UPDATE: Sorry for the late update but the weather the last few days/nights has been pretty bad. It started getting clear again yesterday so I decided take my telescope back out again to write a few things down. I'll copy and paste what i wrote here:
I set my telescope up by:
- (1) Balancing the optical tube with the counter weight
- (2) Leveling the tripod by making sure its legs are extended at the same length
- (3) Having the declination pointer set to 90º so that the optical tube is now pointing in the general North direction and the optical tube is parallel with the RA axis and the ground
- (4) Polar aligning it — specifically by loosening the latitude lock T bolt and subsequently turning the latitude adjustment T bolt to the specific latitude number that my iPhone app “PS Align Pro” has determined to be the specific location of NCP (36º)
PS Align Pro screen shot: http://www.imagebam....d226c1349720226
Then after doing all of that, I spin my telescope around (by loosening the azimuth lock knob) so that I can then aim it at the specific object I want to look at (ie. Jupiter), and because sometimes, Jupiter will either be too low or too high up in the sky for me to find/see using the finder, I’ll loosen the RA knob to tilt the telescope in one direction or the other (left or right) so that then, the finder scope can be leveled enough to where I can actually see the planet in the right quadrant of the finder scope’s cross hairs, and can ultimately see it centered in the eyepiece. At that point the optical tube is still parallel to the RA axis and the ground, but the RA knob is now locked in that position for keeping the object centered in the eyepiece; and the latitude scale is still locked in at 36º, in perfect alignment with the NCP, but the azimuth knob is loosened to allow for free rotation of the scope to compensate for any left/right, up/down drifting of the object. The declination knob is used occasionally, in combination with the azimuth axis, to recenter the object.
So this is where I'm at...whenever I engage and turn on the motor drive, I encounter 1 or 2 problems:
1) Drifting - it always seems as though whenever I connect the cord to the motor drive, it doesn’t matter how well I think I’ve achieved polar alignment, the image in the eyepiece always seems to be drifting TO THE BOTTOM LEFT corner of the eyepiece and nowhere else. It doesn’t matter if I try changing the speed of rotation on the controller, it always goes to the bottom left corner and eventually out of my FOV.
2) Abrupt re-centering - sometimes when the optical tube is leaning a little too much to the right where it gets close to touching the RA knob, but not quite, the motor will make these weird knocking sounds where the circular gear and gear won't be running as smoothly/quietly as before. Whenever I look in the eyepiece to see if the it's still working, I can see it trying to recenter the image but the recentering movements seem so abrupt. It’s almost like it forces the image back down to the center but it ends up being off center. And then when the image drifts again the bottom left, it forces the image back down again, but it’s more off-center than before. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to do that, but at this point, I’m at a complete loss and could use any help!
People online have made it seem like the clock drive should be easy to use and setup but I’ve spent the past 2 weeks trying to figure it out and still can't get it to work right.
Edited by newtoastronomy1993, 20 July 2020 - 06:34 PM.