Author Topic: Star alignment problems - dec balance?  (Read 15749 times)

Craig Olsen

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2018, 11:41:04 PM »
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I know the controversy over leveling things... but I level everything... the tripod, then again when the mount is on... I also level the balance bar and make the mark so when I drop the bar down to home that I can make it 90 degrees to perfect parallel... I do the same leveling with the dove tail so when I pivot it back home that it is perfect...

I use a gps to get as exact as possible date, time, lat, long, and altitude...

I never do less than a 3 star alignment (I have an AVX but don't use it much and usually use my Atlas mounts)... and in some cases Ihave doe a 12 star align (using Stellarium/EQMOD)... 3 in each quadrant... I use a lite reticle eyepiece to center the stars...

Goto's are always in the FoV and depending on scope and eyepiece/camerapretty close to center...

I will definitely be more thorough next time on leveling. I didn't bother leveling much before because I read with a Polemaster its not really necessary. The AVX doesn't have a built in bubble level either which doesn't help.

I just got the AVX and am still in the window of being able to return it. I picked it because of the weight mostly, being more practical to move around. As much as I like that it doesn't weigh as much, I'm wondering if I made the right choice in mount. I was looking at the Atlas EQG originally. Since you have both, would you recommend I return for an Atlas instead? It would be more of a pain to move, but I'm willing to if it makes some of this work better enough.

Derek Vail

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2018, 11:05:19 PM »
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Hi jowaldo,

 I don't have a polemaster but I do own an AVX. I'm just making an educated guess but to me it does sound like your polar alignment might be off, or you're accidentally picking the wrong star when it slews to say Vega. It sounds like you're pretty familiar with the names so I'm going with the first choice. Here's something I can recommend trying if it's not too much of a hassle.
As the others have posted, make sure your date, time, daylight savings time, and TIME ZONE are correct. When you pick the closest city to you, it should select the proper time zone automatically, but it never hurts to check. Daylight savings time can be a source of confusion as well. You are correct, you should change the mount to say "Standard time" when it pops up and says "Daylight savings time".
Next, level the mount, point it at Polaris and make sure the PHYSICAL latitude scale on the mount itself is set to close to your latitude. For example, I'm in Charlotte NC and my mount's physical latitude is set to 35 degrees using the little scale on the side of the mount. You should see it with the small silver needle and all the degrees.
If it's not too much trouble, as a test remove the pole master kit and just use the bore that goes through the axis of the mount. Line up Polaris through that bore. If your latitude is correct, you should be able to at least see Polaris through the hole. Using the mount's knobs for latitude and the azimuth knobs(NOT the handle controller) center Polaris in that bore just by eyeballing it. You may have to make some adjustments.
This is how I set mine up. Once you do that, try a 2 star alignment. The first star, whichever you chose, WILL be off a bit. Center it using your hand controller in your finder scope FIRST, then hit enter. The controller will then ask you to center it in the EYEPIECE. Look through your eyepiece and center the star there again using the hand controller. Then press ALIGN. It will pick a second star so repeat the same procedure. You'll notice it will move very fast first towards the general direction of the star. Once it asks you to center it in the finder, it will move slower. When you've centered it in the finder and pressed enter, then it will move even slower to center it in the eyepiece. I use a 17mm eyepiece and after a 2 star alignment my objects are DEAD center, and that's just with eyeballing polaris. No polar scope or nothing.

If it works this way, it sounds like you might be making a mistake somewhere in the pole master setup. I hope this helps.

Eric

Thank you for all of that info! I hate to think it, but it is possible I may have got the wrong star in view, or at least one of the stars in the two+calibration. It's hard for me to be sure, when I can only look through what my Canon D6 sees on screen, and what my guide cam is seeing. Sometimes I see multiple and make assumptions, which seem obvious, but that could be the problem.  Am I wrong in thinking if I added something like a Telrad to help make sure I'm pointing at the right object would be helpful?

settmagganen

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2018, 05:13:51 AM »
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Quote

I know the controversy over leveling things... but I level everything... the tripod, then again when the mount is on... I also level the balance bar and make the mark so when I drop the bar down to home that I can make it 90 degrees to perfect parallel... I do the same leveling with the dove tail so when I pivot it back home that it is perfect...

I use a gps to get as exact as possible date, time, lat, long, and altitude...

I never do less than a 3 star alignment (I have an AVX but don't use it much and usually use my Atlas mounts)... and in some cases Ihave doe a 12 star align (using Stellarium/EQMOD)... 3 in each quadrant... I use a lite reticle eyepiece to center the stars...

Goto's are always in the FoV and depending on scope and eyepiece/camerapretty close to center...

I will definitely be more thorough next time on leveling. I didn't bother leveling much before because I read with a Polemaster its not really necessary. The AVX doesn't have a built in bubble level either which doesn't help.

I just got the AVX and am still in the window of being able to return it. I picked it because of the weight mostly, being more practical to move around. As much as I like that it doesn't weigh as much, I'm wondering if I made the right choice in mount. I was looking at the Atlas EQG originally. Since you have both, would you recommend I return for an Atlas instead? It would be more of a pain to move, but I'm willing to if it makes some of this work better enough.
Its best to keep your thought on Polar Alignment completely separate from the MultiStar Alignment one does for GoTo accuracy.... the PA keeps things in the eyepiece, does not help much with GoTo.... the MultiStar Align is all about GoTo accuracy and has little to do with PA...

breadexgera

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2018, 01:49:20 PM »
Quote
Quote

Quote

I know the controversy over leveling things... but I level everything... the tripod, then again when the mount is on... I also level the balance bar and make the mark so when I drop the bar down to home that I can make it 90 degrees to perfect parallel... I do the same leveling with the dove tail so when I pivot it back home that it is perfect...

I use a gps to get as exact as possible date, time, lat, long, and altitude...

I never do less than a 3 star alignment (I have an AVX but don't use it much and usually use my Atlas mounts)... and in some cases Ihave doe a 12 star align (using Stellarium/EQMOD)... 3 in each quadrant... I use a lite reticle eyepiece to center the stars...

Goto's are always in the FoV and depending on scope and eyepiece/camerapretty close to center...

I will definitely be more thorough next time on leveling. I didn't bother leveling much before because I read with a Polemaster its not really necessary. The AVX doesn't have a built in bubble level either which doesn't help.

I just got the AVX and am still in the window of being able to return it. I picked it because of the weight mostly, being more practical to move around. As much as I like that it doesn't weigh as much, I'm wondering if I made the right choice in mount. I was looking at the Atlas EQG originally. Since you have both, would you recommend I return for an Atlas instead? It would be more of a pain to move, but I'm willing to if it makes some of this work better enough.
Its best to keep your thought on Polar Alignment completely separate from the MultiStar Alignment one does for GoTo accuracy.... the PA keeps things in the eyepiece, does not help much with GoTo.... the MultiStar Align is all about GoTo accuracy and has little to do with PA...
As far as returning the AVX... I guess it depends on a lot of things...

I have mine as a grab n go mount because like you said, it is light... also, it does have a few nice features. I have the Atlas because it is definitely a workhorse... neither are Paramount or AstroPhysics mounts, so we are compromising a bit anyway... I will say that both the AVX and Atlas should have decent GoTo's so its good that you are checking yours out now so you can return it if it is defective... to me, if you can afford both, have both at some point... if you know yourgoing to be buying a bigger scope soon, and $$$ are key, return it and get the Atlas...

Steven Autio

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2018, 07:56:25 PM »
Hi Jeff,

 That's true! You could just point the mount roughly north.  Luckily I have a good view of Polaris where I'm at so I always just polar align it by eyeballing Polaris in the bore. The only variable here I'm not familiar with is the polemaster. I hear they're great but I've never used one so I don't know how they work, or how they could effect the mount gotos if setup incorrectly somehow.

Jowaldo,

 Since I'm not familiar with the polemaster, that's why I was suggesting just trying the eye balling method first. To eliminate any errors with that device. If you're STILL having trouble then no offense, it may be very well be user error.  A Telrad would certainly help as a visual spotter scope, or heck even a simple red dot finder scope. The red dot finder is what I use and I have no trouble. Just make sure you ARE lining up the correct star. The gotos will tend to freak out if you don't. One time I accidentally lined up using a wrong star during alignment and gotos weren't even close afterwards. I had to realign it.

 As far as doubting yourself with the AVX, I would say it's a fine mount. Mine has an 11inch Schmidt Cassegrain on it so it's not the ideal imaging setup (I'm just a visual guy), but even short term imaging that fellow telescope owners have tried with it worked fantastic. I imagine since you have a smaller , more dedicated imaging setup, the AVX should work fine for that, at least at the basic level. As Jeff suggested, if you start stepping up your setup, the Sirius mount might be the next class up.

Eric

kondcongrese

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2018, 02:16:16 AM »
Quote
Quote

I know the controversy over leveling things... but I level everything... the tripod, then again when the mount is on... I also level the balance bar and make the mark so when I drop the bar down to home that I can make it 90 degrees to perfect parallel... I do the same leveling with the dove tail so when I pivot it back home that it is perfect...

I use a gps to get as exact as possible date, time, lat, long, and altitude...

I never do less than a 3 star alignment (I have an AVX but don't use it much and usually use my Atlas mounts)... and in some cases Ihave doe a 12 star align (using Stellarium/EQMOD)... 3 in each quadrant... I use a lite reticle eyepiece to center the stars...

Goto's are always in the FoV and depending on scope and eyepiece/camerapretty close to center...

I will definitely be more thorough next time on leveling. I didn't bother leveling much before because I read with a Polemaster its not really necessary. The AVX doesn't have a built in bubble level either which doesn't help.

I just got the AVX and am still in the window of being able to return it. I picked it because of the weight mostly, being more practical to move around. As much as I like that it doesn't weigh as much, I'm wondering if I made the right choice in mount. I was looking at the Atlas EQG originally. Since you have both, would you recommend I return for an Atlas instead? It would be more of a pain to move, but I'm willing to if it makes some of this work better enough.
Its best to keep your thought on Polar Alignment completely separate from the MultiStar Alignment one does for GoTo accuracy.... the PA keeps things in the eyepiece, does not help much with GoTo.... the MultiStar Align is all about GoTo accuracy and has little to do with PA...[/quote]As far as returning the AVX... I guess it depends on a lot of things...

I have mine as a grab n go mount because like you said, it is light... also, it does have a few nice features. I have the Atlas because it is definitely a workhorse... neither are Paramount or AstroPhysics mounts, so we are compromising a bit anyway... I will say that both the AVX and Atlas should have decent GoTo's so its good that you are checking yours out now so you can return it if it is defective... to me, if you can afford both, have both at some point... if you know yourgoing to be buying a bigger scope soon, and $$$ are key, return it and get the Atlas...[/quote]
I don't want to waste money, but I'm fine in investing money in two mounts over time. I mainly wanted to ask because you have both mounts, and you definitely know what you are talking about! If it ends up that it is defective, I live real close to OPT where I bought it and they said if I ever have any problems to just bring it back there and they will swap it, or send to Celestron for me. Definitely helped sell me on the AVX, over Atlas for now. I'm sure at some point I will get a bigger scope, but like you said, AVX is a good grab and go, and when I decide to step it up I'd get something like the Atlas. Thanks for the input!

Charlie Collins

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2018, 12:13:25 PM »
Quote
Hi Jeff,

 That's true! You could just point the mount roughly north.  Luckily I have a good view of Polaris where I'm at so I always just polar align it by eyeballing Polaris in the bore. The only variable here I'm not familiar with is the polemaster. I hear they're great but I've never used one so I don't know how they work, or how they could effect the mount gotos if setup incorrectly somehow.

Jowaldo,

 Since I'm not familiar with the polemaster, that's why I was suggesting just trying the eye balling method first. To eliminate any errors with that device. If you're STILL having trouble then no offense, it may be very well be user error.  A Telrad would certainly help as a visual spotter scope, or heck even a simple red dot finder scope. The red dot finder is what I use and I have no trouble. Just make sure you ARE lining up the correct star. The gotos will tend to freak out if you don't. One time I accidentally lined up using a wrong star during alignment and gotos weren't even close afterwards. I had to realign it.

 As far as doubting yourself with the AVX, I would say it's a fine mount. Mine has an 11inch Schmidt Cassegrain on it so it's not the ideal imaging setup (I'm just a visual guy), but even short term imaging that fellow telescope owners have tried with it worked fantastic. I imagine since you have a smaller , more dedicated imaging setup, the AVX should work fine for that, at least at the basic level. As Jeff suggested, if you start stepping up your setup, the Sirius mount might be the next class up.

Eric


I don't own a Sirius, but I've played with one... I'm thinking there are trade off's between the AVX and Sirius... so not really a step up from one to the other... the Sirius may be a bit more sturdy, but some of the features on the AVX are very cool...

memeforvi

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2018, 04:37:09 PM »
Quote
Hi Jeff,

 That's true! You could just point the mount roughly north.  Luckily I have a good view of Polaris where I'm at so I always just polar align it by eyeballing Polaris in the bore. The only variable here I'm not familiar with is the polemaster. I hear they're great but I've never used one so I don't know how they work, or how they could effect the mount gotos if setup incorrectly somehow.

Jowaldo,

 Since I'm not familiar with the polemaster, that's why I was suggesting just trying the eye balling method first. To eliminate any errors with that device. If you're STILL having trouble then no offense, it may be very well be user error.  A Telrad would certainly help as a visual spotter scope, or heck even a simple red dot finder scope. The red dot finder is what I use and I have no trouble. Just make sure you ARE lining up the correct star. The gotos will tend to freak out if you don't. One time I accidentally lined up using a wrong star during alignment and gotos weren't even close afterwards. I had to realign it.

 As far as doubting yourself with the AVX, I would say it's a fine mount. Mine has an 11inch Schmidt Cassegrain on it so it's not the ideal imaging setup (I'm just a visual guy), but even short term imaging that fellow telescope owners have tried with it worked fantastic. I imagine since you have a smaller , more dedicated imaging setup, the AVX should work fine for that, at least at the basic level. As Jeff suggested, if you start stepping up your setup, the Sirius mount might be the next class up.

Eric

No offense at all!  That is why I'm asking. I tried to read up as much as I could ahead of time, but just making sure I'm not missing something else major. I'm going to buy a Telrad and give that a shot. If anything it's cheap compared to how much $ I've sunk into this already haha. I think the Telrad will also just help me get my bearings in the sky better as I'm still very much learning that also.

I also have a Celestron Nexstar SE6 that a friend left here that needs a little TLC but will try it on the AVX soon too for planetary. The mount it came with drove me nuts. Couldn't even hold itself up with my camera attached.

selfjomargast

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2018, 11:12:16 PM »
Quote
Quote

Hi Jeff,

 That's true! You could just point the mount roughly north.  Luckily I have a good view of Polaris where I'm at so I always just polar align it by eyeballing Polaris in the bore. The only variable here I'm not familiar with is the polemaster. I hear they're great but I've never used one so I don't know how they work, or how they could effect the mount gotos if setup incorrectly somehow.

Jowaldo,

 Since I'm not familiar with the polemaster, that's why I was suggesting just trying the eye balling method first. To eliminate any errors with that device. If you're STILL having trouble then no offense, it may be very well be user error.  A Telrad would certainly help as a visual spotter scope, or heck even a simple red dot finder scope. The red dot finder is what I use and I have no trouble. Just make sure you ARE lining up the correct star. The gotos will tend to freak out if you don't. One time I accidentally lined up using a wrong star during alignment and gotos weren't even close afterwards. I had to realign it.

 As far as doubting yourself with the AVX, I would say it's a fine mount. Mine has an 11inch Schmidt Cassegrain on it so it's not the ideal imaging setup (I'm just a visual guy), but even short term imaging that fellow telescope owners have tried with it worked fantastic. I imagine since you have a smaller , more dedicated imaging setup, the AVX should work fine for that, at least at the basic level. As Jeff suggested, if you start stepping up your setup, the Sirius mount might be the next class up.

Eric

No offense at all!  That is why I'm asking. I tried to read up as much as I could ahead of time, but just making sure I'm not missing something else major. I'm going to buy a Telrad and give that a shot. If anything it's cheap compared to how much $ I've sunk into this already haha. I think the Telrad will also just help me get my bearings in the sky better as I'm still very much learning that also.

I also have a Celestron Nexstar SE6 that a friend left here that needs a little TLC but will try it on the AVX soon too for planetary. The mount it came with drove me nuts. Couldn't even hold itself up with my camera attached.

Yep... I own a Telrad too... never used it... I bought it because I think its one of the greatest tools out there to aid in learning the sky... I've gotten lazy though and spend my learning time in learning how to run my gear rather than the sky... I use GoTo for my crutch...

Lots of ways to enjoy astronomy!

Anthony Eppinger

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2018, 01:16:21 PM »
Quote
Quote

Quote

Hi Jeff,

 That's true! You could just point the mount roughly north.  Luckily I have a good view of Polaris where I'm at so I always just polar align it by eyeballing Polaris in the bore. The only variable here I'm not familiar with is the polemaster. I hear they're great but I've never used one so I don't know how they work, or how they could effect the mount gotos if setup incorrectly somehow.

Jowaldo,

 Since I'm not familiar with the polemaster, that's why I was suggesting just trying the eye balling method first. To eliminate any errors with that device. If you're STILL having trouble then no offense, it may be very well be user error.  A Telrad would certainly help as a visual spotter scope, or heck even a simple red dot finder scope. The red dot finder is what I use and I have no trouble. Just make sure you ARE lining up the correct star. The gotos will tend to freak out if you don't. One time I accidentally lined up using a wrong star during alignment and gotos weren't even close afterwards. I had to realign it.

 As far as doubting yourself with the AVX, I would say it's a fine mount. Mine has an 11inch Schmidt Cassegrain on it so it's not the ideal imaging setup (I'm just a visual guy), but even short term imaging that fellow telescope owners have tried with it worked fantastic. I imagine since you have a smaller , more dedicated imaging setup, the AVX should work fine for that, at least at the basic level. As Jeff suggested, if you start stepping up your setup, the Sirius mount might be the next class up.

Eric

No offense at all!  That is why I'm asking. I tried to read up as much as I could ahead of time, but just making sure I'm not missing something else major. I'm going to buy a Telrad and give that a shot. If anything it's cheap compared to how much $ I've sunk into this already haha. I think the Telrad will also just help me get my bearings in the sky better as I'm still very much learning that also.

I also have a Celestron Nexstar SE6 that a friend left here that needs a little TLC but will try it on the AVX soon too for planetary. The mount it came with drove me nuts. Couldn't even hold itself up with my camera attached.

Yep... I own a Telrad too... never used it... I bought it because I think its one of the greatest tools out there to aid in learning the sky... I've gotten lazy though and spend my learning time in learning how to run my gear rather than the sky... I use GoTo for my crutch...

Lots of ways to enjoy astronomy!
I'm sure I will get lazy too with the goto, if I can get it to work for me  Here's to hoping that the Telrad helps me get past this part! Thanks for everyone's help!

cludertypos

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2018, 02:45:56 AM »
Had the same issue with aligning my Orion 150mm go to reflector. The issue was when I was inputing my latitude and longitude. .. it has to be in degrees and arc minutes. I was just using the degrees in decimal form. Once I converted into arc minutes my alignments were dead on.

Jim Parker

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2018, 04:23:13 AM »
Quote
Had the same issue with aligning my Orion 150mm go to reflector. The issue was when I was inputing my latitude and longitude. .. it has to be in degrees and arc minutes. I was just using the degrees in decimal form. Once I converted into arc minutes my alignments were dead on.

Oh man, I think that I put it in decimals, because that is what google maps gave it to me as. I will have to check! But I did as an alternative put in my closest city instead which is only a few miles away. That didn't make a difference really, but I will double check. Thanks!

Daniel Johnson

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2018, 10:20:58 AM »
Quote
Had the same issue with aligning my Orion 150mm go to reflector. The issue was when I was inputing my latitude and longitude. .. it has to be in degrees and arc minutes. I was just using the degrees in decimal form. Once I converted into arc minutes my alignments were dead on.

Evildime that was it! I was putting in decimals, just setup and tried degrees and arc minutes instead. First star, it was at least in field of view, so was the second star, and then calibration star. Finished after just one calib and told it to go to andromeda, pretty much dead center! Not sure why the nearby town didn't work.. I figured it was close enough.. guess not! Thanks!!!