Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6375775 - 02/14/14 10:33 AM

Naw. Your problem is the polar scope's focus if it looks like a li'l donut. Try focusing the polar scope eyepiece (turn it).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: rmollise]
      #6376057 - 02/14/14 12:57 PM

I aligned the polar scope during the day (although it may not be perfectly aligned, an appropriately sized allen wrench for the super tiny alignment screws on the polar scope did not come with the mount). I've been trying to focus the scope with the focusing ring, however it doesn't seem to change things much. I think I almost entirely unscrewed the eyepiece element, and things didn't change much.

I did eventually find out that if I powered on the mount, there was a red light in there. I noticed it when I pulled out the entire polar scope to check it out...I looked through the mount and noticed a little LED sitting there.

I'm just worried that I can't focus the darn thing. Is it possible one of the lenses is miss seated?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376115 - 02/14/14 01:29 PM

Quote:

I aligned the polar scope during the day (although it may not be perfectly aligned, an appropriately sized allen wrench for the super tiny alignment screws on the polar scope did not come with the mount). I've been trying to focus the scope with the focusing ring, however it doesn't seem to change things much. I think I almost entirely unscrewed the eyepiece element, and things didn't change much.

I did eventually find out that if I powered on the mount, there was a red light in there. I noticed it when I pulled out the entire polar scope to check it out...I looked through the mount and noticed a little LED sitting there.

I'm just worried that I can't focus the darn thing. Is it possible one of the lenses is miss seated?




The LED brightness control is in the hand controller.

Personally I wouldn't worry overmuch about the polar scope focus. Here's what I recommend:

Use the polar scope to get Polaris centered so you know you're close. Download Polar Finder and put the little circle where it says the hour angle is, adjust the az and el until Polaris is in the circle.

Longer term get an EQMOD cable from Shoestring Astronomy. Download Align Master and run it to do the alignment (I find the EQMOD alignment routine to be inadequate for 15-20 minute subs). Align Master has the side benefit of excellent go-to's when you're done.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6376195 - 02/14/14 02:14 PM

Thanks Terry. I had actually intended to use Astrotortilla to model my skies for accurate alignment. My problem right now is I'm honestly not sure what stars I'm looking at through the polar scope. They are too blurry and warped for me to tell. I think the warping is actually due to the little LED and it's wire that stick out into that hole bored through the RA axis, but I don't think that will be a problem once I get the scope focused.

During the day, I can clearly see the mountains some 30-40 miles away, the ridgelines look very sharp. So I'm honestly not sure what the deal is with the focus.

I'd checked out Align Master a while back. Sounds precise, but it sounds like Astrotortilla is more automated, which is handy. Anyway, I'm happy to try out all the options if I can just get some kind of basic alignment done with the polar scope.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376350 - 02/14/14 03:35 PM

Can you use Astrotortilla with the SynScan hand controller?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6376376 - 02/14/14 03:53 PM

Quote:

Can you use Astrotortilla with the SynScan hand controller?




From what I've read, you don't even use the hand controller. Just ASCOM, EQMOD and Astrotortilla.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376416 - 02/14/14 04:18 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Can you use Astrotortilla with the SynScan hand controller?




From what I've read, you don't even use the hand controller. Just ASCOM, EQMOD and Astrotortilla.




Thanks, I assumed you'd need EQMOD. I am curious about your statement that Astrotortilla is more automated but no sweat. There are many tools available to get things done and we all have our favorites.

How do you plan to align now without EQMOD?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6376435 - 02/14/14 04:29 PM

Without EQMOD? I was planning to use EQMOD...?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376446 - 02/14/14 04:37 PM

Ok sorry. Somehow I had the impression you don't have the EQDIR cable yet

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6376479 - 02/14/14 05:02 PM

Quote:

Ok sorry. Somehow I had the impression you don't have the EQDIR cable yet




I don't have one in hand yet, no. Doug from Shoestring is apparently away, and won't be shipping until the 18th at the earliest. I don't suspect I'll have one in hand until the end of the month or early March. In the mean time I'm just connecting my tablet to the mount via the RS232 cable that came with it (which plugs into the hand controller), and an RS232 to USB adapter.

I haven't downloaded Astrotortilla onto my tablet yet. Wasn't planning to play with that until I had the EQDIR and EQMOD installed and everything was connected properly. It's just the plan.

All I am trying to do right now is polar align the mount. To my knowledge, that is a manual process that involves adjusting the Altitude and Azimuth control knobs and L-screws. Are you trying to tell me there is a way to do that electronically with a computer?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376501 - 02/14/14 05:17 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Ok sorry. Somehow I had the impression you don't have the EQDIR cable yet




I don't have one in hand yet, no. Doug from Shoestring is apparently away, and won't be shipping until the 18th at the earliest. I don't suspect I'll have one in hand until the end of the month or early March. In the mean time I'm just connecting my tablet to the mount via the RS232 cable that came with it (which plugs into the hand controller), and an RS232 to USB adapter.

I haven't downloaded Astrotortilla onto my tablet yet. Wasn't planning to play with that until I had the EQDIR and EQMOD installed and everything was connected properly. It's just the plan.

All I am trying to do right now is polar align the mount. To my knowledge, that is a manual process that involves adjusting the Altitude and Azimuth control knobs and L-screws. Are you trying to tell me there is a way to do that electronically with a computer?




No, absolutely not. We crossed circuits somewhere. I was offering a manual method that should work until you can use the computer to position the mount during an alignment. You will always have to adjust the az and el bolts by hand.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6376513 - 02/14/14 05:25 PM

Ah, gocha. I'll give Align Master a whirl tonight, see how it goes.

I realigned the polar scope today. The three alignment screws for the lens with the diagram are pretty touchy. I aligned it on the corner of a building about 8 miles away. When I rotate around the RA axis, the corner of the building says very close to the crosshair, but not always directly under it. I'm not sure what kind of tolerance you need here. As far as I can tell with the polar scope, its got infinity focus, I can see tree branches from about 500 feet away and the mountain ridges about 40 miles away, and they all appear to be very crisp and sharp. I'm really baffled at how blurry and warped the stars show up.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376525 - 02/14/14 05:34 PM

You need EQMOD for Align Master also.

What should get you close enough for now is to rotate the mount using the hand controller to position the small circle on the reticle at the (during the alignment) current hour angle as shown by a small program called Polar Finder then put Polaris in the small circle using the bolts.

In case this got lost somehow, I'd start with Polaris centered in the reticle

Edited by terry59 (02/14/14 06:08 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6376595 - 02/14/14 06:33 PM

Do you need EQMOD, or simply a workable ASCOM driver? I do have the Celestron drivers installed, and the Atlas works with the 5i and 8i versions.

Regarding Polar Finder, I guess this lets you use the RA ring as a clock to quickly dial in the right positions of Cassiopeia and Big Dipper, so you can just place polaris and be done?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376605 - 02/14/14 06:43 PM Attachment (8 downloads)

Quote:

Do you need EQMOD, or simply a workable ASCOM driver? I do have the Celestron drivers installed, and the Atlas works with the 5i and 8i versions.

Regarding Polar Finder, I guess this lets you use the RA ring as a clock to quickly dial in the right positions of Cassiopeia and Big Dipper, so you can just place polaris and be done?




No this is manual all the way. Polar Finder just calculates the position of Polaris and displays it.

Use the hand controller to slew in DEC to open up the polar alignment scope. Center Polaris with the bolts then slew in RA until the small circle is in the hour angle position shown with Polar Finder. Use the bolts to put Polaris in the small circle and slew the mount back to counterweight down and lens pointing north. It won't bw as accurate as computer assisted but should be good enough to get you round stars.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! [Re: terry59]
      #6376617 - 02/14/14 06:50 PM

Oh, eye, I understand the polar finder bit is entirely manual. I meant with Align Master. I think it just needs a working ASCOM driver, right?

Regarding PolarFinder, the version they are offering now has two graphical displays, one representing the polar finder, the other representing the calibrated RA dial. I think with this one, you simply orient the polar finder by slewing in RA such that the small circle for polaris points strait down. Then you realign the RA ring so that the arrow points to 0. After that you slew in RA until it matches up with the graphical RA diagram in PolarFinder. Then you adjust the bolts to center polaris in the circle. It doesn't seem as though you need to first center polaris on the crosshairs, you just calibrate the RA axis first, slew, then center polaris in it's little circle.

Edited by Jon Rista (02/14/14 06:59 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376685 - 02/14/14 07:36 PM

Quote:

Oh, eye, I understand the polar finder bit is entirely manual. I meant with Align Master. I think it just needs a working ASCOM driver, right?

Regarding PolarFinder, the version they are offering now has two graphical displays, one representing the polar finder, the other representing the calibrated RA dial. I think with this one, you simply orient the polar finder by slewing in RA such that the small circle for polaris points strait down. Then you realign the RA ring so that the arrow points to 0. After that you slew in RA until it matches up with the graphical RA diagram in PolarFinder. Then you adjust the bolts to center polaris in the circle. It doesn't seem as though you need to first center polaris on the crosshairs, you just calibrate the RA axis first, slew, then center polaris in it's little circle.




Yes on the ASCOM driver. I hope you're able to get an alignment done. It's mostly clear down here at the moment


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! [Re: terry59]
      #6376725 - 02/14/14 08:04 PM

It is mostly clear here as well. There is that really LIGHT layer of high cloud cover...I suspect that will wreak havoc on transparency and seeing. But I've got everything set up, just need the stars to come out and play!!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376754 - 02/14/14 08:16 PM

Just looked at the new Polar Finder. Much different. Post your results if you don't mind

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Rista
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! [Re: terry59]
      #6376768 - 02/14/14 08:21 PM

Will do.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)


Extra information
25 registered and 32 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay, iceblaze 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1757

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics