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 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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« Day 106 Sunday 6th July 2014 Telescope re-assembly and balancing. | Main | Day 104 Friday 4th July 2014 C14 out of action. »

Day 105 Saturday 5th July 2014 The Paramount ME problem.

My post to the Software Bisque Forum from yesterday and today describes the current situation.


In 2011 I travelled to Spain for a project and had a problem with my ME(9 years old bought in 2005) when the DEC blue LED kept flashing and did not become steady accompanied by the dreaded continuous beeps. It some how fixed itself as described in the link and has been fine since - when in Spain and also back in its observatory in the UK.

See discussion at that time:

In 2014 (a few weeks ago) I returned to Spain and set up the ME once again. At first it was fine but a couple of days ago when I was carrying out a drift alignment procedure I accidentally let the ME track into the meridian - it stopped and started beeping continuously.

I now get the beeping whenever I switch on the ME

It is the identical symptoms to 2011 except that it is the RA light flashing now so when I switch on I get the single beep for DEC success followed by the hum, a pause and then the continuous beeps.

I checked balance first of all and finally removed all of the equipment today - scope and counterweights.

I get exactly the same result with no load at all.

If I release the RA worm from the wheel completely - same result.

The RA motor turns when the power is switched on and turns the worm smoothly then stops abruptly followed by the beeps. There is not excessive pressure on the wheel causing resistance. I can turn the RA motor axle manually and the wheel rotates easily and smoothly.

I cannot think of what to do next.

I have read all of the beep discussions I can find but cannot pinpoint any actions for me to take.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Len Adam

4th July 2014


As a follow up to my points yesterday  (I realise it was 4th July - I hope you had a good day!) -  this morning I concentrated on the RA axis as that seems to be where the problem lies. When I release the axis and rotate it manually using the RA shaft I realised that it was clicking and scraping at one point of its rotation.  I located this at about 8 0 clock (by listening for the click) on a clock face looking at it with my back to the north with the RA shaft as the hour hand of the clock. It sounds as though something is loose and moving with the rotation slightly.I can only assume that it is the internal cabling catching on the shaft and causing the noise.

It occurred to me to try and start the ME with the shaft at about 11 o clock - up past the 8 o clock area.(To go past the "click")

I tried to start the ME and hey presto two beeps! I tried to home the mount with the joystick - continuous beeps.

I switched off and on again after rotating the RA shaft counterclockwise and clockwise again to 11pm - two beeps and this time it homed successfully with the joystick and started tracking.

I returned the shaft to its 6 0 clock position and restarted the ME - two beeps as it should be.

I removed the East panel to view the axis but was unable to identify a particular cable  with the potential to either cause additional friction that could cause the RA motor to stall or to break a connection.

Could the RA motor stalling simply be caused by cable friction?

Note: I only have a single USB cable threaded through the mount.

I will look in the support forum for similar instances but any comments welcome. It does work now but I would like to know the reason for the initial problem.


So - I have a working Paramount at the moment - it now needs to be reassembled.