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popeye85

Another one with synscan issues!

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Hi there-I'm pulling my hair out with my new Skywatcher discovery scope not locating targets-was wondering if anyone would be willing to have a read though of my process and see if they can spot anywhere I might be going wrong with it!

  • Arrive on site and set up scope using spirit level to ensure that everything is nice and level.
  • start up handset and enter relevant data as follows;
    •  Longitude W 002 58  Latitude N55 57
    • Time zone +/- 00
    • Date 02/21/2016
    • time  2330
    • daylight saving: No
  • select first star for alignment  Sirius and slew scope round and have it lined up in EP
  • select second star for alignment  Polairs. Scoped slews round to roughly right direction and I fine tune till in EP.
  • Alignment successful.
  • select target to view-Moon ( nice easy target for it!)
  • scope goes where ever the hell it wants!
  • pull hair out and swear

the bit that gets my attention the most is that despite the same info being entered, whenever I find it for a target it never goes to the same place twice, it will randomly go in any random direction with what appears to be no rhyme or reason to it. What am I missing here???  

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What are you using for power? Powerpack is the minimum recommended - Duracels or such like individual batteries won't cut it I'm afraid.

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Might seem obvious but have you checked to make sure all connections are secure,

also re your alignment procedure - I am pretty sure I have read in previous threads on here (but I do stand to be corrected if wrong) that it is not really wise to use Polaris as one of the alignment stars when doing a 2 star align

James

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isnt it the other way round? you got day month year but isnt it month then day then year? my mistake its early lol

Edited by brrttpaul

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Do not use Polaris as an alignment star. Try to use stars that create a big triangle. That's what I found works best when I use to use a synscan handset.

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Tbh I only used polaris as an example-I used a range of stars throughout the night all with the same result. 

Edited by popeye85

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Hi Popeye85, Sorry to hear of your frustrations with the Synscan mount. I've been using one with my Skywatcher Startravel 102mm reftractor as I start learning to image the night sky. As to possible pointers to where things might be awry, I always use a mains powered supply and start the alignment process with the OTA horizontal to the ground. Always have the arm of the mount to the right hand side of the OTA. I take pains to have the tube and camera balanced on the mount and ensure the plastic tray is securely in place to help with stability. I add a weight into the tray to improve stability. I have found that so arranged the mount tracks well for imaging and has yielded 91% acceptable frames for use in Deep Sky Stacker. The lightweight mount can flex in operation partly because of design limitations, OTA balance and if the mount is on a surface that can yield (imaging a rotating tower of Pisa) and you only need to be 2 degrees off not to see anything in your low powered eye piece. If your mount does wild swings I suspect a power issue or a faulty handset or worse. When doing alignment It can be easy to mistake a star in close proximity to another similarly bright star so try and choose stars that are easy to identify apart, say by colour or with enough space around it not to confuse the object. Stars I often use to align are Dubhe and Betelguese. I have read the alt-az mount cannot track properly objects near the zenith for imaging purposes.

I do hope you have success solving this annoying problem.

 

HTH,
Steve

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I am using 2 star alignment. I tried using the brightest star method but that was equally erratic. 

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What I mean is, how are you aligning your scope before you switch on Synscan?

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It just occurred to me Popeye 85 that the bubble level on your mount could be 'out'. An Internet trawl also brings up noted issues wrt what software version the handset is using.

Cheers,
Steve

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1 hour ago, Owmuchonomy said:

What I mean is, how are you aligning your scope before you switch on Synscan?

tbh I am not doing any alignment prior to switching on as I was uner the impression that none was needed-There is certainly nothing mentioned in the manual.

59 minutes ago, SteveNickolls said:

It just occurred to me Popeye 85 that the bubble level on your mount could be 'out'. An Internet trawl also brings up noted issues wrt what software version the handset is using.

Cheers,
Steve

Hi Steve.

The mount doesn't have a bubble level on it I am using a independent one I bought and mounting it on the base plate. I am using the V4 version.

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If this is the SW Star Discovery then it's an alt/az mount which will require leveling to track accurately. But the problem described strongly suggests a power issue. This could be anything from dodgy connections to low voltage. Erratic pointing is nearly always caused by low voltage in my experience. Has your battery been fully charged? Is it possible you can check it with a voltmeter? As soon as mine drops below 12v pointing starts to get erratic. Hth :)

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Ok I wasn't aware that it needed pre-aligning, will have a look at that (although any tips would be gratefully received!)

As for the power then yes I ensured that the battery pack was fully charged before I left the house however when I am powering the mount I also have the packs red light torch on. could this be taking power away from the handset, I would have thought that it would have been designed to avoid this issue.

I am also courious about the fact that it is constantly having no problem detecting and slewing onto the 2nd star during alignment-it I only after alignment is complete that it start misbehaving-surely a power issue would make it erratic all of the time?

 

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My virtuoso mount does have a set up and turn on alignment even to just track. It's do to with the angle the altitude is set at when the mount is turned on. Perhaps Lee who also has the discovery will see your thread and share what they do to set it up and turn on.

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I have this mount and I know this is not help full but I have no issues. 

So, There is no setup required before starting the alignment. Tripod must be level, I use the brightest star option and never had a problem.

IIs the clutch tight?

Are the motors running at a constant speed, or does the slewing slow down and speed up?

  • Like 1

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When there is no power to the mount, how easy is it to turn the azimuth and altitude axes by hand? If it is easy, you need to tighten the nuts which are related to the lose axis/axes.

james

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Thanks for all the Help and I think I am getting close to solving it and If I'm right then I  am glad to say it wasn't human error ( well, not mine anyway!) 

I went out tonight and went through the whole process again and got the usual results, however after a few attempts I noticed that it always slewed about 90 degrees off from where it should have been and always on the same side- i.e if target was due North then it went due East.

So I nipped home and grabbed my laptop which has stellarium on it and as you can see I might have my answer! sorry the photos a bit blured so if you can't see it then the handset has Betelgeuse 225 17.4' +33 30.2'.   whereas Stellarium has it as  224 52'36.5"  +33 41'14.0".

Now I know that they are in different formats however they still seem to be wildly of and I was wondering if anyone has  website where I can convert these co-ords to check that they match up?

20160222_222359.jpg

20160222_222412.jpg

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There is nothing to choose between those coordinates. They are virtually identical. As they are Alt Az cords the difference is easily explained by time difference.  Are you certain you are slewing to your first star correctly. If so then the power supply issues mentioned are favourite for an explanation.

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Have you followed setup bottom of page 8 then for subsequent use at the same location are you following setup top of page 9.

There is a routine to follow before use and it is the same as on my virtuoso. Probably because of the freedom find simalarity.

Edited by happy-kat

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7 hours ago, Owmuchonomy said:

There is nothing to choose between those coordinates. They are virtually identical. As they are Alt Az cords the difference is easily explained by time difference.  Are you certain you are slewing to your first star correctly. If so then the power supply issues mentioned are favourite for an explanation.

Damm! was hoping that was it! what do you mean by slewing to first star coorectly though?

6 hours ago, happy-kat said:

Have you followed setup bottom of page 8 then for subsequent use at the same location are you following setup top of page 9.

There is a routine to follow before use and it is the same as on my virtuoso. Probably because of the freedom find simalarity.

No, as I am using the V4 handset then that is not required and it just refers you to p14.

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Perhaps try the handset reboot another member just did on thiers though might want to check they had a v4 too.

Does the supplier have any ideas?

Edited by happy-kat

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