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I'm super happy to have found this forum of night sky enthusiasts and look forward to learning and sharing on this site! I am an amateur stargazer fortunate to live in a rural area with great dark skies. I'm used to using a GoTo Celestron.
Unfortunately I'm having a problem with a newly purchased Orion SkyQuest XTg 10.
I've only used it a couple of times. Recently, when I turn on the power, the hand controller (a SynScan V4 GoTo, version 04.39.04) states a message "Both axes...no response!" which means the motors won't work.
I've unplugged all the cords & replugged to no avail. The power comes from a new Orion Dynamo Pro, 12 V, Lithium Power Supply which was recommended.
Does anyone have any ideas what the problem might be?
Thank you 🌟
By Joshua Fulker
Hey, I've been looking for a mount for my 8 inch skywatcher reflector for a while now and can't decide what mount to buy. The requirements i am looking for are the following:
Goto system or synscan
10+ kg weight capacity
My budget is around £500. I was wondering if anyone could suggest some good mounts or point me into the right direction.
My goal is to get better at astrophotography, my previous mount was a dobson mount ( which came with the scope ) but does not have any features to track objects which doesn't help when doing astrophotography. Tnanks
Complete beginner question regarding using this mount.
When I have tried to set up and align the mount , the goto targeting is off by many degrees. Here's what I do - can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong!?
With the power off:
Align the tripod and mount to North and, with the clutches released, set the declination to my latitude (52deg 28' N). and the mount in the weights-down home position.
Lock the clutches and fine tune the alignment on Polaris using the mechanical adjustments on the mount.
Turn the power on:
Set up the date, time and location, elevation etc. in the handset (noting the American Date format and Longitude first (set to W 1deg 48')
DST = Yes
Select 1 Star align
Pick a star, I usually try Procyon or Betelguese depending on the time.
The scope slews to vaguely the right direction but actually nowhere near. It can take 2 or 3 minutes of manual slewing to centre the star in the eyepiece. Finishing, of course, with an up and right movement.
Finally, press Enter to complete the alignment ==> Alignment Successful says the handset optimistically.
Now from the object menu pick another target. Try, say, Polaris which was where I started and ... nowhere near it. It's the same regardless of the selected target.
I have tried 2 star alignment and 3 star alignment, a factory reset before starting, but nothing seems to work. Once i'm lined up on a target the mount tracks nicely - it just won't go where I want it to!
Not yet at my wits end but - Help!
By Cosmic Geoff
I recently acquired a used CPC800 SCT. I thought a 'First Light' report might be of interest.
First impressions: the tripod is a heavy duty affair with thick legs, a folding lower spreader and a big cast alloy eyepiece tray/steady. The OTA/fork assembly (not separable) is very heavy (21Kg/44lbs) but has a couple of grab handles. You need to be fit to handle this. ? (I was seriously tempted not to go ahead with the purchase after trying the weight.)
With the legs retracted it is just possible to pass the tripod through a standard doorway, but it is just as easy to pull up the lower spreader and carry it folded. It is much heavier than a C8SE tripod but more comparable with a EQ5 tripod in weight. Once in position, I checked the level with the handy built-in bubble level and left it. I forgot to screw up the eyepiece tray/upper spreader but I don't think this made any difference.
Scope stored on a table with faceplate down and rear handle uppermost. Took the weight with my left arm, elbow fully bent, forearm vertical. Got it on the tripod which took the weight till I got the base to drop over the centre pin, spun it till something clicked into place and then did up the three thumbscrews. I would not try this with an equatorial wedge unless I had a helper. Celestron also sell a CPC 9.25 and CPC1100 - if I had one of those I'd need a sheerlegs or a brawny assistant.?
Fitted the visual back (same as C8 SE), prism diagonal (same as C8 SE), straight-thru 50mm finder, handset (Nexstar+) and handset bracket which holds it facing rearwards (a handy feature not implemented on the C8 SE). Fitted a 25mm X-Cel LX that came as an extra.
Connected my new lithium powertank and its DC cable, and powered up. It comes ready (CPC Ready) very quickly. Selected 2-star auto align - it whizzed past a time display showing the time ahead of my watch by 1 hour - more on this later. Aimed at Arcturus and afjusted the finder aim. Selected Capella - it nearly got there and then blackout! The cable had snagged and pulled on the plug. I ran the cable through the side handle on the fork and tried again. (It appears that the CPC's supplied cable has a locking ring and the other end has a cigarette lighter style plug.) Capella ... Arcturus .. aligned. Told it to find Mizar (named star menu). It did.
Also found M48, the Ghost of Jupiter planetary, Gamma Leo (split ), 54 leo, 88 Leo, 90Leo. The scope appears to be collimated and resolution OK. GoTo is just accurate enough to drop doubles into the bottom of 9mm X-Cel Lx field. Even at 200x and a gusty night the view is rock steady. A pier mount could hardly be stiffer than this! And no obvious backlash in use (unlike C8 SE).
Fiddled with the menu, found the GPS is obviously working, and the time set for daylight saving. Corrected it to standard time. GoTo still works.
Teardown: tube horizontal, power off, tube cap on, diagonal off, handset and bracket off, left visual back on and capped it, loosened clutch to point tube straight down. Got OTA/fork assembly off and back indoors on table, twirled it into position. Folded up tripod and carried it indoors. I would not try carrying the tripod and scope together.
Verdict: Very solid mount should be good for planetary imaging. Some nice features not on C8 SE, otherwise same optical performance. Alarming weight.
Having had difficulty in aligning and never actually managing to get my AVX to track to the standard I know it can, is the Celestron StarSense gadget the answer?
I know I can align my scope accurately if I put the effort in and having moved last year I’ve been unable to have my mount fixed on a pier so I’m seriously considering this piece of kit as an easier way to align and to motivate me to get out more often.
Please share your thoughts.....