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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Loden
member


Reged: 02/29/12

Loc: Salado, TX, USA
Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new
      #5668167 - 02/08/13 12:12 AM

I have had an Orion Atlas EQ-G for about a year and have used it successfully and often with no significant problems. I mount a Skywatcher 120 ED and hang a Canon 60Da, often with a Teleview 2x on it.

Tonight as I had used the scope and mount two nights previous and had not moved it, after a polar align check I shot a one-star alignment on Sirius with no problem. On my second Go-To, the scope did not line up on the target, so I returned to Sirius where I got a good alignment. I walked it out star-by-star, but by Rigel it had a good 2 degree error.

I then parked the scope, shut it down, rechecked polar alignment, and attempted to align again. My first alignment star was Sirius, but the scope was pointed in the vicinity of Alnitak. Every attempt to align after that resulted in about a 25 degree error. I shut down the mount and very carefully re-entered all time, date, and location data several times and then tried to align. The 25 degree (+/-) error persisted no matter what I tried. I aligned on Polaris three times, checked every setting, and carefully observed for wire-binding, but found no errors.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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neptun2
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new [Re: Loden]
      #5668177 - 02/08/13 12:22 AM

Very strange behavior. Did you observe the power led of the mount blinking when the problems started or it was normally lit? One more thing - when you enter the date did you use the mm/dd/yy format? I personally several times have entered the coordinates in dd/mm/yy format by mistake and this was causing problems. You can also try to update the hand controller firmware in case it got screwed somehow.

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ReiverSkies
member


Reged: 09/23/11

Loc: St Andrews, Scotland
Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior [Re: neptun2]
      #5668353 - 02/08/13 05:33 AM

Every time I've done that it's been me incorrectly entering the date. And i've done it several times.

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Loden
member


Reged: 02/29/12

Loc: Salado, TX, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new [Re: ReiverSkies]
      #5668495 - 02/08/13 08:51 AM

I too have entered the date incorrectly more than once, which is why I was so very, very careful as I reentered the data. I even rechecked my coordinates. No, there was no apparent flickering of the power light. I did check all power connections, and my 12v power source is a relatively new deep-cycle marine battery (which weighs about a ton) with a Battery Tender maintaining the charge. Both the Battery Tender light and the large Power Tank I have rigged in parallel indicated full voltage.

For several of the stars the scope clearly was pointing at where they would be in an hour or so, but when I tried to use Regulus as the first alignment star, while it was up about 40 degrees on the
meridian, the scope pointed approximately at the horizon, or where Regulus had been over an hour before.

After the initial quite normal one-star alignment where the scope hit Sirius pretty much dead center without adjustment, as I mentioned above, I noted about a 2 degree error in about a 30 degree move. I initially thought I might a have wire bind, but when I input Sirius, moving from the 2 degree error, the scope stopped dead-on centered on that star. AS I noted, this has got to be among the top-ten weirdnesses I have ever encountered.

I actually encountered a similar set of issues long ago when I inadvertently had unbalanced the scope by adding the Teleview 2x. After moving the focus tube out to accommodate, a combination of the out of balance condition and a less than perfectly tightened slip lock resulted in a serious misalignment. But, that problem revealed itself when I moved the mount to a parked position in that the scope was still misaligned at park. In this set of events, the scope parks perfectly.

Edited by Loden (02/08/13 09:00 AM)


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new [Re: Loden]
      #5668514 - 02/08/13 09:04 AM

An hour off spells time problems. Check DST status...make sure it is off, that you are on standard time.

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ReiverSkies
member


Reged: 09/23/11

Loc: St Andrews, Scotland
Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new [Re: rmollise]
      #5668550 - 02/08/13 09:17 AM

have you tried using an alternative goto such as eqmod and a pc to see if the problem is software or hardware related?

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neptun2
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new [Re: ReiverSkies]
      #5669072 - 02/08/13 01:38 PM

The DST or the time zone is also definitely a possibility if the misalignment is approximately one hour.

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WillCarney
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/08/09

Loc: Bloomington, ILL
Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new [Re: neptun2]
      #5669183 - 02/08/13 02:31 PM

I've had my Atlas for a number of years now. Sometimes it will 'loose' alignment. Sometimes it's a simple quick loss of power or other things. Generally putting the mount in park shutting it down then doing a new two star alignment on power on generally takes care of any issues. Check the RA and Dec knobs for tighness. Sometimes they are not tight enough and you get slippage. If your off an hour it's probably the DST thing. I also have had to update my controller twice since I got the mount. It seemed to have lost the update if the mount was not used for some time.

One thing I noticed on our local club's CGEM was that mount was NOT keeping date of last use. For sometime I had to make sure the exact date and time were entered.
William


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Loden
member


Reged: 02/29/12

Loc: Salado, TX, USA
Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new [Re: WillCarney]
      #5669988 - 02/09/13 12:12 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

I figured it out and fixed the problem. I am embarrassed, but thought I would post it. Last night I think the initial problem was a wire bind. Then, when I attempted to fix the misalignment by starting with a new polar alignment, I had to release the RA and DCL locks to rotate the scope so as to look through the mount's polar alignment scope and align Polaris with the correct position. When I returned the scope to alignment with the mount, I must have not have correctly aligned it. Each time after, I once again thought I was aligning the scope with the mount but repeated the error.

Tonight I fired up the mount and had the same results as last night, but tonight I just cranked up the rate and aimed it at Sirius anyway. After fine tuning, the paddle claimed that the alignment was acceptable, even though I had motored across about 25 degrees of sky. From there the go-to worked perfectly.

Clouds moved in early, so I parked the scope. The parked position was visually out of line with the tripod leg (which I had used as my guide last night.) Careful examination determined that the lateral adjustment knobs for polar alignment are nearly at their limits, so the weights were well out of line with the north-facing leg of the tripod. My error last night was that I was aligning the weight shaft with the north leg of the tripod, as I normally do.

Embarrassing but very real. Thanks guys for the attempted aid. I got some pretty good exposures of Lower's Nebula tonight.


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neptun2
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Atlas EQ-G Strange Behavior new [Re: Loden]
      #5670144 - 02/09/13 04:35 AM

Glad to hear that you fixed the problem. Generally these mounts are very stable and work good. Nevertheless i recommend to try the new 3.32 final synscan firmware with the added polar align feature if you are on older version.

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