Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

New Skywatcher EQ6-R and Noobishness

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Megiddo

Megiddo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2017

Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:55 AM

First, I'm having fun, but what a bunch of mistakes I've been making.

 

Day One

  1. Tried to polar align without rotating the Dec. axis.
  2. Almost dropped the mount when unscrewing the head without removing the counter weights.

Day Two

  1. Practicing during the day, (figured the Dec. issue) looking through the finder and seeing double.   Forgot to lower the counter weight bar.
  2. I did figure out how to turn down the red polar scope light. Yeah!
  3. I did align the polar scope itself (rotating it around a fixed point)
  4. A tree was hiding Polaris (remedied the next day)
  5. Doing fine adjustments once a star was found, took FOREVER, gave up and loosened the clutches and moved the scope (found the Rate setting... doh!)

Day Three

  1. I didn't know about the need for a vertical reticle, but I tried to make it look like "Polar Scope Align Pro" app I have on my iPhone.
  2. Had issues finding valid alignment stars (my backyard is not very open because of trees)
  3. Almost dropped the head again... doh!

Day Four

  1. Trimmed some more trees!
  2. Unscrewed my knobs on the saddle too far and it fell off, loosing my springs (found them the next day).
  3. Finally got Polaris aligned, yeah!
  4. After doing a 2-Star alignment recieved the following message:   
        WARNING... RA offset > 45 degrees.   Pls.Check time & location setting.
       ^^^  This is what I'm working to figure out now.

Not giving up!   (After spending a ton on the Skywatcher, my wife won't let me either..  hehe)


  • Simon B and jay.i like this

#2 jay.i

jay.i

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Posted 19 July 2018 - 11:05 AM

Not sure if this will help, but are you starting the mount in the "home" position? That is, with the RA axis aligned with Polaris and the Dec axis lined up so the scope would point directly at Polaris as well. There are markings on some rings on each axis on my Atlas Pro that are numbered 0 to 360 (I think?) that allow me to rotate the axes so they are in the perfect spot each time.

 

As for time and location, make sure to use your time offset that is STANDARD time (this would be -5 for you, not -4 for DST) and if it is actually DST, then say YES when it asks you in the hand controller. Always use the EST time, not EDT. This will be a difference between GoTo working great and always seeming to put you close but not quite.


  • Megiddo likes this

#3 Megiddo

Megiddo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2017

Posted 19 July 2018 - 11:48 AM

Not sure if this will help, but are you starting the mount in the "home" position? That is, with the RA axis aligned with Polaris and the Dec axis lined up so the scope would point directly at Polaris as well. There are markings on some rings on each axis on my Atlas Pro that are numbered 0 to 360 (I think?) that allow me to rotate the axes so they are in the perfect spot each time.

 

As for time and location, make sure to use your time offset that is STANDARD time (this would be -5 for you, not -4 for DST) and if it is actually DST, then say YES when it asks you in the hand controller. Always use the EST time, not EDT. This will be a difference between GoTo working great and always seeming to put you close but not quite.

I think it's the Dec as you said, I think after I polar aligned I went straight to the star alignment.    I should have rotated the scope to aim at Polaris.   I did set my circles while the Dec was level so I believe I can use that, but pointing to Polaris and I think it just wants it closer than 45 degrees, which I should be able to pull off.



#4 jay.i

jay.i

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1925
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Posted 19 July 2018 - 11:52 AM

Well, you have to have the mount in the home position before you even turn it on. But yep, if it wasn't in that position before you did the star align, that MIGHT help... not positive. Start the scope in home, THEN turn the Dec axis to be able to see through the polar finder, then turn it back to home. I think. It's been a while since I did it. lol



#5 Megiddo

Megiddo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2017

Posted 19 July 2018 - 12:39 PM

I shouldn't have to ask (but apparently what can go wrong, I've done)... but what is HOME?   Polaris?   That's what I assume.   

 

So since it has to be on to use the red light polar scope, I guess after polar alignment, just turn it off and rotate the scope to Polaris.



#6 Luna-tic

Luna-tic

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 797
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Foothills North Carolina

Posted 19 July 2018 - 02:02 PM

Well, you have to have the mount in the home position before you even turn it on.

No, but you do have to have it in "Home" position before you start your alignment.

 

I shouldn't have to ask (but apparently what can go wrong, I've done)... but what is HOME?   Polaris?   That's what I assume.   

 

So since it has to be on to use the red light polar scope, I guess after polar alignment, just turn it off and rotate the scope to Polaris.

HOME position has the mount oriented to North. The locator pin on the tripod should be on the north side with the tripod legs spread. Level the tripod, then attach the mount. I found that the bubble level on my EQ6-R is off about half a bubble. Attach the mount, and snug the two horizontal screws (azimuth adjustment screws) at the front of the base against this locator. Drop the counterweight bar and tighten it. I find it easier to polar align without the telescope or counterweights in place. 

 

Turn the Declination axis so that the two saddle clamps face the rear of the mount. The counterweight bar should be pointing as straight down as possible, evenly spaced between the two tripod legs on the north side of the tripod. This puts the right ascension axis at "home". Turn on the mount power if you need to illuminate the polar scope. Sight through your polar scope; you will see a round reticle, ignore Octans, it's for Southern Hemisphere alignment. Polaris should be somewhere within the field of view. Turn the azimuth screws (horizontal ones) until you get Polaris somewhere near the reticle. You have to loosen one as you tighten the other and the mount will swivel left or right. To adjust the altitude of the mount, turn the screws at the base that are forward/back, (loosen one as you tighten the other) and Polaris will move up or down as needed in the polar scope FOV. You want Polaris somewhere in the ring of the reticle, at about 11:00. make sure the azimuth and altitude adjustment screws are snug. This gives you a basic polar alignment, which is usually plenty good for this mount.

 

Now, rotate the declination axis until the saddle is pointed towards north, with the saddle screws on the right. Tighten both the Dec and RA clutches. Attach your counterweight(s) and slide them about 1/3 way up the shaft. Now, attach your OTA, with whatever accessories yo plan to use (finder scope and/or telrad, diagonal, and eyepiece). Keep the Dec axis clutch tight, support the tube with one hand and release the RA clutch. Move the assembly on the RA axis and see how your balance is, move the counterweight in or out on the shaft until the rotating assembly balances and will stay in whatever position you place it in. Your RA axis is now balanced. Place the RA with the counterweight shaft horizontal and lock the RA clutch. Now, loosen the Dec Clutch, supporting the tube and accessories. If the assembly is front heavy, you'll have to slide everything back in the saddle, if it's tail heavy, move it forward. Support the tube and accessories any time you have the saddle clamps even slightly loose. Now your Dec axis is also balanced.

 

Return the RA axis until the counterweight shaft is pointing down, and the Dec axis has the tube pointed North. Tighten both clutches. This is HOME position. There is an arrow-like indicator cast into the body of the mount that points to the RA axis setting circle (the graduated ring). Set the circle so '0' is at the arrow just as a reference. Do the same for the small arrow that points to the setting circle on the Dec axis. I used a black Sharpie to mark a spot on the mount body opposite the cast arrows, to make setting HOME easier without worrying with the setting circles.

 

Now you can begin the alignment process. Make sure all preliminary data is accurate and entered (Lat/Long, date, time, etc) before starting the alignment.


Edited by Luna-tic, 19 July 2018 - 02:07 PM.

  • Megiddo, jay.i and t-ara-fan like this

#7 Megiddo

Megiddo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2017

Posted 19 July 2018 - 05:58 PM

No, but you do have to have it in "Home" position before you start your alignment.

...

Now you can begin the alignment process. Make sure all preliminary data is accurate and entered (Lat/Long, date, time, etc) before starting the alignment.

You should copy that out so you can use it for others, since I might not be the only one, but then again ;)... but boy, that was well done and reading that a few times!

 

Thanks to all.

 

Oh and noob move today, in trying to get the Moon while it was light I forgot to screw down the head/tripod bolt.   I even installed/balanced my 8 inch Zhumell without that hulking 40 lbs head moving!

I have to learn faster or this is going to cost me!


Edited by Megiddo, 19 July 2018 - 06:58 PM.

  • Phil Sherman likes this

#8 Megiddo

Megiddo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2017

Posted 20 July 2018 - 12:13 AM

Well that must have been the issue... I must not have set the Dec. to Polaris or the RA to vertical. After doing that I had no issues at all tonight!

Thanks again everyone.

Edited by Megiddo, 20 July 2018 - 12:15 AM.


#9 Megiddo

Megiddo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2017

Posted 21 July 2018 - 07:46 AM

Thanks for all your help, here's a shot from the first night I got the mount all setup without issues!

 

0BMj1KQ.jpg


Edited by Megiddo, 21 July 2018 - 07:57 AM.

  • AhBok, daw316, bobzeq25 and 1 other like this

#10 Luna-tic

Luna-tic

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 797
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Foothills North Carolina

Posted 21 July 2018 - 09:16 AM

Thanks for all your help, here's a shot from the first night I got the mount all setup without issues!

 

0BMj1KQ.jpg

Very nice; crisp shadows. Exposure specifics, please.



#11 Megiddo

Megiddo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2017

Posted 21 July 2018 - 02:13 PM

Very nice; crisp shadows. Exposure specifics, please.

I used my Nikon D3200, Exp. 1/15 sec and ISO-200... I stacked 42 shots for it.

 

Then on to PIPP, RegiStax and GIMP

 

Edit:  If I knew it was all going to work I'd have taken 300+ shots, but I was just messing around.    Oh and for the Moon I have my normal Crayford focuser off and I have a helical focuser so I don't have to use my Barlow.   That way I can get the whole Moon in the shot.


Edited by Megiddo, 21 July 2018 - 02:25 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics