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Stargazing NEQ6 Pro Mount Home Position

  1. May 15, 2018 #1

    sophiecentaur

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    I have noticed a number of Skywatcher mounts in pictures posted on this thread so I guess there must be quite a few 'EQ' owners with loads of experience in these mounts.
    I know how to polar align and how to input location and time details. Also I often successfully do 3 star alignment and successful GoTo's and I really don't think the following problem is anything as simple as basic setup. My problem is that sometimes the mount seems to have brain failure. Sometimes it will fail to complete an alignment and sometimes it goes to crazy places when I select a star to align to.
    I have dug a bit deeper into the menu maze of Synscan and there's this "Show Position" command. The numbers displayed will alter as you use the control pad buttons but, in the home position, the numbers are nothing like the 90° and 12 hrs (??) that I would expect.
    I would have expected that, as the mount seems to have no memory, switching on in the Home position, it would always show the Origin position at that time - but it doesn't seem to; just seemingly random looking digits. Am I right to expect it to start at a 'meaningful' home position?
    Is the NPE (North Pole Error) message I have been getting, something to do with it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2018 #2

    russ_watters

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    I have this mount. It is about 10 years old, I probably have not updated the firmware in 5 years and have never had this problem. It would seem unlikely to be a bug.

    My first guess would be a failure to save or reset to home position when turned off. Do you select "restart from parked" (if that is the wording...) when turning it on? If you didn't set it to park to home before turning it off, it may be thinking you parked it in another position.

    I don't always park it to home when I turn it off.
     
  4. May 15, 2018 #3

    sophiecentaur

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    Cheers for the reply.
    Yes I always start from home and park before turning off. It sits undisturbed from session to session.
    I don't think I have ever found that option but I do always park it. (Apart from one or two times when power has gone off by mistake)
    Do you ever look at Show Position (particularly when at Home)? There are two options, as I see it. Either the scope should assume it is starting from the home position and, to go to a known star co ordinates, assuming home is the CNP Or it has to know what the home co ordinates are and do a transformation of the axes to change the co ordinates to point at.
    If you don't always park it and if you ever let off the clutches then I can't see how the mount could ever find a star. It's very confusing.
    I was thinking I could ensure that Home is somewhere near the CNP by setting up some coordinates like 0 Dec and 12 RA and manually putting the head to those co ordinates. I tried to set to the CNP with the control pads on the handset but it's very hard because the RA is indeterminate at 90 Dec. so hence, another setup point.
    The annoying thing is that I thought I had read somewhere of a procedure something like I was considering but I can't fine it again (so much for careful recording of useful information!). I can't actually find anything about the problem on Google - detailed descriptions of levelling and setting up mounts physically, replacing bendy bolts (done) and star alignment are all over the web.
     
  5. May 21, 2018 #4
    If you get a power interruption while it's in use this can cause all sorts of problems, you then maybe require a resync of the home position,
     
  6. May 21, 2018 #5

    sophiecentaur

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    That's a very good observation. The idea of using a naff old audio equipment power jack for the 12V supply is about par for the course with SW. There are so many better connectors available these days that work without fail on heavy out door equipment.
    I would say Cheap and Cheerful but the NEQ6 is not cheap.
    Funny thing but I have been playing with it in the day time and I have found that it is sort of 'getting better' own its own. Continued Parking seems to be bringing the home position right to where it should be (09/360 on the button). Someone suggested that going back to Factory Defaults can solve this sort of problem. (Ugggh!)
    Every time I look into some mechanical aspect of the SW mount I find little niggling inadequacies. I noticed that the dovetail clamp has nothing to keep the moving part flat against the bed. It just sits there due to the pressure between the jaws on the scope dovetail. That is sooooo shoddy. It should have a dovetail of its own or a guide like any humble bench vice to stop the jaw from moving up and down. I notice that it tightens up smoothly but releasing it involves a great 'clunk' and then the dovetail is very loose. The sprung bolts are floating and only provide pressure with no location.
     
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