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Autotracking on the SW 130P AZ GOTO?


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Anyone who owns a Sky-Watcher 130P (or similar) will already know that the manual leaves alot to be desired when it comes to detail, so I'm hoping someone here may be able to shed some light on my problem...

I had some issues tonight properly aligning my scope with 2 stars (that's a different issue!), so that when I used the SynScan to automatically slew to Jupiter (or the moon) the object was not aligned in the scope and I had to manually slew slightly to bring it into view. Now, as I understand it, if you 'go to' and object using the SynScan hand controller, it will continue to track the object automatically. However, once manually adjusting the slew, even though the object is still active on the SynScan's display it would seem that the auto-tracking doesn't continue to work.

Am I right? Is this the experience others have had? Or am I doing something wrong and the only way to auto-track is to make sure the scope is 100% aligned right from the outset?

Thanks for any advice offered,

Steve

Edited by Hangar34
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Well, firstly make sure you're aligned correctly, or none of the following will work :D I'm going to assume you're set up to two stars, and that your LON/LAT is input correctly.

I'll also assume that you are able to then slew to another object and have it 'roughly' in the FOV. Mine rarely tends to be 100% in the centre but I can see where it's heading and can centre it correctly.

This is where I had my problem too, the manual doesn't say anything about how to make sure Autotrack is activated.

If you're looking at say, M31, get it centred. Then, go to the 'TRACKING' option in the set up menu and ensure 'Sidereal Tracking' is selected. Once you've done this once, it will remember it, in fact I think it's set as default anyway.

Secondly, from the Setup Menu again, select Auto Tracking and hit 'ENTER'. You'll see some RA and DEC co-ordinates, and they'll be changing slightly. Provided you've still got your target (M31) in the eyepiece, it should track it until you come out of the Auto Tracking menu.

Hope this helps :)

Jason

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Thanks for the guidance folks. I actually went inside and warmed up a bit, then went out for another attempt and found that I got a better result.

Alignment was somewhat better than previously, although I got somewhat overly-obsessed about levelling the mount and getting the spirit bubble dead centre so that may have helped. When I auto-slewed to the moon it was pretty near centre and auto-tracking also seemed to be working just fine. When I swapped the eyepiece for the 10mm and had to manually re-adjust the view the auto-tracking did seem to carry on working as it should. So... I guess I messed something up during the first attempt, but now you have confirmed what should/shouldn't happen then at least I know what to expect next time.

Anyway, despite failing batteries, I managed to manually slew to the Orion Nebula and was blown away as I've never seen it through a scope before and was somewhat humbled! :D

Appreciate your patience,

Steve

Edited by Hangar34
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Funnily enough I updated the hand controller to v3.07 (is that the latest?) just this week, but I didn't realise that prior to that I would have had to levelled the mount and pointed in north anyway - learnt something there! And, yes the date format has caught me out a couple of times already so I've committed that feature to memory as something to check when setting up, but thanks for the reminder.

I hope it's clear tonight so that I can have an another attempt.

Steve

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Yes v3.07 is the latest. You can choose between 3 tracking methods in the set up menu

Sidreal - for the stars (default)

Solar - for the Sun and Planets

Lunar - for the moon

Whoops. I've been dilligently levelling the scope every alignment with v3.07....have I been wasting time? :D

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You can choose between 3 tracking methods in the set up menu

Ah, I haven't even looked at these settings. When does one go about using them? For example, would I slew to the moon using the 'Goto Object > Solar System' and then select the 'Lunar' tracking option? How do the various options work?

Thanks for the pointer!

Steve

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