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Walking on the Moon

HEQ5 Pro Synscan new polar scope alignment and balancing

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Hello Everyone,

I am completely new to the astro-photography thing. I got some equipment: the skywatcher reflector 130mm (not the best telescope out there) but I invested in a (supposedly) a good mount Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan. I just thought that a good mount will be useful while upgrading telescopes along the way.

I just got the mount two days ago, and I am facing difficulties aligning it (as pretty much every beginner). I am having two problems here:

1- the HEQ5 now comes with a new reticle design (which has absolutely no mention in their user manual). It doesn't have the little circle that I should rotate around the RA axis to get it in the correct position (according to the current time). moreover, when the mount is in the home position, it is tilted about 120 degrees. I know that as it represents a clock face. 12 O'clock is fat towards the left.

2- the RA time scale is kinda lose (I don't know if this is normal or not). so that, when I loosen the thump screw and rotate it, then tighten it again and rotate the mount around the RA, it somehow stuttering while rotating with it. actually it makes sense, because the screw is fixed (not rotating) so it tries to keep it in place, while the RA axis is trying to rotate it. and if I loosen it while rotating, it doesn't rotate at all. conclusion: it is kinda wobbly and not rigid.

I have read the instructions made by (Astro-Baby), which is amazing. but with the different reticle and the wobbly RA scale, I couldn't continue with the procedure.

I have one more question that may seem stupid:

while balancing my scope on the mount, I noticed that I have only two direction of balancing:

1- RA axis: which is being balanced by moving the weights back and forth to balance the moment generated by the weight of the telescope.

2- Dec axis: which is being balanced by moving the OTA back and forth.

But, There is an unbalanced situation that I couldn't handle. As a reflector telescope, I have all the weights of the eye piece, focuser or camera on ONE side of the tube. which means no matter what I do balancing the two directions, I will still get an unbalances situation. the only solution, is to rotate the telescope so that the focuser is on the top side of it, which is not practical at all.

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I know what you mean about the SkyWatcher manual. It just seems to skip all the salient bits that a newbie needs.

I spent a couple of frustrating days trying to align the polar scope and in my quest for more info came across the Orion mounts. These come from the same factory (Synta) as the SkyWatcher mounts and the main difference seems to be a bit of badge engineering, although there are probably some software differences. Their HEQ5 is called 'Sirius' and their NEQ6 (which I have) is called 'Atlas'.

Here is a link to the Orion Sirius Manual .....   http://www.telescope.com/assets/product_files/instructions/29280_07-10.pdf

I found it much easier to follow and it seems to be more up to date.

I don't have a scope yet so will leave the balancing problems to those better qualified.

Hope  this helps.


Edited by DarkKnight
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