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Alignment problems


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I've recently bought a Meade 105 with an 884 tripod, a really nice bit of kit but despite following instructions from the manual, various websites etc I'm having problems with the goto (autostar) side of things. I should add that I'm an absolute beginner

I've tried to put the co - ordinates of where I live in , I've also tried using the nearest city (which is miles away), I have of course set it pointing towards Polaris etc but when you ask it to align it is either a very log way out or even worse when you try to be really accurate and align it on 2 stars it sometimes tells you that they are below the horizon when they are clearly visible. When the computer selects it's own star for alignment it's again a long way out.

The equipment is I'm sure in excellent working order, I'm sure that it's the owner that's not

The time has been put in correctly (+ 2hrs gmt in my case) and I can't think of anything else I can do.

Any comments would be much appreciated

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There is indeed a choice between southern and northen hemisphere in the menu's.

You should be able to put your latitude and longditude into the handset and save it.just make sure you are specifying that the long is north of the equator and the lat is set ot east of the meridian.

the time and date isnt saved and will need to be put in each tiome you power up.

to set up for alt/az use:

If yours is the earlier model without the level north technology then you need to make sure the tube is level using an alignmate and make sure its pointing north once thats done and the time/date location is in then just choose easy align and it will slew to the first alignment star. center the star in the eyepiece then choose ok and it will slew to the next, again center it and it choose ok then its done.

If its the latest version with level north technology then you just need to turn it on and it will do the rest. Just follow the alignment procedure on the alignment stars as it levels itself and points itself north.

If your using it in eq mode its a little trickier.make usre the tripod is level then set the tube so it points straight up, vertically and lock it in place with the axis locks. then adjust the wedge to your latitude on the wedge section of the tripod, make sure the back of the wedge is facing away from the pole star, this should tip the tube so that its now pointing roughly towards the pole star. now you can fine tune by adjusting the wedge until the pole star is centered in the eyepiece, dont move the tube itself except to rotate it left or right.., now follow the guidlines in the manual for drift aligning the whole set up.. it can be a long drawn out procedure on the etx, so much so that I mostly used mine in alt az mode.

Its also worth checking out the meade web site as they have various videos in the support section that cover alignment and set up.

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Thanks for all of that.

Richard , everything entered in correct format (although I'll do it again). Geppeto, yes it's set to the northern. Ian as far as I know that's what I've been doing, I had a look at the vids. on the meade site(thanks for that tip) I can't see that I'm doing anything different which makes it more frustrating, by the way I am using it in alt/az mode. Captain the date format is preset (it says the month in words) so that can't be cocked up!!

I guess I'll try it all again up on the roof tonight.

Cheers for your input

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Ok then, the saga continues.

Firstly via the autostar I reset everything (just in case I'd input some wrong info re the location) worth a try ! Anyway, I reinput all the correct info, put it into the home position as per instructions and press align. The autostar selects a star (in this case Capella which is brightly twinkling over my right shoulder) and begins to slew round to it. However it clearly stops a long way off from the position it should be in. I know that I'll have to make some adjustments using the keypad but this is a long way off.

If I try using the 2 star align method and select my own stars (I've managed to learn a few!!) the same thing happens, it slews in the right direction but it is a long way off when it is supposedly there. It's all a bit strange.

Any ideas as to what I can try.

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John, I've trained the drives but I haven't calibrated the motors ; I'll check out how to do it and give it a try.

Steve, it's a 105 EC.

Anyway, I might be getting somewhere and confirming my entry for 'pratt of the month' I decided to check out what 'daylight saving time' was ( as I kept answering yes to the question on the autostar) and surprise surprise :D It seems to be a lot closer now although I think I need to do more to be accurate.

Quicky question where do you get your information from regarding Long and lat, I'd like to check the info I have re Datca

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Hi CH. So you trained the drives. Did you calib the motors? And what other tweaking did you do? - just so I don't have to ask everyone all the same questions later.

i agree, after date and lat long sorted i wouold say calibrate motors would be next on the list. Try following on with the alignment procedure and see how it is after that.

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SR- I calibrated the motor, got a spirit level and checked out the piece of terrace that the tripods on and that's basically it. I made sure the time was entered correctly to the second aswell.

I also went through a list of instructions written by a guy called Ringo Li ( written in plain english and extremely detailed), they are much easier to follow than the Meade ones

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