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Walking on the Moon

Problems with Skyscan

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I was out for the 1st time in months, the other night and I was experiencing problems with my Skyscan upgrade on the EQ5 mount.

I was doing the 3 star alignment procedure, and because my mount was not truely polar aligned, I had to use the hand controller to bring each star into the centre of my field of view. The 1st 2 stars I would have to adjust the scope a couple of field widths to bring to star in the centre, but on the 3rd star it was fairly close.

After slewing from the say the moon, then over to saturn and the over to M3, the motors would just all of a sudden stop. No matter what I did, no matter what button I pressed, the scope would not move. My only soultion would be to switch the drive off, but then I would find that I would have to do the alignment all over again. This happened 3 times whilst I was out, so I got fed up with it and called it a night.

Anyone got any ideas?:lol:

My scope was fairly well balanced, so I don't think its that. My 1st thought was that it could be a power supply problem. I purchased my power supply from Maplins. It is rated at 12V 5A. I don't have it plugged into an RCD ( I know I should), but I keep the PSU indoors, and run the cable through a window. After the last motor stall, I decided to check the voltage level on the handpad before switching it off, and the reading was fluctuating around the 12v mark.

Can I only assume that if it isn't a power problem, then it could possibly be an alignment problem. What with me having to bring the 1st 2 star into the field of view myself.

What do you guys and gals think????


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It could still be a power problem. How long is the run of 12v cable from the psu to the mount and is it heavy enough to prevent any significant voltage drop? Did you notice the LED on the mount flashing / flickering while it was slewing, this is a sign of low power.

I'd try it with a shorter cable from PSU to mount and see if that cures it, get yourself and RCD, mains can very easily be lethal in the damp outdoors.


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You have no idea just how fussy these mounts are with power. Ian's suggestion is a good one, try that. Check the connections both ends.

Turn anything else off that's running though the same supply.

These mounts pull around 2 amp when slewing, is the PSU able to supply more than that?

Try running the mount from a fully charged battery pack.

Are you using anyform of ciggy lighter multi plug thing? (so you can run the mount and dew controllers or other stuff from the same supply) - they are dubious to say the least.


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Thanks for the advice guys. My PSU is rated at 5amp and I'm not running anything else off it. As for the lead length, I'm not too sure. I purchased it at the same time as the Skyscan from FLO. It is the AStronomiser 5m Skywatcher power cable.

Ian, with regards to lights on the hand pad flickering, no I didnt notice anything. I have even setup my scope indoors to try and recreate the same fault, but with no success.

Hopefully, I'll try to get out again tonight and see what happens. Ill keep you posted.

Mik3, thanks for the offer. Thats much appreciated. I'll PM you my address.


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Most likely the connector(Jack plug), I had the same problem. I would cut it off and solder a new one on. I have a spare one, I'll send it you if you like?

I have the same problem with my connector, its driving me Nuts !!! I think its the male pin on the mount being too skinny.

Only other things I can think of is the slew limits or maybe even an incorrectly entered date format. I did this recently and it baffled me for a couple of days till i realized what Id done wrong.

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If the connector is a bit loose, try fitting a rubber band or similar to hold it in place and give it a bit of pressure against the pin. It also gives a bit of protection against it being accidentally pulled out during use.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I tried a cheap regulated supply along the Maplins line once and found it hopeless so went back the car booster pack I use. I prefer this to the mains because a power cut won't trash my imaging session. I did once accidentally unplug three imagers at once in a single mad moment. They were very nice about it...


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