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Synscan on a Dobsonian -- aligning and leveling

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#1 drotto25

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 04:38 PM

I am very new to telescopes so certainly new to the electronics also.  I was having some issues aligning the scope.  I was getting very close, but kept ending up a few degrees off and am constantly having to do a little searching when using Goto.  I was looking for some hints and help.  Also, how important is it for the scope to be on a completely level surface while setting everything up?

 

This is an Alt AZ style mount.


Edited by drotto25, 26 September 2021 - 04:38 PM.


#2 Fcschwartz

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:31 PM

Hi I'm frank. I also had issues when first using Synscan and go-to. In my experience keeping the mount and/or tripod  level as you can is important. Make sure of the scopes position when using North level start position also ( if you choose). Use True North with compass or Polaris when possible. Good eyeballing scope level is fine. Pick you aligning stars carefully visualizing them above the horizon and separate them some degrees apart when you can for better accuracy. Make sure you recognize the stars your using, it may sound silly ,but I've confused them in the past  .Don't just go by brightness. Use low magnification, wide angle eyepiece starting out to get your orientation. You can more to higher mag. and even reticle eyepiece to follow. One of my mistakes  was going too high at first and being completely lost due to small observing field. It takes some practice , but follow things in a ordering fashion and it works. Oh and important once your aligned ,if you bump or more the scope mount , it basically a redo. Good luck clear skys.

 



#3 drotto25

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 07:46 PM

Hi I'm frank. I also had issues when first using Synscan and go-to. In my experience keeping the mount and/or tripod  level as you can is important. Make sure of the scopes position when using North level start position also ( if you choose). Use True North with compass or Polaris when possible. Good eyeballing scope level is fine. Pick you aligning stars carefully visualizing them above the horizon and separate them some degrees apart when you can for better accuracy. Make sure you recognize the stars your using, it may sound silly ,but I've confused them in the past  .Don't just go by brightness. Use low magnification, wide angle eyepiece starting out to get your orientation. You can more to higher mag. and even reticle eyepiece to follow. One of my mistakes  was going too high at first and being completely lost due to small observing field. It takes some practice , but follow things in a ordering fashion and it works. Oh and important once your aligned ,if you bump or more the scope mount , it basically a redo. Good luck clear skys.

It went better for me the second night.  I was able to get it to the point where I was getting double stars in target reliably, not perfect.  Now I was mainly doing it through my iPad, so that was feeding the scope the precise GPS, elevation, and time coordinates.  I think my scope is one of the newer ones where in theory knocking it or turning manually is not supposed to mess up your alignment.


Edited by drotto25, 27 September 2021 - 07:47 PM.


#4 Fcschwartz

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 12:56 PM

Yes indeed the newer scopes like a Orion products do allow you to move the scope it’s self with built-in sensors to keep your position locked. You can manually go to a different position and it will remember your original. But, bumping or knocking the mount or tripod itself is a different story. It can then lose its complete orientation so be careful!! Sounds like you’re having a good time. I know the feeling it’s great. Clear skies



#5 Arcturus21

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 09:13 PM

It is strange that these telescopes (goto Synscan dobs) are sold without adjustable feet or a bubble level. I don't know what the manufacturers are thinking. Sure they save a couple bucks and can keep their scopes a touch cheaper to sell, but the features of the scope are basically useless without. I would have appreciated at least having this as an option to purchase at extra cost. The manual clearly states that the telescope must be level - so how exactly do they expect someone to level it?

 

Anyway, at a minimum you need to go to a hardware store and get a bubble level so you know when you are level. I also put adjustable feet on my base. If you are careful with getting the base stable and as close to perfectly level as you can, and then do a decent alignment, the tracking works great (for visual).

 

Another tip that works for me: I sometimes utilize the higher magnification plossel that came with the scope to 'center' the alignment stars. Works a charm if I really want to dial in the alignment, although an EP with cross hairs would also work if you have one.

Best of luck with your scope.




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