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Skywatcher Goto Mount Questions

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#1 chgomonitor


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Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:43 PM

I just obtained my second Skywatcher refractor. My first is the AZ4 102 alt-az refractor:


(Which I'm crazy about)

and I just took delivery of a LightChariot 102 AZ, my first Goto:


The lightChariots can be found online on sale for as cheap as $249.95, I got mine from Adorama at $299, a great deal for this $425 class instrument.

I'm a refractor guy and do a lot of visual work from my light polluted yard inChicago's northwest suburbs and some trips to dark sky locations around the Midwest. I also dabble with some wide field astrophotography work. I also love my binoculars, LOL.

Anyways, questions on the LightChariot...

#1. I'm a little disappointed with the rather short, hard plastic dovetail bolted to the tube. Has anyone tried replacing it with a longer, metal version? I'm a little concerned that if I unscrew the small bolts the nuts visible inside the tube will come free and then I'll have to open the tube. Also thinking about temporarily switching about the rings/dovetail from the AZ4 102 and putting them
on the LightChariot. (That would also let me mount a camera as well as addressing tube balance issues). (The supplied hard plastic dovetail has 3 detents for the holding bolt).

#2. Without SynScan power the elevation bearing can be swiveled up and down roughly but the azimuth bearing appears to be locked (?). Is there any way to use this mount without powering it up? Grrr...

#3. I have a location stored in SynScan that I'd like to delete. Can this be done? Alternately, is there a way to TOTALLY restore / reset back to factory defaults? I've done the Menu restore to factory but my locations stayed. Can't
quite figure this one out, though I'm admittedly still on the lower part of the learning curve with SynScan Goto. It's pretty darn cool though!

#4. My accessory tray has a nice accurate little compass glued to it, not sure why. I don't have to point the mount North or anything to align the SynScan, do I? And hey, I thought this was supposed be a little bubble level, instead - no? Hmmm...

#5. Any issue with firmware versions and rates of manual slewing off the SynScan as supplied? I seem to have #9 - slightly too fast, and about 6 other settings - all too slow with a ton of gear backlash. Hmmm...

Overall I'm pretty impressed with the 102 LightChariot. Very nice optical performance with very little CA. I slapped a huge 2 inch dielectric diagonal on it and stuck my University Optics 38mm 2 inch eyepiece. Sweet views with no apparent vignetting but I have to rack the focus in ALL the way forward and it just barely (but does) reach focus that way. Great wide field view with this config. I ran the power up to 100 on Mars with a 6mm TMB planetary and got a
nice sharp little disc. Haven't tried the Barlow routine yet, though. The aluminum tripod while a little flimsy is very light and easily transportable and reasonably stable once setup correctly - at least for this class of telescope.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide to this Goto Newbie.

Happy Sky Scanning! - Ted

#2 Robert1944


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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:37 PM

Hi Ted
I can possibly answer a couple of points you have raised about your Skywaycher Mount First the elevation ( Alt direction as its called ) this has a form of clutch which allows you to move your scope up and down. We now come to the Azimuth part of the Mount this is usually gear driven DO NOT TRY and force the mount in this direction.
Now we look at the tracking rates nearly all errors in tracking and locating are a result of poor alignment at the begining and a lack of voltage going to the mount. in fact I believe that these factors account for about 97% of all errors reported. finally no matter the scope or mount Balance is very important

#3 CounterWeight



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Posted 10 April 2010 - 06:53 PM

(a bit off topic)

Hi Robert1944, welcome to the CN funhouse :)

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