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New Skywatcher AZ GTi goto wifi mount

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#1626 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 05:55 PM

Well, the only variable was the alignment. Did you do anything differently than before? Different stars? More care in centering the stars? Consistency in the approach direction?

 

 

Had a very unusual night with the mount last night. Everything, and I mean everything was in the FOV after a goto. The mount has never behaved in such a fashion before. It worked fantastic the way it should. I used Jupiter and Polaris this time which I’ve never used before which are on exact opposites of the sky and every goto object anywhere in the sky was in the bottom right of the FOV every time. This is what bothers me so much about this mount is that it’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get. Even tracking was excellent last night. Very frustrating this off and on behavior. Maybe the mount requires a north and south alignment object instead of a north and east object like I have been using? Sure would be nice to get a definitive answer because last night’s performance is what I expect of this mount. 



#1627 Astrodave

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 06:53 PM

Setup and alignment procedures are always the same. Only difference was Jupiter in the south was used for alignment instead of a star in the East which I usually use. I have limited horizons due to trees and my house towering above my deck so southern and western stars to align with are not plentiful. I pretty much always use Polaris because my north horizon is unobscured. 



#1628 riverpoet

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:41 AM

I tried autoguiding AZ-GTI with PHD2 + Synscan Mobile Telescope ASCOM driver. RA works fine, but DEC is just weird. It would only move north, not south. So I think to myself, backlash or axis stiffness... and try to help it by manually nudging the mount by pushing the appropriate button in Synscan Windows APP - and whoa, the PHD2 graph jumped in RA??? Now, align procedure using the Synscan app works, gotos work, left-right is definitely RA and up-down definitely DEC - in the Synscan app.... I was doing imaging in southern hemisphere (for the first time ever) if that could be the issue...

 

So, those of you who are successfully autoguiding this mount with EQ firmware:

- are you using hand controller + EQMOD pulse guiding or the SyncanApp/Mobile ASCOM driver?

- is anyone in southern hemisphere?

 

To followup on my own old post... diagnosing dec issues, I pointed a scope with a camera mounted on AZ-GTI to a nearby chimney. And it seems like every DEC direction change also seems to cause movement in perpendicular axis before doing the movement in DEC. As if in "backlash" phase, the mount moves perpendicular to DEC.

Here'a a video (ignore the lack of focus): https://youtu.be/8P8Vd-cV_i4

 

Any ideas???

 

Peter



#1629 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:58 AM

So the go-to was very good when you aligned on Polaris and Jupiter but less so with Polaris and a star from the east? The geometry of the alignment stars does influence pointing accuracy but don't remember right now what is preferred by SynScan. For other mounts (Celestron), the usual recommendation is to pick stars at least 90deg but less then 145deg difference in azimuth and not too low nor not too high. 

 

If it worked better with Jupiter it's actually interesting. While the separation from Polaris was good, it's low in the sky so there's some refraction error there. What star do you typically use in the east? 

 

 

Setup and alignment procedures are always the same. Only difference was Jupiter in the south was used for alignment instead of a star in the East which I usually use. I have limited horizons due to trees and my house towering above my deck so southern and western stars to align with are not plentiful. I pretty much always use Polaris because my north horizon is unobscured. 



#1630 davidparks

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 02:38 PM

To followup on my own old post... diagnosing dec issues, I pointed a scope with a camera mounted on AZ-GTI to a nearby chimney. And it seems like every DEC direction change also seems to cause movement in perpendicular axis before doing the movement in DEC. As if in "backlash" phase, the mount moves perpendicular to DEC.

Here'a a video (ignore the lack of focus): https://youtu.be/8P8Vd-cV_i4

 

Any ideas???

 

Peter

That is certainly some odd behavior Peter, and I have no idea what might be causing that.  It is interesting that the unexpected azimuth movement seems to be about the same amount in the opposite direction when moving altitude up/down.  That is to say, when moving up the unexpected right movement is about the same as the unexpected left movement when moving down.

 

The correct behavior should be exactly what I'm sure you expect,  movement in one axis does not induce movement in the other at all.  I would suspect a physical/mechanical issue, not a logical/digital one. 

 

I wonder if your altitude shaft is off, which would introduce a "wobble" left and right (the saddle would wobble slightly).  If you continue in one direction, up or down, will the unexpected lateral movement repeat or reverse in a cycle?  Or is it always just the initial lateral drift?  What happens if you go up, stop, and then go up again?  Will the lateral movement repeat on the 2nd 'up' iteration? or only if up is followed by down?


Edited by davidparks, 12 August 2019 - 02:43 PM.


#1631 Astrodave

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 07:55 AM

So the go-to was very good when you aligned on Polaris and Jupiter but less so with Polaris and a star from the east? The geometry of the alignment stars does influence pointing accuracy but don't remember right now what is preferred by SynScan. For other mounts (Celestron), the usual recommendation is to pick stars at least 90deg but less then 145deg difference in azimuth and not too low nor not too high. 

 

If it worked better with Jupiter it's actually interesting. While the separation from Polaris was good, it's low in the sky so there's some refraction error there. What star do you typically use in the east? 

I usually do a north level and use Vega and Polaris which results in poor goto accuracy in the west and south but good gotos north and east. Using Polaris and Jupiter resulted in excellent goto in all areas of the sky. I am somewhat limited in which stars I can use to align on due to trees and my house so I have to use what is available. The Jupiter and Polaris alignment resulted in a mount that works like it was advertised to work. Everything I tried was right there in the eyepiece. It was great. Saw a lot of my old ‘friends’ that I haven’t seen in years, including Saturn which is now coming out from behind the trees at 1030.


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#1632 riverpoet

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 11:34 AM

That is certainly some odd behavior Peter, and I have no idea what might be causing that.  It is interesting that the unexpected azimuth movement seems to be about the same amount in the opposite direction when moving altitude up/down.  That is to say, when moving up the unexpected right movement is about the same as the unexpected left movement when moving down.

 

The correct behavior should be exactly what I'm sure you expect,  movement in one axis does not induce movement in the other at all.  I would suspect a physical/mechanical issue, not a logical/digital one. 

 

I wonder if your altitude shaft is off, which would introduce a "wobble" left and right (the saddle would wobble slightly).  If you continue in one direction, up or down, will the unexpected lateral movement repeat or reverse in a cycle?  Or is it always just the initial lateral drift?  What happens if you go up, stop, and then go up again?  Will the lateral movement repeat on the 2nd 'up' iteration? or only if up is followed by down?

 

Thanks for the prompt input!

The weird movement occurs ONLY on direction change. If I go up, stop and resume up, the movement is smooth.

Also, now I set the ALT/DEC stiffness again back to so stiff it's almost impossible to balance the scope (RA is even stiffer - as it came from the factory) and it seems the left-right movement is smaller now, very minor in one direction change (up-down) and more noticeable in the other (down-up). But, the ALT/DEC backlash at Sidereal rate is now more than 10 seconds. If I set backlash compensation to 3' in Synscan app, the mount changes direction promptly, but the left-right movement is very noticeable!

Could ALT/DEC motor be the culprit? When checking the backlash of the gears between motor and worm, I noticed the gears mesh nicely, but there is movement inside the motor.

Also to be noted - I'm using the Star-adventurer tripod and wedge and the mount is quite loaded - Borg 71FL with Feathertouch + 50mm guidefinder, with 2x1kg SA counterweights.

 

Peter


Edited by riverpoet, 13 August 2019 - 11:55 AM.


#1633 Azaleh77

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 06:09 AM

Thank you all for this topic, also, David parks for his posts. I had some struggle to get my azGTI to work in eq mode, mainly until I understood that the AR plane is the previous altitude plane, so you must use the equatrial base of the star adventurer the other way around. I had to change a bolt of the base so it would not interfere with the mount movement. Thank you all again for these fantastic posts!

Greetings from Spain

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by Azaleh77, 15 August 2019 - 06:12 AM.

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#1634 Azaleh77

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 06:28 AM

This is our ap group:

https://astrochuelos...-somos.html?m=1


Edited by Azaleh77, 15 August 2019 - 06:29 AM.


#1635 moxican

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:40 AM

Thank you all for this topic, also, David parks for his posts. I had some struggle to get my azGTI to work in eq mode, mainly until I understood that the AR plane is the previous altitude plane, so you must use the equatrial base of the star adventurer the other way around. I had to change a bolt of the base so it would not interfere with the mount movement. Thank you all again for these fantastic posts!

Greetings from Spain

It seems like you have a photography set up here. I'd really like to see your results with this set up.



#1636 kel123

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 12:45 PM

So, I finally got to test my AZGti replacement from FLO. The original copy was returned as a result of poor tracking and go-to issues. However, FLO said their engineers found nothing unusual with the mount. I was shocked to say the least but alll the same, a replacement was sent.

Although I got it more than a week ago, you know how it is with the clouds, especially when you are anxious to test something.

It was still pretty cloudy when I set it up few days ago but there were some holes around some stars and the cover on the moon was transparent enough. So, I only limited myself to a one-star alignment, using the moon.


After I manually centered the moon, it remained centered for a good one hour until , Deneb was visibly from a hole in the cloud and I asked it to got to Deneb. The star landed at the periphery of the eyepiece and I had to manually center it.

I left it on Deneb for the next 30 minutes and it remained exactly in the center. I then, asked it to go back to the moon and the moon landed exactly in the center of the eyepiece and remained there.

I asked it again to go to Deneb and the star landed at exactly the center of the eyepiece and was tracked for several minutes until I shut down as the thickness of the cloud suggested that I
do.

I have to say that this is a remarkable improvement from the previous mount. However, since both Deneb and the moon were on the same western side of the sky, when I did this test, i am unsure if it was factored into this accuracy. Obviously, I still need to carry out more tests. But I was impressed that it was only a one-star alignment with the moon that game me such accuracy.

Finally, unlike the replaced mount, I heard a sharp click sound, every two seconds as the mount tracked. The click sound was quite audible enough for me to hear it from a few meters. The previous mount did not make such a loud noise. Somebody else can probably relate to this.

So, ladies and gentlemen, that is the journey so far

Edited by kel123, 17 August 2019 - 05:52 PM.

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#1637 moxican

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 09:39 PM

So, I finally got to test my AZGti replacement from FLO. The original copy was returned as a result of poor tracking and go-to issues. However, FLO said their engineers found nothing unusual with the mount. I was shocked to say the least but alll the same, a replacement was sent.

Although I got it more than a week ago, you know how it is with the clouds, especially when you are anxious to test something.

It was still pretty cloudy when I set it up few days ago but there were some holes around some stars and the cover on the moon was transparent enough. So, I only limited myself to a one-star alignment, using the moon.


After I manually centered the moon, it remained centered for a good one hour until , Deneb was visibly from a hole in the cloud and I asked it to got to Deneb. The star landed at the periphery of the eyepiece and I had to manually center it.

I left it on Deneb for the next 30 minutes and it remained exactly in the center. I then, asked it to go back to the moon and the moon landed exactly in the center of the eyepiece and remained there.

I asked it again to go to Deneb and the star landed at exactly the center of the eyepiece and was tracked for several minutes until I shut down as the thickness of the cloud suggested that I
do.

I have to say that this is a remarkable improvement from the previous mount. However, since both Deneb and the moon were on the same western side of the sky, when I did this test, i am unsure if it was factored into this accuracy. Obviously, I still need to carry out more tests. But I was impressed that it was only a one-star alignment with the moon that game me such accuracy.

Finally, unlike the replaced mount, I heard a sharp click sound, every two seconds as the mount tracked. The click sound was quite audible enough for me to hear it from a few meters. The previous mount did not make such a loud noise. Somebody else can probably relate to this.

So, ladies and gentlemen, that is the journey so far

I do have a tack-tack noise with mine only under one condition. When I slew it into a position where the target is really low on the south horizon, and close to the meridian. This means that the mount is almost horizontal in position and it is WEST heavy. I did not have enough counter weights to make it slightly east heavy (as it should be). Perhaps you have the same issue. That is a big perhaps though, there is virtually no quality control with these mounts.



#1638 kel123

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 09:24 PM

I do have a tack-tack noise with mine only under one condition. When I slew it into a position where the target is really low on the south horizon, and close to the meridian. This means that the mount is almost horizontal in position and it is WEST heavy. I did not have enough counter weights to make it slightly east heavy (as it should be). Perhaps you have the same issue. That is a big perhaps though, there is virtually no quality control with these mounts.



I think it is the same noise but I wouldn't know if it is the same condition that causes the noise as I only use my mount in Altaz mode.

Unlike every other owner of that mount,I have not upgraded the firmware to access the EQ capabilities.
Perhaps someday I might need the EQ mode for some starscape but I have no use for the mount in EQ mode for visual use. Even then, I own a Star Adventurer.

#1639 mxcoppell

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 08:53 AM

Here comes the bad news. This is my second AZ-GTi copy from Amazon already. It has some random "knocking" sound in the following scenarios that I tested so far:

 

  • After slewing, tracking is on. In the following video you can hear the sound on/off when I turn tracking on/off.
  • Unpark and trying to settle (sometimes it really takes a long time to settle).

 

Demo: https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

 

I have no idea what caused this. As you can see there is no payload at all. The first AZ-GTi and this one have different issues. Stiffness on RA axle or DEC axle, uneven sound while slewing, and this knocking noise. 

 

Is the "clicking" sound the same issue I reported back in April? I uploaded an video to demonstrate the "clicking" noise. That's my second copy. My third, which is the one I have now, does not have this sound anymore.



#1640 mkothe

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 09:40 AM

I have an occasional clicking sound while tracking, which I chose to ignore for now, as it does not seem to affect performance. But I have not used the mount enough to know for sure.

Michael

#1641 DIMITRIS K.

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 07:56 AM

I have an occasional clicking sound while tracking, which I chose to ignore for now, as it does not seem to affect performance. But I have not used the mount enough to know for sure.

Michael

I have his too occasionally. I think it have to do with balancing. When i carefully balance the scope, that click almost disappear.



#1642 kel123

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:25 AM

I have his too occasionally. I think it have to do with balancing. When i carefully balance the scope, that click almost disappear.


I have a quick question. Is necessary or advantageous to use a counterweight in Altaz mode and how do you know it is balanced when you do?

#1643 Roger Corbett

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 02:03 PM

If one has doubts about getting the AZ-GTI, what would the alternative be?  Small, lightweight, tracking, and go-to (or push-to)?

 

I suppose I should just get one and return it if it proves faulty.  However, we have so many cloudy nights where I live that I’m not sure I’d have enough nights to test it during the return window!



#1644 Astrodave

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 05:01 PM

There’s really nothing else in this class which is why I have stuck with it and returned two others before settling on this one realizing they all have some issues with QC. The nexstar mount is about all I can think of that’s remotely close to this. The one thing I have figured out with this mount is that even when objects are outside the FOV of a goto, I just note which direction they are off and apply a little manual offset to all the other objects and they are right where they should be.

 

I even did my first EQ session lastnight with my ioptron wedge and took some photos with my t5i and canon 70-200 F4. I really like the polar alignment routine in synscan and the wedge was very precise and sturdy. Minor and major movements in either axis did not cause the other axis to budge at all. It’s a very solid wedge. Gotos were also spot on all night in EQ mode. Every photo taken always resulted in the object showing up near the center of the frame. The only thing I really hate about synscan is the alignment stars it makes you use. Many of the choices for me are behind trees in the east and there is no option to use other available stars. EQ alignment was even worse for which stars it makes you use...


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#1645 DIMITRIS K.

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Posted 01 September 2019 - 11:21 PM

I have a quick question. Is necessary or advantageous to use a counterweight in Altaz mode and how do you know it is balanced when you do?

No i don't think it's necessary

I mount the telescope with all it's accessories and loose the cluches completely. If the telescope falls frontwards of backwars, i adjust  accordingly. That's it! 



#1646 giorgio_ne

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 12:50 PM

Has anyone upgraded the firmware to version 3.20?

 

Firmware: Universal DC Motor Driver with Built-in Wi-Fi, Version 3.20

 

It came out on the 17th of July (although it's dated as 30-08-2019 on the web page) with the following release notes:

 

Version 3.20
  July 17, 2019
    1. Fix minor bugs
    2. Add support for photography

 

It would be interesting to know what the photography support consists of...



#1647 Astrodave

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 01:06 PM

I updated mine right after it came out. No difference that I could tell. Gotos are still poor to mediocre on some nights and very good on others. Always off the same amount though so easy to work around by slewing in the direction you know they will be off. The photography thing probably has something to do with that DSLR shutter release port on the mount which nobody would use anyway from what I can tell.


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#1648 mkothe

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 02:52 PM

The photography thing probably has something to do with that DSLR shutter release port on the mount which nobody would use anyway from what I can tell.


I want to use that to control a green laser pointer, but have not figured out if that can be possible by making the needed connections. No expertise and little time to investigate, and have not gotten any feedback on a couple of requests for ideas, so if anyone has an opinion... 😁

Michael

#1649 ldcarson

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 05:01 PM

If one has doubts about getting the AZ-GTI, what would the alternative be?  Small, lightweight, tracking, and go-to (or push-to)?

 

I suppose I should just get one and return it if it proves faulty.  However, we have so many cloudy nights where I live that I’m not sure I’d have enough nights to test it during the return window!

There are several other tracker type mounts.  The iOptron cube pro comes to mind and looks interesting but I dont know anyone who uses it.



#1650 Jon2070

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 01:50 PM

I have been putting together a spreadsheet for my planned build with this mount and would welcome people's thoughts, primarily in terms of weight on the mount, (I will get the iOptron EQ wedge);

 

ZWO ASI1600MM-Pro + ZWO EFW   =  ~820g

 

ZWO Guide Scope + ASI290MM Mini =  ~670g

 

William Optics Redcat = ~1500g

 

Deepskydad Redcat AF2 + WFFS mount = ~1400g   (https://deepskydad.com/)

 

Total = 4390g

 

Also dew-heaters, cables, support rings and the DSD DC Hub 2 

 

So I'll be close to the 5kg limit and that's without counter-weights, am I being a bit optimistic?




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