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Old 13-08-2011, 10:04 AM
Markvan
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GPS problems on a Meade lx200

Hi everyone,
This is my first post as Iam a new member to ice in space and astrology.

Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong. I'm viewing from my backyard so it isn't the darkest site but when I set up my scope the telescope is way off when it begins to track the night sky. For instance the moon... Which Is obvious, the scope lands along distance from it. Is the gps in need of attention or is it that I need a darker site etc.

Any ideas would be great..

Mark
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  #2  
Old 13-08-2011, 12:33 PM
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HCR32 (Peter)
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Gps

Your scope when you turn it on should go through some automatic setup configuration to find north and its tilt. You need to read your manual and also enter your location, time and date.Once that is over it should prompt you to do a three star alignment. The scope will point to a star and ask you to center the brightest star and so on for the rest of them. Once all that is completed your scope will know where to go otherwise it will be dead in the water. I've had a Meade in the past so I'm only going off memory and I'm sure someone will correct me if im off by a bit. You really need to read the manual, we all get excite with new toys and want to get out and start without the ground work.

Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 13-08-2011, 03:12 PM
Markvan
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Yer, Downloading a manual as we speak. I didn't enter my time, date and location that is for sure. Thanks for the advice Gps.
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  #4  
Old 13-08-2011, 03:36 PM
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BlackWidow (Mardy)
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Help with LX200GPS

Hello Mark and welcome to Ice in Space. I have an LX200GPS and have not had any troubles like you are having. Firstly you do not need to put in time or location, as this is the whole purpose of having a GPS in the system to start with. You must make sure your alt and dec claps are locked tight. That is the metal lock on the base of the mount that stops the scope from rotating. Also the wheel on the side of the falk arms (right side) that locks the up and down movement. Then turn on the scope and allow it to do it start up. Once it has finished it will ask you to press 0 to alight or menu. Select either option, if you select menu you will then select auto align. The scope will pick two stars to align with. Press Enter and the scope will slew or move to the first star. It will not be in your eyepiece (use a 25mm eyepiece) but will show in your viewfinder and will be the brightest star. Some people have problems know which star it is, but it will alway be the brightest near star. then move the scope using the buttons on the hand controller to get the star in the center of your 25mm eyepiece and when you have press enter. The telescope will move to the second star and you will need to do the same process and center the star in your eyepiece. Press Enter and the telescope handpiece should then tell you that allign was succesful. you can then now go to objects using the database in the handpiece or by just using the buttons to go to the object. You should find that the scope will keep the object in view. If it does not do this you have centered the wrong stars and messed up the location so the scope will not track correctly.

Good advice on downloading the instructions as this is not the type of product you can operate well without a little reading. Good luck and I hope I have been some help.. Just keep trying and always ask questions on this site. This place is like family and we all love to help each other. If not for this site my telescope would have been part of my garden mulch LOL..


Regards
Mardy
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  #5  
Old 13-08-2011, 08:23 PM
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HCR32 (Peter)
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Gps

oops time location is for eq6.
Blackwido is right in saying to make sure you tighten the dec lock and the one on the fork arm. having a well aligned finder scope is very important when it comes to finding that brightests star.
I was also told once that goto on planets isnt always going to be perfect due to the speeds that they move across the sky but Deep Sky Objects are a better way to see if your goto is working well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackWidow View Post
Hello Mark and welcome to Ice in Space. I have an LX200GPS and have not had any troubles like you are having. Firstly you do not need to put in time or location, as this is the whole purpose of having a GPS in the system to start with. You must make sure your alt and dec claps are locked tight. That is the metal lock on the base of the mount that stops the scope from rotating. Also the wheel on the side of the falk arms (right side) that locks the up and down movement. Then turn on the scope and allow it to do it start up. Once it has finished it will ask you to press 0 to alight or menu. Select either option, if you select menu you will then select auto align. The scope will pick two stars to align with. Press Enter and the scope will slew or move to the first star. It will not be in your eyepiece (use a 25mm eyepiece) but will show in your viewfinder and will be the brightest star. Some people have problems know which star it is, but it will alway be the brightest near star. then move the scope using the buttons on the hand controller to get the star in the center of your 25mm eyepiece and when you have press enter. The telescope will move to the second star and you will need to do the same process and center the star in your eyepiece. Press Enter and the telescope handpiece should then tell you that allign was succesful. you can then now go to objects using the database in the handpiece or by just using the buttons to go to the object. You should find that the scope will keep the object in view. If it does not do this you have centered the wrong stars and messed up the location so the scope will not track correctly.

Good advice on downloading the instructions as this is not the type of product you can operate well without a little reading. Good luck and I hope I have been some help.. Just keep trying and always ask questions on this site. This place is like family and we all love to help each other. If not for this site my telescope would have been part of my garden mulch LOL..


Regards
Mardy
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  #6  
Old 13-08-2011, 10:10 PM
Markvan
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Thanks Mardy and Peter.
It's great to have your assistance and kind words. This is a great site.

I have adjusted my finder scope by putting a torch on a table and then aiming the scope at it. Once I had it in the scope I made sure the finderscope was on target. I think from what you guys have suggested that this maybe where things went wrong as the scope was way out. So I would have been aligning the wrong stars. Just need a clear night sky to test it out.

Then I will begin my quest to try and get the laptop to do it's part with the sky 6 package that came with it.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 13-08-2011, 10:15 PM
Markvan
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Mardy,
Does your auto focus do much. I found that on mine it appeared to do very little and I was using the focus knob instead? Is it for deep space objects?
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Old 14-08-2011, 08:29 AM
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BlackWidow (Mardy)
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Auto Focus

Hi Mark. I think you are talking about your Electronic micro focus. The electric focus us used to make fine tune adjustments once you have the best focus you can get with the focus knob. You will also notice that you have a mirror lock knob as well. Make sure the mirror lock is off (loose) and focus your star or abject with the focus knob and then lock the mirror lock. You will notice that when you adjust the focus your image (object) may move a little in the eyepeice.
This is why we have the mirror lock to stop this when using higher power eyepeices as it can make the object move out of veiw each time we focus. This is where the electric focus comes in. once you have a rough focus and have locked the mirror you can do all you fine tume focus with the electric focus without getting any image shift.

Here is a tip before you start. Before you do any viewing turn on your scope and use the electric focus. IE press the button and leave it pressed till the focus get to the end of it's travel. You will hear it change sound as it reaches the end of its travel. Have a look at the focus unit as you are doing this and you will see it moving in or out. When it gets to the end remember its position and then press the other button to move the focus the other way until it gets to the other end, watching it all the time. Now you can see how far it moved in and out... Now move it back the other way so it is in the center of it's travel. Now when you do a rough focus on your object you will lock the mirror and use the Electric focus. It will work for you this time as you will have adjustment in both in and out. You may not have been able to get it to work before as you may have already been at the end of it's travel..

I hope you understand my instructions.. I also think there is a section about doing this in the instructions under electronic focus..

Cheers
Mardy
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  #9  
Old 14-08-2011, 09:30 AM
Markvan
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Thanks Mardy.
I have to look at the mirror lock button as I turn it to lock and the button came off. Thanks again for the info on the autofocus.
Mark
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  #10  
Old 14-08-2011, 11:27 AM
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GrampianStars (Rob)
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markvan View Post
Hi everyone,
This is my first post as Iam a new member to ice in space and astrology. (sic)

Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong....For instance the moon... Which Is obvious, the scope lands along distance from it. Is the gps in need of attention or is it that I need a darker site etc.....
Mark
Forget the moon you'll need to drive the scope via AUTOSTAR to centre it,
the parmeters are constantly changing due to gravitational influences from the Sun and Jupiter....
Slew to a bright star known in AUTOSTAR centre and SYNC
NEVER! SYNC on the moon or planets NEVER!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markvan View Post
......
I have to look at the mirror lock button as I turn it to lock and the button came off......
Mark
WAY TOO Tight. just snug up till you get resistance.
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  #11  
Old 14-08-2011, 11:31 AM
Markvan
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Hey GrampianStars.
I wasn't using the moon to create alignment. I just realized once I had completed the two star alignment that the moon was not accurately found with the gps.
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Old 14-08-2011, 12:48 PM
AndrewJ
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Gday Mark

Just for info, the LX200GPS uses a very basic algorithm to calculate the moons position, and depending on time of month, it can be out by a relatively large amount. There is nothing that can be done about this,
as its a limitation of the memory and computing power of the scope.
If you are concerned re operation,
always test your gotos against bright stars.
If the stars are centred, the system is working.

The moon is just an ugly thing to have to calculate.

Andrew
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Old 14-08-2011, 04:14 PM
Markvan
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I see.. thanks andrew. I thought being so large it would have been an easy target to prove how the GPS was going. << I was wrong again lol.
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Old 14-08-2011, 04:38 PM
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mozzie (Peter)
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hi mark
welcome to iis,yes it's a big learning curve taking everything in but it's a great
forum.ask your questions we are all still learning......
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Old 15-08-2011, 12:20 AM
Markvan
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Thanks Peter. I think I have a great deal to learn. Thankgod for iis.
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