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EQ5 SYNSCAN GOTO not working


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Hi Folks,

I sort of lurk around here from time to time, less so these days as my hobby has been crushed with nothing but problems since I have started.

I got a Skywatcher Skymax pro with an EQ5 mount a few years back (2012) from WEX.  Since day one I had problems with it cutting out and needing switched off and on.  Sometimes it would stop tracking, sometimes it would try to find stuff beyond the horizon despite the handset controls being entered correctly and the star being above me.  Lately it has decided not to slew at all. 

I am sure all my handset settings are correct (correct month to day, instead of day to month) etc.  

Once I try to do my 3,2 or 1 star alignment and press go it makes a small sound as if it's about to begin slewing and then stops within half a second before it has even began moving.  It won't slew at all using the handset.  The locks are tightened on the mount.  

I haven't tried updating the handset to the new firmware as of yet as I don't have access to a PC.  Sadly, the astronomy world doesn't seem to have progressed to using Macs yet.  :(

Has anyone seen or heard of a similar problem like this before?  I contacted WEX a while back and they were looking to charge me for sending it back to them and for them possibly repairing it.  To which I kindly told them to relocate themselves away from my proximity, albeit in a somewhat more garish tone and manner.  

I would be eternally grateful for any help on this matter as like I have said, my hobby has recently became almost entirely put on the back burner because of this setback and unfortunately the wife believes our money is better invested in other outlandish areas such as groceries, bills and other such nonsense.  

Regards

Duane

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Lots of questions really:

What are you using to power the mount?

They re tempermental about power and batteries are not great and neither is the power tank as on both the voltage can drop and cause the mount to go sort of loopy.

Data - something will be "wrong". You mention date but there is a lot more, One obvious one is location. We talk of Latitude and Longitude so you think 54.5 and -6.5 and the mount wants -6.5 and 54.5 - different order and then thinks it is in Brazil.

Is the Longitude West or -ve, easy to forget the - sign or the W.

Another problem of Longitude is that the value should read -006.5  Check for the correct number of leading 0's. Two or three people have suffered this when the value input is say 6.5 and the mount somehow gets 65.

Timezone should be something like 0 or UTC or -0. Skywatcher seem to alter the option you select so it is a bit of look and find the correct one. I am not sure of this one for N Ireland but am assuming it is the UK setting.

DST is Off or No at present.

Is the display 24hour format?

Again possible to use 9:30 AM instead of 9:30 PM.

As the scope is over a year old then it has gone out of warrenty in defence of Wex.

I would not bother trying to updte the handset, it has not reported a software error so leave it alone. So whatever is the problem it is settings and data or power.

Do not bother with the 3 star alignment, use the 2 star. Seems to be a number of problems people have with 3 star failing. I half suspect that it works but the tolerance is too tight and so 3 star reports failure.

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Hi

Thanks for the reply. In work at the moment so sorry if i missed any of ur questions or hvent answered clearly enough

Yeah i have made sure to stringently go through the settings and ensure they are correct, even following youtube videos of people in relatively the same location as myself set theirs up.

I usually or rather, used to just use 2 star alignment. The problem seems to be motor related as it attempts to move but then stops and it wont let me slew at all using the handset. Could it be the motors are damaged or the lead is wrecked?

Also, i am using a small 12v adapter that came with my old wifi box. The handset readout says it is recieving around 11-12v of electricity from this wire which is plugged into the mains. Im testing it inside to figure out why it isnt working outside. It doesnt work so it musnt be temperature related either.

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Hi guys,

Thanks for the suggestions. Sorry, I'm a bit of a noob with this stuff. So ideally we shouldn't be powering scopes with a 12v plug from the mains?

Strange that it always worked before giving bother. Also that Skywatcher supplies these scopes without the nessecary equipment to power them. I think mine came with a cigarette lighter lead but that was it. I had an external battery pack bought but it won't charge now.

Problems, problems!

I'll see about getting another power source and hopefully that will work.

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If it helps, my 12v power supply has a 2 amp output and I haven't had any problems. I'm running off the mains too, as I'm fortunate that the previous owner of the house had some weatherproof sockets put in a few handy places. I keep the power supply in a little damp proof enclosure.

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Hi guys,

Thanks for the suggestions. Sorry, I'm a bit of a noob with this stuff. So ideally we shouldn't be powering scopes with a 12v plug from the mains?

Strange that it always worked before giving bother. Also that Skywatcher supplies these scopes without the nessecary equipment to power them. I think mine came with a cigarette lighter lead but that was it. I had an external battery pack bought but it won't charge now.

Problems, problems!

I'll see about getting another power source and hopefully that will work.

A good quality mains psu, such as the maplin psu, or a deep cycle leisure battery is ideal fro powering a mount. I use a maplins psu like the one in the link  which is housed in a waterproof box. Problems start to arise when people use a psu of unknown quality found in their spares box.  If the psu can't supply the required volts / amps when the mount is slewing at high speed then things start to go wrong. Usually this means random stop / starts or erratic behaviour.

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Unfortunately the equipment can be touchy about getting sufficent power to it. Too little and it plays up, too much and POP.

Some 12v supplies are optimistic or they are playing iot safe, they may be supplying 11.8 at the main box but then drop 0.5 volt down the line so you could be low by the time it gets to the unit. I had one the other way, it said 9v and gave 13+ volts . Fortunately the scope displayed Overvoltage on the display and did not drop dead. I found I had to set that unit to 6v to get something that was OK, even the 7.5v setting was too high.

Since then I have always put a multimeter on the connector before using one.

Also I think the connector at the mount end may be an odd size. I recall Celestron used to do this but not sure about Skywatcher units. Also check all the leads as they are another source of trouble these days.

If it is a motor board that has failed then not sure what you can do other then get a replacement. Likely have to go via a retailer or to OVL directly.

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