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EQ to AZ silly question...!

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#1 FoxTrot

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:52 PM

I have a silly question...

Is it possible to re-purpose an EQ5 vintage GEM mount as follows.  Modify the mount so that the polar axis points zenith, thus essentially providing AZ pointing, that's the easy bit. Then either by using a new handcontroller or plug into a PC, to get the mount to now do goto and constant tracking ?

thx, Fox



#2 sg6

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 02:10 AM

I would doubt it, at least "easily".

When an Eq mount just tracks it doesn't need the Dec motor.

When an Alt/Az tracks it has to adjust in both Alt and Az so uses both motors.

Consider a star just rising in the East the movement is more or less all vertical, so Alt only. When it is due south all movement is basically horizontal so Az only, and when West it is again vertical, so all Alt, only but now downwards. Between those 3 positions the movement ois a mix of Alt and Az determined by Polar-Cartesian conversion.

 

Whereas on an Eq one motor (RA) driving just one direction and at one unchanging rate takes care of it all.

 

Having said that if I recall some handsets determine the nature of the mount - Eq or Alt/Az. The old easy way was a set of jumper switches.

 

If (and only if) that is still used then by setting the jumpers to say the board/mount is an Alt/Az then the handset may control the mount as an Alt/Az.

 

Bit of a gamble as the idea is "old" but worked and may of the hardware and so software is from that era.



#3 FoxTrot

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:28 AM

Thanks, I realise it involves both axis continuously driven. Obviously it can be done, given the few mounts that have EQ-AZ modes built-in, but I guess it's all via proprietary software and electronics. Fox



#4 EricR

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:47 AM

Just wondering aloud:

- Orion sells GOTO kit for SkyView PRO mount with Synscan controller -- not sure how similar SVP and EQ5 mounts are but you'd think it'd be adaptable or just find GOTO kit for EQ5.

- Since Orion/SkyWatcher AZ/EQ GOTO mounts use SynScan controller, that means SynScan controller CAN handle driving in Alt-Az, right?

 

*Aside note -- I'm surprised there aren't more affordable, aftermarket GOTO kits for common, manual, Alt-Az mounts that already have slow motion controls that could be driven (...like Porta, Voyager, DSV-n, etc).


Edited by EricR, 10 July 2020 - 09:48 AM.


#5 bignerdguy

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:20 PM

Just wondering aloud:

- Orion sells GOTO kit for SkyView PRO mount with Synscan controller -- not sure how similar SVP and EQ5 mounts are but you'd think it'd be adaptable or just find GOTO kit for EQ5.

- Since Orion/SkyWatcher AZ/EQ GOTO mounts use SynScan controller, that means SynScan controller CAN handle driving in Alt-Az, right?

 

*Aside note -- I'm surprised there aren't more affordable, aftermarket GOTO kits for common, manual, Alt-Az mounts that already have slow motion controls that could be driven (...like Porta, Voyager, DSV-n, etc).

Since most of the EQ5 mounts were all manufactured by one company and sold under different brands, the chances are you might be able to use one of the SynScan kits to GoTo your scope.  That said i can tell you that the EQ-5 CANNOT be made into an ALT-AZ scope the way you describe since it wasn't built for it and the RA cannot be pointed to zenith.  Most EQ scopes are not capable of this but there ARE scopes purpose built that can switch between modes.  If the Orion/SkyWatcher kits don't fit there more than likely will be a kit out there to at least motorize your scope.  It wont add GoTo but will at least offer the option to track in RA and fine tune in Dec.



#6 luxo II

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:38 PM

Foxtrot this idea won’t work.

The SynScan handset interface is documented and there is a board internally within the mount with firmware specifically for equatorial use. It’s quite likely that the limits for things like not slewing below the horizon, not slewing past the zenith (to avoid crashing scope into tripod), the current position, and some other functions are implemented there - not in the handset.

Trying to fool this into thinking it’s at the north/South Pole Is possible but odd behaviour is likely.

Edited by luxo II, 10 July 2020 - 05:46 PM.


#7 FoxTrot

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:50 PM

Hi Brian, and all,

I should have  been more specific, I am talking about re-purposing my Meade LXD mount, and by ‘modify’ I mean getting my fitter and turner friend to cut and hack the mount, likely pier extension as well, to really point the R.A. axis zenith permanently.  The big question is, is there a means to now drive both axis to provide AZ goto and tracking, can the LXD handset connect to a PC and is there software that can do this - a real tall order I know. Told you - silly question !!!

Fox



#8 bignerdguy

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:15 PM

Hi Brian, and all,

I should have  been more specific, I am talking about re-purposing my Meade LXD mount, and by ‘modify’ I mean getting my fitter and turner friend to cut and hack the mount, likely pier extension as well, to really point the R.A. axis zenith permanently.  The big question is, is there a means to now drive both axis to provide AZ GoTo and tracking, can the LXD handset connect to a PC and is there software that can do this - a real tall order I know. Told you - silly question !!!

Fox

Honestly, probably not... i haven't heard of anything like that, frankly it is far simpler to simply buy a purpose built Alt-Az/EQ tripod and head than try to retrofit one that wasn't built for it.  I also looked at the manual for the GoTo hand controller from Orion and it seems to indicate it Only support EQ mode, not Alt-Az so that is a no go.  Really for the cost of modifying the mount to do what you want it would be far cheaper to simply but an Alt-Az tripod and tube rings and mount your scope on it manually.  In fact if you have a tube ring and bar that fits your current setup simply adding an Alt-Az tripod that accepts the bar would be the easiest way to do this.



#9 junomike

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 08:26 AM

Hi Brian, and all,

I should have  been more specific, I am talking about re-purposing my Meade LXD mount, and by ‘modify’ I mean getting my fitter and turner friend to cut and hack the mount, likely pier extension as well, to really point the R.A. axis zenith permanently.  The big question is, is there a means to now drive both axis to provide AZ goto and tracking, can the LXD handset connect to a PC and is there software that can do this - a real tall order I know. Told you - silly question !!!

Fox

Possible, yes.  Easy, no.

 

See Post # 60 - #63



#10 FoxTrot

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 10:43 PM

Possible, yes.  Easy, no.

 

See Post # 60 - #63

Thanks for that, and OMG (!) that motorised AZ SkyTee if does goto/tracking with SynScan, I reckon that would sell hotcakes !, perfect for the grab n' go visual observer. I guess the iOptron AZ Pro comes close, but the SkyTee looks a ton more robust and fuss free. Fox




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