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SynScan EQ5 Woes


Chris E
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I wish you lived near me because for a cup of tea, I could stand next to you and go through the whole thing with you to help you get it sorted out. Without adding to all the advice that will no doubt has already got you spinning around like a drill bit, can I suggest that you do as i did when I first got my mount, and that is to go back to Psychobilly's suggestion of using Astrobaby's guides which are really good. Print off the relevant sections that apply to your mount and with a nice cup of tea, take your time and go through it slowly and you will have it cracked. Part of the problem is the slightly different terms we all use which adds to the confusion that I am sure you are feeling. The secret is to take your time and if it means labeling your mount with little pieces of masking tape telling you which bits are what, so be it.

Let us know how you get on with this.

Clear skies

James

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Why do 3 star align. 2 star is usually more than adequate.

Download a Programme called Polar Finder.

It gives acurate uo to the minute Polar Position, Just move the cirsle in the Polar scope to te same position and then put Polaris in the center.

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I think I may have been miles out !!! I was advised "that is Polaris" no names mentioned, but looking at the constellations (in the variuos books I know have) , I didn't realise Polaris was the last star in the Plough..I was also confused by the Plough and sickle which where in the same night sky at the same time, Gonna have a few days off, get my head together, and try and sort it, Still confused as to adjust the Dec setting circle to local time ( that I want to star gaze) , or the time that comes up (on the display) when I boot the SynScan up..

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I wish you lived near me because for a cup of tea, I could stand next to you and go through the whole thing with you to help you get it sorted out. Without adding to all the advice that will no doubt has already got you spinning around like a drill bit, can I suggest that you do as i did when I first got my mount, and that is to go back to Psychobilly's suggestion of using Astrobaby's guides which are really good. Print off the relevant sections that apply to your mount and with a nice cup of tea, take your time and go through it slowly and you will have it cracked. Part of the problem is the slightly different terms we all use which adds to the confusion that I am sure you are feeling. The secret is to take your time and if it means labeling your mount with little pieces of masking tape telling you which bits are what, so be it.

Let us know how you get on with this.

Clear skies

James

Thats a lovely offer, I wish I was still down there too, (used to live in Chippenham) ))

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I think I may have been miles out !!! I was advised "that is Polaris" no names mentioned, but looking at the constellations (in the variuos books I know have) , I didn't realise Polaris was the last star in the Plough..I was also confused by the Plough and sickle

Chris, if you used the last star in the plough (Alkaid) then you are miles off !!!!

If possible, try swatting up on the scientific constellation names as it helps everyone understand what you are referring to (I have no idea what you mean by sickle ?)

The plough is Ursa Major, with Polaris being the last star in the tail of Ursa Minor

Ursa%20major%20and%20minor.jpg

Edited by malc-c
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Chris, if you used the last star in the plough (Alkaid) then you are miles off !!!!

If possible, try swatting up on the scientific constellation names as it helps everyone understand what you are referring to (I have no idea what you mean by sickle ?)

The plough is Ursa Major, with Polaris being the last star in the tail of Ursa Minor

Ursa%20major%20and%20minor.jpg

Sorry Malc, I meant "the Sickle" I may have spelt it wrong, but this is what I was told it was called by my wifes uncle who was down for the weekend and told me (so he thought) where Polaris was, but they do both look alike to me lol.

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  • 1 month later...

Right I'm back from my holibobs, I've read thru all your answers and I've got a headache now and want to throw my new scope and mount in the bin that I haven't even stargazed thru yet...So for one last time could someone culminate all your answers and I'll try not to be a pain ever again lol, ie

1. Point tripod north

2. Remove polar scope caps

3. Turn scope thru 90 degress

4. Find North Star

5. Etc

6. Etc

7. Etc

8. Etc

9. Etc

10.Etc

I really am fed up wit it :-(

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Don't lose heart. Take a look

and all will be revealed!

Also, for those of you who tire of scrabbling around getting damp knees/bad back, This might be the answer for you.

The (moving) picture definitely paints a thousand words! :)

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Don't fret too much, it can be really frustrating at first, it'll all fall into place. At least this is what I'm telling myself.

I'm getting my first polar mount in a week or so after years with a Meade goto, I downloaded the manual last night and am now giving myself a lot of stress.......still it's all better than sitting in front of the tv.

Edited by Rob Severn
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Chris, we've all been there and many of us have made mistakes and got really frustrated. But perseverance, patience and a little help from your friends, will see you through to what is a very rewarding hobby.

I think your problem on your first night, and congratulations on even managing to do a polar alignment straight off - your problem was your home position where you had the scope pointing South.

As you have probably realised you have to turn the declination in order to get a "window" to see the Pole, and once you have completed your polar alignment, you need to return this so that the telescope is pointing North before you start. On some mounts there will be index marks, on others you need to find your "home position", perhaps by using your settings rings, or I marked my previous mount (which was black) with a small line of tippex.

I am going to go back and read your first thread to make sure you have the polaris ring in the right position for the date and time.

Ah, having re-read it, you don't mention about getting the little polaris ring into the right position around the pole.

N.B. This has to be done because polaris rotates 1 degree around the true pole and you need to ascertain exactly where the little polaris ring needs to be at any given time.

This is achieved by rotating the dec Axis. If you have little pictures of Ursa major and Cassiopiae inside the polarscope then you need to line this up so they are in the same orienttion as they are in the sky. If you don't have these then there will be some other method for your mount and I suggest reading the handbook as the methods can vary.

I assume you have also aligned your polar finderscope according to the booklet so it is in line with the polarscope.

Apoplogies if any-one else has already offered this information (it was a long read).

Carole

Edited by carastro
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God I hate this, and getting more and more frustrated, ie,

1. Do I still need to set the RA index scale even though I've got a Synscan,

2. With the scope and mount pointing north, do i set the scale with it parked in the home position, or slewed thru 90 degress.

3. Do I set the scale at the time I'm gazing, or can I set it up at say 21.00 hrs (while I can see what I'm doing), but set the scale to 22.00 hrs when I'll be gazing

4.My "print offs" say set Polaris at the bottom of the view, does this mean the actual polaris, or the the Polaris inprinted (asterisms) I can see through the polar finder.

5. When I think its all set up, do I leave the scope pointing North and let the scope turn itself through 180 degrees with the Synscan (my viewing is south facing) or do I turn the scope myself 180 degrees and start looking for things

6. Anyone want to buy an unused Telescope lol

Edited by Chris E
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Relax and take a deep breath.......

1. Take scope and mount outside;

2. Align tripod North;

3. (optional install OTA and balance);

4. Remove polar scope caps;

5. Rotate Dec through 90deg so you can see through the polar scope;

6. Switch on mount;

7. Enter information;

8. Remember Polaris position (and clock position) as given to you by the handset;

9. Rotate RA so the corresponding time reads off the scale (as a check polaris should appear in the clock position indicated by the handset and the polaris and cassiopeia asterism should line up.)

10. Fine tune lat and az with bolts until polaris is sat within the small dot;

11. (optional if not done at 3. - install OTA and balance);

12. Return scope back to original position (i.e. counterweights down, scope pointing north);

13. Start star alignment (1, 2 or 3 alignment.) Try and pick stars that are quite far apart for most accurate alignment;

14. Pick first start and let the goto slew to it;

15. Once the mount has slewed to the first start, using a wide EP i.e. 24, 32mm etc, center the star (optional - the star can be centered by unlocking the clutches and manually moving the scope);

16. Confirm alignment and move onto next star (optional - repeat step 15) and then use the handset to centre the star;

17. Finish alignment (hopefully message alignment successful appears);

18. Start observing;

19. Park scope at end of session (counterweights down, scope point north) by selecting park;

20. Power down kit;

21. Disassemble and take inside.

Now for the above you work the polar scope needs to be calibrated. To do this rotate the RA axis until polaris is at the bottom. Adjust the RA scale to read 12 o'clock, using the top scale and lock off.

Now when you get the information from the handset i.e transit time, you can rotate your RA to the right time and polaris should appear in the polar scope at the corresponding clock time. For example (and these figures are plucked out of think air) the transit time might be 16:00 and clock time 9:00. Therefore when you rotate the RA axis so 16:00 is lined up with the marker polaris should appear at a 9:00 position through the polar scope.

I hope thats clear and if you follow it step by step things should fall into place.

Edited by Digz
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5. When I think its all set up, do I leave the scope pointing North and let the scope turn itself through 180 degrees with the Synscan (my viewing is south facing) or do I turn the scope myself 180 degrees and start looking for things

Yes let the scope/mount move itself once you've done the alignment. If you turn it yourself it won't know where it is looking if you want to do GOTO.

Carole

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5. When I think its all set up, do I leave the scope pointing North and let the scope turn itself through 180 degrees with the Synscan (my viewing is south facing) or do I turn the scope myself 180 degrees and start looking for things

Chris, don't give up... what you need to understand is that once you've got the scope roughly polar aligned, you use the goto system to move the scope with the clutches firmly locked. When you have followed through the steps above and have the scope in the normal home position with the weight bar pointing down and the scope pointing North, then turn off the sysn scan unit and then turn it back on and run through the set up inputting the correct time and date (in US format). Then choose two star alignment and pick a bright star that you can identify... let the scope slew round to where it thinks it should find it.. if the mount is level you should see that with a low power eyepiece the star should be either in view or not far off. Now this is the only time you do this, release the clutches and carefully line up the scope on that star, then firmly lock the clutches again and press the enter button to confirm that step. Now choose the second star to align... only this time use the direction keys on the controller to home in on the star.

From that point onwards you use the goto function to move the scope

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Hi Chris.

Another suggestion that I tend to use when playing with a new piece of kit, or modified kit, for the first time.

Use it in daylight. Or at least when it it not properly dark. You get to see the mount controls easily. you know if the tube is going to whack the mount, etc. Use whatever (non goto mount) means you have to determine where the bright alignment stars are, then set the mount running. Usually it will go to the right place, or somewhere very different and you will get the problems resolved without struggling in the dark.

Also, you don't need a properly dark sky to pick up a few bright stars, Saturn, etc, so you can still see what you are doing while you get to know the kit.

A good example is a daft mistake was when I first used my CG5 mount. I had forgotten that it needs a USA date style entering. I was using UK style, as all my other kit. March 3rd it ran great in daylight. But a few days later it went to all the wrong places, looking to align on autumn stars! 10/03/11 or 03/10/11? ;) Easier to resolve in warm and daylight than cold and dark.

Hope this is useful. David.

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You guys and girls are fantastic, I'll try and give it a go this weekend before I throw it in the wheelie bin !!!!

Just one more stupid question, when I'm setting up the Goto, I put date, time, Co ords etc , then when the Polaris digits come up it displays some time and date,

Question 1. Is the time on the hand set the transit time for Polaris bcause it recognises it beacuse I've put the time and date in, or is the hand set just coming up with a higgledy piggledy set of digits that I've got to change manualy for the time I want to Star gaze, So If i want to gaze at 22.00 I have to change the Goto to 22.00 (when the polaris bit comes up on the handset)

;)

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The SynScan gives you two figures, HA and Clock. Given the vagaries of the setting circles on EQ5 mounts, the Clock figure is the one to use.

Looking through your polarscope, imagine the little circle marked polaris is the tip of an hour hand on a clock. Having pointed the mount North and levelled it, you rotate the RA axis so that the circle is in the position (more or less) indicated by Clock on the SynScan. For instance, if Clock said 09:00 you'd rotate the RA axis until the Polaris circle was at the "9 O'Clock" position - off to the left.

THEN you use only your Altitude (latitude) and Azimuth adjusting bolts to carefully adjust the mount so that Polaris is in the little circle. Once you've done that your mount will be pretty well polar aligned. You can then return the axes to the "Home" position, load up your scope and move on to alignment.

Do take time to watch the tutorials I mentioned earlier - they'll be a great help.

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I would personally not use the clock time unless it's for visual where you can get away with just roughly pointing north. The issue with the clock time is when it says 6:15 or 7:45 for example - you cannot accurately get this using the clock method.

As long as your RA scale is calibrated and locked the HA time is better to use. The time given is what you rotate your RA axis to.

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