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Hi Folks,

It's some time since I posted a question on the forum as I've been busy at work and contenting myself with just reading all the good stuff that's been posted here by other people.

However I have purchased a HEQ5 Pro mount and I was trying to test it out indoors and ran into a problem that I'm not sure how to solve.

I have set up the mount into the home position but without the tube or counter weights attached and have the SynScan controller connected. When I turn on the power the contoller says that it's performing initialization and the the controller screen goes blank (back light still on) and pressing the keys does nothing at all.

I have the Dec and RA locking levers slackened off. Is this correct or should they be tightened up during use?

If some one out there could put together an idiots guide to starting up the mount I would be grateful as I don't want to damage the mount through ignorance as I've never used one of these mounts before.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Malcolm.

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Don't know about an idiot's guide but some pointers you may find helpful

a) Clutches to be nice and tight prior to turning on the mount ( if you'd like to see some movement in the axis)

;) when you first flick the power switch on, the H/set will go into "initialization", perfectly normal and can sometimes take a good few seconds before you hear a quite audible "BLEEP". Then the H/set and mount are ready for your commands O Master !!

Then you have the fun of inputting your data :hello2:,

Time, hme Co-ordinates, etc etc etc ......

If you're doing it this evening bare in mind we are still on GMT (UT), but will be in BST later !!;):confused::rolleyes::confused:

Good luck !

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Hi Beamish,

Thanks for the helpful info that you posted.

I am trying to run the mount from a 12V Power Station torch whilst it is recharging. Do you think that this is too optimistic and the cause of my problem?

Malcolm.

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Malcolm, quite possibly - my experience is that the HEQ5/EQ6 pro mounts are sensitive to the supplied voltage, particularly voltage dips. I had all sorts of problems with a Maplin 12V power supply that wasn't any good, before replacing it with a proper regulated one. I found that when the Maplin supply dipped the whole mount just locked up and stopped tracking.

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Having just tried it, you should wait a few seconds on "Initializing..." then get a beep (as Beamish says), then it's some gawp about not observing the sun, your time, date location etc. and finally it asks if it should start alignment.

If you select "no" at this point the mount won't track unless you goto Setup mode in the menu, press enter, select tracking, enter again and pick the tracking mode. If you select "yes" when asked you go through the usual 1-, 2- or 3-star alignment process.

Leaving the clutches untightened won't hurt anything (and is a good idea if no weights/OTA are on - running out of balance is the worst thing you can do to a mount short of dropping it!) but it obviously won't track unless the clutches are tightened...

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Ben's right about the power issues, and everything else actually. My mount just stopped last nigth as I was Parking for the evening-due to voltage drop- the cable plug came a little loose. ( At least it was at the end of the night.

I have a 5Ah (or 7Ah can't recall) bench supply from Maplin, tho these days I'm using a 17Ah power station for the mount ( solely) then running everything else off a hme made 85Ah power station.

http://stargazerslounge.com/diy-astronomer/73621-diy-power-station.html

If you start to see the red LED on the mount flash like crazy- your power's about to go. (Slewing uses loads of juice !)

HTH

Karlo

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A useful thing (if you can get that far!) is from the main menu select "utility func." -> "show information" -> "power voltage"

With my (good) supply it's showing a steady 12.1V, the old one used to vary all the time and range from about 11.5 - 12.3V, with dips below 11.5V that caused the mount to lock up.

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I can't agree more - almost every problem I've ever had with the HEQ5 was related to power supply.

I now use a mains to 12V Regulated supply, but then found the the 3 way ciggy plug adapter needs encouragement from time to time.

I've just invested in a 12vdc Regulated Bench supply, this i've connected to an outside socket - workes a treat!!!

I think the mount when slewing pulls around 2amp (lucky you're not slewing all the time!).

When you go through the start up options, if you click "no" to doing an align (as Ben said) the mount doesn't track at all. You can scroll through the setup menu till you get to "Tracking" and set it to Sidereal or Lunar (depending on what your doing).

Obviously this last bit is real handy when you've set up in daylight to get the moon or sun.

Cheers

Ant

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Hi Guy's

Thanks for all the good info, but my main problem is that the handset screen doesn't display anything at all after it finishes the inialization and pressing all the buttons gives me precisely zip.

Malcolm.

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Ok, not a good sign - first check would be to try a different power supply, I'd still very much suspect that as the problem. Or check the output voltage from your current one if you can, I think a powertank is usually 13.4V at full charge which shouldn't be a problem but if it's dipping down to a low voltage that could be it - too high is probably a Bad Thing too.

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Hi Beamish,

I am trying to run the mount from a 12V Power Station torch whilst it is recharging. Do you think that this is too optimistic and the cause of my problem?

Malcolm.

Thats probably it, wait until the power station thing if fully charged, they can take a couple of days to fill up all the way but 10 hours or so should be enough. If it still fails to beep, check the cable as the supplied ones are sometimes dodgy.

Let us know what happens after that.

Kaptain Klevtsov

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Good thinking KK, the other thing about the charging unit with these things is that they're usually crud !!! If you can get a car battery charger and connect the croc clips to the appropriate croc clips on the power station and charge it that way ,much quicker !! ;)

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The HEQpro will quite happily run on 16V; I use a 12V car computer transformer set at 16V ( use it at 18V for the LX200) from a 20Ah battery.

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I have mine running at 13.7v, though in conversations with Bern and OVL, I'm sure they recommend no more than 15v Merlin, runs abit hot after that ;)

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You're probably right, but with the voltage drop in the cable / plug etc.......

Page 16 of the SynScan manual quotes:

Power Supply: 11 to 15 V DC 2Amp (Tip positive)

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What happens if you just power the handset alone? Plug the power directly to the handset, forget the mount for now. Does that do anything?

Steve

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Hi Steve,

Yes, It allows me to add my coordinates,time etc.

But after doing the setup routine and reconnection to the mount not much happens on the handset screen when I ask for the telescope position?

I'm confused!

Malcolm.

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A long shot, but have you tried changing the lead from h/s to mount? It is just a CAT5/ethernet/LAN cable.

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Hi Parallax,

I tried a different cable on the system and it made absolutely no difference to its operation, so I guess we can rule that cause out, but thanks for the suggestion.

Malcolm.

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Just to get up to speed...

You're saying when power is connected to the Synscan controller on its own, that it fires up OK and all the usual functions seem to work?

When you connect the power to the mount AND connect the Synscan - it initialises ( shows the version # and the bit about the sun etc?) but the the screen goes blank and - nothing???

Is this the case?

What actually do you see on the screen when its connected to the mount??

Have you taken the covers of the mounting and checked if the motors are getting power and moving during the initialisation???

There's a solution somewhere.... we just have to find it!!

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When you connect the power to the mount AND connect the Synscan - it initialises ( shows the version # and the bit about the sun etc?) but the the screen goes blank and - nothing???

Is this the case?

The "beep" should be immediately after the "Initializing..." message and before the version, sun warning etc., I'm assuming no beep means it never gets to the rest

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Check your power lead, if that is like some that have been supplied these are about as useful as a wet piece of string, I have changed mine and a friends because they are just too small in cross section cable and the volt drop is large.

Andy at Astronomiser does nice thick ones that seem to be OK

Once the lead is confirmed check your power supply, yes they are voltage dependant these controllers but they are also power hungry they need a supply capable of at least an amp sustained. If your psu is not man enough as soon as you do anything on the controller, including switching on, the volt drop will stop anything.

Finally loosing words on handset but backlight only is common with SkyWatcher and Celestron Nextar Handsets. I have had 2 Celestrons die on me like this. The displays are susceptible to low temperature, if its cold you wont get a display. Stick the handset in your pocket for 10 minutes to warm it up before powering up or keep it in a warm room. If that doesnt work then its more than likely a faulty handset, return it to the dealer straight away, my CGE one died like this when I bought it, the dealer swapped it straight away no arguments.

Hope that helps

Phil

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Hi Merlin 66,

Youre first statement was correct. When powered up on it's own it goes through it's setup routine including the warning messages but then the screen goes blank although the backlight stays on. I now seem to have another error as when the mount is connected I get one continuous warning tone?

This thing is driving me crazy.

I haven't taken off the covers etc to check the motors yet, I'm not keen to do this as I might cause more problems than I solve.

Malcolm.

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