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StarNavigator 102 GoTo questions


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#1 M514

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 10:23 PM

Hi and greetings from Montreal Canada, first post :)

I recently acquired this barely used, mint condition telescope and have a few questions regarding the GOTO feature. 

I reset the unit to factory state and re entered the time and location info. With the scope level and pointed magnetic north, the first star (Arcturus) lies just outside the 25mm eyepieces field of view and can be brought in with the aid of the red dot finder, same thing for the second star. After a successful alignment, I can call up a SS planet such as Saturn and the scope will slew to it with roughly the same accuracy as the star alignment. Entering another object such as the moon will once again, bring it very close to the FOV.

Should more attention be paid to the home position to improve accuracy?

 

I also noticed that on some occasions, reverting back to Saturn for instance, the scope would be way off. A second push of the GOTO button would do the trick though. Going to a constellation like Cassiopeia

works well enough but if another (adjacent) is chosen, the scopes destination can vary wildly. 

Does the scope need to start from the home position before every new object is chosen?

 

I`m pretty happy with my purchase so far, I cant believe how much scope you get for the money these days. I would just like to get the most out it so any and all advice is most welcome and appreciated.

TIA

 

 

 

 

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#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 02:06 PM

Hello TIA!  Welcome to the forum! :)

 

If you can, point the scope to geographic North, rather than magnetic North.  It will work better that way.  Also, if you level the mount first, using a little bubble level on the ledge, I think it is better.  Then, level the scope.

 

There is a function called "Training the Drives" in I think the Setup Menu.  Just follow the instructions and it will guide you through the process.  I like to do this two or three times to get "into the groove.  The process seems to work better for me that way.  What you are doing is interfacing with the scope to find out how much backlash (slop) there is in each of the two drive trains.  The scope can position itself better that way. Training can also help avoid problems of either the scope not tracking for a bit after you reach an object or seeming to argue with you about where you want to end up when you use the arrow keys.

 

When you are doing an alignment, be sure to center the object in the middle of the eyepiece field before pushing the button to tell the scope to go to the next step.  When you push the button, you are saying to the scope that you have the star centered in the field and it works from that premise.

 

When you go to an object of your choice, after alignment, and you get through viewing it, do the following: 1) Center the object in the field.  2) Push the top left button that you pushed to tell the scope you had an alignment star, and hold it in for three seconds, then release the button.  The handset will beep at you.  3) Push the same button in again and release.  The scope will beep at you again.  The scope now knows that you have centered the object and it will use that spot and another alignment position.  If you do that for every object, the scope will stay reasonably tuned in.

 

You do not have to go to the Level North position each time you want to go to another object.

 

Hope this helps.  Have fun with your scope.  I also encourage you to post here and let us know what your experiences are, both good and bad, ask questions about the things you see, or any quirks in the scope you run into.  Posting things here encourages other people to go out and look for the things you saw.

 

Best Regards,

 

Bill Steen


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

#3 M514

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:00 PM

Thank you kindly for the reply Bill. How would I point to Geo rather than Mag North? Unfortunately the one thing missing with my unit was the compass/level accessory but I replaced that with a large diameter Bullseye level and a nice stand alone  compass which are no doubt of higher resolution. I will level the stand and the tube the next time out.

 

I do recall seeing the "training the drives" option in the menus, should that be done prior to Home Alignment or at anytime?

 

"When you go to an object of your choice, after alignment, and you get through viewing it, do the following: 1) Center the object in the field.  2) Push the top left button that you pushed to tell the scope you had an alignment star, and hold it in for three seconds, then release the button.  The handset will beep at you.  3) Push the same button in again and release.  The scope will beep at you again.  The scope now knows that you have centered the object and it will use that spot and another alignment position.  If you do that for every object, the scope will stay reasonably tuned in."

Are you referring to the ENTER button? What screen message should I be seeing during that procedure? My controller is an Audiostar BTW.

 

Is it possible that my unit requires a software or firmware update and how would I know?

 

I will definitely employ your suggestions the next time out and report my findings.

Thanks again :)

Mike

 



#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 03:22 PM

Hi Mike,

 

For geographic North, just point the scope in the direction of Polaris, the end star in the handle of the little dipper.  That is close enough.  You do keep the scope level, however and not point it "at" Polaris.  This is a pretty straight-forward thing from my latitude of 36 deg North.  You may live far enough North that Polaris is high enough to start causing some confusion.  Never having been as far North as you live, I don't know for myself.

 

Just do the drive training procedure in the daytime and use something like the top of a light pole or some other such thing that is a long way off, but close enough that you can see it.  This is done independent of any star alignment procedure.

 

I have not looked recently to see if there is any new software update for the AudioStar, but I do not think there has been in a while.  I looked but could not find a place to download the AudioStar firmware to see what the latest version is.  I will inquire.

 

The "Train Drive" function is under "Setup", and is the tenth item under the subtitle "Telescope."  Inside the "Train Drive" selection, you should have a choice of Azimuth (AZ) (horizontal) or Altitude (Alt)(vertical).  You need to do both.  When you select one, let us say Azimuth, you will be instructed to point your scope at an object of your choice and press enter.  The mount will then slew away from the object and will tell you to move it back into the original position with a specific arrow key.  It will use < or > to indicate which horizontal arrow key to use and will use those same signs rotated 90 degrees when you do Altitude.  After you bring the object back to its original position (with respect to the direction it came from) you will then hit the "Enter" key.  The scope will then move away from the object in the other direction and have you bring it back, then hit enter.  From the various positions, it will figure out how much to allow for backlash in the gearing.

 

Once you get the drives trained, try the scope out and see how things work for you.

 

Bill Steen


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

#5 M514

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 09:26 PM

When doing the Polaris/True North alignment, how does the scope differentiate between that and Magnetic north, there seems to be quite a few degrees difference in the AZ plane.

 

I will attempt the drive training asap. Your guidance is appreciated Bill :)

 

 

BTW, how does one subscribe to a thread?



#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 08:46 PM

Mike,

 

The difference between magnetic and geographical North varies, depending on where you live.  Part of the reason is the difference in location on the Earth.  The geographic North Pole is located where we normally think of it, roughly in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.  Magnetic North is located farther south in Canada.  Local materials can also affect compass position.

 

I received a reply on the updating the handset question.  The handset can be updated using the AutoStar Updater program from the regular Meade site.  However, it is not recommended.  The differences in the programs, assuming that there is a more modern version would be very slight.  There is a danger of the download not working correctly, which can lock up the handset.  You have to send it in to Meade to get that problem fixed.

 

Bill Steen


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

#7 M514

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 11:45 AM

OK, I think I`ll hold off on the update, those kinds of things frighten me :( .

When the base is turned on, Bootloader V2.3b appears briely followed by

©10 497 ep A1F3, is that current?

Another question if I may. Is this scope compatible with a Meade Standard Field Tripod model #07020?

It would seem so if the threaded rods are identical.

THX!



#8 MistrBadgr

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 05:56 PM

Mike,

 

I am not familiar with the bolting of the standard field tripod.  I imagine you could put whatever bolt you needed in it or drill out the proper sized hole and fit the bolt through it.  I have even contemplated sinking a six inch treated wooden post into the ground in my back yard, then drilling a hole and epoxying the right size bolt for an AutoStar mount in it.

 

If someone else knows about the standard field tripod, please speak up.

 

As far as the AudioStar version, I will have to ask.  I do not know what it is.

 

Bill Steen


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

#9 M514

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:15 PM

I don't want to stray off topic so I`ll report back after I perform the calibrations and alignments that you suggested. Now if only the skies would clear up.... :(

Bill, can you suggest a worthwhile forum or two that wont look down on my modest scope or it`s OCD owner?



#10 MistrBadgr

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 12:13 PM

Actually, this is one that will not look down on your scope. :)

 

There is one called 60 mm Telescope Club that is for small refractors, up to 4 inches, on Yahoo.  I am a member of that one also.

 

I received a reply on the latest version of the AudioStar code.  It is A3S5.

 

Bill


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




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