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GOTO Accuracy Of LX200 GPS

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Posted by Glenn Mitchell on May 27, 2002 04:41:42 UTC

Iíve held off posting this, because I wanted to test things out before I asked.

I bought my scope at the end of last month from Astronomics. Iíve had the scope out in the field five times. Itís a 10Ē LX200 GPS with UHTC. The Autostar II is version 1.0g

I level the tripod before I mount the scope, point the control box approx. South and the OTA approx. North, and then approx. level the OTA.

The scopeís GOTO accuracy in Alt-Az is poor. During the automatic alignment, the alignment stars are outside the FOV of a 20mm crosshair EP. I have to use the guide scope to get the alignment stars close, then finish up with the crosshair EP. I slow the slewing down to 1x in order to reduce backlash and get the alignment stars centered. I take my time and get the star centered precisely on the crosshairs.

I donít think thereís any problem with my technique.

I calibrated the sensors. I trained both drives. I trained them during the day on an electric line transformer bolt about a block away. The GOTO was still not acceptable. I trained the drives again tonight. I used the top light on a radio antenna a few miles away. I also calibrated the sensors again. The GOTO was still not acceptable.

The automatic alignment chose Arcturus and Procyon the first time. GOTO Arcturus. Both the Alt and the Az were off. Center Arcturus and sync. GOTO Spica. Better. Spica was on the edge of the EP FOV but within the FOV (again, both Alt and Az were off). Center Spica and sync. GOTO Mizar. Way outside the FOV of the EP.

The automatic alignment chose Vega and Spica the second time (this was after training the drives and calibrating sensors). Again, the alignment stars were outside the FOV of the EP. GOTO Arcturus. Outside the EP FOV. Center Arcturus and sync. GOTO Spica. On the edge of the EP FOV again. Center Spica and sync. GOTO Arcturus. Better. On the edge of the EP FOV. GOTO Mizar. Way outside the FOV of the EP. I then slewed the scope to Regulus. I asked the scope to identify it. The AutoStar II identified it as Regulus RA 0.0 Dec 0.0. So the scope sure knew where it was pointing after the slew.

Thanks for bearing with the recitation of details. Now the question . . . What do I do? The scopeís GOTO seems far from 2 arc-minutes. Itís off on both axes. Itís a new scope. Should I call Astronomics and see if they can help me arrange with Meade to return the scope and have it checked? I sure as heck donít want to pay another $100 out of my pocket to ship a brand new scope for warranty repair.

I know this is a long message. Thanks for your patience.

Mitch

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