So I’ve been fighting through my astronomy challenges with my scope (Celestron 8SE), mostly with the support of a guy in one of the forums on a site called Cloudy Nights (i.e. when you have clear nights, you go outside; when you have cloudy nights, you can go online!). He’s super knowledgeable, and while he’s not active in the forum anymore, he’s been giving me fantastic suggestions on things to improve my approach.
Tonight, I went to what I consider level 3. Level 1 would be standard stuff. Level 2 would be the tweaking and adjustments I’ve done up until now.
Level 3 i.e. tonight was to check to see if the rate at which the mount slews left / right and up / down is set correctly. Or more accurately, if there is enough tension to stop it from playing too much when aligned. How did it go?
It was a total shit show.
I got it to align, I followed the instructions, everything seemed to go okay. I tried adjusting the settings but didn’t seem to make much difference (it’s a scale from 0 to 99, you start small and make increments). I still felt I was having too much play. And when I set it too high, it became “jumpy” in its movements. Reset back to the basics. I did see one setting in all of it which seemed to be set wrong, and I corrected it.
Did some test slewing. Saturn was behind a building (I was just testing from my backyard), but it was about where Saturn was. Tried Uranus, and it showed me again behind another building, but honestly, it seemed way too far east and north. Tried for Neptune, nothing where it was, but the moon is kind of bright, so could be a glitch.
Then I told it to show me M110. Which it tried to do. By going VERTICAL? Almost straight up. In fact, partly past vertical. I eventually had to stop it. Tried Andromeda, and it wanted to go past 90 degrees vertical, almost like flipping over to the other axis.
Like I said, total shit show.
I’m out of my depth. I’ll try taking it to the telescope store tomorrow, but right now, I’m out of options.