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Heq-5 Pro tracking

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#1 Rags Jr

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 09:14 AM

Hello everyone, Hope you are all well in these interesting times! I have noticed A situation that some of you may have come across. My mount setup is always the same; level the tripod with A torpedo level, install mount head and connect up/initialize. Polar align, which is so easy to do with the clock style reticle, mount/balance scope with camera accessories on it. I then typically do A 1star alignment. What I find happening is that initially I get slight star trails at even A minute of exposure. After several minutes and images I can typically get 4 plus minutes un-guided. I am using A short reflector at 650mm, and the mount has A belt drive conversion on it. My firmware is A bit dated, not sure if that could contribute. I use A Sony A57 as my camera and typically mount the scope with the focuser vertically up. Would I have better results with it vertically down? Thanks for your time!

 

Rick


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#2 Benni123456

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 11:16 AM

Modern cmos cameras reveal many errors. But also if a ball bearing is defect, it will reach the same position only after 2-3 turnarounds of the gear.... This can lead to periodic errors...

Also, an ra backslash, if the mount is not adjusted properly can contribute to errors. Here is a guide for adjusting the gears http://www.astro-bab...ld/heq5-we1.htm

 

Then of course the focuser can wiggle around. If you use a guiding scope there can be flexure and the tripod or even the mount head may tilt around the axis during rotation of the scope..... 

 

What also can happen is that the scope needs to adjust to the temperature and that at the beginning it is a bit unsharp....

 

or that it simply needs to settle after some tremors when you adjusted the focuser... This can be surprisingly long. one minute sometimes in my setup until it stops shaking...



#3 Rollo

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 11:15 PM

4 minutes plus unguided is excellent !  



#4 Benni123456

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 01:35 AM

4 minutes plus unguided is excellent !  

For the h-eq5 it is achivable.

however, certainly not with a heavy setup. But for a very small telescope, it is possible if the mount is properly aligned...

Maybe his belt drive makes his mount more stable....


Edited by Benni123456, 09 July 2020 - 01:36 AM.


#5 bignerdguy

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 12:26 PM

Wait, you said you get star trails for the first 1 minute but 4-5 minutes after it works fine?  That doesn't make sense.  One would think that if you get star trails in the first minute that 4-5 after that it would be worse.  If that was the case then i would suggest the mount is not tracking the sky or tracking too slow.  Make sure your mount has the right speed setting selected (sidereal, lunar, solar, etc). If it still causes the images to trail then i would look at the belt mod as it may be loose.

 

If on the other hand you are saying it trails for 1 full minute after 4-5 minutes of running then yes there could be an error in a bearing, belt, or gear on the RA drive.

 

If it trails for only a few seconds after 4-5 minutes, then that is very good as ANY drive will have a "Bump" in the gears or motors at about that point if it is accurately polar aligned.  That can be smoothed out with guiding.  If you are only getting a small error in guiding after 4-5 minutes and it isn't very long then don't worry, simply upgrade your equipment to a guided solution or use Stacking of 4-5 minute (or shorter shots) to remove that as a concern.  In fact, what with the ability to stack multiple shots to achieve a longer duration shot for the final image result, why would you WANT to take a image longer than 5 minutes anyway?



#6 Rags Jr

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 01:34 AM

Hello Guys,

 

What I was trying to say, is that most times after I get aligned on A target, the images have slight star trailing. After the mount is allowed to track the object for A bit of time, perhaps 10 minutes, the trailing often goes away and allows me 4 to 5 minute images. Perhaps it  is something to do with the mount settling. The telescope is A 130mm. newtonian which stays outside in A non insulated shed. The mount head stays in the attic of my house in its shipping box. The firmware is A bit behind, but I am inclined to not fix if not broken! I do not have the cable anyways. Have you guys noticed changes after firmware upgrades? I suspect temperature is not A factor because it seems to occur with object changes. I am quite happy with the length of exposures, it is much greater than I got with my prior equipment.  One interesting thing I did notice is that the voltage reflected in the handset is often below 12 volts even though A voltmeter check of the power tank reflected fully charged when starting my session. My sessions are typically only A couple hours. Have you found the handset voltage readout to be accurate? I should probably try using the ac power adapter. I am coming from A motorized Eq-1 mount, so I still have A lot to learn. Have you guys found PEC to be useful with the Heq-5 pro? I have not even tried anything with that.



#7 bignerdguy

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:01 AM

It sounds like something is slipping, maybe either you don't have the travel locks tight enough (no need to crank them down but tight enough to hold the weight) or the belt mod is slipping (might not have been tightened right when assembled). Regardless it does sound like something is slipping right after it moves until it manages to heat up enough to expand and stop or some such.  It could also be a firmware issue, i would highly recommend you update it as soon as you can, if you can get the serial cable for it.  There were quite a few database and motor control updates that fixed a lot of issues with the mount released in the last few years.

 

As for the voltage readout, remember that as you use it the voltage will drop but the current used will go up slightly.  This is OHMS law in action.  Over time the voltage will continue to drop as will the current till it becomes low enough to not support action by the motors and any devices you have attached.  once that happens it will start to act erratic.  I am not sure of the minimum usable voltage for this mount however.  PEC is quite handy to use when imaging as it can assist you in getting over the ""Bump" in your imaging sessions better.  Training takes a bit of time but is well worth using.  I have mine trained and active since i rarely travel with it anywhere.  You only have to remember to turn it off if you go somewhere else with the scope than where you trained it s it will make the tracking inaccurate otherwise.



#8 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 07:53 AM

What you describe sounds to me like a balance issue.  The OTA wants to go one way, but is eventually forced to move the other way, and stays there.  The minute or so lag before it "settles".

 

If you do decide to go focuser down, you probably will have an easier time finding balance.  At least that's how it worked with my Newt.  Pain in the rear to use this way, but better results in the end.

 

Random fact:  The guiding on my HEQ5 was getting worse and worse, until I realized that the screws for the setting circles actually add resistance to the motors.  I loosened them up...problem solved.



#9 Rags Jr

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:54 PM

Thank you for all the advice! How do you folks go about balancing your scope/payload? I mount my DSLR to the OTA, and move the focuser to the focus mark I put on it. I put A mark on the counterweight rod to get the weight close on install. I adjust the RA axis first, checking on both sides, trying to set so that A slight push up or down from horizontal results in equal travel. I then do the same for DEC with the counterweight rod horizontal. I do not check the DEC balance in both counterweight shaft horizontal positions. Is that A mistake? The RA axis on my mount is smoother than DEC is that common? I have heard of setting the RA balance east side heavy, but by how much? Do you guys do that? My mounts instructions talk of cranking up altitude for better balancing. I leave mine set for my area, does it really matter? 
 

Rick




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