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How often do i need to set up or re set up my equipment

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Hi, just wondering if any one could tell me if i need to re set up my equipment except getting north each time when i place my telescope out ready to do some observing ?, if any one has read my posts so far. you will notice that i have purchased a SkyWatcher 300PDS NEQ6 Pro GOTO system, but, my wife thinks i need to locate it in a shed for many good reasons to many to list here!!!, but, for the moment, it is still in its boxes as it was delivered some weeks ago, and, is stored out in the garage, bigger than i imagined it would be, pictures do not do it justice lol lol, but still, there you are, it's a wonderful thing to behold and i have waited way many years and years to achieve one at this level so really want to get started, so, any/all helpful advice will be most gratefully received and acted upon i assure you all; the shed will be located out the back garden, the garage is located between the front garden and side garden.


                                                                                                           Many thanks and best regards to all................................Tom..

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Are you going to image with it or observe ?

The requirements of imaging regards alignment etc are much more critical than visual observation.

The issue that you might face either way is that the set up and tear down times might become tedious and start to reduce your enjoyment. With the variable weather in the UK generally having reasonably quick set up and tear down times leads to more use of equipment.


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Hello Tom.

If you are using the equipment for observing, and not requiring the higher precision needed for imaging, it may be possible to avoid the alignment each time.

At the end of an observing session, the Synscan system has a "Utility" menu option of "Park" then "Home". This places the OTA at the zero position. I use it on Az/Alt mounts, and this zero, for me, is horizontal (Alt zero) and North (Az zero). I assume that on an EQ mount, this equates to Dec zero and RA zero. The next time you power-up, the handset asks if you want to restart from "Park". At power-up, the handset's electronics set the digital position storage to zero for both axes, so mechanical and electrical zeros are aligned; all you need is to set/check date and time and you are aligned and ready to go. This assumes that you have not disturbed the positioning of the mount.

The other possibility, and this is where you may be able to benefit, is to mark the position of the tripod's feet; and if the legs are not fully extended, their length; and put the tripod & mount back in exactly the same position each time. I have seen suggestions of gluing 3 washers on a path, so that the tripod's feet sit in the same holes each time. It is also important that you do not change the position of either axis as you slide the OTA in, and out, of the dovetail clamp. This last bit is the most difficult with a bulky OTA.


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3 washers is a good idea. Also keep the tripod level. The synscan hand controller has a routine for polar alignment. This is good enough even for imaging.

My set up workflow is:

- Tripod on a predetermined place.

- Level tripod top

- Attach mount head

- Attach scope and balance

- Attach finder scope and align with main scope

- Start up synscan and do a 2 star alignment, use a high magnifying eyepiece

- Do a polar alignment with synscan.

- Repeat 2 star alignment

Start observing/imaging.

This seems a lot, but with some practice it doesn't take that long, and your gotos will be very accurate.

Btw, this scope will need collimating from time to time. I use a barlowed laser, which is accurate enough.

Good luck, and clear skies

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Thanks for all the replies and advice, the idea about the washers is great, am going to try this myself, regarding the  barlowed laser for collimating, have found some very good prices out there for said equipment, so, will get on to this ASAP, any other advice for starting out would/will be of very great interest to me; the need for new knowledge is always welcome by me..


                                                                                                        My very grateful thanks and regards to all.....................Tom..


PS    Who knows, i might even one day get in a position to set my telescope up and use it 

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