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Well i got my new scope


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Purchased the Explorer 150P with the Eq3-2 mount as its a package and the guy in the shop said a) he had nothing else in and B) i doubt my limits on money would allow anything bigger as getting mounts on there own always costs more in the end ;) All the advice about the eq5 sort of went out the window as i was desperate to get something up and running :hello2:, payed cash ran out he shop, drove home at breakneck speed....

Open boxes no problem, gets the bits ready, open the instruction book and the page on setting up the mount is in german :hello2: good job there are pictures.

First question why are they 2 different types of mounting plate, i got the long version, 2 of them in fact one on the scope tube rings and one in the mount box ?????

Second question i presume i dont have to screw the counterweight in all the way as i cant get the polar alignment scope into the mount with it screwed all the way up ????

After about an hour the mount was up in the garden and the scope sitting on top in the sun shine. Now i must admit i dont think i was fully prepard for the complexity of the EQ mount, maybe i should have looked into it further the wife refused to use it as it looked too complicated. (I didn't polar aligh first time out it would have took too long) :hello2:

Connecting the camera at Prime Focus was easy and managed to get a few shots away but nothing very good so i will keep them to myself for now.

Just managed to get the motors on the scope, i think i have done it right but i am missing some batteries (i got the wrong ones) so it will have to wait for now. I am sure i will have more question after my second night out in the garden depending on the weather that is 2 hours first time out was long enough and i have not even unpacked my Collimator yet.....

Thanks for all the advice one and all

Gavin

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^ Good choice. :hello2:

1. I wondered about the two plates but settled on the small one. Once you set it up and find the balance point. Scratch a line in the black paint so you can just plonk the scope in the right place on the mount if you take it apart for storage.

2. You don't need to screw the counterweight bar all the way. You can tighten the knurled cone nut to hold it tight.

3. You'll need a decent battery for the motor drive. A lot of people plump for this one from Maplins If go into a local store or check on-line, they are sometimes on offer for £25.00

4. Enjoy. :hello2:

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Some people use the second (longer) dovetail bar as a scope carrying handle by screwing it onto the top of the scope rings.

You don't need to use the polarscope to align if you're only observing. You can point the mount due north and set the latitude to your location (make sure the tripod is level first), then locate the pole star (which should be in the finder) and adjust the alt and az controls to center it. Make sure the ota is parallel with the mount first. Then you should see the pole star in the ota using a wide ep (eg 25mm). Center it in the ota and adjust the finder to match and you're set.

From then on use only RA and DEC to orientate the scope to a target. If the ep is in the wrong position (eg under the tube) - stand behind the tube so it won't slip out, loosen the rings a little and spin the tube round till the ep is in a comfy position. Then engage the motors and you're tracking. Hope that helps :hello2:

Edited by brantuk
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hi

I've had similar queries to you setting up my first scope and EQ3-2 too

Open boxes no problem, gets the bits ready, open the instruction book and the page on setting up the mount is in german :hello2: good job there are pictures.

Yeah, printing error with the Instruction Manual page 6 for the english EQ3 set-up instructions was the German page. I did check the german version pages at the back but the same page was'nt in english :hello2:

I just used the EQ5 relevant page which is the same anyway and as you say the pictures are pretty explanatory.

First question why are they 2 different types of mounting plate, i got the long version, 2 of them in fact one on the scope tube rings and one in the mount box ?????

I just assumed that the shorter plates are for shorter scopes. Mine's the SW 100ED (900mm) and the scope came with the long plate fitted. Guess the EQ3-2 ships with the longer plate and you get the shorter plate with shorter scopes??

Second question i presume i dont have to screw the counterweight in all the way as i cant get the polar alignment scope into the mount with it screwed all the way up ????

I don't have the polar scope and did wonder about how far to screw the counterwieght rod in. Went for the screw it all the way in and it will prob be more stable option. I took the polar cap off and had a look through and saw that the rod did'nt completely obscure the polar alignment gap and only slightly encroached more than the bolt coming down from the RA mount part anyway.

I found having a real good play with the mount and scope in the comfort of my living room helped loads in learning all the different parts and movement. following the manual for balancing the scope where you are not just adjusting the RA and Dec but also the latitude gives you a great start.

Mastering polar alignment and you are there I think:)

These GEM mounts look really complicated when first setting up but I kept telling myself it's all just moving parts and nothing mechanically complicated on the inside:D

Edited by Woking
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I have the same mount as you the EQ3-2 with counter wait bar screwed all the way in, and the other mounting bar is for the PL version of the 150. If you are unable to get the polar scope in then you may have a similar problem to what I was faced with when trying to fit mine. The solution for me was to use a wrench to remove the polar scope holder from mount and then just screw in polar scope.(there are two types one goes straight in and the other requires you remove the black polar scope holder from eq3-2 mount first, check to see if your polar scope has the silver dial already fitted if so get wrench)

Hope this helps, enjoy the scope.

Edited by Dai150PL
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EQ scopes are wonderful - and all the complications are useful ones that you will appreciate in time as you observe more.

Learning to use the scope mount and all its knobs and gears during the day is essential - it is important to know what knob to reach for and what it will do when you turn it - especially in the dark!

Don't worry terribly about the polar alignment the first few times out - small errors aren't important visually, you can guide them out with the hand controls. As you learn to use the scope visually, then give the camera a go. It always helps to know what the object looks like visually before you snap away with a camera - otherwise, how do you know if it is a good shot? :hello2:

Have fun with it!

Dan

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