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NigelCampbell

SkyWatcher SynScan GOTO - what the Manual doesn't tell you!

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I don't see why not. Hopefully, the new production version of the firmware will be out soon.

Evan

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Great discussion everyone. I have a 150P SYNSCAN GOTO (EQ3 pro) on order but still have the option to change....would I be better off buying a larger scope/heftier mount and upgrade to GOTO later? Astro photography would be my ultimate aim to develop over the years. What do you think?

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Thankyou. I have just had a frustrating time failing to get my new goto working. I'm happy I got the date, latitude etc correct. I manually slewed to Jupiter, but then when it came to find the first star the scope went off in a crazy direction, far from the stars I was asking it to go to. I tried it several times with different stars and with 2 stars rather than Jupiter but it did the same each time.

I am using rechargable batteries - could this really have such an effect? Also I didn't use a spirit level - again is this vital?

I'm a bit perturbed that I'm going to have to go through this each time I use the scope! I thought if I aligned it once that was all that was needed.

At least I got to see Jupiter :embarrassed:

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Thankyou. I have just had a frustrating time failing to get my new goto working. I'm happy I got the date, latitude etc correct. I manually slewed to Jupiter, but then when it came to find the first star the scope went off in a crazy direction, far from the stars I was asking it to go to. I tried it several times with different stars and with 2 stars rather than Jupiter but it did the same each time.

I am using rechargable batteries - could this really have such an effect? Also I didn't use a spirit level - again is this vital?

I'm a bit perturbed that I'm going to have to go through this each time I use the scope! I thought if I aligned it once that was all that was needed.

At least I got to see Jupiter :embarrassed:

Hi roobydooby,

Can I ask what set-up you have?

Goto can be great, but without the exact right alignment procedure it can be all over the place.

For some mounts the power, both watts and amps, can make the difference.

Regards

Aenima

edit. fyi the new firmware is now official - 3.32

Edited by Aenima

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Thankyou. I have just had a frustrating time failing to get my new goto working. I'm happy I got the date, latitude etc correct. I manually slewed to Jupiter, but then when it came to find the first star the scope went off in a crazy direction, far from the stars I was asking it to go to. I tried it several times with different stars and with 2 stars rather than Jupiter but it did the same each time.

I am using rechargable batteries - could this really have such an effect? Also I didn't use a spirit level - again is this vital?

I'm a bit perturbed that I'm going to have to go through this each time I use the scope! I thought if I aligned it once that was all that was needed.

At least I got to see Jupiter :embarrassed:

I had GOTO problems initially, mainly caused by setting the time incorrectly. I found it easier to stick to GMT than use the handset to allow for DST/BST.

If your mount has a built in spirit level, get it level indoors and mark where the bubble is on the spirit level. This will make it easier and quicker to set up the mount outdoors and get it level.

For just observing, roughly level the mount, point the polarscope at Polaris using the alt/az bolts and then starting from the main scope's parked position do a quick 1 or 2 star alignment. I find that's good enough for looking at stars/galaxies.

NB Did you manually go to Jupiter then tell it to align? I think it would have incorrectly assumed that pointing at Jupiter was the parked position, so you'd be miles out on any alignment after that.

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This is a great thread. I am in the process of deciding on a mount and want a goto system, probably the skywatcher one. Whilst I have known for sometime that it was never going to be as simple as pressing a couple of buttons, this thread has offered so many useful pointers already. I've not been put off goto but I am now more aware of its limitations and foibles.

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Hi all from a (pensioner) newbie in snowy York.

Have had a Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145 for several years but my son has borrowed it and it doesnt look as though it will be coming back!

Have read all the postings with interest as I was on the point of buying a Skymaster 127 Synscan GOTO. Particularly impressed with Nigels opening piece which gave me a lot to think about.

I have two question if I may,

For those of you using AA batteries (not rechareable of course) how long do they last. Are we talking one session or less or several. I know there are external power leads out there and also rechargeable power tanks but to get started it would be good to know how long AA batteries do last on their own

And number two, do you know if it is possible to download a manual for this machine. Would like a look in advance. Have searched online without success!

Thanks a lot

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The AA batteries literally only last about 45 minutes if its cold outside :angry:

Obviously that will depend on how much of a mixture between just tracking and skewing manually.

The voltage drop is normally so poor that accurate alignment doesn't work!

You might be lucky though :D

Edited by knobby

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Thanks knobby for the amazingly quick reply. Think I will go for the external power lead initially. Don't plan to use the scope away from home at this stage

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Very much in agreement, those batt-packs are not up to the task, only for emergency use really.

I always use a mains adapter - and it has to be both the right watts AND amps - but if you want to head out to a dark site away from power supply then those 12v power tanks work.

If u have a car then a lighter socket will let u run it from the battery, though not tried this myself/

Best of luck,

Regards

Aenima

edit - just seen ur post. ignore the above ;)

Hope it goes well.

Edited by Aenima

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You'll definitely find a huge improvement from city lights to the moorland darkness, it can make all the difference. :)

The weather there might be a bit harsh - double up on the hat n gloves, socks too :)

Regards

Aenima

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Does the skywather offer a 'solar system align' like the celestron? I usually try to use this as planets/the moon are fairly easy to identify (particularly in the scope itself - sometimes when aligning a star in the scope I am unsure if I have the correct one!). Once that is done I then use the 'add another alignment point' and the scope automatically goes to that star (depending on how carefully I have levelled the tripod. Hit align, job done (or sometimes I will head for another star on the other side of the SS object to reduce any inherent errors even further).

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Anyone else having trouble goto - ing to jupiter with new firmware - 3.32??

Aenima

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Anyone else having trouble goto - ing to jupiter with new firmware - 3.32??

Aenima

:D

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My first scope. = nightmare

a Skywatcher 130m didn't have a clue about polar alignment didn't know what stars where what.

it forces you to learn. Wich is a good thing if I wasn't so stubborn I would have binned it

now I'm still no expert but with the Meade it's an excellent tool.

aligns easily finds what you want and when the kids are out with me the audio commentary keeps them interested.

All in all an excellent bit of kit. But know your sky first

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:D

:p

Its 2013?

(yep. here too. - rub it in why dont ya ;))

I will look back and laugh, years from now - under heavy sedation, in my happy place.

Aenima

Aenima

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That's what its all about on here sharing knowledge and learning together from our mistakes, that's what makes it a great place

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My new skymax 127 synscan goto arrived this morning. Only ordered yesterday from Sherwood's. Put it together - pretty easy operation - and took it outside to get it acclimatised. Then the fog rolled in !!!!! There's always tomorrow.

One thing different from my previous beginners scope - this one has a star diagonal which turns the image the right way up and reverses it from left to right (as you will all know). Does antone else find this a problem and will I just get used to it. It is good for my viewing position and my knees, I do confess!

Once again thanks for all the help and advice so far. It is much appreciated. I know my teacher at school (in the olden days) once told me that there is no such thing as a daft question. If you don't know the answer, then its not a daft question.

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I really like the images i've seen by folks with the 127 mak, really nice views for the aperture and a nice long f/ for planets and moon stuff.

Best of luck with it :)

Regards

Aenima

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My new skymax 127 synscan goto arrived this morning. Only ordered yesterday from Sherwood's. Put it together - pretty easy operation - and took it outside to get it acclimatised. Then the fog rolled in !!!!! There's always tomorrow.

One thing different from my previous beginners scope - this one has a star diagonal which turns the image the right way up and reverses it from left to right (as you will all know). Does antone else find this a problem and will I just get used to it. It is good for my viewing position and my knees, I do confess!

Once again thanks for all the help and advice so far. It is much appreciated. I know my teacher at school (in the olden days) once told me that there is no such thing as a daft question. If you don't know the answer, then its not a daft question.

can I ask why you went for the SW 127 over say the NexStar 4SE. Its just I've narrowed my choice down to those two.

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perhaps because I didn't do sufficient research. My first beginners scope was a skywatcher and I think that may have been one of the reasons. also the same 127 was at a price I could afford. Sorry but that may not be much help. Haven't been able to use the new scope yet because of fog and cloud but setting it up was really easy. It even came with a moon filter which wasn't in the spec.

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Hi,

Have really enjoyed this thread so far and have found it very enlightening.

I find myself in what seems to be a very common dilemma of just which scope I am going to get and though after several years of backyard stargazing

I can find my way around the sky with bins... I find the prospect of looking through a scope a different kettle of fish and so have been strongly considering

a “goto” mount...but depending on the time of day and my mood this changes, and changes and changes as I struggle to make a final decision

mainly between stability and portability

So can I add what could be a deciding question? What if you cannot see Polaris from where you are viewing?

Is it a written in stone must...to be spot on north via Polaris for setting setting up a goto mount?

Where I live I have a pretty fair panorama from the southeast thru south to west but north at least as far as Polaris is concerned is out of view, this is due to the close proximity of my and neighbours house,

If I move to the front garden the recently upgraded lamppost is far, far too bright. (Though I have a bsa airsporter .22...ha ha) :evil: :evil:

Using bins I can get away with it somewhat, by getting into different viewing positions

but with a scope I don’t think it’s going to be such a good prospect. And so I would have to travel, hence a poss portability issue.

So do I have to have a clear view of Polaris for a goto??

and as i am here just how big bulky heavy is a skywatcher eq5 pro mount

Thanks

gra

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