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alfingido

Synscan align problems

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I tried to do a 3 star align this evening with my EQ5 Synscan and ED80 APO. I only had the mount a week and still havent got it aligned properly, but tonight it seemed way off. I updated the handbox to 3.25 yesterday, maybe this has something to do with it, but before I did this, Synscan thought the Moon was right next to Jupiter last night at 10pm and I only did a 1 star align, which, if I remember right, was way off too.

So, my 3 star align goes like this.

Polar align the scope, tripod level, nount in home position, fire up the Synscan.

I live in Whitstable Kent. Lat and long entered as 001.3 E 51.21N

Entered the date ( today, 09/31/2009) and time, time zone +00:00 , daylight saving, Yes.

Tried the 3 star align, first star, Vega. So, off we go. Telescope stops, pointing well away from Vega, so I align it with the handbox controls and press enter. Second star is aligned well in the EP, third star the same, alignement failed!

I tried this a few times with different stars, everytime the first star is way out.

The last time I tried, I picked Mizar as the first star, it pointed roughly at Phad ( Phecda)!

Now thats a long way out, any idea what I am doing wrong, or what may be the cause of this?

Allan

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Hi Allan,

Having had a similar problem when I started and seeing others complaining of the same, this is my view of the problem.

When the mount was last PARKed, the technical gubbins / cogs could be pointing anywhere. When you do your alignment the mount slews from where it thinks it is pointing (not your HOME position) to where the first star should be. Clearly this will be incorrect.

Try this .... set up the mount pointing north with the OTA in the HOME position ie pointing more or less at Polaris. Power up and go through the start up dialogue. Now slew to anything that takes your fancy - it will probably miss by a mile. Now PARK to HOME position - hopefully it will slew to some weird position. Power down then undo the clutches, move the OTA into the HOME position as described above, tighten the clutches and then power up and try the align process again. When you finish for the night, always PARK before powering down.

It worked for me.

Mike

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It might just be a typo, but your Lat and Long are the wromg way round.

Steve

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Have you checked your tracking mode and rate is correct?

I have the synscan goto eq5 and find it great. The tip from Mike is the best thing to try,,think I did that same process too.

carl

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I have also an EQ5 SynsScan, this is what I do for Alignment:

1. Check that your Latitude is set correctly on your Mount, & the mount is Pointing North, get a compass to verify

2. Make sure you have a good amount of charge in your power supply

3. Level your tripod properly (even though it is not essential for polar alignment).

4. Polar align using your polar scope, you need to turn the reticule inside the polar scope so the astrism correspond to your night time sky view, you can use Jason's Dale software Polar Finder to find what position polaris is in e.g. at 10.30pm. Once you know where polaris is going to be, position Polaris using alt-az bolts within the small reticule circle outside the bigger circle.

5. Make sure your co-ordinates, time, date, DST=Yes, hour region is +00 is set properly, especially your time.

6. Turn your goto on, the menu will ask do you wish to align from park position, say NO.

Initially in this stage I would do a 2 - Star Alignment, Now choose the 1st alignment Star from the menu which you can see from the S/SE direction (e.g. Altair), now the scope will slew & it maybe slightly out, but you can slew the scope to the star, once it's centred hit 'Enter'. Now choose a second Star from the Menu which is towards the NW region of the sky ( e.g. Dubhe), this time the scope will be on target or near to it, center it, then hit 'ENTER'. Now Hopefully it will say ' Alignment Succesful '. Presuming it say's that go to utility function & Park the Scope. Turn off the GOTO for 30secs.

7. Turn on your Goto, enter your details again Longtitude & Latitude etc. etc. this time you want to start alignment from the parked position & do a 3 - Star Alignment, use your 1st & 2nd stars from procedure (6). Now for the 3rd Star I would use something in the Northly Direction (e.g. Caph), hopefully after this it should say 'Alignment Successful'

I hope that helps.

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Thanks for all the info, but, I think I may have found the problem. Someone :) has been telling the handbox that is was already September, the date last night was showing as 09/31/2009 instead of 08/31/2009, and I couldnt see it was wrong without my glasses on, I sat on them earlier!

I will ( clouds permitting) give it another go tonight.

Steve, the lat / long display on the handbox is backwards, coming from a maritime background, I found this a tad confusing at first.

Now, just got to go find the person who put the date in wrong :grin:

Allan

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LOL, great story :)

Read this eagerly this morning as im on the verge of getting a Skywatcher mount. Had better make sure that same person doesnt come round my house!

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LOL, great story :)

Read this eagerly this morning as im on the verge of getting a Skywatcher mount. Had better make sure that same person doesnt come round my house!

Doh! I had read about and had a laugh at people putting in the wrong location, plugging the RA plug into the Dec socket and vice versa and setting the wrong time. Now I know how easily it is done, I shall mock no more!!

I see by your sig that you are thinking about getting an ED80 and Eq6 for astrophotography, thats almost what I have done. I got my EQ5 Pro ( new Synscan goto model in white, and very nice it looks) and an Evostar ED80 DSPRO and just ordered a Meade DSI II Pro mono ccd with filters. I didnt get the EQ6, I thought it might be a little heavy for an ED80 and ccd, and I spent out on this lot and a Flextube 12"dob!

I have to say the ED80 is a stunning bit of kit, when I got the mount lined up on the moon last night, it was so crisp and contrasty, I felt I could almost touch it.

Cant wait to check the alignment tonight, when it tracks, its perfect.

Allan

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At Salisbury on the last night my HEQ5 played up relentlessly - its normally as good as gold.

Two star align would work perfectly but never three star. I am almost sure the problem was down to sloppy star alignment due to poor seeing conditions which meant stars were sometimes (possibly) not well centred. Its the only thing I can think of.

3 star align does require a pretty high degress of precision in set up I have found.

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Superb, thanks for the info. Glad you are happy with your purchase. :) Good to have feedback from others in the same situation.

Doh! I had read about and had a laugh at people putting in the wrong location, plugging the RA plug into the Dec socket and vice versa and setting the wrong time. Now I know how easily it is done, I shall mock no more!!

I see by your sig that you are thinking about getting an ED80 and Eq6 for astrophotography, thats almost what I have done. I got my EQ5 Pro ( new Synscan goto model in white, and very nice it looks) and an Evostar ED80 DSPRO and just ordered a Meade DSI II Pro mono ccd with filters. I didnt get the EQ6, I thought it might be a little heavy for an ED80 and ccd, and I spent out on this lot and a Flextube 12"dob!

I have to say the ED80 is a stunning bit of kit, when I got the mount lined up on the moon last night, it was so crisp and contrasty, I felt I could almost touch it.

Cant wait to check the alignment tonight, when it tracks, its perfect.

Allan

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OK, the clouds are missing, I've got a large clock, a new calendar, its dark and I've got 50 metres to walk to the shed. :)

Still cloudless, EQ5 and ED80 out, polar aligned and level. Power up and enter all the Correct info, press for 3 star align and away we go.

Vega. Just outside the FOV of my 25mm ep, not bad, centre it up and enter. Next up is Alioth. Hmm, things are looking up, Alioth appears in the ep, centre up and enter. Now for Deneb, it appears almost in the centre of the ep. Thats more like it. Centre up and enter, Align Successful :grin:

Select the Guided Tour, Andromeda, off it goes and puts Andromeda right in the centre of the ep. Try for the Ring Nebula, there it is, front and centre. Everything else I looked at was sitting there right in the centre when it finished slewing. Perfect, looks like everything is working well.

An hour or so later, the Moon makes an appearance from behind the Willow tree, well, not quite, but it was soon in plain view after 5 minutes with the tree loppers ( note to self. Hide branches tomorrow)

Stunning! ( another note, get moon filter and burnt retina fixed)

The moon was placed exactly central in the 25mm ep, so clear and sharp, ( and bright) this ED80 really is an excellent OTA.

So, all in all, a great evening out. The EQ5 and Synscan is operating perfectly, very accurate and pretty quiet too. 10/10 from me.

Right off to bed to read up on setting circles, wish me luck....

Allan

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At Salisbury on the last night my HEQ5 played up relentlessly - its normally as good as gold.

There must a conspiracy going on as my HEQ5 has played up the last 2 times out!!

Not had time try it since

Andy

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I have to say that sometimes my EQ sixes seem to behave oddly. I just start them again from scratch and they still behave oddly. Then the next night they are fine and stay fine for another month.

In my more more honest moments I think it might be me...

Given that there's nothing at twice (or even three times) the price that I'd rather have I think I declare myself a happy bunny.

Olly

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There a bit of code in there that says something like

Check if Mount used more than 6 times

If Mount use=>6 Mess about until user upgrades to EQ6:)

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