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EQ5 Synscan Allignment way out, Pole Perfect

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Hi Guys,

Desperately need help here. I have recently got a setup Skywatcher 200 with EQ5 so a newbiee me. Anyway I am setting up Polar alignment perfect. Using compas, mount bolts and lat is spot on. GPS and time is also spot on. Using 3 star alignment as well as 2 star alignment. Synscan goes to the first star which is not even in FOV of the finder scope, Then I use hand held to get it in view and alligned. Second star nearly is on target and with handheld I align using the handheld. 3 rd star is also way out. Once aligned I go to an object  which does not center at all and is in the top left of the FOV. I have to keep re-aligning every 15 min to see anything. However Polaris remains where it should be using polar alignment scope. What am I missing? Pls help 

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Welcome to SGL. Polar alignment of your mount and GoTo alignment of your scope are separate matters. If your 3 star alignment is putting your object in the FOVat all  then it is very closely aligned in GoTo. If the object is drifting from your FOV over a period of time then it is likely that your polar alignment is not correct. A compass is not ideal because that will not identify true North. 

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When you GoTo the first object, undo the clutches and manually move the scope to aligne the first star, then tighten the clutches and use GoTo for the next Star and any other Stars, Getting the Polar Alignment so Polaris is on the 1' circle will make a big difference.... 

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The polar alignment is for the mount and has nothing to do with the goto (3/2 star alignment) unfortunately they use the word alignment in both and often they appear to be the same. I notice that you do not mention "polarscope" ??

For Malta it seems that the compass will be 3 degrees out to start with, that is the difference between magnetic Norh and True North. If you are setting Latitude by the dial then the mount has to be level - likely it is but the dial on the side is set relevant to levelling of the mount. Is the data correct? That is a common problem as we talk of Lat and Long and if I recall those mounts want Longitude first then Latitude. You need to set the timezone up also, they often have a default in them of US West Coast so Pacific Time.

Owing to the small angles concerned you will have to put Polaris in view at least in the polar scope (NOT the 200P that bit is irrelevant at this stage). At least Malta should not cause much trouble with the two bolts - you are in effect 36N and 14 East.

Once the mount is set up with Polaris in the polar scope (settle for in the middle for now) you can start of the goto alignment. Is the finder and main scope aligned?

With the scope on the mount set the scope up to any defined start position - may be Horizontal and North, but not overly sure of the EQ5 Synscan requirements. They seem to evolve with different SW releases.

The going to of the first star is wholly deendant on the set up of the mount and the n the initial position of the scope. The first star is moved to by the scope making the presumption that the mount is perfect and the scope start position is perfect, as well as the data.

If the scope is not a problem to put on the mount I would suggest thinking of doing the Polar alignment without the scope, take a good few minutes and get the polar alignment right. then have a break - coffee and get the scope and carefully attach that. Put the scope into the starrt position, have a look around the sky by eye to just remind yourself where the stars are then select the alignment method - 2 star seems quicker - and get that done.

I know people say release the clutches to get the first star central but not sure how correct that is. I can see that it may bypass the determination of correction that needs to be applied. It depends at which stage the software starts the determination and I can see either option.

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The other thing to add to the above (Salk good advice) is make sure you're entering the date in the right format- mm/dd/yyyy, not dd first. 

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If I get strange goto I generally park the scope in home position and make sure it is pointing up to Polaris etc. If not de clutch and adjust and then do star alignment. Also is the finder scope aligned to the main scope, sometimes best to double check. Just to be sure about the tracking, is the mount in sidereal mode.

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1. If the scope slews to the second star OK, then the issues is not related to the data you have input into the handset (time, date, latitude, longitude, altitude, inside leg measurement) - but that is assuming the second star is the same star which is named on the handset; it is easy to centre on a bright star but it is not the same star the mount was expecting.

2. Assuming you have addressed part 1 above, then if the third star is way out either you did something wrong with the first two stars (centred on the wrong star(s)), you have serious cone error, the set up isn't well balance or the clutches slipping, power issues, kit too heavy for the mount... etc. 

3. Who fitted the motors to the mount? What power source are you using?

4. How far out (in degrees) is the third star?

5. Are the first two stars on the same side of the meridian, and the third star on the opposite side?



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I had a hole load of trouble with my EQ5 it was the latitude bolt slipping under the lug (peter Drew) kindly fixed that for me. Check your polar scope during the day time to make sure that is right mine was way off, make sure your in the park position when starting 2/3 star alignment Weights down scope up First star is usually well out second and third should be nearly there remember to use right and up on handset last (for backlash) also pick stars halfway up the sky makes alignment better.


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