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iwols

total newb req info on heq5 goto mount

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hi all total newbie here,so please bare with me,just ordered a heq5 goto mount to try a bit of astro work with my nikon d750(no telescope as yet),but slightly confused,i realise that when tracking stars i use the mount as a eq mount and all needs setting up to polaris etc,but when i am using it in the goto mode do i have to align it to polaris or just make sure the mount is pointed north,sorry for the basics but haho im 52 and brain doesnt work the same cheers guys

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Yes PA and Balance need to be very good, GoTo just saves you finding DSO's the set-up is the same....

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Yes PA and Balance need to be very good, GoTo just saves you finding DSO's the set-up is the same....

thanks pa? 

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so do i need to set up to polaris even with goto

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When setting up for GoTo, you still need to do a polar align. Once that is done, the Dec axis is aligned with the Earth's rotation, but the RA axis could be pointing anywhere. This is where the star alignment happens, which then lets the mount work out where the scope is actually pointing so that GoTos work accurately

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You Polar Align the mount via the Polar scope.

Remember that the Polar Scope and the Telescope are different items and getting the Polar Alignment right does not mean that the Telescope will be aimed at Polaris.

Only say this as what happens next is the person does the polar alignment then finds that polaris is somewhere else in the main scope, so they stop and ask the next day what they did wrong. The answer being nothing.

What happens with the goto alignment is that you do the poalr alignment as best as you can - take your time - you then do the goto alignment and the scope works out how bad you actually did the polar alignment. :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

But it has to be good for imaging, even if you are guiding.

Have fun.

If the Doncaster News reports strange howls of dispair from house in Doncaster we will know it is you. :eek: :eek: :eek:

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When setting up for GoTo, you still need to do a polar align. Once that is done, the Dec axis is aligned with the Earth's rotation, but the RA axis could be pointing anywhere. This is where the star alignment happens, which then lets the mount work out where the scope is actually pointing so that GoTos work accurately

Sorry Matt it is the other way round... the RA axis is the one aligned with the Earths rotational axis not the DEC when polar aligning.

Don't want the OP to get this wrong.

Polar alignment aligns the mount not the telescope and can be done without the scope, or camera in this case, being attached.

Once aligned the scope or camera can then be mounted and both axis can be balanced by adjusting the counterweights and/or the location of the scope/camera after which the assembly should be set with the front of either scope or camera pointing towards North and with the counterweights straight down... This is referred to as the HOME POSITION.

Goto (star alignment) can then be performed so the electronics know where everything is in relation to this home position.

Star alignment without a telescope will almost certainly need you to use LIVE VIEW on your camera in order to see the alignment star and centre it in the field of view... if you have a suitable laptop you can make excellent use of an astro capture program to control your camera which will also allow you to use on screen Live View and software focusing aids to

make this more exact.

For your Nikon I would recommend " BackYard Nikon" which will do just about everything you will ever need for astro work with a DSLR.

You can find the latest version here: -

http://www.otelescope.com/index.php?/topic/1242-backyardnikon-103-just-released/#entry8199

A trial version is available with pretty well full capability.

Good luck with your new mount.

Best regards.

Sandy. :grin:

Edited by Lonestar70
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And to complement Sandy's narrative here is an HEQ5 pro in HOME position at 54' N.

post-35542-0-51299700-1448980470_thumb.j

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Yeah, PA, balance and alignment for visual and AP. For AP the PA needs to be more accurate than for visual astronomy... as mentioned above.

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You can if you have the latest firmware 3.37 do the PA from the handset, you will need a scope fitted but you can practice indoors if you set-up so its pointing at Polaris then get it slew to a named star then check with Stellarium it has gone the right way.....this wouldn't need a scope, but you will learn some handset controls....

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Hi

PA is less critical if you're imaging with just a camera and lens. You'll need a photo dovetail to enable camera attachment. Also you'll want an intervalometer or computer control of the camera. Stellarium is a free planetarium program which can also be linked to your mount via the Ascom platform and Eqmod but maybe that's for the future :)  Meanwhile, you can use Stellarium to locate things in the sky in real time so can help you plan what you'd might like to image.

Good luck

Louise

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how do i mount my ball head to the heq5 please

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Get one of the small dovetails mentioned by Louise, the ballhead is not necessary, the mount allows the camera to be orientated as necessary to the sky.

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This is what I do:

Make sure your polarscope reticule is in line with your mount. See here:

http://www.astro-bab...HEQ5/HEQ5-1.htm

Don't bother with the setting circles instructions she gives.

I use Jason Dale's Polar Finder sw on my laptop:

http://myastroimages..._by_Jason_Dale/

And also PolarAlign app on my iPhone by George Varros. I don't know what's available for other phones. Just enter your co-ords. The iPhone one uses decimals. I think Jason Dale's one is set already at the inverted view you'd see through your polarscope, but check the settings. So's the iPhone one.

  • I make sure that my Alt scale is at my location (52 degrees) after adjustments last session - NOTE: it's in 2-degree increments, not one!
  • Ensure my scope is parked as neatly as possible in RA.
  • Use a compass (not too close to the mount) to get as close to north as possible. (I actually use a clever stick with a compass my friend made me which is great. Ask me if you're interested and I'll ask him if he'll make you one!)
  • I level the mount with a spirit level to make sure I'm not tilted forward or back.
  • Rotate Dec so that you can see through the polarscope and ensure your counterweight bar is extended.
  • If I can't see Polaris, I tape a laser pointer on an old tripod to point to Polaris. That helps!
  • Then I use the software to see where Polaris should go in the large circle, using the alt / az bolts. I ignore the small circle. I set up without scope and weights as it's kinder to the bolts. If I'm on grass, I check Polaris's position again after I've added the kit. On hardstanding I don't. It's always OK.
  • Rotate the mount in RA to ensure Polaris doesn't drift off the circle. If it does, you've got something wrong.
  • Set dec back to park and you're ready to star align!

I hope this helps. I'm not very good at explaining, especially when my mount's not in front of me to check my details are exact!

If you have an astro group near you, do join them. I've learned so much from mine. There's nothing better than being shown what to do!

Alexxx

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