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New Skywatcher AZ GTi goto wifi mount

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#2726 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 08:10 AM

I thought I saw "fried it up" . Why so many USB ports?

iThe top 2 black ones are part of a 12v to 5v usb power supply. It is spliced into the splitter underneath it to supply it with supplemental power in order to reduce the Autoguider, IPolar cameras from draining too much power off the laptop runing the AG software. There are 3 USB 3.0 ports because thats the only spitter that had a right side port for the iPolar to plug into internally. I made the upper 2 exposed so I cna pug i lens heaters which are mostly USB plugs now. 



#2727 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 03:26 PM

Modded AZ-GTi (I Think I'll call it EQ-GTi) is fully operational.
https://www.youtube....cessorCreations

Longer video coming soon. 

 

mcJ4m5A.jpg


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#2728 Albut

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 05:12 PM

Modded AZ-GTi (I Think I'll call it EQ-GTi) is fully operational.
https://www.youtube....cessorCreations

Longer video coming soon. 

 

mcJ4m5A.jpg

Brilliant. Well done. If only I had your skills.


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#2729 mhstoker

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 05:12 AM

Amazing DIY !!!



#2730 herne

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 07:29 AM

Hi all,

I bought this mount a little while ago and would like to sanity check some things as I don't think I'm making the most of it at present and most likely missing something obvious (or doing something dumb).  My main use of it is in EQ mode (with the SW EQ wedge) for some astrophotography.

I want to use it (at least for now) unguided, with my William Optics Z61 II APO and DSLR (APS-C).  I'm not expecting to take multi-minute subs, however I'm struggling with star trailing at 1 minute subs and even lower.  Something I have been doing (and possibly dumb) is powering it using AA batteries, which could be a cause.  Anyway, this is my basic process when setting up, please do point out any improvements or things I might be missing.

 

- Level the tripod and mount.  Balance the scope/camera.

- Get focus.

- Polar align.  This is nothing more than centring Polaris in my camera's LCD screen using knobs on the mount.

- Turn on mount, connect iPad to mount wifi, open SynScan app and connect in EQ mode, reset alignment, exit app, unload and reconnect.

- Check location settings are ok, then 3 star align.  Again this is done by centring each star in the camera LCD screen.

 

By way of example, last night I did all that and got trailing with 1 min subs (see below example).  Note that I was not using a field flattener however I wouldn't have thought that would effect all the stars, especially centrally.  Like I say, I feel I'm missing something and it's probably obvious haha.  I was kind of hoping for say 2 min subs unguided, or is that just wishful thinking?

 

Thanks.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC09736.jpg


#2731 CloudyIFR

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 07:45 AM

Hi all,

I bought this mount a little while ago and would like to sanity check some things as I don't think I'm making the most of it at present and most likely missing something obvious (or doing something dumb).  My main use of it is in EQ mode (with the SW EQ wedge) for some astrophotography.

I want to use it (at least for now) unguided, with my William Optics Z61 II APO and DSLR (APS-C).  I'm not expecting to take multi-minute subs, however I'm struggling with star trailing at 1 minute subs and even lower.  Something I have been doing (and possibly dumb) is powering it using AA batteries, which could be a cause.  Anyway, this is my basic process when setting up, please do point out any improvements or things I might be missing.

 

- Level the tripod and mount.  Balance the scope/camera.

- Get focus.

- Polar align.  This is nothing more than centring Polaris in my camera's LCD screen using knobs on the mount.

- Turn on mount, connect iPad to mount wifi, open SynScan app and connect in EQ mode, reset alignment, exit app, unload and reconnect.

- Check location settings are ok, then 3 star align.  Again this is done by centring each star in the camera LCD screen.

 

By way of example, last night I did all that and got trailing with 1 min subs (see below example).  Note that I was not using a field flattener however I wouldn't have thought that would effect all the stars, especially centrally.  Like I say, I feel I'm missing something and it's probably obvious haha.  I was kind of hoping for say 2 min subs unguided, or is that just wishful thinking?

 

Thanks.

herne,

  Well that's exactly how I do it and can consistently get 2min subs with no trailing.  The only thing that I can think of is when selecting your three stars for alignment make sure two are on one side of the Meridian and the third on the other side.  If you're selecting near the top of the list that the app gives you I think it does just that.  Sorry I can't think of anything else.  Hmm?

 

  On a side note one thing I've been doing lately that's working very well is once I'm done with a nights shoot I go to Utility/Hibernate and tell the mount to go Home, or something like that I can't see it on the app as I'm not connected.  This puts it right back at Polaris.  Then I shut down.  The next time I fire up in a similar location I get a message that I can't exactly recall but I tell it to NOT save the data.  Then I perform the alignment.  This removes that alignment step that you explained where you throw the app away and start over.  It's been working very well.

 

Curtis


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#2732 gpaunescu

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 07:56 AM

Hi all,

I bought this mount a little while ago and would like to sanity check some things as I don't think I'm making the most of it at present and most likely missing something obvious (or doing something dumb).  My main use of it is in EQ mode (with the SW EQ wedge) for some astrophotography.

I want to use it (at least for now) unguided, with my William Optics Z61 II APO and DSLR (APS-C).  I'm not expecting to take multi-minute subs, however I'm struggling with star trailing at 1 minute subs and even lower.  Something I have been doing (and possibly dumb) is powering it using AA batteries, which could be a cause.  Anyway, this is my basic process when setting up, please do point out any improvements or things I might be missing.

 

- Level the tripod and mount.  Balance the scope/camera.

- Get focus.

- Polar align.  This is nothing more than centring Polaris in my camera's LCD screen using knobs on the mount.

- Turn on mount, connect iPad to mount wifi, open SynScan app and connect in EQ mode, reset alignment, exit app, unload and reconnect.

- Check location settings are ok, then 3 star align.  Again this is done by centring each star in the camera LCD screen.

 

By way of example, last night I did all that and got trailing with 1 min subs (see below example).  Note that I was not using a field flattener however I wouldn't have thought that would effect all the stars, especially centrally.  Like I say, I feel I'm missing something and it's probably obvious haha.  I was kind of hoping for say 2 min subs unguided, or is that just wishful thinking?

 

Thanks.

 

I think the Polar align is the issue; should be more than center Polaris in your camera; After your do star alignment (3 star is the best), become active Polar Align in the application menu. Use this to polar align, after reset the star alignment and do it again.

Also leveling is important.

 

I added the link to excellent post of David

https://www.cloudyni...l= david parks


Edited by gpaunescu, 16 March 2021 - 08:14 AM.

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#2733 72Nova

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 07:57 AM

Explorer1, I use that same attachment and it works great!  I would caution to remove it after alignment as I had it bind once and I could hear the gears doing very bad things trying to force the mount to move where I had told it to.  I do a rough alignment with this as in I put it where the an app tells me the NCP should be in relation to Polaris, perform a three star alignment and then I've had great success!  One of the tricks with the SynScan app that seems weird but works is once the mount is powered on and you're pointing at Polaris, run the app then select Reset Alignment, throw the app away and then start with the 3 star alignment.

Curtis

Hi CloudyIFR, can you tell me which polar finder you use?  I ordered this EQ wedge and adaptor and it should be delivered in a week or so but I'll need a polar finder.  Thanks!



#2734 CloudyIFR

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 08:09 AM

Hi CloudyIFR, can you tell me which polar finder you use?  I ordered this EQ wedge and adaptor and it should be delivered in a week or so but I'll need a polar finder.  Thanks!

Sure,  I had this from a previous windup tracker: Omegon polar finder EQ-500 X  and incorporated it with this mount:  Latitude adjustment Base for AZ GTI,FORNAX,Star adventurer mini mount|Monocular/Binoculars| - AliExpress

 

However, I can tell you I have not used it in a few months.  I just make sure the tripod is level and use the screen to center everything.  A friend made a hot shoe mount for my laser, it's available on Thingiverse as if I can't find the star in  Live View the laser helps me know which way to move the mount to get it on the screen.  Then I do the three star alignment as mentioned a couple posts back and off I go.  One thing I do differently perhaps is that I use Luminos app after aligning with the SynScan app but I don't think that would help with tracking.  Hmm, perhaps it does?  Not sure.  I do like the app as from the inside warmth of the house I can see where the mount is pointing and if it's still in the same place I started an hour ago.  ;)

 

Curtis


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#2735 sbradley07

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 08:24 AM

Hi all,

I bought this mount a little while ago and would like to sanity check some things as I don't think I'm making the most of it at present and most likely missing something obvious (or doing something dumb).  My main use of it is in EQ mode (with the SW EQ wedge) for some astrophotography.

I want to use it (at least for now) unguided, with my William Optics Z61 II APO and DSLR (APS-C).  I'm not expecting to take multi-minute subs, however I'm struggling with star trailing at 1 minute subs and even lower.  Something I have been doing (and possibly dumb) is powering it using AA batteries, which could be a cause.  Anyway, this is my basic process when setting up, please do point out any improvements or things I might be missing.

 

- Level the tripod and mount.  Balance the scope/camera.

- Get focus.

- Polar align.  This is nothing more than centring Polaris in my camera's LCD screen using knobs on the mount.

- Turn on mount, connect iPad to mount wifi, open SynScan app and connect in EQ mode, reset alignment, exit app, unload and reconnect.

- Check location settings are ok, then 3 star align.  Again this is done by centring each star in the camera LCD screen.

 

By way of example, last night I did all that and got trailing with 1 min subs (see below example).  Note that I was not using a field flattener however I wouldn't have thought that would effect all the stars, especially centrally.  Like I say, I feel I'm missing something and it's probably obvious haha.  I was kind of hoping for say 2 min subs unguided, or is that just wishful thinking?

 

Thanks.

As gpaunescu says, polar alignment is your issue...or at least your main issue.  Especially for astrophotography, this is why people mod their mounts with polar scopes and such, or use software methods like sharpcap. 

 

Honestly, if you want to get better results overall, controlling everything with an old laptop or mini computer is the way to go - - you can still use your ipad to control everything.  The only manual steps are PA and focus; most imaging software will plate-solve to your target (ie. no more 3 star alignments needed, and leveling isn't that important) and start an imaging run.  Even with all that, I'm not sure you will get 2 minute unguided subs at your focal length.  This is why a lot of people use guidescopes with this mount.  


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#2736 CloudyIFR

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 08:39 AM

Here's two recent projects I've worked on.

This is with an unmodified Nikon D5600 and a RedCat51 in Bortle 4 skies.   The Orion and Horsehead I added a Baader UHC-S filter.

Both are about 1.5 hours of exposures.

Pleiades and Mars is 120 second exposures ISO-400 and no trailing.

Orion and the Horsehead is 180 second exposures ISO-1250 and you can see the trailing.  

 

Curtis

Attached Thumbnails

  • Pleiades and Mars.jpg
  • M42HH Sequator.jpg

Edited by CloudyIFR, 16 March 2021 - 08:44 AM.

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#2737 herne

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 08:47 AM

herne,

  Well that's exactly how I do it and can consistently get 2min subs with no trailing.  The only thing that I can think of is when selecting your three stars for alignment make sure two are on one side of the Meridian and the third on the other side.  If you're selecting near the top of the list that the app gives you I think it does just that.  Sorry I can't think of anything else.  Hmm?

 

  On a side note one thing I've been doing lately that's working very well is once I'm done with a nights shoot I go to Utility/Hibernate and tell the mount to go Home, or something like that I can't see it on the app as I'm not connected.  This puts it right back at Polaris.  Then I shut down.  The next time I fire up in a similar location I get a message that I can't exactly recall but I tell it to NOT save the data.  Then I perform the alignment.  This removes that alignment step that you explained where you throw the app away and start over.  It's been working very well.

 

Curtis

Thanks.  Will try the meridian idea out next time.  What focal length are you using?  My Z61 is 360mm + an APS-C camera, so more like 580mm or so.

Edit - just saw you are using a RedCat 51.

 

I think the Polar align is the issue; should be more than center Polaris in your camera; After your do star alignment (3 star is the best), become active Polar Align in the application menu. Use this to polar align, after reset the star alignment and do it again.

Also leveling is important.

 

I added the link to excellent post of David

https://www.cloudyni...l= david parks

Thanks, will check out the "Polar Align" menu option.  I did see that thread before, will reread.

 

As gpaunescu says, polar alignment is your issue...or at least your main issue.  Especially for astrophotography, this is why people mod their mounts with polar scopes and such, or use software methods like sharpcap. 

 

Honestly, if you want to get better results overall, controlling everything with an old laptop or mini computer is the way to go - - you can still use your ipad to control everything.  The only manual steps are PA and focus; most imaging software will plate-solve to your target (ie. no more 3 star alignments needed, and leveling isn't that important) and start an imaging run.  Even with all that, I'm not sure you will get 2 minute unguided subs at your focal length.  This is why a lot of people use guidescopes with this mount.  

I agree, I defo think PA is the main issue.  I have considered modding the mount or perhaps even mounting a polar scope onto the main scope but I get the feeling if I want to see significant improvements it'll be with a guide scope.


Edited by herne, 16 March 2021 - 08:51 AM.


#2738 gpaunescu

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 09:35 AM

Rega

 


I agree, I defo think PA is the main issue.  I have considered modding the mount or perhaps even mounting a polar scope onto the main scope but I get the feeling if I want to see significant improvements it'll be with a guide scope.

Even with guide, you need to have good polar alignment. But sure the guide will improve yours exposures.

I had setup a Rasberry PI 4 with Astroberry and now I'm try to setup with Stellarmate (on the same Rasberry pi).

Unfortunately, since November 2020, the clear sky nights are very few; I cannot use to much my setup. Even now, one week is clouds and rain. frown.gif


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#2739 sbradley07

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Posted 16 March 2021 - 10:33 AM

I agree, I defo think PA is the main issue.  I have considered modding the mount or perhaps even mounting a polar scope onto the main scope but I get the feeling if I want to see significant improvements it'll be with a guide scope.

The beauty of a guide scope is it solves two problems; it gives you rock solid PA, and you can push the limits on exposure times.  


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#2740 herne

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 06:32 AM

In terms of external power, I was going to buy an external power pack to connect to a mains outlet.  However I seem to have gathered a rather large collection of power adapters over the years and was wondering if I could use one to power the AZ GTi.  I'd rather repurpose than buy yet another (although will if I have to).

 

For example, I came across a couple of adapters for old external hard drives which are rated at 12v 1.5A or 2A(see below).  I know I could just plug it in to test but thought I'd double check here first before potentially doing something dumb.

 

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1022a.jpg


#2741 sbradley07

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 06:38 AM

Those will work.  


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#2742 Bagwell

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 07:22 AM

I would plug in and see the actual voltage output.  You are likely ok, but I have run into a power supply that was supplying about 13v and the mount doesnt like that over voltage.  If you had over or under voltage though the mount would likely just not work.  I cant remember the details on how mine didnt like the voltage but its something to mention and think about.  

 

Vaughn



#2743 kel123

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 07:41 AM

In terms of external power, I was going to buy an external power pack to connect to a mains outlet. However I seem to have gathered a rather large collection of power adapters over the years and was wondering if I could use one to power the AZ GTi. I'd rather repurpose than buy yet another (although will if I have to).

For example, I came across a couple of adapters for old external hard drives which are rated at 12v 1.5A or 2A(see below). I know I could just plug it in to test but thought I'd double check here first before potentially doing something dumb.


Remember, it is not just about the voltage and current rating. You also need to check the polarity or you will fry you mount. Most of these mounts have no wrong polarity protection and I don't know why. Perhaps it is intentional to get people to by more parts.
However, as I can see from your image, these ones are tip positive and hence, the right polarity for the mount. So, they will work right out of the box with the mount, if they have the same 2.1 mm connector that the mount requires . But if you need to change the connector, make sure you connect it in a way that it remains tip positive. In order words, connect the the tip wire to the tip wire of your new connector and the barrel wire to the barrel wire of your new connector. If you swap it, you will fry your mount. So, it is not as simple as just connecting any wire to any wire. Just confirm that the tip is positive before taping it.
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#2744 kel123

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 07:49 AM

I would plug in and see the actual voltage output. You are likely ok, but I have run into a power supply that was supplying about 13v and the mount doesnt like that over voltage. If you had over or under voltage though the mount would likely just not work. I cant remember the details on how mine didnt like the voltage but its something to mention and think about.

Vaughn


Not exactly correct. If you have under-voltage, the mount might simply not work but if you have an over voltage, you might fry your mount, depending on the difference between the voltage range of the mount and the value of the over-voltage. Never supply your mount with an over-voltage. Sometimes, even an under-voltage heats up the circuit and damages something. So, always aim for the correct voltage for any equipment you have.

#2745 CloudyIFR

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 07:56 AM

I run mine all the time from a portable power supply at 9V.  

The manual states on page 11 that the power requirement for the mount is DC7.5~14V, 0.75A.

 

That little squiggly before the 14v means approximately.

 

Then on page 8 it says DC 14v (maximum).  

Connector is 2.0mm I.D and 5.5mm O.D.  Must be central positive.
Do not use an unregulated AC to DC adapter.

 

Curtis


Edited by CloudyIFR, 18 March 2021 - 08:01 AM.

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#2746 herne

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 08:03 AM

Tested, all works fine.  Thanks all waytogo.gif .


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#2747 Bagwell

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 08:08 AM

Not exactly correct. If you have under-voltage, the mount might simply not work but if you have an over voltage, you might fry your mount, depending on the difference between the voltage range of the mount and the value of the over-voltage. Never supply your mount with an over-voltage. Sometimes, even an under-voltage heats up the circuit and damages something. So, always aim for the correct voltage for any equipment you have.

This might be true, but my experience with this problem just kept the mount from working.  In my case no damage was done.  I often deal with voltages in many different situations in my work and find most often that the devices being powered have a variance in voltages they will work with especially alternating current.  In my case the AZ Gti didnt work with 13v.  Direct current can also vary somewhat depending on batteries used and most manufacturers allow for this in small amounts without harming the device.  AA A, AA, C, and D Alkaline batteries are 1.5v dc where as some rechargables are 1.2v dc etc.  I am just speaking from my experience.  

 

Old memory, come to think of it I believe it may have been that I had problems with the mount with a 12vdc power supply pushing more than 13v.  I think I documented it someplace in this thread in the past but thats a lot of pages.  LOL 

 

Clear Skies, 

Vaughn


Edited by Bagwell, 18 March 2021 - 08:16 AM.


#2748 kel123

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Posted 18 March 2021 - 08:19 AM

This might be true, but my experience with this problem just kept the mount from working. In my case no damage was done. I often deal with voltages in many different situations in my work and find most often that the devices being powered have a variance in voltages they will work with especially alternating current. In my case the AZ Gti didnt work with 13v. Direct current can also vary somewhat depending on batteries used and most manufacturers allow for this in small amounts without harming the device. AA A, AA, C, and D Alkaline batteries are 1.5v dc where as some rechargables are 1.2v dc etc. I am just speaking from my experience.

Vaughn


13v is within the manufacturer's recommended range that the mount can handle, which is between 7.5v to 14v. But anything over 14v, you are on your own.

#2749 CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Posted 21 March 2021 - 10:00 PM

First, time using AZ-GTi in EQ mode really and having an issue. After about 10 minutes it PHD2 lets it drift about this far (clickable link to image). I am not sure why it is not counteracting this drift. How do I fix this drifting issue? It is always about the same amount and in the same direction.

Any thoughts on what causes this? any PHD2 setting to prevent it? PHD2 never let this sort of thing happen on my SWSA.



#2750 Vladi

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Posted 22 March 2021 - 01:49 AM

Though, I'm not using PHD2 on a computer, rather using ASIAIR which uses a version of PHD2, I can tell that it works well for me via the EQdirect cable. Just as a good news for you that there should be a way to fix this in your setup. People might need more details on how things are connected though, I guess...




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