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Beyond frustrated with SynScan app and Az gti alignment


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Hi all, 

I’m hoping you could help me, i am trying to use the SynScan app on an iPhone along with the az gti mount. I am really struggling to align the mount up using the app.

I have had a look on previous posts stating the mount should be pointing north and the scope. I have tried this but the scope seems to be all over the place when trying to align Arcturus for example it will point south or sometimes north or even the ground.  I know it’s stated to reset the alignment every time within the app but I cannot do this as most the time it’s greyed out even when force closing the app. Had to re download the non pro version for it to work.

these last nights with the scope have been pretty disappointing and frustrating as I’m sure it’s a great bit of kit when it works. Hoping some of you can help me get this resolved. 
 

thanks 

Edited by Olli
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2 minutes ago, Peter-uk said:

I think this sounds like low battery power to the az gti (but you don't say how you are powing the mount)

Hi Peter, I am using batteries to power the mount. They were delivered on Saturday with the scope from Amazon ( rechargeable ) so they should have full battery. Sorry forgot to mention. 

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3 minutes ago, Olli said:

Hi Peter, I am using batteries to power the mount. They were delivered on Saturday with the scope from Amazon ( rechargeable ) so they should have full battery. Sorry forgot to mention. 

Have you read this thread - it includes comments on using rechargeable batteries - they will probably not be giving you sufficient power for the mount even with a full charge.

 

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8 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

Have you read this thread - it includes comments on using rechargeable batteries - they will probably not be giving you sufficient power for the mount even with a full charge.

 

Thanks for the thread, I cannot slew the scope using the app manually so maybe this is the issue. I will try and find a good power supply. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

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5 minutes ago, Olli said:

Thanks for the thread, I cannot slew the scope using the app manually so maybe this is the issue. I will try and find a good power supply. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

I've used external batteries with mine (a Celestron Powertank pro) but that is quite expensive. @ScouseSpaceCadet has used a relatively cheap Talent battery pack. Worth having a search for his threads to find the exact details of the pack used.

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14 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

I've used external batteries with mine (a Celestron Powertank pro) but that is quite expensive. @ScouseSpaceCadet has used a relatively cheap Talent battery pack. Worth having a search for his threads to find the exact details of the pack used.

Thanks, I will be using the for photography too in the near future so I guess it will be worth buying a decent power bank. I will have a google and see what comes up hopefully this is the problem. 

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I'm not 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure the pro app is the one to use.

Also what firmware version are you using for the azgti (you can check this via the synscan app under motor board version, or via the desktop firmware updating utility (think it's windows only)). If it's factory default and you're using it in alt az mode the telescope should be mounted on the LHS pointing forward.

You are correct in the mount needs to be pointing north (ie telescope aligned parallel to the ground pointing north), true north not magnetic north though for the purposes of testing it won't make too much difference. Your tripod needs to be level too. Your location in synscan app needs to be accurate too and you may have to input it manually if it doesn't read from your phone's GPS.

Once all that's confirmed you have to perform a one star alignment minimum, 3 is best, 2 is usually enough as long as the alignment stars are in different quadrants (side by side stars won't work, the app effectively doesn't allow this anyway by removing any star options which are near your first choice). If you're lucky the star once the azgti slews will be near or in the telescopes/eyepiece field of view, you then have to centre it via the synscan mount controls before confirming the alignment for that star.

The azgti remembers the alignment hence if it's off or you haven't aligned the mount as per the prior session any gotos will be off. The previous alignment can be cleared in the synscan app I believe.

Please go through and confirm the above, it took me a few tries to sort it myself when I first started with it.

The power issue is also very real, I used new batteries and fully charged ones, the mount kept disconnecting it's WiFi and gotos weren't working, slew commands kept pausing. I bought a Celestron Lithium LT and this problem went away.

Also, do you have access to another phone or a tablet which you can try the synscan app on? There is also the windows version of the app you can try off a laptop.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Elp said:

I'm not 100% certain, but I'm pretty sure the pro app is the one to use.

Also what firmware version are you using for the azgti (you can check this via the synscan app under motor board version, or via the desktop firmware updating utility (think it's windows only)). If it's factory default and you're using it in alt az mode the telescope should be mounted on the LHS pointing forward.

You are correct in the mount needs to be pointing north (ie telescope aligned parallel to the ground pointing north), true north not magnetic north though for the purposes of testing it won't make too much difference. Your tripod needs to be level too. Your location in synscan app needs to be accurate too and you may have to input it manually if it doesn't read from your phone's GPS.

Once all that's confirmed you have to perform a one star alignment minimum, 3 is best, 2 is usually enough as long as the alignment stars are in different quadrants (side by side stars won't work, the app effectively doesn't allow this anyway by removing any star options which are near your first choice). If you're lucky the star once the azgti slews will be near or in the telescopes/eyepiece field of view, you then have to centre it via the synscan mount controls before confirming the alignment for that star.

The azgti remembers the alignment hence if it's off or you haven't aligned the mount as per the prior session any gotos will be off. The previous alignment can be cleared in the synscan app I believe.

Please go through and confirm the above, it took me a few tries to sort it myself when I first started with it.

The power issue is also very real, I used new batteries and fully charged ones, the mount kept disconnecting it's WiFi and gotos weren't working, slew commands kept pausing. I bought a Celestron Lithium LT and this problem went away.

Also, do you have access to another phone or a tablet which you can try the synscan app on? There is also the windows version of the app you can try off a laptop.

Hi Elp,

I am using the default firmware that came out of the box, I haven’t updated it as I assumed it was only to  put it in eq mode,I have the telescope mount on the left ( as per picture). I have attached a photo for you how I set it up though I did also try with the scope horizontal pointing forwards and still had the same issue, as well as pointing the scope north to Polaris though I have a feeling this may be wrong.is the diagram correct? I will double check the coordinates within the app. I can try using my tablet to see if that works better . I guess I won’t try anything until I get a better power source just to see if that is the issue. With the power supply does it come with the correct cable to charge the mount or will I need to buy that separately if so what type? But if it needs updating I will do that too, the instructions weren’t much help that came with it. Thanks .

 

 

06769134-F7D4-45D0-A8EF-161CAC2044C3.jpeg

Edited by Olli
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Your alignment seems right, the scope should be pointing forward parallel to the ground at power on, not directly at Polaris though if you imagine a line from Polaris pointing straight down to the ground that is another general indication of north (but not true north).

The Celestron LT comes with everything you need, a mains plug for charging, cable for the power tank to the mount which fits the azgti. It's not the most high capacity but I bought it as it's the most compact of their range, EQ mode powering my ap rig it lasts around 3 hours, in altaz it's between 6-8 approx. I don't think you can use the 12v and the single usb port at the same time though for some odd reason but it doesn't bother me.

Also drop a note in the azgti owners thread by @AstroNebulee about this thread, you should get a few more people helping with your issue.

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Another simple solution if you want an image.

1. Google it.

2. Enjoy it.

3. Sorted😊

This is definitely said in a friendly fashion.  I’ve been involved in amateur astronomy for a long time. I’ve seen new people come (that’s great) and jump into astronomy imaging in a big way. They’ve spent loads, tried hard, expended lots of energy and sleepless nights.

Some have progressed to make top quality images, and I admire them. But many have fallen by the wayside and ended up frustrated and selling all their kit at great loss.

So tread carefully, there’s no rush.  Take advice from those who have succeeded and from those who have not.  If you really think it’s for you go for it, I wish you well.

Or step back from imaging and enjoy the universe in a simpler way.  There’s no right or wrong way to do astronomy, it’s what works for you.

Cheers, Ed.

 

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