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Moon Lander

GoTo Alignment Failing

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I have a Skywatcher Explorer 200 PDS on an HEQ5 Pro mount. For the first 18 months I have not used the GoTo as I wanted to try to find my way around the sky myself. I have now decided to put the GoTo to use to speed up the process and see more before I freeze and need to go back in again!

Over the past week I have been trying to align it using the 3 Star alignment approach. I have found Polaris and entered my location, and I have then aligned it using Sirius, Dubhe and Betelgeuse. However, after entering the third star, I keep getting the alignment failed message.

I initially assumed that I was somehow finding the wrong stars, but am confident from getting the same failure on every occasion that this is not the case. Does anyone have any thoughts about what I might be doing wrong? Thanks.

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No tips as I have this exact problem and posted a thread about it too. I even use the same stars as you! :D

One thing I will say is, there appears to be a time limit on getting the alignment done. If I take more than 10-15 mins to do it, it always fails for me.

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Maybe it is the time then. It always seems to take an age to find the second star as it is always out of the finderscope's view. I'll try to speed up next time its clear:)

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The answer lies in what you are entering.

Unless you can tell us every item, it is as much guesswork from us as it is to you.

How well set up is the mount - LEVEL in every direction.

Lat/Long correct and in the right order.

DST OFF

Time is PM not AM is it.

What timezone ?

Date correct.

That is the 5 obvious starting points, what are you supplying?

How long does your alignment take?

Assuming it wants Long as + or -, is the Longitude -ve? Guess about -3.0

Edited by Capricorn

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Thanks. The scope is level. Your 5 questions have all been entered correctly. The alignment is taking around 45 minutes in total as we do not recognise the names of some of the stars that are listed so are finding them on a star chart first. Longitude is -2.94. I'm guessing it might be simply the time taken, but if so, how quickly do you have to complete?

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if everything is level and polar aligned i wouldnt do a 3 star alignment.a 2 star alignment should be good enough.time does matter on this one as we all know things are moving constantly.i ususally do a polar alignment,2 star alignment which is almost always spot on.

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Just read the Skywatcher site, Synscan setup - is that the one ?

It says that Synscan offers you lists of stars to select from at each of the 3 alignment steps.

If it is taking 45 minutes just for the alignment that is too long.

I presume that the mount, not scope, is polar aligned prior.

It reads that the mount needs to be polar aligned, then you aim the scope at Polaris.

I have Meades (but Alt/Az) and the alignment itself takes about 2-3 minutes. Add another 10 minutes prior to that to set the scope up.

Make sure the timezone is correct, I have an odd feeling that although it is 0, it may be need to go in a -0. Just have a recollection of a problem where that was the solution.

Meades retain the data for the last location, fine if it went in right otherwise the easiest option is to wipe everything and start again. So the SW need more info each time but if the Meades are wrong you enter it all.

Sirius and Betelgeuse are relatively close but easy to identify, not sure where Debhe is in relation. Cannot locate a sky map and I have several.:D:icon_scratch::(

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i usually use dhube and deneb as they are in opposite sides of the sky

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Thanks Capricorn.

The mount is polar aligned. It is the synscan set up and it does give you a list of stars at each of the options. I tried to select the easiest, brightest stars for the alignment. Unfortunately, many of the stars on the list I had not heard of! Dubhe is the end star in the Plough, one of the two you follow to point at Polaris. Unfortunately it has been quite faint in the sky the last few nights. Also, the house actually restricts the view of the northern sky. Whilst we do have fairly dark skies so back garden viewing is good, the house is a bit of an obstacle.

I'll check the -0 and see if that makes a difference. Thanks.

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Thanks MBJ. Unfortunately deneb is hidden by the house! The driveway would give me a better view, but that is not level!

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hi , you need to do a little planning ahead ... have a look at orion , work out where betelguse is , work out where sirus is or castor/pollux is BEFORE starting alignment . two star is fine .forget about three , point mount north .find pole star , put it somwhere in polar scope ,does not need to be perfect , slew scope to betelguse (top left star in orion ) enter .... slew to your next star ...enter ...job done ,

also check you co-ords they need to be in degrees not decimals , and you cant input a -2.94 it will be 2.94

cheers :D

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Have to say that being a lazy whatsit I would probably go for 1 or 2 star alignment then use the PAE feature.:D:eek::(:eek: Equally I only get into visual so less critical.

Also sure that a few have said that the 3 star option produces poor results, as in numerous alignment failures and no obvious reason, and that the 2 star option is more successful. They may be critical on time and 3 takes too long to get done.

It will be something stupid that makes little sense to be a problem.

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When I do the 3 star alignment for the first star I always unlock the clutches to get the star in the FOV and then fine tune so its in the middle, then the next two stars are always in the FOV and its just a case of using the directional buttons on the handset to get the star in the middle. Never had a problem doing it that way.

Also remember that the scope needs to be in an accurate home position once you start the alignment.

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