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Last week, I finally got to use my newly assembled the synscan on my eq5 mount (SW Explorer 200p). After testing during daylight that the synscan motors worked, I took my kit to my usual viewing location and tried to do a 3-star alignment. When I selected Arcturus as the first star, the synscan pointed the telescope at the ground. I selected Vega instead and it pointed at Deneb, and this egregious misalignment went on until I decided something was terribly wrong and stopped. I asked the people at the store where I got it, and they said I must have made a mistake entering my coordinates. But I used the degrees, minutes, seconds format, which I think is correct, but even so, if the minutes and seconds were supposed to be a decimal value, it would still have the basic 52 degrees north, 0 degrees latitude, would it not (from the degree values)?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is going wrong? I was hoping that with the synscan I would be doing more observing, but now I cannot use my telescope at all (because I no longer have an RA wheel) without the synscan working, so I am doing less observing than ever.

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Without knowing the data you entered and the order in which it was entered it is all guess work.

First is that the Longitude may well be the first location paramter you have to enter. We talk of Lat/Long but that mount may expect Long then Lat.

If you entered numeric values of about 51 then 0 the scope could be thinking it is at the Northern part of Brazil (Macapa) as that is 0N, 51W. Yes, that has been done and more then once.

Date is US format but presently not easy to get wrong as the day is over 12, but be aware that it expects mm/dd/yyyy NOT the UK format of dd/mm/yyyy.

Did you have DST as Yes, or On. That is 1 hours difference or 15 degrees.

Did you set the timezone to 0.

The default will likly be -5 or -8 which again puts you several hours or 75 to 120 degrees incorrect.

Reading the post it reads that you said for the first star to go to Arcturus, thought that for the first star you had to tell it that Arcturus was the first but you did the moving to it? I know they have altered the initial position but for the scope to go to Arcturus as the first actual star means the scope has to start from a default position (level+North). What was your requirement and initial position.

Use 2 star alignment, everyone that uses 3 star has problems.

What power source are you using - assume the power tank.

Edited by ronin

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Use 2 star alignment, everyone that uses 3 star has problems.

For me the 3 star alignment routine works just fine, every time. Set your time to your local time, input the correct offset to GMT, don't forget to toggle DST (Summer Time) as appropriate. As pointed out input the date in mm/dd/yyyy format. Put your scope in the home position before starting, ie pointing towards NCP with the counterweight bar at its lowest position. I let the software pick the stars. After it slews to the first star, usually a fair bit off, I centre it using the arrow keys and press enter, follow by the same procedures for the second and third stars. This always ends with a successful alignment message. 

Something must have been input incorrectly for the procedure to fail.

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If you're having problems with putting in the correct coordinates as I have done in the past then watch this video from 10mins 23seconds onwards & it shows you how to input the correct digits. It's worked for me ever since & I haven't had the scope putting downwards like I did at the beginning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7uGX7wpHqY

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You may have entered your coordinates incorrectly. The correct order is longitude (how far east /west of the meridan) then latitidue (how far north/south of the equator). London will be something like 000 00 W , 52 00 N in degrees and minutes. The date format is mm/dd/yyyy and the time format is 24hrs

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