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EQ5 motor drive, what am I doing wrong ?


crepitis
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I picked up a dual axis motor drive kit for my EQ5 at the tail-end of last year, and have only recently got around to trying to use it/them.

Fitting them was no problem and very straightforward, but trying to get everything working together is proving more troublesome.

As I understand it , from advice on other posts here, for purely visual use you only need a "fairly" accurate Polar alignment.

I've managed to do this using a compass and Im confident that the RA axis is aligned.

However, whenever I centre something in my eyepiece it just drifts out of view, as if no motor was fitted.

The drives are switched on, the hand controller is set to north, and when trying the "fast forward" controls the mount slews the scope in the appropriate direction,, but it just wont track in normal mode.

Im pretty sure the drives and controller are in working order and its me who is doing something wrong, I just cant figure out what it is.

I have tried doing a search on the forum but cant seem to find the info that will put me on the right path, any help is most welcome.:eek:

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Hmmmm thats an odd one alright. I had motors

for my EQ5 but sold them before I had a chance to

use them as I bought a HEQ5 so I can't speak

from experience of using them but I thought they just

started tracking once you switched them on.

What were you trying to track Crepitis ? What

difference does increasing the tracking speed make ?

Kathleen

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I was using my TAL refractor and was observing the moon tonight using a Televue 20mm plossl, and the moon just drifted out of my field of view in a fairly short space of time.

If I put my ear to the drives I can hear them "ticking".

Maybe my polar alignment isnt as accurate as I thought ?

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Hi Peter, that sounds like a good way of checking if they are actually running.

Excuse my ignorance, but how would I be able to tell how much the RA has rotated, is it just a visual thing or are the setting circles involved in some way ?:eek:

As I say..excuse my ignorance :evil6:

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The moon moves at a different rate (it is orbiting us) - and moves quite fast. What happens when you track a star (which appears to move with the earth's rotation)?

Are there different rates marked? You need to use a faster rate for the moon than for planets or stars.

M.

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Apart from checking that the mount clutches are tight, check also that the silver finger nuts on the RA and Dec. worm axes are also tight. When tight they allow the motors to drive, when loose they free up the manual slow-motions.

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Set the mount withh the counterweight bar hanging downwards start the motor running with the clutches locked, come back one hour later the mount will have rotated. You should be be able to visually see that the mount has rotated about 15 degrees. You won't be able to check the RA setting circle because that will have moved aswell.

Peter

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If you've correctly connected the RA and Dec motors it should still track pretty well on the moon.

Double check the clutches... there was an issue on another thread where there were different gears for diffrernt mounts which could affect the drive rate....

I had a EQ5 with the add on motors and they worked 100%.... so whatever the issue is its pretty well solvable.

Ken

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Are the gears visible on these drives. The EQ5 I had was the Astro5 Mount, and the brass gears were exposed. They should be locked on to the RA and Dec.worm shafts. The gear will show more movement than the polar shaft, and will be easier to detect. If they can be seen as I say.

Ron.

Edited by barkis
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If you've correctly connected the RA and Dec motors it should still track pretty well on the moon.

Double check the clutches... there was an issue on another thread where there were different gears for diffrernt mounts which could affect the drive rate....

I had a EQ5 with the add on motors and they worked 100%.... so whatever the issue is its pretty well solvable.

Ken

This was the problem wth my gears. There are 2 size sets of teeth on the motor wheel, make sure the smaller set mesh up to the set on the cog you attach to the spindle on the mount. I had them meshed wrong so the drive traveled too quick, overshooting targets and drivng them out of view when tracking.

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I think I may have sorted out the problem. Firstly , the RA motor was not 100% tightened up.

Secondly, the printed instructions showed the wrong alignment for the connections, with the RA and DEC shown as connecting up to the wrong motors.

With my, hopefully, corrected adjustments the mount appears to be moving in the right direction, but so far I have only managed an indoor appraisal due to heavy cloud cover here.

Once I get a chance, and clear skies, I will post an update.

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I think I may have sorted out the problem. Firstly , the RA motor was not 100% tightened up.

Secondly, the printed instructions showed the wrong alignment for the connections, with the RA and DEC shown as connecting up to the wrong motors.

With my, hopefully, corrected adjustments the mount appears to be moving in the right direction, but so far I have only managed an indoor appraisal due to heavy cloud cover here.

Once I get a chance, and clear skies, I will post an update.

Thats interesting. The instruction sheet conflicts with the labels on the handcontrol. The illustration shows the cable for the DEC drive going to the RA drive and visa versa. The labels on the handcontrol are correct. The instructions for the dual axis drive from Orion for their Skyview Pro mount (same as EQ5) show the correct connection.

Peter

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Managed to get out last night for an hour or so, and it looks like the drives are working OK , now that I've figured out where the leads should actually go.

Tracking seemed fine, but battery life doesnt seem too good, although that might be a combination of the very cold temperatures and the "no frills" batteries that came with the drives.

What a difference it makes not having to manually re-centre your field of view every couple of minutes.:eek: ( Im still a bit of an Astronomy Luddite, so any kind of technological advance , no matter how primitive, seems revolutionary to me :evil6:)

Edited by crepitis
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What a difference it makes not having to manually re-centre your field of view every couple of minutes

Thats why I always go for powered tracking, the constant nudge, nudge, nudge, refocus, nudge, refocus, nudge, nudge stuff just wears me down.

With the mount doing its stuff I can get on with having a look which is what, after all, its supposed to be about.

Glad you got it sorted. Enjoy :eek:

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Hi Astro_Baby, the one big advantage I noticed was showing other family members some great views without having to re-centre everything before they took over at the eyepiece :eek:

I was also able to centre M42, just prior to it dissapearing behind the topmost branches of one of our trees in the garden, left it tracking, went indoors to catch a bit of the BAFTAS, and when I came back out it was still centred in the eyepiece but had now cleared the trees. Sadly my night vision hadnt recovered from the BAFTAS.:evil6:

Edited by crepitis
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