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Everything posted by gerardsheldon

  1. Thanks. My mount is a HEQ5, so it does a good job when autoguiding. Using a barlow would mean the camera would be further away from the telescope which could cause balancing issues and shake possibly? don41 has got good results from using a focal extender - are there any issues I need to be aware of?
  2. I have a 130 Skywatcher pds f/5 and use a modified DSLR 1000D. Lots of astronomical objects, like the ring nebula and many galaxies, are really small in the sky. when I take pictures of them, they occupy a very small area in the photograph. Magnifying them with a barlow (I have 2x televlue one) would also make them fainter and my tracking would have to be good. Does anyone have any advice about whether I should use a barlow or not?
  3. Thanks for your posts. the model is a 8 Ah Li polymer tracer battery. Model is BP2544. I am bit confused as the HEQ operating voltage is between 11 volts and 15 volts and on that basis the Li polymer should be OK. The flashing lights is warning that the voltage is low but perhaps not too low. The light flashes more rapidly when the voltage drops further. However, there was one post above that says the HEQ5 is happier above 13volts. I'll probably just get another battery as I don't to take the risk of wasting my time. By the way, I find typing here very slow for some reason and the computer can freeze.
  4. I tested the tracer polymer battery over a six hour period and although the red light on the HEQ5 flashed most of the time, and more rapidly as time went on, the mount moved so that the time on setting circles changed by six hours, suggesting the mount will track OK. (the test was carried out during the day). I did not try to get the telescope to point in a different direction using the handset. 1) Should I be bothered by the flashing lights on the HEQ5 mount? 2) Is tracer misleading people by saying their batteries are 12 volts? (they say that their discharge curves are flat) I found that the battery's voltage falls. Below is from the Tracer datasheet. ---------------------------------------------------------- Built-in Fuel Gauge - 5 colour LED fuel gauge mounted externally to show charge level. LED Status: 3 green & 2 red: Battery fully charged 11.7V 2 green & 2 red: Over 50% capacity 11.4V 1 green & 2 red: Over 20% capacity 11.1V 2 red: Less than 20% capacity 10.7V 1 red: Less than 10% capacity 10.3V No lights: Battery empty 8.25V ---------------------------------------------------- Thanks Gerard
  5. Thanks everyone for your help and explanations. I am now going to spend time reading the PHD2 documentation.
  6. Thanks. I've never heard of a dark library or bad pixel map, so I'll google them. Gerard
  7. Thanks for the information. Perhaps I'll just start with PHD2, and then progress to EQMOD and PHD2. Once I am a bit familiar with PHD2, then I will try to use EQMOD with it. Gerard
  8. Thank you for then information. To use EQMOD and PHD, do I use cables as I described above, and add the following one between the Laptop and the handset slot:? https://www.365astronomy.com/HitecAstro-EQDIR-Adaptor-USB-HEQ5-Direct-Interface.html Do I have download both EQMOD and PHD2? (I have already downloaded EQMOD and ASCOM and carte de ciel). Gerard
  9. Thanks for the advice. There is so much to learn and sometimes it is not obvious where I should look for information. Gerard
  10. Thank you. I thought that was the case but annoying there are no instructions. Gerard
  11. I have a qhy5p-ii_c camera and want to use it for autoguiding. I am intending to use PHD I was provided with two cables, a guide cable and a USB one, and there are no diagrams or instructions about how to use the cables. I am intending to continue using the handset for my HEQ5 mount at the moment, but do want to move to EQMOD once I have the autoguiding sorted. (one step at a time). Do I connect the USB cable between the guide camera and my laptop, and the guide cable between the guide camera and the guide slot in my HEQ5 mount? (that seems to be the obvious thing to do but would like to be sure) Thank you Gerard
  12. Thank you for your answers. The title is "Mr" as I am new to the site and thought that they were asking my title as in Mr/Mrs/Miss. It was actually a chimney that I was using to calibrate my polarscope and that is what moved as the RA arm was moved. The explanation that the polarscope is not aligned mechanically to the axis of the insert seems likely. This would result in the polarscope not rotating about its own axis as the RA arm is moved. The question is: does it matter? I will be trying to answer my own question. Grateful for any thoughts.
  13. sorry didn't explain it clearly. I did adjust the polarscope so that the cross hairs stay on the same spot of an object when the RA arm is rotated. However the object itself seems to moves when the RA arm is moved. I would have thought the object I am looking at wouldn't move.
  14. When I look through my polarscope and rotate the RA arm, the cross hairs stay in the same place but the image itself moves. Is this a problem? I have tightened everything. Can you explain why the image moves? Is there another adjustment I need to do? Thank you, Gerard
  15. Thanks you all for your advice. I'll try to get better at the polar alignment and balancing the telescope first and see what happens. Good skills to have anyway. It seems that people move to the HEQ5 from the EQ5, and I'll do that before I get a guider.
  16. I am asking for your advice, buy autoguider for EQ5 or buy a HEQ5 (without an autoguider). I have a skywatcher 130PDS (4 kg) and an EQ5 with enhanced dual axis motor, which has a ST4 interface for an autoguider. It does not have a go to, so I use a finder to find objects (I like doing that). I am getting star trails sometimes in my images, and that can be in 30 second exposure, or even 15 second ones. I am still learning how to polar align and balance the telescope. So, I wondering whether it would be worth investing in an HEQ5 or whether just getting a autoguider would help a lot. The autoguider would itself add weight. If the autoguider would make a substantial difference, then I would prefer to do that as it would be a lot cheaper. Grateful for your views Thank you Gerard
  17. I have checked the rotation speed of the cog wheel that is on the worm axis with the RA motor on tracking mode. When there clutch is tightened and the cog wheel rotates with the worm gear, then it takes 10 minutes and 55 seconds to do one rotations. When the clutch is not tightened and the cog wheel is loose, the rotation is 10 minutes and 50 seconds. So whether there is load or not has no impact? Another fact is that it takes about 73 rotations of the worm gear to get the RA axis to move 180 degrees (I used a spirit level to check the start and end points were level). I have gone back to the retailer. I can't imagine these motors are sold with an error lag of about 10%. I would be grateful for any help as I don't know what do next. Thank you I would be grateful for any help as I don't know what do next.I would be grateful for any help as I don't know what do next. I would be grateful for any help as I don't know what do next.
  18. Thanks for your help. I did another check on the motor drive which excluded any possible issues with polar alignment. It was the idea of someone from my local astronomy society. I took the counterweight bar of the RA axis and set it level using a spirit level. If the speed of the motor was correct, the bar should be pointing down 5 hours 59 minutes later (a quarter of a sidereal day). Six hours later the arm was clearly not pointing down, and was pointing down some time later (I checked against with a spirit level). My rough estimate was that the motor drive is 9% slower than it should be, and so consistent with what I got before. Two further questions: i) There is slack in the mount and I wonder whether that is causing. I can wiggle the counterweight bar and it does cause the RA axis to move round. Any thoughts on this? (the instructions to remove slack are not that great) ii) Is it possible to measure the rotation speed of the motor itself and so exclude any possible issues with the mount? Could I measure the rotational speed of the motor directly or would it be too slow? Also, I wonder whether the expected speed is available from the manufacturer? I am loathe to adjust the speed through adjusting the controller. If I did it, it would be too much of a risk. In any case, shouldn't these unit work properly in the first instance? Thank you
  19. Thank you very much for this information. I bought the enhanced dual-axis motor for the EQ5. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/enhanced-dual-axis-dc-motor-drives-for-eq-5.html I did polar align the mount. I simply got the pole star in the center of the polar scope. I can' t claim great accuracy. The bubble level was close to level. According to my calculations, the error is about 0.3 degrees in the Right Ascension direction when the star moves 3.75 degrees in the sky. In other words it is moving 8% slower than it should be. My calculations are below. I know it is in the RA direction as I can manually move the telescope in the RA direction and get the image again. I am reluctant to fiddle with the control box, as it should be set to the right speed and I am warned against doing this. I have some questions 1) Is an 8% lagging error typical? 2) How can one independently perform a check on the RA motor speed to confirm that it is running slow? I want to exclude possible problems like the mount itself, polar alignment or how the gear assembly is set up. If I leave the RA Motor running detached from everything else, how long should it take to do a complete revolution? Description of my calculation: In about 15 minutes, the star moves from the centre to the edge of the field of view of the EP in the RA direction at magnitude 80x. 15 minutes = 3.75 degrees (as 24 hours = 360 degrees, so 15 minutes = 360/[24*60/15]) star moves from center to edge of eyepiece = 25 degrees, half the apparent field of view of EP/ 80x magnification = 25/80 = 0.3 degrees
  20. HELP !!! I have an EQ5 mount and am using a small scope with 80 times magnification. It take about 15 minute for an image in the middle of the eyepiece to disappear because the motor is lagging. I did do a polar alignment with a polarscope, though it was approximate. I have already returned the motors and got replacement ones. Both sets of motors resulted in a similar lag. I wonder whether I am being sent the wrong motors as it has a sticker with EQ4. I got the mount second hand but don't think that could make a difference. My telescope is balanced but is very light- could that make a difference? I really don't know what do, or what to try. Grateful for any help you can provide. Thank you !!!
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