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astro_al

Skywatcher AZ GTi Help

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I recently acquired a Skywatcher AZ GTi mount. I have found that the GoTo is accurate but after confirming that the object is centred the mount only tracks for 15-20 seconds before drifting. If I turn tracking off then the rate of drift is unchanged, turn it on again and I get another 15-20 seconds of tracking.
However, if I click the ‘point and track’ option I get good tracking and no sign of drifting. Looking at the help the ‘point and track’ is for when no alignment has been completed and shouldn’t be required after a successful alignment to get good tracking. I am already using two devices to use Sky Safari and would like to avoid having to use both apps each time I slew to a new object, i.e. slew from Sky Safari then find and click the ‘point and track’ option in the SynScan app. 

Does anyone else with this mount also see this behaviour? I don’t think it is a mechanical issue because it does track well in the ‘point and track’ mode. I also noticed reference to ‘Simple Sun Tracking’ in the help but don’t have that as an option when using the mount so I don’t know if I am missing a configuration step or option. 

Any help gratefully received. 

Thanks

Al

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Thanks for the link.

I don’t think the issue I have is related to needing two devices though. Even without Sky Safari in the mix I still need to click the ‘Point and Track’ option in the SyncScan app after confirming a goto to get the mount to track for more than 20 seconds. I am curious if other users of this mount have to do this, and if not if I can change the behaviour. @Stu do you have to use the ‘point and track’ option?

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43 minutes ago, astro_al said:

Thanks for the link.

I don’t think the issue I have is related to needing two devices though. Even without Sky Safari in the mix I still need to click the ‘Point and Track’ option in the SyncScan app after confirming a goto to get the mount to track for more than 20 seconds. I am curious if other users of this mount have to do this, and if not if I can change the behaviour. @Stu do you have to use the ‘point and track’ option?

Hi Al,

That’s strange, no I don’t have to do that, the mount tracks fine. I assume you have successfully completed the alignment process, and that you have sidereal tracking enabled?

Stu

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Hi Stu,

Yes, alignment completed and sidereal enabled. Goto accuracy is pretty good, just the tracking seems to stop unless I switch to the point and track option. Thanks for confirming that this isn’t typical behaviour. 

Al

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Upgraded the firmware on a SynScan handset so I can use it with the AZ GTi. Works well with no sign of the tracking issue seen when using the app over WiFi. All very strange, but I am happy enough using it with the handset - easier to find the buttons. Will try the app again after the next update to see if it makes any difference. 

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Posted (edited)
On 22/04/2018 at 22:38, astro_al said:

Upgraded the firmware on a SynScan handset so I can use it with the AZ GTi. Works well with no sign of the tracking issue seen when using the app over WiFi. All very strange, but I am happy enough using it with the handset - easier to find the buttons. Will try the app again after the next update to see if it makes any difference. 

Did you ever get to the bottom of this, Al?  We bought one of these units for a trip to the US and we encountered precisely the same problem as you.  We got a successful alignment, a reasonably good GOTO, but then it wouldn't track.  We were able to get it to track, but only if after the alignment and GOTO we clicked 'Point and Track'.  However, this was inconvenient since with most objects 'Point and Track' was in a submenu.  We contacted Skywatcher US who confirmed that the mount should just start tracking after GOTO.  But our unit - just like yours - does not do that.  Like you we have tried the latest firmware.

Edited by MrsGnomus
Typo

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Unfortunately not. It is still working great with the point and track option so is fine for what I use it the most for, lunar and planetary. However I was hoping to use it along with Sky Safari on a second device to nip around the sky to find double stars - which is completely impractical without it tracking properly after a GOTO.

If you get anywhere please let me know.

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We have now contacted our vendor who has been in contact with Skywatcher on our behalf. Yesterday we were asked to run a test and the results of that have now been sent off to Skywatcher. Our unit didn’t seem to behave as it should have done during the test so we are now waiting for further feedback from Skywatcher/our vendor. Hopefully we will get it sorted shortly.

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Hi,

i think my Az-gti mount does something similar. GoTo is fine, but tracking is lost after a few seconds. However, the drift is faster than normal sidereal drift, and in the other direction, as if the mount compensates for 5 times sidereal.  

i have this with the app, and with the Celestron starsense for Sky-Watcher device. So it looks like something internal to the mount. 

To add to the confusion, some nights tracking is perfect, some nights it is not.

 

MrsGnomus, can you elaborate on the tests you performed?

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The first test that we were asked to run is as follows:-

Hi,
    The SkyWatcher engineer has asked the questions below:


Please ask the customer to help us identify the problem by doing the following test.

1. GOTO an object that is not close to meridian.

2. Choose "Utility\Information"

3. Write down the "R.A./Dec" readings. The reading should be pretty stable or only changes very slowly. - it wasn't stable

4. Observe the "Axis" readings, they should keep changing.

5. Tap the readings regularly to prevent the screen turned off.

If the "R.A./Dec" readings should not change fast, that means the tracking is working normally.

 

If the "R.A./Dec" reading changes quickly, please check "Setting\Auciliary Encoder". If it is turned on, turn it off and do the above test again.

 

Please use menu “Utility\Information” to check the App version and the motor board version. Please also let us know what phone and OS were used to control the mount.

 

When we did this the RA/Dec readings changed very quickly.  The auxiliary encoder was already turned off.

This morning we were asked to do the following:-

 

Please test again and check:

Did the two readings in Row “Axis” change? - Yes

Can you use direction buttons to slew the two axes? - Yes

What icon shows on the upper-right corner of the App? Please tap the icon and then see which row is checked? Check “Sidereal” if it is not check and then get back to watch “R.A./Dec” readings. - Sidereal was already checked

 

We have fed back all of the observations to our vendor who is waiting for a further response from SkyWatcher

Our mount will do an accuarte GoTo after the initial alignment but does not track at all unless we use "Point and Track".

 

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I don't think it is the mount. I recently bought a WiFi dongle and have used it a few times on my AZ-EQ6 and I have noticed exactly the same issue. I thought it may have been a communication issue when connecting to Sky Safari but not entirely sure. Pressing point and track does seem to sort it though.

 

My guess is it's an issue with the app.

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Ours is being collected this afternoon and is going back to the importer for repair/replacement.

We had the same behaviour with both versions (pro and standard) of the App although we have never tried the android version of the App. Not sure what version of the App others were using.

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I use mine on an Android. Galaxy S7. Apart from the intermittent tracking I can't fault it really!

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Could power state of batteries be an influencing factor?

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I initially suspected power state, as i was using rechargeable batteries, however, I had the same issue with mains power (with starsense, not the app) 

i am not yet sure that the issue I am seeing is the same. ( not just no tracking, but seems like 5 times sidereal tracking )

Will do the same tests later. 

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4 hours ago, happy-kat said:

Could power state of batteries be an influencing factor?

We wondered if that could be a factor and tried new batteries as well as a different external power pack. It made no difference. If we do “point and track” after a “go to” then the mount tracks pretty accurately it just doesn’t start tracking properly after a “go to” if we don’t then go into the sub menu and select point and track.

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