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polaris_jerry

EQ6 Synscan pointing the wrong way

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Hi All

I need the combined brains and experience of SGL please, I'm stuck!!

I've been an astronomer for 30+ years and have had several Skywatcher telescopes over time, including my current EQ6-Pro for about 10 years.  This is largely irrelevant to my post, except that I hope to convey that I'm not a total novice to getting telescopes to work as they should...although I feel like I am today.

I recently picked up a very battered early-version EQ6 with 10" reflector, cheap.  It hadn't been looked after well and when I first fired it up...it didn't fire up at all.  No life.  I noticed that the power supply wasn't suitable as it only had a 0.5A output.  So after digging out a spare one from the cupboard outputting 12V 1.25A, the Synscan chirped into life.

My first attempt to slew the mount was met with a horrible grinding noise and refusal to move.  Needless to say, I didn't do that again.  Clearly the motor/gear train was seized.  So a quick look on the internet brought up the amazing website posted by Astro Baby, with step by step instructions on how to strip and rebuild an EQ5 or EQ6 mount.  This kept me entertained for a couple of nights, followed by a lovely smooth running mount slewing in RA and DEC as it should.  Many thanks Astro Baby!

Last night was the first clear night, so I took the mount out, popped the 10" scope on (had a full respray, new finder, new focuser and laser collimation), and awaited the fall of darkness.  Here comes the rub.

I roughly aligned the mount on Polaris, not bothering too much for this first test.  The Synscan controller is (unfortunately) running Version 2.05, which is one of the early versions that are not flash upgradable.  Although I didn't realise this until after I had downloaded all of the upgrade files from OVL's website.  ?

When I picked the first alignment star (Capella, rising nicely in the north-east sky), the mount did something completely unexpected and slewed around to east of the meridian and pointed somewhere in the direction of Alcor!  What the ...?  After several unsuccessful attempts at carrying out an alignment, I gave up and looked online for any similar problems.  I've checked and confirmed all of the following things are correct:

  • Location - yep as per my Cumbria coordinates
  • Date - yep in the right format (mm/dd/yyyy) that good old confusing American format
  • Time - yep I tried with BST and without BST (not really expecting any significant difference)
  • Made sure the mount was in the "parked" position (weights down, scope pointing towards Polaris) before turning the mount on
  • Tried all sorts of initial alignment stars, but none of them were in the right area of the sky at all

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anything on the web that offers a solution.

I did wonder if I've done something during the disassembly of the mount - but I know the mount doesn't have encoders on it.  I didn't see anything that looked like a counter of any kind?

I don't think it can be anything to do with the power supply...surely that couldn't introduce such a wild error in pointing?  It's like the handset has no idea where it is.

Any help would be much appreciated.  This was going to be a second mount for me, but at this rate it's going to go on the scrap heap.

I did think about buying a V3 handset, but didn't want to commit another £120 in case it's something in the mount itself that's the problem.

Yours hopefully
Jeremy

 

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Don't assume that the psu isn't the cause of the problems, it usually is.  The output of the psu you quoted is only 1.25A, the mount needs a psu with a regulated output of 11-15v 2 amps minimum to operate correctly.

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Might be a dumb answer, but have you checked the motors were reconnected the correct way round on the board? It's fairly common for me with 3D printer builds to get it backwards on the first go.

 

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Thanks both, I'll try it with the PSU I that I use on my EQ6-Pro just to make sure it's not that.

You've got me thinking now about the connection of the motors...maybe it was just that!!  Boy will I feel sheepish if its that!  ?

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Just swapped over the connectors...I think I had the RA and Dec connected to the wrong parts of the board! Duh!!  It looks like it's pointing where Capella should be now.  Thanks a million upahill!

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