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Tracking Query

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Hi all,

Recently purchased the Skywatcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO. Have managed to see Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and even the Orion Nebula so far however can't quite figure out the automatic tracking on the scope. So far this hasn't been an issue as my magnification isn't so much, so I just press the buttons every now and again to keep the object in the centre.

However, have just bought a barlow and using that on Jupiter with a 9mm lens meant that it was zipping along!

I use the skyalign sucessfully, and this usually gets me to the vicinity of what I want to see, but often I need to nudge the telescope (using the buttons of course :) ) a bit. How do I set the tracking to the correct speed if it's not doing it automatically?



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I ain't got one of those, but my by big scope has alt/az tracking. The main thing you need to get right is doing a good alignment. Make sure that the stars are in the centre of the FOV. It probably wouldn't hurt to check that the mount is level, although this may not be necessary in theory. How accurately does the GoTo work? If that works accurately then you know you've done your alignment correctly. If it fails to track well despite accurate GoTo then that's wierd. In my experience, I'm more likely to get relatively poor GoTos but good tracking.

With a 9mm eyepiece you're at over 330x, which admittedly is rather a lot for our skies. Nevertheless, there may be nights when you can push that and you should expect to be able to track at that power. If it's "zipping along" then something's wrong. Perhaps contact the manufacturer? The scope may have some option to learn the mount characteristics to improve tracking. Have you tried that? Can you reset the memory on the thing and start again (just in case it has such settings and they're corrupted).

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For Alt Az mounts you do need to level the base.

Things to check are your time and date inputs (American month-day-year is a snare here! So is daylight saving time. Take care with these.)

Make sure you are set to northern hemisphere and sidereal rate tracking, not Solar, Lunar, King, etc.

These are general points because I don't know the specific mount. It is odd that you can get GoTo but not tracking, however.


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Sounds as if you hve the data and set up fairly reasonable as I suspect otherwise you wouldn't get anywhere near anything.

Best I can advise is to get the whole lot as level as you can and also your lat/long as accurate as possible. Basically minimise the errors that the system has to account for.

A 9mm on that scope is a bit much and any errors will cause drift of some sort. At the magnification and field of view you will have I would expect some drift. Have to realise that although good the system is still just a small system and perhaps the expectations are too great.

One point to note is that centering the alignmnet stars seems simple but I bet that there is no marks in the eyepiece view that define the centre. Maybe what is chosen as the centre isn't exactly the centre.

Suggest an eyepiece to give 150-200x or a few to cover that range. But if as said 9mm = 330x then this is probably too much.

Also is the problem more prevelant after viewing a few stars? IN effect does it get worse the more you use the scope. If so I believe there is a Pointing Accuracy Enhancement feature. Believe that you goto an object (Star) centre it accurately the hold the Enter Key for 2 seconds. Have a look for the function and perhaps it is of some use.

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