Author Topic: Orion XT12G not tracking well  (Read 237 times)

mosretouless

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Orion XT12G not tracking well
« on: December 24, 2017, 02:59:23 PM »
I bought an Orion XT12G last week and have spent the last couple of nights playing it.  Got the goto working decent enough but the monitoring stinks.  I tried re-leveling the tube and base, pointing north, etc. to no avail.  The goal moves, slowly from the fov.  Tried the PAE function as indicated by "bluesteel". . .still no luck.  Any proposals?
How, if necessary, would you balance the tube whenever you have clutches to contend with?

Thank you for any suggestions

Don



quetafulra

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 04:21:00 PM »
I had this problem at 1st when starting to use my range, an xx12g too.  My difficulty wasn't having the stars totally based in my eyepiece when doing the positioning, and screwing up daylight savings time.
What eyepieces do you have at this stage for the scope?  Anything around an 8mm?  After I started aligning this particular focal length or shorter for eyepieces, the monitoring improved tremendously.
While I do the initial alignment, what I do would be defocus the star from the eyepiece once I have pinpointed it's really the star I need to be aligning, then flip it into a giant "donut" by defocusing it.  This makes it bigger, and a LOT easier to centre in my eyepiece.
After the initial alignment, I then do under the "setup" menu, the align encoders, and point to the 1st star that I adapting to (right now it's pointing into the 2nd star since I just finished a 2 star alignment).  I fix for any error.
Then I select some stars/objects round the initial alignment stars and perform a "goto" into the star.  I then do the PAE function if anything isn't centered properly.
After, I select a section of the skies I want to do a little bit of goto's or viewing in, and do a goto usually into some messier or ngc catalogue item.  Do a PAE for that, like I'm in a very different section of the sky from where I picked my initial alignment stars.

Trick can be getting right your long and lat location, date and time correct (I do time to the second true), and make sure the Daylight Savings Time is ON for this time of year.  The daylight savings item tripped me up initially, as I had been doing it backward!  Thus the monitoring was somewhat off.

Do you have heavy eyepieces?  The heaviest I have is a 1.10lb/17.6ounce eyepiece.  I don't need to balance the range at all with this one, nor need to correct the equilibrium for the milder ones in the case.

One other point to look at also is the eyepieces - not all of mine will have a star "based" from them from you to the next, and this may mess with the alignment if you are changing from one to another when performing an orientation or PAE correction.  Whichever eyepiece you do your final alignment with, (centering the object in the center and hitting enter on the hand control), do your PAE's with that eyepiece too to keep everything exactly the same.

I hope this helps!  Otherwise, don't hesitate to post again with some other queries.  Somebody is going to have the suitable answer!

Brian Olatunji

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 05:32:16 PM »
WOW !!  Thank you, bluesteel, for the very informative explanation.
I guess I'm just spoiled with my iOptron Mini Tower Pro alt-az.  All I do with it is. . .level it and tip it close to north and also the goto/tracking is nice.
I've done the PAE and Encoder acts as you suggested earlier and that has helped some but maybe not great enough.

I've contacted Orion by e-mail, and they stated that tech support will get back together with me shortly. . .that was 2 days ago!  I did start a live chat yesterday with a representative at Orion and he suggested that, for the alignment stars, I choose two that are quite a distance apart.

I have been using a 12mm illuminated-reticle eyepiece for the alignment but have not been careful about NOT altering the eyepieces when doing a PAE.
In fact, I use a Binotron binoviewer for observing and I was wondering about the weight/balance impacting the tracking. . .so, how do you correct the balance?  Is there a way to disengage the clutches to allow the tubing to free-swing?

My long/lat are fairly accurate right to my backyard, DST is put.  My time is not put to the second. . .not even to the minute.  I will attempt to get closer.

Thanks again for your help. . .what can you really do about clear skies in my area (Western Kentucky) so I can try out your suggestions?

tirafarpa

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 11:20:28 AM »
When entering long/lat, it has to be in degrees and minutes. I had problems when I somehow entered the equivalent decimal long/lat number instead.

sanddotshanpens

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 02:10:34 PM »
It's set in degrees and minutes.
Thanks for the suggestion, skfboiler1.

bardeperdi

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 05:10:54 AM »
Anybody know if the tube can be balanced ? The altitude clutch would have to be released, yes?

Anthony Graham

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 06:39:33 AM »
Quote
I purchased an Orion XT12G last week and have spent the last couple of clear nights playing with it. Got the goto working decent enough but the tracking stinks. I tried re-leveling the base and tube, pointing north, etc. to no avail. The target moves, slowly, out of the fov. Tried the PAE function as suggested by "bluesteel"...still no luck. any suggestions?
How, if necessary, do you balance the tube when you have clutches to contend with?

Thanks for any suggestions

Don


some additional information might help narrow down the cause.

1) so "go-to works" but then doesn't track the object. Do subsequent go-toes work, either re-centering same object or slewing and finding new object?
2) "doesn't track" - as in scope not following object at all and object drifts out entirely due to earth's rotation, like on a non-tracking dob? Or tracking follows object a little, just not enough to hold it centered?

Also, have you tried the non-alignment tracking mode, where you just point the scope north, level the tube horizontal, turn the scope on, select star-align = no, and under setup, select sidereal tracking. then manually point the scope to any star / planet and see if it at least somewhat decently maintains track?

Thanks,
Tim
xx14g

coachroninil

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 10:19:54 PM »
1) so "go-to works" but then doesn't track the object. Do subsequent go-toes work, either re-centering same object or slewing and finding new object?
2) "doesn't track" - as in scope not following object at all and object drifts out entirely due to earth's rotation, like on a non-tracking dob? Or tracking follows object a little, just not enough to hold it centered?
Also, have you tried the non-alignment tracking mode, where you just point the scope north, level the tube horizontal, turn the scope on, select star-align = no, and under setup, select sidereal tracking. then manually point the scope to any star / planet and see if it at least somewhat decently maintains track?...Goto works fairly well. Tracking will not keep the object in fov...takes a minute or two to completely leave the fov of a 12mm ep

I've tried both modes ( tracking mode and Go-To mode)...same results

Thanks, Tim

frenafverbi

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 06:13:55 AM »
I have this:
http://www.telescope...uts?keyword=gps
I find it saves me a lot of time and my GO-TOs are better as long as I am careful when I do my 2 star alignment. +1 on the defocus of the alignment star. Makes it much easier.

raposttavers

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2018, 03:14:37 PM »
Thanks, Billytk...
GPS is incorporated in my iOptron mount...works great

xgamodrakmu

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 05:14:38 PM »
Quote
WOW !! Thanks, bluesteel, for the very informative explanation.
I guess I'm just spoiled with my iOptron Mini Tower Pro alt-az. All I do with it is...level it and point it close to north and the goto/tracking is fine.
I've done the PAE and Encoder functions as you suggested earlier and that has helped some but not good enough.

I've contacted Orion by e-mail, and they said that tech support would get back with me soon...that was 2 days ago! I did start a live chat yesterday with an agent at Orion and he suggested that, for the alignment stars, I choose two that are quite a distance apart.

I have been using a 12mm illuminated-reticle eyepiece for the alignment but have not been careful about NOT changing the eyepieces when doing a PAE.
In fact, I use a Binotron binoviewer for observing and I was wondering about the weight/balance affecting the tracking...so, how do you adjust the balance? Is there a way to disengage the clutches to allow the tube to free-swing?

My long/lat are pretty accurate right to my backyard, DST is set. My time is not set to the second...not even to the minute. I'll try and get closer.

Thanks again for your help...what can you do about clear skies in my area (Western Kentucky) so I can try out your suggestions?

Can't do nothing about your clouds... My clear sky dances aren't working up to my expectations at this point in time... maybe I need to burn more sage?

If you want to balance your scope, you can disengage the altitude clutch by unscrewing (not all the way so it comes out!) the clutch tension that should be located on the same side as the hand controller. Then put your heaviest eyepiece(s) in and see if it drops when perpendicular to the ground.

So the goto's are accurate, but tracking doesn't track for very long? Hmmmm... Do you notice if it is altitude, azimuth, or both axes that are causing the object to leave your field of view? Are both clutches good and tight? With the newer models of the xx12g and the accessible clutches, (my friend has the new model, I have the older one), I had to tighten the clutches pretty tight to get accurate tracking - not Hercules or Hulk tightening, but pretty tight.

Brandon Hughes

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 04:46:37 AM »
I supposedly have the new XT12G (solid tube)...just ordered it from Orion 2 weeks ago!

However, it did come with an old manual (2010) and it does NOT have the accessible
clutch tension adjustments.  hmmm

Will wait for the next clear night and try again

Thanks,
Don

Eric Hayes

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 07:54:49 AM »
That is interesting! I actually went and looked on Orion's web site as well as Amazon, and do see that the xx12g (truss) has the clutch adjustment knob visible for altitude, but the Orion xt12g (solid tube) does not have this feature, and the base looks like the one I have for my older xx12g, sans the handle up front under the eyepiece tray. Does yours have a handle up front under the eyepiece tray?

David Knoll

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 11:18:06 PM »
Yep...handle under the eyepiece tray and no clutch adjustment handle as shown on the XX12G.

BTW, my altitude clutch seems to be about right. Manual slewing is a little stiff. Too stiff to allow balancing the tube.

However, the azimuth is very tight. Have to really push to swing it around.

carewemi

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Re: Orion XT12G not tracking well
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2018, 09:40:51 PM »
Don,

I have an old PDF of the procedure for adjusting the clutches. I don't know if it any good on your new XTG but it may be worth a look. PM me with your email address if interested and I will send it to you.

Bill K.