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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6
      #5592092 - 12/28/12 02:02 AM

I have used the new mount a few evenings and have some initial comments on it.

1. As I had mentioned previously, it slews smoothly and is very quiet. It is fairly lightweight. I can carry the mount and tripod out to the backyard without too much trouble.

2. I have yet to get a good polar alignment using the polar scope. Most of the offset has been in azimuth (almost up to a degree in one case). The best I have done so far is a 6' in elevation and 18' in azimuth offset which is not too bad. Still even with larger offsets, I can get objects within the FOV of a C-8 using a 32mm Plossl although they may be close to the edge.

a. Does anyone know what the large circle in the middle of the reticle represents in arc-minutes or degrees? I have used the clock position of Polaris that the hand controller gives you, but I am not sure how large a distance from the NCP that circle represents.

b. I do have some cone error issues with my scope, so using the 3-star alignment did increase my alignment accuracy. It cut the offset in half or better.

c. I have not tried the new "All-Star" polar alignment feature. Hopefully that would improve things even more.

3. The polar scope LED lights up the entire reticle view, not just the circles and lines on the reticle, so you are looking at a big red FOV. I had to turn the brightness down about as low as I could to see Polaris well.

4. The mount sometimes seems to loose where the "Home" position is especially if you swing the scope around to open the polar scope and then try to align the scope. After manually changing off polar north, I found myself having to reestablish the "Home" position before doing an alignment. Maybe I am doing something wrong?

5. When I tell the mount to return to the "Home" position, the declination value that it returns to is not the same as from where it started. I line up the mount mark with the declination setting circle at 90 degrees, go through and alignment, slew to some objects, and then return to home, and the declination circle can be off by as much as two degrees. I am wondering if there still is a firmware issue with the controller?

I have not tried Alt-Az mode yet. I will give that a shot soon.

JohnD


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JonM
super member


Reged: 07/25/08

Loc: Colorado
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5594605 - 12/29/12 03:17 PM

Hi John,

You probably know this but, you must align the polar scope with the mounts polar axis and, I believe the procedure is described in the manual. The polar scope does not come pre- aligned from the factory (at least mine didn't). After I got the polar scope aligned, it provided a very good polar alignment. I don't know the answer to your question about the "large circle" in the polar alignment scope but, that is where you want to put Polaris once you have the hour angle. There has been some talk in the past about the handset hour angle not being correct. They may have updated that on the new mount but, mine was off on my Atlas so, I use the polar finder program that is free on the web to give me the correct clock position for Polaris, Then, I just put Polaris on the that clock position and on the large circle in the polar scope. I drift align from there but, I don't have to make much adjustment.

My setting circle do not hold position very well either unless I really tighten the screw down. Even then, they can come loose easily. I just marked the casing of the mount with some glow in the dark tape to define the home position on both axis so I don't have to rely on the setting circles.

You might be well advised to look into using EQMOD software to control your new mount. It has some very nice features if you use a computer when you observe or, if your into astro-potography. Congratulations on your new mount!


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: JonM]
      #5595030 - 12/29/12 07:52 PM

John,

The weather here in Louisiana has been very unpredictable. When I think it is going to be clear and drag out a scope, then it clouds up. Hopefully I will get a chance to actually use mine outside rather than inside.

Jack


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FoxTrot
sage


Reged: 06/01/06

Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5595092 - 12/29/12 08:24 PM

Hi John does the mount have an 'all star' alignment feature, like the Celestron mounts? Cheers, Fox.

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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: FoxTrot]
      #5597421 - 12/31/12 05:41 AM

Well I have a problem. I assume the Synscan version of the All-Star alignment is similar to Celestrons since Synta owns Celestron. I tried the procedure. The mount started going off to never-never land, rotating the scope down until it ran into the mount before I could stop it. I don't know if it caused any internal damage. The instructions really don't say from what position to start this procedure. I had started from the initial pointing at the NCP. I am still having problems getting decent pointing. It seems to work ok on one side of the sky but is off on the other. I know my mount has some cone error, off in azimuth well over a degree and altitude about 1/3 degree. I have tried offsetting the scope to counteract the Az difference. It did seem to help. I will try playing with it again when our weather improves, but I am wondering if the mount now has an issue.

JohnD


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5607815 - 01/06/13 06:20 AM

Well I have worked with the mount a little more and things have improved. I rechecked the polar scope reticle alignment and found it was off slightly. I had previously checked it against a spot on a neighbor's roof and it had looked pretty good. I also turned off the Auxiliary Encoders. There is a mention in the manual that better pointing will be achieved with those off. The last two times out, my pointing has been very good. Last night after a 3-star alignment (which gave me offsets under 10'), I wandered around the sky hitting each object in any direction except for the first. The first object I tried was comet C/2012 K5 (LINEAR). I used the USER Object Catalog to enter its coordinates. When it slewed to that point, it was not there and I had to search for it. I then wandered around finding M and NGC objects. Those came out good. Later on I went back to the comet, reentered its location and then it worked. Possibly the position I entered initially was not correct.

I wish they had put at least hour tic marks on the polar scope circle. It would have made it easier to determine where to set Polaris although, since that circle is very small, the marks may have ended up very close together. I will take a look at the secondary polar setting circles to see how well that works. I don't know if I want to try the "All-Sky" alignment process again. I also still need to try Alt-Az mode to see how that works.

JohnD


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neptun2
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5607817 - 01/06/13 06:35 AM

Hello. I have heq5 pro mount and use the new all-star polar alignment routine since the first synscan beta version where it was introduced (3.28 beta). I am very happy with it. Here is the procedure that i use and works ok.

1. Setup you mount normally and use the polar scope to just put polaris in it's field of view. There is no need to be very precise here. If it is easier for you you can even center polaris in the field of view of the polar scope.

2. Make 3-star alignment. Try to center the stars as precise as possible. I recommend to use camera or live view of dslr with grid to assist that. Reticle eyepiece should also do the trick but live view grid of dslr gives best results for me.

3. After 3-star algnment is complete select the polar align routine. It will ask you to select star. Use one of the suggested by the hand controller. It will slew to this star and will ask you to precisely center it using the hand controller's arrows. Do it. After doinf it the mount will slew to where the star should be if your polar alignment was perfect. When this is complete you should recenter the star using ONLY the AZ/ALT adjustment bolts of the mount. Once done your polar alignment will be good. Press ok to confirm and continue working normally with the mount.


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: neptun2]
      #5609561 - 01/07/13 01:22 AM

Thanks neptun2 for your response,

I do use a 12mm reticle eyepiece to center alignment stars. Regarding item#3, I started the procedure as the manual stated. I had put the scope back to Home position after the 3-star alignment. The manual did not really specify where to start that step. Do you leave it at the last alignment star and start the All-Star from that point? I did let it go to the first star, but when I centered that and then proceeded, the mount rotated the scope towards the ground. It ended up hitting the mount because the "Esc" key did not stop it and I had trouble finding the power switch. I have the latest v3.32 firmware version. I don't know if there is an issue with that version.

JohnD


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neptun2
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5609627 - 01/07/13 03:36 AM

Well i do it this way. I finish the 3-star alignment and after completing it the scope still points to the third alignment star. Then i select the polar align routine from the menu without touching the mount, select a star from the provided list and the mount correctly goes to it. After this it asks me to center the star using the hand controller. I do that and it then points the mount to the place where the star should be if plar alignment was correct. After this i recenter the star using only the Alt/Az adjustments of the mount and hit ok at the hand controller when ready. After this everything is completed. You can directly go to any object you wish.

As i understand you unlocked RA and DEC and moved the mount back to home after completing the 3-star alignment and after that started polar align procedure. This should not be done.

About the firmware - i personally have still not used the final 3.32 version although my controller is updated to it because of bad weather in the last month. but i have tested the last 3.32 beta before that final version and did not find any problem with the polar align so i doubt that this is firmware problem. Try my procedure and tell me if it works correctly for you.


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5610138 - 01/07/13 12:29 PM

Has anyone tried this mount with a 140mm f/6 refractor or similar in alt az to see how stable she is?

Howard


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: neptun2]
      #5611221 - 01/08/13 12:11 AM

Thanks neptun2,

I will give that a try when the weather permits.

JohnD


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desanctb
member


Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Calgary,Canada
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5612394 - 01/08/13 05:49 PM

You should try the polar alignment routine in Eqmod, this actually places the small circle in the right position so that you only need to place Polaris in it. I realize guessing where the circle should be (ie. the correct hour angle) is only an estimate. This routine places the circle exactly where it should be for proper polar alignment. There are several video tutorials on this at YouTube.
Burt


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5633529 - 01/20/13 04:41 PM

I was out for about 5 hours Saturday evening trying various alignment procedures.

I did retry the "All-Star" alignment process, this time starting from the last alignment star I used instead of going back to Home. It gave me "Sirius which was in the south near the meridian. After aligning it with the hand controller, it rotated the scope 180 degrees and I adjusted the Alt-Az knobs to center Sirius again. However, it did not give me any better numbers. I guess you can repeat this several times, but I gave up after one try. The first attempt moved Polaris quite a bit off in Az. I will have to try multiple iterations.

I then reset Polaris and went through numerous alignment procedures, mostly 3-star. The numbers seemed to get worse as I went along. The 3-star alignment did 2 stars in the west and one in the east. When I slewed to objects after alignments, the ones in the west were good, but those in the east were mostly off. For instance eastern objects M81 and M65 were not close but M3 was in the eyepiece. I was really getting frustrated. As a last resort I tried a 2 star alignment using the alignment stars suggested by a little iPhone/iPad app named Alt Az Align instead of those suggested by the hand controller. Although the resulting NCP offset was not much better than what I was getting before, when I started slewing to objects, every one was in the FOV whether north, south, east, or west. I am beginning to wonder if this Synscan firmware version still has goto issues. It makes no sense what was going on. If I have some time Sunday evening, I will try the Alt-Az setup. Hopefully I can get better goto results.

JohnD


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5634446 - 01/21/13 07:56 AM

interested to hear how this goes in alt/az

thanks for the info


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5634495 - 01/21/13 08:42 AM

Quote:

I was out for about 5 hours Saturday evening trying various alignment procedures.

I did retry the "All-Star" alignment process, this time starting from the last alignment star I used instead of going back to Home. It gave me "Sirius which was in the south near the meridian. After aligning it with the hand controller, it rotated the scope 180 degrees and I adjusted the Alt-Az knobs to center Sirius again. However, it did not give me any better numbers. I guess you can repeat this several times, but I gave up after one try. The first attempt moved Polaris quite a bit off in Az. I will have to try multiple iterations.

I then reset Polaris and went through numerous alignment procedures, mostly 3-star. The numbers seemed to get worse as I went along. The 3-star alignment did 2 stars in the west and one in the east. When I slewed to objects after alignments, the ones in the west were good, but those in the east were mostly off. For instance eastern objects M81 and M65 were not close but M3 was in the eyepiece. I was really getting frustrated. As a last resort I tried a 2 star alignment using the alignment stars suggested by a little iPhone/iPad app named Alt Az Align instead of those suggested by the hand controller. Although the resulting NCP offset was not much better than what I was getting before, when I started slewing to objects, every one was in the FOV whether north, south, east, or west. I am beginning to wonder if this Synscan firmware version still has goto issues. It makes no sense what was going on. If I have some time Sunday evening, I will try the Alt-Az setup. Hopefully I can get better goto results.

JohnD




The important thing is not to just choose the first stars the HC comes up with. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. While this has been improved in the most recent firmware, YOU ARE WELL ADVISED TO FOLLOW THE ALIGNMENT STAR CHOICE ADVICE IN THE MANUAL. If I do this, the Atlas EQ-6 will put anything I request anywhere in the sky in the field of a medium power eyepiece. A decent polar alignment helps as well, with the best star for AllStar being the one closest to the intersection of the Celestial Equator and the Meridian.

Finally, I am not sure why you expect--if I am understanding what you are writing--the NCP numbers to get better after a go-to alignment. Only changing the polar alignment will affect that.

Edited by rmollise (01/21/13 08:44 AM)


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5655566 - 02/01/13 04:15 AM

Some good news for a change. I decided to try the Alt-Az setup hoping to have a little better pointing accuracy.

* I reconfigured the mount from EQ to Alt-Az with the scope and counterweight off the mount. I remounted the scope and counterweight and pointed the scope north although according to the manual it is only necessary to point the scope north if you are going to use the 1-star (Brightest Star) alignment method.

* I turned on the mount, selected the "Az Mode", entered the date and time, and then went into the Alignment Setup and chose 2-Star. The first star it gave me was the usual Sirius which was about 200 degrees in Az.

* At this point you have to "manually move the mount to the first alignment star by using either the hand controller or declutching the RA and Dec clutches and moving it by hand. I chose the second method although using the hand controller probably would not be too bad since it sets the speed to maximum (9).

* Once at Sirius, I tried switching between a 32mm eyepiece and my 12.5mm illuminated reticle eyepiece. The mount at this point was not tracking very well so when I switched eyepieces, Sirius had already moved out of the FOV of the 12.5. I was finally able to allow for the movement and got it to align.

* It then gave me Arcturus, which was low in the eastern sky, as the second star. Upon hitting "Enter", it automatically slewed to the area of Arcturus. It was about a degree off. I centered Arcturus and I received the "Alignment Successful" message.

* The first object I tried was M3 which is fairly close to Arcturus. It ended up dead center. I then chose M51 which was in the neighborhood of 45 degrees to the left of Arcturus. Instead of rotating counter-clockwise to M51 (the short way), it rotated all the way around clockwise to it. Apparently this is an anti cord wrap feature so the power cord does not get tied up in knots. I looked in the eyepiece and M51 was also dead center.

* I then chose in sequence (rotating counter-clockwise starting from M51): M36, Jupiter, M42, M41, M47, M46, and M65. They were all dead center.

I am happy. I will have to play some more with EQ Mode to get it to work a little better.

Another question:
I wanted to use the mount for solar viewing, but the Sun is not in the object list. How do you use it for solar? Just manually move it to the Sun? It seems that you need to do some sort of alignment process to get proper tracking?

JohnD

Edited by johnpd (02/01/13 04:30 AM)


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5655781 - 02/01/13 08:28 AM

Excellent

I have the same praise for my az eq6 in alt az mode

Love this mount


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: HowardK]
      #5655904 - 02/01/13 09:32 AM

In alt-az, most mounts don't track at all before alignment, and if they do, it will not be very good. They don't know _how_ to track for a particular spot in the sky until they are _aligned_.

Edited by rmollise (02/01/13 09:32 AM)


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: rmollise]
      #5656387 - 02/01/13 01:38 PM

Quote:

In alt-az, most mounts don't track at all before alignment, and if they do, it will not be very good. They don't know _how_ to track for a particular spot in the sky until they are _aligned_.




That is what I suspected was happening. At least I know what to expect now.

JohnD


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5657074 - 02/01/13 08:18 PM

I posted a question on the SkyWatcher group about how to align on the Sun when there is no Sun in the list of targets. Someone mentioned making a User Defined asteroid that is in a orbit the same as the earth and directly opposite the earth in the orbit. When you go to the User Defined asteroid, the offending Sun will be in the way - just what you want. I printed out the website and filed it away somewhere and hopefully when I need it I can find it.

With the LX80 someone on that group said to level the mout in AA, do a one star alignment and no matter where the mount ends up, tell it that the star is centered. Then go to the Sun and it should track fairly well.

Jack


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5659159 - 02/03/13 12:01 AM

Hi Jack,

I played with this for a while this afternoon. In Alt-Az Mode, there is no one-star alignment under the current Synscan version (v3.32). There are two alignment methods: (1) Brightest Star and (2) 2-Star. The Brightest Star method still involves a two star alignment. The first object can be a planet but you still have to align with two stars after that and the Sun does not appear in the list of possible stars. Since either Alt-Az alignment method requires you to manually locate the first star, you have to guess where it is although it does give you the Azimuth and Altitude of the star or object. When I did a first object guess at Mercury and got to the next step, the list of 2nd alignment stars it gave me was only Sirius and Arcturus, neither of which were up at that time. So I am at a loss as to how to get it to work.

I did try just manually moving the mount to the Sun and selecting "Solar" as the tracking method. That sort of worked, but it required recentering every few minutes. When I checked where it thought it was using the "Show Position" option, it showed numbers indicating that it thought it was looking at a terrestrial object. It needs to align to something, but it is beyond me how to go about it. I cannot understand why Synta does not include the Sun as an object. On the Celestron mounts, it does not show up as a default object, but has to be enabled. That is fine, at least it is in there. If Synta had a one object align in Alt-Az for quick viewing of solar system objects which included the Sun, even if you would have to enable it, that would be a great help.

I suppose the "User Object" option could be used if you know the current RA/Dec or Alt/Az position of the Sun, but it still needs a starting point as a reference as Uncle Rod mentioned. I don't see any way to define that. I can try that but I am not hopeful.

JohnD


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5659327 - 02/03/13 03:29 AM

I may have found a solution but it might be a few days before I can thoroughly test it. It occurred to me last night that we might be able to use the auxiliary encoders to help find the Sun. I had them disabled because the manual says that you can get better "goto's" with them off. This is what I did.

1) Moved the mount to AZ Mode Home position (pointing North with telescope level: 0 Az, 0 Alt)
2) Turned on the mount and selected AZ Mode.
3) Enabled the Auxiliary Encoders.
4) In the Utility menu, set Home to "Current Position". (Not sure if this is necessary but I did not think it would hurt.)
5) In the Utility menu, I went to "Show Position". It displayed "0-Az, 0-Alt".
6) I then moved the mount manually pointing to the southwest at about 40 degrees up.
7) I again checked the "Show Position". It gave me the approximate Az and Alt of where I was pointing.

So if I get the coordinates of the Sun at the time I set up for solar viewing, it looks like I will be able to move the scope to that position, turn on "solsr" tracking and hopefully it will track properly. Keeping my fingers crossed.

JohnD


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5662261 - 02/04/13 06:26 PM

IT WORKS!!! I have had it tracking for about a half hour and the Sun is still centered. Some modifications of what I posted above:

1) It does not look like you need to set the Home position in the Utility menu. AZ Mode defaults to 0-Az 0-Alt when you turn it on. Just make sure the scope is pointing true north and is parallel to the ground before you turn the mount on.

2) VERY IMPORTANT: Do not set the Tracking Rate to "Solar" until you have aligned the scope to the Sun. When I set the rate first, position numbers were changing even though the mount was not moving.

3) You probably could use the hand controller directional arrows (with or without the Auxiliary encoders enabled) to move the scope to the Sun. The default slew rate is maximum (9). I find moving the mount manually easier.

JohnD


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5662470 - 02/04/13 08:49 PM

John,

Thanks for testing this out. I will have to give it a try - maybe this weekend when I go camping.

Jack


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Skrenlin
member


Reged: 12/13/10

Loc: North Chicagoland area
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5664156 - 02/05/13 06:49 PM

I'm extremely intrigued by this mount and am considering it as an upgrade for my Sirius EQ-G. I have some concerns, however, over the belt drives. What happens if/when a belt breaks? Especially if it's in alt/az mode? What's the projected lifespan of the belts? Is there a suggested replacement schedule for them?

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5664379 - 02/05/13 09:50 PM

John,

I just tried your procedure inside. Between step 2 and step 3, I had to put in the location, time zone, date and time before I could enable the auxiliary encoders. Once I enabled the aux encoders, moved to a fake Sun position and started solar tracking, the mount began to do so. I went to show positon and could see the alt and az changing.

So my question is do you have to enter all the values stated after setting AZ mode?

Jack


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5664631 - 02/06/13 03:36 AM

Hi Jack,

I don't know. I guess it would not matter since you are manually aligning to a spot in the sky. I just do it as a matter of course. The HC does save the location and time zone from your last session (at least it has for me) so you would only have to enter the date and time.

JohnD


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Skrenlin]
      #5664752 - 02/06/13 07:50 AM

Quote:

I'm extremely intrigued by this mount and am considering it as an upgrade for my Sirius EQ-G. I have some concerns, however, over the belt drives. What happens if/when a belt breaks? Especially if it's in alt/az mode? What's the projected lifespan of the belts? Is there a suggested replacement schedule for them?




How long does a timing belt last on an automobile? The relatively slow speed of the mount, even during go-tos, will mean that this is likely something you'll never have to worry about.


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: rmollise]
      #5664828 - 02/06/13 09:04 AM

Love this mount

Only use in altaz mode

TEC 140 with bino viewer as primary scope
TV NP 101 with Ethos as secondary

Gotos are great, tracking wonderful, stable enough if my nose hits the bino viewer, vibration stops quick, excellent software,,,and love the nose she makes....soooo much more pleasing than the metallic whiring with my CGE PRO....which is also working great for me....looking forward to putting the new StarSense camera on the Pro to automate the whole aligning task.

The AZ EQ6 takes 2 minutes to align..i use the GPS module then align on 2 stars...now i am using Rigel and Capella and thats it.


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Skrenlin
member


Reged: 12/13/10

Loc: North Chicagoland area
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: rmollise]
      #5665732 - 02/06/13 05:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm extremely intrigued by this mount and am considering it as an upgrade for my Sirius EQ-G. I have some concerns, however, over the belt drives. What happens if/when a belt breaks? Especially if it's in alt/az mode? What's the projected lifespan of the belts? Is there a suggested replacement schedule for them?




How long does a timing belt last on an automobile? The relatively slow speed of the mount, even during go-tos, will mean that this is likely something you'll never have to worry about.




Judging by the belts pictured in the one picture I've seen of them, they are very much not constructed like timing belts in cars, but more like drive belts in cd players and tape drives. Those are very prone to dry-rot and tend to get all crumbly over time. That, of course, is judging strictly by the color and translucence of the belts I saw in the picture.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Skrenlin]
      #5665748 - 02/06/13 06:00 PM

Again, they will be used so infrequently and gently, relatively speaking, that you have nothing to worry about IMNSHO.

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JMW
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Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: HowardK]
      #5672817 - 02/10/13 06:28 PM

Howard,

How much clearance do you have when using the TEC-140 at the zenith? Are you on a pier or the tripod?

I wonder how this would do with a C11 EdgeHD and a modest refractor on the mount in Alt/Az?


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: JMW]
      #5673041 - 02/10/13 08:48 PM

Jeff
Am on the tripod

Clears the tripod at zenith no problem
However with the Denk power switch which sticks out 3 inches either side of the focuser then this will hit the tripod leg at anywhere from about 80 degrees up......but this could be adjusted out by moving the TEC forward and rebalancing the second scope, etc.


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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: HowardK]
      #5673052 - 02/10/13 08:55 PM

Thanks. I mostly use my TEC-140 on a DM6 but tracking is nice sometimes for public outreach. Currently my tracking mount is an AP900GTO but it lives full time on a concrete pier at my home. I only move it for multi-night star parties for imaging.

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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: JMW]
      #5673458 - 02/11/13 03:36 AM

I am very happy with the az eq6 for my 140

Breeze though at medium mag will jostle the view.....the scoe is near 4' long after all.

Gotos are excellent, very quick to align and tracking seems great


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

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Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: JMW]
      #5673652 - 02/11/13 09:09 AM

Jeff,

I mounted my C9.25 onto my AZ-EQ6 and the mount did not flinch. When I take the OTA off of my CPC1100 mount for setup on my CGE PRO in my observatory, I will also try it on the AZ-EQ6. I am sure that this will not be a problem.

Jack Huerkamp


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BKBrown
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Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5674738 - 02/11/13 08:13 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

Can anyone say if the tripod assembly is exactly the same as the current standard Atlas? I am curious since I have a Losmandy HD tripod and Optical Supports adapter to mount a standard Atlas...I'd like to be able to do the same with the AZ model if possible. Thanks!

Clear Skies,
Brian


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LTE
member


Reged: 12/15/12

Loc: Scotland
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: HowardK]
      #5689178 - 02/19/13 04:08 PM

The last two nights were clear and I tried my AZ-EQ6 in altaz mode. I had a slow start because I thought the manual advice that there was no required starting position meant a free choice, but in fact I found it only worked if the up arrow moves the telescope up in altitude, so the telescope must be east of the pier to start with. Once that was accepted, it went perfectly. After two calibration stars, GoTos were all central in the field, better than any fork mounted CAT I have used attains regularly and at least as good as my CG-5 achieves after six calibration stars. The smoothness and solidity is really impressive. The RA and Dec clamps are well designed and grip over a range, instead of going tight in a short turn and needing a tool to undo at dawn.
There are a few inconveniences: there are lots of things for the power cable to snag on, especially as it has a fat component (fuse?) located near the mount end of the cable. The handbox cable is very short and while adequate for a CAT, is difficult to reach from a Newtonian observing position - I have a Skywatcher 8in F5. There are too few slots for user objects and the procedure to enter them when needed requires more keystrokes than some other mounts do.
For comparison, I can enter a night's worth of variable stars in the memory of my LX80, which speeds up the observing. However, these are minor faults which can be fixed. This is a great mount.

Tom.


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: LTE]
      #5691112 - 02/20/13 03:08 PM

Agree with all comments

Hand contol cable too short
Velcro it to the top of all 3 legs


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Frank @ Van
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Reged: 01/24/05

Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: HowardK]
      #5692677 - 02/21/13 12:46 PM

I found that you can use a long Ethernet cable to replace the one comes with the mount.

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HowardK
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Frank @ Van]
      #5692806 - 02/21/13 01:49 PM

Frank...this is great info

Is it a standard ethernet cable then?


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HowardK
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Frank @ Van]
      #5704765 - 02/28/13 06:05 AM

Quote:

I found that you can use a long Ethernet cable to replace the one comes with the mount.




i have been advised NOT to use a standard ethernet cable.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: HowardK]
      #5706021 - 02/28/13 07:19 PM

I just checked the pin for pin continuity on my AZ-EQ6 handset cable vs. a straight through Ethernet cable and they both appear to be straight through. Oh sure the wire colors are different (one is using a telephone industry standard wire colors and the other is using an Ethernet standard wire colors), but the pin for pin continuity appears to be the same. In the case of a handset cable, I don't think it matters how that pin for pin continuity gets there, just that it does. Or am I somehow tragically mistaken?

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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5706300 - 02/28/13 10:09 PM

The normal Ethernet cable has a pair of wire switched. The straight through one should be OK.

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5706344 - 02/28/13 10:36 PM

Normal Ethernet patch cables are straight through. With 10/100 Ethernet, cross-over cables were needed when going direct NIC to NIC without a hub or switch inbetween. These days most NICs are auto-MDIX and all gigabit Ethernet NICs are auto-MDIX by definition. So cross-over cables are rarely needed with most Ethernet equipment manufactured in the last five years or so. If in doubt, get out the DVM or VOM set to continuity test and check the continuity. For this particular (non-Ethernet) application it doesn't matter which wires, pairs, split pairs, etc. are used in the cable so long as the net resulting continuity measures pin 1-1, 2-2, ..., 8-8. And make sure you are holding both ends of the cable in the same orientation so that you're not accidentally measuring 1-8, 2-7, etc.

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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5706360 - 02/28/13 10:50 PM

My computer is still using 10/100 Ethernet :-(

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10gauge
sage


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: Boston
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5708225 - 03/02/13 06:08 AM

Congrats on the mount! What are people getting for PE?

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5711198 - 03/03/13 06:40 PM

John,

I FINALLY got the AZ-EQ6 out today. I was in a rush and set it up without leveling. I roughly set the Lunt 80 to North and parallel to the ground. I moved the mount to the Sun and set the Tracking Rate to Solar. At that point the mount did track the Sun fairly accurately. The next time I do some solar with the mount and Lunt, I will take more time to level it and more precisely position the OTA to the Home position. Here is a picture of the setup:



Thanks for figuring out how to set up and do solar with the AZ-EQ6.

Jack Huerkamp


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5711257 - 03/03/13 07:08 PM

And from the other side:



Jack Huerkamp


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5711611 - 03/03/13 10:10 PM

Using the second saddle as a lightweight counterweight.

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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5711773 - 03/03/13 11:58 PM

Nice Jack.

JohnD


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5711869 - 03/04/13 01:57 AM

Beautyful mount!

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5712033 - 03/04/13 07:56 AM

Actually I was going to place my Orion ED80 with Baader white light filter on it. But I needed to add a Vixen dovetail to the OTA and decided to work on that later. The saddle did work well as a counterweight.

Jack Huerkamp


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5712452 - 03/04/13 12:43 PM

Jack if it's not much to ask,how are the vibration dumping times in equatorial configuration?
I'm asking because i'm really interested for this mount for DSO photography.
It could cost me more or less about the same i would spend for an Atlas with modified clutches and counterweight shaft...so..i was thinking why not to try the new mount at this point

Edited by Mike X. (03/04/13 02:24 PM)


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5712493 - 03/04/13 01:10 PM

I have not yet tried it in EQ mode under "real" stars. However there is a gentleman who has used his 10" f/5 Newtonian on his AZ-EQ6 with autoguiding and gotten excellent results.

Jack Huerkamp


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5712634 - 03/04/13 02:25 PM

Thank you Jack,yes i've seen the photos,impressive and i must say very prommising!

Edited by Mike X. (03/04/13 02:25 PM)


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martl
sage


Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Innsbruck/Austria
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5716801 - 03/06/13 04:34 PM

Nice to read all the positive posts about the EQ6AZ! However I didn't imagine how many clouds a new mount will attract. Since it arrived at the end of November I hardly had any chance to use it due to a constant overcast.

So far I can tell that with my 8"f4 and my 80mm refractor it works flawlessly with impressive guiding accuracy. My 10"f5 is about the limit what I would consider as photographically useful. Still I can't say how good it really works with this, because I could use it only 2 times. In December I had a pinched primary yielding elongated stars, and this Monday I had gusty wind and the worst seeing I can recall for a long time. Also I spent 2 hours figuring out that the reason I didn't find any guiding star in my OAG was not the absence of guiding stars, but a defective cable to the guiding cam which for whatever reason didn't evoke an error message. Only when I exchanged the cable with that of the handbox I had again some guiding stars. Anyway I quit photographing after the first shot, because the stars were about the size of golf balls mainly because of seeing, but also partly due to the unpredictable strong wind gusts. The stars were round however.

I have read some comments in the posts above which I can only underline.
- BE CAREFUL WITH CABLES and straps! When I did the 2star-alignment on Saturday, the strap of the borrowed 5DMKII got caught with the elevation screw, nearly tearing off flattener and cam from the refractor. There are quite a few screws and levers protruding, so it's a smart move to think twice about cables and camera straps BEFORE you start the alignment or execute a long goto.

- The original spiral cable is not satisfying. I exchanged it against a flat Lan-cable which works so far without any problems and doesn't get nearly as stiff as the spiral one in freezing temperatures.
- The polar scope, once properly adjusted, is accurate enough for photographic applications with autoguider for me. I screwed down the eyepiece with a washer of the optimum thickness to eliminate play before adjusting the reticle of the polar scope. Everything firm and in focus since then.
- Because the hand controller gives out the hour angle of Polaris, the silver index plate at the bottom of the polar scope (copied from the venerable SP mounts) is not really of use. However, with a small modification you can dial in the given hour angle much more precisely than by eyeballing. I fastened the setting circles of the 2 axes enough that they can't be moved accidentially, turned the mount until the reticle is in the 12h-position and inscribed a mark on the RA circle. All you have to do then is to turn the RA axis to that mark, make sure that you set the silver index plate to 12 and then turn the mount until it reads the correct hour angle. To avoid counting the index marks you may wish (as I did) to inscribe the hours on the index plate with a permanent pen, because the marks already there go in the wrong direction, month 10 corresponds to 2 o'clock. BTW, don't put too much emphasis on the deviation readings of the HC. After exchanging the cables on Monday I had to repeat the alingnment, and without having anything changed the numbers went from spot on to considerably off. I think this is more a matter of how exactly you place the alingnment star in the middle of the field.

- For optimum goto accuracy, it seems to be necessary - as the manual also states - to deactivate the additional encoders. From what I experienced, it seems to me that the 2star-alignment gives better results when the encoders are deactivated. On Monday I took some time to play around after I decided to pack away my camera. The initial 2star-alignment was done with encoders off, all objects were in the field, but not dead-center of my 7mm Nagler, which gives about 190x in my 10". I have no experiance with goto scopes so far, but I can live with this performance. When I activated the encoders during that session, results got slightly worse (and yes, you can shift the scope manually and it finds back its position). However with encoders on during alingnment in previous sessions, objects were not centered very well in the field of my Dslr. Not far off, but I hat to reframe them manually. Of course these remarks on goto accuracy are based on the very few occasions I could use the mount, other users may have made different experiences.

All in all, The EQ6AZ seems to be a great mount for mobile observing and photographing, at least I don't regret the money forked out for that.

CS
Martin


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: martl]
      #5716928 - 03/06/13 05:42 PM

Very nice report Martin!Thank you!!
You said that the 10" is about the limit for Photographic use.
You are saying that regarding weight (i suspect so) or regarding the focal length?
I am wondering if this nice mount can handle an RC8 with a small ED scope for DSO photography.It seems a nice alternative to the CGEM/Atlas

Edited by Mike X. (03/06/13 05:42 PM)


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: martl]
      #5717758 - 03/07/13 05:37 AM

I finally tried my Mallincam Xtreme video camera on my AZ/EQ6. I was using Alt/Az mode with 2-star alignment. I did not have much "GoTo" problems with most M objects. Had some difficulty with some NGC objects. I was able to bring in M42, M51, M1, the Horsehead, M104, NGC4631. Had some issues finding M46, NGC4565, M4038/9. I had to fine tune them through the finderscope.

Using a C-8 @ f/3.3. Forgot to turn off the auxiliary encoders. Will try again with those off to see if it makes a difference.

JohnD

Edited by johnpd (03/07/13 06:12 AM)


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martl
sage


Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Innsbruck/Austria
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5717784 - 03/07/13 06:34 AM

No, more in regards to the combination of weight and tube lenght. A 10"f5 Newton is quite a substantial piece of equipment. an 8" or even 10" RC should be handled without problems because it is less sensitive to wind gusts.

CS
Martin


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: martl]
      #5717796 - 03/07/13 06:55 AM

Thank you Martin

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bartg
journeyman


Reged: 03/21/09

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5721618 - 03/09/13 04:23 AM

Would it be possible to use a 16 inch telescope (weight:50 pound, tube length:63 inches) in AZ mode, only for visual use with this mount? Could the length of the tube be a problem?

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: bartg]
      #5721657 - 03/09/13 05:36 AM

Oh for heavens sake, please get real.

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bartg
journeyman


Reged: 03/21/09

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5721702 - 03/09/13 07:16 AM

Ok that's a quick and direct answer but please explain me why my question is not 'real'. :-) Here I see a 12 inch telescope (this one) of about the same weight with a 8 inch shorter tube on a lighter equatorial mount , meant for astrophotography so more top heavy because of camera/guidescope.
So I don't see what I am missing.
Thanks


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: bartg]
      #5722214 - 03/09/13 12:28 PM

The az eq6 is rated at 44lbs load

The 16" is not only too heavy but it is so long that vibrations would be bad and it would hit the tripod as u near zenith.


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martl
sage


Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Innsbruck/Austria
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: bartg]
      #5722582 - 03/09/13 04:20 PM

Don't think that you should try this. You need about the same amount of counterweights and need to have a pier because the tripod legs are in the way. I could imagine that a lightweight 12"f4 would work.

CS
Martin


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bartg
journeyman


Reged: 03/21/09

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: martl]
      #5723353 - 03/10/13 04:06 AM

ok thanks for the useful comments.

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: bartg]
      #5723990 - 03/10/13 02:06 PM

One sure way to be unhappy with a new mount in this category is to buy it with the biggest scope offered on it. At best it might make a reasonable visual combination, at worst it will be useless. What you are looking to mount is even larger and heavier and would be even more ill advised. That is not to say that it can never be done, but the frustration level will be high, you could expect to need to tune the mount (even a new one) to the highest degree, and even the slightest breeze would drive you crazy. While catastrophic failure is generally unlikely, it would need to be considered when clearly overloading a mount, particularly a mount that has not been out for a while with people pushing its limits to see what happens. For example, it would be safer to push a standard Atlas mounts up to an past it limits than the new, mostly untested, AZ-EQ6 simply because at least some people have been doing that for a while with the Atlas already.

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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5776967 - 04/04/13 02:36 AM

I had a serious cord wrap issue with the mount this evening. I thought it had anti-wrap built in and I have seen it move in the other direction even though it might have been a short distance from one object to another. I am not sure what was going on but the power cord wrapped around at least once. In Alt-Az Mode when you start a two star alignment and manually move the scope to the first star from the Alt-Az Home position (Alt=0, Az=0), does it matter which direction in Az you move the scope? Does it depend on which side of the meridian the star is located? I thought I read somewhere that you should move the scope clockwise to the star. I am using firmware v3.32.

JohnD


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5784058 - 04/07/13 03:23 PM

John

I am still using V3.32 on my mount. With that said, I finally got to use it the last two nights at a private star party about an hour from home where the SQM reading last night was 21.15. I still have to convert that to limiting magnitude, but the skies were dark.

The mount was set up in alt-az mode and I had my Celestron 9.25 OTA mounted on it. I was using my MallinCam Xtreme to observe targets. Although the hand controller and power supply cable did wrap around the mount head a little, the mount did not continue to wrap enough to cause issues. I started off the the connections on the south side of the mount and thoughtful the night, the mount would reverse direction rather than cause a cord wrap problem.

Regarding the mount itself, it performed better than anticipated. I was able to go up to 2 minutes non-guided in alt-az with nice, non-trailed images seen on the monitor. I never would have thought it possible to do 2 minute alt-az. The mount was rock steady with the C9.25.

I look forward to further testing.

Jack Huerkamp


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5784476 - 04/07/13 06:24 PM

Jack

Put a SSI in that Celestron on the az eq6 in altaz and have a look at Saturn in some good seeing.


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Vagus
member


Reged: 04/02/11

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: HowardK]
      #5784728 - 04/07/13 08:36 PM

How is the stock tripod with this mount? Any issues? Is it stable enough for astrophoto? I am considering this mount for a portable setup but just wondering if the tripod will need an upgrade. I heard that the locking bolts on the legs don't hold well under load.
Thanks,
J

Thanks,


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Vagus]
      #5784915 - 04/07/13 10:16 PM

The tripod on the AZ-EQ6 is identical to that of the EQ6.

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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5785425 - 04/08/13 08:28 AM

Hi Jack,

Yes if the mount is set up in Az Home position, the scope would be pointing north and would be on the east side of the mount and the connections would be on the south side. It normally starts the 2-star alignment with Sirius. I have been rotating the mount clockwise to Sirius which now is west of the meridian in the early evening. So the scope (and cables) would rotate over 200 degrees. The next alignment star it gave me was Arcturus which was at an azimuth of about 70 degrees. I don't recall which way it went to get there. I thought it went back the way it came. I will have to play with it inside and see what it is doing. I have turned off the auxiliary encoders. I wonder if that has any effect?

I had my Xtreme hooked up to my AZ EQ6 Saturday night and I ran some images over a minute. I saw some trailing on mine. It might depend on how close to the Celestial Equator you are imaging.

JohnD


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5786816 - 04/08/13 08:46 PM

I added the TPI spreader bars and aluminum tray to my AZ-EQ6, and it really stiffens up the entire tripod.

Jack


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5787471 - 04/09/13 06:50 AM

I did some playing with the mount Monday and noticed that as I picked objects that were to the right of the current object, it would continue to rotate clockwise, so I see how the cord get badly wrapped.

1. Initial alignment star was Sirius (Az=218). Manually rotated clockwise to Sirius.
2. Chose Arcturus (Az=79) as the second alignment star. Mount automatically slew counter-clockwise to it.
3. Chose M42 (Az=242) as the 1st object. Mount slewed clockwise to it.
4. Chose M1 (Az=271) as the next object. Mount slewed clockwise again.
5. Chose M81 (Az=7) as the next object. Mount slewed clockwise again. Since this is on the other side of the meridian, you might think it might have moved counter-clockwise to it.
6. Chose M101 (Az=42) as the next object. Mount slewed clockwise again.
7. Chose NGC 4565 (Az=83) as the next object. Mount slewed clockwise again.
8. Went back to M42. Mount slewed clockwise again.

By now the cord had pretty well wrapped around a few times. I don't know how to correct this. As I mentioned, there is no setting of which I am aware that will turn anti-wrap on or off.

JohnD


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adumbleton
newbie


Reged: 04/01/13

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5810704 - 04/20/13 11:53 AM

Might the anti-wrap feature be applicable to EQ mode only?

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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: adumbleton]
      #5811743 - 04/20/13 08:48 PM

Quote:

Might the anti-wrap feature be applicable to EQ mode only?




There is no anti wrap feature


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adumbleton
newbie


Reged: 04/01/13

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: HowardK]
      #5812427 - 04/21/13 07:16 AM

Agreed. Scanned the manuals today and no mention of it.

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: adumbleton]
      #5812834 - 04/21/13 11:30 AM

Anti-cord-wrap is rarely needed or present for equatorial mounts. I've suffered through cord wrap on alt-az mounts or alt-az mode on mounts for a long time. My conclusion? Best bet is keep an eye on the scope when you make big moves across the sky. If it's obvious the mount will move in a direction that will wrap cables, either slew manually or automatically to a position where that won't occur when you go to the target object.

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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: rmollise]
      #5813059 - 04/21/13 01:29 PM

My solution for cord wrap when I used a CPC-925 was to have a pair of 7 amp-hour batteries mounted on the upper assembly so they rotated with the scope. Since the Alt-Az mode would require counter weights for single scope mode it would be interesting to consider a battery support bracket and battery mounted on the counter weight bar. Don't currently own this mount but I may purchase one in the future for a modest tracking mount for public outreach.

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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: JMW]
      #5813082 - 04/21/13 01:41 PM

I just looked at some pictures of the mount in alt-az mode. It appears that a battery support bracket could be made to sit directly of the top of the mount assembly so it was centered over the tripod. This would allow it to be used in dual scope mode. I think could fashion a bracket to support a 35 amp-hour battery on top.

I currently use a DM6 for alt-az and keep a small 12 volt AGM battery on the top of the mount to keep my Argo Navis going in the cold weather.

I would love this mount to be able to support my C11 Edge on one side and a SV115T on the other. I would use an ADM Max Guider to align the refractor with the SCT. Would be a great combo for public outreach. I think a C925 and a 102 refractor would be more in line with the capacities of the mount.


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: JMW]
      #5814708 - 04/22/13 07:14 AM

I would think a 35 amp-hour battery would be a little heavy to put on top of the mount.

JohnD


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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Preliminary comments on new Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 new [Re: johnpd]
      #5815692 - 04/22/13 04:55 PM

The 35 amp-hour AGM battery weighs about 23 pounds and it would be directly over the center of the tripod. A 22 amp-hour battery weighs 13.5 pounds, 18 amp-hours would be about 11.5 pounds. I think a 18 amp-hour battery would be plenty for just the mount. The UB12180 has dimensions of 7x6.5x3 inches and costs about $37. I think this is a size that could be bracketed directly above the mount.

I own a pair of 3, 7 and 35 amp-hour batteries. I use the smaller ones for my digital setting circle computers. The larger ones to power goto mounts.


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