Date   

Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

jimmyjujames
 

Woody

I see you still have 13.8 volts between the positive and negative terminals.

Shorted cap, possibly
May be same cap your friend replaced.

Positive terminal shorted to -11 Volts below protective ground?

or

Negative terminal shorted to -25 Volts below protective ground?

I don't understand a solution to these results.

I do enjoy troubleshooting and brain teasers.

What model PS do you have and do you know of an on-line schematic.

If not, I don't think I can help any further.

Jimmy


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Joe Zeglinski
 

Chris,
 
    Of course, you are correct – manufacturers would rather save $2 and leave the risk to “probability and statistics”.
I was just wondering what WE can do – invest in some kind of safety device -  for our extremely expensive investment – to protect the electronics from “whatever” is causing a ground fault. That’s without pointing a/the  finger at any specific manufacturer. This problem is just all too common.
 
    Yes, a huge copper (earth ground) stake in the ground is one simple way – but perhaps inconvenient  in portable setups.
 
Joe


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Christopher Erickson
 

Woody, what if I paid YOU to ship me that power supply?
 
If there is a potential problem with newer Pyramid power supplies because they are cutting back on QC costs or something, a lot of people could benefit from having me or AP carefully looking at your bad power supply.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 11:46 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

It might however shed some light on problems that others are having. We have one person who wiped out two laptops, might be the same issue.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Oct 20, 2017 4:36 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.



Christopher,
 
Thanks and I can tell you're dying to diagnose and fix this thing.  But it's just not worth it.
 
It's much heavier and larger than similar switching power supplies and I no longer value the automotive cigarette lighter socket.  So I'll just toss it and use the new switching PS I already bought as a replacement.  The new one is smaller, lighter weight, has two built-in PP connectors and has three times the amperage.
 
Thanks again,
Woody
 

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 2:27 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

 
Sounds like there is a short in the power supply electronics to the frame ground.
 
Could be a wiring problem, a circuit board problem, a transistor insulator problem or a screw fastener problem (oversized screw head, too long, etc,)
 
My speculation is that the most likely cause is a mica power transistor insulator wafer is either missing or otherwise not working as designed for some reason and the case of the power transistor is directly connected to the power supply's frame ground.
 
Use a large USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail box to send it to me and I can find out for sure.  And pay another $15 to have me ship the repaired power supply back to you.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 9:38 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Jimmy,
 
Thank you for this.  I'm no electrical engineer, but I think I ran the test you suggested.
 
1) I set my meter to read DC volts.
 
2) I turned the PS ON.
 
3) I put the red meter lead on the red +13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -11.72v,  not 0.
 
4) I put the red meter lead on the black -13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -25.58v,  not 0.
 
So it looks as if I have a definite problem.  I don't see any obvious stray wires or strands.
 
Could this be caused by a bad cap or two?  Or am I just wasting my time with this thing?
 
Woody
 
 
 

I remember one member had warm cables back last year(?)

His DC power supply +13.8 V DC lug was touching the power supply chassis.

I think the current loop would be from
 +13.8 V DC to chassis to protective ground (green wire) to Desktop computer protective ground.
 The Desktop pc protective ground is connected to DC ground inside PC
 DC ground wire connects CP3/4 and then to the negative lug on 13.8V DC power supply completing the ground loop.
 
 With a DC voltmeter,
 I would check voltage from power supply chassis to it's negative 13.8 Volt lug at front and
 then chassis to positive lug on front of power supply.  Both should be 0 volts.
 
 The member from last year saw -13.8 volts from power supply chassis to negative lug on front of power supply.
 That means his +13.8 volt lug on front was shorted to chassis.
 
 As always, I may be! wrong again.
 
 Jimmy
 

Virus-free. www.avg.com



Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Christopher Erickson
 

Every additional component adds cost and manufacturers have to weigh costs against pricing, competition, sales and profits.
 
Having a ground fault in Pyramid power supplies should be a rather rare event and shouldn't need special circuitry to detect it.
 
What is surprising to me is that this easily-detectable problem wasn't caught by Pyramid's manufacturing QC testing before the supply was boxed up and shipped out to distributors.
 
Astro-Physics is the only astronomy manufacturer I am aware of that uses protective Transorbs on their communications ports, puts their com chips in user-accessible sockets for easy replacement and has worked out a perfect way to instantly save the worm gear and wheel positions to non-volatile memory when power is lost.
 
Maybe that's part of why we are all so loyal to Roland and Marj.
 
They have proven time and again to always be so loyal to us.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 11:18 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Hi,
    Given that this power supply has happened to at least a couple of members, I wonder if there is a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) switch that could be put on the mains supply – or a different kind on the DC side – that would trip as soon as chassis ground  rises above earth potentials. That should help prevent fried laptops and telescope accessories.
 
    I suppose if that were possible, these power supplies would already have such a rely inside.
 
Joe

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Roland Christen
 

It might however shed some light on problems that others are having. We have one person who wiped out two laptops, might be the same issue.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: 'Woody Schlom' woody@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Oct 20, 2017 4:36 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.



Christopher,
 
Thanks and I can tell you're dying to diagnose and fix this thing.  But it's just not worth it.
 
It's much heavier and larger than similar switching power supplies and I no longer value the automotive cigarette lighter socket.  So I'll just toss it and use the new switching PS I already bought as a replacement.  The new one is smaller, lighter weight, has two built-in PP connectors and has three times the amperage.
 
Thanks again,
Woody
 
-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 2:27 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

 
Sounds like there is a short in the power supply electronics to the frame ground.
 
Could be a wiring problem, a circuit board problem, a transistor insulator problem or a screw fastener problem (oversized screw head, too long, etc,)
 
My speculation is that the most likely cause is a mica power transistor insulator wafer is either missing or otherwise not working as designed for some reason and the case of the power transistor is directly connected to the power supply's frame ground.
 
Use a large USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail box to send it to me and I can find out for sure.  And pay another $15 to have me ship the repaired power supply back to you.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 9:38 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Jimmy,
 
Thank you for this.  I'm no electrical engineer, but I think I ran the test you suggested.
 
1) I set my meter to read DC volts.
 
2) I turned the PS ON.
 
3) I put the red meter lead on the red +13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -11.72v,  not 0.
 
4) I put the red meter lead on the black -13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -25.58v,  not 0.
 
So it looks as if I have a definite problem.  I don't see any obvious stray wires or strands.
 
Could this be caused by a bad cap or two?  Or am I just wasting my time with this thing?
 
Woody
 
 
 

I remember one member had warm cables back last year(?)

His DC power supply +13.8 V DC lug was touching the power supply chassis.

I think the current loop would be from
 +13.8 V DC to chassis to protective ground (green wire) to Desktop computer protective ground.
 The Desktop pc protective ground is connected to DC ground inside PC
 DC ground wire connects CP3/4 and then to the negative lug on 13.8V DC power supply completing the ground loop.
 
 With a DC voltmeter,
 I would check voltage from power supply chassis to it's negative 13.8 Volt lug at front and
 then chassis to positive lug on front of power supply.  Both should be 0 volts.
 
 The member from last year saw -13.8 volts from power supply chassis to negative lug on front of power supply.
 That means his +13.8 volt lug on front was shorted to chassis.
 
 As always, I may be! wrong again.
 
 Jimmy
 

Virus-free. www.avg.com



Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Woody Schlom <woody@...>
 

Christopher,
 
Thanks and I can tell you're dying to diagnose and fix this thing.  But it's just not worth it.
 
It's much heavier and larger than similar switching power supplies and I no longer value the automotive cigarette lighter socket.  So I'll just toss it and use the new switching PS I already bought as a replacement.  The new one is smaller, lighter weight, has two built-in PP connectors and has three times the amperage.
 
Thanks again,
Woody
 

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 2:27 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

 

Sounds like there is a short in the power supply electronics to the frame ground.
 
Could be a wiring problem, a circuit board problem, a transistor insulator problem or a screw fastener problem (oversized screw head, too long, etc,)
 
My speculation is that the most likely cause is a mica power transistor insulator wafer is either missing or otherwise not working as designed for some reason and the case of the power transistor is directly connected to the power supply's frame ground.
 
Use a large USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail box to send it to me and I can find out for sure.  And pay another $15 to have me ship the repaired power supply back to you.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 9:38 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Jimmy,
 
Thank you for this.  I'm no electrical engineer, but I think I ran the test you suggested.
 
1) I set my meter to read DC volts.
 
2) I turned the PS ON.
 
3) I put the red meter lead on the red +13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -11.72v,  not 0.
 
4) I put the red meter lead on the black -13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -25.58v,  not 0.
 
So it looks as if I have a definite problem.  I don't see any obvious stray wires or strands.
 
Could this be caused by a bad cap or two?  Or am I just wasting my time with this thing?
 
Woody
 
 
 


I remember one member had warm cables back last year(?)

His DC power supply +13.8 V DC lug was touching the power supply chassis.

I think the current loop would be from
 +13.8 V DC to chassis to protective ground (green wire) to Desktop computer protective ground.
 The Desktop pc protective ground is connected to DC ground inside PC
 DC ground wire connects CP3/4 and then to the negative lug on 13.8V DC power supply completing the ground loop.
 
 With a DC voltmeter,
 I would check voltage from power supply chassis to it's negative 13.8 Volt lug at front and
 then chassis to positive lug on front of power supply.  Both should be 0 volts.
 
 The member from last year saw -13.8 volts from power supply chassis to negative lug on front of power supply.
 That means his +13.8 volt lug on front was shorted to chassis.
 
 As always, I may be! wrong again.
 
 Jimmy
 


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Latest V2 driver

calypte@...
 

I knew there was a discussion, but a search of the forum for
"5.10.02" yielded and "driver" yielded nothing recent.  Thanks.


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Christopher Erickson
 

Sounds like there is a short in the power supply electronics to the frame ground.
 
Could be a wiring problem, a circuit board problem, a transistor insulator problem or a screw fastener problem (oversized screw head, too long, etc,)
 
My speculation is that the most likely cause is a mica power transistor insulator wafer is either missing or otherwise not working as designed for some reason and the case of the power transistor is directly connected to the power supply's frame ground.
 
Use a large USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail box to send it to me and I can find out for sure.  And pay another $15 to have me ship the repaired power supply back to you.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 9:38 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Jimmy,
 
Thank you for this.  I'm no electrical engineer, but I think I ran the test you suggested.
 
1) I set my meter to read DC volts.
 
2) I turned the PS ON.
 
3) I put the red meter lead on the red +13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -11.72v,  not 0.
 
4) I put the red meter lead on the black -13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -25.58v,  not 0.
 
So it looks as if I have a definite problem.  I don't see any obvious stray wires or strands.
 
Could this be caused by a bad cap or two?  Or am I just wasting my time with this thing?
 
Woody
 
 
 


I remember one member had warm cables back last year(?)

His DC power supply +13.8 V DC lug was touching the power supply chassis.

I think the current loop would be from
 +13.8 V DC to chassis to protective ground (green wire) to Desktop computer protective ground.
 The Desktop pc protective ground is connected to DC ground inside PC
 DC ground wire connects CP3/4 and then to the negative lug on 13.8V DC power supply completing the ground loop.
 
 With a DC voltmeter,
 I would check voltage from power supply chassis to it's negative 13.8 Volt lug at front and
 then chassis to positive lug on front of power supply.  Both should be 0 volts.
 
 The member from last year saw -13.8 volts from power supply chassis to negative lug on front of power supply.
 That means his +13.8 volt lug on front was shorted to chassis.
 
 As always, I may be! wrong again.
 
 Jimmy
 


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Christopher Erickson
 

USPS Flat Rate Priority Shipping goes to all 50 states and up to 50 lbs for the same low price.
 
A large Flat Rate box (free at the Post Office) would cost about $15 to ship to Hawaii.
 
If you really want to find out what is wrong with that power supply.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 9:22 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Christopher,
 
Thanks for the kind offer, but this thing weighs a ton and isn't worth the shipping.
 
Another group member has the same make and model I have and he had the same problem.  He replaced one of the big capacitors and that fixed it.  And he reports that it's been running fine ever since -- 5 years now.
 
So I think I'll test the caps and if I find a bad one, replace it.  If that doesn't fix it, back in the electronics recycling bin.
 
Thanks for the reply.
 
Woody
 

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 3:48 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

 

Most likely some kind of failure in the rectification and filtration electronics of the power supply.  Probably a cold solder joint or a bad filter cap.  I would offer to fix it for you if you sent it to me but I doubt you would want to send it to Hawaii.  However I AM very curious about its behavior and what is causing it.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 2:56 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

This is beginning to sound similar to a problem I have with a "new" (two years old, but never used) 12v Pyramid 10a regulated power supply. 
 
When I use this PS, any DC power cable hooked up to a DC output (screw terminals or the front cigarette lighter socket) heats up very quickly to the point where I can't touch it.  And the back of the PS where there are two external transistors mounted, gets hot very quickly too. 
 
And when I attempt to plug the DC end into something (such as a video monitor or video camera), there's a little spark between the plug and socket when I first plug it in. 
 
I didn't catch any of this the first time I used it -- and it apparently fried one of my monitors.  I've also melted two DC power cables in testing.  No fuses have ever blown.
 
When I do simple tests for voltage and continuity, everything checks out OK.  No shorts, no reversed polarity, and the voltage is 13.89v DC.
 
But there's most definitely something wrong with the PS.  I'm thinking that testing for the problem is beyond my skills.  So I've put it in the tub for electronic recycling.
 
But I do have an old Fluke 77 and a brand new Fluke 115.  So maybe I have the proper tools, just not the knowledge to use them to figure this problem out. 
 
I've already purchased a new PS, but I haven't yet put the suspect PS in electronic recycling.  If there are some relatively simple tests I can perform with either of my Fluke instruments, maybe I can get to the bottom of the problem and "save" the otherwise brand new PS.
 
Woody
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:54 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

 

Use a voltmeter to measure what voltage difference exists between the laptop's chassis ground and the CP4's chassis ground.  NOT the ground pins of the AC power cords.
 
However spurious ground differentials will only exist when the CP4's power is connected and disconnected.  They will probably be fast and only detectable by a O-scope, analog meter or a digital meter with an analog scale, like a Fluke model 77.
 
Running the CP4 from a battery will isolate the CP4 completely and guarantee that a spurious ground differential can't come from the CP4.
 
I still say the CP4's external power supply is the #1 culprit.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 8:16 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

But how to test it? My only test destorys laptops? 


Try running your CP4 off a 12 volt battery. That would confirm that something is flaky with your Dc power supplies.

Rolando

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 3:24 PM, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Try running your CP4 off a 12 volt battery. That would confirm that something is flaky with your Dc power supplies.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Oct 18, 2017 2:13 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.



I have gone to 3 prong with ground, that actually was in use with the 2nd laptop. (before it died).
Laptops don't display anything or even beep. They just come up with power light and fan.  That's all.

Battery on the first new laptop was fully charged and if power is disrupted, the battery takes over.  (like if I pull the AC or turn off the power strip, the laptop would stay running). 
What puzzles me is why they go blank when the 12v connector is applied into the cp4? 

no bios message or anything else (ACER splash screen is ever seen, just black).
I'm quite good with computers... I've never seen one power up with fan and nothing else.  I don't know if I can wait - I think I might have to move a extra desktop out there
but the 1.5 days of software install and configuration is getting old. 

I'm more concerned with why power drops when plugging in the CP4. 
NOTHING else shuts down.  

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 
Ron,
 
    Could it be that you have flakey power from the AC outlet at the “gate”?
 
    Unexpected glitches could cause Windows to crash – without a formal shutdown. That might be corrupting your Windows boot partition. When you try to reboot, the laptop can’t find a proper boot record, so it stays black ... usually a text message says to insert a bootable device.
 
    I would suggest installing even an inexpensive small UPS in the dome, so that the unexpected power dropouts are carried through for upto 10 minutes. Some,  even small UPS (like from TrippLite), have a USB cable talking to Windows, and when it senses a switch over to its battery, it issues a formal Windows Hibernate or shutdown, when its battery nears being drained, or by your specified shutdown period.
 
    However, the battery in the laptop should have already handled this  – and the power option in Windows is normally set up to shut down Windows when its battery reaches 10%. Check your power option plan to confirm.  If for some reason, there is no grace percentage in your power plan, it would also crash Windows, possibly irrecoverably without user Win boot record repairs. So, this may still not account for your problem.
 
    Finally, very many, if not most telescope device electronics seem to be meant for battery operation, so the circuit board LOGIC ground wires are tied directly to Chassis (Earth) ground. Without that green ground wire, there is no place to dispel a short except the DC supply, via whatever other circuit boards traces “conveniently” share that common  Earth/Logic connection. Since you haven’t provided one in the power cable, everything else is at risk.
 
    I may be possibly overstating the latter case, but I wouldn’t chance not using at least a properly grounded power cord from the mains.
 
    In any case, you should have a UPS – fed by a proper 3-wire power cord, since UPS’s complain and probably won’t function without a safety Earth Ground connection to the main AC supply.
 
    Have you tried booting to laptop BIOS, to see if it is just a boot record damage or the laptop really is fried? The former can be fixed by yourself, with some time and effort. Worth investigating before returning more laptops for electronic repair. Possibly a software tech at the local PC store, can get the laptop booting again – quicker than shipping it to the manufacturer.
 
Good luck,
Joe





Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,
    Given that this power supply has happened to at least a couple of members, I wonder if there is a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) switch that could be put on the mains supply – or a different kind on the DC side – that would trip as soon as chassis ground  rises above earth potentials. That should help prevent fried laptops and telescope accessories.
 
    I suppose if that were possible, these power supplies would already have such a rely inside.
 
Joe


Re: Latest V2 driver

Ray Gralak
 

I posted an explanation on this forum when I announced the availability of 5.10.02. The 5.10.03 release is a version only for European users to try. I thought it might fix a problem that I haven’t been able to reproduce, but it does not.

That said, the version you download from the site says 5.10.02, and if you downloaded and installed it you should see that it is in fact 5.10.02. :-)

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 1:17 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Latest V2 driver



I'm confused. Ray's website for the driver shows the latest version that can be downloaded as 5.10.02, but
the history page shows the latest version as 5.10.03 (has fix for comma-period swap issue). If I do the
download, what version am I going to get?





Latest V2 driver

calypte@...
 

I'm confused.  Ray's website for the driver shows the latest version that can be downloaded as 5.10.02, but the history page shows the latest version as 5.10.03 (has fix for comma-period swap issue).  If I do the download, what version am I going to get?



Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Woody Schlom <woody@...>
 

Jimmy,
 
Thank you for this.  I'm no electrical engineer, but I think I ran the test you suggested.
 
1) I set my meter to read DC volts.
 
2) I turned the PS ON.
 
3) I put the red meter lead on the red +13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -11.72v,  not 0.
 
4) I put the red meter lead on the black -13.8v DC screw terminal on the front of the PS, and the black meter lead on the chassis ground screw.  The meter read -25.58v,  not 0.
 
So it looks as if I have a definite problem.  I don't see any obvious stray wires or strands.
 
Could this be caused by a bad cap or two?  Or am I just wasting my time with this thing?
 
Woody
 
 

 


I remember one member had warm cables back last year(?)

His DC power supply +13.8 V DC lug was touching the power supply chassis.

I think the current loop would be from
 +13.8 V DC to chassis to protective ground (green wire) to Desktop computer protective ground.
 The Desktop pc protective ground is connected to DC ground inside PC
 DC ground wire connects CP3/4 and then to the negative lug on 13.8V DC power supply completing the ground loop.
 
 With a DC voltmeter,
 I would check voltage from power supply chassis to it's negative 13.8 Volt lug at front and
 then chassis to positive lug on front of power supply.  Both should be 0 volts.
 
 The member from last year saw -13.8 volts from power supply chassis to negative lug on front of power supply.
 That means his +13.8 volt lug on front was shorted to chassis.
 
 As always, I may be! wrong again.
 
 Jimmy
 


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Woody Schlom <woody@...>
 

Christopher,
 
Thanks for the kind offer, but this thing weighs a ton and isn't worth the shipping.
 
Another group member has the same make and model I have and he had the same problem.  He replaced one of the big capacitors and that fixed it.  And he reports that it's been running fine ever since -- 5 years now.
 
So I think I'll test the caps and if I find a bad one, replace it.  If that doesn't fix it, back in the electronics recycling bin.
 
Thanks for the reply.
 
Woody
 

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 3:48 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

 

Most likely some kind of failure in the rectification and filtration electronics of the power supply.  Probably a cold solder joint or a bad filter cap.  I would offer to fix it for you if you sent it to me but I doubt you would want to send it to Hawaii.  However I AM very curious about its behavior and what is causing it.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 2:56 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

This is beginning to sound similar to a problem I have with a "new" (two years old, but never used) 12v Pyramid 10a regulated power supply. 
 
When I use this PS, any DC power cable hooked up to a DC output (screw terminals or the front cigarette lighter socket) heats up very quickly to the point where I can't touch it.  And the back of the PS where there are two external transistors mounted, gets hot very quickly too. 
 
And when I attempt to plug the DC end into something (such as a video monitor or video camera), there's a little spark between the plug and socket when I first plug it in. 
 
I didn't catch any of this the first time I used it -- and it apparently fried one of my monitors.  I've also melted two DC power cables in testing.  No fuses have ever blown.
 
When I do simple tests for voltage and continuity, everything checks out OK.  No shorts, no reversed polarity, and the voltage is 13.89v DC.
 
But there's most definitely something wrong with the PS.  I'm thinking that testing for the problem is beyond my skills.  So I've put it in the tub for electronic recycling.
 
But I do have an old Fluke 77 and a brand new Fluke 115.  So maybe I have the proper tools, just not the knowledge to use them to figure this problem out. 
 
I've already purchased a new PS, but I haven't yet put the suspect PS in electronic recycling.  If there are some relatively simple tests I can perform with either of my Fluke instruments, maybe I can get to the bottom of the problem and "save" the otherwise brand new PS.
 
Woody
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:54 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

 

Use a voltmeter to measure what voltage difference exists between the laptop's chassis ground and the CP4's chassis ground.  NOT the ground pins of the AC power cords.
 
However spurious ground differentials will only exist when the CP4's power is connected and disconnected.  They will probably be fast and only detectable by a O-scope, analog meter or a digital meter with an analog scale, like a Fluke model 77.
 
Running the CP4 from a battery will isolate the CP4 completely and guarantee that a spurious ground differential can't come from the CP4.
 
I still say the CP4's external power supply is the #1 culprit.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 8:16 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

But how to test it? My only test destorys laptops? 


Try running your CP4 off a 12 volt battery. That would confirm that something is flaky with your Dc power supplies.

Rolando

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 3:24 PM, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Try running your CP4 off a 12 volt battery. That would confirm that something is flaky with your Dc power supplies.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Oct 18, 2017 2:13 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.



I have gone to 3 prong with ground, that actually was in use with the 2nd laptop. (before it died).
Laptops don't display anything or even beep. They just come up with power light and fan.  That's all.

Battery on the first new laptop was fully charged and if power is disrupted, the battery takes over.  (like if I pull the AC or turn off the power strip, the laptop would stay running). 
What puzzles me is why they go blank when the 12v connector is applied into the cp4? 

no bios message or anything else (ACER splash screen is ever seen, just black).
I'm quite good with computers... I've never seen one power up with fan and nothing else.  I don't know if I can wait - I think I might have to move a extra desktop out there
but the 1.5 days of software install and configuration is getting old. 

I'm more concerned with why power drops when plugging in the CP4. 
NOTHING else shuts down.  

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 
Ron,
 
    Could it be that you have flakey power from the AC outlet at the “gate”?
 
    Unexpected glitches could cause Windows to crash – without a formal shutdown. That might be corrupting your Windows boot partition. When you try to reboot, the laptop can’t find a proper boot record, so it stays black ... usually a text message says to insert a bootable device.
 
    I would suggest installing even an inexpensive small UPS in the dome, so that the unexpected power dropouts are carried through for upto 10 minutes. Some,  even small UPS (like from TrippLite), have a USB cable talking to Windows, and when it senses a switch over to its battery, it issues a formal Windows Hibernate or shutdown, when its battery nears being drained, or by your specified shutdown period.
 
    However, the battery in the laptop should have already handled this  – and the power option in Windows is normally set up to shut down Windows when its battery reaches 10%. Check your power option plan to confirm.  If for some reason, there is no grace percentage in your power plan, it would also crash Windows, possibly irrecoverably without user Win boot record repairs. So, this may still not account for your problem.
 
    Finally, very many, if not most telescope device electronics seem to be meant for battery operation, so the circuit board LOGIC ground wires are tied directly to Chassis (Earth) ground. Without that green ground wire, there is no place to dispel a short except the DC supply, via whatever other circuit boards traces “conveniently” share that common  Earth/Logic connection. Since you haven’t provided one in the power cable, everything else is at risk.
 
    I may be possibly overstating the latter case, but I wouldn’t chance not using at least a properly grounded power cord from the mains.
 
    In any case, you should have a UPS – fed by a proper 3-wire power cord, since UPS’s complain and probably won’t function without a safety Earth Ground connection to the main AC supply.
 
    Have you tried booting to laptop BIOS, to see if it is just a boot record damage or the laptop really is fried? The former can be fixed by yourself, with some time and effort. Worth investigating before returning more laptops for electronic repair. Possibly a software tech at the local PC store, can get the laptop booting again – quicker than shipping it to the manufacturer.
 
Good luck,
Joe





Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Roland Christen
 

Actually that sounds very plausible.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: jimmy_an@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Fri, Oct 20, 2017 6:51 am
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.




I remember one member had warm cables back last year(?)

His DC power supply +13.8 V DC lug was touching the power supply chassis.

I think the current loop would be from
 +13.8 V DC to chassis to protective ground (green wire) to Desktop computer protective ground.
 The Desktop pc protective ground is connected to DC ground inside PC
 DC ground wire connects CP3/4 and then to the negative lug on 13.8V DC power supply completing the ground loop.
 
 With a DC voltmeter,
 I would check voltage from power supply chassis to it's negative 13.8 Volt lug at front and
 then chassis to positive lug on front of power supply.  Both should be 0 volts.
 
 The member from last year saw -13.8 volts from power supply chassis to negative lug on front of power supply.
 That means his +13.8 volt lug on front was shorted to chassis.
 
 As always, I may be wrong again.
  ;
 Jimmy
 


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

jimmyjujames
 


I remember one member had warm cables back last year(?)

His DC power supply +13.8 V DC lug was touching the power supply chassis.

I think the current loop would be from
 +13.8 V DC to chassis to protective ground (green wire) to Desktop computer protective ground.
 The Desktop pc protective ground is connected to DC ground inside PC
 DC ground wire connects CP3/4 and then to the negative lug on 13.8V DC power supply completing the ground loop.
 
 With a DC voltmeter,
 I would check voltage from power supply chassis to it's negative 13.8 Volt lug at front and
 then chassis to positive lug on front of power supply.  Both should be 0 volts.
 
 The member from last year saw -13.8 volts from power supply chassis to negative lug on front of power supply.
 That means his +13.8 volt lug on front was shorted to chassis.
 
 As always, I may be wrong again.
 
 Jimmy
 


Re: 12v DC power supply question

Christopher Erickson
 

Modern switching power supplies use a frequency of about 20Khz to 2Mhz
instead of the old-school 60hz to change voltages from one level to another.
The higher the frequency, the smaller the transformer and filter components
can be. This saves in weight and cost and can increase conversion
efficiency, resulting in less heat generation (energy loss).

The down side is that the switcher frequency range is in the medium-wave &
shortwave radio spectrum bands and can cause primary and harmonic
interference for ham gear at certain frequencies placed close to the
switcher. Having a switcher with an adjustable frequency is sort of a cool
feature that would really appeal to ham radio enthusiasts and shortwave
listeners.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:34 PM
To: A-P GOTO Mounts Yahoo Group
Subject: [ap-gto] 12v DC power supply question

Recently somebody (I think it was Roland) suggested that what we want is a
good quality regulated SWITCHING power supply.

Why a SWITCHING PS instead of an old-fashioned transformer PS? I thought
that even though transformers are much much heavier and larger, they were in
general cleaner.

The 12v PS I used to use with my Mach1 and camera was made by Pyramid --
with a very heavy transformer inside. A couple of years ago I put that one
in my mobile observatory -- where it is now. And I bought a second one just
like it for portable use with my Mach1 and camera.

But that "new" PS has a serious problem (I mentioned in another post this
evening). So I bought a new switching PS. I like the new one because it's
so much smaller and lighter and has built-in PP connections. But it has a
"noise adjuster" knob to hopefully minimize noise for HAM radio use. The
fact that it even has such an adjustment tells me there's a problem with
noise in at least this switching PS.

Any comments?

Woody



------------------------------------
Posted by: "Woody Schlom" <woody_is@...>
------------------------------------

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list see
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---
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Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Christopher Erickson
 

Most likely some kind of failure in the rectification and filtration electronics of the power supply.  Probably a cold solder joint or a bad filter cap.  I would offer to fix it for you if you sent it to me but I doubt you would want to send it to Hawaii.  However I AM very curious about its behavior and what is causing it.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 2:56 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

This is beginning to sound similar to a problem I have with a "new" (two years old, but never used) 12v Pyramid 10a regulated power supply. 
 
When I use this PS, any DC power cable hooked up to a DC output (screw terminals or the front cigarette lighter socket) heats up very quickly to the point where I can't touch it.  And the back of the PS where there are two external transistors mounted, gets hot very quickly too. 
 
And when I attempt to plug the DC end into something (such as a video monitor or video camera), there's a little spark between the plug and socket when I first plug it in. 
 
I didn't catch any of this the first time I used it -- and it apparently fried one of my monitors.  I've also melted two DC power cables in testing.  No fuses have ever blown.
 
When I do simple tests for voltage and continuity, everything checks out OK.  No shorts, no reversed polarity, and the voltage is 13.89v DC.
 
But there's most definitely something wrong with the PS.  I'm thinking that testing for the problem is beyond my skills.  So I've put it in the tub for electronic recycling.
 
But I do have an old Fluke 77 and a brand new Fluke 115.  So maybe I have the proper tools, just not the knowledge to use them to figure this problem out. 
 
I've already purchased a new PS, but I haven't yet put the suspect PS in electronic recycling.  If there are some relatively simple tests I can perform with either of my Fluke instruments, maybe I can get to the bottom of the problem and "save" the otherwise brand new PS.
 
Woody
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:54 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

 

Use a voltmeter to measure what voltage difference exists between the laptop's chassis ground and the CP4's chassis ground.  NOT the ground pins of the AC power cords.
 
However spurious ground differentials will only exist when the CP4's power is connected and disconnected.  They will probably be fast and only detectable by a O-scope, analog meter or a digital meter with an analog scale, like a Fluke model 77.
 
Running the CP4 from a battery will isolate the CP4 completely and guarantee that a spurious ground differential can't come from the CP4.
 
I still say the CP4's external power supply is the #1 culprit.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 8:16 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

But how to test it? My only test destorys laptops? 


Try running your CP4 off a 12 volt battery. That would confirm that something is flaky with your Dc power supplies.

Rolando

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 3:24 PM, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 

Try running your CP4 off a 12 volt battery. That would confirm that something is flaky with your Dc power supplies.

Rolando




-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Oct 18, 2017 2:13 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.



I have gone to 3 prong with ground, that actually was in use with the 2nd laptop. (before it died).
Laptops don't display anything or even beep. They just come up with power light and fan.  That's all.

Battery on the first new laptop was fully charged and if power is disrupted, the battery takes over.  (like if I pull the AC or turn off the power strip, the laptop would stay running). 
What puzzles me is why they go blank when the 12v connector is applied into the cp4? 

no bios message or anything else (ACER splash screen is ever seen, just black).
I'm quite good with computers... I've never seen one power up with fan and nothing else.  I don't know if I can wait - I think I might have to move a extra desktop out there
but the 1.5 days of software install and configuration is getting old. 

I'm more concerned with why power drops when plugging in the CP4. 
NOTHING else shuts down.  

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 
Ron,
 
    Could it be that you have flakey power from the AC outlet at the “gate”?
 
    Unexpected glitches could cause Windows to crash – without a formal shutdown. That might be corrupting your Windows boot partition. When you try to reboot, the laptop can’t find a proper boot record, so it stays black ... usually a text message says to insert a bootable device.
 
    I would suggest installing even an inexpensive small UPS in the dome, so that the unexpected power dropouts are carried through for upto 10 minutes. Some,  even small UPS (like from TrippLite), have a USB cable talking to Windows, and when it senses a switch over to its battery, it issues a formal Windows Hibernate or shutdown, when its battery nears being drained, or by your specified shutdown period.
 
    However, the battery in the laptop should have already handled this  – and the power option in Windows is normally set up to shut down Windows when its battery reaches 10%. Check your power option plan to confirm.  If for some reason, there is no grace percentage in your power plan, it would also crash Windows, possibly irrecoverably without user Win boot record repairs. So, this may still not account for your problem.
 
    Finally, very many, if not most telescope device electronics seem to be meant for battery operation, so the circuit board LOGIC ground wires are tied directly to Chassis (Earth) ground. Without that green ground wire, there is no place to dispel a short except the DC supply, via whatever other circuit boards traces “conveniently” share that common  Earth/Logic connection. Since you haven’t provided one in the power cable, everything else is at risk.
 
    I may be possibly overstating the latter case, but I wouldn’t chance not using at least a properly grounded power cord from the mains.
 
    In any case, you should have a UPS – fed by a proper 3-wire power cord, since UPS’s complain and probably won’t function without a safety Earth Ground connection to the main AC supply.
 
    Have you tried booting to laptop BIOS, to see if it is just a boot record damage or the laptop really is fried? The former can be fixed by yourself, with some time and effort. Worth investigating before returning more laptops for electronic repair. Possibly a software tech at the local PC store, can get the laptop booting again – quicker than shipping it to the manufacturer.
 
Good luck,
Joe





Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Christopher Erickson
 

I would say that it is very unlikely that a floating ground or spurious ground differential could damage an Ethernet port unless the ground voltage difference was really high.  Maybe 100 volts or larger.
 
Unprotected/unhardened PC USB, RS-232, HDMI, VGA, Audio and memory card ports can be damaged with as little ground differential as 6 volts.
 
However ESD (Electrostatic Discharge of thousands or even tens-of-thousands of volts) is a real port killer that can trash unprotected/unhardened PC USB, RS-232, HDMI, VGA, Audio and memory card ports in the blink of an eye.
 
And if the ESD zap is big enough, it isn't unthinkable that the PC's motherboard could be morbidly damaged.
 
As we move into the cold & dry season in the Northern Hemisphere, ESD can be a real electronics killer in an observatory.
 
In cold & dry weather, never plug a communications cable of any kind into a PC, router, etc. and leave the other end laying on a floor or carpet.  Simply walking past the cable end could destroy the port, or much worse.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 2:21 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Well, that is the only connection between the laptops and the CP4. On the other hand I cannot see any way that an ethernet connection fault can destroy and entire computer. I would really like to know from the technician that fixes these laptops what caused them to die.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto
Sent: Thu, Oct 19, 2017 7:00 pm
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.



Ethernet cables don't normally carry any ground connections.  Special PoE or high RFI applications are more complicated.  There are tiny isolation transformers behind every Ethernet port.  Ethernet communications is all inductively coupled specifically to avoid ground loops and other ground differential issues.
 
 
-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
 


From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 8:53 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.

Could also be a flaky ethernet cable. Send that in also along with your AC/DC power supply. We can test all these parts to see if there are any problems with any of them.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto] gto@...>
To: ap-gto gto@...>
Sent: Thu, Oct 19, 2017 1:16 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.



But how to test it? My only test destorys laptops? 


Try running your CP4 off a 12 volt battery. That would confirm that something is flaky with your Dc power supplies.

Rolando

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 3:24 PM, chris1011@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 
Try running your CP4 off a 12 volt battery. That would confirm that something is flaky with your Dc power supplies.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Kramer ronkramer1957@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
To: ap-gto <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Wed, Oct 18, 2017 2:13 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] strange electrical issue - anyone have any knowledge of what to do.



I have gone to 3 prong with ground, that actually was in use with the 2nd laptop. (before it died).
Laptops don't display anything or even beep. They just come up with power light and fan.  That's all.

Battery on the first new laptop was fully charged and if power is disrupted, the battery takes over.  (like if I pull the AC or turn off the power strip, the laptop would stay running). 
What puzzles me is why they go blank when the 12v connector is applied into the cp4? 

no bios message or anything else (ACER splash screen is ever seen, just black).
I'm quite good with computers... I've never seen one power up with fan and nothing else.  I don't know if I can wait - I think I might have to move a extra desktop out there
but the 1.5 days of software install and configuration is getting old. 

I'm more concerned with why power drops when plugging in the CP4. 
NOTHING else shuts down.  

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM, 'Joseph Zeglinski' J.Zeglinski@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 
Ron,
 
    Could it be that you have flakey power from the AC outlet at the “gate”?
 
    Unexpected glitches could cause Windows to crash – without a formal shutdown. That might be corrupting your Windows boot partition. When you try to reboot, the laptop can’t find a proper boot record, so it stays black ... usually a text message says to insert a bootable device.
 
    I would suggest installing even an inexpensive small UPS in the dome, so that the unexpected power dropouts are carried through for upto 10 minutes. Some,  even small UPS (like from TrippLite), have a USB cable talking to Windows, and when it senses a switch over to its battery, it issues a formal Windows Hibernate or shutdown, when its battery nears being drained, or by your specified shutdown period.
 
    However, the battery in the laptop should have already handled this  – and the power option in Windows is normally set up to shut down Windows when its battery reaches 10%. Check your power option plan to confirm.  If for some reason, there is no grace percentage in your power plan, it would also crash Windows, possibly irrecoverably without user Win boot record repairs. So, this may still not account for your problem.
 
    Finally, very many, if not most telescope device electronics seem to be meant for battery operation, so the circuit board LOGIC ground wires are tied directly to Chassis (Earth) ground. Without that green ground wire, there is no place to dispel a short except the DC supply, via whatever other circuit boards traces “conveniently” share that common  Earth/Logic connection. Since you haven’t provided one in the power cable, everything else is at risk.
 
    I may be possibly overstating the latter case, but I wouldn’t chance not using at least a properly grounded power cord from the mains.
 
    In any case, you should have a UPS – fed by a proper 3-wire power cord, since UPS’s complain and probably won’t function without a safety Earth Ground connection to the main AC supply.
 
    Have you tried booting to laptop BIOS, to see if it is just a boot record damage or the laptop really is fried? The former can be fixed by yourself, with some time and effort. Worth investigating before returning more laptops for electronic repair. Possibly a software tech at the local PC store, can get the laptop booting again – quicker than shipping it to the manufacturer.
 
Good luck,
Joe







Virus-free. www.avg.com



Re: 12v DC power supply question

Dean Jacobsen
 

Woody, 

I don't know about the "noise adjuster" knob on a communications grade switching power supply.  I haven't ever seen one in any of the power supplies I have used but I have used Astron brand switching power supplies and Astron linear power supplies for decades with my ham radio gear and my astro gear without any problem.  I use the switching power supplies for the portable astronomy gear that I take out to the club's site because they are easier to lift in and out of the truck.  My 20 amp switching power supply is quite a bit lighter than my linear power supply.  

There is an outfit here in San Diego called Ham Radio Outlet.  They could set you up with a nice linear or switching power supply... whichever you prefer.

Dean Jacobsen