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Synscan alignment help


jasonp
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Had a slightly frustrating evening the other day but managed to get it all aligned after many alignment failed messages.

Anyway the question is.. Once aligned how do you get to the menu to re align again, say after slewing to objects far apart where it has drifted as my polar alignment is not spot on.

Can't seem to find it in the manual.

Thanks

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There are two answers, depending on your thoughts and intentions for the alignment.

First, if you use the ESC button multiple times you will get to the SETUP menu. Press enter, then scroll down through the choices until you get to Alignment (not Alignment Stars; that choice allows you to fiddle with how Synscan presents the alginment star menu), press Enter, and redo the star alignment. Whether you chose 1-, 2-, or 3-Star Alignment, SynScan will remember the previous alignment until you complete this alignment so that if you change your mind and use ESC to exit, you should still have your old alignment. In any event, this is how to redo an alignment if the results from the previous alignment are unsatisfactory.

But suppose you only want to enhance the alignment, not redo it? Synscan has an odd, quirky sort of adjustment called Pointing Alignment Enhancement, or PAE. This augments the previous alignment, but does NOT change the model of the sky. Synscan divides the sky into 88 zones. If you exercise PAE on an object, then any GOTO to a target within that zone will have an extra refinement made to it's pointing. The basic sky model from the initial alignment is not changed. So, for example, if you have done a 2-star alignment and then a GOTO to say, the Ring Nebula, and the GOTO does not place The Ring where you think it should, then you can recenter on The Ring and use the Utility menu, select PAE, and follow the instructions to accept the new location. From that point forward until you eitner delete all PAE with the Utility Menu, or until you redo a full alignment, the region around the physical sky where The Ring was when you used PAE will be adapted to your adjustment. If you then GOTO, say, The Swan in Sagittarius, Synscan will pay no attention to your previous PAE. If you like the results, fine; if you find the pointing to The Swan is also not to your liking, you can invoke PAE on this object. Then, GOTOs in that region (again, the actuall azimuth-elevation of the part of the sky where the object is at the moment) will be affected. Each PAE is independent, and only effective in a region around the invocation point. The purpose of PAE is to adjust the pointing for mechanical vagaries of the mount, such as less than perfect assembly, or looseness of some component(s), etc., that affect local pointing. PAE does not change the sky model developed in the alignment.

If you use a permanent setup, then over time, the entry of PAEs as you move around the sky (and note that PAE is not to an object, but to a region of your physical sky no matter what object is in that location), eventually you will have a refined space for your mount as long as you never redo an alignment of any kind. Once you redo an alignment, all PAE memory is erased. This includes power cycling effects; if you use Park before removing power, all alignment data is saved along with the PAE data. If power is removed without Park, all alignment data is lost. I wish Synscan had a feature to request alignment and PAE status to verify the condition, but we are blind to that.

If you relocate to a new site each night as I do (my Atlas is used for public outreaches at schools, parks, resorts, etc.), then PAE in the memory can provide mischief when doing the alignment on the next power up. It has saved the previous adjustments, so if you happen to choose an alignment star in a region where the previous use caused you to use a PAE, then the offset will be introduced to the pointing. You make your centering adjustment, then move on. But when your alignment process is complete, the PAE memory is erased. Oh, my, what a warped sky you might have! Luckily, all PAE can be erased without affecting the sky alignment data.

So, there you have it. Synscan does not have a feature to add stars to the alignment model as you go on after the alignment, but it does have PAE for local effects. But SCTs can play some mischief with this feature due to mirror "flop" when crossing the meridian, and mirror shift when changing focus. For serious pointing, such as for small CCD chips, then microfocus addons to the optical tube are almost essential to stop some of the mirror movements that can affect the alignment models or even PAEs.

Edited by Skylook123
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Glad to help. I must tell a story on myself. I purchased my Atlas back when Synscan was Version 2.05, not upgradeable without a new controller. Then V.3.XX was introduced with the ability to upgrade. So, I bought the new controller. One of the early features added was PAE. So, one night at home I tried it, probably putting in at least 10 points around the sky. Little did I know that the top plate grub screws had loosened a bit, causing the plate to shift in some parts of the sky. So, the points all picked up this really, really warped sky. I forgot about it when I parked the scope so it was all saved. The next time in a public event, I noted the shifting of the top plate so I tightened it down. Never could get close on alignment stars, so I escaped out and found the targets manually that night. And the next outing. And the next outing. Must have been two weeks of non-alignment, just slewing to bright objects for show and tell.

FINALLY, I decided to use the erase PAE function. Magic. Alignments were golden. OOPS. Never have used PAE again, just because with a good polar alignment and two star align, it works just fine for my visual public education needs. If, on any one try I would have completed an alignment, it would have erased the PAE. the alignment would have been a fun house mirror but I could have redone it and gone on. And the manual says nothing about this behavior, just breaks its arm patting itself on the back for the feature. PAE does help adjust for individual mount behaviors, but it can be frustrating if it's saved and forgotten when moving the setup around. Permanent fixed locations, as long as a realignment is not done, can be greatly improved with it.

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Thanks Jim,

It's such a shame that such a wonderful innovation like the synscan is let down by such poor documentation and that it is left to early adopters and pioneers like youself you to inform the rest of us.

I didn't know about park and will give it a bash before the next session.

Many thanks for that.

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Some of the information is in the manual(s), but you have to download the basic and then hunt for all the release notes with the version upgrades.

I would highly recommend that anyone with an EQ6, EQ6 Pro, NEQ6, HEQ5, Atlas EQ-G, Sirius, and any Synscan EQ mount I forgot sign onto the Yahoo! EQ6 Users' Group for a world of help and information. Massive resource for SynScan EQ.

EQ6 : Atlas, EQ6, SkyScan & SynTrek Mounts

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  • 5 years later...

Thank you for the information I don't know whether to use this or not now.  I have an EQ5 mount did a 3 star alignment everything was sort of OK every now and then an object was not in FOV.  The next time I used the mount did a 2 star alignment got caution previous NPE applied ignored this went to first objects M13,M92 NGC6210 dead centre of FOV went to M10 and M12  they were on the very right of the FOV went to M57 and nothing in FOV changed to wide-field 32mm still not in FOV could not work it out and then clouds rolled in so not been able to go out again.

 

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  • 2 years later...
On 06/03/2011 at 19:22, Skylook123 said:

There are two answers, depending on your thoughts and intentions for the alignment.

First, if you use the ESC button multiple times you will get to the SETUP menu. Press enter, then scroll down through the choices until you get to Alignment (not Alignment Stars; that choice allows you to fiddle with how Synscan presents the alginment star menu), press Enter, and redo the star alignment. Whether you chose 1-, 2-, or 3-Star Alignment, SynScan will remember the previous alignment until you complete this alignment so that if you change your mind and use ESC to exit, you should still have your old alignment. In any event, this is how to redo an alignment if the results from the previous alignment are unsatisfactory.

But suppose you only want to enhance the alignment, not redo it? Synscan has an odd, quirky sort of adjustment called Pointing Alignment Enhancement, or PAE. This augments the previous alignment, but does NOT change the model of the sky. Synscan divides the sky into 88 zones. If you exercise PAE on an object, then any GOTO to a target within that zone will have an extra refinement made to it's pointing. The basic sky model from the initial alignment is not changed. So, for example, if you have done a 2-star alignment and then a GOTO to say, the Ring Nebula, and the GOTO does not place The Ring where you think it should, then you can recenter on The Ring and use the Utility menu, select PAE, and follow the instructions to accept the new location. From that point forward until you eitner delete all PAE with the Utility Menu, or until you redo a full alignment, the region around the physical sky where The Ring was when you used PAE will be adapted to your adjustment. If you then GOTO, say, The Swan in Sagittarius, Synscan will pay no attention to your previous PAE. If you like the results, fine; if you find the pointing to The Swan is also not to your liking, you can invoke PAE on this object. Then, GOTOs in that region (again, the actuall azimuth-elevation of the part of the sky where the object is at the moment) will be affected. Each PAE is independent, and only effective in a region around the invocation point. The purpose of PAE is to adjust the pointing for mechanical vagaries of the mount, such as less than perfect assembly, or looseness of some component(s), etc., that affect local pointing. PAE does not change the sky model developed in the alignment.

If you use a permanent setup, then over time, the entry of PAEs as you move around the sky (and note that PAE is not to an object, but to a region of your physical sky no matter what object is in that location), eventually you will have a refined space for your mount as long as you never redo an alignment of any kind. Once you redo an alignment, all PAE memory is erased. This includes power cycling effects; if you use Park before removing power, all alignment data is saved along with the PAE data. If power is removed without Park, all alignment data is lost. I wish Synscan had a feature to request alignment and PAE status to verify the condition, but we are blind to that.

If you relocate to a new site each night as I do (my Atlas is used for public outreaches at schools, parks, resorts, etc.), then PAE in the memory can provide mischief when doing the alignment on the next power up. It has saved the previous adjustments, so if you happen to choose an alignment star in a region where the previous use caused you to use a PAE, then the offset will be introduced to the pointing. You make your centering adjustment, then move on. But when your alignment process is complete, the PAE memory is erased. Oh, my, what a warped sky you might have! Luckily, all PAE can be erased without affecting the sky alignment data.

So, there you have it. Synscan does not have a feature to add stars to the alignment model as you go on after the alignment, but it does have PAE for local effects. But SCTs can play some mischief with this feature due to mirror "flop" when crossing the meridian, and mirror shift when changing focus. For serious pointing, such as for small CCD chips, then microfocus addons to the optical tube are almost essential to stop some of the mirror movements that can affect the alignment models or even PAEs.

Thanks Jim.

Needed this exact info. tonight in the UK as I get my mount ready for the season.......

:)

 

 

 

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