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New Skywatcher AZ GTi goto wifi mount

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#1201 EastAnglian

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:24 AM

I did a long post earlier which didn’t load (somewhere in cyberspace) so this time I’ll keep it short; exactly how do you guys find north, assuming you use it?



#1202 elwaine

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:00 AM

I use the compass on my iPhone to find true North. 



#1203 Eagle923

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:13 AM

Hi all, quick question on the AZ-GTI. 

 

If using an apple device, does it work fine on wifi if you use a hand controller to do the alignment?  I know that as of right now IOS can't run both apps and you need two devices... but does it work if you use a Synscan hand controller to align and then use Skysafari to control via wifi?

 

Thanks!



#1204 EastAnglian

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:15 AM

Hi Larry

Yes, that’s what I was doing until I discovered today that it’s accuracy was being thrown out by the mount! I also found my compass was being deflected, even with the mount turned off. My method was to place my iPhone or compass against the scope mounting rings (parallel to the tube) which I’ve found is no good. 



#1205 elwaine

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:45 AM

Hi Larry

Yes, that’s what I was doing until I discovered today that it’s accuracy was being thrown out by the mount! I also found my compass was being deflected, even with the mount turned off. My method was to place my iPhone or compass against the scope mounting rings (parallel to the tube) which I’ve found is no good. 

There may be a slight error, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I do exactly what You do, and the goto results (when using North/Level) are very good, in spite of any slight error in the initial pointing to exactly true North. 



#1206 Bagwell

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 12:16 PM

Well, thanks to @Davidparks and all the help on here I managed to Sharpcap polar align, 1 star align, APT platesolve / sync and guided via PHD2 for 20 X 180 sec subs on the rosette in Ha. My first narrow band image !

Wow, that is a spectacular photo!  Great Job!


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#1207 EastAnglian

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 12:22 PM

Yes, I didn’t think the five or ten degrees would matter much after what I’d read on here. I have to admit that I’m still not sure. Some people say that accuracy isn’t that important, others that it is. Errm?



#1208 Astrodave

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 01:24 PM

Great shot knobby! Hard to believe this mount I’ve had so much trouble with is capable of that.

 

Lastnight for me was a duplicate of the other two mounts. Most objects were half a degree high outside the FOV of the eyepiece after a north level alignment. The first night out always works great then each subsequent night out gets a little worse. I got gifted with a 30 minute clearing around 1030 so felt compelled to test. The app for some reason does not appear to let me choose the stars I need to align with due to obstructions so I was forced to choose two stars on the same side of the sky which could account for the goto inaccuracy lastnight. The gotos on the side of the sky with the alignment stars seemed decent but the other side everything was half a degree high. At least if I know the consistent variable I can adjust for it and find the object after the goto is finished though. I too use the iPhone to find true north and set my scope to point level that way. The alignment stars are rarely in the FOV after the slew though.



#1209 Alexdz57

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 02:27 PM

Hi all, quick question on the AZ-GTI. 

 

If using an apple device, does it work fine on wifi if you use a hand controller to do the alignment?  I know that as of right now IOS can't run both apps and you need two devices... but does it work if you use a Synscan hand controller to align and then use Skysafari to control via wifi?

 

Thanks!

Skysafari actually connects to the Synscan app, not the mount, so I don't think your proposed setup will work.

 

I believe the Skysafari people are working on a direct connection to the mount but it's not ready yet.


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#1210 LaCasaCorp

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 02:49 PM

I'm sorry to hear all the difficulties of some... In my experience, it's a spectacular mount and always worked flawlessly...

This is what I did and how I use it:

- took it apart, re-greased, adjusted bearings preload and motor preload (this is something I do on every mount, because I like to be sure that everything is as I like it to be)

- used with my Borg 90FL, ZWO294 pro, self made equatorial counterbalance, skywatcher wedge
- Always using it in eq mode I don't need to level it
- I never run any alignment routine
- Polar align with Sharpcap,
- Pointing, using cartes du ciel
- Blind platesolve (the mount is always within 2-3 degrees of the target)
- Starting taking images, 60-75s unguided frames
- Tested and working well with PHD2, but never had the need to do that...


All the images has been taken recently, with the Borg and the Azgti, unguided, from 60 to 75s subs, total integration time from 45 to 90 mins.

My 2 cents
F. bd29ffc7cb23f745e9d959943de9d678.jpg33852c689d43de7bc4725bce2e8faca6.jpg7e86437cb13b7cedd7bd054dbcc23f0c.jpg849128e61c753fc11f14cb767e9ba21c.jpg70d3d198a9ec796709071b345d16ec65.jpg

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Edited by LaCasaCorp, 14 April 2019 - 03:51 PM.

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#1211 elwaine

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 03:02 PM

Wow. Fantastic astrophotos.

#1212 Eagle923

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 05:44 PM

Skysafari actually connects to the Synscan app, not the mount, so I don't think your proposed setup will work.

 

I believe the Skysafari people are working on a direct connection to the mount but it's not ready yet.

Thanks! I’m aware they are working on it, was just wondering about alternative methods. Guess I’ll just use my android phone til Apple can correctly multitask.



#1213 cuivienor

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 05:56 PM

I'm sorry to hear all the difficulties of some... In my experience, it's a spectacular mount and always worked flawlessly...

This is what I did and how I use it:

- took it apart, re-greased, adjusted bearings preload and motor preload (this is something I do on every mount, because I like to be sure that everything is as I like it to be)

 

May I ask whether you have any pictures of that process? I had to adjust the RA spring gear/worm meshing to avoid too much play in RA, but because the gear appears to be slightly off-center, there are RA angles at which there is some play in RA, and others where the worm and gear are almost binding. Any idea how I could solve that?


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#1214 LaCasaCorp

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:26 PM

May I ask whether you have any pictures of that process? I had to adjust the RA spring gear/worm meshing to avoid too much play in RA, but because the gear appears to be slightly off-center, there are RA angles at which there is some play in RA, and others where the worm and gear are almost binding. Any idea how I could solve that?

No pics but... I remember the motors being spring loaded against the gear to compensate for the concentricity of the gear (and a bolt on the pivot with the possibility of being too tight, locking the assembly in place and making the spring useless and potentially making you feel the binding). The motor assembly should be free to move, preloaded against the gear by the spring on the side.
This means that you should feel some play in the gear train if you try to manually move the axis (applying some force) with the clutch engaged and you overcome the spring preload (feels like a sort of a "click"). This is by design and will never be an issue, if you respect the max load of the mount.

F.

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#1215 Astrodave

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:36 PM

With the amount of backlash in my mount and the one previous to it I’m not sure how AP could ever be seriously done in EQ mode with this thing. The minute it flips, the tube would flop over and screw up the alignment and goto. My az backlash on this mount is moderate but the alt backlash is bad. The previous mount had no az backlash but the alt was even worse. I am still deciding which one of these mounts I am going to keep or if I am sending them both back and scrapping the whole thing. I’m off this week and am going to try and do some testing if Mother Nature will cooperate to determine that. I am also going to touch base on the phone with SW and talk to them about the issues I am having instead of texting back and forth on the IM. 


Edited by Astrodave, 14 April 2019 - 06:37 PM.


#1216 LaCasaCorp

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:57 PM

May I ask whether you have any pictures of that process? I had to adjust the RA spring gear/worm meshing to avoid too much play in RA, but because the gear appears to be slightly off-center, there are RA angles at which there is some play in RA, and others where the worm and gear are almost binding. Any idea how I could solve that?

I recycled an image i found earlier in the thread (my notes are in red).

 

My two cents:

 

- loosen the two slotted screws to let the motor assembly free to pivot (you can feel it pivoting pressing down on the nut on the other side)

- tighten the two slotted screws enough to minimize any play but letting the motor free to pivot

 

If the slotted bolt is too tight the whole system fails to work... this is the only way i see this mount can have issues of backlash.

 

The real issue of the mount from my point of view is the bearing preload: you need to have the mount rotate as free as possible when you release the clutches without having play in the bearings and that can take a bit of time (and requires to take apart almost everything...) especially for the RA axis.

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  • Annotazione 2019-04-14 194900.jpg

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#1217 Spikey131

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:03 PM

With the amount of backlash in my mount and the one previous to it I’m not sure how AP could ever be seriously done in EQ mode with this thing. The minute it flips, the tube would flop over and screw up the alignment and goto. My az backlash on this mount is moderate but the alt backlash is bad. The previous mount had no az backlash but the alt was even worse. I am still deciding which one of these mounts I am going to keep or if I am sending them both back and scrapping the whole thing. I’m off this week and am going to try and do some testing if Mother Nature will cooperate to determine that. I am also going to touch base on the phone with SW and talk to them about the issues I am having instead of texting back and forth on the IM. 

This is a simple, inexpensive Alt/AZ, GOTO mount designed to push a 3" refractor or 4" MCT around the sky for visual use.  For it's designed purpose it performs quite well.  In fact, once I moved mine to a heavy tripod (from a Tele Vue Gibraltar mount), it does a pretty good job with a 12 pound NP101.

 

The fact that anyone can adapt it to work as an AP mount is a testament to human ingenuity, persistence and patience.  There are better (more expensive) tools for that job.


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#1218 LaCasaCorp

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:40 PM

And just for reference, this is how the PHD2 graph looks like

F. da9947ec86cdb85129c286ca95b34364.jpg

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#1219 Astrodave

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 09:44 PM

This is a simple, inexpensive Alt/AZ, GOTO mount designed to push a 3" refractor or 4" MCT around the sky for visual use.  For it's designed purpose it performs quite well.  In fact, once I moved mine to a heavy tripod (from a Tele Vue Gibraltar mount), it does a pretty good job with a 12 pound NP101.

 

The fact that anyone can adapt it to work as an AP mount is a testament to human ingenuity, persistence and patience.  There are better (more expensive) tools for that job.

 

My point exactly! I’d just settle for a mount that would consistently drop every object somewhere in my FOV after a goto yet alone one capable of doing AP.  


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#1220 XpMe

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 02:08 AM

I read this long thread about the mount and decided
to buy the mount.
Will be testing mount using Alt/Az mode with AA
batteries and a AstroTech At80Ed refractor.
I got a clear night to test mount 8 days after
receiving it. Tested alignment. Not working right
because large knob inside upper post came loose.
Retightened it. Restarted the North 2 star alignment.
Lightly wiggled the 2 axis to make sure that both
axis had a grip when I pointed it north and leveled.
First star just out of 20x view. Same for second star.
Tracked fine after alignment. But always off when
going to any new object. Gave up after 3 alignment
tries. Decided to try again the next week.
While reading these posts on cloudy nights I saw that
an update was out to correct the same problem the
mount was giving me. Was using Syncscan Pro
(version 1.15). Downloaded the new version (1.16).
The next week got 1 night of clear sky.
Set the telescope up. Had trouble aligning the scope
because the bright white bar is too close to the
alignment buttons and in the face blinding night
vision. They need to fix this. Either hide the white
bar or change white bars color if it can't be hidden.
I know settings/user interface/Footer Padding control
will adjust the buttons position but they still need
to fix the bright white bar problem. Maybe place the
buttons on the other side of the screen away from
the white light.
Tried aligment again. This time holding the buttons
away from eyes. 1st star out of view. Centered it.
2nd star in feild. Centered it. Alignment finished.
Went to about 12 stars and M-45 all stars and M-45
were very close to center. Looks like the version
1.16 update fixed it since 12 stars were all in the
feild of view near center.
Hope this means that I have a good mount.
Except...
I see their is a defect in the mount.
I have now noticed that the bottom(tripod) bubble
level green fluid has evaporated since I got it.
Has yours?  I think that the tripod base bubble
level is not really needed on this mount using a
telescope.
The AstroTech At80Ed refractor uses a small boot
for a dovetail. The mounts dovetail clamp holds
on when releasing it grip. Will have to upgrade
the clamp to the ADM dovetail clamp.
I saw an image provided by member ' maxsid ' on
(07 Feb 2019) of a lithium battery pack used in
the side of the 8 AA battery holder. The battery
pack holder is detachable.
Maxsid could you provide the width-height-length
+ brand name and model number and seller of this
battery pack. Also the short cord connector your
using with it.
If so then thanks. This is a good way to keep
cord wrap down. Your information would help
others select the right size since you have
already got it right.



#1221 elwaine

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 04:26 AM

@XpMe - If the “white bar” are you referring to is at the very top of the screen, that’s a function of your smart phone: not of SynScan Pro, which goes into a red nighttime mode automatically. You can set your entire smart phone screen (tablet, or computer screen) to red, but that’s a function of the device you are using to run SynScan. It’s not a property of SynScan itself. Just google directions for setting your device to red screen. 


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#1222 EastAnglian

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 03:33 AM

I had mine out again last night and still have nothing to get excited about. The usual alignment problems, but something new (to me at least) happened on more than one occasion. The unit would move a significant amount in alt axis with my hands being nowhere near my iPhone! By move I mean via motor. On two occasions I wasn’t at the eyepiece, I just heard the motor spin. Has anybody else experienced similar problems please?

I’ve just remembered something that may be relevant, I think each time this happened it was tracking the Moon. 

Max



#1223 Astrodave

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 09:40 AM

Mine has done the same thing numerous times. Both mounts did it. You can hear the motor spin and it is moving at the same speed as speed 5 on the arrows in the app - all by itself. Then you have to press goto to the target you were just on and it slews back to it and you can watch the mount visibly move a degree or two back to the object. I've also had it suddenly stop slewing in the middle of a goto and display communications error in the app. Then you press goto again and it continues on its way back to the object you were going to. Shrug...

 

Lastnight for me was a good night with the mount though. The alignment stars were a few degrees off when using polaris' direction as the north starting point but all gotos all over the sky were pretty much center eyepiece after that including the moon. It was the way this mount is supposed to work. The first alignment I tried to do was wayyyy off from the alignment stars when using true north as the north level starting point so I ditched that alignment and used polaris instead which got me much closer to procyon as my first alignment star. I'm kind of limited this time of year on my deck because all the good stuff is to the west and south and my house is in my way in those directions.


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#1224 EastAnglian

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 01:01 PM

Hi Dave

Your explanation is far better than mine and describes precisely what happened with me. Two questions, firstly,  what motor firmware were you using when this happened, and secondly, did it happen last night please?

Max

p.s. I take it you we’re using alt/az and not equatorial?


Edited by EastAnglian, 16 April 2019 - 01:02 PM.


#1225 dwmedic

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 01:14 PM

Don't won't to interrupt the discussion to much, but I do have a quick question for those having alignment troubles. Does all this effect the Point and Track feature? Am I wrong to assume you do not need to align the mount for this to work? I was looking at this mount for quick looks for Lunar and Planetary Observing.

 

Thanks

 

Derek




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