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NEQ6 Pro & 200P First Light


catman161
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Ok so it's not the first light of my 200P but it's the first time using the NEQ6 Pro outside :)

So whilst it has been cloudy I have been practising setting the mount up from a guide that Kim pointed me to: http://stevebb.com/polar_alignment.html

I also balanced the scope following Dion (from astronomy sheds) video which was really useful. You can see the video here: http://youtu.be/hGduG2jB9ec

So I set the mount up in my light polluted yard according to the guide. I could see Polaris so I got down on my hands and knees to look through the polar scope and I couldn't see anything! I pondered this for a good 10 minutes and then realised I hadn't removed the polar scope cap on top of the mount doh!

So with polar cap removed and using the polar finder program I centred up Polaris as best I could after reducing the LED to about 20% as otherwise I could not see any stars.

Once I had done that I set to star alignment. I decided on Capella and almach as they were easily visible above the roofs of all the houses (with their lights on!) around my yard. So off the scope went slewing to these but it was quite a way out each time and I had to centre them with the directional keys. Once I had done that and it told me it had been successful I set to testing it. I selected Jupiter and off the scope went. When it finished slewing Jupiter was just to the very right side of the FOV in my Hyperion zoom at 24mm. So I centred it up and it tracked it well for a good 20 minutes. It was quite clear at times with good belt detail when I put the 2x powermate in and zoomed right in to 8mm.

Next I keyed in M31 and then the double cluster and M34. I spent a good 10 minutes on the double cluster. Then I moved on to M52 (new one for me) this was a nice open cluster. I spent a few minutes on this as I have not seen it before. I then slewed to M42 then M45 for a few minutes. I returned to Jupiter and watched this for another 20 minutes or so and the mount tracked it the whole time. Then a blanket of mist suddenly appeared and that was the session ended. About 2 and half hours in total but quite a chunk of that was messing around with the mount!

Overall I am very pleased with the mount. It is going to take some getting used to to set up more quickly and remember to do everything, like taking the polar scope cap off! I hope with time setting up will get easier. Also I need to make a rotator/slip ring so I can rotate the scope as at points tonight the eyepiece was in some funny positions! I have bought a couple of bits from halfords/homebase to do this from an example I saw on SGL which looks good. I think I need more practice with polar alignment to make it more accurate. Also I may look into getting a right angle polar scope eyepiece that will save my back/knees in the long run I think. Very pleased with the mount overall and a nice session :)

Edited by catman161
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Nice write up Felix.


 


I've never left the cap on but my first 3 or 4 sessions always had me forgetting to move DEC +/- 90 from park position (same effect - no Polaris)  :P


The polar align function in EQMOD automatically takes care of that nowadays. I would probably STILL be forgetting.


 


Regards.

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Thanks Paul. When I bought the mount it came with an EQmod adapter. I have had a go at connecting it up to the laptop with it and installing stellarium scope/eqascom platform and driver and all three times I have tried it doesn't seem to want to connect to the mount. I get it all set up and then click connect and it connects or a second then the tick in the "connect" checkbox disappears. Quite frustrating but not really important as I plan on controlling the mount with sky safari pro via my iPhone in the future.

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nice one Felix,


but what i do is roughly level the mount and polar align it using polar align software to help, then once thats setup i add the scope and eyepiece and then adjust the RA left or right while looking through the eyepiece until polaris is centered, usually it isn`t bang on as the mount polar scope and the scope when mounted don`t seem to be 100% parallel to each other


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Well done Felix.


I have always found the pointing accuracy for the Moon and Planets is not as good as any of the other databases.


EQmod is not always great at finding the scope connection (com port).


Have you centred your polarscope? (video on astronomyshed)


Lots of goodies on show at this time of year, M3, M51 to name a few.


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