I'm an unhappy Celestron user who will buy elsewhere in the future, but perhaps someone here has a solution or part at reasonable cost. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if so.
The following is a self explanatory email exchange with Celeston, edited for brevity (because it took more than one exchange to get the real picture):
The display on the hand controller of my Nexstar 5 is failing. Everything still works but the middle third of the display is not readable. Can I simply replace the display part or can you offer a reconditioned display, or alternatively what is the cost of a new hand controller, or are the new ones downward compatible, as they look identical to mine?
> ====== Please reply above this line ======
> As far as "downward compatible" is concerned, these telescopes are
> computerized electronic products. I am certain you would be
> hard-pressed to find any components that are compatible with a 8-9 year
> old computer. We apologize for the inconvenience created to you.
> Thank you,
> Celestron Technical Services
We are talking about a $2 LCD display component failing, which effectively
means what was the equivalent of an 8 inch GOTO scope today in cost is
reduced to the equivalent of a manual scope. This item has failed due to
age, nothing else. So you effectively assign a lifetime of perhaps 8 years
to your equipment. I suggest you tell your customers that.
As to downward compatible, if you know anything about electronics, it is not
difficult to keep in your product line the capability to send the necessary
motor control signals to an 8 year old telescope or a brand new one. As far
as I can tell, your current designs use exactly the same controller cases
and I suspect the motor specs are very similar too. This is a trivial
engineering issue that you obviously don't care about.
Goodby Celestron, your products are tin. I used to be a real fan.