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Go Back   IceInSpace > Beginners Start Here > Beginners Equipment Discussions

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  #1  
Old 01-12-2018, 01:02 AM
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silv (Annette)
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over-the-head mounting of binoculars on Alt-Az Goto?

Hey Guys,

new-ish owner of iOptron CubePro-II Goto with GPS, and currently a SW 102/500 aggro-mat for visual.

Ultimately I want to observe with 2 eyes. I set a saving goal for 80 or 100mm binoculars from ATM (or maybe a 1st class binoviewer) - and in the meantime want to just do star grazing pirate way, and have a little fun with the Goto mount and 30secs exposures with a mirror telephoto lens 500/6.3.

Just for the camera/lens setup I could buy a simple L-bracket. But thinking ahead and with a tight purse it's not reasonable buying twice. So I could get this L-bracket , see photo, which mounts the binoculars or camera over the head of the Cube instead of at the side. And balances the thus centered weight with an attached counter weight bar. Gut feeling tells me, this mounting location would be less strain on the Cube?

But I have a serious thinking disorder... if I buy this, how do I tell the Goto software in the mount that the tracking "scope" is not at the side but at the top? And that the locating function in the Goto-software has to account for an off-set of minus 180 degrees (is it?) in order to let the binoculars actually see Arcturus for example and not look at a star downunder, below the horizon?

"You just put the mount and scope/binos any which way you want, make sure it's levelled - and then during 2-star alignment you tell it where 'everything' is." doesn't work. At least not when I tested it right now. "Alignment fails" is the result once my virtual binoculars actually look at Arcturus (and the scope, or what the mount thinks is the scope, looks of course in the opposite direction.)

Attached are photos of CubePro and the Alt-Az-L-bracket (the shop description even says it's compatible with the Cube and makes Goto possible... I must be so seriously 'challenged', logic-wise, *sighs* - please bear with me.

Thanks Annette
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2018, 03:09 AM
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silv (Annette)
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ah, got it!
My mistake during test alignment was to let the motor and handcontroller "see" the adjustment I made to get the virtual binos into upright position. I used the HC to slew. Pressed Enter - and that failed.

Now I tested alignment again:
1. let the mount assume the first alignment star's position 2. with running motor/Handcontroller, losen the Altitude lock, turn the binos manually upwards into viewing position, 3. fasten Alt lock 4. press Enter on handcontroller. That seems to work. The software is unaware of the manual manipulation and when choosing "select and slew" correctly slews to the chosen object. At least as far I can tell here with autumn's permanent cloud cover. The handcontroller shows the correct coordinates as per SkySafari and the direction the mount points to looks correct. So I guess, I overcame my logically challenged moment.

Thanks for letting me ask the question here on this forum. That helped, already

Annette
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:37 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Ah ha ... it is amazing how taking the time to write something down helps clarify ones thinking.
I have had an Ioptron minitower pro for about 4 years now. Its Goto and tracking accuracy is surprisingly good if one takes the time to get the mount nice and level at the outset.
The Ioptron Goto alignment system is based on a level mount and the scope pointed vertically towards the zenith. Did you start your alignment with the scope pointed vertically towards the zenith? The long bar would have started out in the horizontal position. I would have thought that this would have given you a correct alignment.
The mount works quite well for short exposure imaging on brighter objects. But one is quite limited to the Moon and The planets near opposition. I have moved onto an EQ mount for imaging but still use the minitower pro for visual and some outreach observing.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:33 PM
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silv (Annette)
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Thanks Steve, writing it down did help, indeed. I like this mount, too. iOptron switched from servo to stepper motor in 2016, I heard on YT, and that made the motor inaudibly quiet, they claimed in the vid. And it's true. I hear nothing. Only when slewing at 512x.
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The Ioptron Goto alignment system is based on a level mount and the scope pointed vertically towards the zenith. Did you start your alignment with the scope pointed vertically towards the zenith?
For alignment testing with imagined binos on an L-bracket like in the photo, I put a rolled paper into the clutch, the "long bar", with the roll top bent to an L-shape, the "short bar". The roll, i.e. "the long bar" in the clutch was in Zero, 90* vertical, at the beginning. The short, bent part of the roll on top reached horizontally over the mount head and held the imagined binos looking at the horizon.
Quote:
The long bar would have started out in the horizontal position. I would have thought that this would have given you a correct alignment.
oh? I don't understand.
In both my tests, the "long bar" was in Zero and upright, not horizontal.

What I believe I learned was that it's okay to losen the alt clutch and move it manually during alignment. I had wrongly assumed such manual manipulation would confuse the software and adjustments during alignment procedures needed to be made using the handcontroller.

Thanks, Annette
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