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Orion XT12G not tracking well

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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


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:
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?

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.

It's set in degrees and minutes.
Thanks for the suggestion, skfboiler1.


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