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EXOS-2GT Information Thread...

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#351 CDallas32

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 12:18 AM

Welp my Hopes were too high. Tracking and slewing were smooth. My problem came with GOTOs. I did a course polar alignment through the borehole and corrected with alt-az controls while using a 9mm. I had 5 or 6 alignment stars again. I used the two star method and chose Sirius and Rigel. The telescope slewed to the stars and both were barely within the finder. I finished aligning and selected the moon for testing purposes. The moon was within the finder (8x50) but not in the FOV of my 40mm. I then selected Sirius again to check myself. Sirius was in the EXACT same spot in the finder as it was when I was doing the two star alignment. I then tried a 1 star alignment and had the same result. I am a planetary guy but this time of year I like to broaden my horizons.

#352 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 08:51 AM

Welp my Hopes were too high. Tracking and slewing were smooth. My problem came with GOTOs. I did a course polar alignment through the borehole and corrected with alt-az controls while using a 9mm. I had 5 or 6 alignment stars again. I used the two star method and chose Sirius and Rigel. The telescope slewed to the stars and both were barely within the finder. I finished aligning and selected the moon for testing purposes. The moon was within the finder (8x50) but not in the FOV of my 40mm. I then selected Sirius again to check myself. Sirius was in the EXACT same spot in the finder as it was when I was doing the two star alignment. I then tried a 1 star alignment and had the same result. I am a planetary guy but this time of year I like to broaden my horizons.

That seems like a pretty normal night with this mount.  Go-close, not go-to.

 

The better you get your alignment to the NCP (not Polaris), the better off you'll be.  I use the tools built into PHD2, with my imaging camera.  The Polar Drift Align will get you quite close.  The Static Polar align should be even better, but I haven't had much luck figuring it out.  There are YouTube videos for both of these.



#353 PatrickVt

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 10:16 AM

Yeah...  to some extent, I agree with ThatsMyCoffee.  I'm a perfectionist when it comes to setup (including level...  I use an 8 inch level, not the bubble level) and I've noticed that this has an impact on the accuracy of GoTo's especially the farther you get from Polaris.  I started with all manual EQ mounts decades ago so I know the importance of accuracy in setup.  Then again, when I am just using my manual grab-and-go telescope for visual with its lightweight EQ mount (I use this to determine sky conditions before dragging out my far heavier imaging gear), I have that already setup to the correct altitude and I just plop it down facing north...  for the most part, I generally only need to move one axis to track if I'm closely aligned to north and then occasionally correct in the other axis.  

 

I wasn't completely happy with my setups until I bought a PoleMaster.  Plus, for DSS imaging, I use an autoguider too.  As far as GoTo is concerned...  I slew with a 17mm or 20mm eyepiece and as long as it get me there I'm happy.  I'm not looking for perfectly centered here.  Quite often, with nebulae and galaxies especially, I tend to frame things differently than most so, who is to say what is "centered" with these wide field objects?  

 

Certainly, a wide angle is more forgiving than a long focal length.  The more magnification you use for your GoTo's, the more any tiny misalignments will be exaggerated.  Combine this with being farther from Polaris and any tiny errors are magnified even more.

 

But there is no doubt that the tighter and more accurate you get your setup routine...  the more accurate your GoTo's will be.  A Polar Alignment Scope will improve things if it is used correctly (also aligned correctly and putting Polaris in the right part of the view after properly positioning the polar finder) and, even better, a PoleMaster will easily improve things.  This is another place where ThatsMyCoffee was correct...  you align with the CNP, not Polaris, for accuracy.  If you are perfectly aligning with Polaris by centering on Polaris, your alignment is off.

 

I suppose my one complaint about this mount is it could be more user-friendly in the polar alignment stage like some of the other manufacturers' GoTo mounts.  I had read about everyone's woes of accurate alignment and seemingly wild GoTo's before I even bought this mount so I wasn't expecting perfection especially not without my setups and initialization being perfect. 

 

Speaking of accurate initialization...  My Windows tablet does not have GPS but I can activate location services.  Using these coordinates from internet location services is not the way to go for accuracy though.  My internet service provider does provide coordinates but the coordinates they use are their own coordinates which is a location about 15 miles from my location.  I don't use my tablet or internet to automatically enter my location because I know it will not be as accurate as possible.  I find my exact coordinates for where I am setup that night and input those.  In the big scheme of things, this doesn't matter much if you stay wide angle...  but if you are going to push the GoTo to its limits by using high magnifications and slews farther from Polaris, then you'll probably notice a difference.

 

For a sub-$500 mount that can carry 27 lbs and also has autoguiding capabilities and the option of computer control, I'm very happy with it.  

 

Patrick


Edited by PatrickVt, 23 December 2018 - 10:56 AM.

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#354 CDallas32

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 03:32 PM

I went a little overboard on accessories lol.gif  but I still need the polar scope. Every retailer is out but I contacted ES and specifically asked for Lance per advise from the forums. I got an email back from Kentbelushi.gif  and he said he would ask when it would be back in stock. He made clear that it wasn't discontinued. 

 

also, does anyone know of a cheap 5 pound counterweight?

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#355 PatrickVt

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 06:51 PM

I think you can just put a cable together yourself.  The adapters and cable look pretty generic, so you would need a USB to serial adapter (about US$12), a serial (DB9) to phone (RJ45) adapter (US$2 - this is the same picture used on the ES site), and an RJ45 to RJ11 cable (about US$7).  Not sure if it is actually RJ11, but it looks to be the right one.

 

 

 

About US$22 give or take with shipping and tax.

 

I purchased the ES cable set, so with free shipping, it was US$29.99.  Of course, I can get customer service for it as well if anything goes wrong.

I bought the Explore Scientific cable but I wanted a longer one so I ordered some longer cables...   when they arrived, I quickly realized that the RJ45 to RJ11 cable really should have been an RJ45 to RJ9.  The RJ11 jack does not fit in the jack on the hand controller.  I could not find an RJ45 to RJ9 cable so I ordered some RJ9 connectors and a crimping tool.  I cut the RJ11 off the longer cable that I bought and connected the new RJ9 4P4C connector.  

 

I also replaced the USB to Serial RS-232 adapter with a USB to Serial RS-232 cable (with the FTDI chipset) with hex jack nuts...  I purchased this cable with hex nuts so I could connect it securely to the studs on the serial to RJ45 connector that came with the original cable.  The original sent to me from Explore Scientific had studs on both pieces so they could not be securely mated.  Studs to studs meant the connection pulled apart easily and especially since the cable was so short.

 

It all works fine and I have a decent length cord now.  

 

I hope this helps anyone with the same thoughts.

 

Patrick


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#356 Gustoresto

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 08:24 AM

Re Exos polar scope currently unavailable for weeks(?)   Over and over we read that getting polar align better=better goto.  I decided to see if I could adapt another scope and this is what I did;   ordered the $39 astromania polar align scope for EQ5 from amazon.  It almost went into the polar bore but the threads didn't clear.  I held the scope in my hands and let it (the threaded ring boss) rotate against my 1" belt sander w a fine #120 grit belt to cut down the threads till it fit.  Almost entirely removed the threads a little at a time testing till it fit, and got it V close w V little slop.   Put a thin wipe of silicone grease on the tube so it would slide into the internal O ring/guide w/o dislodging it.   Tested and aligned/adjusted  it by sighting on a telephone pole 1/4 mi away rotating in RA till it circled evenly. U align by adjusting the reticle 3 tiny 2mm setscrews w/o overtightening or U bust the reticle.   time consuming but I now have a good accurate polar alignment device. I'll keep the $200 change from the polemaster I won't buy thank U.     I've been helping my alignment get better for weeks now.   I also checked to C if scope was orthogonal w respect to mount and had to add a .020 shim between the tube ring and the dovetail.  This was off by 1-2 degrees!!!      I suspect there are a LOT of scopes out there that are not aligned w the polar axis.   Then they blame the mount of course.   Regards  HNY Gus



#357 JacobBosarge

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 12:52 AM

I am really disappointed to hear that. I will relay this to our headquarters and let them know. I can assure you that Explore Scientific still sells the 2-inch leg version of the mount and we have updated the photographs of the system on our website.  Yes, this is really disappointing.

 

Thanks for the update.

Is this still the case? The website claims it is shiped with 1.25" legs? Why is this when your vendors (Adorama, B&H; honestly a little surprised they carry your stuff, specifically this mount, considering how flaky this whole operation seems) have it listed with 2" legs?



#358 Gustoresto

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 02:46 PM

Yer quoting a post that's like ancient history on this thread and has been answered if you'd look.     Perhaps U should pay a visit to the website of this "flaky operation"  where you'd find they have become a major player in the US selling high end goods like megabuck APO scopes and premium EPs and partnering w the likes of Losmandy to offer PMC8 systems for goto scopes.    They have also made extensive efforts to work out bugs in the EXOS 2 GT w a V dedicated customer service team.   


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#359 CDallas32

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 02:53 PM

Is this still the case? The website claims it is shiped with 1.25" legs? Why is this when your vendors (Adorama, B&H; honestly a little surprised they carry your stuff, specifically this mount, considering how flaky this whole operation seems) have it listed with 2" legs?

It claims 1.25in legs on the website, however it is bogus. I thought the same thing you did but you get the 2in legs. Don't worry about it.

You come across problems when things are cheap.

Edited by CDallas32, 31 December 2018 - 02:54 PM.

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#360 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 03:31 PM

 a V dedicated customer service team.   

 

It's a shame that Bresser's support is not even close to ES.  I know where my money will go next time!



#361 Darthstarkiller

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 03:37 PM

I bought the Explore Scientific cable but I wanted a longer one so I ordered some longer cables...   when they arrived, I quickly realized that the RJ45 to RJ11 cable really should have been an RJ45 to RJ9.  The RJ11 jack does not fit in the jack on the hand controller.  I could not find an RJ45 to RJ9 cable so I ordered some RJ9 connectors and a crimping tool.  I cut the RJ11 off the longer cable that I bought and connected the new RJ9 4P4C connector.  

 

I also replaced the USB to Serial RS-232 adapter with a USB to Serial RS-232 cable (with the FTDI chipset) with hex jack nuts...  I purchased this cable with hex nuts so I could connect it securely to the studs on the serial to RJ45 connector that came with the original cable.  The original sent to me from Explore Scientific had studs on both pieces so they could not be securely mated.  Studs to studs meant the connection pulled apart easily and especially since the cable was so short.

 

It all works fine and I have a decent length cord now.  

 

I hope this helps anyone with the same thoughts.

 

Patrick

Can you provide the pinout information, or picture of the RJ45 to RJ9 that you made? I plan on making my own cable and want to make sure I have the pins right.



#362 CDallas32

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 04:27 PM

Can you provide the pinout information, or picture of the RJ45 to RJ9 that you made? I plan on making my own cable and want to make sure I have the pins right.


You could just get a USB extension cable that is widely available instead of overthinking it with the RJ45 to RJ9.

#363 CDallas32

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 04:33 PM

I am having some serious Backlash problems with the mount. Luckily, before these problems, GOTOs were pretty good and tracking was phenomenal for visual. I'm going to call ES and see what I can do since it is under warranty. I know they are going to convince me that backlash can be corrected in the hand controller however it would be "corrected" not "fixed". I'm not going to try and adjust the gears because I'll probably screw that up. If you guys have any suggestions, let me know.

#364 Darthstarkiller

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 04:51 PM

You could just get a USB extension cable that is widely available instead of overthinking it with the RJ45 to RJ9.

I was under the impression that the mini usb port on the hand controller is still disabled. Is this still the case? I do have a mini usb cable that I tried, but my computer doesn't recognize that anything is plugged in.



#365 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 04:53 PM

Hi Coleton,

 

I would suggest that you call customer support at +1 (866) 252-3811 ext. 2 and request an RMA to send your mount back for adjustment if you do not want to do it yourself. I don't think they will try and convince you to use the hand-controller backlash tuning to correct the problem if you insist on having it adjusted. Tell them that Jerry thought it best for you to send it back for physical adjustment. smile.gif


Edited by Jerry Hubbell, 06 January 2019 - 12:29 PM.

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#366 Darthstarkiller

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 09:08 PM

Is it possible to connect directly to the mount and bypass the hand controller? I got stellarium scope and stellarium to see the mount, but it would not slew. Anyone tried this? 



#367 PatrickVt

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 09:58 PM

Is it possible to connect directly to the mount and bypass the hand controller? I got stellarium scope and stellarium to see the mount, but it would not slew. Anyone tried this? 

 

I suspect that almost all of the necessary electronics are in this handset so the handset is required.

 

I have found that the best way to connect to Stellarium is to first connect to POTH...   choose the Bresser driver...  then start Stellarium Scope...  connect to POTH...  click the update button...  then click the "Start Stellarium" button...  then Stellarium will pop up and you can choose the control with external program option and you should be good to go.  I have had consistent results doing it this way.

 

That being said, on the rare occasion, I can somehow get it to work without using POTH but it only works that way about one in ten times.  I don't know why.  What I do know is that the most consistent positive results come from connecting to POTH first. 

 

Patrick


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#368 Gustoresto

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 07:34 AM

Darth says "bypass hand controller? "     The PMC8 has none and is run from a tablet or?       Is he referring to the EXOS 2GT ???   



#369 PatrickVt

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:40 AM

This thread is about the original EXOS-2GT which is why he referred to a hand controller.  

 

Patrick



#370 PatrickVt

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:47 AM

Can you provide the pinout information, or picture of the RJ45 to RJ9 that you made? I plan on making my own cable and want to make sure I have the pins right.

I'll try to get some photos of the connectors today.  

 

In the meantime, on the RJ45 end, the four wires of the cable are in the center four pins with two empty pins on each side...  and the RJ9 end is simply the four wires and four pins.  

 

I'll get some photos uploaded later this morning though.  

 

Patrick



#371 PatrickVt

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:08 AM

Here is a closeup photo of the connectors on the Explore Scientific RJ9 to RJ45 part of the cable.  

 

Patrick

 

 

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  • DSC04837 jan19_blog.JPG


#372 Darthstarkiller

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:45 AM

Perfect! Thank you, exactly what I needed. Now I will use some cat5 and make that cable as long as I want.
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#373 carlsonmjc

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 11:01 AM

CD I highly suggest you learn to adjust the worm gears of your mount. This is a normal result of
the break in process and will need refinement in the future. There are numerous tutorials on
line to show the way.

Jerry is being very generous in offering to have ES adjust, but it can be done safely yourself.

Mark C

Edited by carlsonmjc, 06 January 2019 - 11:48 AM.


#374 CDallas32

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:17 PM

Hi Coleton,

I would suggest that you call customer support at +1 (866) 252-3811 ext. 2 and request an RMA to send your mount back for adjustment if you do not want to do it yourself. I don't think they will try and convince you to use the hand-controller backlash tuning to correct the problem if you insist on having it adjusted. Tell them that Jerry thought it best for you to send it back for physical adjustment. smile.gif


Thanks Jerry. I'll call today (unless they are closed on sunday). I'm starting to think my problem may not be backlash. Here are my symptoms-

The gears aren't moving when I try to induce the problem. I think it is something else inside the RA. Also the counter weight shaft seems to be a little loose in the RA and that shakes the RA. It is almost as if the RA isn't locked down all the way. The RA has about an arc second of movement. This may be backlash problems but I'll send it in. Thanks again Jerry.

#375 CDallas32

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:25 PM

I was under the impression that the mini usb port on the hand controller is still disabled. Is this still the case? I do have a mini usb cable that I tried, but my computer doesn't recognize that anything is plugged in.


Let me clarify. I meant that you could get an extension cable for the male USB plug at the end of the cable.

Like this-https://www.amazon.c...601224372&psc=1


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