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Syntrek alt/AZ mount possible to upgrade to full Goto ?


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Hi all,

is it possible to upgrade a skywatcher Syntrek alt/AZ mount to be a full Goto mount ? Is it as simple as plugging in a synscan handset ?

more complicated ? Or not possible at all.

can Stellarium control a simple syntrek tracking mount ?

any advice or pointers gratefully received.

Andy

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18 minutes ago, Newforestgimp said:

Hi all,

is it possible to upgrade a skywatcher Syntrek alt/AZ mount to be a full Goto mount ? Is it as simple as plugging in a synscan handset ?

more complicated ? Or not possible at all.

can Stellarium control a simple syntrek tracking mount ?

any advice or pointers gratefully received.

Andy

The Syntrek mounts (HEQ5 and EQ6) are basically the same mounts as the HEQ5 Pro and EQ6 Pro Synscan equatorial, not alt-az mounts. The old Supatrak and Merlin alt-az mounts can be upgraded to goto by adding a Synscan handset, as can the Syntrek eq mounts. You could also use the Synscan wifi module together with the Synscan app to control through Stellarium / CdC

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3 minutes ago, Cornelius Varley said:

The Syntrek mounts (HEQ5 and EQ6) are basically the same mounts as the HEQ5 Pro and EQ6 Pro Synscan equatorial, not alt-az mounts. The old Supatrak and Merlin alt-az mounts can be upgraded to goto by adding a Synscan handset, as can the Syntrek eq mounts. You could also use the Synscan wifi module together with the Synscan app to control through Stellarium / CdC

This is definitely a alt/AZ single fork mount with the more basic Syntrek hand controller, not anything as fancy as HEQ5. From what you’re saying it IS a simple case of plugging in a synscan handset to give full Goto.

WiFi module ? the synscan app/Stellarium control, would that give tracking in a similar way to guiding without guide camera ?

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I used to have one of the supatrak AZ mounts with a 127mm mak on board a few years ago. Bought a synscan v3 handset for it, from astroboot... goto worked perfectly :) (make sure you get the alt az handest)

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1 minute ago, CraigT82 said:

I used to have one of the supatrak AZ mounts with a 127mm mak on board a few years ago. Bought a synscan v3 handset for it, from astroboot... goto worked perfectly :) (make sure you get the alt az handest)

Great stuff !

sounds like I have a few options, (wondering if there is anything in this hobby that doesn’t have multiple options to choose from 😂)

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18 minutes ago, CraigT82 said:

 (make sure you get the alt az handest)

That doesn't matter. Since about firmware v3.27 the same firmware works for both eq and az-mounts. The handset detects the type of mount connected to it and automatically sets the right type of alignment and tracking. The only part required is the correct cable to suit the az mount.

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9 hours ago, Cornelius Varley said:

That doesn't matter. Since about firmware v3.27 the same firmware works for both eq and az-mounts. The handset detects the type of mount connected to it and automatically sets the right type of alignment and tracking. The only part required is the correct cable to suit the az mount.

Even Better, thanks guys....

Just got to find one, in stock or not stupid money on ebay.

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13 hours ago, Cornelius Varley said:

That doesn't matter. Since about firmware v3.27 the same firmware works for both eq and az-mounts. The handset detects the type of mount connected to it and automatically sets the right type of alignment and tracking. The only part required is the correct cable to suit the az mount.

Sorry for the questions Peter but i have another regarding stellarium control, is it possible for stellarium to control the basic supatrak alt az mount without handset i.e. direct connection from laptop to az mount ?

Im a bit confused on how/what scopes stellarium connects and controls as the drop down lists seem only to have "GOTO" mounts listed.

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10 minutes ago, Newforestgimp said:

Sorry for the questions Peter but i have another regarding stellarium control, is it possible for stellarium to control the basic supatrak alt az mount without handset i.e. direct connection from laptop to az mount ?

Im a bit confused on how/what scopes stellarium connects and controls as the drop down lists seem only to have "GOTO" mounts listed.

It isn't possible to control it directly (a direct cable connection). As with the other goto mounts you need some sort of interface to communicate between the computer and mount.  With the Synscan EQ mounts this is an EQDIR cable. With the Supatrak you will need either a Synscan WiFi module or similar (I've seen a wifi module on ebay in the past) or the Synscan USB adapter Sky-Watcher Synscan USB Adapter | First Light Optics or the Ursa Minor bluetooth adapter 365Astronomy - Discovery for every day! .

ps ignore the bluetooth option, it appears this one isn't available now.

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2 minutes ago, Cornelius Varley said:

It isn't possible to control it directly (a direct cable connection). As with the other goto mounts you need some sort of interface to communicate between the computer and mount.  With the Synscan EQ mounts this is an EQDIR cable. With the Supatrak you will need either a Synscan WiFi module or similar (I've seen a wifi module on ebay in the past) or the Synscan USB adapter Sky-Watcher Synscan USB Adapter | First Light Optics or the Ursa Minor bluetooth adapter 365Astronomy - Discovery for every day! .

Thank you ill check it out

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5 minutes ago, Newforestgimp said:

Thank you ill check it out

 

8 minutes ago, Cornelius Varley said:

It isn't possible to control it directly (a direct cable connection). As with the other goto mounts you need some sort of interface to communicate between the computer and mount.  With the Synscan EQ mounts this is an EQDIR cable. With the Supatrak you will need either a Synscan WiFi module or similar (I've seen a wifi module on ebay in the past) or the Synscan USB adapter Sky-Watcher Synscan USB Adapter | First Light Optics or the Ursa Minor bluetooth adapter 365Astronomy - Discovery for every day! .

Still a little confused, is it the handset that makes an AZ mount GOTO ? what does the usb adapter do if the mount on its own isnt GOTO ?

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The Supatrak mount actually has all the necessary encoders and circuits for it to work as a goto, it just doesn't have the required handset. The Synscan handset provides the database of stars etc and a way of controlling the mount and it can be replaced by a planetarium programme (Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel) and a method of connecting the mount to the computer (Synscan wifi module / usb adapter). 

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You can down load the skywatcher synscan app that the wifi dongle uses to your smart phone and have a look. It is in the Apple or Play store and is free. The app replaces having a handset though the handset is easier to use if it is cold and you have gloves on.

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1 minute ago, happy-kat said:

You can down load the skywatcher synscan app that the wifi dongle uses to your smart phone and have a look. It is in the Apple or Play store and is free. The app replaces having a handset though the handset is easier to use if it is cold and you have gloves on.

Yes it is looking like possibly a combination of handset &/or USB/WiFi.

id like to think if I can connect mount to something like Stellarium it would be more akin to guiding than just letting the mount alone track an object and hence more accurate ?. I may be giving too much credit to the Stellarium software though ?

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You use one or the other, either the handset is plugged in or the wifi dongle. Some members love the dongle and app over using a handset, or others love the handset. I can't see accuracy being any different.

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1 minute ago, happy-kat said:

You use one or the other, either the handset is plugged in or the wifi dongle. Some members love the dongle and app over using a handset, or others love the handset. I can't see accuracy being any different.

Yes sorry I meant possibly buying both but using one or the other to suit whether using from home or out in the wilds.

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if you have an android device then you can use your phone for the synscan wifi app and use Sky Safaria android app tied to the telescope like you would stellarium on the desktop to control the telescope

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