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Found 45 results

  1. 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
  2. Can it be done? Without any programming skills? Yes, it actually seems that way... THIS WAS TESTED ON AN SW AZEQ5 mount which communicates with the handcontroller on a 3.3V TTL LOGIC. CHECK YOUR MOUNT'S MANUAL FOR 3.3V compatibility (should be azeq5,azeq6,eq6rpro,eq8), although I suspect it will work with the other 5V TTL logic mounts since the DT-06 board appears to be 5V tolerant, but CAN'T CONFIRM Ingredients: - DT-06 Wireless Serial TTL WiFi board - RJ45 ethernet cable -5v power supply (or 4x1.2v AA batteries) First, take the ethernet cable and cut it in half. Strip the cables and identify the cables to the corresponding pins. Then I consulted SW azeq5's user manual hand control port's pinout. In my case the pinout is as follows: pin1: orange-white ---- ground pin2: orange ----not used pin3: green-white ----not used pin4: blue ---- ground pin5: blue-white ----mount Tx to controller Rx pin6: green ----mount Rx to controller Tx pin7: brown-white ----- +11 to+16 V pin8: brown ----- +11 to+16 V Then I connected the orange-white & blue cables to the DT-06 Wireless Serial TTL WiFi board's ground pin, the blue-white cable to the DT-06 Wireless Serial TTL WiFi board's Rx pin, the green cable to the DT-06 Wireless Serial TTL WiFi board's Tx pin, and a 5V power supply to the DT-06 Wireless Serial TTL WiFi board's ground & Vcc pins (or 4x1.2v AA batteries) , I 've ordered a buck stepdown converter to utilize the +11 to+16 V from pins 7&8 to power the module, but for now I just wanted to make sure it works! Now that the hardware connections are done, we move on to the settings. Power the module and a led will confirm it's on. It is on AP mode so scan with your phone for wifi, and you 'll see something like DoitWiFi_xxxx. Connect to it (no password was set on mine). Open your browser and type 192.168.4.1 , this will take you to the Built-in WebServer where you set the parameters for the module. You will see three tabs: "status", "module", & "more" From the "module" tab's dropdown menu, select "serial" and enter the values : baud rate:9600, databits:8, parity: none, stopbits:1, serial split timeout : 200. Click save. From the "module" tab's dropdown menu, select "wifi". Here you can change the SSID name (I put Synscan), and set a password if you like (I don't). Click save. From the "module" tab's dropdown menu, select "networks". Change the "socket type" to UDP server, and assign UDPserver port to "11880". Click save. Then from the "more" tab's dropdown menu, select restart. Now you 'll have to re-join the network under the SSID name you 've given. I 've only encountered some connection problems related with the serial split timeout. I found a stable connection when I set it at 200ms at the module's Built-in WebServer, and 400ms as the Readtimeout on the synscan app. That's it, you 're set to go. Download synscan pro app and skysafari plus or pro and I 'll post the settings in those apps in my next post.
  3. Sooo...I'm getting quote frustrated here. This spring I tested my HEQ5 with guiding. The synscan controller was connected to the computer trough the USB plug on the hand controller. This worked like a charm in my living room. On the new controllers you dont need the rs cable. But when I tried the whole thing with guide cameara for some live shooting, it just did not work. I get something wrong with the com port in decice manager, driver not working. I have tried 3 different drivers. The whole thing responded, connected and was guiding when i did a dummy test before the summer. So setup is pc-synscan via usb for pulse guiding. Can it be a problem with windows 10? What t h.... just happened? Where can I find a driver that works? And believe me it worked 5 months ago, argh. Thanks for any respons and support
  4. With several clear nights over the past week, I've been playing with the Synscan Pro app (Android) in conjunction with a Synscan WiFi adapter on an EQ3Pro mount. I have to say I'm generally quite impressed. Much cheaper than buying a traditional handset. However, this evening I was trying to "creep up" on the Andromeda Galaxy by star hopping towards it via Mirach, Mu Andromedae and Nu Andromedae. Mirach was no problem but the other stars were not available for selection in the app. Am I missing something? I couldn't find any way to enter an SAO number or any other catalogue number to find the minor stars. Is this a limitation of the app? Or the adapter perhaps? Or is it me? Clear skies, Mark.
  5. I've been getting started with an EQ3-2 GOTO / Skymax 127 combo, and had a couple of queries / concerns about the mount; advice would be greatly appreciated. With the clutch released, rotating on the RA axis the mount meets resistance when the counterweight bar approaches horizontal. It's enough that sometimes the motor drive can get stuck; there's no clicking from gears skipping, but movement stops. If I undo the RA setting circle screw the resistance is gone so I thought that was my error as the manual says to unscrew when locating, but as tracking is on the RA axis and the screw would normally be tightened at that point, is this an issue with the mount? I'm not expecting to use the circle so I can leave the screw loose and it seems that it'll be fine, but I'm wondering what the issue is. I've looked at badger's teardown, but I really don't want to take it apart yet as it's new and there isn't much backlash and no slop (if I understand the term correctly). I'm also wondering whether the DEC circle is set incorrectly at the factory and needs adjusting, or is this a misunderstanding on my part. After polar aligning, I assumed that having the arrow on the side of the mount head point to 90 on the DEC circle would have the telescope pointing correctly home positioned, however with a 1 star alignment my home position was clearly incorrect, and after doing a 3 star alignment (and getting good tracking after that) and returning home the DEC circle was around 78. Using a spirit level on the head, if the edge of the mount head that's parallel to the scope mounting plate when it's tightened and horizontal , the DEC circle is around 12 (or 78 if vertical), however if the edge of the head that has the two screws that secure the plate is horizontal, the DEC circle is 0. So it seems as if the DEC circle was set based on the orientation of the side of the head that has the screws, which doesn't lie parallel to the scope mounting plate, rather than the edge that lies snug against the mounting plate. Does that sound plausible or should the DEC circle be at 12/78 when the scope is horizontal or vertical?
  6. Hey, I've been looking for a mount for my 8 inch skywatcher reflector for a while now and can't decide what mount to buy. The requirements i am looking for are the following: Goto system or synscan 10+ kg weight capacity Tripod My budget is around £500. I was wondering if anyone could suggest some good mounts or point me into the right direction. My goal is to get better at astrophotography, my previous mount was a dobson mount ( which came with the scope ) but does not have any features to track objects which doesn't help when doing astrophotography. Tnanks
  7. I'm trying to update my v3 handset prior to selling the mount. I need to update the bootloader from v1.0 to v1.7 before I can upgrade the firmware from 3.12 to the newest version. I've tried following the instructions in the bootloader download but the upgrade loader refuses to install anything. Before I realised I needed to update the bootloader, the synscan loader v3.3 just showed 255 255 255 where it should display the handset software, ie 3.12. Can anyone advise what I'm doing wrong? The handset won't run the mount probably because I had a replacement motor control board a few years ago., I'm guessing. It worked fine before that. I've been using eqMod for years. Thanks. Anne
  8. I have Skywatcher Synscan V3 working with my EQ6 without problem. I've lately flashed firmware v.3.39.05 and tried using it with my Skywatcher Virtuoso. I have problem with 2-star alignment. After manually move the mount to point to the first bright star, align; then choose the 2nd alignment star, the mount will slew to the sky very far away from the 2nd star. After I managed to complete the 2-star alignment successfully, the goto accuracy was very bad. It always placed my scope quite far away from the targets. I've tried the whole night and gave up. I then begin to wonder whether I have to flash the hand controller with the firmware for Allview mount (v.3.09.06) instead. Anyone can share your experience on this? Thank you.
  9. Hi, I've got one of the cheap Skywatcher SynScan AZ mounts (like this one: Synscan AZ (with Skyhawk 1145p) ) and the handset has a 'Synscan AZ' sticker on it (see pic.). It runs the v3 synscan firmware (an old version for now, until I can get a cable). I've seen a couple of the EQ 'Pro' mounts advertised without a handset (as they've been using EQDIR) and wondered whether this handset would work with those mounts? I know I will need to get get the appropriate connector for the mount end of the cable; (I think EQ5 uses RJ11 and EQ6 uses RJ45) I have read that all Synscan handsets should work with all Skywatcher EQ mounts, but as mine has an 'AZ' sticker, I thought I'd check and see whether anyone has actually done it with one of these... Thanks Ady
  10. I have severe red/green colour blindness, which prevents me from being able to read a Synscan controller in the dark or in red light even with the display at maximum brightness. When I'm on my own, I use a low-power, white light when reading the controller display and accept that it'll take me ten minutes or so before my eyes get back to dark adaptation. However, I'm taking my EQ5 Pro mount to a public star party next weekend and suspect that using a white light to read the display won't be welcomed. Hence I'd appreciate ideas on how I can get around this issue. TIA and clear skies, Geoff
  11. Greetings, This is my first post. I have a Saxon 8" with an HEQ5. I am mounting this on a peer in the garden and I am going to remote control everything from my hobby room. I am going to use USB/Ethernet/USB (USB to Ethernet on each end) for the video from the camera (ZWO ASI120MC) and the Shoestring remote focus. and I will put the Synscan down another Ethernet cable. I have tested this using only a 1 meter Ethernet cable and it works fine. If I try it on a very long Ethernet cable it won't work for either use. Just wondering if anyone else has done this and what sort of lengths it goes over. I need it to run over approximately 20m length but don't want to cut two lengths and then find it won't work. Thanks in advance Colin
  12. I've had the skywatcher 12" dob goto for a few years and I've dabbled with tuning up the bearings. I found the first year pointing was nice and accurate but the second year it went south. Adjusting the bearings fixed that up (they were slipping in both axis). I've been dabbling with photography using a DSLR and the results are often quite good with 20-30 second exposures but I keep getting an annoying jump in the altitude axis. What I can't figure out is the exact cause. This mount has two encoders on each axis - one on the motor and one on the scope. When the clutch slips the scope axis and motor encoders mismatch so the controller kicks the motor to try and get them closer together. I figure this is what is causing the jumping. What I'm not certain about is the cause. Do you think it more likely that the bearing is loose, letting the clutch slip or that the bearing is too tight, causing the clutch to slip until the controller gives the motor an extra shot, breaking free of the sticktion?
  13. I recently purchased a EQ5 mount with synscan. But rather then use the car adaptor running though a 3 pin convertor i bought a 12v 500mA DC power supply. The back of the manual states it requires 100mA (see image). So here i am thinking great this will do. Wrong. Its enough to start the hand controller and go through all the set up but it doesnt seem to move any motors. This being my first attempt i wasnt sure if i was doing something wrong. Did the brakes need releasing? - No. are the cables going to the right sockets? - Yes. After much head scratching i went back to to start and used the supplied 12v car style plus in a convertor i had. Sure enough it all worked perfectly. okay went back to my 500mA and nope nothing worked. After searching the house for a 12v 1A DC supply with the correct plug and trying that, Sure enough it all works fine. Have they simply missed a '0' off the manual or am i missing something else here? Tomorrow i'll probably go an exchange it for this 12V 1000mA Power supply. I'll let you know how i fair. And for anyone checking for power supplies (Like i did) your looking for a 5.5mm x 2.1mm power tip to for the unit.
  14. Selling the big stuff to make room for some small ! My 200PDS and HEQ5Pro have got to go, changes in shifts and clouds mean I have been out twice in the last 10 months with this kit. Time for a change.... 200PDS -HEQ5Pro Synscan, bahtinov mask, 3 counterweights, accessory tray and a new power adapter as the original one was sporadic in keeping connection, had been using tape to keep it secure. The OTA is in really good condition with just a few marks from the clamp ring screws, this doesn't affect it whatsover. I've blacked out the drawtube against reflections. The mount is in very good order, the handset still has it's original screen cover ! Have also put this up on Astroy BS for the same price, which is £650 for the lot Lee
  15. I am trying to understand why the declination position reported by my new EQ8 - Synscan 4 hand controller keeps changing. After starting my aligned scope from Park the declination reported by the hand set ( Utilities/Show Position/ "Dec/Ra" ) slowly increases ( around 7" / minute when I first measured it ). However, the rotation angle of the declination/altitude axis of the mount ( Utilities/Show Position/ "Ax1/Ax2" ) is reported as being constant ( as one would expect if the mount is not receiving an instruction to move ). That is, it would appear that the motor is not running and the encoders on the shaft are not detecting any rotation of the mount's altitude axis however the Sysnscan reports that the Celestial declination is slowly changing. Does anyone know if this is a bug or a feature? It did occur to me that maybe the Synscan is trying to compensate for the declination drift that would result from the Polar Alignment error as stored in the controller after alignment. To test this, I adjusted the Polar Alignment to try to reduce the error and see if it changed the drift rate. The initial results do not support this - after much tweaking of the alignment, and with an indicated polar alignment error of less than 15" in either axis, the rate of drift changed but was still around 5" / minute ( whereas it should be << 1 with so small a Polar Alignment error ). Has anyone else noticed this slow change in declination reported by the mount/Synscan when the mount is tracking in RA? ----- EQ8 MC Firmware version: 2.11.04 Synscan HW version: 4.16 Synscan firmware version: 4.39.04
  16. Hi Folks, I have been happily using my new skywatcher skymax 127 on a synscan az goto mount and a question occured to me when going through the alignment procedure. Does the time between centering the first star in the eyepiece and aligning the second star matter. The reason that I ask is that sometimes the accuracy of the goto differs slightly and I am wondering could it be due to me being too slow to find the next star. I am good with constellation identifying but the star names I only know a few of the major ones such as vega, betelgeuse etc., so I have to rely on a star chart to pick a suitable star which takes maybe about an extra minute. I am wondering if the mount does not keep the 1st star centred due to setup not being fully complete at this point and obviously the earth is still rotating so the star will drift and then the reference point of this star is now not centered when aligning to the 2nd star. Everything else is always the same as I have already marked the ground where I put the tripod so it goes in the same place every time and levelled it with a spirit level. The power is supplied with a skywatcher powertank so I know its not a battery power problem and all the information is correct such as time/date, elevation, lat/long etc. It isnt massively out, so far everything I have requested has been in the FOV of my 25mm eyepiece but its just something that I wondered and also whether I could improve things. cheers
  17. Hi, Everyone could with a little advice on connecting a my Synscan v4 to my laptop. I now how to do it and also know about USB serial adapters, what i am wondering is my laptop has a RJ11 coms port but in the Synscan V4 Manual it says you need a RJ12 port as the cable supplied is RJ12. The RJ12 cable fits into the RJ11 perfectly Is there much difference in these and could i still connect using the method or do i have to go and buy the USB serial adapter? if anyone can shed some light on this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  18. purchased a skywatcher synscan ten inch dob recently...when attempting to use two star or brightest star allignment the synscan immediately shuts down and returns to initializing process after second star is selected ... Will not slew. ... 4.37 software version installed... Don't think this is an equipment problem but an error of some kind on my part... Any ideas would be appreciated.
  19. Near perfect polar alignment with the synscan? I doubt it, but the proof will be in the proverbial pudding. There's too much of a moon for serious imaging, but I need more training in guiding. Hope tonight there will be opportunity for that. Btw, 2-star alignment with a 2 x barlowed 17 (?) mm eyepiece with homemade reticule resulted in these numbers. The second alignment star was pretty much spot on without adjustment, so there's hope.
  20. wimvb

    Ditherbox

    In order to minimize noise in my data, I've gone the Tony Hallas way and started dithering between exposures. My setup is a simple one (EQ3 Pro with Pentax K20D, no guiding), and I try to keep everything as much standalone as possible, since I don't want to take my computer out in freezing cold or wet grass. Unfortunately this also means I have to do dithering by hand, i.e. pushing the Dec/RA buttons on the Synscan hand controller between exposures. Doing this for a few hours in a stretch at -10 C or colder, is definitely not my idea of having fun. So I started thinking of automating the dithering procedure. Searching the internet, I found no solutions for unguided dithering compatible with my setup, so I decided to build my own. The idea was quite simple: The RJ12 port of my Synscan hand controller controls the camera, working as an intervalometer. The Synscan mount controller has a guiding port, so all I had to do is find a way to send signals to the guider port in between exposures. So, I built a simple circuit around an Atmel ATtiny84 which takes the Synscan camera control as an input. It senses when an exposure ends and sends a signal to the guiding port. A counter keeps track of which command to send from a simple string: 214488222111444488..., where 2 means Dec+, 1 means RA+, 4 means Dec- and 8 means RA-. So here is a pictures of my solution. The ditherbox is the black box below the mount controller. It has three connections: input from the hand controller (RJ12), output to the camera (phono plug type) and output to the mount (ST4, RJ12) FYI, I put the code and a more detailed description on my Github page: https://github.com/wberlo/AutoDither I've tested it and it works like a charm. Unfortunately I have no images yet with this setup, because when I tested it, clouds moved in after just 5 exposures. I do have 20 dithered exposures of clouds.
  21. Having recently acquired an EQ6 mount with Synscan v3 handset, I checked it and it was only v3.03 firmware - so therefore wanted to update it to the latest v3.35. The mount didn't come with a firmware update cable, and I looked around and didn't feel like paying the £12 or so, plus another couple of quid for a serial cable or port. I therefore bought a few cheapo USB to Serial devices and a 4pin RJ11 cable off ebay, but couldn't get any of them to work with the Skywatcher Handset update software. Next plan was to buy a PCI or PCI-E card with Serial ports, but then I dug out my PC motherboard manual and actually found it had a serial 10-pin header already on it. I searched around the house and in the loft through all my old PC cables and gear but couldn't find a serial port cable. In a flash of inspiration I thought "well, why not butcher a Firewire/USB header since I had a few of those spare. I cut the Firewire plug off the cable, separated out all the individual cables, cut the header to a 2x4, and left in the 3 cables that are needed (GND, RXD, TXD), then used a quick electrical join to match it to the RJ11 cable. Powered down the PC, inserted the cable, turned PC on, entered BIOS and set up the serial port, booted into Windows 7 64bit, checked Device Manager and saw that it had loaded drivers and set it as COM1. Opened up the Skywatcher Firmware update software and it found it straight away. Update done. Total cost, £0.99 for the 4pin RJ11 cable and £0 for the Firewire header. You could probably get a Serial port header cable for about £1.50.
  22. With EQ5 Synscan there are 90 stars embedded for polar alignment (source: http://www.vcse.hu/konyvtar/Cikkek/SkyScan_Alignment_Stars.pdf) and I was fiddling with NEQ6 the other day and it only showed me 20-odd stars. Could it be that Synscan is "hiding" the stars that are below horizon or close to it so that they don't appear or does it really have fewer stars for polar alignment?
  23. Hi all, I'm trying to connect SkyWatcher Synscan to my MacBook Air via wifi adapter using EQMac v2.0.0 beta3. According to the release note of EQMac v2.0.0 beta1, it supports wifi as well as serial connection. However, I couldn't find any document for wifi connection. What I'm trying to do is.. 1. Establish Wifi connection to "SynScan_WiFi_####" 2. Configure following connection in EQMac's Preference Connection Type: TCP/IP IP Address: 192.168.4.1 Port: 11880 3. Close Preference setting However, EQMac console is still gray out.. Appreciate if anyone share how to configure EQMac for wifi or alternative application/tool to connect Synscan to Mac via wifi.
  24. Hello all! After a recent upgrade my EQ5 pro is now up for sale! I'm looking for £350. for that amount you get: EQ5 Pro (good condition) - missing the polar scope cap...but doesn't affect operation at all. I have also made sure the polar scope is aligned to the mount! Tripod 1 x Counterweight Synscan Handset and Motor control box (these were only very recently replaced by Rother Valley Optics) Polar scope illuminator Cigar lighter power cable. Due to the weight, i can't really get it delivered. However I am located in Birmingham and the buyer would be welcome to collect or if not too far we could arrange to meet. This is also listed for sale on Astro buy/sell and on Facebook
  25. Skywatcher Skymax 127 Synscan AZ GOTO Barlow Lens (1.25") 6x30 Finderscope 90° Star Diagonal (1.25”)- Repaired SynScan AZ GoTo Computerised Alt-Azimuth HD Go-To Mount with Handset Stainless Steel Tripod with Accessory Tray Extras ------ Skywatcher WiFi Adapter (This is so you can use your mobile phone for control to control the scope instead of the handset) Celestron Powertank with cable & charging plug T Adappter & Ring for Canon 1300D Camera Meade 8- 24 Zoom lens Bahtinov mask x 2, One for telescope and a small one for canon camera lens L Bracket for attaching a camera to the mount rather than piggybacking onto the scope Plastic carry case for lenses masks etc. Diy Solar filter using Baader Solar Film Turn Left at Orion Book and The Sky at Night paperback Patrick Moore This telescope and accessories are only 6 month old and I have only used it 3 times, so it is like brand new except for the star diagonal which has been repaired. Powertank was bought at christmas and has only been charged once The star diagonal got dropped and the silver insert (the bit that you put the eyepiece into) that screws into it became slightly loose in the threads so I repaired it by putting superglue on the threads and screwing it back in. It is held solid now and no glue is visible and all the eyepieces fit perfectly. All instruction manuals and tools still in bag. Non Smoking Household £400 ono reduced Location Bolton, North West England. Collection or I can do local delivery in person. I would prefer this as postage would be expensive also the risk of damage in transit. If needed then I estimate around £15 due to size and amount of items if sent by courier.
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