View Full Version here: : EQ6 GOTO problems
12-09-2011, 08:15 AM
I'm having troubles getting my EQ6 and GOTO working together (first try last night).
I've setup my EQ6 according to the brilliant guide on these forums, however, my GOTO is giving me some grief. I start from the "home" position, which I assume is having the two arrows aligned and the scope pointing towards the SCP?
Next I try aligning to Hadar as it seems to be one of the easiest to point out. It overshoots the mark quite a bit and then I re-align with the handcontroller and save.
Next I try and point towards the moon and it is way off, perhaps a metre to the right.
What is going wrong here? I have tried two star align, however, I am too slow at the moment (going to try and get a battery for my laser to speed things up).
As far as I'm aware the handset is configured correctly: time/date/lattitude etc (although the time never right when I turn off/turn on the mount, is this normal?). The mount is pretty much aligned to the SCP, according to the my compass/google sky maps/drawing intersection with the southern cross and pointers.
Any ideas? All help is greatly appreciated - it's certainly a steep learning curve!
PS: I assume I "lock" the axis in place when using the GOTO? Not super tight, but in place so it doesn't move freely?
PPS: Also, the handset is giving a set of coordinates as it moves to the planet. Do these match the markings on the EQ6 (i.e. 0 degrees - 360). If so, should I check that these are both accurate to ensure the motor is driving correctly?
So much to learn - sorry about the long windedness/unorganised post.
12-09-2011, 09:54 AM
What two arrows aligned are you speaking of - I don't seem to have these.
Roughly point the mount south, then start with both axis locked tightly and in the park or home position. This of course is the "neutral position" for an EQ mount where imbalance has no effect.
Ensure date, time and psotion are entered accurate to within 1 minute of time a 10' of lat/long. (this is equivalent to less than 1/4 degree error in star position)
Then go to 3 star align - choose enter for the first star you can positively identify and the scope should point very close to this star. In fact with the above errors of time or position it should be in the field of the scope. What will put is well outside is poor polar alignment.
After the first star, why would you want to point at the moon??
Keep scrolling through the alignment stars until you can recognise the right stars against those you can see clearly. I have a problem with their list as they have some wierd names. It would be better if they would use Bayer names.
I could not believe how easy it was first time up to do this alignment.
12-09-2011, 09:01 PM
I am with John there, I am not sure what the 2 arrows you mean are? however I can say the following:
Even a small miss alignment to the SCP can result in big misalignments when going to stars during the set up process. As mentioned, Time, Time Zone, Date and Position should be as accurate as possible.
I would suggest the following software http://www.stellarium.org/ if you need assistance with finding stars/names for the alignment process.
The only other thing to try is to do a factory reset on the hand controller to make sure the PAE data is not all stuffed up.
Hope this helps
12-09-2011, 11:47 PM
I think he means the indicator arrows for the setting circles on the mount??
These can be ignored.
the clutches should be tight with no slip.
13-09-2011, 12:26 AM
I'm a newbie to the (N)EQ6 too, having received mine last month, and have often faced similar grief. I don't know if what I'm doing is right, but here it is in case it helps.
The culprit for me has usually been either (really) poor polar alignment, or turning on the mount when it's not in home position.
To get a rough polar alignment (good enough for visual use only), I use a compass and the EQ6's built-in bubble level. I find that it's more accurate (for me) than going by the Southern Cross/Pointers, plus I can do it during the day before sunset.
When I can see enough stars, I turn on the EQ6 without performing its built in alignment. Instead, I drift align the mount using my guide scope and PHD auto guiding software (lots of articles available online) - the feedback is virtually instant.
After careful alignment, I then put the mount into home position, turn the power on again, and then go through the three star alignment process. Alignment on the first star is usually a shocker (outside the field of view of my 28 mm eyepiece at 33x magnification), the second isn't too bad, and often the third is surprisingly accurate (e.g. inside the field of view of my 4 mm eyepiece at 231x).
By the way, the order that the alignment stars are chosen seems to be really important for the EQ6. For example, if my polar alignment is a bit out, starting with Alpha Cen usually gives me no end of grief with failed alignments. On the other hand, starting with Antares is usually successful for me.
Hope this helps!
13-09-2011, 12:52 AM
I do the polar alignment during the middle of the day with the plumb-bob method and mark a line on the lawn.
14-09-2011, 07:15 AM
I am not sure how good the line on the gras works, for me they never did.
It took me almost half a year to get the GOTO working on my NEQ6 and what I can say is: forget about lines on the lawn and daytime and compass "polar alignment"! If you can get it working that way, thatīs magical and I admire your skill. All others, I think, use the polfinder scope in the mount during set up at night.
I tried deviation tables, lines on the lawn, drift alignment (without seeing the actual pole, but gave up regularly after about an hour), EQDir with Carte du Ciel to find the alignemnt stars easier, one star alignment etc.
All rubbish imo.
As soon as I moved house and made sure I had clear view to the SCP from the new place (otherwise I wouldnīt have moved there) I got my GOTO working.
The only thing that really works is a levelled tripod, a pair of binos (to find the Octans asterism in suburbia) and the polfinder in the mount. For more accuracy one can then go and start drift alignment.
Attached is a hint to find the asterism as marked in the polfinder.
The moon problem is interesting as I had some issues with it, too. The scope usually slews to everything I want with pretty high accuracy but the moon is sometimes far off (not that I need GOTO to find the friend :P)
And do yourself a favour: do the pol alignment as precise as possible, itīll get wrong by itself.
14-09-2011, 07:37 AM
Lot's of opinions! Thanks for all of them.
Unfortunately I won't be out with my scope for a couple of weeks now :( I'm itching to get back out!
I'll video my setup next time so it gives y'all a better idea and you can more easily see where I am going wrong :(
14-09-2011, 07:37 AM
PS: when pol aligning: donīt load your telecope and donīt switch on the mount or else your break your hands trying to adjust altitude, hit yourself with the OTA when rotating the mount head into position and donīt see anything else through the finder than red light. Instead use a red torch and hold it near the objective (front end) of the pol finder to gently illuminate the markings in the finder to fine tune the alignment.
30-09-2011, 09:10 PM
Sletts, can I ask where you are located?
To Align my EQ6 I use the following procedure
1. Align the tripod towards south using a piece of wood between the bottom of the legs and a compass.
2. Mount the head and scope and counterweights leaving the centre bolt just loose enough to be able to move the head from side to side, but ensure the legs are fully spread.
3. Level the mount, this was the root of all my early problems with the eq6. Don't trust the in-built bubble level. To make this easier I made a plate that fits between the tripod and head. Instructions for this modification are here http://members.iinet.net.au/~garin/EQ6plate.pdf
Some people don't like doing this with the scope on but I have found that placing the scope on afterwards can upset the level, Honestly I have had no issues doing it with everything assembled even wehn using my 10" newt on the EQ6.
4. Set the head angle to your location's lattitude using the markings on the scope or better yet an angle finder on the scope.
4. Align the finder scope, telrad with the main scope.
5. Align the scope in the home position, counterweight bar should be central and vertical and the scope should be pointed directly ahead towards south.
6. Using the finder scope I find the scp and centre the finderscope crosshairs on the scp, this gets easier each time you do it as the star formations get easier to recognise. I have attached a diagram of the star formation you're looking for, I can see this though a 9x50 finderscope on a non-full moon night from the suburbs in Perth (I look south towards the city).
7. Turn on the power Set your location, time (look out for daylight saving)
8. Commence a 2 star alignment, try and pic two stars either side of the meridian, the scope will slew to the first star but will be substantially out but within a 9x50 view centre and accept, the slew to the second star should be quite close by comparison cente and select. I use a 10mm eyepiece or 12mm reticle eyepiece
9. That should do it, goto an object and it should be pretty good certainly within a 25mm eyepiece view.
I can now usually do all of this in around 15 minutes.
Other things that can go wrong are :
. Loose scope that shifts as it slews
. Scope is not aligned correctly on the head, check up on cone error, basically the scope should stay centered on the object in view even when you release the r/a clutch and rotate the head.
.Inadvertantly or deliberately releasing the r/a or dec clutches after alignment, if you do this you have to realign.
. Low battery power.
Hopefully this may help.
01-10-2011, 03:15 AM
for my two pence worth, and coming from a guy that doesn't have a clear view to the SCP either...
I have read all this stuff for a couple of years now and it comes down really to -can you see the SCP or not?
In my case I can't because my house is in the way so really you have to do the combination approach.
Level your scope properly-using a builders level not the bubble level in the mount.
Align your scope as near to SCP as you think possible, whether using a compass, guestimation, or pickled hamsters. Just make sure you are right for your magnetic offset from the south (down here in Tas we are approx 12-15 degrees east of true, by various sources)-so this means point compass south with your telescope, then if you are on the Eastern part of Australia-tweak it a tiny tiny bit more eastwards.
So point south, then if you have a nice inclinometer or a smart phone (you can download freebie inclinometer apps) get your latitude right for your location.
When I set up my EQ 6 my latitude scale on the mount says about 46 and my inclinometer on the top of the telescope says 43'
It doesn't matter really because all this is doing is getting you invited to the star party. What you have to do next is drift align, because, if you are like me and can't see the SCP- then there is no other choice (for an EQ 6) especially if you want to take some natty photos!
Give it a few years and there will be a software patch like the CGEM all star polar align.
So in essence- point south, sort your latitude out and tweak the knobs.
One thing I would amplify as said before- don't overload the mount first
put some decent all weather grease between tripod and 'head', loosen the opposite screw before adjusting the wanted screw, and when you put the OTA on, balance well.
01-10-2011, 08:28 AM
I memorised these stars and they sit nicely in my 8" F10 meade with a 26mm EP
05-10-2011, 06:42 PM
Great Garinm will be trying this when next I'm out.
Eddie Also in Perth
05-10-2011, 09:41 PM
On my web site under resources I have a synta specific eq6 guide I wrote for beginners that goes into depth on the physical and software set up. The link to my site is in my signature.
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