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First night using new setup


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I started to setup the tripod and mount at about 9.30pm last night in the hope that i could complete the polar alignment on the mount, i did my best and went through the polar alignment process. Polaris was set in where it should be in the polar scope i then fitted to scope and weights and then setup the computer and the waited until more of the brighter stars shown themselves.  At this point i'm not sure what i should do next so i set the the mount to the home position, i then used stellarium to try and find my first star.

 

I setup my first star through stellarium pressed Ctrl and 1 and off went the mount and scope in search of the given location but the named star was not seen through the scope, the scope was pointing close to the named star but i could not be seen through the scope. Without the handset i had no clue on how to find that star i could not work out how to slew the scope through stellarium, at this point i'm thinking this is going to be like this all night not being able to find anything through stellariium. I went though the rest of the night doing a crash course using the handset and at 2.30am with a night sky full of stars i decided to pack up and assess what i've learned with my new setup and how to make things work properly.

 

Although i enjoyed the practise of setting up the mount and scope plus using the computer i was hoping for a better outcome and i know more practise is needed for that to happen. Somewhere along the setup prosses i'm making mistakes which then leads myself to make things up has i go on and that's not the right thing to do. 

 

I have many question to ask and when you new to a hobby you have lots to take on board and practice is the key,  i could do with some hands on help but i guess thats not possible at the moment. If someone can help me with a run through of the setting up from the home position onwards that would great also would say that some of the setting in EQMOD and stellarium incorrect and need re-setting.

 

Thanks....Paul

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The mount, the PSU and the handset (oh, and a scope if you want to see anything!) is all you need to get going.

I did match the finder scope and the telescope up on the pole star but when i went to the first selected star i didn't see it through any of the scopes

I'm not familiar with the NEQ6 but I assume the synscan system is the same as on my EQM-35. I also don't use EQMOD so no experience with that (but I'm sure their are lots of people on here who do so t

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sheila said:

I don’t know your set up but do you not need more than one star sync to get accurate goto?

 

mine requires minimum of 3

You are right but i couldn't get the first star aligned, my setup is EQR6 and a 200p. I think one of the problems is matching the long's and lat's in EQMOD and stellarium they don't match and i've tried and tried but i'm not able to get the coordinates the same.  I don't know how to slew the mount to find the star in stellarium, any ideas

Edited by Paul Tomo
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Hi Paul, it can be a nightmare sometimes, even after 10 years at it I still have the odd night like that!!

I use a minimum of 2 stars but sometimes 3 depending on what I'm targeting.

Could you not see the first star through your finder scope either? (trusting you aligned it during the day on as far away object as you can!)

It's all practise so enjoy the ride!!

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, RonC said:

Hi Paul, it can be a nightmare sometimes, even after 10 years at it I still have the odd night like that!!

I use a minimum of 2 stars but sometimes 3 depending on what I'm targeting.

Could you not see the first star through your finder scope either? (trusting you aligned it during the day on as far away object as you can!)

It's all practise so enjoy the ride!!

I did match the finder scope and the telescope up on the pole star but when i went to the first selected star i didn't see it through any of the scopes

Edited by Paul Tomo
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I'm not familiar with the NEQ6 but I assume the synscan system is the same as on my EQM-35. I also don't use EQMOD so no experience with that (but I'm sure their are lots of people on here who do so their should be plenty of advice avaliable on it).

I assume you haven't got a fixed set up so like me, you have to drag everything outside and set it up each session?

1. Make sure the polarscope graticule is correctly aligned, if it isn't your polar alignment will be poor.  Mine was way out on delivery and although not difficult to correct, it can be a bit fiddly and time consuming to get it spot on (fortunately best done during daylight on a distant object).

2. When aligning using the polarscope, ensure 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock are visually vertical (by rotating the RA axis if necessary) otherwise, again, the polar alignment will be poor.

3. If you haven't got a permanent setup then I suspect the telescope Home position will need to be set manually each time.

4. Once polar aligned and the Home position set, you then need to align the mount to the celestial coordinates. I use the handcontroller to do that (I've no idea if it can be done any other way). You can select 1 star (poor), 2 star (ok-ish) or 3 star (best). Certainly for 3 star you need good views around all the sky (something I suffer from) to be able to  see the pre-selected alignment stars.

5. Depending upon how well the telescope axies are aligned with the mount axies you may or may not see the 1st alignment star though the telescope, even at minimum magnification. If that's the case the finder can be useful. I then centre the star in the field of view using the handset controls. Remember to finish the alignment with the UP and RIGHT buttons (although backlash on the NEQ6 is probably minimal).

6. Once the 1st star has been aligned, the 2nd and 3rd should generally drop within the field of view and only need minor adjustments to centre them.

Hope this helps and best of luck with your new toy.

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If it was me, i'd try it without EQMOD / Stellarium first.

Get your Polarscope aligned first, then set up using the hand controller. 

Its worth getting this app for your phone : PS Align pro (or the non-pro version)

 

Get the feel of it, and do some go-to's to see how it performs.

 

Once you've got the hang of that, you can move on to EQMOD etc and eventually move on to an electronic Polar alignment camera when you are ready.

 

Have a look at Dion Heape's video here for Polar scope alignment.

You have a very nice and capable mount by the way....

 

 

Edited by Bino-viewer
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Got to agree with Rob, just set up and use the basics first then eventually move onto EQmod etc..

I use the SynScan Pro app on my phone and a SW WiFi dongle attached to the mount (also a NEQ6!)

But now and again I use the handset just to keep it up to date and remember how to use it!!

 

Ron

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8 hours ago, Bottletopburly said:

Are you doing visual or imaging 

At the moment David i'm only doing the visual to start with.

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18 hours ago, RonC said:

Another test tonight Paul??

I had a fantastic night viewing Jupitor and Saturn, well impressed with the 200p and my X-Cel LX 25mm 12mm and 5mm plus i was using the 2x barlow lens. I tried to set up the hand controller but trying to align the 1st out of 3 star alignment trying to use the arrow buttons to align the star the arrows didn't allow me to set the final adjustment, what a night mare. I turned of the mount for 30 seconds then turned the mount on again and then just manually went to each start or object.

 

I did try to set the handset 3 times but then gave up and went to bed. I would like to set up my Go Pro Hero 4 next time to view Jupitor and Saturn if i can find some way of fixing it to the lens.

Paul Tomo

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Posted (edited)
On 18/08/2020 at 15:51, Bino-viewer said:

If it was me, i'd try it without EQMOD / Stellarium first.

Get your Polarscope aligned first, then set up using the hand controller. 

Its worth getting this app for your phone : PS Align pro (or the non-pro version)

 

Get the feel of it, and do some go-to's to see how it performs.

 

Once you've got the hang of that, you can move on to EQMOD etc and eventually move on to an electronic Polar alignment camera when you are ready.

 

Have a look at Dion Heape's video here for Polar scope alignment.

You have a very nice and capable mount by the way....

 

 

Thanks for posting this video 

 

On 18/08/2020 at 15:51, Bino-viewer said:

If it was me, i'd try it without EQMOD / Stellarium first.

Get your Polarscope aligned first, then set up using the hand controller. 

Its worth getting this app for your phone : PS Align pro (or the non-pro version)

 

Get the feel of it, and do some go-to's to see how it performs.

 

Once you've got the hang of that, you can move on to EQMOD etc and eventually move on to an electronic Polar alignment camera when you are ready.

 

Have a look at Dion Heape's video here for Polar scope alignment.

You have a very nice and capable mount by the way....

 

 

Thanks for posting this video Rob i've seen other videos of this guy setting up the NEQ6 tripod and mount and very helpful it is. I have set up the polar alignment in just about the same way has the video and i will say for how long i was setting it up i do have it 100% aligned. I will set the mount up again and check to see the polar alignment has changed.

Edited by Paul Tomo
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Posted (edited)
On 18/08/2020 at 14:45, Clive said:

I'm not familiar with the NEQ6 but I assume the synscan system is the same as on my EQM-35. I also don't use EQMOD so no experience with that (but I'm sure their are lots of people on here who do so their should be plenty of advice avaliable on it).

I assume you haven't got a fixed set up so like me, you have to drag everything outside and set it up each session?

1. Make sure the polarscope graticule is correctly aligned, if it isn't your polar alignment will be poor.  Mine was way out on delivery and although not difficult to correct, it can be a bit fiddly and time consuming to get it spot on (fortunately best done during daylight on a distant object).

2. When aligning using the polarscope, ensure 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock are visually vertical (by rotating the RA axis if necessary) otherwise, again, the polar alignment will be poor.

3. If you haven't got a permanent setup then I suspect the telescope Home position will need to be set manually each time.

4. Once polar aligned and the Home position set, you then need to align the mount to the celestial coordinates. I use the handcontroller to do that (I've no idea if it can be done any other way). You can select 1 star (poor), 2 star (ok-ish) or 3 star (best). Certainly for 3 star you need good views around all the sky (something I suffer from) to be able to  see the pre-selected alignment stars.

5. Depending upon how well the telescope axies are aligned with the mount axies you may or may not see the 1st alignment star though the telescope, even at minimum magnification. If that's the case the finder can be useful. I then centre the star in the field of view using the handset controls. Remember to finish the alignment with the UP and RIGHT buttons (although backlash on the NEQ6 is probably minimal).

6. Once the 1st star has been aligned, the 2nd and 3rd should generally drop within the field of view and only need minor adjustments to centre them.

Hope this helps and best of luck with your new toy.

Hi Clive,  please give me three stars for alignment for the next time i use the scope and let’s see what happens then. I do setup the scope every time I use it so the process is getting easier to do, last nights problem was my star alignment and the handset not responding when it asked me to use the arrows button to adjust alignment.

Many Thanks...Paul

Edited by Paul Tomo
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Just out of interest, does your polar scope have the same graticule as shown in that video or is it the later version that has a clockface graticule. If it's the older version then my comment of aligning 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock vertically won't apply.

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Posted (edited)

The new version just like in the app Polar scope align and my mount is the EQ6R-Pro

Edited by Paul Tomo
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1 minute ago, Paul Tomo said:

Hi Clive,  please give me three stars for alignment for the next time i use the scope and let’s see what happens then. I do setup the scope every time I use it.

thanks 

The skywatcher hand controller selects the stars for you to achieve the best alignment based upon the time, date, lat and long etc you have entered into the handcontroller when you first switch it on. You do have the option to select different stars from those it initially selects if they aren't visible from your location (due to trees, houses etc) but the best alignment always appears to be achieved if you are able to use its 1st selection for each star.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Clive said:

The skywatcher hand controller selects the stars for you to achieve the best alignment based upon the time, date, lat and long etc you have entered into the handcontroller when you first switch it on. You do have the option to select different stars from those it initially selects if they aren't visible from your location (due to trees, houses etc) but the best alignment always appears to be achieved if you are able to use its 1st selection for each star.

So if I finish alignment with the pole star do I need to do anything else from there? and Then can I go straight into the 3 Star alignment?

 

When I’ve finished alignment of the pole star do I bring the elevation back down to 52 degrees?

Edited by Paul Tomo
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Its quiteAh the anticipation of getting it all working and communicating in one go on the first night, we have all been there and it hardly ever happens.

The moral is learn your kit in stages.

 

For the first night leave the computer in doors. Set up the mount with the handset and get used to it, even this can be a pain but it,s one less thing in the chain to go wrong.

 

The mount doesnt know the sky until you show it by carrying out the calibration procedure so it is very unlikely your first alignment star will be in the finder fov, mine hardly ever is. You will have to slew to get the star in view, han

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2 minutes ago, philjay said:

Its quiteAh the anticipation of getting it all working and communicating in one go on the first night, we have all been there and it hardly ever happens.

The moral is learn your kit in stages.

 

For the first night leave the computer in doors. Set up the mount with the handset and get used to it, even this can be a pain but it,s one less thing in the chain to go wrong.

 

The mount doesnt know the sky until you show it by carrying out the calibration procedure so it is very unlikely your first alignment star will be in the finder fov, mine hardly ever is. You will have to slew to get the star in view, han

But the handset wouldn’t let me slew with the arrows it said use

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Once you've aligned to the NCP then set the mount as close as you can to the 'home' position i.e. the declination shaft pointing vertically downwards and the telescope point at the NCP (not Polaris, remember its 3/4 deg from the NCP!) then start the star alignment procedure. Many times I have had to slew E-W and N-S to find the first star and occasionally reset the home position and start again. The stars chosen by the handcontroller are generally quite bright but it you do end up having to slew the scope to find it, make sure you find the right star. Telling it you centered the star that's not not the right one throws out it out of alignment completely so any subsequent goto commands will be out.

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22 minutes ago, Paul Tomo said:

But the handset wouldn’t let me slew with the arrows it said use

This is with my synscan setup on my EQM-35, I'm sure it will be the same for your NEQ6:

1. Plug the handset into the mount and power up the mount. It will first display 'Initialising' and then the firmware version number.

2. Step through each setup requirement entering valid data (longitude, latitude, time zone, elevation, date, time and daylight saving). It should then display the polaris graticule position in hr:min (used for the latest type of polarscope graticule) and then the Polaris hour angle (presumably for previous graticule versions).

3. The handcontroller should then show 'Begin alignment?'. Whether you select yes or no, the N, S, E and W Slew buttons should then become operable. If they don't ... ?

Don't forget you can 'play' with your mount indoors on a cloudy night without actually doing any polar alignment just to get used to the menus and controls. I always set the entered data during the day to the time I expect to set up the mount just to see if the alignment stars it selects are actually visible from my observing location. If not, I can select different star options and it saves a lot of time faffing about during the real setup.

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33 minutes ago, Clive said:

This is with my synscan setup on my EQM-35, I'm sure it will be the same for your NEQ6:

1. Plug the handset into the mount and power up the mount. It will first display 'Initialising' and then the firmware version number.

2. Step through each setup requirement entering valid data (longitude, latitude, time zone, elevation, date, time and daylight saving). It should then display the polaris graticule position in hr:min (used for the latest type of polarscope graticule) and then the Polaris hour angle (presumably for previous graticule versions).

3. The handcontroller should then show 'Begin alignment?'. Whether you select yes or no, the N, S, E and W Slew buttons should then become operable. If they don't ... ?

Don't forget you can 'play' with your mount indoors on a cloudy night without actually doing any polar alignment just to get used to the menus and controls. I always set the entered data during the day to the time I expect to set up the mount just to see if the alignment stars it selects are actually visible from my observing location. If not, I can select different star options and it saves a lot of time faffing about during the real setup.

1, Best website for longitude and latitude coordinations?

2, If I’m indoors can I still use begin alignment?

3, When I try again outdoors and I’ve finished polar alignment my elevation is about 63 degrees do I then reset back to 52 degrees matching the degrees set in coordinations?

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1 hour ago, Paul Tomo said:

But the handset wouldn’t let me slew with the arrows it said use

Sorry my post was unfinished and for some reason it posted.

Wouldnt the handset arrows work at all? Synscan defaults to slooowwww speed when requiring slewing for alignment  what I do is press 2 (slew speed select) and select speed 9, the fastest. You will instantly see the difference. I dont think I have ever had the first alignment star in finder view very often on any of my mounts, its a surprise when it happens.

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Bottletopburly

I used to use  a 30 mm eyepiece first , wider the better , centre on first star and sync , three star alignment ideally opposite side of the sky, centering and sync as you go  then try your target , then once you’ve done visual pack eyepiece in draw to gather dust and whack a camera in ,setup platesolving  and you’ll never struggle with alignment  lols 😂 now ducking out the way  before visual army lynch me 😂😂.

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