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mikey2000

EQ6-R owners club

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16 hours ago, Shelster1973 said:

and after 1 hour of guiding.... 



Looks pretty good, I just need to get my PA sorted as I can't see polaris through the Polarscope.

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On 27/06/2018 at 02:56, Luna-tic said:

Can I join the club? My EQ6-R Pro arrived today, along with a Stellarvue FG50 guide scope which I'll install on my GT81. 

I have an AVX that I really like and unlike some, get good service from. I'll keep it for mainly visual, and grab-n-go service. I may even image with the GT81 on it, but the EQ will definitely get the Edge 8 for AP. Plans are also to use a tandem dovetail saddle and use the GT81 as a guide scope for the Edge.

All I've done so far is unbox the Skywatcher and put it together, stand back and admire it. I've looked through the Synscan manual, looks like there's quite a few differences (none too serious, though) between it and the Nexstar/Starsense HC's and operations. Hope I get a few decent nights this week and weekend, I'm headed to the Green Bank Star Party mid-July, and want to be familiar enough with it so I don't waste half the night setting it up. One of my clubmates bought one of these mounts a couple of months ago and has been doing some fantastic AP with it and a f/7 102 APO. I fell in love with it immediately; he's going to tutor me in its finer points.

Great stuff and welcome to the club!! It’s just an awesome mount isn’t it? Hope you have a nice telescope and mobile power supply to go with it? Enjoy the Star party! 

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Shelster - that looks pretty close to my results....   For the scattergraph, I prefer to zoom out a step or too and set it to "400"   It gives a nice idea if the guiding is sort of symmetrical or not.  I thought "wow - the main guide graph is really flat!", Then I saw that you have Pixels instead of ArcSeconds as the Y axis.    To allow comparisons between different setups, the ArcSecond measurement is more relevant.   I have a feeling that most people's final image pixels are approx 1ArcSecond or so.

 

 

Heres a PHD log view of a 1 hour session....  0.65" total RMS.  Nice and round too - look at the scatter graph.

With my suburban/near country setting, I'm probably at the limit now.  Even if I bought a million-dollar mount, the seeing and LP would be invsible shields, stopping any better results.  I'd so dearly love to try my mount in a proper dark site on a decent seeing night.....

image.thumb.png.4c10e20b4feb09e3a88b736e2ff48057.png

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@@Luna-tic - yes you are a member!  It's the EQ-6R owners club, and you own one.  You are most definitely *in* ?

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What a big lump of iron... what do you use to power it?

I just got mine yesterday, I tried to power it from a Celestron small power tank (the LiFePo4 one) or a PC power source, but without enough luck. It was slewing OK until decelerating, then it drew too much power and the power tank cut the power and the PC source dropped the 12V voltage to ~9.xV. I couldn't check my main power supply as it was powering my old mount and I could not waste imaging time.

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Seems that the power source that I got does it job easily, as expected.

36679906_2045018945550756_9073427208063680512_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=3047c64309b6397276f065ae1605b9fb&oe=5BE5B7F5

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Well.... after months of waiting & planning I've just got my EQ6R-Pro this week & it's a massive upgrade of my EQ3. I added a Tracer battery pack which I hang on the counterweight bar so there are fewer wires to trip over in the dark, which seems to be one of my top skills!

This maybe a very silly question, but when I'm running PHD to guide, should I have the mount tracking too or turn that off & let PHD do it all?

 

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On 28/06/2018 at 01:08, Shelster1973 said:

and after 1 hour of guiding....

2018-06-28.thumb.png.ae79347726e18d0f022ae9fab82365f7.png

?

It's more informative to use arc seconds for the x-axis than pixels as it doesn't depend on the camera.

The 0.91" RMS (at left) is more informative than the 0.19 pixels.

Edited by Stub Mandrel

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On 14/07/2018 at 11:11, Dentalal said:

Well.... after months of waiting & planning I've just got my EQ6R-Pro this week & it's a massive upgrade of my EQ3. I added a Tracer battery pack which I hang on the counterweight bar so there are fewer wires to trip over in the dark, which seems to be one of my top skills!

This maybe a very silly question, but when I'm running PHD to guide, should I have the mount tracking too or turn that off & let PHD do it all?

 

Haha yeah wires suck! I know the feeling.

Im not sure what you mean by turn of the tracking of the mount? The mount does the basic tracking, by polar aligning it and running the 2 or 3 Star alignment program you set that up. After aligment you can take subs of 30 seconds or there abouts, depending on how good a job you did. If you want longer subs, you start guiding ON TOP of that. PHD gives small adjustment to improve the mount’s basic tracking.

Edited by Obi Wan Ken00bi

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This maybe a very silly question, but when I'm running PHD to guide, should I have the mount tracking too or turn that off & let PHD do it all?


Once you select your target using the handset the mount will track the object at the optimal speed, PHD will just make fine adjustments to the tracking to keep the object in the centre of your camera's sensor or eyepiece. So to answer your question (none are silly) no you don't turn the tracking off.

Edited by Dinglem
Wrong person quoted

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Thanks!

That was exactly what I was asking. I wasn't sure if PHD augmented the mount's tracking or conflicted with it. I never really got a good result with the EQ3.

I had a play last night & managed to get a 10 min exposure that I was pretty pleased with. Not amazing by the standards of some of the people on these forums, but I was chuffed for the first night.

10 min crescent v2.jpg

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How I guide my eq6-r:

Ingredients:

EQ6R

QHY5L-Cii guide camera

QHY mini Guidescope

Windows 10 Laptop

Powered USB Hub

EQ Direct Cable

guide Software:  EQMOD, PHD2

 

Ages ago I tried ST4 guiding and connecting to the mount via the handset for slewing etc.  I found it to be most unreliable on my old EQ3 and splashed out £25 on a proper USB EQ-Dir cable.

 

So, I have a reliable setup now.   Physically, I connect the mount to the usb hub via the EQDIR cable (I've not even unpacked the synscan handset....)   I also connect my guide cam (and imaging cam) to the same hub. 

The hub then connects to the laptop via just one cable.     I run EQMod on the laptop.  This lets me turn on sidereal rate tracking (or lunar rate if I'm looking at the moon).  PHD2 talks to the mount via eqmod by enabling 'pulse guiding' on EQMOD.  In this setup, PHD2 monitors the guide star then sends commands eqmod to speed up or slow down RA for a short 'pulse'  It also controls DEC in the same way. 

It seems reliable and after some tweaking, I'm satisfied that I can't really improve it much.    I have also enabled EQmod AUTOPEC to flatten out the mount's very small periodic error.  This only works with pulse guiding.

 

One otherr big advantage that I see is that eqmod allows for much easier sync/alignment.  I found the synscan star align to be most cumbersome.  EQMod makes it a breeze, especially if you get some kind of plate solving software.

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No problem.     its a learning curve and I'm happy to help ?

 

I align via eqmod, the synscan handset stays firmly in my drawer.... 

 

Plate solving is where you take a photo and then use software to calculate the exact center of the photo (RA/Dec).  Most plate solving can then work out how 'off' your alignment is then nudge the scope in the right direction.    I use APT to control my imaging camera and if you install the right 'extras' then it can plate solve.  I seem to have more luck with 'astrotortilla' - a standalone application.  It has a better success rate but was a fiddle to set up.  I expect if I worked a little on my APT settings, it could be equally good.

 

Without platesolving, here is how I get my alignment working.

1. Polar align. (by built in polarscope then fine tune with software - 'sharpcap' is my favourite polar align tool)

2. Use Stellarium to slew the scope to a nice obvious star somewhere roughly where I want to start imaging.  Invariably, the first slew is not very accurate. (Choose a star in stellarium then press ctrl-1 to start the slew)

3. Use eqmod to center the star in my scope view

4. Go back to stellarium and press ctrl-3.  This sends a sync command to eqmod and adds an alignment point to the eqmod pointing model.

I then repeat that another time on another nearby obvious star.  EQMod seems to only need 2 or 3 stars maximum to generate a reasonably accurate pointing model for that patch of sky.

 

As I tear down and set up for each sesssion, I don't bother saving the model.

 

With a rough alignment, you give platesolving a little head start.   It helps the platesolver immensely if you hand it a photo that is quite near where you think it should be.

 

In APT, the Goto++ in the 'pointcraft' section is very good.  

1. With a good polar alignment and rough pointing alignment as per above, open Pointcraft in APT

2. Choose a target from the built in database and tell it to GoTo++

3. Automatically, it slews to where it thinks it should and takes a pic.  The platesolver calculates where the pic really is then sends a Sync command to eqmod and re-slews to counter the pointing error.  It repeats this until the target RA/Dec is dead-center in your pic.

 

it's blimmin handy, especially on multi-night sessions.    It takes a while to figure out how to install and configure but is such a time saver, long term, that I *highly* recommend it!

 

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Once again, happy to help!  If I may be so bold as to offer some more advice....   Go out and get the cable now.  You can end up spending rather longer than you want getting it all to work and all of that preparation can be done way before winter, even in broad daylight if you like.   Getting it all operating is non-trivial...  I had all sorts of USB issues just getting things to connect properly.  Then after that, getting PHD2, APT and EQMOD all working together nicely was a bit of a job too.  PHD2 will happily guide under less-than-perfect skies.   In fact, you can still get decent pics even under summer skies.

 

I'm smack in between Milton Keynes and Luton (UK) and it doesn't get astronomically dark here at all in July.  But from 11:30pm to 2:30am or so, it's nautically dark and if aim high in the sky, I can still grab things like this:

43495947471_b1098be1a9_o.jpg

I can't find the name of this one but its at 19h59m RA, +15deg 18' Declination. In the constellation Cygnus, not far from the Crescent Nebula (this mystery nebula shows quite clearly in Stellarium..

 

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On ‎26‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 15:21, Obi Wan Ken00bi said:

Hi all!

my brand new EQ6 R Pro arrived today. 

When assembled, I’ve noticed a little bit of play / free movement in the RA axis. Clamps are offcourse fully tightened. Is this normal? How did you experience this? The dec seems ok. 

My old cg5 also has this, but I thought this mount didn’t have this backlash....

See the video, but its hard to see

https://youtu.be/8eiAK6FnBkU

Obi

 

edit 2: it's normal, I am no longer worried and a proud member of the club! What a stable mount. LOVE IT!

 

edit: I haven’t started up the mount yet.... out of precaution. But this may actually tighten up the belt when I do? 

Hi Obi

I had the same problem with mine - a little bit of play in the RA axis.

This was my second EQ6-R, my first one having been replaced because of the clutch slip problem I posted about above.  I knew that it was possible to have no play in the RA axis because the first mount didn't have any. 

And, I had experienced the same problem with my HEQ5 and adjusted the worm drive on that to remove the play.  But as this was a different mount I didn't know how to adjust the EQ6-R.

So, I got in touch with the supplier - the ever-helpful Adam @ Rother Valley Optics - who managed to get a document from his suppliers with the necessary instructions for adjusting the worm drive to tune out the play.  

Now I have virtually zero play and I'm a happy bunny.  Instructions for adjustment are attached for anyone else with the same problems.

Steve

SW_EQ6-R_backlash_adjustment.pdf

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On 16/07/2018 at 16:13, Obi Wan Ken00bi said:

Thanks!! Awesome comment, I'll save this one and order a EQ mod cable after summer is over (and I can image again)...

I agree with Mikey2000, get the cable now and get things working before you take it outdoors. The learning curve is not too steep but it does require a bit of work.

Best resource for learning EQMOD is Chris Shillito's youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVrU4T3b2d25cMaqbGNBxQA

Rob.

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On 18/07/2018 at 23:53, mikey2000 said:

Once again, happy to help!  If I may be so bold as to offer some more advice....   Go out and get the cable now.  You can end up spending rather longer than you want getting it all to work and all of that preparation can be done way before winter, even in broad daylight if you like.   Getting it all operating is non-trivial...  I had all sorts of USB issues just getting things to connect properly.  Then after that, getting PHD2, APT and EQMOD all working together nicely was a bit of a job too.  PHD2 will happily guide under less-than-perfect skies.   In fact, you can still get decent pics even under summer skies.

 

I'm smack in between Milton Keynes and Luton (UK) and it doesn't get astronomically dark here at all in July.  But from 11:30pm to 2:30am or so, it's nautically dark and if aim high in the sky, I can still grab things like this:

43495947471_b1098be1a9_o.jpg

I can't find the name of this one but its at 19h59m RA, +15deg 18' Declination. In the constellation Cygnus, not far from the Crescent Nebula (this mystery nebula shows quite clearly in Stellarium..

 

That’s beautiful!! Well done. I’m amazed by that pic, in south UK skies. Do you use light pollution /narrowband filters? Off-topic a bit I realize :p atm it doesn’t even get nautical dark in north Denmark. Crazy.

I will order the cable next month, when my astronomy budget is replenished.... this month I got a QHY8L and baader coma corrector on top of the new EQ6 last month so I’m holding off on purchases until the new salary comes in. Can I reach out to you with possible questions when the time comes?

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On 20/07/2018 at 11:48, ste7e said:

Hi Obi

I had the same problem with mine - a little bit of play in the RA axis.

This was my second EQ6-R, my first one having been replaced because of the clutch slip problem I posted about above.  I knew that it was possible to have no play in the RA axis because the first mount didn't have any. 

And, I had experienced the same problem with my HEQ5 and adjusted the worm drive on that to remove the play.  But as this was a different mount I didn't know how to adjust the EQ6-R.

So, I got in touch with the supplier - the ever-helpful Adam @ Rother Valley Optics - who managed to get a document from his suppliers with the necessary instructions for adjusting the worm drive to tune out the play.  

Now I have virtually zero play and I'm a happy bunny.  Instructions for adjustment are attached for anyone else with the same problems.

Steve

SW_EQ6-R_backlash_adjustment.pdf

That seems very doable. Thank you so much for replying. I’m doing that tomorrow :) will let you know how it goes.

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