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PlanetGazer

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Posts posted by PlanetGazer


  1. On 02/11/2019 at 21:07, Cosmic Geoff said:

    You could buy a car jump starter instead of an astro power tank.

    Something like this: https://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/garage-equipment/battery-chargers-jump-starters/4-in-1-jump-starter

    You just need to make sure it has a suitable +12v outlet.  There are lots of makes and models of these things and I'd be amazed if you can't find one locally.

     

    That's a great price!

    I did find similar car jump starters, but they are either small cheaply made lithium batteries, which is a safety concern for me;

    or a lead acid battery that's over priced (equivalent to £ 100 after discount link). So maybe buying a proper safe lithium battery with double the life-span (theoretically), could be the best value.

     

     


  2. 17 minutes ago, DaveL59 said:

    does seem pricey but may well do the job, has mains inverter output which is likely why, do you really need that?

    so long as it doesn't auto-shutdown with a low-drain load it could work, tho using the AC outlet will reduce runtime quite a bit I expect. I have a LiPo car jump-start pack that's smaller but similar rated power and use the Cig socket adaptor to hook up to a Buck converter to deliver 12v out to the SynScan, seems to work just fine and cost around £65 all in. Just be sure you check the DC output  voltage before you hook up the scope as  they can be a lot more than you'd see off a regular 12v lead battery, mine showed 16v which is more than the 15v max for the goto, hence the buck converter.

    I do need a power tank as most of my observing sessions are remote. I live in a flat with restricted outdoor space. the power tank is expensive, but the cheapest available power tank that can be shipped to my location.

     

    Regarding voltage, the manufacturer states it has a " 4* 12V DC for car powered device under 60W" which I think means 4 outlets that you can connect to a cable with negative car socket adapter. The mains outlets are 2 and are 120V AC (300 Watt Surge)


  3. 9 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

    A more conventional choice would be a Celestron or Sky-watcher telescope power tank, or one of those car booster/12v cigar socket outlet devices from a car accessory shop. I have one of each, plus a 12v 7AH sealed lead-acid battery I wired up myself.

    I tried buying the SW or Celestron power tanks from multiple sites, US and UK. but non would ship internationally. For safety reasons


  4. On 24/10/2019 at 21:54, Dumbo said:

    Total noob here first time post and need some friendly advice, 
    I'm seriously thinking about getting into star gazing with telescopes and after looking around in various places it seems this is a good one to go for, I can see it's not that portable but still could be manageable with a bag and certainly doable with 2 people. 
    I'm wondering what your thoughts are and if perhaps there are other options around this price range £200-300? 
    As mentioned I'm a total noob with telescopes, all help and advise would be greatly appreciated.


     

    Spot on, 8 inch is a good choice. And it's even doable with 1 person. 


  5. What do you guys think of this power station. I would buy one for my current telescope or any other in the future.

     

    Reason I'm thinking of this one, as it's the only site that'll ship internationally.

     

    https://www.rockpals.com/collections/portable-power-station/products/250-watt-portable-generator-rechargeable-solar-generator-with-110v-ac-outlet

     

    https://www.amazon.com/Rockpals-250-Watt-Generator-Rechargeable-Emergency/dp/B075SSMR6K


  6. On 29/09/2019 at 17:20, Geoff Lister said:

    I have the same Skyliner 250PX flextube Synscan GoTo. I bought it after enjoying the same GoTo system on my Skymax 127 Mak., but wanted more aperture. My experience is that the handset's indication of voltage is a few tenths of a volt lower than my DVM measurements at the power source. I usually use a 12V, 2.0A, plug-top mains PSU, with the 12V lead extended with about a metre of  heavy-duty, white, bell flex (shows up much better in the dark). I have measured supply currents for my powered mounts:-

    57327016_ConsumptionTable.jpg.8f56da6fa38c989ebe7422d251a43209.jpg

    The above are mean currents, and peaks will be slightly higher during acceleration. It is important to ensure that your 12V connectors are making good contact, and that any conductors have a decent diameter of copper.

    At power-up, the "system" does not know where it is pointing, so it sets its electronic registers to zero (pointing to polar North and OTA level [alt = 0]). If the previous session ended with the "Park", "HOME" function, and the base has not moved, or has been put back exactly as before, then electronic and mechanical axes are aligned, and the handset should offer a reset from park position; avoiding the need for re-alignment (you still need to update time and date). Polar alignment is not required. The alignment process corrects for any errors in the starting position, and the cross-axis coupling if the base is not level, and the OTA is not sitting accurately in the Alt axis.

    I have added a decent bubble level to the base, and use a wedge under one of the feet to get the base level. Turn the base so that the bubble points between 2 of the feet, and insert the wedge under the other one to centre the bubble. This ensures that the azimuth axis is as vertical as I can get it. This is not essential, but makes the alignment sums easier, and helps with the manual slew to the first alignment star.

    I tend to use the "Brightest Star" alignment; often at dusk, when only the brightest stars are visible to the naked eye. Currently, I select Jupiter and, as the first slew is a manual one, the handset gives me the altitude, which I use to set the marker on the altitude scale, and then stand behind the OTA as it rotates, and stop when it is pointing roughly at Jupiter. Jupiter will then be in the finder, and I do the final centre with a 25mm EP and slew rate 4. Now the mount does a proper 2-star alignment, but with the advantage that it will do an automatic slew to the first star. Again, currently, Altair and Arcturus are visible from my garden, and make good alignment stars, clear of trees, fences and houses; and with good azimuth and altitude differences. I spent a few hours with the "Stellarium" program on my PC. I adjusted the date and dusk time for the middle of each month of the year, and selected 3, 4, or 5 bright stars, visible from my garden, and giving good azimuth and altitude separation. The table gives rough direction (N, NW, W etc.) and the altitude angle. I ended up with a table of 14 stars (+ Polaris, if stuck, makes a reasonable 2nd star), mostly the alphas of their respective constellations. I did the same for 1 hour before dawn, but this table has had little use.

    I had to add a weight at the primary end of the OTA, as the clutch tended to slip if I was using a binoviewer, DSLR or my 2" 56mm EP. I also tightened, slightly, the altitude axis nut; but still leaving enough slack for manual adjustments.

    Geoff

     

     

    lots of good tips and advise in this post, which helped me. Thank you!

     

    On 29/09/2019 at 21:19, masjstovel said:

    I'm sorry, I didnt read Your post well enough, just got caught up in the power-supply-thingy:)

    No problems at all

     

    On 29/09/2019 at 21:49, Owmuchonomy said:

    It is highly likely the problem lies with your power supply. I had exactly the same problem with my 12 inch Synscan Dob. I solved the problem by using a 12V 4 amp mains power supply.  My Powertank was supposed to be 17 Ah but it would not power the Dob for more than 30 minutes.

    3 Amps for mains power seems fine so far,  4 Amps could be next on my list, though mobile batteries are my priority now

     

    On 29/09/2019 at 22:08, Marvin Jenkins said:

    I lost three valuable nights astronomy due to major alignment inaccuracies. My large power supply said perfect but plugged into the mains all problems disappeared. A day later the battery said it needed charging! Eliminate the obvious.

    Battery packs are great but the light systems on the front to test charge are not very accurate.

    Marvin

    Trust me I have lost more, and kept my patience in many xD but glad that I gained knowledge in a new area (power and electricity)

     

    On 29/09/2019 at 22:11, James said:

    A lead acid battery giving 11.7v is effectively dead for use with the scope. Connecting it to another battery (or any charger) for a few  minutes will result in the voltage going up, but it won’t last, check again in half an hour and it will probably be back down at 11.7. 
     

    You really need to get a proper charger for it (I suspect you’ll need a new battery, lead acids don’t like being emptied all the way). If you use AC power then things will probably improve but if your are away from an easy source of power then you’ll need a new, fully charged battery :)

    This was also helpful, I've never went back to the battery and decided to try a working car battery first, before buying a dedicated one. Thank you!

     

    On 29/09/2019 at 22:40, teoria_del_big_bang said:

     

    As above I would get a new battery and charger and make sure it is always fully charged before a session, do not fully discharge and recharge after every session. I would also be tempted to get a bit bigger capacity battery then 7Ah.

    Steve

    I'm considering a 17 Ah or larger. Can't find a shop that will ship to me, due to safety regulations. Though I may just end up buying a separate car battery

     

    On 30/09/2019 at 17:12, Ships and Stars said:

    I use a Yuasa 70Ah deep cycle leisure/marine battery and fully charge it before each use. Heavy, but lots and lots of reserve power. £62. Both this battery and my 105Ah deep cycle in my camper read between 12.7 and 12.8V when fully charged, quickly dropping to 12.4-6 once in use and peaking around 13.8-14V when charging. I have a double cig lighter cable for my GOTO. Sometime I'll pop in the voltmeter and see what it drops to when slewing on Rate 9 etc. 

    2muchstuff-6.jpg

    Impressive battery!

    I've bought a value voltmeter for the long run. I will start to learn how to use it.

    On 01/10/2019 at 10:59, JOC said:

    I have been where the OP is with mine and understand the frustration.  I have a 17 Ah Car jumpstart box that seems to work well, but for the avoidance of doubt it is also possible to invest in a mains plug for the system at reasonable cost.  Even it means running an extension lead testing the telescope with a mains supply in the back yard it would remove doubt in the power supply until the issue is solved.  I find the mains lead is a really good investment and only use my power box if I'm too far from the house for the extension lead.

    FWIW I have never dismantled my Dob and removed said plastic ring and I've never adjusted the clutches - I wouldn't know what these are or what to do with them - I think with synscan Dobs they are a non-issue and in this case, probably, a red-herring.  What I have taken to doing is in terms of finding North I've started finding the Pole star and lowering the telescope to horizontal at that position and using that as North - at that point I switch on the synscan.

    It might be worth checking the daylight savings time settings.  If you have a mobile downloading an application called Synscan init 2.0 and turning on the phone GPS will give the OP every setting correct and in the correct format that they need to put into the device, one thing I tripped over was don't forget to add in any leading zeros esp. in the position settings those leading zeros are really important if they are there - it does sound like you are in the East, but if you are in the west then a minus sign might be needed.  If you use the app. then enter everything exactly as it is presented - from what the OP writes it sounds like they are getting most things right, but the app. just give that extra confidence and I still use it each time.

    Other things I found was that mine was highly sensitive to weight.  I don't know what the OP is using, but when you do the set-up try it with EXACTLY what the scope was sent with and nothing else.  No added finders, no big chunky EP's, no dew shields or heaters, no hefty battery packs etc.  Strip it down to just what it was sent with  and just use the little light Plossl EP's that probably came with the scope and the provided finder - nothing else - mine still calibrates best when I use only these with the telescope.   Also, don't fill the holders up with stuff or sit things on the edge of the base - do nothing to upset the balance or twisting motion and see if that helps.   It can also help if you use something like the mobile phone version of Stellarium to make sure you know which star the unit is driving to so that when it says centre star in the eyepiece you are certain in your own mind of which one to be getting into the middle of the EP.  I don't know my stars well and it does help to be certain you know where the scope is driving to and therefore what to centre on when it stops as part of the calibration.  It is also best if you select stars that are a longer distance apart in the sky so try to pick one that is almost behind you from North maybe. 

    Also check that the cables are not getting wound around the scope as these can upset things.  Oh, yes and I can practically guarantee that the day you finally get it functional you will get that excited that you will forget the cables and after 10 minutes they will get that tied up that they pull themselves out and you have to start all over again!!

     

    I have used the default accessories for the initial trials until I got it aligned and then used different accessories but were similar weight and did not find any major problems.  regarding set up options, all were correct, I double checked with the amazing Synscan init 2.0 app as well.

     

    and yes I was excited!  I found that the scope takes the longer angle to rotate sometimes, and the the cables get extended to the limit. to remedy that, I locate the object on the sky map, manually rotate the scope to the direction of the object  (with the handset directional buttons) then use the GoTo to locate the object, this will make the scope not turn more than 180 degrees and will contribute to saving power.

     

    On 01/10/2019 at 14:22, barkis said:



    These headaches can spoil the enjoyment no end.
    Ron.

    They have, but I'm much happier now xD Thanks for the help Ron

     

    On 01/10/2019 at 18:09, Ceramus said:

    One simple thing that perhaps has been mentioned before but of great importance is the precise centering of alignment stars in the eyepiece. I use a high-ish power illuminated reticle eyepice and make sure the last adjustments are UP and RIGHT.

     

    This is good advise. the use of up and right as final steps to align, do contribute to the accuracy of the allignment


  7. Update :

    I would like to thank everyone for their contribution in this topic. I have finally managed to sort it out. As many have suggested, power was the issue, and I have managed to solve it. Sorry for the late reply, but finding the right time for an observing session + weather + debugging the issue, all contributed for the late reply.

     

    I have planned to test 2 methods:

    1- Use mains power 2- try car socket battery power. Which meant I had to find some power supply cable and an extinction cord for the cigarette socket to position the scope an appropriate distance away from the car, to keep all sides visible.

     

    1- I found 2 power supplies with 2 Amp 12 V (Mains power),  tried them and both didn't align the scope correctly . I managed to find a power supply with 3 Amp 12 V and with multiple tries on different nights I finally managed to get the stars aligned with acceptable accuracy. As long as the target is anywhere in the 25mm EP view, I'm pleased. Boy was I happy when I managed to view Uranus for the first time! Not an easy target

     

    2- So after I managed to align successfully using mains power, I had to insure that my scope works well when using batteries, since I ,mostly, stargaze outside my home. I tried using a working car battery via an interior cigarette socket, using the original cable that came with the scope, connected to an extension cord I bought. I manged to get an alignment that was one nudge away from target ( I might have been able to align more accurately if I tried again), though this was good enough for me to start the session and this time I went for Neptune! very small even in a 5mm EP, which was pushing the limit of my skies at that night. I have also enjoyed the views of a couple of DSOs.

     

    My next mission now is finding the ideal battery for my use!

     

    I would like to thank this community for helping me solve my problem and for keeping this hobby live and enjoyable!

     

     

    • Like 1

  8. From my experience, I learned so much about the sky from trying to align the GOTO than my manual EQ scope. Note that aligning the GOTO scope is not a straight forward task for a complete beginner, you would have to learn the bright stars and their positions in the sky with a map/app to align your scope to it. It requires patience in the first sessions. + it's an Alt-Az mount, so you can push it manually any time.

    A manual scope, however, would force you to learn more of the sky extensively on the long run. Also, an equatorial manual scope will require you learning Right ascension-declination grid to set-up your mount, the scope doesn't move in an upright motion on an equatorial mount

    If you ask me, a manual EQ scope is a good choice early on on the hobby. If you consider the GOTO, I would recommend that you search more on how to use GOTOs before buying it, hopefully it will lead to an informative decision.

     

    Edit: just noted that the scope you bought has an EQ1 mount, note that both EQ1 and EQ2 are note that sturdy.


  9. Have a look at these:

    1. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html

     

    2.

    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130.html

    This one requires learning how equatorial (EQ) mounts work

     

    3.

    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

     

    If your are going to go deep in this hobby, pick this rather than buying one now, and another later

     

    Before you buy, search for better deals, and you can price match at FLO

     


  10. This could help as it shows the different types of viewing conditions, if you do a star test, qouted from Astro Baby's website: http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/help/collimation-guide-newtonian-reflector/

    "

     

    image037.gif

    Collimation perfect.
    Airey disk shows neat 
    concentric circles.  The innermost are dark due to the telescopes central obstruction caused by the secondary mirror.
     image038-1.gif Collimation is out of adjustment – Results such as these suggest the primary mirror is not well aligned. This is simple to correct in the field by adjusting the primary mirror collimation screws. Small adjustments only are needed.
     image039.gif Atmospheric turbulence – The air around the telescope and in its line of sight is being disrupted by rising heat or by higher altitude turbulence. You cannot star test with this present.
     image041.gif Pinched Mirror – this is the classic ‘heart’ shape indicating the primary mirror has become stressed. Initially check that the collimation adjusters are not over tight.
    If the problem persists you will need to remove the primary mirror cell and make sure the clips holding the mirror to the cell have not been over tightened.
    Another common cause of ‘pinching’ is often over tight tube rings.
     image040.gif Tube currents – the telescope has not cooled sufficiently to the outside air temperature. Allow the telescope more time to cool down.
     image042.gif Astigmatism can be caused by poor collimation but also by poor quality optics. Secondary mirrors which are not flat either because of bad collimation or bad polishing are typical causes.
     image043.gif Usually caused by incorrect figuring of the primary mirror. This cannot be corrected by the user. It indicates faulty optics in the mirrors design or production.
     image044.gif These show typical patterns for mirrors with poor optical surfaces. This may be caused by roughness of the mirror caused by poor polishing or damage from poor cleaning. This is not correctable."

  11. On 09/09/2019 at 06:15, NGC 1502 said:

     

    Hi and welcome to SGL.

    WOW !!   If you’re actually visually seeing THAT much detail on Jupiter then rejoice big time......

    What you’ve posted is more like super high resolution by a very experienced imager.......

     

    Ed.

    Agreed!

     

    I also had the same issue with my 10 inch, I left it to come into equalbrium with surrounding temperature and manged to get a good view. Though in the last two weeks, I'm not getting the best views, as Jupiter is getting away from us.

    I also noted that some nights have a turbulent atmosphere where viewing planets deteriorates extremely, specially when the planet is not up at a high angle.

     

    May I ask what have you used to capture this image?

     

    Edit: just realized it's not your image, my bad


  12. 47 minutes ago, wookie1965 said:

    https://www.skywatcherusa.com/pages/support-center

    Download or read through the manual pertaining to your scope here.

    I have just had a quick read through you can point to roughly north for autotracking but if you want to use it manually it says point to a bright star and go from there it does explain how you may have more luck this way.

    yep, it's the same as the one I have. My scope came with the CollapsibleGoToDobsonian manual, and a synscan manual, both are similar regarding alignment.

    53 minutes ago, Anthonyexmouth said:

    the 7Ah refers to the capacity, not the current. 

    charging mismatched and differing state of charge batteries on the same alternator isn't really a great idea

     

    39 minutes ago, Cornelius Varley said:

    A battery reading of 11.7v would suggest a battery that was not in a heathy state. A good battery, fully charged, should read about 13.5v-13.8v.

    Noted, thanks for the heads up.

     

    31 minutes ago, alan potts said:

    As Peter pointed out, every problem I ever had with either the HEQ 5 Pro or my AZ EQ 6 were because of battery, I now use mains and never have a problem. Until now I have said that.

    Alan

    Reading all the feedback, I can conclude that I will have to test it on a main (AC) power source, and see if it works (that would be me asking my friend to bring his car that have an AC plug). If it works then, I would have to find a permanent working solution for my battery and charger, as I don't have an observing site with an AC power available.

     

    Thanks all for the contribution, I will update this topic after my next session.

     

    Clear Skies

     


  13. 31 minutes ago, johninderby said:

    You definately need a proper battery chrager.

    Found the following on battery charge.

    ”Resting fully charged 12-volt batteries are around 12.8-12.9 volts, and flat dead ones are at 12.0 volts, so 12.4 volts on a resting battery means it's about 50% charged.”

    Oh!  well thanks for that, I will have to try this next time! I will confirm this after my next session

    30 minutes ago, nigelg said:

     

    Daylight saving is set to no all times, local time zone doesn't use Daylight saving. All data entry shouldn't be the problem, as I have tried using the Synscan app which enters all data automatically once you allow it to connect to the web and allow location on before the start of linking the app to the scope.


  14. 1 hour ago, johninderby said:

    There isn’t a clutch release on the Synscan dobs. You can adjust the clutches though.but requires taking things apart. Click on the box below to show the file.

    attachment.php?attachmentid=131544&d=135

    what would make the clutches slip other than heavy weight or cold temperatures? I did use a heavy 5mm eyepiece X-Cel, but was not using the heavy finder with it, only a light red dot finder. Temperatures are high since I received the scope. The scope is new anyways, received it in early August.


  15. 1 hour ago, Geoff Barnes said:

    All the ones I've seen lately seem to have it. It doesn't interfere with anything and never comes adrift, but you could take it out if it bothers you.

    Your Dob must have clutch handles either side of the base if it's a goto model, they all do.

    Well I was in a dilemma since I received the scope whether to keep it or take it, but the frustration made take. I regret taking it apart. I will have to find an alternative. regarding the clutches, they are embedded inside the box yes.


  16. Just now, Cornelius Varley said:

    Charging the battery through a car battery doesn't seem like a reliable method to me.

    Well I checked the voltage before and after, and it does increase, a five minutes charge increased it from 11.7 V to to 12.2 V , this is based on the handset reading. I could charge it at a regular plug (AC), but would have to order a special charging cable.

    According to the the Synscan Manual, the requirement is  10 to 15 V and 1 Amp. I remember reading that it requires 12 V and 2 Amp in another manual, but I guess the difference is little, in which both cases is covered by 7Ah by the battery.


  17. 8 hours ago, johninderby said:

    Just a thought. How are you powering the dob? Insufficient power can cause alignment problems particularily as when slewing during alignment when it can draw more amps than you would expect.

    I use a lead acid battery which is 12V & 7Ah, I check the voltage before starting each session using the option on the handset. Currently it's 12.3 V. Below is a picture of the battery (I charge it by connecting it to the car's battery for a few minutes, engine running of course). Is the handset accurate in measuring the voltage? should I get a Voltmeter to accurately measure it?

     

    1.thumb.jpg.6996ff800d198f3218ee4c6723a8819d.jpg

     

    8 hours ago, masjstovel said:

    I had the exact same problem as you and the problem was my Power supply as @johninderby mentions above. I used a supply with too low amps and bought a new one with 2.5 A and it worked perfectly.

     

    Other thoughts:
    You start from parked position?

    Have you calibrated your polarscope? So that your mount is not pointing in the wrong direction because the polarscope is off?

     

    The battery used is 7Ah, that should be more than what is required. I'm sure that I reset the park option, and have done a factory rest as well. and there is no polar scope on a dobsonian. it's an alt/azm mount.

     

    Quote

    Lastly, it may be obvious and i'm sure you do it, but just to check since i dont find it in your steplist: You balance your scope with the setup you're about to use? And i don't mean to be rude, but you do actually look through the polarscope and align polaris in the right position in the given time? 

    I am a newbie and i missed some "captain obvious" points myself my first times so just checking. I would definately try my first tip if everything else is in order - that did it for me.

    Not at all, thanks for your help. Also there is no counterweights on Dobs.


  18. 8 hours ago, Geoff Barnes said:

    A couple of things, 

    Leave the foam ring in place, I think it's to keep dust etc. out.

    Don't align to magnetic north as shown by the compass, align to true north.

    Even when the goto misses its target by a large margin, once you have centred your target by manually pressing the handset buttons, leave it tracking that object for a few minutes and then send it off to another target, it should then be a lot closer to its intended target.

    I've had all sorts of similar issues with my Dob, and to be honest still do occasionally, but usually it gets reasonably accurate results once it has been tracking something for a few minutes, it then seems to know where things are.

    I was doubting that the foam ring is there for protection, though it's not a reliable material and won't last in place with glue only. Do all SW dobs come like this?!

     

    I will have to try this next time, thanks for the help!

     

    9 hours ago, Stargazer33 said:

    I'm not familiar with your 'scope or goto system, but are the alt/az clutches tightened, if it has them?

    I would think that the foam ring you removed was there for a reason, unless it was packing to stop parts from knocking together during shipping. Is there anything in the setup instructions/manual about removing packing from that area?

    the dob has no clutches, once you point it at something it will stay still unlike non dob mounts


  19. 7 minutes ago, Anthonyexmouth said:

    i dont know about the correct setup for a dob but if it has to be setup pointing north make sure nothing is throwing the compass off. any metal or underground cable could potentially give a reading thats way off. 

    I'm sure it's north in this case, as I know the area well, I only use the compass to point with more accuracy. 

    Thanks for the tip


  20. Other extra info:

    • One time I tried the 3 star align method, the first star to align was capella, the scope slew to capella, exactly, from the first time! But by the time I completed the alignment, the scope was misaligned with the other stars

    • There was a foam ring covering the gears between the two wooden layers at the base (glued), it was there the whole time, however I took it apart at the last session. I tried to align after, but no luck. Didn't know the gears were exposed! 

    • Here is what I suspect the problem is, but I could be wrong:

    • In one of the sessions, I noticed that when the base is level when measured with a spirit bubble, the scope (OTA) is not level, when it's set at zero reading. I would have to move it down minus one of the zero to make it level

    • could the gears/morirs be faulty?

    • backlash issues? Uncharted waters for me 


  21. I was hesitant to write this earlier, but I wanted to try all possible ways to get my new SkyWatcher 250P GOTO allgined, but to no avail.

    I have followed the instruction manuals of both the synscan and SW, and managed to get the message "alignment successful" multiple times on the handset or the app. The closest I got when I tried to dial a different star was a 20 to 25 degrees off on the azimth axis. Most times it's off by a margin on both axes.

    I have tried aligning around 30 times on more than 5 diffrenet occasions, different locations as well. I end up ignoring the thing and switch to navigating manually as the eager friends want to observe instantly, but we ran out of objectes and the planets are not close anymore, so I figured it's time to get deeper DSO's and sort out the GOTO.

    Here is what I do:

    • I level the scope to the zero reading on top of the base

    • I make sure the base is level with a spirit level I bought recently

    • I point the scope northish, but latley I bought compass to pinpoint north

    • I plug all equipments in and then switch on the power from a lead acid battery

    • I enter the date ( US fromat, month before day 😕 )

    • enter correct time zone obviously

    • the coordinates in the format of E 000 00 , N 00 00 

    • As for  elevation I use "my  elevation" app, not sure if it's accurate. Does this entry have to be that accurate?

    • I tried both brightest star and the 2 star align methods on the handset (which seems to be the same thing apart from the brightest method having an extra menu asking for which direction you are pointing at)

    I even used the synscan app and the synscan pro, and tried the 3 star align method. The app uses location and enters all data automatically

    •I use the top and right arrows as the last press before centring the star in the eyepiece as  recommended by the manual

     

    These are the steps I follow when I align , is there anythung I missed? Your kind help is much appreciated.

     

    Update: issue solved, check the reply in the second page

     

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