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Must be an easier way?

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I have been reading a few threads about goto mounts etc and i was confused (not hard i know) mine tells me to align to 3 stars but when i am trying to do it i can never find any of the ones in the handset ? am i a complete plonker or is there an easier way ?

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try checking what is available for observing at the time you are going to set to set up with a decent star map, Planisphere or Stellarium

if you have done a successful alignment check with the info giving by the telescope's computer to see if the targets you picked are what you had chosen from them.

on the lists option of the telescope hand controller pick out some named stars to get an idea where they are located, when I used my first go to, a Celestron 6se, I did this all the time to help me understand what's up there

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am not familiar with the syn scan system but imagine it would be fairly straightforward to set up, are you sure you have all the settings correct like date time etc?

A couple of reads of the manual are always worth doing, its easy to miss one simple item and that will throw both you and the telescope off.

Edited by Nexus 6
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Three star aligns are the most accurate as they provide a triangle as the base for locating things, you can scroll through to other options like 2 and 1 star. If you can't see the star it suggests then again scroll down until you find one you recognise. If you don't know your way around the sky then something like Steallrium is great, or even a planisphere. Learning the brightest stars is a good thing to do anyway (impress your friends too!).


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Thanks for the tips guys ,i will have to have another look and see where i get .Not too sure if i have a manual as i bought the scope used .

Another thing,when i have set it up do i have to go through it all every time i get the scope out ?

Sometimes wish i just had a manual scope but i got this thinking it would help me out as a novice and now i think its doing the opposite

Edited by wozza
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You should be able to find the appropriate manual on Optical Visions website (the official UK distributor) here: http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/manuals.asp.

And unfortunately, yes. You do have to perform polar alignment and 1, 2 or 3 star alignment every time you setup, otherwise the goto is not going work correctly. One of the major plus points for having an observatory!

Some tips:

- The tripod should have a north leg, or a leg marked "N". Use this to point the mount north. If you plan to set up in the same location, remember the orientation of the tripod once you have found north, or mark the ground where the tripod legs go.

- Start with the Scope in the home position, with the counterweights facing down, and the scope pointing north.

- Once you have balanced the scope on the mount remember (or mark) the position of the scopes dovetail on the mount and the position of the counterweights on the counterwight shaft.

- If you have a polarscope you can use that to perform polar alignment, otherwise point the mount north and find Polaris in the finderscope. Once you are polar aligned, start with the north star (Polaris)in the finderscope before starting the 1,2 or 3 star alignment. That should be fine for visual use. For photographic purposes polar alignment must be much more accurate.

Just might help speed up the whole setup process.

Edited by Black Knight
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Hi Wozza,

Whereabouts are you in Somerset ? I'm also in Somerset and might be able to help you out in person if needed - i've got an EQ5 Synscan myself so will hopefully be able to help.

If interested PM me and we can talk via phone if required.


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Sometimes wish i just had a manual scope but i got this thinking it would help me out as a novice and now i think its doing the opposite

I know what you mean. We started with a GoTo with our first proper scope and found we had to initially spend lots of time learning the constellations and the brighter stars in them, with the help of a sky chart pocket book, so that we could find some stars to align to. Also scrolling through the list of stars on the handset to find some stars that we had heard of helped too! When the GoTo works it is great, but we also had quite a few nights, particularly early on, where it was out as we had aligned to wrong stars!

You've got some great replies here already. Hopefully these will help and you will up and running in no time at all!

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If your scope is a Skywatcher, make sure you set Lat and Long correctly, and the date and time.

THEN, choose 2 star align and point your scope at a star in the handset list you KNOW is correct, (I currently use Rigel) then press 'enter' on the handset.

Then in the handset menu, pick a star you know is visible from where you are - use a program like STELLARIUM for this - then enter it on the keypad.

The scope will automatically slew to the star. It won't be in the centre of view, so adjust it a bit, and when it's nicely in the middle of view, press 'enter'.

All being well, the handset will say 'Alignment successful'.

Away you go.

It's worked for me every time.

In fact, at the end of an evening viewing, I go to the menu and choose 'park', then the next time I use my scope, I just enter the time and date, (after putting the scope in the the same place as before) and that's it!

Tracking is perfect again.

Skywatcher???? I love it!

Edited by roymattblack
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Roy makes a good point about setting your Latitude and Longitude correctly, and the date (in US format) and time. Time zone (offset from GMT), and daylight savings time are important as well.

The other thing I forgot to mention is that it is very worthwhile making sure your finderscope is aligned with the actual telescope, so that a star centred in the finderscope is roughly centred in the telescope as well. Normally you would do this by focussing on a distant object during daytime because it is much easier, but it can also be done at night particularly if you use a very bright star like the star Roy suggested, Rigel. In this case, assuming you have Rigel centred in the telescope, simply adjust the finderscope to match.

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