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HEQ5 - Possibly a dumb question....

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#1 Lee Diggle

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 11:58 AM

.....but here goes anyway.

I have just got myself and HEQ5 and I sm testing it to make sure everything works. It has the built in dual axis motors. Now here is my question:

WIth the power connect to the motors will the mount automatically rotated i.e. to compensate for the earths rotation? That is without any buttons pressed?

I understand that I can press the hand controller buttons and slew at 2x 8x and 16x but I was under the impression that if left it, it would automatically compensate for the Earths rotation. I have left is switched on for around half an hour now and cannot see any movement.

Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong here? Or have I misunderstood what the dual axis drives will do?

TIA

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 12:04 PM

WIth the power connect to the motors will the mount automatically rotated i.e. to compensate for the earths rotation? That is without any buttons pressed?

I understand that I can press the hand controller buttons and slew at 2x 8x and 16x but I was under the impression that if left it, it would automatically compensate for the Earths rotation. I have left is switched on for around half an hour now and cannot see any movement.


Your understanding of the function of the motors is correct. Remember, though, that it will take 12 hours to travel from horizon to horizon - so even in half an hour it won't go very far (about 7 degrees).

#3 Lee Diggle

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 12:15 PM

Hey John, that seems to make perfect sense. However below is a direct quote from the manual:

The N/Off/S switch acts as a power switch as well as controller for the directions of the motors. When the EQ6 Hand Control is turned on and all buttons are depressed, the R.A. motor will rotate at the proper speed to compensate for the earth's rotation. The Dec. axis does not automatically rotate. When the mount is correctly polar aligned, you only need to turn the R.A. slow-motion to follow or track objects as they move through the field. The Dec. control is not needed for tracking.


This seems to infer that all the buttons need to be depressed for the above to occur, this is what was confusing me.

I suppose I need to leave it switched on for a few hours to check it is working properly. Its typical me however, impatient impatient, impatient.

Thanks for the prompt response. :)

#4 John Carruthers

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 01:45 PM

Are the clutches tight? is the N/S hemisphere selected as apropriate? is everything ballanced? if so and the lights are on then it's probably tracking, try watching the pointer and setting circles over a few minutes for movement.

#5 Lee Diggle

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 01:52 PM

Hi JC,

the clutches are thight and I have N selected and all is balanced. The red light is on, on the mount and the green light is on, on the hand controller. I havent been able to spot any movement at all when looking at the setting circles - I have them both set to 0.

I really hope I am missing something at the motors are not faulty. As I said before they work when slewing and pressing the buttons.

#6 midnightblue

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:09 PM

put your ear to the mount you should hear the motor

#7 Lee Diggle

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:21 PM

Well thats just it, I cannot hear anything unless the buttons are pressed. If I had known that this was going to be an issue I would have held off purchasing and waited to get the HEQ5pro or EQ6 instead :-(

#8 rmollise

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:37 PM

Well thats just it, I cannot hear anything unless the buttons are pressed. If I had known that this was going to be an issue I would have held off purchasing and waited to get the HEQ5pro or EQ6 instead :-(


These mounts are very quiet when tracking, and, as mentioned, it will do one revolution every 23-hours, 56-minutes, 4-seconds. That's why they call it a clock drive.

If you're not sure if it's tracking, check the RA circle, leave it alone, and come back after 15-minutes. Movement will be obvious. Or you can just align it under the stars and see if it tracks.

#9 Lee Diggle

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:48 PM

Hey Uncle Rod, thanks for the response.

Given what you have said I think there possibly is a problem. I have had it switched on now for over an hour and the RA circle still reads 0. I think I will try it outside, on the next clear night (whenever that will be) and maybe try some different batteries.

#10 Charlie Hein

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 03:24 PM

Hey Uncle Rod, thanks for the response.

Given what you have said I think there possibly is a problem. I have had it switched on now for over an hour and the RA circle still reads 0. I think I will try it outside, on the next clear night (whenever that will be) and maybe try some different batteries.


After an hour you should clearly be able to see a difference in the position of the counterweight shaft - or in the position of the dovetail saddle if the motor cables are reversed.

#11 astro_baby

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 03:50 PM

The manual is wrong - been there myself. Press the buttons at a highish slew speed - whatever is fastest. Look through the scope - are objects moving ? If they are chances are all is well with the motors and controller.

When no buttons are pressed the mount will be tracking in RA its just VERY slow. You will not notice much because as already mentioned the mount would take 24 hours to do a full rotation. You wont hear a think from the motors because they are so quiet at normal tracking speed.

The reason for doing a slew at max speed is that even then you wont hear much and movement wont appear to be very fast just looking at the scope either. If you want to check if the scopes moving either look through the EP at a distant object OR on the left side of the mount there are two rubber caps, remove them and you will be able to see the ends of the worm drives moving. As the ends of the worm are rotating quite fast evene when the scope is moving slow you'll see better movement there.

The tracking on my standard HEQ5 was astounding - so accurate you'd think it was being guided - at least from a visual point of view.
I had the same fears and paranoias about my HEQ5 when it was new. :)

#12 Lee Diggle

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 04:01 PM

Hey Astrobaby, Ive just been chatting to Trev from Adur Astronomical. I have been reading your great guides on the website, they are a great help and very well written. Ive just taken off those rubber mounts and checked that I can see them moving whilst slewing. I have checked their position and will recheck them in half an hour or so to see if they have moved (I say they, just the RA one that is)

Im am really paranoid that I have got a duff set of motors in this mount which will be a shame as it is being discontinued and from the short time I have had it I am impressed with the quality. Just as a check I am referring to the standard HEQ5 not the pro of syncan.

#13 Lee Diggle

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 04:20 AM

Well, heres an update. I left the mount powered all last night hoping to see some movement in the scope position this morning - nothing.

Im fast begining to think that I have a duff mount / set of motors.

#14 Lee Diggle

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:13 AM

Its all academic now as the power jack has just broken therefore this product will need returning for replacement.

#15 astro_baby

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:35 PM

Ahah - probably a duff connector. I'll see you at the next AAS meeting if your there.

#16 Lee Diggle

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 01:07 PM

Thats what I thought. Any how I have arranged a return of this product and will now purchase the HEQ5 Syntrek, once the refund has be credited back to my account. As for the next AAS meeting when and where is it?

#17 Skylook123

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:35 PM

SynScan does NOT perform siderial tracking UNLESS and alignment is completed OR the setup menu is used to turn on tracking without an alignment. It's fooled me a few times doing daylight solar/lunar tracking; I have to start the tracking manually if I don't do an alignment.

Check the hand controller under Setup, Tracking, and see if there is a ">>" next to siderial. If not, you'll need to start it to see anything.

#18 Lee Diggle

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:04 AM

Thanks Jim,

It was just the standard HEQ5 that I had purchased, not the syntrek. It is however going back and I am going to get the syntrek version. I sat and read the Syntrek user guide last night and I am glad I did as the process described above is explained - the fact you have to actually set it to track. The manual for the standard HEQ5 doesnt mention anything about setting the hand controller to track!

#19 rmollise

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:23 AM

SynScan does NOT perform siderial tracking UNLESS and alignment is completed OR the setup menu is used to turn on tracking without an alignment. It's fooled me a few times doing daylight solar/lunar tracking; I have to start the tracking manually if I don't do an alignment.

Check the hand controller under Setup, Tracking, and see if there is a ">>" next to siderial. If not, you'll need to start it to see anything.


Yep...this is the case for quite a few other scopes/mounts as well.

#20 Lee Diggle

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:57 AM

Its funny, although the standard HEQ5 mount doesnt mention anything about setting the mount to track I did wonder if that was the case and tried pressing several different button combinations to see if that would start it but nothing happened.

#21 rmollise

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:44 PM

Its funny, although the standard HEQ5 mount doesnt mention anything about setting the mount to track I did wonder if that was the case and tried pressing several different button combinations to see if that would start it but nothing happened.


Are you talking about the SynScan (go-to) controller? If so, random button pushes ain't gonna do it.

The non-go-to controller? It should track as soon as power is applied.

#22 Skylook123

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:49 AM

Thanks Jim,

It was just the standard HEQ5 that I had purchased, not the syntrek. It is however going back and I am going to get the syntrek version. I sat and read the Syntrek user guide last night and I am glad I did as the process described above is explained - the fact you have to actually set it to track. The manual for the standard HEQ5 doesnt mention anything about setting the hand controller to track!


Lee,

I might be wrong, but I believe the basic non-GOTO is the Syntrek version, with the fully capable controller board and motors in the mount head, while SynScan adds the GOTO controller handset. So, if the SynTrek manual says that the siderial tracking needs to either have an alignment performed or be manually activated, that matches the SynScan performance since it's the controller card in the mount head that does the heavy lifting. The two flavors of hand controller (without and with GOTO) only relaying a rate command to the controller card for none, sideral, lunar, or solar rates. With no hand controller at all, EQMOD and a laptop will open a new world of capabilities and adventures, including satellite tracking!

#23 Lee Diggle

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:12 AM

It was just the basic HEQ5, non synscan, non goto. I was under the exact same impression that when power is applied it will start tracking, but it did not. Anyhooo it was collected yesterday by courier and I should hopefully have my refund soon.

#24 Lee Diggle

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 05:57 AM

I am going to order the HEQ5 Syntrek when I have my refund back then I have the opportunity to upgrade to a GoTo version at a later date. Ive also been looking at the EQMod and it looks interesting however I do not completely understand what it entails.

#25 neptun2

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:45 PM

I have the pure HEQ5. I will explain some things about the different models of heq5 because this is common problem. Once there was pure HEQ5 and Heq5 Pro. The pro is equivallent to the synscan (sometimes called also skyscan). The pure HEQ5 has different motors, different electronics and different hand controller. It can be upgraded to synscan through special skywatcher kit but this includes replacing motors, gears, electronics board and hand controller. The pure heq5 has very simple hand controller and starts to track automaticaly as long as you put the main switch to N for north hemisphere or S for south hemisphere. It can also slew at 2x, 8x and 16x and that is everything. The syntrek version which was released relatively soon has everything that the synscan have except for the hand controller. It has it's own crippled hand controller and can be upgraded to synscan by replacing the hand controller only. Other option with syntrek is to use the shoestring eqdir interface and eqmod.






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