Problem solved!

    Easy fix Joe !!!

    Which cable was it? (the one inside the Stalk?)
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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Problem solved!

    Hey Matt,

    Yes the corroded pin is in the base connector of the stork cable. My new cable hasn't arrived however I borrowed a patch cable from a friend and tried it last Friday night and it still didn't work. I switched the ALT and AZ encoder cables and got a signal from the AZ encoder in the ALT channel. So the encoders and encoder jacks are OK. It's beginning to look as if the AZ channel of the NEXUS might not be working either but I'll wait until my new cable arrives before proceeding. We have at least 10 cloudy days on the trot to play around.

    Cheers

    Joe
    40 years in amateur astronomy - 1978-2018
    Astronomical interests : astrophotography, visual observing, night-scapes, solar eclipse chasing, asteroidal occultations
    Bortle 1-2 skies, 149 E, 35 S
    web site : http://joe-cali.com/astronomy
    SCOPES - ATM 18" Dob, Vixen VC200L, ATM 6"f7, ED80
    CAMERAS : Pentax K1, K5, K01 / VIDEO CAMS : TacosBD, Lihmsec

 

 

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