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

Alignment went smooth, but slewed opposite of target.

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Ryan1776

Ryan1776

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: 12 Aug 2019

Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:30 AM

Hello everyone! I've known about this site for approx 48 hours. 

It came recommended by the guys over on a ham radio forum. 

As a ham radio operator and under 40 this will be long winded and hopefully with enough technical verbiage to sound like I know what I'm talking about. lol.gif

 

My equipment. 

Meade LDX55  AutoStar 497

8" f/4 FL=812mm

Meade 25mm-Eyepiece
Orion Sirius 6.3mm eyepiece
Orion Sirius 10mm eyepiece
Meade 2x telenegative eyepiece
Meade 3x telenegative eyepiece 

 

I bought this kit from a friend of friend for 200 bucks and it came to me "built".

I only used it a few times in the past 2 years and manhandled it around to look at the moon. It just looked cool in my ham shack! 

Last week I decided I'll bring it out. Hey look the moon again. I knew Jupiter was close enough so I moved it around and WOW there's Jupiter and it's 4 moons!

OK time to get serious. 

I order a battery pack

Canon camera adapter for my T7i

Light pollution filter

Moon and planet filter kit. 

 

I decided I didn't know nearly enough about this this so I took it apart to the level that it would have been shipped to me directly. 

Put it back together. 

Excellent learning experience. 

Set my latitude. 

Balanced it.

Took it all outside and centered the spotting scope with a house about a mile across the lake. 

 

Yesterday my battery pack shows up. 

Plug it in. Initializing. 

Date/time/daylight savings. 

OK 

But I couldn't navigate to where to change the location in the menu (user error). But the previous owner lived in Michigan as well. So I wasn't that concerned. 

 

I take the tripod outside and align the star on the leg North. Being and Eagle Scout I have an actual compass. cool.gif

Mount the motor assembly and counterweights. 

Mount the scope. 

Wait for dark. 

 

About 9:45PM Polaris shows up. 

Using my Iphone and Skywalk app which I calibrated to the moon and Jupiter I verify it's Polaris.
 

Turned on the AutoStar.
Entered date and time to the second. Daylight savings, yes.
Then it prompted me to set polar home.
I had the scope all set in polar home position. But I was too high on my elevation angle. No big deal, loosened the Lat lock and came down a few degrees.
Then I used the slew function (maybe my mistake here, reading the manual again it seems I'm supposed to do this by unlocking the RA and DEC locks) to line up Polaris. I had to move it very little as Polaris was already in the 25mm eyepiece.

 

Clicked enter on the key pad and it said "locating Arcturus" and it starts to slew that direction. (AWESOME!)

Again I check with my skywalk app, but that is a bright star and pretty easy to locate. Nonetheless I'm a ripe newb and wanted to be sure.
It slows down, and slowly centers Arcturus. It beeps. Per instructions it says to slew the scope to center Arcturus.
So I do that. First with a 25mm then with my 10mm.
ENTER.

 

Now it's locating "Capella" Slews over to that. This time it's a bit closer to center. Slew it to center of the eyepiece. 25mm and 10mm.
ENTER.
Calculating.
"Alignment complete"

 

Then goes to the menu to find objects.
Now I'm excited.
I go right for Jupiter.....and it slews the complete opposite direction. Jupiter is SSE and the scope moved to the West.
Hrm. OK.
I try the moon. It only moved a few degrees. Obviously the moon is certainly still in the East at 10pm at night.

So. Where did I go wrong?

The fact it went to the two alignment stars with that much accuracy has me very confused.
 

 

Another sorta unrelated question.
When the scope slews around there are times when the eyepiece and spotting scope are not in good locations, can I loosen the clamps and roll the scope in the clamps to get the eyepiece to a better location?

 

If you got this far! I thank you! 

 

And thank you for any help! Hopefully it's a dumb and easy fix. 

 

Ryan 



#2 Phil Sherman

Phil Sherman

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2844
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 14 August 2019 - 11:12 AM

After alignment, you should try  a goto to each of the alignment stars. Assuming both work, try a goto to another bright star. If that also works, I'd suspect you have the year set incorrectly.

 

Stars are in the same location (as you look at them) at the same date and time every year. Planets, having different orbital periods as our planet will change position from year to year. The ancients called the planets "wandering stars".


  • ShaulaB likes this

#3 sg6

sg6

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5473
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 14 August 2019 - 11:12 AM

Then goes to the menu to find objects.
Now I'm excited.
I go right for Jupiter.....and it slews the complete opposite direction. Jupiter is SSE and the scope moved to the West.
Hrm. OK.
I try the moon. It only moved a few degrees. Obviously the moon is certainly still in the East at 10pm at night.

So. Where did I go wrong?

The fact it went to the two alignment stars with that much accuracy has me very confused.

Did it go to Jupiter and did it appear in view?

Or did you stop it ?

 

Thinking there is a stop in the mount so it will at times slew the long way around in order that it does not hit the end stops.

 

My ETX 70 has no end stops, just goes round and round, whereas the ETX 105 has and so at times wanders to a target "the wrong way". Assuming there are end stops you may have to start up with the scope "in the middle".

 

Don't think you did anything incorrect using the buttons to center Polaris. I assume the steps are Center Polaris and press Enter to begin the 2 star alignment. In effect moving before Enter is discounted.



#4 Ryan1776

Ryan1776

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: 12 Aug 2019

Posted 14 August 2019 - 11:18 AM

After alignment, you should try  a goto to each of the alignment stars. Assuming both work, try a goto to another bright star. If that also works, I'd suspect you have the year set incorrectly.

 

Stars are in the same location (as you look at them) at the same date and time every year. Planets, having different orbital periods as our planet will change position from year to year. The ancients called the planets "wandering stars".

I will check that. I'm fairly certain I had the correct date. But would be a great check to be sure! 
Great point though. 

But the moon always rises somewhere in the East, "relatively" but it was pointing West looking for it.....

 

 

Did it go to Jupiter and did it appear in view?

Or did you stop it ?

 

Thinking there is a stop in the mount so it will at times slew the long way around in order that it does not hit the end stops.

 

My ETX 70 has no end stops, just goes round and round, whereas the ETX 105 has and so at times wanders to a target "the wrong way". Assuming there are end stops you may have to start up with the scope "in the middle".

 

Don't think you did anything incorrect using the buttons to center Polaris. I assume the steps are Center Polaris and press Enter to begin the 2 star alignment. In effect moving before Enter is discounted.

No, after Capella it slewed pass it and pointed Westerly. I never stopped it. I just went to where it thought it should be and stopped. 

Good info on the end stops for future operations. 

 

UPDATE-Got home and found where to change my location. Only about 50miles off. Certainly wouldn't make the moon to the West.

Another point of interest under "Telescope Model" Mine isn't listed, its set to an ETX-70. Not sure why mine isn't listed. 

I read on here after a few searches that it's smart enough to pick what type of drive it's connect to. 

hmm

Cable kinda came loose....pushed it back in..... LDX55 127 ach  155 ach  6inch NEW  8 inch NEW and 10 inch NEW are now my updated choices. 

8" new it is.

Checked the MOUNT

Before it was set to AzEL but could select polar. 

Now it defaults to Polar. 

 

Might need a new cable for the controller. 

 

Under Stats it's listed as a 23Ee. 

I'm sure that's old, but again shouldn't change the moon location. Nevertheless I have the appropriate cables on order. 


Edited by Ryan1776, 14 August 2019 - 04:40 PM.

  • Skywatchr likes this

#5 Skywatchr

Skywatchr

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2805
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2006
  • Loc: North-Central Pa.

Posted 15 August 2019 - 08:48 AM

I will check that. I'm fairly certain I had the correct date. But would be a great check to be sure! 
Great point though. 

But the moon always rises somewhere in the East, "relatively" but it was pointing West looking for it.....

 

 

No, after Capella it slewed pass it and pointed Westerly. I never stopped it. I just went to where it thought it should be and stopped. 

Good info on the end stops for future operations. 

 

UPDATE-Got home and found where to change my location. Only about 50miles off. Certainly wouldn't make the moon to the West.

Another point of interest under "Telescope Model" Mine isn't listed, its set to an ETX-70. Not sure why mine isn't listed. 

I read on here after a few searches that it's smart enough to pick what type of drive it's connect to. 

hmm

Cable kinda came loose....pushed it back in..... LDX55 127 ach  155 ach  6inch NEW  8 inch NEW and 10 inch NEW are now my updated choices. 

8" new it is.

Checked the MOUNT

Before it was set to AzEL but could select polar. 

Now it defaults to Polar. 

 

Might need a new cable for the controller. 

 

Under Stats it's listed as a 23Ee. 

I'm sure that's old, but again shouldn't change the moon location. Nevertheless I have the appropriate cables on order. 

Just make sure the mount selected is the LXD55.  It doesn't matter what "scope" is on the mount as long as it knows you have a GEM (German Equatorial Mount) in Polar mode instead of a fork mount.  The "size" of the scope is just for calculating FOV (Field Of View) for a given eyepiece.



#6 Ryan1776

Ryan1776

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: 12 Aug 2019

Posted 15 August 2019 - 08:56 AM

Just make sure the mount selected is the LXD55.  It doesn't matter what "scope" is on the mount as long as it knows you have a GEM (German Equatorial Mount) in Polar mode instead of a fork mount.  The "size" of the scope is just for calculating FOV (Field Of View) for a given eyepiece.

Thank you. 
So what was interesting when I first got into the menu, the LXD55 wasn't even available AND it had the mount as AZ/EL. 

Then the wire kinda wiggled and it restarted. NOW the LXD55 8 NEW is there, so I selected that. 

And the mount defaulted to Polar, no other choices. 

 

I don't have faith that that will fix my problem as the scope went to the 2 alignment stars with such ease. But we'll see. 


  • Skywatchr likes this

#7 sg6

sg6

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5473
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 15 August 2019 - 12:55 PM

As best I know/knew the ETX 70 isn't in a #497 handset.

Used to be that if you wanted to use a #497 on an ETX 70 you had to hack the gear ratios in the data.

 

They may have added it but never heard of an ETX 70 being sold with a #497 handset, the ETX 70 is a somewhat old scope these days - I have one, it's almost as old and past it as I am.

 

Just realised makes little sense as the ETX 70 was a 9v scope, the #497 is a 12v handset and will not function at 9v.

 

Check the pins at the plug and socket, makes sure clean and not sat/pushed down as then they do not make good contact.



#8 OzAndrewJ

OzAndrewJ

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2732
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2010

Posted 15 August 2019 - 04:43 PM

Gday sg6

 

As best I know/knew the ETX 70 isn't in a #497 handset.

Used to be that if you wanted to use a #497 on an ETX 70 you had to hack the gear ratios

Yes it is and has been since the beginning.

The handbox has a full list of all supported mounts, but will only present a subset of them based on the "type" of RA card fitted. There are about 8 different "types" of card and these are detected on booting only.

If the card returns no data, a "Motor Fault" is thrown.

If the card returns dud data, the default scope list is presented.

Based on a power reset fixing the problem, i am assuming there was an intermittent/faulty in the Hbx cable or its connections.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


  • Skywatchr likes this

#9 Skywatchr

Skywatchr

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2805
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2006
  • Loc: North-Central Pa.

Posted 16 August 2019 - 05:47 AM

Thank you. 
So what was interesting when I first got into the menu, the LXD55 wasn't even available AND it had the mount as AZ/EL. 

Then the wire kinda wiggled and it restarted. NOW the LXD55 8 NEW is there, so I selected that. 

And the mount defaulted to Polar, no other choices. 

 

I don't have faith that that will fix my problem as the scope went to the 2 alignment stars with such ease. But we'll see. 

Since you're a HAM operator, you are probably familiar with connections getting oxidized. Especially when sitting and not being used, corrosion likes to "grow".  That's more than likely what happened to your scope and when the wire "wiggled" it gained a connection.  With the power off and battery disconnected, plug/unplug the cords several times to "scratch" off some of the oxidation to help get a good connection.  If that seems to work, and the scope will sit for lengths of time, get a spray can of Caig DeOxit (old style can with smaller red straw if possible set on "low") and give each socket, and cable plugs a spritz or two. Then plug/unplug them a few times to help loosen the oxidation, then another spritz to flush things out. Dab (not wipe) off any drips and excess with a lint free cloth.  DeOxit is safe on plastics and will help prevent future oxidation.  It is also non-conductive so it won't cause short circuits.  I usually let things "drip dry" for a few hours so any excess can drain out and not smear it everywhere. grin.gif  I use it on many things including switches that become "intermittent" from the silver-plated contacts becoming tarnished with age.  But for potentiometers (like speed controls, volume controls, etc) I use Caig FaderLube.  If you want to, get a small tube of DeOxit "Gold".  Put just a drop on the cable ends, then insert them a few times to spread it on the socket contacts. It leaves a protective coating that helps prevent oxidation for a long time. You might find everything above useful for your HAM equipment too like your mic plugs, antenna connections, etc. One more thing, look in the sockets to be sure there isn't any lint, hair, or anything that can get between the contacts to prevent a connection.  I've seen, and experienced that myself.  A can of compressed "air" works wonders.


Edited by Skywatchr, 16 August 2019 - 05:50 AM.


#10 Ryan1776

Ryan1776

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: 12 Aug 2019

Posted 16 August 2019 - 08:03 AM

Since you're a HAM operator, you are probably familiar with connections getting oxidized. Especially when sitting and not being used, corrosion likes to "grow".  That's more than likely what happened to your scope and when the wire "wiggled" it gained a connection.  With the power off and battery disconnected, plug/unplug the cords several times to "scratch" off some of the oxidation to help get a good connection.  If that seems to work, and the scope will sit for lengths of time, get a spray can of Caig DeOxit (old style can with smaller red straw if possible set on "low") and give each socket, and cable plugs a spritz or two. Then plug/unplug them a few times to help loosen the oxidation, then another spritz to flush things out. Dab (not wipe) off any drips and excess with a lint free cloth.  DeOxit is safe on plastics and will help prevent future oxidation.  It is also non-conductive so it won't cause short circuits.  I usually let things "drip dry" for a few hours so any excess can drain out and not smear it everywhere. grin.gif  I use it on many things including switches that become "intermittent" from the silver-plated contacts becoming tarnished with age.  But for potentiometers (like speed controls, volume controls, etc) I use Caig FaderLube.  If you want to, get a small tube of DeOxit "Gold".  Put just a drop on the cable ends, then insert them a few times to spread it on the socket contacts. It leaves a protective coating that helps prevent oxidation for a long time. You might find everything above useful for your HAM equipment too like your mic plugs, antenna connections, etc. One more thing, look in the sockets to be sure there isn't any lint, hair, or anything that can get between the contacts to prevent a connection.  I've seen, and experienced that myself.  A can of compressed "air" works wonders.

OH yes sir! 

 

So a big nice update here. 

Cleaned those contacts. And every since, it's kept the right scope and mount on the computer. 

Correct scope selected

Correct mount selected

Correct location. 

 

It got cloudy last night so I couldn't look at anything. BUT I still setup anyway. 

I know where Polaris is, close enough anyway. Did a mock alignment. Let the scope center on two of the stars. 

"Alignment successful" 

Moment of truth.

"GO TO JUPITER...."

Now I was watching Jupiter before the clouds rolled in....

And it slewed right to it! (or where it would be behind the clouds)

YES!

Saturn...

Started to go the complete opposite direction.... (dang....)

but I waited....and as previously mentioned here, it was just slewing to get the best angles for the mount. 

Right to Saturn. 

Outstanding. 

Polaris....

Slewed to that too. 

So I'm excited to get a clear night! 

 

I also received a laser collimator. 

Used a couple V blocks and collmanated the collimator lol.gif  it was pretty close though. 

The scope was not. So I did all that. That was actually very easy. Thanks youtube. 

 

It was far enough out that the spotting scope was off center now! Crazy but make sense. 

 

Got my light pollution filter as well. 

Both of those things a magnificent improvement. 

 

Thank's to everyone for your input. 

I have a few other questions but I'll post them in a new thread. 

 

Ryan 


  • Skywatchr likes this

#11 Skywatchr

Skywatchr

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2805
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2006
  • Loc: North-Central Pa.

Posted 16 August 2019 - 09:19 PM

Outstanding!




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