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Crazy mount behavior

beginner mount
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12 replies to this topic

#1 zeddie

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 10:24 AM

I'm trying to start out slow, and add equipment and complexity one step at a time. I already have the equipment, a local sale had too good a price to not purchase, but like I said, one step at a time. So about a month ago, I tried a (modded) DSLR on a tripod. Saw some youtube videos on how to do this. Didn't get very good results. Here on CN, everyone said "why do that, if you have an EQ mount use it". Also note that I do not have a view north (i.e. of Polaris). Everyone said just use a rough alignment, use a compass for north and set my latitude. About a week ago I did this and was amazed by the results. It slewed directly to several obects I tried just to see how good a "rough alignment" was. So, last night I went out and did a "rough alignment", planning to try drift alignment. After I set up, roughly pointing north and with the elevation of the RA axis set for my latitude, I had the mount slew to Rigel. It went nuts, pointing over 90* away from Rigel. Tried Polaris, mount tried to go upside down, pressed stop. Then tried Sirius, again maybe 45* away from it. What gives? Rough alignment worked perfectly a week ago, now not even close. Anyone have any idea what went wrong (I guess, what I did wrong)? Any help will be appreciated.



#2 wrvond

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 10:34 AM

I don't know which GoTo mount you have, but pretty much all GoTo mounts require lat/long, elevation and time inputs. Check your hand control and make sure it doesn't suddenly think you are in a different hemisphere.



#3 zeddie

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 10:40 AM

Yes, I used the same (I'm pretty sure) settings for location and time that I used the previous week (of course time was a different time). Don't think it has an elevation setting. The mount remembered my longitude/latitude from last week. It starts out with an incorrect time, and I enter the current time. It's an iOptron iEQ45 Pro.



#4 wrvond

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 10:55 AM

I doubt anything has gone wrong with the mount itself. The kind of behavior you are seeing is invariably caused by an incorrect input on the hand control. Best thing is to carefully review all settings to find the erroneous information.



#5 zeddie

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:17 AM

Thank you wrvond. But I think (99%) that I entered the correct info. And yes, I doubt the mount became "broken" in the week between working okay and acting crazy. I guess I was wondering if there was any other setting (besides lat/long, date/time, hemisphere, and UTC offset) that would explain this behaviour. I don't think I changed anything from a week ago, but I suppose it's possible. I can't say that I went over every setting, but I do think I set the lat/long, date/time, hemisphere, and UTC offset to the correct values. I guess I am asking if there is any other particular setting I should check, but I guess this is probably an unanswerable question without actually seeing my settings (but if anyone has any suggestions...). Thanks again.



#6 Tapio

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:17 AM

Usual suspects: location and time (as said), poor power to mount (volts below certain threshold), poor connections (power or HC) and HC battery.


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#7 zeddie

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:24 AM

I suppose I could test power to mount (digital multi-meter). Double check connections. But how would I check the HC battery? Take it out and test it? The HC lights up and looks okay. I think the mount has GPS built in, and it powers up with the lat/long set to the correct values. Not sure if this is getting set each power up from GPS, or being remembered from previous power up where I set it. One thing that is not right, is that the time at power up defaults to something like "2013-10-14 15:30:00 UTC -300 minutes". The -300 minutes is correct. So I enter the correct time. Do you think that this would indicate a bad battery in the HC? Should it remember the correct time across power ups?


Edited by zeddie, 19 January 2021 - 11:33 AM.


#8 ryanha

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:36 AM

Another thing is that you want to make sure that the telescope knows where the initial position it.  

 

On my mount, there is a "set zero position" which tells the telescope that it is pointing at polaris.  So if you disengage the clutches and move where it is pointing, and then re-engage the clutch the scope will point to the wrong place.

 

I think if the GPS is getting location that it gets time as well.  Maybe you need to give it some time to acquire the GPS signal?

 

--Ryan


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#9 zeddie

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:51 AM

Regarding setting the "zero position", my previous mount had marks that you lined up to set the zero position. This mount seems to have no markings to indicate when you are at the zero position (or "parked"). I just have to eyeball this as best as I can. Can anyone familiar with this mount (iEQ45 Pro) tell me if there is a better way to set the zero position?


Edited by zeddie, 19 January 2021 - 11:52 AM.


#10 KTAZ

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:59 AM

Zero, or Home, position is always set with the DEC pointing North towards the Celestial pole and the RA counterweight stack pointing towards the ground (perpendicular to the horizon).

 

As others have stated, check your HC settings. I also was confounded early on and thought something was wrong with my mount (and certain it was not ME) until I found out the way I entered coordinates was slightly off. It only takes a decimal or a reversed +/- sign to screw things up.



#11 AZ Maverick

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 12:03 PM

Make sure you have the 'Zero Position' set in the hand controller (see page 5 of your Quick Start Guide).

http://www.ioptron.c...EQ45Pro_QSG.pdf

 

 

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#12 Tapio

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 12:36 PM

iOptron mounts usually have set zero position function in HC. Don't know if iEQ45 has.

And it's not difficult to change the HC battery (and doesn't cost much).



#13 zeddie

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 08:06 PM

Thanks very much. I'll bet the solution is the "Set Zero Position". Saturday is the next predicted clear sky night here. Guess I'll be trying then.




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