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Old 06-01-2022, 12:30 AM
Bodon (Steve)
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Home position - AZEQ6

Gday all. 1st post. Complete newby looking to buy a 'setup'. In regards to a mount I was looking at purchasing the AZEQ6 mount as it has an Alt-az and equatorial modes. Thought that it would be easier for me in Alt-az mode for viewing. I will talk to the salesman when I decide to buy it as I have a few questions. The curious one is the home position. I watched a couple of youtube vids (now a guru) where they set declination and accession rotating the rings to line up with the arrows on the mount. From memory set to 0 and 6h and 90 degrees (from memory) Is this done for equatorial purposes only? As the hand controller can also be used in alt az mode I take that these settings are for accuracy for the hand controller?..for use also in alt az mode?

I have also been reading the manual. What I dont get is (from the manual) "The AZ-EQ6 GT mount features a R.A dial and a Dec. dial. Before using the dials, they need to be calibrated: Point the telescope towards a known coordinate (R.A.-Dec. coordinates or azimuth-altitude coordinates). What does that mean? Is that like a home position as such..as above? I read the forum guide also in regards to a mount and home position is mentioned. I get that its pointed south and my latitude is required. Hate to be long winded. Regards Ta
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2022, 02:19 AM
sunslayr (David)
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Well when you point to a target in the sky like say Jupiter the mount will look up the coordinates for example 22h 15m Right Ascension and -11° 52' Declination then it will move the mount there. Then when it's pointed at Jupiter you just rotate the rings to match. Now if you move the mount without the controller you can point it based on the readings on the dials.

Alternatively you can home the mount, set them to zero, and now you know your home position.
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Old 06-01-2022, 12:07 PM
miker
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Hi Steve, I have been using an AZ-EQ6 mount in Alt Az mode for three years visual only and have never used the setting circles (rings).
To set up the mount so you can find objects (goto) you will need to do a star alignment as per the hand controller manual. I use the two star method as described on page 16 ......

https://inter-static.skywatcher.com/...61208V1-EN.pdf

Mine is set up permanently in an observatory so I don’t have to do the alignment every session. When finished for the evening I send the mount and scope to the Home position using the hand controller and it then knows where it is starting from next time.

If setting up fresh on a tripod each session, then you will need to do a star alignment at the beginning of each session so the mount knows where it is starting from.
You do not need to send it to the home position at the end of the session as you will be pulling the whole shebang down until next time.

The setting circles are not used in any of this setting, up shutting down business.

If you get this mount and get a bit stuck mastering the star alignment procedure, come back on here and we can walk you through it.

What telescope are you thinking of putting on this mount?

Oh, nearly forgot

Michael.
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Old 06-01-2022, 12:37 PM
Stephane
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Hi Steve,
I have recently had to learn about polar alignement and home position too. I have an EQ6-R which would be similar to your mount. Polar alignment points the mount toward the celestial pole; whereas home position lines up the telescope with the mount, to point it toward the celestial pole.

To get a good home position, I get the counter weight bar perfectly horizontal using a spirit level, and then rotate it 90 degrees to make it perfectly perpendicular. This can be done by setting the ring to 0 when horizontal, and then to 6h which corresponds to a 90 degree rotation. A similar process is done to get the declination axis rotated 90 degrees. Then your telescope is ligned up with the mount pointing to the celestial pole.

Although fairly accurate, you will still be a fraction of a degree off. Imperfections in the mount gears will also throw you off slightly, so nothing will ever be perfect. This is where “star alignement” or “plate solving” comes into play. NINA 3-pt polar alignment can also get you polar aligned within half an arc minute. All these little steps will improve your overall photography workflow.

There is so much to take and I am still a beginner myself. But as these little processes become easier and routine, this hobby becomes incredibly fun & rewarding!

Regards,
Stéphane
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Old 06-01-2022, 01:04 PM
Bodon (Steve)
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GDay all appreciate the replies. Stephane, that was where I was getting confused...mount alignment. I get that I need to do the polar alignment for viewing. You cleared that one up Ta

Miker, have not purchased anything at this stage. Next week I will make calls. I was looking at a getting a 10" skywatcher quattro for viewing hence a decent mount. I did look at EQ6-R but I thought a newby like me would be better off with a mount in Alt Az mode. No idea on eyepieces to start off.. Also something to power it up.
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Old 06-01-2022, 01:17 PM
Stephane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodon View Post
GDay all appreciate the replies. Stephane, that was where I was getting confused...mount alignment. I get that I need to do the polar alignment for viewing. You cleared that one up Ta

Miker, have not purchased anything at this stage. Next week I will make calls. I was looking at a getting a 10" skywatcher quattro for viewing hence a decent mount. I did look at EQ6-R but I thought a newby like me would be better off with a mount in Alt Az mode. No idea on eyepieces to start off.. Also something to power it up.
Steve, you can talk to Martin (Startrek) who has and still is a tremendous help to me. I started with the EQ6-R pro and have never looked back. Some folk on this forum will be able to give you some great mount advice.
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Old 06-01-2022, 01:43 PM
miker
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Steve, I understood from your original post that you are interested in visual only to begin with and not astrophotography. If that is the case then polar alignment does not enter into the process for Alt Az visual use.

Level the mount and simply set up as per the Alt Az two star alignment instructions in the hand controller manual. No setting circles involved!!

Objects are then selected from the catalogues built into the hand controller and the mount will locate them for you.
As you become familiar with the two star alignment procedure your goto targeting of objects will place them accurately in a medium power eyepiece.

A 13.8 volt 4-5 amp power supply from someone like Jaycar etc. will suit this mount. See page 17 of the mount manual for more info on power requirements.

I use Baader 8-24MM zoom and Baader 36MM Hyperion eyepieces for most viewing. Lots of eyepieces to choose from as you gain experience.

Michael.
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Old 06-01-2022, 02:20 PM
Bodon (Steve)
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Thanks again for the replies. Very helpful. No doubt I will be back....Those eye pieces look mighty heavy...hate to drop one. I will visit Sydney next week and empty my account...
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Old 07-01-2022, 01:13 PM
Hoges (John)
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I use the declination setting circle as a reference for my home position - just in case I move the mount when it's switched off. Then I can simply point the scope south to 90 degrees as marked on the circle with counterweights at their lowest and it's back in it's home position. One thing that has fooled me a couple times with the AZEQ6 is putting the scope on backwards. If you do a 2 or 3 star alignment and it's just all 'wrong', mount the scope the other way and try again. Tracking and goto both work really well in alt-az mode too.
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Old 07-01-2022, 02:15 PM
Bodon (Steve)
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Gday Hoges; put the scope on backwards....now that would really confuse
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Old 07-01-2022, 02:24 PM
Hoges (John)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodon View Post
Gday Hoges; put the scope on backwards....now that would really confuse

Sounds daft doesn't it? But twice now I've mounted the scope, started doing the alignment and the scope has ended up pointing at the ground trying to find stuff. As smart as Synscan is, it still can't allow for Dills like me!
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Old 18-01-2022, 09:53 AM
Bodon (Steve)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoges View Post
Sounds daft doesn't it? But twice now I've mounted the scope, started doing the alignment and the scope has ended up pointing at the ground trying to find stuff. As smart as Synscan is, it still can't allow for Dills like me!

Hi again. Arrived home yesterday and tried to set the AZEQ6 mount up. Hoges, you are dead right, as a complete newbie I scratched my head as I had no clue in which way the scope should be mounted. In fact I didnt have a clue to which way the head of the mount went. The counter weight bar was in the air and mount for scope looking at the floor. Best to rotate....I looked at pics on the net....


Miker as you have the same mount; how do you balance your scope for Alt Az mode? I read the manual..(take gear off) put the mount in EQ mode, balance, mark the weight bar. Take all gear off and back to Alt Az mode. Place counter weights where the mark is.


One more, in the home/park position in Alt Az mode, will scope be vertical or horizontal?


Ill give it a go today. Ta.
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Old 18-01-2022, 09:50 PM
Finbar (Barry)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodon View Post

One more, in the home/park position in Alt Az mode, will scope be vertical or horizontal?
Horizontal. Home position with mine is pointing north, at the "horizon", though I think some use south. However, I rarely park it now - only when leaving it set up to turn on again later. Usually have to put it away, so no point in parking it; just turn it off, and pack it up.

And I had similar experience of it misbehaving badly and looking underground. It only happened after I had tried EQ mode, just experimenting. Anyway, after returning to AltAz mode and turning on again and "successfully" completing a 2 or 3 star alignment, at first "go to" it would go anywhere but where I knew it should. Finally had to do some sort of re-set (just can't remember exactly how) and then it started behaving correctly again.
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Old 20-01-2022, 09:49 AM
Bodon (Steve)
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Gday Finbar


Appreciate the response. Had a conversation with Miker and he gave me some great pointers which answered all my questions. Weather has been overcast all week; cant see anything......I did set it up, had a praccy at balancing (that was a challenge in Alt mode - Drove my youngest mad) penciled some marks on the mount and weight bar etc for next setup. Had to put the extension bar on, need a another counter weight..none available. Heaps more confident now as I set it up by myself and all was good.
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Old 11-02-2022, 08:49 AM
JTomba (Julian)
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Hi all

A great thread to follow! I'm soon going to be upgrading from a HEQ5 to the AZEQ6, it's great to hear about other people's experiences.

Julian
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Old 13-02-2022, 03:44 PM
Bodon (Steve)
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Azeq6

Gday Julian


A heads up. There is a promotion if you buy the SW AZEQ6.


"Purchase a SkyWatcher AZEQ6 ( SWAZEQ6GT ) GOTO Mount from one of our authorised dealers between January 24th – 31st March and receive a SkyWatcher ED72 optical tube for FREE Valued at $749 !!
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