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EQ6R Star Alignment

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#1 r3g

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:34 AM

I set out to use my new setup and after polar aligning I proceeded to star align with the hand controller. I don't remember the star I landed on but I cross referenced it with an app called Star Walk 2 to make sure I had a line of sight to it from my backyard. The star was near my target east of Polaris but when I accepted the star with the hand controller it slewed to the west in the complete wrong direction. What could have caused this? I made sure to set date, time, and coordinates into the hand controller when I first turned the mount on.



#2 sg6

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 03:00 AM

Deleted - read the problem wrong, thought it was manual buttons and slewing not scope slew.

Unfortunately the most probable is Data.

 

Can but suggest you write down each data item. Do a Reset.

Then sit and reenter each one again, preferably with someone to double check each one over your shoulder.

 

The other for "Slewing" is power - what power source were you using?

Here it is recommended 13v and a minimal of 2 amp, but often a 5amp supply is suggested.


Edited by sg6, 01 April 2020 - 03:07 AM.


#3 r3g

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 03:11 AM

The manual I downloaded from the skywatcher website said it needs 12v 4a so I'm using a 12v 4a psu. I can make the mount slew manually and it returns to home just fine. It just seems like it doesn't understand where it is which is weird since I polar aligned and entered my location and time.

#4 John Tucker

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 06:59 AM

I know from personal experience its frustrating to hear this when you've checked everything twice, but 97% of the time the problem is the inputs during setup, especially on a new mount.  East instead of West longitude, that sort of thing really has to be quadruple checked. 

 

Polar aligning on the "wrong" Polaris is remarkably common too.  

 

And you have to have the mount in the "home" position when you turn it on (counterweights pointing down, OTA axis parallel to the mount handle). After you've turned the mount on, you have to move the OTA entirely with the handset and not loosen the clutches, or else the mount doesn't know where its pointing.  

 

As noted above, the mount needs 12 volts and gets unhappy if the voltage drops below that as lithium batteries commonly do on partial discharge or at high discharge rates. 

 

Apologies if you are more experienced than I'm presuming, but these above explanations account for 100% of cases of EQ6 GoTo problems that I've seen posted to this site, and I did several of them myself starting out. 


Edited by John Tucker, 01 April 2020 - 07:01 AM.


#5 r3g

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 08:00 AM

 

And you have to have the mount in the "home" position when you turn it on (counterweights pointing down, OTA axis parallel to the mount handle). After you've turned the mount on, you have to move the OTA entirely with the handset and not loosen the clutches, or else the mount doesn't know where its pointing.  

 

I think I found the problem. I MAY HAVE for gotten to calibrate the RA and dec rings so that the mount had an accurate park position lol.gif . Also, I need to make sure that when I first turn the mount on I start from park, I dont think I was doing that.


Edited by r3g, 01 April 2020 - 09:52 AM.

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#6 John Tucker

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 11:37 AM

I think I found the problem. I MAY HAVE for gotten to calibrate the RA and dec rings so that the mount had an accurate park position lol.gif . Also, I need to make sure that when I first turn the mount on I start from park, I dont think I was doing that.

Good!  The instruction manual for this mount is pathetic and so everyone has to come here to learn these things. 

 

Again, apologies if I'm assuming a lower degree of experience than pertains, but perusing the web, you will find a lot of complaints about the GoTo performance of this mount.  People do a 2 or 3 star alignment and then find that their target is not the FOV of their eyepiece or camera.  

 

In my experience, very careful polar alignment is key to get the GoTo working precisely on this mount.  If you have a guide scope, buy SharpCap for $15 and use the algorithm in that program to polar align, its about 5x more accurate than using the polar scope.  Its made such a huge difference to me that I routinely recommend it to all new EQ6 owners.  



#7 r3g

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 11:40 AM

Good!  The instruction manual for this mount is pathetic and so everyone has to come here to learn these things. 

 

Again, apologies if I'm assuming a lower degree of experience than pertains, but perusing the web, you will find a lot of complaints about the GoTo performance of this mount.  People do a 2 or 3 star alignment and then find that their target is not the FOV of their eyepiece or camera.  

 

In my experience, very careful polar alignment is key to get the GoTo working precisely on this mount.  If you have a guide scope, buy SharpCap for $15 and use the algorithm in that program to polar align, its about 5x more accurate than using the polar scope.  Its made such a huge difference to me that I routinely recommend it to all new EQ6 owners.  

You assume correctly. I'm just getting into AP and this is my first setup. I have realized how useless the manuals tend to be in my time setting the equipment up. I also realized my polar alignment redial was off center and was just going about correcting it but I'll look at doing it with my guidescope and sharpcap (which I actually purchase yesterday) because trying to polar align through the mount is a pain in the butt especially when you're 6'4". 


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#8 John Tucker

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:24 PM

You assume correctly. I'm just getting into AP and this is my first setup. I have realized how useless the manuals tend to be in my time setting the equipment up. I also realized my polar alignment redial was off center and was just going about correcting it but I'll look at doing it with my guidescope and sharpcap (which I actually purchase yesterday) because trying to polar align through the mount is a pain in the butt especially when you're 6'4". 

Sharpcap requires that you get it roughly correct, within 5 or 10 degrees I think. Then its easy. 



#9 John Tucker

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:25 PM

Dunno if this is useful or if you are beyond this point. https://www.cloudyni...etup/?p=9856855



#10 r3g

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:40 PM

Dunno if this is useful or if you are beyond this point. https://www.cloudyni...etup/?p=9856855

I've decided to go the sharpcap and atp plate solving route. Just so that I'm clear, plate solving replaces star alignment correct? I've seen post on here saying that if you PA in sharpcap and plate solve in another program you dont need to so a star alignment wit the hand controller.


Edited by r3g, 01 April 2020 - 02:41 PM.


#11 John Tucker

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:48 PM

Yes, there are a number of approaches.  Some people use programs that allow them to just do a single plate solve and then the telescope knows where it is pointing and the GoTo works from there.  I don't know a lot about that myself. 

 

What I used to do is polar align with the polar scope, do the three star alignment, then use the handset to slew to the target.  It never really went there very accurately, so I would plate solve and then the program would take it to the target or I would do so manually using the info from the plate solve. 

 

What I do now is to polar align very accurately in Sharpcap, then use the handset to slew to the target.  I've found that if the polar alignment is very accurate, the target always ends up in the middle 20% of the field of view.  

 

I didn't like platesolving when I was using my SCT because there are so many 1 degree fields in the sky it would take 20 minutes on my laptop to do the platesolve.  At shorter focal lengths probably less a problem. 



#12 r3g

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:52 PM

Yes, there are a number of approaches.  Some people use programs that allow them to just do a single plate solve and then the telescope knows where it is pointing and the GoTo works from there.  I don't know a lot about that myself. 

 

What I used to do is polar align with the polar scope, do the three star alignment, then use the handset to slew to the target.  It never really went there very accurately, so I would plate solve and then the program would take it to the target or I would do so manually using the info from the plate solve. 

 

What I do now is to polar align very accurately in Sharpcap, then use the handset to slew to the target.  I've found that if the polar alignment is very accurate, the target always ends up in the middle 20% of the field of view.  

 

I didn't like platesolving when I was using my SCT because there are so many 1 degree fields in the sky it would take 20 minutes on my laptop to do the platesolve.  At shorter focal lengths probably less a problem. 

Makes sense. I always wondered why a star alignment is even necessary. If polar alignment is good and the mouse has your coordinates shouldnt it already know where it is?



#13 John Tucker

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 03:00 PM

Makes sense. I always wondered why a star alignment is even necessary. If polar alignment is good and the mouse has your coordinates shouldnt it already know where it is?

geometry is too complex for me.  But I think it has something to do with the fact that while polar alignment gives a unique orientation of the mount with respect to the universe/sky, the precision with which you can put the OTA in the home position is too low to provide accurate pointing.  

 

If I polar align very accurately, I still have to do a fair amount of touching up to get the first star of the GoTo alignment in the center of the FOV in most cases.  The difference comes when I go to the second and third stars.  If the polar alignment is bad, the second and/or third star may not be in the FOV of the OTA, sometimes not even in the FOV of the finder.  If I do a real good job, I don't have to touch up the second and third stars at all


Edited by John Tucker, 01 April 2020 - 03:03 PM.


#14 r3g

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 03:24 PM

geometry is too complex for me.  But I think it has something to do with the fact that while polar alignment gives a unique orientation of the mount with respect to the universe/sky, the precision with which you can put the OTA in the home position is too low to provide accurate pointing.  

 

If I polar align very accurately, I still have to do a fair amount of touching up to get the first star of the GoTo alignment in the center of the FOV in most cases.  The difference comes when I go to the second and third stars.  If the polar alignment is bad, the second and/or third star may not be in the FOV of the OTA, sometimes not even in the FOV of the finder.  If I do a real good job, I don't have to touch up the second and third stars at all

Understood. Thanks for the breakdown



#15 Prima Luna

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 05:41 AM

Good!  The instruction manual for this mount is pathetic and so everyone has to come here to learn these things. 

 

Again, apologies if I'm assuming a lower degree of experience than pertains, but perusing the web, you will find a lot of complaints about the GoTo performance of this mount.  People do a 2 or 3 star alignment and then find that their target is not the FOV of their eyepiece or camera.  

 

In my experience, very careful polar alignment is key to get the GoTo working precisely on this mount.  If you have a guide scope, buy SharpCap for $15 and use the algorithm in that program to polar align, its about 5x more accurate than using the polar scope.  Its made such a huge difference to me that I routinely recommend it to all new EQ6 owners.  

My 1st EQ style goto (and 2nd goto after my ETX-125 from 11 years ago) is the HEQ5 that I got last month.

So ok, I may or may not need to read the manual, but to be safe....

I'm reading the manual and doing the steps on page 8 to set the time zone and then the next page is talking about "Tips for improving alignment accuracy" - uhmmm, what???  I look at the page number and I am missing pages 9-16! So it jumped to page 17....  Flipping some more I get to page 24 and the next page is...17 again! What the -??  This goes on a few more times with other pages missing and repeating again....


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