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First light fail :(


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So tonight it was clear! Well for 2 hours or so.

I was very excited to get out for the first time with a telescope, 150pds and heq5 synscan. However, I could not get my mount/synscan to perform a 2 star alignment correctly. I'm sure I did everything correctly but the scope would just slew to the wrong location every single time. Are there any 'gotchas'' that can cause this? Here's what I did.

Used my iphone compass to point my mount north and used altitude bolts to get Sirius in polar scope. This was a real struggle as I could hardly see the reticule/circle 'diagram' in the polar scope.

Used polar finder software to find the exact location of Polaris and aligned accordingly with bolts.

Ran through the handset setup, made sure I was entering American date format and used an atomic clock to input exact time. Input my longitude and latitude as per my phone GPS:

post-10381-135932256598_thumb.jpg

I did notice that the coordinates 'N' and 'W' are back to front on the handset compared to my phone.

Selected 2 star align, picked my first star as beetle juice, starts slewing at totally the wrong angle and wrong part of the sky!?!

What did I do wrong? :(

In the end manually moved the scope by hand to Jupiter and did have a nice but wobbly view of the planet and moons so all was not lost.

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Ok, these questions may sound silly, but just to double check:

1.Are you starting from home position?

2.Have you checked for cone error? (I hade a huge cone error and misalignment of finderscope and the OTA which took me weeks to discover!)

3.Are you entering the coordinates correctly? i.e. negative for west etc.?

4.Have you entered the date correctly?

5.Is the mount level?

all failed, try something. once the mount slew to the first star loose the locks on RA and Dec and manually turn the mount to get the first star in the view. then luck the clutches and select the second star. if it is still taking you far away from the second one, then something is seriosly wrong!

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Isn't there a start position for the scope, before you start the alignment?

I had my scope in 'home' position, weights down scope pointing up, facing north. However I did not specify on the synscan handset that I was I. 'Home/start/park position' do I need to do that somewhere?

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Ok, these questions may sound silly, but just to double check:

1.Are you starting from home position?

2.Have you checked for cone error? (I hade a huge cone error and misalignment of finderscope and the OTA which took me weeks to discover!)

3.Are you entering the coordinates correctly? i.e. negative for west etc.?

4.Have you entered the date correctly?

5.Is the mount level?

Can you clarify home position - I think I had it correct.

Not sure what you mean by 'negative for west'

Date, time were right. Maybe the mount wasn't 100% level.

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Some scope you enter (for example) 2° 15' W - where you specify West by the "W".

Others West is Negative so you enter -2° 15'.

In effect if the scope is expecting +/- and you don't put the -ve bit the data has the scope East of the meridian.

Cannot recall the start position of the scope.

Someone should be able to clarify that.

Thinking about it what version of software are you running?

The newer ones have an alignment based on Polaris (I think), oddly most astronomers can find that so I think that an alignment start may be aim scope at Polaris. Just thinking that if you have it level and the scope thinks it is aimed at Polaris then you will really have fun at the beginning.

Edited by Capricorn
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Home position is where you have the weights pointing downward and scope pointing towards polaris (parallel to your polarscope)

see this:

newexplorer150peq32.jpg

a roughly level mount should be ok, I would think.

Yes in that case I was in home position. Do I lock the RA and Dec before starting the handset align or leave them free?

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Yes in that case I was in home position. Do I lock the RA and Dec before starting the handset align or leave them free?

you should lock the RA and Dec before doing the alignment. only when the mount finished slewing to your first alignment star you can loose those clutches and manually move the mount to bring the star into view (if it is not even in the finderscope) and then lock them again.

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Ok cheers. I actually tried to align with RA and Dec locked and without and couldn't get either way to work for me.

Just to keep me sane please could someone confirm I'm entering my coordinates correctly? Here's how my iphone GPS displays.post-10381-135936028959_thumb.jpg

And here is what I entered.post-10381-135936031708_thumb.jpg

Thanks again

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I have not checked cone error, tbh I'm not sure what it is or how to look for it.

I'm waaaay off when I slew, according to my setup last night Rigel is waist height in my garden fence!

I attempted to slew to a few different guide stars all were off by a big margin, a couple of attempts were atleast in the correct direction but still nowhere near.

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