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The Camel

Is there an EQ5 Pro SynScan GOTO manual?

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In my search to resolve the polar alignment crisis (or possibly my lack of knowledge/understanding crisis) I am having with my new (well, second hand) mount, I have been searching for a manual which deals with my mount. There appears to be none. Not that possessing one guarantees any resolution to my problems but it would be one less box to tick in my search and, well, you never know... Anyway, there are manuals on the EQ5 and some others but not for GOTO mounts as far as I can tell. The Sky-Watcher site is, to be frank, pretty poor for a technology-based site. Click on the "Customer Support" link and it tells you to go find the dealer. OK, to be fair, the FAQ has the (paraphrased) question: There was no manual with my scope, shouldn't there be one? The (paraphrased) answer is "Oops, sorry. We are currently working on more complete telescope operation manuals." There was, of course, no date on the answer... It does go on to say that new manuals will be announced on the "What's New" page. There is no such page... Pause while I bang head repeatedly on table - and so on.

I felt the urge to chase Sky-Watcher but who to chase? The website has no contact information (see above) and there is little on the company itself - Pacific Telescope Corporation. An hour or more of digging around led me to discover what is probably common knowledge, that Sky-Watcher and Celestron are (as far as I can tell) both owned by the same Chinese mainland company: Suzhou Synta Optical Technology Co., Ltd. of Jiangsu, China. Celestron through a Taiwanese affiliate of the main company. Synta provides no email address although I can phone a Ms Crystal Tang apparently. There is an address given for Synta in Taiwan but, interestingly, the city (Su Zhou) and province (Jiangsu) listed are mainland China. At this point I have to admit defeat as I am more likely to be struck by a Perseid in my garden this evening than see a manual for my mount appear at any time in the foreseeable future. Still, I am tempted to write to Ms Tang - just out of curiosity.

There are a lot of very good sources of information out there and I have looked at the Astronomyshed series on YouTube which has been of some help. I noticed, however that the RA clock on the mount used in the video is the reverse of what I have - the numbers immediately to the right of the zero on my RA ring has 23 on top and 1 underneath and the ring does not do what the NEQ6 ring does. Astronomyshed in reply to my query on this said "Yup, the EQ5 rings are poor" - oh joy.

Does that mean I have a southern hemisphere RA clock and does that affect how I use it? (comments about standing on my head are not encouraged :tongue: ). I was also interested to see that my RA ring has a 3rd set of "ghost" numbers printed on it - just to make life more interesting - almost as if by mistake. Still, I have a few more sites to look at in the attempt to figure out polar alignment. I do hate being this thick but I will - I hope - eventually "get it" (ding!).

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the clocks on the eq5 are useless.i have the same mount and have never even attempted to use them.

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When my synscan eq5 was delivered, there were 2 manuals supplied with it. One for the mount (eq5 & eq3 iirc) and another for the synscan unit. As for stuff about setting circles etc, I've never given them a 2nd look. Half the battle with polar alignment is realising you need to remove the polarscope caps AND loosen the clutch that allows you to rotate the weight axis through 90 deg so you can actually see through the polarscope :)

once it 'clicks', polar alignment using the polarscope is a breeze! Just remember to do it with nothing attached to the (levelled) mount - no OTA, no weights, no power.

Edited by devilgas

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First, for me (for visual) polar alignment is over rated.

I also have never , and I do mean never, used or attempted to use the setting circles.

Howerver, if you do want to get polar alignment right there is something that you need to do before you go out at night.

1. The polar scope needs to be Aligned to the polar axis of the mount. You can do this by picking something distant (an Ariel on a house down the street is ideal), adjust the mount so that the tip of the ariel is on the polar scope cross hairs. This may involve adjusting the latitude bolts of the mount AND lowering one or more legs of the tripod to get the polar scope at the right angle.

Once centred (and this is best done with no weights or ota on the mount) spin the mount around in the RA axis. What should happen is the little centre X stays over the tip of the ariel. If it does, then happy days it's done. More likely the centre cross will make a small circle, remember the circle in ralation to the tip of the ariel, and adjust the little allen key bolts so that the cross moves half way into the centre of the "remembered" cirlce.

Then re centre the cross hairs and repeat... When I last did it this process took about 30 minutes and took three iterations of the adjust/centre.

Once you are happy that the polar scope is aligned with the mount, you can then setup at night. Face the mount north, remove the twVo polar scope caps, rotate the DEC axis so that you can see up the polar scope (important).

Download a little piece of software called "polar finder", this will tell you where to place Polaris. The view through the polar scope will show a large circle with a small circle on the larger circle. Polar finder will show you what the view should look like for that moment in time, and importantly where to locate the smaller circle - see below.


Placing Polaris on either the cross in the centre or in the correctly positioned little circle will be all you need for visual.

If you start imaging, then drift alignment is far more accurate.



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I had some fun polar aligning,slipped up at the first step of calibrating crosshairs with tv aerial, forgot to lower counterweight shaft.so you you could see the engraved markings ,and a mottled background but no view through thev polarscope ,took me a while to realize what I had done but got there in the end such a simple mistake,but it had me scratching my head!!

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