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I CANNOT align this AZ-GTi mount *shakes fist at sky*


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For the life of me, I cannot figure this out.  Got to take out my setup last night for only the second time as it's been cloudy for weeks and I've been trying in vain to align my Skywatcher AZ-GTi mount to no avail.  I'm using it in ALT-AZ mode for now, and I've probably researched every article and watched every Youtube vid I could find and still nothing is working...I feel like I'm stupidly dense or something because there is something just not clicking in the cranium.

I thought I was supposed to point the dang thing north to start so that's what I did, err, I think anyway.  Am I pointing the wrong end north? See picture.  Also, I'm reading that the actual scope has to be mounted a certain way on the mount correct?  Which way would that be?  I've read all of this left/right stuff and those directionals mean nothing to me as it depends on someone's viewpoint.  When I aimed north to start, I attempted to align by directing SynScan to go to the Moon first, and that took it so far off course it wasn't even close, it was basically pointing at the ground.  I reset and tried again with another start (Vega I believe)...again, wasn't even in the realm of close.  I made sure my location settings were correct in the app so that wasn't the issue.

Here's how I got something to "work".  I had it track to the moon and when it was essentially pointing at the ground and who knows how many degrees from my actual target, I picked the whole thing up, turned it around, manually aligned to the moon and then clicked OK on the app.  I felt like a ridiculous clown doing that but somehow it actually managed to do the trick but something tells me that isn't right on a long term basis.

I'm thinking about getting SkySafari to control the mount but I should probably master the basics first.

Tips/tricks appreciated.

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With the mount in front of you, like in your picture and with a scope fitted on the left-side and facing away from you. Level the scope and point the telescope North (use a compass). So your picture the arrow is pointing West, not North.

 

See here where there is a video to explain all this and more.

Steve

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1 hour ago, StevieDvd said:

With the mount in front of you, like in your picture and with a scope fitted on the left-side and facing away from you. Level the scope and point the telescope North (use a compass). So your picture the arrow is pointing West, not North.

 

See here where there is a video to explain all this and more.

Steve

I was under the impression my mount had to be facing north, I didn't know the scope had to be facing due north.  . Cheers for the info friend, I'll try and apply it tonight.

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1 minute ago, Cornelius Varley said:

Aligning the mount north would naturally point the telescope north as well.

Not in my case because I'm a bozo lol.  I tried to show in my picture that I presumed the actual front of the mount needed to be facing north, which would cause the scope to be perpendicular (east-west) and I also got confused at the left-right facing scope thing which I think I can rectify now.

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I had issues getting used to my equatorial mount where GoTo would point me in the opposite direction to which I wanted. 

I soon twigged that I was mounting the scope the wrong way round in the saddle. I got a sticker and marked it with an arrow which represented the direction I needed to mount the objective lens.

Every day is an education!

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3 minutes ago, Swoop1 said:

I had issues getting used to my equatorial mount where GoTo would point me in the opposite direction to which I wanted. 

I soon twigged that I was mounting the scope the wrong way round in the saddle. I got a sticker and marked it with an arrow which represented the direction I needed to mount the objective lens.

Every day is an education!

I think that's one of my two problems...mounting it wrong.  It's one of those stupid simple things that makes you slap your head when you finally figure it out.

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10 minutes ago, Maideneer said:

Not in my case because I'm a bozo lol.  I tried to show in my picture that I presumed the actual front of the mount needed to be facing north, which would cause the scope to be perpendicular (east-west) and I also got confused at the left-right facing scope thing which I think I can rectify now.

 

Don't be so harsh on yourself, there is little in the manuals to explain how to do this with an AZ-Gti.

The only text in the synscan that helps a bit for new owners is:

 

HOME POSITION OF AN ALT-AZIMUTH MOUNT:

  • Mount tripod is leveled as indicated by its bubble level
  • The telescope tube is leveled and points to true north

By this one could assume that the telescope could be on your left or right as long as it points true north. Hopefully the mount software can handle that. However, I used the illustrations in the manual which show the scope on the left just in case that's the only side that works.

Eq mode is easier in this respect.

 

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1 minute ago, StevieDvd said:

 

Don't be so harsh on yourself, there is little in the manuals to explain how to do this with an AZ-Gti.

The only text in the synscan that helps a bit for new owners is:

 

HOME POSITION OF AN ALT-AZIMUTH MOUNT:

  • Mount tripod is leveled as indicated by its bubble level
  • The telescope tube is leveled and points to true north

By this one could assume that the telescope could be on your left or right as long as it points true north. Hopefully the mount software can handle that. However, I used the illustrations in the manual which show the scope on the left just in case that's the only side that works.

Eq mode is easier in this respect.

 

I guess I missed that bit and here I thought I read through it all.  I am thinking about getting the counterweight bar and transforming to EQ with it since I downloaded the new firmware anyway.  Maybe I'll just try these methods first before I keep spending money🙂

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7 minutes ago, Maideneer said:

I guess I missed that bit and here I thought I read through it all.  I am thinking about getting the counterweight bar and transforming to EQ with it since I downloaded the new firmware anyway.  Maybe I'll just try these methods first before I keep spending money🙂

If you do take up the EQ mode then look at either the Skywatcher wedge (or the William Optics wedge if you the cost is not offputting). The WO is good and makes alignment a little easier than the other wedges, I have one myself.

 

Welcome to the SGL forum. Ask away with any questions - there are quite a few AZ-GTi owners here.

Edited by StevieDvd
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On 27/05/2021 at 09:53, StevieDvd said:

With the mount in front of you, like in your picture and with a scope fitted on the left-side and facing away from you. Level the scope and point the telescope North (use a compass). So your picture the arrow is pointing West, not North.

 

See here where there is a video to explain all this and more.

Steve

Another frustrating night tonight. Something is definitely wrong with a certain setting and for the life of me I cannot figure this out. Essentially what is happening is that when I attempt to align anything, let’s say doing a north level alignment I balance my scope out and point it north (I use a compass app to make certain).

I tell the mount to point to Vega for example, and it proceeds to head in an entirely different direction and starts pointing down to the ground, almost like it’s inverting the Altitude axis thinking it’s pointing at the sky when in reality it’s looking at the grass.

I literally have zero idea how to troubleshoot this and don’t know where to turn.

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2 hours ago, Maideneer said:

Another frustrating night tonight. Something is definitely wrong with a certain setting and for the life of me I cannot figure this out. Essentially what is happening is that when I attempt to align anything, let’s say doing a north level alignment I balance my scope out and point it north (I use a compass app to make certain).

I tell the mount to point to Vega for example, and it proceeds to head in an entirely different direction and starts pointing down to the ground, almost like it’s inverting the Altitude axis thinking it’s pointing at the sky when in reality it’s looking at the grass.

I literally have zero idea how to troubleshoot this and don’t know where to turn.

Sound like the scope is still the wrong way round in the clamp. Try posting some pictures of it setup with North indicated so we can check.

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2 hours ago, Maideneer said:

I tell the mount to point to Vega for example, and it proceeds to head in an entirely different direction and starts pointing down to the ground, almost like it’s inverting the Altitude axis thinking it’s pointing at the sky when in reality it’s looking at the grass.

I often have this problem if I don't enable the secondary encoder. I should open mine up and see if it needs a clean. 

HTH, Andy

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The mount turning groundward sounds like either data - time and location, or power - insufficent.

Use Polaris if at all possible for North, although St Louis is not bad for the compass to True North comparison, you have a 1.6 degree difference and I would have thought the scope should handle that. Although usually the US states have a difference greater then that. Often up in the 10-16 degree difference. As most compasses, even those on a phone/tablet still utilise magnetics you will find that often a visual on Polaris is better. I suppose also that you could be sited at an area where the underlying rocks are slightly magnetic and so throwing the compass off. I have found often that the magnetic compasses can have too many influences. So check if possible by using or comparing Polaris.

My first cover had a magnetic clasp to hold it closed - that really upset the compass function.

Power - the use of batteries is OK if they are new and high power ones, and even then expect only around an hours use. Could try a Lithium item as they tend to output a bit more and have a larger capacity. Thinking one of the Talentcell item say 4800mAH and greater.

If data then need to know the wifi device. If Android check that the mount is getting the data. My Android you have to tell the mount to get data from the Android device, then you have to tell the Android device to let the mount have the data. Miss one out - easy -  and the mount has little idea and will I suspect default to some location. Which will not be St Louis. These days more likely Beijing.

Suppose the bottom line is that although described as "Computerised" then mounts are far from "Automatic", have seen it said they are still about 60-80% manual. At least to start with. Give the mount an easy time and set it as level and North as reasonable in whatever time you have. The Az Gti is small, and relatively simple, I suggest it is very much a mount for wide to medium field scopes and visual.

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Hello. Have you got the scope on the correct side of the mount. I had similar issues. I always used north align in alt AZ mode. 
Scope was on the wrong side !!  
The scope tube points north meaning the if you look at the buttons you are looking west. 
needs to be as this stock photo I’m pretty sure. 
John 

 

 

BB83C70F-DFD5-4D44-A518-77CA39597D99.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Telescope40 said:

Hello. Have you got the scope on the correct side of the mount. I had similar issues. I always used north align in alt AZ mode. 
Scope was on the wrong side !!  
The scope tube points north meaning the if you look at the buttons you are looking west. 
needs to be as this stock photo I’m pretty sure. 
John 

 

 

BB83C70F-DFD5-4D44-A518-77CA39597D99.jpeg

Also as I have done with mine and updated the firmware to the mounting the opposite way and eq mode update. So my scope points in the opposite way to yours here as when I was using the fs on my skymax 127 I was contorting into back breaking positions. 

Edited by AstroNebulee
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Thanks all. I’ve created a video to hopefully show you exactly what is happening.

I’m on an iPhone - iOS 14.6 so it’s the latest

 

Edited by Maideneer
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Okay based on the responses above it does seem that the firmware can be changed to allow the scope to be mounted on the right-hand side. Easy to test this theory with your mount have the scope pointing north but the mount 180 degress than you had it in the video. That would put your finderscope on top and hopefully align properly. If that works but you want to mount as stated earlier (scope on left) then a firmware flash should resolve that.

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8 hours ago, StevieDvd said:

Okay based on the responses above it does seem that the firmware can be changed to allow the scope to be mounted on the right-hand side. Easy to test this theory with your mount have the scope pointing north but the mount 180 degress than you had it in the video. That would put your finderscope on top and hopefully align properly. If that works but you want to mount as stated earlier (scope on left) then a firmware flash should resolve that.

By the love of all things holy I think I got it. I updated ALL firmware once again which was step 1. Step 2 was doing as you said so that I reversed the position of the scope again so that the finder scope was on top. It’s a partly cloudy night so I can’t see Polaris or Vega but I can see Arcturus which is good enough.

I attempted to North align to Polaris and Vega so I did that blind and hoped for the best. The first good sign was that the scope started to point to the sky rather than the ground. After I “aligned” it I directed the scope to pointer Arcturus which I could see still and off it went and successfully pointed there. Next I went to try Dubhe and once again it worked.

I can’t thank you enough for your help and I’m going to try it again once it’s another clear night just to confirm everything is OK but this is leaps and bounds better than where I was for the first 2 weeks with this mount. Cheers to you and to you all!

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