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Everything posted by Dubliner

  1. Hi, I have a Skywatcher 8inch Flexi/collapsible Auto tracking Dob of 10 years vintage and recently 'upgraded' it with the Skywatcher Wifi plug in module in place of the mini handset and now it is a Goto. This is not an officially approved upgrade - but it works. My question is to anyone out there who did the same upgrade - perhaps by plugging a Goto handset which some did about 9 years back and if they ever tried to update the motor control firmware and with what results. The MC version on my Dob shows as version 2.12.90 but a newer version on Skywatcher site is available but I'm afraid to risk it without asking around. Optional read - some background and why I ask the question above : Been away from the hobby a long time for various reasons so decided to wake up my 8" Auto Dob from years of storage. This was bought about 10 years ago and was just about a year prior to the release of a Goto version. Some folk around here found that using a goto handset (from the Skywatcher range) were able to make their Auto in a Goto by merely replacing the mini handset that came with the Auto Dob. Not wanting to risk the then £150 or more a handset that may or may not work I forgot the matter - that was 9 years ago. There was a lot of discussion back then that the Auto version was really meant to be a Goto but that the motors were not accurate enough or the software was too buggy and Skywatcher got cold feet and dropped the Goto functionality and sold it as a tracking Dob and great scope it is. Returning now I took a gamble on plugging one of their wifi modules (in place of the mini handset) and hey presto it works! Fantastic! Trying it out indoors (what choice with our weather) and just going on an digital inclinometer ( the Azm looks good) it was getting on most 'targets' to within 1 degree and often spot on. Outdoors on the only 2 occasions I had in the last month it was a little disappointing in that it was often missing by 5 or 10 degree both in Alt and Azm. I've done all the leveling, alignments, adjusting the clutch and balancing of the OTA from old posts here on the topic and it did help. A few days ago I read that disabling the auxiliary encoders can really help in getting better and more consistent gotos. My understanding is that they come into play for allowing for manual movements or it the tube gets knocked accidentally in use . The Synscan App has this option but it is not selectable for me maybe because of the old MC firmware I have. This newest version of the on the Skywatcher site states "Firmware: Skyliner Series Dobsonian GO-TO Mounts, Version 2.09 -For 8" to 16" Dobsonian GOTO mounts. Support turning off auxiliary encoders". So I loaded the windows software to flash the MC firmware and got the new version mentioned above but I chickened out on pressing the 'update' button! I'd hate to brick the electronics as this scope was never originally designed as a Goto anyway and it old electronically speaking, so I may be pushing my luck too far as it may not like being flashed over. I am happy with what I have so why risk it - but the temptation is killing me to be more happier! Sorry for rambling on a bit.
  2. Hi, Thanks again Brantuk for those tips but I have checked all of those things and they are fine. When I level the OTA it only takes a small tap at the top of the OTA or pressing the down button to to send it into nose dive. FLO are dealing with it as I've gone as far as 'I' can. Below are a few videos to try show issue. Last night the sky clear but just powered it off as pressing the down arrow just sent the OTA downwards -either with one big jerk or a slow unstoppable slow decent - even pressing the up button can not stop it when it decides to tip down. Again, I appreciate you took the trouble to help me out.
  3. Hi , Thanks for reply. No it does not go down by itself when the motor is off. There is nothing only a supplied 25mm eyepiece on it. What I notice is that with the other arrows when I lift my finger off there is a tiny little click when the motors turn off - which is instantaneous. With the down arrow there is no such stop, one hears the motors slowing and I assume it is just friction that brings the OTA to a stop after it has travelled about 10 degree of downward motion (more than intended). Cloudy tonight , might have a chance to try it out tomorrow, but this behaviour is so pronounced that one only has to look at the OTA/mount to observe it. Regards.
  4. Thanks Brantuk for your reply. I did follow most of those steps as I've been a lurker on this forum for many weeks, however I did not know about the East/West thing so I will follow that next time out. Lucky me just got a brief break in the clouds (just getting darkish here) and slewed very quickly to the Double Cluster just 10 mins ago - WOW! I have a Nextstar 102SLT up to now. I am just going to love this scope! What a view - breathtaking in this 8". On slewing when tracking the down arrow behaves itself ( I know the rates are much less when in tracking mode) but I really am frustrated when in normal slewing mode -even Slow Rate. Any key up/left /right moves a reasonable and predictable amount in the 25mm eyepiece - say 5/10 presses to move out of the FOV , however hit the down arrow once and the scope just goes into a slow dive and even if I had a 100mm eyepiece (?!) it would be out of view. Wanted to get away from GOTO as I needed actually learn the sky and hope following your tips and find a workaround for this issue as it might turn me off the effort, For a first night out other than this difficulty it looks like a really great scope and tracks well. Thanks again.
  5. Hi, Hope someone can advise on this. It may be backlash issue but to be honest I only have an poor idea of what constitutes backlash. Brand new scope - just arrived & setup today! Seems like a great scope but somethng has me worried, I have very carefully set it up and have it set to my latitude. I notice when I raise the scope in declination using the up arrow when I let it go the scope more or less stops straight away and the motor stop whirling but when going down using the down arrow if I let it go the scope keeps going down for about 2 secs with the motor slowing before stopping - a huge amount of travel. The amount it over shoots is commensurate with the fast or slow rate. What is odd too is that when going down if I overshoot my target ( a far away tree!) because the motor keeps running if I then try correct by pressing the up arrow it just keeps going down - like the up arrow is acting like the down arrow! I must wait for the motor to stop swirling before I can use the up arrow properly. I have no extra items on the tube just what it came with. Is this normal behaviour? Is this 'backlash'? Many thanks.
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