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Old 07-01-2015, 05:16 PM
qarocks (Steve)
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Struggling with HEQ5 GOTO/Setup

Hi all,

Recently bought my first scope/mount. I decided to get something good that will last, instead of upgrading along the way a few times.

I have tried a few times to get the mount setup and working, so it can goto and track objects. I can't get it to work.

I tried following the manual to setup the dials, etc, but have since read that this isn't even needed for goto/tracking .. so I'm confused.

Anyway, after doing the dial shenanigans, this is what I do:

Check the sky (with an app) for Octans location, and use compass to find S.
I point the mount in that general direction, with the weight arm down, and lined up with the leg (no weights).
Mount is level, and set to 37' lat.
Turn on the synscan
Put in my location, set the time to +10 and daylight saving etc.
Attempt 1 star alignment
Select Sirius
Mount points nowhere near sirius.

Once I tried moving the mount manually (releasing the locks) and lining up sirius - then tried to "find" the moon - and it was not even close. Went back to sirius which was correct.

Now that you have all had a good laugh at my noob skills, what should I do to be able to get the mount working, and increase my skill level?

Thanks
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:34 PM
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pfitzgerald (Paul)
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Hi Steve

Been there, done that (mistakes in setting up that is!). The usual mistakes are to:

Incorrectly enter enter the longitude and latitude, particularly the latitude.
Align the scope to magnetic North/South instead of true North/South.

http://www.ga.gov.au/oracle/geomag/agrfform.jsp

The above website can be used to help you with true North/South. From memory most compass apps default to magnetic North/South.

From the looks of it I'm not that far away from you, so if you still have no luck please send a PM and I'll pop over to help you out.

Paul
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:34 PM
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madwayne (Wayne)
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Hi Steve

Silly question. Are you entering the date mm/dd/yyyy, today being 01 07 2015.

Good luck with it and once you work it out you'll shake your head and smile.

Wayne
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:19 PM
raymo
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In addition to what Wayne and Paul have said, if by dials you mean the setting circles, ignore them. Not needed for day to day use. Why do you
look for Octans? Just point the leg immediately behind the weights close to South, [not magnetic South], set the weight shaft to vertical position, with weights and scope attached. Roughly balance the scope in both axes,
so the motors don't have an excessive load on them. Just set the scope
one side of the mount with the weights the other side, and slide the weights up or down the shaft until it is balanced. Balance the other axis by sliding the scope backwards or forwards as necessary until it more or less stays where it is when you let go of it. Adjust your finder scope so
it is aligned with the main scope by making sure that a distant object [say
a streetlight] is centred in both scopes. Start with the weight shaft vertical.[ home position].
Switch on Synscan, enter location, date and time, daylight saving if applicable for where you live. Select two star alignment. If Sirius is selected, press enter, scope will slew in the general direction of Sirius. You must complete the slew yourself using the motor drive buttons. As the scope will usually be some distance from Sirius,
press the rate button [no.2] and select a fairly high motor speed, say
the no.6 button, and press enter button. Slew to Sirius using the finder scope, and centre it in the scope's eyepiece. Press enter, and you will be asked to select the second star from the list offered by the handset.[ scroll up or down].
Select star, press enter and scope will slew to second star. Centre the second star in the finder scope using the motors as before, and then the eyepiece, and press enter. The screen will show " Alignment Successful" if you did everything right. If it shows " Alignment failed," you did something wrong. Don't be too fussy about which stars you choose when learning. There are benefits to be had by using stars in certain positions, but you can think about that later. After displaying "Alignment Successful" the scope will start tracking automatically. A simple two star alignment will result in tracking good enough for casual observing. For more precise tracking for imaging for example, accurate polar alignment will be necessary.
It all sounds a bit difficult, but with a bit of practice, you can be set up for casual observing in just a few minutes.
raymo

Last edited by raymo; 07-01-2015 at 08:26 PM. Reason: more text
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:49 PM
qarocks (Steve)
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Thanks everyone! So helpful, I really appreciate it.

I used that website to check long/lat, and I had it right except for one number which was 1 off.

I have the mm/dd right, but I did not balance the weights with the scope .. thats pretty cool.

Looks like the major issues are true south, and then synscan alignment!
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:53 PM
qarocks (Steve)
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Also, I was trying to find Octans because I was told you need to line that up in the polar scope to get polar alignment.

I'll need to learn polar alignment, because my ultimate goal is to do AP after learning how to find and observe the awesome objects out there.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:04 PM
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pfitzgerald (Paul)
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Also remember that the leg labelled 'N' on your tripod actually needs to be pointing true South!

There are also some great tutorial videos on YouTube if you search using the keyword 'astronomyshed'. I've learnt heaps from Dion's videos.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:14 PM
raymo
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Assuming that you have bought a new or fairly new mount, the handset
will have version 3.35 installed, which includes a polar alignment feature, which is far easier to use than grovelling on your knees to use the polar
scope. The scope has to be correctly set, and the Octans stars are not very bright, IMHO much easier for a novice to use the handset P.A.
routine.
raymo
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2015, 09:37 PM
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photosinferno (John)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymo View Post
Assuming that you have bought a new or fairly new mount, the handset
will have version 3.35 installed, which includes a polar alignment feature, which is far easier to use than grovelling on your knees to use the polar
scope. The scope has to be correctly set, and the Octans stars are not very bright, IMHO much easier for a novice to use the handset P.A.
routine.
raymo
I Would agree with 'raymo' wholeheartedly about PA via Handset, I can't even see any southern 'polar' sky from my Home Obs but can still polar align via the synscan handset, and then do AP. So don't get hung up about PA with octans - you don't need to do that at all if you've got V3.35 installed in the Synscan Handset.

John
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:18 AM
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Steffen
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There has been some excellent advice in this thread. I haven't got much to add, but in an attempt to be helpful I'd say:
  • here, on the southern hemisphere, forget the polar alignment scope
  • also, forget the RA and Dec setting circles, but...
  • do not neglect the Altitude (geographic latitude) scale (on the opposite side of the HEQ5 Pro label), that one has to be set rather correctly, best to start in the right ball park
  • try to get your south bearing (the tripod leg labelled "N") to within less than +/- 10 degrees of true south
  • put your mount into the best eye-balled home position before you turn it on: counter-weight bar straight down parallel to the south ("N") leg, the scope aligned with the RA axis of the mount
  • if your first alignment star is way off and you feel you could get much closer by dragging the tripod around a bit – do so, then start over with the alignment
  • pay attention to the SynScan version displayed when you power on the mount, if it's lower than 3.35, seriously consider to upgrade
Keep coming back to this thread with what you've done and what results you got, there are plenty of people here that have got their HEQ5 Pro mounts humming (near) perfectly, and we're all eager to help.

Cheers
Steffen.
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2015, 07:37 AM
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louie_the_fly (Stewart)
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Gidday Steve. To help with my HEQ5 I got a nice straight piece of board that spans across the northern legs. Remember that the leg marked N points south in the southern hemisphere. I have marked the board with a line square to its edge and screwed a small piece of plastic to the board, lined up with the line. Then I take my hiking compass and set it to the magnetic declination for my site, - 8*. Put the compass against the block and check the alignment. I just aim to get it within a couple of degrees. Then I put the scope on, balance, and star alignment. Yeah, forget the polar scope.

Last edited by louie_the_fly; 08-01-2015 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Forgot to say I used brass screws to attach the plastic block
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:45 AM
Misplaced (Craig)
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Hi Steve - I feel your pain! I am new to all this as well but over the last couple of weeks I have got it off to a tee for casual observing the next objective is to Polar Align!

I can't really add much to what has been said except make sure that you enter the date as mm/dd/yyyy - I know I didn't at first...lol!! Make sure you include daylight savings +10 for you. I align using Sirius and Alderban and it's usually done in a couple of minutes. Oh! One last thing is to make sure your finder is aligned correctly. The was I did this was using the moon...............I know everyone says use a street lamp etc but as I am partially sighted in my dominant eye it's bloody hardwork! Anyway, I manually lined up my scope to the moon and then using the directional arrows on the GoTo control aligned the moon in the scope. Then checked the Finder and adjusted until the moon was in the centre of the Finder. Probably all not right but it worked............PS the moon is blinding!!

By the way what Raymo has put is spot on .................top bloke he is

Cheers - Craig
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Old 13-01-2015, 09:05 AM
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chiaroscuro (Luke)
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A wise person on this forum once said something pretty left-of-field - "read the Synscan manual about star alignment and Polar alignment". Now, I'm sceptical of such things at the best of times, but the wise person was right - the Synscan manual is actually clearly written and I found it very useful in combination with the advice here.
As with most technical manuals, some bits are a little hard to grasp what they're getting at, but I just posted here to ask for clarification.
One of the great things about this hobby is that it provides little mental challenges along the way, and you slowly accumulate all this knowledge without realising it. I'm constantly reminding myself that Copernicus, Gallileo and Da Vinci all did this sort of thing without the technology we have today, but just a big brain, inquisitive nature, and enormous patience. (They did have dark skies though!)
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:03 PM
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jayconnor (Jay)
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I'm in the same boat! but still struggling! I'll try it all again when the weather clears!
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:38 AM
astro_nutt
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Hi Steve.
I learned that true South in and around Melbourne is about 11.51 degrees West of South. So if your Dec axis is pointing South and the Compass shows it to be 180 degrees, true South would be at 191 degrees! I hope this helps!
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:39 AM
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Larryp (Laurie)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro_nutt View Post
Hi Steve.
I learned that true South in and around Melbourne is about 11.51 degrees West of South. So if your Dec axis is pointing South and the Compass shows it to be 180 degrees, true South would be at 191 degrees! I hope this helps!
Firstly, the R.A. axis would be pointing south, not the Dec axis. Secondly the magnetic declination for Melbourne is +11degrees 59 minutes, so the R.A. axis would need to point East of 180 degrees, so pretty much 168 degrees magnetic.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:17 PM
astro_nutt
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Whoops! Sorry about that! Thanks for the correction Laurie. (That's what I get for giving up coffee, I get my axis mixed up)
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:09 PM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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Whoops! Sorry about that! Thanks for the correction Laurie. (That's what I get for giving up coffee, I get my axis mixed up)
hey don't worry...I occasionally spin and topple on mine!
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:42 PM
astro_nutt
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Thanks Brendan, I feel better now!
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Old 17-08-2015, 07:33 PM
mikecatts (Mike)
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Hi all.. How do you do the PA aligment.. I have synscan v 04.05.09? Its close when I do aligmnet but always a tadd off.. pointed true south etc etc..
and does any one know how to conneect the mount to stellarium..ive treid everything..
Mike
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