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New Skywatcher AZ GTi goto wifi mount

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#276 glend

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 06:20 AM

I am not able to get this mount to image without trailing stars.  It works fine visually, apparently. It is setup in EQ mode, with the wedge, motor firmware upgrade etc. Aligns, Tracks fine visually. But when i stick my Nikon D5300 on my AT60ED, and try to shoot 30 sec subs, i get trails. Tracking is set for sideral.  The mount was set up on my observatory floor so no flex or walking around flex there. Anyone able to image with it? I don't expect it to guide, but to track accurately enough for 30 sec subs, yes i expect that. Ideas?



#277 gnomus

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 06:39 AM

You may have seen earlier in this thread that I have a problem with my mount not tracking after a GOTO.  I need to press 'Point & Track' after a GOTO, despite performing an alignment (North Level Alignment) that the App says is successful.  I also have this issue using the SynScan wifi adapter and an Az Eq 5.  I wonder if this is what is happening to your images.  Like you, I would expect your Eq mounted device should be able to manage 30 second subs.  Perhaps you should check to see if your mount is actually tracking following a GOTO. 

 

Steve 



#278 glend

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 07:45 AM

You may have seen earlier in this thread that I have a problem with my mount not tracking after a GOTO.  I need to press 'Point & Track' after a GOTO, despite performing an alignment (North Level Alignment) that the App says is successful.  I also have this issue using the SynScan wifi adapter and an Az Eq 5.  I wonder if this is what is happening to your images.  Like you, I would expect your Eq mounted device should be able to manage 30 second subs.  Perhaps you should check to see if your mount is actually tracking following a GOTO. 

 

Steve 

I did see your post, but I thought that had been in AltAz mode and you did not have the upgrade.  As i have the latest software, and motor firmware, and it holds a star centred visually, in EQ mode, I had every reason to be confident it would be ok.  It sounds like it is tracking, I can hear things moving in there - and it held a star centered when I tested it visually.  I went to the menu where Point and Track is shown but it was not highlighted as being available and pushing it did nothing. I assumed because I was in EQ mode it was disabled.  


Edited by glend, 10 July 2018 - 07:46 AM.


#279 gnomus

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:22 AM

I did see your post, but I thought that had been in AltAz mode and you did not have the upgrade.  As i have the latest software, and motor firmware, and it holds a star centred visually, in EQ mode, I had every reason to be confident it would be ok.  It sounds like it is tracking, I can hear things moving in there - and it held a star centered when I tested it visually.  I went to the menu where Point and Track is shown but it was not highlighted as being available and pushing it did nothing. I assumed because I was in EQ mode it was disabled.  

I do use the latest software and motor firmware, but I am in AltAz mode.  I too hear the motors whirring, which suggests to me that the the mount is moving - it's just not tracking.  If you have observed an object through an eyepiece and the mount is tracking well, then clearly that is not your problem, and I apologise for being no help.

 

For those who are having my issue, I can say that for solar system objects, 'Point and Track' is 'on screen' when in Alt Az mode (I don't know about EQ mode).  For other objects (Messier and such like) then you need to press 'More' to find the 'Point and Track' button.  (Again, I don't know if these options are available in EQ mode: the couple of times I tried the mount in EQ mode I wasn't expecting to have to use 'Point and Track'.)



#280 glend

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:57 AM

Read back through this thread, I see post #228, mentions using Sharpcap Polar Alignment. I will try that to get the PA near perfect then check my imaging again.  If that guy can get 60s subs then i should too. We'll see.



#281 davidparks

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 05:20 PM

Here’s an example of both guiding and imaging with this mount:  https://www.cloudyni...-wo-z73-asi294/

 

I run PHD2 for guiding which connects to the mount via the SynScan app for PC (ASCOM drivers).  Even though the thread above only shows stacks of 60 second subs, I have guided for 10 minute exposures without star trails.    I hope you have the same successful experience with yours, as I feel this is a great versatile and capable little mount.

 

I generally do a Sharpcap polar alignment to get setup, but will then spend a few minutes doing PHD2 drift align to “dial it in” just a bit more.


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#282 glend

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 02:22 PM

There is a software bug in the AZ GTI, or in the Synscan Pro app, that shows up in EQ mode in the Southern Hemisphere.  When level and aligned (and properly setup in terms of location co-ordinates) on the South Celestial Pole it should show 180 degrees at the Meridian, but instead shows 270 degrees (90 degrees away to the west).  Home the scope and it moves to the Meridian but displays 270 degrees. In AZ mode, and setup to true North (the Meridian) and level, the app shows 0 degrees, which it should. AZ mode, Alt and Az degrees seem to be correct on Gotos, i would not trust the displayed position in EQ mode. Perhaps there is some place in the App where EQ polar alignment can be adjusted,  but seriously, the South Meridian, and SCP, is always in the same place, the only variance being your wedge altitude (latitude) setting. Seems buggy to me. I have stopped using it in EQ mode, the co-ordinate readout is just too annoying.


Edited by glend, 11 July 2018 - 02:28 PM.


#283 Muleskinner115

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:53 PM

I just received my AZ GTI mount.  Quick analysis is—2 star alignment works good.  Tried the mount with a Stellarvue 80 and it had no problems. I can’t even complain about how it settled down after a go to.  Tracking was good to go—using a 10 mm eyepiece it kept the object centered for 30 minutes while I walked the dog.  There is more to the SynScan Pro software than you would think. I need some more time with it to give a better report. It works pretty well for a guy who doesn’t like playing with that stuff.

Tim


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#284 CraigRL

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:53 PM

My AZ GTI mount shipped today. I should get it next Friday.laugh.gif



#285 davidparks

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 11:50 AM

I just received my AZ GTI mount.  Quick analysis is—2 star alignment works good.  Tried the mount with a Stellarvue 80 and it had no problems. I can’t even complain about how it settled down after a go to.  Tracking was good to go—using a 10 mm eyepiece it kept the object centered for 30 minutes while I walked the dog.  There is more to the SynScan Pro software than you would think. I need some more time with it to give a better report. It works pretty well for a guy who doesn’t like playing with that stuff.

Tim

That mirrors my first impression exactly.  North level 2 star alignment provides great GoTo accuracy, and I was very impressed by the tracking accuracy.  I had previously and mostly used Celestron’s Nexstar handcontroller, and even more easy to use SkySafari on an iPad to control my NexStar 6SE.  I initially had concerns about using the unfamiliar SynScan, however, like you said, there is more to it than you might first think.  I find the SynScan Pro just plain easy and powerful.  It does exactly what it should, and finding targets is easy.   When imaging, I use the PC version of SynScan Pro, which allows ASCOM connection from PHD2/Sharpcap/SGP for guiding/platesolving control.

 

Using SkySafari on iPad to control the AZ-GTi is also possible, and a real joy, and if you turn on the encoders SkySafari will stay aligned even if you loosen the clutches and manually move the scope.  However, i find that using SynScan Pro alone, with it’s “more to it than you would think”, is the simplest and quickest way to get where I’m going, so I don’t use SkySafari for control anymore... well, not on the AZ-GTi... (still use it on the Nexstar)


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#286 Muleskinner115

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 12:11 PM

The tripod that came with the AZ GTI is fine for a quick look. I had a more stable tripod I got at a swap meet. It is a tripod off a cheap GEM but it is a pretty stable tripod that can be raised to a comfortable viewing height.  The AZ GTI with the extension gives a pretty good height.  The whole idea of this mount for me is simplicity which means more viewing time with very little effort. It delivers and for that I give the mount a 10!!!

Tim


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#287 Starman81

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 03:29 PM

I received mine a couple days ago and was able to get it out that very first night... Wow, the manual is light on content! I think for a beginner getting this mount they would be quite challenged understanding the different options as far as alignment and everything else. Downloading the app (SynScan Pro) on your phone and reading through the help file will help a bit though. There's also no section that describes how to use it with SkySafari for the benefit of a graphical interface. As a mount that is geared toward the beginner with its low cost, light capacity and WiFi built in, I find the lack of instruction to be a glaring omission. 

 

Anyways, I did get it setup with my SV102A (f/7), which is right at the maximum capacity when considering the diagonal and eyepiece as well (~11 lbs total). On the sidewalk with legs extended halfway, there are jiggles when focusing but those settle down in under 2 seconds, even at 200x. Vibration suppression pads would help but even without, I feel I am fine without them. 

 

Though I've had this scope for over a month now, I have not bothered mounting a finder on it, so I have to sight down the tube which made things tougher for me to do the alignment. I aligned using the 2 star method using Jupiter and Mizar. I didn't care about using better objects on both sides of the Meridian, both higher up in the sky as best practices dictate, since I was only observing Jupiter that night anyways. Once aligned, tracking was solid. 

 

One thing I did that the mount did NOT like was that I turned on the auxiliary encoders (through the app) after my alignment was completed and moved the mount manually. Doing that really threw the mount off big time and GoTo's were way off afterwards. I was also using SkySafari for the GoTo's at that time. 

 

Please take all this with a grain of salt as I am not one to use GoTo mounts very often at all though I do own a couple. The main reason I got this mount was to mount a 4" class f/7 refractor for quick lunar/planetary views with tracking and from what I have seen in that first session it seems up to the task. I just have to get better accustomed to using GoTo mounts and follow best practices so as not upset the mount's delicate sensibilities. 

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#288 NewMex

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 05:27 PM

Has anyone tried this mount with a Vixen ED103 -- or the equivalent in terms of weight & length? That's 32", 13.5 lbs, give or take, with finder, diagonal, and EP. I realize that's over SW's stated weight limit, but people seem to be pushing the envelope, especially with a sturdier tripod. Thanks.



#289 glend

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 05:31 PM

Try it in EQ mode, I can't get it to work correctly.



#290 Muleskinner115

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:18 AM

How long will the 8 AA batteries last on a typical viewing session. I know this is subjective. I am looking for a rough estimate- one night, 3 nights or 3 hours.  I have a small external battery that I can Velcro to the mount if the AAs are short lived.

Tim


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#291 tkottary

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 11:09 PM

Has anyone got this mount to work with indi /ekos?


Edited by tkottary, 15 July 2018 - 11:09 PM.


#292 mxcoppell

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:32 PM

How to do the Polar Alignment on the AZ GTi? I didn't see any polar scope? 


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#293 tkottary

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 02:21 AM

Sharpcap or Drift alignment. I use DARV like with SA ( cant see polaris from home anyway) . Goto has been spot on . I think my SA will stay inside for a while.



#294 davidparks

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 12:36 PM

Sharpcap or Drift alignment

 

That's how I do it waytogo.gif  Not sure how you would visual only.



#295 Kzoech

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 03:32 PM

I was getting about 4 hours tops before I noticed it would slew alot slower. Power pack is the best for this mount.

How long will the 8 AA batteries last on a typical viewing session. I know this is subjective. I am looking for a rough estimate- one night, 3 nights or 3 hours. I have a small external battery that I can Velcro to the mount if the AAs are short lived.
Tim


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#296 mxcoppell

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 10:05 PM

Sharpcap or Drift alignment. I use DARV like with SA ( cant see polaris from home anyway) . Goto has been spot on . I think my SA will stay inside for a while.

Have you got chance to try any normal exposure on DSO with the EQ mode? How's the tracking? Possible to do 4~5 minutes single sub with guiding? 



#297 Muleskinner115

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 11:47 AM

Four hours seems reasonable for the AA batteries.  The small 12 V battery from batteries plus will save money in the long run. It is small enough to sit on the mount and not interfere with any operations. I will test to see how long it will last. So far, I have three hours on the AA batteries and all seems well. 



#298 hnau

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 12:08 PM

I received two of these last week and just had a chance to try one of them out last night.  After I connected to the mount and attempted any type alignment the mount would just spin at full speed (sometimes changing directions) indefinitely until I turned off sidereal tracking.  Not sure if that's a software or firmware issue yet...  I subsequently updated the motor firmware, but did not have a chance to continue troubleshooting.  I'll test again tonight and setup the second mount to see if it behaves the same way.

 

Regarding power, I'm just using a 12V / 3A power adapter for testing currently, and I will likely move to some kind of lipo pack for grab and co convenience.



#299 Starman81

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 12:29 PM

LiPo battery packs all the way. I've used this mount for two planetary observing sessions so far (mainly for tracking and just a handful of slews) and it hasn't even taken my 14400 mAh battery pack down from full battery yet (4 bars out of 4 bars still on the battery gauge). 


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#300 davidparks

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 05:56 PM

Have you got chance to try any normal exposure on DSO with the EQ mode? How's the tracking? Possible to do 4~5 minutes single sub with guiding? 

I’ve done 10 minute exposures with guiding in EQ mode.  Gain set to zero.  I prefer the shorter exposure, higher gain stacks, as I can keep more data if one sub gets ruined by passing airplane or other reason.


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