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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Atlas EQ-G just arrived!
      #6373078 - 02/12/14 08:25 PM Attachment (61 downloads)

My first nice computerized GEM arrived today! Delivery dates were originally stated between Feb. 18th and Feb. 24th, however it came early today. I've used other telescopes, on both Alt/Az and manual GEM mounts, but I've never had a tracking equatorial mount before.

I've just unboxed everything. Not too many pieces. The tripod looks amazingly sturdy, the outer tubes are quite thick. The equatorial head itself looks pretty nice. It's quite solid, seems pretty well built for the price, when loosening the Dec. and RA axis locks, everything seems smooth. I'm quite pleased that Orion is putting a dual saddle on this mount by default now, that saved me another $170 that would have been spent on an ADM! The whole setup is pretty heavy, almost ninety pounds it seems.

There is one issue, however. One of the counterweights plastic knobs that let you tighten and loosen it on the shaft arrived shattered. Little miffed about that, I'll have to figure out how to get that replaced quickly. Other than that, after I finish up this post, I'm going to power it on for the first time and have some good ol' play time with my new toy!


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373079 - 02/12/14 08:25 PM Attachment (48 downloads)

All parts from both boxes:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373080 - 02/12/14 08:26 PM Attachment (60 downloads)

Equatorial head:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373083 - 02/12/14 08:26 PM Attachment (30 downloads)

Accessories:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373084 - 02/12/14 08:26 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

Weights:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373086 - 02/12/14 08:27 PM Attachment (39 downloads)

Weight with shattered tightening knob:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373088 - 02/12/14 08:27 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Tripod:

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Chuckwagon
member


Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Orem, Utah, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373110 - 02/12/14 08:45 PM

Congrats! That's awesome! Always fun to get new toys.

Bummer about the knob. I'd bet Orion would just send out a replacement. It should be an easy fix. Hopefully.

Clear skies,
Charles


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sewhite
member


Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: 57 laps around a star
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Chuckwagon]
      #6373170 - 02/12/14 09:14 PM

And now 2 or more weeks of clouds will descend on Colorado.
Or maybe lady luck will just smile on you.
Enjoy your new mount.

Stan


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Ricky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/09/03

Loc: Nor Cal
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: sewhite]
      #6373178 - 02/12/14 09:17 PM

Congrats! Don't forget to get EQMOD...great piece of "free" software.

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: sewhite]
      #6373187 - 02/12/14 09:21 PM

Quote:

And now 2 or more weeks of clouds will descend on Colorado.
Or maybe lady luck will just smile on you.
Enjoy your new mount.

Stan




LOL! This is about as true as true gets. The clouds actually started rolling in yesterday, and today everything was a gray haze. According to the forecast, the earliest I MIGHT be able to point this stuff at the sky is Feb. 20th. :\

I guess that will give me plenty of time to get familiar with using it, figure out how to get it connected to a computer, learn how to control it with some planetarium software, learn BYEOS, etc.

LOL, clouds until the 20th. Bah!


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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Ricky]
      #6373190 - 02/12/14 09:22 PM

And clouds are part of the new mount package.

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Ricky]
      #6373192 - 02/12/14 09:22 PM

Quote:

Congrats! Don't forget to get EQMOD...great piece of "free" software.




Aye! I fully intend to. Once I researched EQMod, and learned about some of the tools, that was one of the things that toppled me over from CGEM to Atlas. The dual saddle was the other thing...I don't know why a dual saddle isn't just standard fanfare these days...seems only logical.


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Chuckwagon]
      #6373208 - 02/12/14 09:29 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

Quote:

Congrats! That's awesome! Always fun to get new toys.

Bummer about the knob. I'd bet Orion would just send out a replacement. It should be an easy fix. Hopefully.

Clear skies,
Charles




Thanks! I hope they can just send out the knob and tightening shaft, rather than a whole weight. Not like I need it right away, I have clouds for another nine days at least, and it'll probably be mid March before the night sky actually clears up enough to do anything.

Here is everything, mount, ADM side-by-side, Orion Mini+SSAG all assembled:


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373210 - 02/12/14 09:30 PM Attachment (42 downloads)

Closeup:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #6373214 - 02/12/14 09:31 PM

Quote:

And clouds are part of the new mount package.




Dreary ones, too. The last two days have had the most dull sky you can imagine, day and night.


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373314 - 02/12/14 10:25 PM

Nice looking set up Jon, Hey can you get a good pic of the side by side saddle set-up... My CGEM has the same option and I wanted to see what it looks like, Thank you, Kasey
PS thats a nice looking OTA, you camo it yourself?


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6373396 - 02/12/14 11:01 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

Hi Kasey,

Here are some shots of the ADM D-type Side-by-Side saddle. I am actually having some problems with the Orion Mini guidescope. The attachment plate tightens at a 90° angle to where it should tighten. When it's fully tightened, the scope points directly at the side of the scope, instead of parallel along the same vector. Not really sure what to do about it. The difference in threading is like 1/64th of an inch if that.


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373398 - 02/12/14 11:01 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Saddle 2:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373399 - 02/12/14 11:01 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Saddle 3:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373401 - 02/12/14 11:02 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

Saddle 4:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373404 - 02/12/14 11:02 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

Saddle 5:

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373433 - 02/13/14 12:09 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

My "telescope" is a Canon EF 600mm f/4 L II lens. It's a pretty expensive lens ($12,800), uses a pair of high quality lab-grown Fluorite lens elements to reduce optical aberrations and reduce weight. Optically, it is one of the best photography telephoto lenses in existence. I'm hoping it will double as a darn good APO refractor as well.

The camo is a LensCoat, RealTree Max design. It's a neoprene coating a few millimeters thick. I have that on for my wildlife and bird photography...it isn't for astrophotography. :P

Edited by Jon Rista (02/13/14 12:10 AM)


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Chuckwagon
member


Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Orem, Utah, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373443 - 02/13/14 12:13 AM

Hi Jon,

The base of that mini-50 looks like it has somewhat the same shape as the Vixen type dovetail. Have you tried just squeezing it directly with your saddle? Maybe that will work. (Fingers crossed.)

Charles


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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373583 - 02/13/14 03:39 AM

Congrats Jon on your new mount. Looks good!

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: mmalik]
      #6373887 - 02/13/14 10:47 AM

Quote:

Congrats Jon on your new mount. Looks good!




Thanks!

Hey, I have to thank you. Since late Nov. last year, I've been researching what to buy. Your posts here that reviewed various pieces of equipment were invaluable. They helped me a lot, for all the various pieces I ultimately bought, including an Astronomik CLS filter.


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6373951 - 02/13/14 11:34 AM

Hey Jon, thank you so much for the excellent pictures... I think your saying the saddle with the mini on it when fully tightened (the saddle itself) is pointing at the other saddle? I would think there would be some adjustment on aligning them to point at same area or slightly apart, but not that much... Is there any shims in the box still?
Or if your saying the saddle reciever for the mini is too wide for its base, you could just use some wood shim stock? Kasey
Do the saddles mount to cross piece with one screw or more?


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rigel123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/29/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6374067 - 02/13/14 12:50 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Ahhhh, seeing those boxes brought back memories of when I rec'd my Atlas a few years ago! I did add one accessory, I got the Deluxe Accessory Tray http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/Mount-Tripod-Accessories/Orion-Deluxe...

Really like the extra room on it and even enough room to hold your favorite beverage!


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6374267 - 02/13/14 02:36 PM

Quote:

Hey Jon, thank you so much for the excellent pictures... I think your saying the saddle with the mini on it when fully tightened (the saddle itself) is pointing at the other saddle? I would think there would be some adjustment on aligning them to point at same area or slightly apart, but not that much... Is there any shims in the box still?
Or if your saying the saddle reciever for the mini is too wide for its base, you could just use some wood shim stock? Kasey
Do the saddles mount to cross piece with one screw or more?




Thanks! I actually managed to solve the problem. The Vixen dovetail that came with the Atlas mount had a series of threads sunk into it down the center of it's length. When using the central holes, the threading on the screw was off by a quarter turn, so the 50mm mini guidescope, when the whole thing was tight, ended up pointing 90° perpendicular to the telescope...in other words, directly at the side of the telescope.

As it turned out, the top and bottom holes in the dovetail were threadless...so I just mounted the mini guidescope in the top one, and that solved the problem. I may pick up another AstroTech V-type dovetail with the slot in the middle for better balance, but for now, I think this will do.


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: rigel123]
      #6374277 - 02/13/14 02:41 PM

Quote:

Ahhhh, seeing those boxes brought back memories of when I rec'd my Atlas a few years ago! I did add one accessory, I got the Deluxe Accessory Tray http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/Mount-Tripod-Accessories/Orion-Deluxe...

Really like the extra room on it and even enough room to hold your favorite beverage!




It's quite a nice little mount! I have to say. I was going to order a CGEM, but after researching, it just seemed like the Atlas was a better mount. Plus, the new ones have the dual saddle built right in, who can argue with that!

That big tray looks nice. Large enough to hold a small laptop? I use a Surface Pro right now...I was actually thinking last night about how I might be able to build a little attachable laptop table that could clip onto the accessory tray and two tripod legs.

Anyway...I got my Astronomik CLS clip-in filter today. Going to test it out, see if I can get a good custom in-camera white balance setting before I use it on the sky.

Also, on that note!! It looks like I won't have to wait weeks for clear skies after all! The forecast just changed. I get partly clear skies starting tonight once the sun goes down, and TOTALLY CLEAR SKIES from midnight through 5am!! WOOOOT!

I don't think I could have caught a luckier break in the heart of winter if I could have asked for one.


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6374431 - 02/13/14 04:23 PM

Hey Jon, am glad you got it figured out,,, yes, good words from a CGEM owner LOL... I think there is a way also to tweek the alignment of the OTA's so you can get them pointing at same object or off target from each other. Looking forward to first pictures taken. looks like you have a real nice set-up, Kasey

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6374475 - 02/13/14 04:50 PM

Well, seems it will be partly clear tonight. The wind changed direction, from out of the north to out of the north west. Big, heavy clouds are over the rocky mountains to the west, and are leafing off little puffs of clouds over me now. I think I'm still going to try to get some polar alignment practice in, but I don't think I'll be doing any imaging. Looks like the first full clear night is due on the 16th, so not too far away (unless something changes again.)

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rigel123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/29/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6374546 - 02/13/14 05:40 PM

Good luck and enjoy!

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calypsob
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/20/13

Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: rigel123]
      #6374656 - 02/13/14 06:56 PM

sweet setup, you may need some counter weights to properly balance DEC

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: calypsob]
      #6374790 - 02/13/14 08:14 PM

Quote:

sweet setup, you may need some counter weights to properly balance DEC




It actually came with two 11lb counterweights, as well as a counterweight bar extension.


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terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6375115 - 02/13/14 10:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

sweet setup, you may need some counter weights to properly balance DEC




It actually came with two 11lb counterweights, as well as a counterweight bar extension.




http://admaccessories.com/V_Series_Counterweight_Kit.htm


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6375125 - 02/13/14 10:56 PM

Well, here is a great irony. My skies have completely cleared up. Only a couple small puffs on the horizon, totally crisp clear overhead...but! The moon is out, and almost full. DOH!

I've been trying to polar align, however I'm having a hard time seeing through it. I actually thought that the brighter moonlit sky would actually help the diagram show up better, but I can't see jack. I can see stars, and I am pretty sure I have polaris in the field, however it is an OOF point of light with a void in the center. Is that how it is supposed to look?

Does anyone have some good links to articles that describe exactly how to use the Orion Atlas polar scope to do accurate polar alignment? I have a completely clear view on Cassiopeia and Big Dipper, right now they are actually directly across from each other on the horizontal on either side of Polaris. Should be really easy to get everything aligned, if only I could see the diagram in the scope!


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sewhite
member


Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: 57 laps around a star
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6375239 - 02/14/14 12:05 AM

Jon

Take a dim red light and move it up to the edge of the polar alignment hole. Move the light around and you will find a sweet spot that brightens the reticle etchings without overwhelming your view of the stars.

Lady Luck did decide to smile on you.

Stan


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Dan Watt
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/13/09

Loc: Oceanside, Calfornia.
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6375363 - 02/14/14 02:10 AM

Quote:

Well, here is a great irony. My skies have completely cleared up. Only a couple small puffs on the horizon, totally crisp clear overhead...but! The moon is out, and almost full. DOH!

I've been trying to polar align, however I'm having a hard time seeing through it. I actually thought that the brighter moonlit sky would actually help the diagram show up better, but I can't see jack. I can see stars, and I am pretty sure I have polaris in the field, however it is an OOF point of light with a void in the center. Is that how it is supposed to look?

Does anyone have some good links to articles that describe exactly how to use the Orion Atlas polar scope to do accurate polar alignment? I have a completely clear view on Cassiopeia and Big Dipper, right now they are actually directly across from each other on the horizontal on either side of Polaris. Should be really easy to get everything aligned, if only I could see the diagram in the scope!




When the scope is powered on there should be an illuminated red LED inside the RA axis. If your mount is indeed on than perhaps you need to adjust the brightness of this LED which I believe is a setting somewhere in the hand controller.


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terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6375493 - 02/14/14 07:07 AM

Before you polar align make sure the alignment scope is orthogonal with the mount. Do that during the day.

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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).

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


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?


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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.


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


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.


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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?

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


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.


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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?


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

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

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terry59
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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

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Jon Rista
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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?


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terry59
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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.


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Jon Rista
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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.


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terry59
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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)


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Jon Rista
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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?


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terry59
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376605 - 02/14/14 06:43 PM Attachment (11 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.


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Jon Rista
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [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)


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terry59
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [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


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Jon Rista
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Reged: 01/10/14

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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [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!!

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terry59
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [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

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

Will do.

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Jon Rista
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376866 - 02/14/14 09:17 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Well, that layer of high clouds just killed Polaris, and the moon popped over the horizon a little while ago. I think that's it for tonight. :\

I am still having some weird problems with the polar scope. When the mount is powered off, I can't see the diagram, and stars are still blurred and warped. When the mount is powered on, I see a bright red background with the diagram overlayed on it in black (see image). I had expected the diagram to light up red, but for the polar scope to otherwise remain transparent. I honestly cannot figure how anyone could align a star with the while field being illuminated red like this... Is this how it's supposed to look? Or was my original expectation, that the diagram would glow red and the field remain clear, correct? (BTW, there does not seem to be a function in the hand controller to reduce the brightness of the red LED...it just seems to be fixed at this very high, non-transparent brightness...)

Edited by Jon Rista (02/14/14 09:20 PM)


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terry59
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6376881 - 02/14/14 09:31 PM

I haven't used my hand controller in a long time but you can adjust the LED brightness with it. I have a small headlamp with a red light that I use. Got it at Wal-Mart. I don't understand the focus issue though

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Jon Rista
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6376928 - 02/14/14 10:03 PM

Quote:

I haven't used my hand controller in a long time but you can adjust the LED brightness with it. I have a small headlamp with a red light that I use. Got it at Wal-Mart. I don't understand the focus issue though




Any idea how you adjust the LED brightness? I've been over and over all the settings...I couldn't find anything that controlled the finder scope LED. I did find some settings that control the brightness of the hand controller backlight and keypad LEDs, but that was it.


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Jon Rista
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Reged: 01/10/14

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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6377550 - 02/15/14 11:01 AM

Figured out how to dim the LED. Turns out the option was in a different area of the controller firmware than the manuals and everyone on the internet said it was. I've dimmed it to 8%, and that seems to work well.

I also believe I've figured out how to focus the polar scope. The eyepiece focuses on the reticule. To focus on the stars, you actually have to pull the scope out, unlock the objective tube, and focus that. It's a quirky trial and error process. I tried using city lights from about 5-7 miles away. I think I managed to get them focused fairly well...just hoping that is sufficient enough for collimated starlight.

Looks like 9pm Sunday is supposed to be nice and clear. The moon will still be up, but I'm hoping I can get polar alignment done and get GOTO aligned, and start playing with using the software on my tablet to control everything. I experimented with the guide scope last night with PHD2, pretty nice little device.


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tclehman1969
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6378412 - 02/15/14 07:45 PM

That is a "fix" I wish they would make -- have the LED light up the trace of the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. But, you work with what you have. Glad you found how bright -- or dim -- to set the LED. I had forgotten until I read your post that was the first thing I did as it was far too bright.

It's a fun mount, though! I know on mine it sounded horrible when slewing, but a little tweaking and adjusting the gears and voila! Sounds pretty good and no binding! I've been really happy with it, it's a beast, and just feels like it is completely adequate, more so, in fact. I only put on a C8 with its stuff (finder, light accessories) and I know there will never be a question about the load. And it's totally stable and I am just starting some astrophotography work with it, too.

Can't wait to hear what your first light impressions are, keep us posted!


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Jon Rista
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Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #6378463 - 02/15/14 08:31 PM

I can't wait to learn what my first impressions are! :P

Preliminary impressions are that it seems to be a well-built mount. It feels very solid. The tripod seems more sturdy than what I'd seen with the CGEM...I guess that extra 1/4" is worth it. It is definitely complicated. I spent a solid 30 minutes today centering the reticule in the polar finder again today, as somehow it became misaligned. I certainly hope that doesn't happen often, as centering that is not particularly easy.

I've heard of alternative approaches to aligning....an iterative polar alignment? Has anyone done that with an Atlas EQ-G? Is it easier to iteratively polar align than to use the polar scope? It sounds like an iterative polar alignment is basically what you get when using Align Master...so I'll have to give that a try.

Oh, one thing that I am a little worried about...even though I have been able to connect my computer to the mount, ASCOM is not always able to see it. I think it saw it a couple times the first day, but since then I have not been able to get anything on the computer to connect to or control the mount. That's my current troubleshooting problem...hopefully I'll have it worked out soon.


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rmollise
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6378587 - 02/15/14 09:41 PM

You can't really do an iterative alignment. There's no real sync command. You can use the polar scope OR you can use Polar Realignment (AllStar Polar Alignment), which is built into the HC.

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Planemo
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Reged: 08/07/10

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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6378598 - 02/15/14 09:47 PM

Quote:


Preliminary impressions are that it seems to be a well-built mount. It feels very solid. The tripod seems more sturdy than what I'd seen with the CGEM...




One trick I learned on my Atlas to make the tripod more rigid is to tighten knob that holds the mount on then tighten the spreader nut, then kick the legs out with your foot gently, recheck the spreader nut and it will be loose!!! do this until it doesn't get loose after you kick the legs out, the mount will stay in position much better this way and won't settle and get out of polar alignment after a few hr's. I'm looking forward to see what that 600mm lens can do!!!


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tclehman1969
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Reged: 05/18/10

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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: rmollise]
      #6378693 - 02/15/14 10:50 PM

Yeah, I've had good luck with the Polar Realignment routine. You do your 1, 2 or 3 star align and after that you scroll through those and the realignment shows up. I've only used it a couple times but it has worked pretty well. Still not perfect, though.

Question for anybody who knows, has anyone ever tried the star drift procedure with these mounts?


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Jon Rista
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Reged: 01/10/14

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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #6378859 - 02/16/14 01:37 AM

Ok, I'm a little baffled at this point. The sky was supposed to be cloudy tonight, however it's ended up being remarkably clear. Despite the moon, a lot of stars are quite visible.

So, I polar aligned, and have been trying to 3-star align for a couple hours now. I've been trying to align on Dubhe, Mizar, and something like Algol. I haven't been able to really get started, for a couple reasons. First, aside from Dubhe and Mizar, I couldn't actually find any other stars in the alignment star list that were above the horizon and on the opposite side of the meridian...I know a decent number of stars, but most of the ones I know that were in the sky tonight were not on the list.

I decided to give Dubhe and Mizar a try. For some reason, the mount seems to be off by almost 180°, but not exactly. It slews to roughly the opposite side of Polaris from where Dubhe should be. The Dec ring shows 61° like it should only on the opposite side, and as far as I can tell RA is about 11h (rough guess). If I manually slew the scope to point at Dubhe, and center it in my camera viewfinder (I'm using the 7D's Spot AF to produce a very small square in the center of the VF, so I know when I'm totally centered), Dec is ~59° and RA is around 20h. Once I set Dubhe, Mizar clocks in almost perfectly, however then I'm stuck without any stars in the alignment list to use for the third alignment star. (There was an Algenib listed, however I believe that is for Pegasus, not the star in Perseus that is sometimes alternatively named Algenib, and when I chose that the scope definitely slewed to a point below the horizon).

I tried a 2-star alignment once, using Dubhe and Mizar, however the mount (rather appropriately, I believe) said the RA axis was off by > 45°, and alignment failed.

I've gone through and tried to reverify information:

Lat: 39° 18' 53"
Long: -104° 22' 08"
TZone: -7:00
Time: 23:15:30
Daylight Savings: No

I get a Polaris hour angle display, and a "Clock" (not really sure what the clock is). BTW, after focusing my polar scope last night on city lights, stars are PERFECT pinpoint spots, and alignment was a total breeze when using the latest PolarFinder v1.0.0. I aligned the diagram according to PolarFinder, dialed in RA to the hour and minute indicated, adjusted Alt/Az with the bolts. Polaris sits right on top of the large circle when I spin the RA axis after that. I've checked it a couple of times since, polaris is still dead on that large circle, so I think my polar alignment is solid.

Anyway...I'm really baffled by this whole opposite sky issue. It's like the mount thinks I'm roughly on the opposite side of the earth, and assumes constellations that are currently below my horizon are above the horizon on the opposite side of the sky. I assume I have something misconfigured somehow, I'm just at a loss as to what.

Thanks for any assistance!


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T1R2
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6378890 - 02/16/14 02:13 AM

see if you Real Time Clock has the right time, if not set it, then the mount will know what time it is, look in the manual to see if it is addressed.

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tclehman1969
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6378900 - 02/16/14 02:29 AM

This is just my guess, but though you say you have -104, I would double check to make certain it is correct there.

This video series on YouTube was very helpful for me. He goes through everything from setup to alignment of the SkyWatcher equivalent of the Atlas EQ-G. Here's the link: Part one -- http://youtu.be/4fO6hyYtPwM. Part 2 -- http://youtu.be/PcctN4xVXnI. In Part 2 he covers polar alignment. Part 3 -- http://youtu.be/hGduG2jB9ec. Part 4 -- http://youtu.be/dDC-zct6lvY. These are good to watch on cloudy days. I watch them quite often as refreshers. Just a good thing to do for me.

And I still have more to learns on this mount!


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Jon Rista
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Reged: 01/10/14

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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: T1R2]
      #6378901 - 02/16/14 02:30 AM

I got it figured out. Seems every time I turn the mount off and on again (I always park it when I turn it off), the time and time zone get reset. I had noticed the time resetting before, however the time zone reset to +7h, where as I am at -7h. I apparently have to correct that every time I power up. The clock also resets to 20:00:08 every time as well, for some odd reason, but I had noticed that before and I was setting the correct time (down to the second) each time.

Anyway, I got my polar alignment and goto alignment done. Everything seems to be pretty good, at least for a first try. I am still unable to control the mount from my PC, so I'll have to figure that one out tomorrow.

Tried a couple 30 second exposures with the Astronomik...the moon is 98% full waning gibbous, so the sky was too bright to do anything (30 seconds at ISO 800 resulted in completely blown stars and pretty bright nebulosity in Orion.) Bunch of light clouds high up, so exposures were horrid, but, everything was tracking well enough that I could make out four Trapezium stars on my DSLR's image preview. Not sure if this is what you would call first light...but, alignment is good, tracking is at a good start...next clear, dark sky, I should be good to go. (I just need to find some kind of adequate cover for my mount, so I don't have to move it.)


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T1R2
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Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere, 35*N
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6378903 - 02/16/14 02:35 AM

good job, it usually is something simple like a reset and re-enter the correct data, If you get a GPS, problem will be solved, and they are worth it.

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Jon Rista
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Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: T1R2]
      #6378911 - 02/16/14 02:48 AM

@T1R2: Can you get a GPS for this mount? When I first bought it, I looked to see if that was an option, but it did not appear to be.

For those who asked, I used the latest PolarFinder to polar align. After getting the polar scope centered and focused properly, I was able to polar align very precisely in a matter of minutes using PolarFinder. It really is about as simple as described on this page:

http://www.polarfinder.com/alignment.html

You need to have the NCP crosshair in the reticule properly centered, which is best done during the day, but once it is, you align the RA ring on 0 with the polaris circle pointing strait down. Lock the RA ring, then rotate it so the RA arrow points at the hour and minute angle indicated in the RA diagram in PolarFinder. Then you simply use the Long. l-bolts and the Azimuth adjustment knobs to center polaris in the small circle. Slew or spin in RA to make sure that polaris stays on the big circle. That's it. Took a few minutes. Polaris tracked along that circle all night long, never left it. I think I spent less than five minutes dialing in polar alignment for the mount. I never imagined it would be that easy, but I really like it!


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T1R2
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Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere, 35*N
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6378921 - 02/16/14 03:02 AM

ooop's sorry if I mislead you, I do not know if GPS is available for that mount, I have a bad habit of assuming since we live in a age where it is possible, maybe the celestron CN16 for the CGE mounts or their smaller one for the AVSGT might be compatible or some other brand, but I'd advise to call and ask before buying one. maybe someone following this thread who knows for sure will chime in.

Edited by T1R2 (02/16/14 03:06 AM)


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dragonslayer1
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Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: T1R2]
      #6379019 - 02/16/14 06:54 AM

If you have a RTC (real time clock ) with the mount, the battery may just need charged on it,,, not sure on an Orion mount,,, but check and see.. It should keep right time. Kasey,,
PS Also you don't need time correct down to the second, you can just use your cell phone for coordinates at new spots, and at home it should remember the settings?? Kasey


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terry59
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Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6379052 - 02/16/14 08:05 AM

Glad you are making progress Jon. Until you get the EQDIR cable you can't take advantage of EQMOD and all of the wonderful things computer assistance has to offer. If I remember correctly, Orion stopped selling GPS units a year or so ago. EQMOD will store all of your info and if you travel it is easy to plug in (and save if desired) the new location info. You won't miss SynScan.

On your "iterative alignment" statement, I have lots of trees and am limited in star pairs I can use to align with. It takes me a couple of nights to get dialed in enough for 15 minute plus subs. If that is what you mean then yes it works.

I got a small grill cover at Home Depot that works fine

I'd love to see a sub or image from that lens

Edited by terry59 (02/16/14 08:09 AM)


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Jon Rista
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Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6379383 - 02/16/14 12:39 PM

Thanks guys. @Terry, I can't wait to get my EQDIR, as using EQMOD on the tablet will be so much better. I did find an Orion GPS unit, but it is dependent upon the hand controller, and seems to otherwise prevent control from a PC, so not really worth it. I think EQMOD will be better all around.

Any chance you could tell me what kind of grill cover you got? Most of the ones the local Home Depot and Lowes have are the ones with a small mesh band in the front...on my grill, that sits right over the burner knobs. I'd rather not have a mesh opening in whatever cover I get for my mount.

Hopefully I'll be able to start taking some images in a week. The moon should be coming up late enough by then that I should be able to get a few exposures in before. It's supposed to be clear from 9pm to 2am tonight. I guess the moon will rise around then...I may try earlier. When the forecast says "partly cloudy" it's been pretty clear here...so maybe I'll have a chance to get guiding working and everything.


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terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6379632 - 02/16/14 03:41 PM

I'm pretty sure it was this one

http://www.lowes.com/pd_83273-47981-42143_0__?productId=3305730&Ntt=grill...


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6379702 - 02/16/14 04:28 PM

I picked up a smoker cover at Home Depot. It's actually pretty nice, and was less than $10. It's rubberized, water just flows off of it, and the bottom edge has a tightening elastic band, so it clamps down pretty tightly just underneath the accessory tray. My only concern is it is black...should I worry about it soaking up heat when I'm not using the mount?

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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6379900 - 02/16/14 06:54 PM

I haven't had any problems

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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: terry59]
      #6379928 - 02/16/14 07:16 PM

Good to hear.

As for me, well, I'm having another problem. :P Guess this is just the right of passage if your going to get into astrophotography.

Seems my Orion SSAG doesn't want to work with my Surface Pro tablet. I did some searching, apparently, there have been driver issues with the SSAG since early 2012? I've read reports as recently as 12/2013 about people still having issues, and I am having issues here today, in 2014.

Is Orion really THAT unreliable of a company when it comes to drivers? I find that exceptionally dismaying, that in two solid years, they haven't solved compatibility issues with Windows 8. WOW.

When I first installed the driver, which was days ago, it didn't kick in automatically. I went to device manager and told it to update driver, and it found the right one right away. It worked, for a couple days. Today, I'm completely out of luck getting it to work, despite following all of the advice on threads here on CN and elsewhere. Windows 8 claims it can't find a driver and that the "device malfunctioned", however I can see no evidence of device malfunction. I uninstalled the drivers, completely, powered down and powered up, reinstalled the drivers, but for some reason Windows now refuses to acknowledge that driver is the correct one for the SSAG. It just shows up as a generic unknown device, I can't even force it to install the driver. It is a driverless device. I am not even sure how to run pnputil in order to nuke the driver, because there are no driver files whatsoever associated with the device, so I'm not sure exactly what to nuke. What a sad state of affairs...two solid years and no solution to this problem.

I'm going to see if I can get it all working on my older laptop, which was originally running Windows 7. It runs Windows 8 now, but maybe the older hardware will be more "reliable" with the SSAG.

On a side note, I've played with the SSAG and PHD2 on my desktop computer here on several occasions, and the driver has never stopped working. I've had it plugged in directly to the computer USB as well as via a USB hub, zero issues. As far as I know, my Surface Pro only has USB 2.0, so it can't be the USB 3.0 issue.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6379990 - 02/16/14 07:55 PM

Drivers with which machines? The SSAG works fine with my Win 7 64 bit and 32 bit machines. I would guess that getting it to work with a tablet might be more of a crapshoot, though.

GENERALLY drivers that work with Win 7 64 will work with Win 8. What you might try to do is manually uninstall the driver and reinstall.


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: rmollise]
      #6380113 - 02/16/14 09:31 PM

@Rod: I already went through multiple rounds of manually uninstalling, manually deleting registry entries, reinstallation, power off and reboot, etc. Nothing seems to work. It's apparently a well known problem, and Orion (or whoever produces the drivers for SSAG) hasn't fixed it yet.

I managed to get it all working with my old 18.4" Sony Vaio laptop. Not the most portable device, but everything seems to work.

Somehow my GoTo alignment got screwed up, but while trying to realign, a wicked wind picked up and clouds started periodically rolling overhead. Was making it hell trying to align, so I've given up for tonight.

Really looking forward to some totally clear, dark nights...


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6380294 - 02/16/14 11:35 PM

Woo! First light! I managed to slip 20 Pleiades 1-minute exposures in between a couple big patches of clouds. The sky was momentarily clear for just barely long enough. Now I'm taking darks and biases. The moon is over the eastern horizon, and I don't think I could do more than 1-minute exposures now anyway. Really can't wait until I have some really nice, dark skies.

Guiding seems to be working fairly well. There were a few frames in BYEOS that showed the stars as streaks...some perfectly horizontal, some perfectly vertical. I'm guessing that was guiding doing a big correction...otherwise not really sure what those frames are. I guess I'll have to dig deeper into how guiding works and all in order to fully understand the graph that PHD2 provides. I did learn that PHD doubles as a darn good cloud monitor. I was happily relaxing when all of a sudden the computer started dinging (and I of course had the volume maxed) and when I looked up at the sky, clouds had just covered Pleiades. Too bad that alarm can't be used to automatically suspend BackyardEOS, then resume it once the alarm stops.


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6380468 - 02/17/14 03:41 AM

Quote:

Woo! First light! I managed to slip 20 Pleiades 1-minute exposures in between a couple big patches of clouds. The sky was momentarily clear for just barely long enough. Now I'm taking darks and biases. The moon is over the eastern horizon, and I don't think I could do more than 1-minute exposures now anyway. Really can't wait until I have some really nice, dark skies.

Guiding seems to be working fairly well. There were a few frames in BYEOS that showed the stars as streaks...some perfectly horizontal, some perfectly vertical. I'm guessing that was guiding doing a big correction...otherwise not really sure what those frames are. I guess I'll have to dig deeper into how guiding works and all in order to fully understand the graph that PHD2 provides. I did learn that PHD doubles as a darn good cloud monitor. I was happily relaxing when all of a sudden the computer started dinging (and I of course had the volume maxed) and when I looked up at the sky, clouds had just covered Pleiades. Too bad that alarm can't be used to automatically suspend BackyardEOS, then resume it once the alarm stops.




You will find chasing holes in the clouds are not worth the effort, unless there are huge gaps. I don't know about your area, but tomorrow is suppose to be better in wider areas of the Southwest and portions of Colorado.

As they say, stay tuned!


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6381127 - 02/17/14 01:50 PM

Aye, it isn't worth the effort, but once I got started last night, I wasn't willing to give up.

According to the current forecast, it is supposed to be mostly clear from 2pm today until 8am tomorrow where I am in Colorado. That was also supposed to be the case last night, so I take it with a grain of salt, but hopefully it will actually be the case.


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6381139 - 02/17/14 01:55 PM

Quote:

Aye, it isn't worth the effort, but once I got started last night, I wasn't willing to give up.

According to the current forecast, it is supposed to be mostly clear from 2pm today until 8am tomorrow where I am in Colorado. That was also supposed to be the case last night, so I take it with a grain of salt, but hopefully it will actually be the case.




Same here - for the next two days. Crossing my fingers! I am simply tired of chasing holes in the clouds.

The key is the winds should be light. This helps significantly on the AP front.


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Jon Rista
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Atlas EQ-G just arrived! new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6381146 - 02/17/14 01:58 PM

Yeah, the wind worried me a couple times last night. The gusts got strong enough that I could see PHD going crazy. I packed it in on those occasions, the second time for good.

I did get some very light exposure on Pleiades last night, but because the moon was already over the horizon by then, I wasn't able to get deep exposures. Maybe tonight.


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