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Everything posted by Astronome

  1. I have this problem also... The guide rate of RA is 1/3 that of DEC even though they are set to 0.9 on both in EQMOD? Something wrong. John
  2. Hello all, I have had a real problem with my AZ EQ6 GT: I have found that the MOUNT guide rate in RA is 1/3 the guide rate in DEC. EQMOD is set to 0.9 in both axis?? This seems to have happened when I tried guiding with AA& instead of the normal PHD2? Is there a mount direct command to alter the RA guide rate. Bit like the mount commands to dim the polar scope and set park position. You know one of these serial commands the no one ever uses?? All the best John
  3. Hi, all..I need to change the AZ EQ6 GT pulse guide rate. I know there are direct commands that I can send via EQDIRECT to change the pulse guide rate of the mount. At the moment the max rate I can get is 0.9 x 15arcsec/sec. I am told this is too slow for fast guiding using the new Astroart7 full frame guide system. Does anyone know the mount serial command string to change the guide rate? Thanks John
  4. There is no need It is a new mount that was clearly faulty on arrival. I cannot tell who you are from your username but if you email us your details we will arrange a collection and replacement. HTH, Steve Steve, Thanks for the offer. I really wanted to prove that there was not another reason for the strange guiding effects. I am going to do one more check with PHD2 since I have done a PHD2 drift align now. It is quite a job to get the mount off the tower and pack it ready for shipment( Since I never keep packaging!) if it is caused by some system failure. I have now read the PHD2 guiding diagnostics document and will run a test next clear night. In this test you will be able to see the star excursion and the responding guide pulses in one chart. That will be a definitive test. Never know it may be 'running in' as it has only had about 4 nights running. I will get in touch ASAP. My email is: john@astro.me.uk Web: http://www.astro.me.uk John
  5. Ok thanks Oly.. I was just a bit reluctant to start changing factory setup on a mount fresh from FLO. Since then I have tried on a windless day. Same problem... Something not right. I need a good test to send to FLO and Skywatcher that says ..Dirt in gears or bearings or sticky position on main gear???? John (Must get to your place some time on my way to the house in Pyrenees! Went to COAA last year.)
  6. Well picked a zero wind day and still had issues with guiding. EQ mode with Hitec interface from EQMOD. The mount seems to guide for a while then will move or stop moving in RA for a short period. Then the guide star will reappear moving back into position. Tried all sorts of things ..gain, exp time. I think I will plot the normal tracking accuracy without guiding?? Could be metal dust in gears? Could be a sticky spot on the main gear (bad hobbing) Could be dirt in the main bearing. Could be the backlash reaching balance point?? I am at a loss.. Brand new mount. Could just return it to FLO? Really a hassle getting of the tower and I am not good on ladders!
  7. Ok I could connect the handset on a temporary basis. Is there a routine to adjust the Az and Alt bolts?
  8. Ok, The mount is running in EQ moide, Using Astroart6 to guide. Clutches are fine. Lots of backlash in DEC. Being driven from AA6 via Hitecastro interface and EQMOD. I have had a real struggle to get the mount aligned due to position on top of a 3meter tower (due to obstructions) The tower is huge 320mm tube on a 500mm square 10mm thick base bolted to conrete. Tested movement and even leaning on it does not move a star in the focus frame. Balance is far from perfect due to cables and large back weight of equipment. But the same as I originally had on my EQ6 Pro for quite a few years. Scope is an 8inch RC with sep Orion Guide scope and camera. This is different as I had a Lodestar on a WO 50mm on the EQ6 Pro. My software reports an AZ error of 1.36 degrees after all my polar alignment. But really tricky trying to align using a webcam on the polar scope on top of tower.. Maybe could try a different alignment method like drift. However, did not have this problem with the old EQ6 even a degree out. Thanks for your reply.. Just the height and having to climb a ladder to do any adjustment has been a problem.
  9. I cannot get my new Alt eq6 to guide well enough to stop every puff of wind creating a non roun star. My original Eq6 pro was much better. Really unhappy with this mount. Seems like the two rubber bands cannot cope. I have a lot hanging on the back..focus, filters, trius h694 , cables. The old Eq6 coped with this fine bur not the new one. And...what about the huge backlash in dec right out of the box! Must say I am really unhappy after having spent a fortune on building a new observatory and supporting steel tower. (No the tower does not move! It took 4 people to lift it!) Anyone had this sort of experience? John
  10. Jim, So sorry to hear about your mount problems. It is really not good that they sent it back with the same problem. What did they say? If it was me I would have tested and tuned the mount before I sent it back to you. I have been making some good progress with roof controllers using Arduino mega and relay board. Just connecting up to AA5 Observation Manager. When you get that mount running well, we can get the scope automation finnished. I have been running AA5ObsMgr9.0 about 10 nights this month and collected over 90 variables. I might start looking at the next step. How about a scheduler tool? All the best, John
  11. Well, you know the way you always look down the tube of your astrograph when you remove the cover.. Not sure what I expect to see except a very unattractive view of my face! One day I did this as usual but saw a lot of lines. Scratches on my mirror I thought. Oh no! But on better examination with a light (don't do this as you will see every imperfection and think your mirror needs cleaning which it most likely does not) I could see that it was a spiders web. What to do? I got a short cane and being careful not to hit anything like baffles or mirror I got them out. Job well done. Not that it probably would have made any difference to my observing, but I just felt that my poor scope inside had somehow been desicrated. I did have a few nightmares about looking down the scope one day and not being able to see the mirror for spiders and webs. I had largely got over this obsession and even got used to taking the cover off the scope without shining a torch down it. When it happened again! This time it was war!!! No spider would live in my scope and get away with it. A nice sheltered cosy environment with central heating and even a dehumidifier! So next day I unlocked the dome removed the scope cover and looked in. Sure enough there it was a tiny spider in the middle of a new web. I immediately got a bit of dowel and tried to get it and it's web out. No such luck it took of like a scared rabbit down into the baffles. I was now on a mission. I thought for a couple of days and decided that high technology was the only way. So I made a special adapter for a very poweful workshop vacuum cleaner to allow me to clean in between the baffles. It was made of 5 lens brushes and two short lengths of plastic tube. I also got a large dentist mirror from a mechanic friend and a flex light used for looking in gearboxes. I was ready! Next day came. cover of the scope. There he, or more likely she, was. Sitting on the edge of the very first baffle. slowly slowly I got everything running and pounced. Got ya!! End of one spider. I now still check, but no more so far. I also dont leave the scope cover off when I am not using it. Only damage was what lloks like a mirror scratch but is really a strand of cobweb, just to remide me of the power or insects!
  12. Hey Astro Baby, When I got my first EQ6, yours was the first techy site I visited and when the time came I used much of your information. maybe there are a few bits that would benefit NEQ6 users (very small additions) I found that the assembly of newer NEQ6 has not been as good as it was in the past. Most common problem - Very noisy (grating) sound when slew starts and stops. Cause took ages to locate... Did you know that the stepper motor plate has a shaft with the gear that meshes with the worm drive gear. Take a look at that shaft it is held in by a set screw and the shaft does not seem to be concentric all the way through allowing the slack to be taken up between the stepper gear and the secondary gear on the stepper plate. The plate can then be relocated and the noise is gone!! I bet those people doing assembly at the factory don't know that????? Mine was completely wrong. Check it out and let me know if you think this is the case or did I just get a badly machined shaft!!! Regards, John @AstroJohn
  13. I have some software to drive the 350D from W7. JOHN MALLETT – astrojohn I am also willing to write a quick stand alone software tool to do the same if anyone wants one. Easy job for a serial port control cable using the control pins. (standard one I use) Let me know what features. Mirror lockup etc. Current software tool I wrote was to insert the correct parameters into DSLR Shutter. Works fine! Regards, John M
  14. Cannon are not supporting the 350D on W7 but if you need to drive this camera from the command line or AA4/5 or just write a simple script just download the program ASTROSLR1 from JOHN MALLETT – astrojohn All the best John. Ps let me know if you need something changed.. Quote: Not sure but the 64bit probably comes into play. I've also had an email chat with the author of BackYardEOS (BYE) and the serial support coming in June is for XP & Vista. No work around for missing WIN 7 Canon drivers, not his fault by any means. Very friendly and responsive, bodes wel for BYE users. I have Win 7 Home on my lappy, my main PC has the Pro version which does XP mode. I can try a Virtual XP on the laptop I suppose to see if that's any use. Steve
  15. I would look very closely at the temperatures. I have had a lot of trouble maintaining temperature between darks and L R G B frames. Looks like a tempaerature mismatched frame somewhere. The black streaks would seem to be something subtracted like darks. Not flats?? I have found that there are a number of cooler issues with the H18. It turns off on download for a start. It has difficulty maintaining temps of -20C at even 7-10C ambient. Take a look at the fits headers and temp. John
  16. Ok just ordered one of those connector systems - mine does not have an RCB so got new one.. Thanks.
  17. What type of electrical connector does the hookup have?? ATB John
  18. OK found databases. Next question is how can I find the GSC numbers of stars in the image to calibrate? John
  19. I have done the demo bit but need to find the full databases. they don't seem to be on the web site?? Thinking of loading this up to plate solve the portable rig for SGL6 variable star info capture with AA4. may not have time to get it all working though? Anyone know where the full databases are? ATB John
  20. Hi, Looks like a cold one this year?? Hope it warms up a bit!! Nice site though if it is the same location as last year. Need to get a rapid order in for a dew heater for the 8 inch.... Not used to non dome operation. Should be interesting (If not amusing for all the experienced portable operators.) Now when was the last time I did an alignment? I guess the last time someone banged into the weights on the mount!! Looking forward to it. John
  21. Ok Opticalpath, sounds like a good test. The only thing that is confusing me is that over many hours the drift is linear??? Let me do some more testing. Error on unguided is only about 3 minutes/hr x and 1 minute/hr y. Just done the calculations on some older images. Regards, John
  22. Well you would need two images and each is 48MB. I have measured the drift and it is 24 pixels per hour. FOV is about 1.4deg and H18 is about 2000 across in pixels. don't forget the guide scope has not deviated from the guide star by more than 1 pixel (actually abour .4 pixel) Distance between the two scopes is about 8 inches. I think I can see some geometric issues. What I am doing is effectively fixing the mount around a point 8inches from the DEC rotation axis. I will do some calculations. Alignment not perfect but close enough for EQMOD to fix any small errors. Ah I will measure the star drift without guiding.... Watch this space. ATB John
  23. Just checked the images of M43 from two nights ago on 1 filter image 1 and 10 on blink and it moves linearly acros the image, no rotation. So I am sure it is something to do with guide scope offset. The fact that I have the guide scope to one side of the imaging scope?? In order to balance the mount weight the imaging scope is only very slightly of the rotational axis but the guide scope is about 5 inches to the left. John
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