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Hi everyone.

A friend has an EQ3 Goto mount, I think it's the Sky-watcher one.    Currently, I know nothing about them, except that he's having issues getting it to work.  To the point that he's getting so frustrated with it he's seriously starting to thinking about throwing the mount away.

He's described what's happening to me.    What he's saying is that the mount never points to the place where he's asked it to point.    He's saying that say the scope is supposed to point towards something in Orion, it'll end up pointing somewhere on the other side of the sky.     He's also said that it doesn't seem to want to track past a certain point in RA.

I'd thought rather than simply jump in and try to help him out and get just as confused,  I was wondering if there's some check list of common EQ3 faults that I could work through to see if we can solve the issue.

 

Once thing I do know is that he's running the mount from a dedicated tracer battery, so it maybe safe to assume that the power supply is good.   (althought it's something I'm going to double check as I don't want to miss anything)

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I don't know if your friend has a Synscan user manual. There are several versions at this link. They are fairly similar.

http://skywatcher.com/download/manual/synscan-hand-control-and-synscan-app/

To be much help I think we need more detail of what he has done, and what specifically goes wrong.

As you know he needs to start by polar aligning the mount. This does not need to very accurate for visual.

Then set the scope to Home position. Weights down, scope aimed at Polaris.

Then he can do a star alignment. (Several options) Are the alignment GoTo,s accurate?

As you know many problems are caused by inadequate power supplies. Can he substitute a known-good source like a fully charged car battery- plenty of grunt.

Most other problems are due to setting errors. Dates must be American format. Double check time zones & daylight saving.

Double check latitude longitude formats & directions.

Then there are mechanical problems - are the clutches set? -is the rig balanced?

hope this gets you started.

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I don't mean to be rude about your friend but what you are describing seems more like operator error rather than a fault with the mount.
I would suggest you get him to open an account here on SGL then the gurus can talk direct to him.

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Fully agree with what Len is saying

Silly question

Has he got the scope facing same direction as N leg

Scope not mounted wrong way around

 

One leg should be marked as N

That should face north

Been southern hemisphere, my "N" leg has to face south

As do not have a star or any other object South Celestial Pole, I align my mount using a compass, and allowing 10 deg east, magnetic variation

Power up, and I use a car jump start pack, and then set Longitude/Latitude, time/date

Try initially doing a one star alignment initially, which is not Polaris, I use Sirius and mount should skew within a couple of  degrees of nominate star, and use up/down, left/right keys to fine tune

The nominated star should then be visible in both spotting scope, and eyepiece

If they are, then save

Then can go searching objects above us

Try with the moon first, and then planets

John

   

jump start pack.jpg

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FWIW, I had similar issues the first time I tried to use my EQ5 Pro Synscan. On trying to align, the handset offered Vega as a first star, which I accepted, but I couldn't see anything that could be Vega in the finder after slewing finished. For that, Stellarium told me that Vega was below the horizon at the time. Turned out that I'd entered the date in UK format (10/02/2017 for the tenth of February) rather than the required hideously illogical US format (i.e. 02/10/2017).

The reluctance to track past a certain point in RA could just be due to the need for a meridian flip. Perhaps manually slewing to the other side of the meridian and then checking whether sidereal rate tracking now works might help.

HTH, Geoff

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I had a similar issue with my HEQ5 shortly after starting to use it - it would point nowhere near where it was supposed to.  Doing a factory reset solved the problem, so if all the setup and alignment points mentioned by others are ok, that is what I would try.  Can't remember exactly where, but it's available somewhere in the handset menus.

Regards,

Erling

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Brilliant guys.  Looks like there's plenty to go at and most of them would make sense for things that could go wrong.

Just need to persuade him to let me loose on his kit now.  :)

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