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Nexstar 6Se: 2 ‘Alignment Success”. Neither worked. At all.

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#1 Rainguy

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:18 AM

So last night I went out with my SCT 6. Used Arcturus and Rasalhague. I used auto 2 star. Centered both in finder, then EP. Got ‘Alignment Success” message. Total failure, and immediate. I tried several targets and the ota moved in mysterious ways, none of them taking me even near the selected object.

 

I then did a second auto 2 star. Same result. ‘Alignment Success’ but, again, failure to get even in the general area.

 

Yes, I was careful to get center position for both stars in the EP, and I had a fully-charged battery pack. The mount was level.

 

Are there settings in Utilities that I need to check/change? Or should I do a factory reset?

 

All input welcome. Thanks.

 

Doug



#2 kurbs

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:26 AM

What does the location info show? Does it have the correct area? On my SLT it only gave me a couple options withing 50 miles. Neither worked. So I added a custom site using GPS and it worked. 



#3 treadmarks

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:50 AM

What does the location info show? Does it have the correct area? On my SLT it only gave me a couple options withing 50 miles. Neither worked. So I added a custom site using GPS and it worked. 

This, and also make sure your date and time is correct. Make sure your DST setting is correct.


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#4 Rainguy

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:59 AM

Yes, location is correct, also time, date, and DST settings are correct. Double checked each on both failed alignments.

 

Thanks for the replies.



#5 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:22 AM

You used Auto-Two-Star align, selected Arcturus, and it automatically chose Rasalhague? It usually chooses brighter stars. Was that given to you as a first choice?

 

When using auto two star align I usually choose a star which is around 30° to 45° in elevation. It then chooses the 2nd star. If it chooses one that is very high in elevation I often end up with crummy gotos afterwards. I've never had auto two star align fail except when I align on the wrong star.



#6 Migwan

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:25 AM

Sounds like a partial power loss.  That is, you lost power connection briefly enough to lose alignment, but not so long as to reset the mount.    CPCs are known for this due to a split prong in the power port.  To test, turn your scope on and watch the on light while you wiggle the power jack and various power cords and connectors.  If the light blinks, that's it.

 

Also, check that your level with a torpedo or other level.   Built in levels aren't always true.  You description of the problem doesn't sound like this is the problem, but its worth checking.  

 

This sort of problem can be quite annoying so hang in there, you'll figure it out.

 

jd 



#7 Rainguy

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:33 AM

WarmWeatherGuy,

 

Yes, auto-two-star align. I selected Arcturus and then Rasalhague from the automatic menu. Arcturus is WSW and Rasalhague S, so adequate distance (I think). Rasalhague was not the first star to appear on the list but with the sky so bright right now it was really the only one among the choices that was bright enough to see (barely). I think Altair was also on the list but it was hidden behind this wall of huge fir trees.

 

Migwan, I will do both of these though, like you, I think it unlikely that either is the problem. But definitely worth checking.

 

Thanks, guys.



#8 Rainguy

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:41 AM

Any advise here on the wisdom (or lack thereof) of doing a factory reset? Any downside here?



#9 mclewis1

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 01:26 PM

No downside, and it's a good step when trouble shooting strange behaviour but you will lose any settings (like backlash adjustment or filter limits) you may have set.

 

Are you certain you are centering Rasalhague?

Has the scope worked well in the past?

What are you using for a power source?


Edited by mclewis1, 17 August 2019 - 01:27 PM.

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#10 Rainguy

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 03:55 PM

Mark,

 

Thanks for the info on factory reset. I will probably give the SCT one more chance, tonight if the skies clear here, and then do the factory reset as this scope worked fine right out of the box.

 

Yes, had Rasalhague centered cold both times. Scope has worked well in the past, including the night before when I used the same two stars, Arcturus/Rasalhague, same Auto two star method and got...okay alignment in that the first objects were in the fov, albeit in the lower right quadrant, some half in-half but everything deteriorated as the session went on until by the end the objects were probably 2 or 3 degrees outside the EP. Only difference was that last night was from the back patio and night before from the front courtyard, but that shouldn’t matter.

 

No, last night was an aberration, just never got even close to alignment on anything. Sometimes what seemed like a good 10 degrees, or more, off target.

 

Power source was one of those rechargeable battery packs that a lot of CNers use and it was fully charged.

 

An now going through Mike Swanson’s Nexstar guide but haven’t yet found any possible explanation. So I am thinking that a factory reset is likely the next step.



#11 Migwan

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 08:52 PM

Losing alignment so badly with out the mount recognizing it and returning to the opening menu (and requesting alignment), really does sound like a loose connection.    Along with checking wiring and jacks, you might also check power pack with multi meter.   You just never know.

 

In my experience, alignment that is off a bit is likely a level issue.  Found this when one leg of the tripod managed to sink about an inch unnoticed.  The goto started missing.   Sometimes the object was in the fov and sometimes not, though it was never real far off.  This is the idea I thought was unlikely because it didn't match the original description of the problem you were having.

 

If no other cause is found, reset is also an option.  Good luck.

 

jd


Edited by Migwan, 17 August 2019 - 08:53 PM.


#12 Migwan

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 11:31 AM

 Doug,

 

Any luck?

 

jd



#13 whizbang

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 03:36 PM

The basics are:  Level scope, date, time, and location correct.

 

You will have much better luck with Altair and Arcturus.  Rasalhague is too close to Arcturus. 

 

Also, align with a higher power eyepiece.  I used to align with a 32mm eyepiece and I had problems.  Now that I align with a 9mm eyepiece, tracking and slewing are much improved.


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#14 Jeff Lee

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 04:13 PM

Defocus the star to make sure you are centered.



#15 KLWalsh

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 07:30 PM

Try running the scope from a 110vac/12vdc converter.
A few years ago I had one of those commercial telescope battery power supplies, and even though I made sure it was charged and everything lit up saying it was ‘ok’, the battery was dying and not putting out enough power under load. It caused all kinds of whacky problems with the mount - and I suspected the mount was failing.
So while ‘charging’ the battery I ran the mount off an inverter and it worked just fine.

#16 Rainguy

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:10 AM

Jd and others.

 

Last night I tried Altair, then picked Rasalhague from the second star choices, figured they were adequately spaced. Did everything correctly, got Align Success message, so I punched in Messier 25 and the scope moved right to it, nearly centered. 

 

And that was it. Every subsequent object, well didn’t even come close. I could tell when the ota moved and where it finally stopped that it was way, way off. Went back too M25 and, bingo, centered. But nothing else, M25 being a success of one. Which makes this even more baffling.

All in all, I did FIVE Auto Two Star alignments, 4 of which got Align Success. And none worked. Even the magic of M25 was gone. 

 

The fifth and final time, I used Altair as star #1, centered it, etc and on the star #2 choices, just because it was there, I selected Albireo, KNOWING that it was far too close to Altair. But I centered it, got Align Success, went back to Altair just to check and  there it was, centered in the fov. Success, then? Uh, no. Found no other object. Finally, spent some time (manually) looking at Jupiter and Saturn and came in.

 

Altair and Albireo are almost one on top of the other, so mystified that it showed up on the star #2 list after I had used Altair.

 

Oh, also tried to use Antares but it didn’t even show up on the list of stars when I tried to pick one for my first one.

 

I guess I will do a factory reset today.

 

One problem is that my observing windows (front and back patios) are fairly narrow so I don’t have a wide range of choices.

 

Thanks once more for all the replies.

 

Doug



#17 Rainguy

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:54 AM

I just tried a factory reset via the Utilities menu. When I clicked on factory reset I got this message: “cycle power”. Which means....? I left it there for about a minute, nothing happened so I turned off the power for a few seconds, then turned it back on and got Scope Set Up in the HC window. I had to re-enter location (state and city), time zone, time, etc. I again turned the power off, then back on and the newly-entered data were all there. So apparently I did the factory reset?

 

Thanks for the assistance, guys. Low intermediate dude here.

Doug



#18 mclewis1

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:39 PM

Doug,

 

That's correct. The Factory Settings function clears out all the non volatile memory locations in the hand controller (all the data your entered plus the few locations the HC uses for it's own information about the mount's characteristics). Cycling the power is simply the on/off/on to restart it. 

 

If this doesn't put things right I would as suggested by a few folks use a different power source. As mentioned above even a battery that show's fully charged can sometimes be a problem.

 

If these steps don't fix things then I'd have a look at the mechanicals of the mount, specifically the encoders. A simple test would be to slew back and forth between two well spaced objects while noting the absolute position info (Get Axis Position function) ... you're looking for some shift or changes to those reported positions.


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#19 Migwan

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:56 PM

Another thought.  Cant remember if it was mentioned already, so be sure clutches are fairly tight.  It only takes a small amount of slippage to throw alignment out of wack.  jd



#20 whizbang

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:30 AM

As a general rule, the stars you are selecting are too close together.  Altair and Rasalhague is as bad as Arcturus and Rasalhague. 

 

Why don't you try Arcturus with Altair, Deneb, Enif, or Vega?



#21 whizbang

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:32 AM

Also, are your tripod legs tight??  Is the mount secure on the tripod??

 

I had problems at first with my EVO.  I didn't notice that the tripod to mount screws were loose and the mount was rocking a bit.



#22 Rainguy

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 08:42 AM

Migwam,

Where are the clutches? Inside the mount head?

 

whizbang, agree that the stars are probably not adequately spaced, but my observing window is confined so options are limited. I have in the past used similar spacing and achieved alignment, but agree that the spacing of the stars I used here is not optimal.

 

tripod legs are tight.



#23 whizbang

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:21 AM

If you are slewing to targets between your alignment stars, you should be okay. 

 

Are you using a 6SE?  

 

(Btw --- I love Lake Oswego.  Your light pollution has be as bad as ours though).



#24 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:28 AM

Rainguy

Here's what I would try and i've seen this happen with my Evolution a few times

 

If you are on Auto 2-Star, and thats not working turn it off and use SkyAlign instead and just go through the menus and botch the 3 centering functions and attempt an alignment. It wont be successful, but it clears out the pathway... THen shut it down and start fresh with Auto 2-Star. For me that worked. I went through step by step trying Two Star and Auto 2-Star before knowing full well I was entering things accurately but kept getting failed alignments and then I tried another alignment routine and then went back to the one I wanted and got success and objects in the field of view at 50X Power

 

Sounds wonky, but it worked for me

 

Jon



#25 mclewis1

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:28 AM

There are no externally controlled clutches on the SE series. There is an internal clutch on the Altitude axis (up/down) that is pre set and will only slip if there is substantial pressure on it. It can loosen over time (causing goto pointing problems) and can be adjusted but this requires a bit of dissassembly. https://www.cloudyni...star-se-series/

 

There is no clutch on the Azimuth axis and therefore you can actually damage the gears if you force the mount to move in Aximuth without power applied.




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