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Cant align my LXD75

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#1 skycamper

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:55 AM

After putting in the polar home position, easy align sends the scope to stars that are not even in the sky. The computer keeps my scope type, location info, date, daylight savings, site, but not the time . Not sure why im having problems, didn't have any before. I have not used it much. Any obvious ideas here?

#2 skycamper

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:58 AM

I think im having a problem entering the time. when it asks I enter 11:30:00PM which is the time here, the autostar has my proper zip code and scope. im going to try and just use military time, then if that don't work I will reset it. Do it over tomorrow and then train the motors.

#3 skycamper

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:49 AM

Same problems after doing a reset...and using military time. Easy align wants to go to arcturus but its not even up. Im sure im making a simple mistake. Any help apricaited

#4 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:30 AM

Verify your site latitude and longitude.
Use military time.
Make sure Daylight Savings Time is set to YES.
In Setup>Telescope verify your telescope info is correct.
Use the Polar Alignment Scope to get Polaris roughly centered.
Use One Star alignment. During the first part you will be prompted to use the mechanical altitude/latitude and azimuth adjustment bolts to get Polaris centered in the eyepiece. Start with a low power and then work up... If you have one, use an illuminated reticule DUAL CROSS HAIR eyepiece. When you have polaris centered press ENTER. Autostar will slew to another star. Follow the prompts. Congratulations, you just did an Autostar assisted Polar Alignment.

To fine tune the pointing model and compensate for Cone Error, run a 3 star alignment.

#5 skycamper

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:58 AM

Oh thank you for responding! I should tell you this is a Vixen Mount with Autostar adapted to it. I did this with another vixen mount and did not have this difficulty. Anyway, yes I concidered the one star polar assist alignment but was not sure what it meant. With the scope in polar home position (tube directly over the mount pointed north) should polaris be in the eyepiece on the telescope at that point all by itself? Is autostar saying I need to look through the polar axis scope or the eyepeice for the assist? Yes I have an illuminated reticule.

#6 skycamper

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:17 AM

So the military time is just using the autostar without AM or PM ? when in military time there is no am or pm present?

The format is 00:00:00 is this hrs/min/sec ? I noticed the values can be entered can be very high like 99:99:99 is this normal?
Thanks for your patcience.
Abraham

#7 jrcrilly

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:16 PM

Easy align wants to go to arcturus but its not even up.


That narrows things down considerably. There's no use fiddling with the mount until that is sorted.

If the mount doesn't know what is above the horizon there are only three possibilities. Either the date, the time, or the location are incorrect.

The date is pretty easy to be sure of. The time can suffer from three different errors; it can be an am/pm error, the time zone can be wrong, or the DST flag can be incorrectly set. The most common location error is an incorrect longitude direction (set by the algebraic sign).

By far, the most common errors are time zone and longitude direction.

#8 maugi88

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:42 PM

Make sure you are answering the daylight savings question correctly. Its a little thing and easy to just press enter to skip over if your rushing, but makes a huge difference.

#9 maugi88

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:45 PM

Oh sorry I see that someone else already brought this up.

#10 Jon_Doh

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:52 PM

If the Vixen mount is an equatorial mount make sure you have the latitude set correctly in the latitude scale on the mount.

#11 skycamper

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 03:38 PM

Thank you for all the replies, everyone.
Yes, Daylight savings is on YES, my zip code is correct. My mount is set at about 45 degrees for portland OR area, polaris is roughly in the polar scope. The type of scope is as close to mine as possible. The time is what im concerned with. I'll try military again and use the polar align assist option. John, if I enter the zipcode wont autostar know my longitude?

#12 jrcrilly

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 03:51 PM

That leaves time zone.

#13 skycamper

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 03:59 PM

Autostar does not ask for the time zone. I will check again. Thanks!

#14 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:19 PM

Oh thank you for responding! I should tell you this is a Vixen Mount with Autostar adapted to it. I did this with another vixen mount and did not have this difficulty. Anyway, yes I concidered the one star polar assist alignment but was not sure what it meant. With the scope in polar home position (tube directly over the mount pointed north) should polaris be in the eyepiece on the telescope at that point all by itself? NO Is autostar saying I need to look through the polar axis scope or the eyepeice for the assist? Eyepiece Yes I have an illuminated reticule.


There are 3 distinct parts to this process.

1. Looking through the Polar Alignment Scope and using the mechanical azimuth and altitude/latitude bolts to get Polaris roughly centered.

2. Using Autostar to do a 1 Star Alignment is a two step process.
A. Autostart slews the mount to where Polaris should be and then Autostar prompts you to use the mechanical azimuth and altitude/latitude bolts to get Polaris centered in the optical tube eyepiece. When Polaris is centered you press Enter.
B. Autostar slews to a second star and prompts you to use the hand controller to get the star centered in the optical tube eyepiece and when the star is centered you press enter. Autostar will then tell you if the alignment was successful or not.

3. Doing a 3 star alignment to refine the pointing model.


If you are still having trouble, then you need to deal with cone error mechanically, but before we go there, how about letting us know what OTA you have mounted, and then post a picture or pictures of your mounting arrangement...

#15 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:37 PM

So the military time is just using the autostar without AM or PM ? when in military time there is no am or pm present?

The format is 00:00:00 is this hrs/min/sec ? I noticed the values can be entered can be very high like 99:99:99 is this normal?
Thanks for your patcience.
Abraham


Military time goes from 00:00:00 to 23:59:59. 11:30:00 PM civilian time is 23:30:00 military. Written down, 11:30 PM is 2330. In military time, each hour is in hundreds. When spoken, 8:00 AM is Zero Eight Hundred, 11:30 PM is Twenty Three Thirty, and the middle of the night is Zero Dark Thirty.

BTW, Autostar does not have a battery backed Real Time Clock (RTC), so you must enter the correct time each time you power up Autostar...

#16 skycamper

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:39 AM

Ok fell asleep at 730pm next to my kid while putting him down! probably wont sleep till 3am now. Might as well check out the sky!

I was able to enter the time zone -8 for pacific time and edit my site city, using military time as well. Im taking it out and see what happens.... Here is a photo of my current setup. Nevermind the vixen motors those are on a different scope now. This is a SV80ED. The camera is for fun, too see how it balances.....really thank you for all the help everyone I will keep u posted.

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#17 skycamper

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:22 AM

Heres one more photo, im also going to perform a drift alignment if I can with the one star alignment. Wish me luck!

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#18 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 04:11 AM

The angle of the RA axis looks all-wrong in those pics if you are in Beaverton, OR.

The angle looks more like what I used to use in Fairbanks, Alaska, at 64 degrees North Latitude.

Maybe it is just a trick of the camera perspective but it sure looks suspicious to me.

Are you SURE that the angle of the RA axis is about 45 degrees from level?

#19 skycamper

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 04:36 AM

No No No! I took that photo because I liked the angle of the photo. Im using about 45.38 for Hillsboro since Beaverton was not an option in the autostar. Im yet to go out tonight. Its supposed to be clear here all week and I need to get this done before that and take my first digital photos with my T1i. Need to learn this before comet ISON comes.

#20 skycamper

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 10:20 AM

Ok, just got back inside from an all nighter at the scope starting at 2:30 am! After adjusting autostar for the proper time and time zone. The slews were better but not perfect or anything... every now and again the autostar would not slew to the target and I found I was having a collision between the manual clutch and a motor housing, which happened twice! Since these motors are not native to this mount I think I just need to remove the clutch handle and reinstall it so that when its engaged all the way it does not interfere with the motor housing. So next in my master plan is a two star and three star alignment. I would have made it this far but my DSLR was calling to me and I ended up taking my first ever digital photo of the sky other than holding my point and click up to an eyepiece!

This photo was like 19MB so to post it here I had to use canons utility zoombrowser to convert to Jpeg then open paint to resize it to less than 200kb.....photo stats are this: RAW 800 ISO using canons handheld shutter release to trigger the 2 second timer which then took a 30 sec shot. Camera set to 30" I should say... SV80ED scope f/7. One minute photos I took were pretty washed out however the nebula was still very visible. THE MOON WAS FULL WHICH DIDNT HELP! ..my backyard is pretty dark but im 9 miles from downtown Portland.

Based on these facts how bad do you guys think my light pollution is? and what do you think of this photo..no guiding...no drift alignment....just the easy align from autostar

Thank you to all who helped me. I would not have made it this far.....I really appreciate everything.
Abraham

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#21 nitegeezer

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 12:42 PM

If my first shot had looked like that, I would have been jumping for joy. When you start stacking multiple images and stretching the data will be the time you find out how good they are. The stacking software, DSS, wants to see round stars and that can make things interesting. It throws out images when stars are too oblong and that is the problem I am facing as I want to take longer exposures. I think this is a fantastic start.

#22 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:33 PM

Congratulations!

#23 skycamper

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:10 AM

Yes I was coming out of my shirt running around the yard....the camera was way low on batteries, dew was forming all around, I didn't have my dew zapper hooked up, but when that first photo pooped in on the screen my eyes went to the size of softballs!!

#24 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:40 PM

Autostar does not ask for the time zone. I will check again. Thanks!


Time Zone, Latitude, and Longitude can be found under Setup>Site






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