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Azimuth and elevation drive calibration


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#1 fjhdavid

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 04:47 AM

Hi,

 

I tried to calibrate these drives but without success; The manual is very light about this feature;

 

May I find some explanations, please?

 

Thanks

Francois



#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 06:14 AM

Hi Francois,

 

I wondered that myself the first time I did it.  This is a fully automatic function that the scope can do.  Just take the scope outside at night.  After you get it going, just hit the buttons to tell the scope to train the drive.  It will go find a bright star, use its little camera to see positioning, and do the job.  I thought it was pretty nice that way.  It did not leave room for me to mess up.

 

Bill


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 fjhdavid

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 01:28 PM

do I have to align the scope before runing calibration?



#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 03:33 PM

I believe it does, but I am not sure.  If it does the whole thing by itself from scratch, it has to know where to go to find a known bright star.  That requires an alignment of some sort.


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#5 fjhdavid

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 11:38 PM

very strange....

 

yesterday I tried to do a calibration after an alignement;

 

I had Altair in the center of Eclips camera;

 

I choose "elevation drive calibration" and then It said to center (what? I don't know): after a while (10 minutes), I press enter, then it sait "press < until" it is center, and that's all!;

 

ten another minutes after, I have to press the mode button to exit...

 

do I miss something?



#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 11:52 AM

It wants you to look in the eyepiece push the arrow keys until you get the object centered.  When it is centered, you push enter to let the scope know that the scope is centered.  The scope will then note the difference between where you see the object centered in the eyepiece and where the Eclips shows it to be and will allow that much whenever it goes to another object.

 

Bill Steen


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#7 fjhdavid

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 03:39 PM

I finally found the solution; maybe it will be helpful for someone else;

 

In fact, if you choose one or two stars alignment, the mount will search and find the level at only one place (the place where you start the LS6); then LS6 leveling mount becomes very important, as the mount knows only the correct level at one place and of course the north; (for auto-alignment level is found in three diffferent places then mount leveling is not very important)

 

Then, after a more precise leveling of the mount (mine was 4 degres off in N/S direction), I did a complete 2 stars re-alignment;

 

Now, pointing is always in a 0.5° square box and tracking is about 0.5°  for 2 hours

 

But the maximum exposure time I can do is still between 10s and 13s before I get stars elongation



#8 Marco

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 09:22 PM

........

 

But the maximum exposure time I can do is still between 10s and 13s before I get stars elongation......

 

Hi, 

Those are rather short exposures...

Depending on were the scope is pointing the LS can do much better than that.

Did you train the drivers correctly (in day time on a distant object using a reticole EP or the cross in the livevieuw of your camera?

Did you try using a guide scope?

 

Pointing the scope to an area due east or west and not higher than 30° will permit longer exposures than areas in the north-south direction nearer  Azimut.

For example I once achieved 200sec  guided, without the derotator.

 

As I started that session  M27 was nearly due East and about 30° up. 
Just about the best spot that give very little field rotation.

The total exposure was 1H32sec guided with the ASI120MC piggybacked 
8 x 200sec ISO400

And as soon as M-27 reached 45° I had to reduce the exposure to 60sec.
65 x 60sec ISO1600

 

M27.jpg

 

Without the guiding I have managed up to 40 sec with no star trials.


Clear Skies

Marco

LS6" Meade microfocuser zero image shift, Optec Pyxis LE De-rotator TS 2" dielectric diagonal Hyperion 2" 72° 36mm  TS 2" 70° 22mm TS 2" Barlow

Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 9mm, Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 4mm, Antares 6.3 focal reducer

Camera Olympus ZX1, EOS 1100D ZWO ASI 120MC

 


#9 fjhdavid

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 11:28 PM

whaou!

 

I do only unguided picture but I would like to manage 30 sec without star trails !!!! I will be very happy with it!

 

In fact, the LS6 is on a balcony and I can see only half of the sky (facing directly south); then I have to choose my alignment stars in the same hemisphere...

 

 

maybe this is a limiting factor for tracking accuracy?

 

 

in addition, I still didn't understand how to train the drivers....



#10 MistrBadgr

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 08:32 AM

Training the drives on the LS should be easy, assuming the sky is dark enough for the scope to see stars with the camera.  I need to get mine out and try things to be certain, but I think it will find a star and use its camera and do the drive training itself.  You just have to tell it to.

 

Bill Steen


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#11 Marco

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 08:58 AM

Hi,

Ok let's see if we can sort this drive training and alignment out....

 

Two questions I need answered:

What is the firmware version installed in the LS?

(you can see this in your hand controller first think when you start up).

 

You say you are on a balcony and facing south and that you can see half the Skye.

do you mean you have horizontal 180° unrestricted view to the  west end east?

what about above the scope do you have clear view straight up to the zenith? 

 

 

Training the drives:

you do this better in day light with the mount in terrestrial mode.

(If you switch the LS in daytime it goes automatically in this mode.

 

It is better to use an EP with a reticle, or your camera live view.

Look around you and choose an object as far as possible to aim the scope to. ( the cross on top of a church tower, a street light, or something like that that you can see clearly.

Ok,

now you are at the point in your message above where you say:

"I choose "elevation drive calibration" and then It said to center (what? I don't know): after a while (10 minutes), I press enter, then it sait "press < until" it is center, and that's all!;"

 

When it say to center, just center the object you choose  above in your EP using the up/down - left/right arrows keys and when centered press enter.

The scope will slew Left or right

 

Now the scope will tell you to use one of the < or > arrow key to recenter the object.

Recenter it using those keys, and once centered press enter.

 

The scope will now slew again in the opposite direction (Left if the first time went right)

Recenter again your object using the  < or > arrow key, and once centered press enter.

 

The elevation drive is now trained  :) 

 

Repeat the same procedure for the Azimut drive using the up and down arrow keyes.

 

Regarding the alignment, if you have no obstructions above the scope you can better use the auto align feature.

Once you have start it up, it could be that the scope start turning toward a star that is on the north side and you cannot see.

if this happen, push the back button on your controller, and the scope will chose an other.

Do this until the scope got his two stars.

 

 

Good luck

Marco


Clear Skies

Marco

LS6" Meade microfocuser zero image shift, Optec Pyxis LE De-rotator TS 2" dielectric diagonal Hyperion 2" 72° 36mm  TS 2" 70° 22mm TS 2" Barlow

Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 9mm, Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 4mm, Antares 6.3 focal reducer

Camera Olympus ZX1, EOS 1100D ZWO ASI 120MC

 


#12 fjhdavid

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:32 AM

thank you very much Marco for the calibration process! I will do it tomorrow with the liveview (7h30 pm for me right now so not enough light)

 

Just to anwer your questions:

 

I have firmware 1.6

I can see stars from about 100° to 230° and I am limited to 70° in alt;  so auto-align is very complicated for me (I have to change many times target stars and it always finish with a freeze and I have to shut off/on the scope and start from the beginning)

 

This is the reason, I use one star alignement and then, I choose a second star (as far as I can regarding azimuth and  alt from the first one) and I do a synchronise; I think this is the same as a two star alignment...



#13 Marco

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 12:26 PM

Hi,

I understand, not a very big sky opening you got, it can be difficult to find suitable stars for align.

 

The auto align is better because during start up it perform a level check in all the axes, and normally if it does not find any suitable stars it just stop, and you can perform afterward a 2 star alignment conserving the the leveling check.

But you say your mount freezes. this could be because you use firmware 1.6. the latest firmware for this scope is the 1.6

You should update to the latest version, previous versions are known to be "buggy"

If you update, do not update the scope directly from the internet, (Meade web site)

Use the Meade Autostar updater (ASU version 6.0.0) and download the new firmware version 1.6a to a Mini SD card (use max 2gig SD card), and then start the scope with the new Mini SD Card inserted in the scope card slot the update process can take about 30 minutes or more.

 

I do not know if the procedure 1 star alignment + slewing to a second star and syncing counts as a two star align, I have never tried.


Clear Skies

Marco

LS6" Meade microfocuser zero image shift, Optec Pyxis LE De-rotator TS 2" dielectric diagonal Hyperion 2" 72° 36mm  TS 2" 70° 22mm TS 2" Barlow

Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 9mm, Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 4mm, Antares 6.3 focal reducer

Camera Olympus ZX1, EOS 1100D ZWO ASI 120MC

 


#14 fjhdavid

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 03:20 PM

Hi Marco,

 

You were right!   in addition:

 

Autoalign is not for me, as the LS6 choose 4 stars and then stop, but you are not able to "Goto" to another star as the scope is not aligned...so you loose the multi-level

 

one star alignment is very dangerous because, you need a perfect scope leveling AND if after the alignement with the star A, you synchronize with another star, the new star  will take the place of the first star and you always stay with a one star alignment algorithm depending of the scope level

 

The only solution is to choose a two star alignement and even if you have no direct access to the choosen stars, you just press "enter" each time and after you do two synchronisations with two other stars; this way, the 2 stars algorithm is used and when you use a two stars algo for alignment, you don't need to have a perfect leveled scope...



#15 fjhdavid

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 12:08 AM

addendum:

 

It seems that the synchronisation of 2 stars (shortly afterwards a 2 stars alignment without stars centering) doesn't work.... still a poor tracking

 

Finally, the only way to get a perfect alignment is the autoalign but when you have a small sky opening like me, you have to wait the "good" time for stars positions

 

For the drive calibration, Marco is right, it is far easier during daytime in terrestial mode (in fact I never success during night time)

 

For camera center calibration, it is better to do it during night time

 

hope this helps



#16 Marco

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 04:03 AM

Nice to hear that the drivers calibration problem is solved !

Did you managed to upgrade the firmware to 1.6a ?  Meade advise to use the latest version. May be it will improve tracking?


Clear Skies

Marco

LS6" Meade microfocuser zero image shift, Optec Pyxis LE De-rotator TS 2" dielectric diagonal Hyperion 2" 72° 36mm  TS 2" 70° 22mm TS 2" Barlow

Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 9mm, Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 4mm, Antares 6.3 focal reducer

Camera Olympus ZX1, EOS 1100D ZWO ASI 120MC

 


#17 IanP

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 12:18 PM

Lots of valuable learning info in this thread.  Its a bit like trying to view things on a semi-cloudy night, when only portions of the sky are available!  So for Francoise's particular balcony case, I think I would work the ls-8 the following (apologies for long-winded 'thinking out loud' reply, feedback appreciated as thread got me thinking!)

 

1.  do the "restore factory defaults" first.   then retrain the drives in terrestrial mode (nightime using only polaris really works).   Align laser viewfinder at same time, different process but best in daytime, and you want that viewfinder spot on!

2.  Shut down scope to save retrain data (also turn off "use GPS" setting, "intro video" setting, and "auto align on startup" setting before shutting down)

3.  Every time you power up from this point, first menu on handbox should give option for manual input time and location

4.  after manual time/location, scroll to setup and do a simple one-star alignment, with of course a level tripod platform, (digital level indicator's are $50 if budget permits)

5.  Utilize stellarium or iphone software to plan your viewing ahead of time. Plan viewing around small sections of sky at a time. this means that 'tonight's best' option is no use or slewing across large areas of sky is no use (unless you know your stars pretty good) limited balcony viewing need probably needs to be more methodical and incremental to get the most out of the limitations.

6.  first section of sky for viewing objects, is close to the alignment star originally used.  Then for next (nearby) section, go to a suitable (brightest) star and sync on that.  This should give pointing accuracy for section around the synced star.  Repeat sync step each time as you "star hop".

7.  tell meade to get their s*** together re instruction manuals!  newbs like myself need concept ENHANCEMENT rather than brief introductions, to get the most of what is a great piece of engineering and software!!!

 

Ian

Kelseyville, CA



#18 fjhdavid

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 12:00 AM

just a question:

 

when you train the drives during daytime, and you go to "sleep mode" and then shut off the ls-6; are the retrain data saved?



#19 Marco

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 09:27 AM

Hi,

Yes, they are saved, I believe are written to a ROM.

I run my LS with an external power supply, and no batteries in it.

I always shut it completely off after each use.

And it works fine each time.


Clear Skies

Marco

LS6" Meade microfocuser zero image shift, Optec Pyxis LE De-rotator TS 2" dielectric diagonal Hyperion 2" 72° 36mm  TS 2" 70° 22mm TS 2" Barlow

Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 9mm, Omegron Cronus 1,25" 68° 4mm, Antares 6.3 focal reducer

Camera Olympus ZX1, EOS 1100D ZWO ASI 120MC

 


#20 fjhdavid

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 11:20 PM

just want to share with you a new specificity of the LS firmware;

 

When you choose "Two stars alignment or auto alignment", the LS6 choose the stars for you; if you can use them, then it is perfect; if it is not the case, you can change the stars with the "down" button,

 

BUT

 

you have only a total of 10 attempts for the two stars (not 10 for each one) and then the LS will lock you on the last choosen star (and no way to go back!)

 

Conclusion: in addition to the difficulty of choosing the good stars (that you are able to see with your sky), you have only ten attempts to get the right ones...

 

hope it helps...






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