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Atlas EQ-G mount alignment problem

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#1 lostandromedan

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 10:50 AM

I'm a total beginner with GEMs and this is my first mount - a used Atlas EQ-G. It worked great the very first time I used it but since then has been throwing up a very consistent error. So I am hoping this means it can be easily fixed. Please help!

 

It has been slewing to alignment stars incorrectly - stopping ~15 degrees off to the right of the star in the Dec axis. Every time. Doesn't matter which star I pick. 

 

I've tried suggestions I saw on earlier posts - hand slewing to the 1st alignment star, then returning to the home position, turning the mount off and starting again. I set it to go back to the 1st star that I had hand aligned to, but its off again by 15 degrees! I also tried using the HC buttons to center it. After this - on the 2nd and 3rd stars it was off by 15 degrees again. I centered them using the HC and it accepted the alignment. Then I tried slewing to Jupiter and the moon - and it was off by 15 degrees on both objects.

 

The strange thing is it did the 3 star alignment almost perfectly the first time I used it - the alignment stars were within the eyepiece! But since that first time (sigh), very strangely, it's been giving me this consistent error. 

 

Am I setting it up wrong?

 

1. Level mount using the bubble-spirit level 

2. Polar align (I try to do my best here - adjusting the angle based on the Polar Clock app)

3. Add weights, then OTA and check balance on both axes.

4. Check polar alignment again

5. Enter Lat., Long, Date and time correctly.

6. Align OTA towards polar axis. Set home position.

7. Begin 3 start alignment..

 

Please help! 



#2 DuncanM

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 11:26 AM

Sounds like the time zone or daylight savings is set incorrectly.


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#3 lzagar

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 11:27 AM

Being off by 15 degrees suggests that your time setting is off by one hour. Are you sure your time is set to daylight savings time?

Lee
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#4 PirateMike

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 11:44 AM

I never used the hand controller, but have you tried turning off the encoders and restarting. When I first got my mount it would act somewhat the same. I removed the encoders completely and everything worked just fine after that.

 

I have since cut an opening where the encoder boards once sat and added a thin foam gasket to help keep the dust out and then screwed the original cover back into place. This gave me access to the inside of the head in such a way that I could easily add a little lubrication to the worm gear without perturbing the mesh. Removing those encoders worked out excellently.

 

I would recommend this change to Orion but I feel that they would never trade a selling point for something that actually has a useful purpose.

 

 

 

Miguel   8-)


Edited by PirateMike, 30 September 2020 - 11:52 AM.

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#5 jdupton

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 11:45 AM

lostandromedan,

 

It has been slewing to alignment stars incorrectly - stopping ~15 degrees off to the right of the star in the Dec axis. Every time. Doesn't matter which star I pick. 

 

[snip]

 

Am I setting it up wrong?

 

1. Level mount using the bubble-spirit level 

2. Polar align (I try to do my best here - adjusting the angle based on the Polar Clock app)

3. Add weights, then OTA and check balance on both axes.

4. Check polar alignment again

5. Enter Lat., Long, Date and time correctly.

6. Align OTA towards polar axis. Set home position.

7. Begin 3 start alignment..

   As others have indicated, there is likely a data entry error in the hand controller set-up.

 

   The most common error is in the entry of Time Zone. One thing to keep in mind is that the Time Zone you enter into the hand control is a Location and not a time. At any given location, the Time Zone never ever changes. Time Zone and Daylight Saving Time are two completely different things. You may already understand that difference but it trips up many who are new to SynScan mounts. (It is sort of like many non-astronomy folks think a Light Year is a measurement of time rather than distance. Time zone is a measure of Location and not time.)

 

 

John


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#6 terrypaula

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 11:46 AM

Does Greenwich Mean time have anything to do with the settings on your mount?


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#7 rmollise

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 12:14 PM

Does Greenwich Mean time have anything to do with the settings on your mount?

It's likely he set it up for local time, and didn't turn on DST. ;)


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#8 lostandromedan

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 01:50 PM

Wow. I posted, came back in a few hours and it's flooded with answers (as silly as my problem might be). Thanks so much everyone. This is an amazing community!

 

I have -8:00 on the Time Zone (I'm on the west coast (US)) and I select 'Yes' on Daylight Savings Time. But of course, totally possible that I may have goofed one of these steps. I'll carefully check my time-settings tonight. The effect of one hour on the very consistent error makes sense. Thanks so much again!



#9 Wildetelescope

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 01:57 PM

Sounds like the time zone or daylight savings is set incorrectly.

+1 check your time:-). Happens to the best of us;-)

 

JMD


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#10 bignerdguy

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 03:57 PM

Also one other thing to check, make sure you have the right GPS coordinates setup in the HC if you don't have the PPS module for it.  Having these be too far off where you are can also skew the alignment choices. However, yes like everyone else said, most likely cause is the DST and time zone settings.


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#11 Pauls72

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 04:31 PM

If you have an Android phone, get the SynscanInit app. It will tell you what values to input.

https://play.google....ninit2&hl=en_US


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#12 galaxyraider

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 05:28 PM

If you have an Android phone, get the SynscanInit app. It will tell you what values to input.

https://play.google....ninit2&hl=en_US

+1 for the SynscanInit app, which is very helpful when I was still using the hand controller after I first bought my Atlas EQ-G mount 2 months ago; however, I find it's very cumbersome and time-wasting to set up my mount using the hand controller. I'm so glad I purchased the USB-DB9 control cable that you inquired in my other post, to connect the mount to my laptop and control it via EQMOD. I don't think I will go back to using the HC ever again smile.gif.

 

Luan


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#13 Rovert9988

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 11:37 PM

Wow. I posted, came back in a few hours and it's flooded with answers (as silly as my problem might be). Thanks so much everyone. This is an amazing community!

 

I have -8:00 on the Time Zone (I'm on the west coast (US)) and I select 'Yes' on Daylight Savings Time. But of course, totally possible that I may have goofed one of these steps. I'll carefully check my time-settings tonight. The effect of one hour on the very consistent error makes sense. Thanks so much again!

When I first got my Atlas I had the exact same issue and it turned out to be my daylight savings setting being set incorrectly. It's a pretty easy one to miss or set wrong.


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