I have looked through a lot of forum posts, and internet searches, and I just can't figure out what I am doing wrong. I am hoping its not a mount issue, hopefully I can explain how I go about my setup and PA, and someone can point something out that I did not think of.
This is a newer mount, I am newer to astrophotography.
I have used the EQ6-R Pro probably 15 nights in the last 4 months (In NY, where the skies have not been so clear), with a few really great transparent and cloudless nights in the last week.
For the life of me, I have not been able to resolve tracking over my last 3 sessions or so, spending a couple of hours each time.
Here is my process:
Level my tripod with a bubble level, facing Polaris; Place mount on the tripod, secure down
Mount the telescope, guide scope, cameras, etc.
Install counterweight and balance.
Manually place the mount in home -position.
Power up (I use an inverter and extension cord to a DC outlet).
Use Synscan to set up and run PA with the HH:MM designation provided by Synscan.
Set the mount head back to home position.
Do a star alignment (1-star alignment worked fine in the past, but I have tried with 2 and 3 star, as well).
Focus with mask on bright star.
Slew to target VIA GoTo, startup PHD2, and start imaging.
Lately, as soon as I select a star (or auto-select with PHD2), and start tracking, the RA and Dec lines just start pushing away form each other, and then out of frame, and I see the stars moving in the PHD2 FOV.
I take a couple of 1 minute subs just to make sure its not an issue with PHD2, and stars are trailing.
Unfortunately I do not have any logs from PHD2, but its showing me that I am not tracking at all.
Power indicator is solid, I have tried both the DC outlet and my 17 mAh celestron power bank, and no progress.
The PolarFinder App and my Synscan controller are giving me differences of about 30 minutes in Polaris location, but trying to PA with both, multiple times, and neither are giving me good alignment.
Last night I might have what looks like a minute or two of good tracking, RA and DEC lines criss-crossing with a small radius between them (PHD2), but then I lose tracking.
The weather has changed in NY, it's been much colder, I'm shooting in 15 - 30F degree weather. Can I not use this mount in those temperatures without replacing the grease with something better for cold temps?
I am currently using a Nikon D3500 (I already know the issues here, but it didn't stop me from getting good results in the past), so I cannot control the camera with my laptop.
Small payload (AT60ED, DSLR, 60MM Guide Scope, and ZWO ASI 290MC) - Less than 15 lbs, and everything is locked down.
I appreciate any words of wisdom.