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EQ6 r pro set up

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#1 Ricky-17

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 08:38 PM

Hello, I am posting here as this is literally my last hope before I return my mount. 

 

I am just going to note everything I have done in the hope someone can point out something I may have missed, offer an alternative solution or confirm my mount is faulty. 

 

So I got my mount a few days ago I then went on to do the following. 

  1. Set tripod up 
  2. attached mount head 
  3. attached dovetail bar 
  4. Attached weight extender and weights 
  5. Attached 2/3 of the AZ screw in knobs that come with it (not sure where the 3rd one goes) 
  6. attached my scope. 
  7. turned my scope on its side so the polar alignment scope would become visible. 
  8. turned my mount on whilst it was facing north/Polaris. (I had turned it on several times prior to this) 
  9. Found Polaris in the polar scope and aligned it to the exact position as it appears on the app “polar alignment pro”. I set the app alignment to match that of a skywatcher mount and ignored the position of the numbers as they were different on the app compared to the polar scope on the mount. 
  10. I turned the handset on and set up the correct date, time and elevation.  
  11. i entered my coordinates in the format it requested. So my latitude went from 51.629088 to N 51.37 then my longitude went from -3.930358 to 003.55W.

I turned my scope back around so it was facing Polaris. I then began alignment and it was all totally out. I was using a 25mm plossl attached to my 8” Newtonian. (I am aware this scope isn’t the best for a set up but I am new to this and have spent £3000+ in 2 months on equipment. So I need to learn how to use it all properly before I spend more money on a proper scope. 
 

I have an asi290mc, a 50mm guidescope, several explore scientific eyepieces and a powerful handheld laser. I also have a new high spec windows laptop with all the usual Astro software installed including ascom, eqmod, stelarium, sharpcap pro and Nina. 
I have the correct cables to control my mount through my laptop. 
 

If there is anything else you would like to know Please ask. I have spent 5 hours yesterday and 6 hours tonight trying to set this all up. I literally have no idea what I could be doing wrong. The only thing I can think of is how does the polar scope know if it is aligned with my attached scope. But this still does not explain why the alignment stars are soo off. For example I set it to Vega and it went to markab. It wasn’t even close. 
 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
 

thanks 


Edited by Ricky-17, 08 August 2020 - 08:42 PM.


#2 KTAZ

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 08:47 PM

Take a deep breath. That is a great mount you have.

 

The hand controller is quite finicky about time and location coordinates. When I got mine I set it up in my study and it consistently slewed to look at the ground...****?

 

It was all related to those hand controller coordinates. Since then, I have completely removed the hand controller and run it directly through USB/PC, or a WIFI dongle and the phone app. Never a problem.

 

Try this website to check your location coordinates:

https://getlatlong.net/



#3 KTAZ

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 08:52 PM

Please clarify this:

Found Polaris in the polar scope and aligned it to the exact position as it appears on the app “polar alignment pro”. I set the app alignment to match that of a skywatcher mount and ignored the position of the numbers as they were different on the app compared to the polar scope on the mount.

 

I’m not sure what numbers didn’t match that you are referring to. What software are you using to control your mount?


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#4 Ricky-17

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 09:01 PM

@KTAZ

 

yeah so on the app my numbers appeared as 12, 3, 6, 9 (clockwise) 

where as on the actual polar alignment scope they were a little different. Pretty sure it’s something like 3, 6, 12, 9. 
So I set the alignment according to the exact position of Polaris which appeared around 10.00 on both the App and polar scope.

 

I can also run it through a pc if it is easier? I have looked into it a little and I believe it’s to do with plate solving? I don’t know anything about it but I can learn to do anything on a computer within a few hours. So if there is a way I can forget about that polar scope and do it all through a computer that would be great. I wouldn’t even need detailed instructions then just be told what software to get and I could crack on tomorrow.  



#5 endlessky

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 03:01 AM

I don't think you are doing anything wrong, the workflow you described is pretty much what I first used to do, in my first few sessions with the hand-controller.

 

While using the hand-controller, I could never get the first slew to be anywhere close to where it was supposed to be. The mount would point 20-30° away from the object. I then used the arrow keys in the hand-controller to move the telescope where it was supposed to be, first using the guide-scope, then a low power eyepiece, then a reticule eyepiece. After the object was centered, I synced the mount and the following GO-TOs worked fine.

 

I suspect the first slew was way off because I maybe entered the date in the wrong format (could never understand if the hand-controller wanted month/day/year or day/month/year). Also maybe I replied YES to daylight savings, when the answer was supposed to be NO. Lastly, being a very old, used mount (NEQ6 Pro) and the hand-controller firmware never been updated by the previous owner, that could have been an issue as well.

 

All these problems stopped once I ditched the hand-controller and started using the mount while hooked up to a - free - planetarium software (plenty of those to choose: Cartes du Ciel, Stellarium, KStars, to name a few). The date, time, GPS coordinates, daylight savings, etc. were all taken care of by the planetarium, so the mount - despite the initial stationing workflow being exactly the same as when I tried using the hand-controller - would do the first GO-TO almost spot on. This proves that my setup workflow was not the issue. So, it must have been something to do with the hand-controller (either inputs or firmware related).

 

Once I saw that everything was working fine while using the planetarium, I have never bothered with the hand-controller - unless I was doing a fast visual observation of the Moon or the planets and I didn't feel like setting up everything the same way I would if I was doing an astrophotography session.



#6 Ricky-17

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 06:17 AM

Hello, thanks for the reply. In order to do this I would surely need to polar align before hand? What software would you recommend to do the initial set up? If I don’t already have it I can download. Thanks

#7 endlessky

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 06:53 AM

I simply polar align roughly matching the position of Polaris in the polar scope to the same position shown on PolarFinder (an Android app for my phone). This has worked well so far and been good enough for the focal length I am using (300mm) and the maximum exposure length I currently use (2 minutes). It is also plenty good enough for just visual use, even with my C8 (2032mm focal length).

 

That will probably change, once I get my refractor (the focal length will be longer: 384mm) and my auto-guider setup (I will be able to do longer exposures). At this point, I'll use some more advanced methods that involve software assistance. For example, PHD2 offers, other than guiding capabilities, many polar alignment routines - the best, probably, being drift alignment. All these routines require a guide-camera, or a continous shooting camera - things that I cannot do with just my DSLR.



#8 KTAZ

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 09:49 AM

@KTAZ

 

yeah so on the app my numbers appeared as 12, 3, 6, 9 (clockwise) 

where as on the actual polar alignment scope they were a little different. Pretty sure it’s something like 3, 6, 12, 9. 
So I set the alignment according to the exact position of Polaris which appeared around 10.00 on both the App and polar scope.

 

I can also run it through a pc if it is easier? I have looked into it a little and I believe it’s to do with plate solving? I don’t know anything about it but I can learn to do anything on a computer within a few hours. So if there is a way I can forget about that polar scope and do it all through a computer that would be great. I wouldn’t even need detailed instructions then just be told what software to get and I could crack on tomorrow.  

You might be getting your PA wrong. Not sure if that is the only issue, but if your phone app says 10:00, and your polar scope is rotated other than 12:00 at the top (when in the HOME position), then you are setting it wrong by matching the numbers. For example; if your polar scope shows 3:00 at the very top when parked at HOME, and your app says Polaris should be at 12:00, then you should place it at 9:00 in the polar scope (assuming you don't rotate it).

 

You have 2 options; rotate your scope in RA until your polar scope clock has 12:00 at the very top, just like it looks in your app, or physically rotate your polar scope reticle. The former is probably certainly easier, but OCD'ers like myself have to rotate the scope reticle wink.gif. That takes a little physical work as shown here when you feel like tinkering: 

https://www.cloudyni...ure/?p=10248846

 

Option 1 requires that you either 1) de-clutch your RA and rotate the mount or 2) use the hand controller to rotate it but make sure that "tracking" is disabled.

 

I still would like you to validate your date and location criteria. In fact, post it here along with your city and state if you don't mind so others can look at it.

 

Lastly, polar alignment with an astro camera is great. SharpCap is the bomb. If you can attach your camera to that 50mm guide scope, you will be in business as long as your guider is well aligned with your primary OTA.


Edited by KTAZ, 09 August 2020 - 09:50 AM.


#9 Ricky-17

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 10:24 AM

It looks like I just needed to duffle with the green dials on the mount to get the PA scope the correct way.

I can align my guide scope and camera no problem. I just need to wait for some screws to attach it all properly. I shall get them tomorrow though.

If I use the sharpcap pro tool, do I need to align it first through the polar scope or can I literally just start from anywhere?

#10 KTAZ

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 05:35 PM

It looks like I just needed to duffle with the green dials on the mount to get the PA scope the correct way.

I can align my guide scope and camera no problem. I just need to wait for some screws to attach it all properly. I shall get them tomorrow though.

If I use the sharpcap pro tool, do I need to align it first through the polar scope or can I literally just start from anywhere?

Since you already know where Polaris is, you will be fine. Point it at Polaris and as long as you are within a few degrees SharpCap will be able to plate solve.

 

Those green dials really don’t affect your PA at all. They are for manual tracking.


Edited by KTAZ, 09 August 2020 - 05:37 PM.


#11 PeteD

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 08:44 AM

Hello, I am posting here as this is literally my last hope before I return my mount. 

 

I am just going to note everything I have done in the hope someone can point out something I may have missed, offer an alternative solution or confirm my mount is faulty. 

 

So I got my mount a few days ago I then went on to do the following. 

  1. Set tripod up 
  2. attached mount head 
  3. attached dovetail bar 
  4. Attached weight extender and weights 
  5. Attached 2/3 of the AZ screw in knobs that come with it (not sure where the 3rd one goes) 
  6. attached my scope. 
  7. turned my scope on its side so the polar alignment scope would become visible. 
  8. turned my mount on whilst it was facing north/Polaris. (I had turned it on several times prior to this) 
  9. Found Polaris in the polar scope and aligned it to the exact position as it appears on the app “polar alignment pro”. I set the app alignment to match that of a skywatcher mount and ignored the position of the numbers as they were different on the app compared to the polar scope on the mount. 
  10. I turned the handset on and set up the correct date, time and elevation.  
  11. i entered my coordinates in the format it requested. So my latitude went from 51.629088 to N 51.37 then my longitude went from -3.930358 to 003.55W.

I turned my scope back around so it was facing Polaris. I then began alignment and it was all totally out. I was using a 25mm plossl attached to my 8” Newtonian. (I am aware this scope isn’t the best for a set up but I am new to this and have spent £3000+ in 2 months on equipment. So I need to learn how to use it all properly before I spend more money on a proper scope. 
 

I have an asi290mc, a 50mm guidescope, several explore scientific eyepieces and a powerful handheld laser. I also have a new high spec windows laptop with all the usual Astro software installed including ascom, eqmod, stelarium, sharpcap pro and Nina. 
I have the correct cables to control my mount through my laptop. 
 

If there is anything else you would like to know Please ask. I have spent 5 hours yesterday and 6 hours tonight trying to set this all up. I literally have no idea what I could be doing wrong. The only thing I can think of is how does the polar scope know if it is aligned with my attached scope. But this still does not explain why the alignment stars are soo off. For example I set it to Vega and it went to markab. It wasn’t even close. 
 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
 

thanks 

I have the the same mount and It’s awesome. I don’t use the handset or the built in polar alignment scope at all.

 

I just use SharpCap for PA and then its on to NINA to select a target, slew to it, plate solve to centre and then it syncs the mount. After that the goto’s are almost perfect anywhere in the sky, certainly good enough for visual  should you actually want to look through the scope, I don’t as mine is dedicated to imaging.

 

I’d suggest you try a similar workflow once you get your camera attached to your guide scope and the guide scope aligned to your main scope.

 

Good luck, don’t give up on the mount, it really is a good one.




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