ESOS-II GS Mount confusion #EXOS2


Jeff
 

I admit that I am a total noob, so please forgive my naive and somewhat dumb question.

While I wait for my telescope to come in and get shipped to me, I am really trying to learn my EXOS-II mount.
I've been successful, I think, at polar aligning.  However, I noticed that if I align the arrows (see attached pics) on the RA and DEC pivot points, my polar scope becomes obstructed. 
Secondly, I bought a vixen style dovetail rail to attach a camera for right now.  My assumption would be that the slot (and the rail) should be parallel to the direction of the lens and point to the
object I want to put into view, but it is not.
So, I'm curious if I'm doing any wrong in the setup of my mount, etc.  or am I just completely misunderstanding things?

Thanks in advance for the help, understanding, and patience.

--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, CANON 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (<-- still on back order)
Software: ExploreStars


Wes Mcdonald
 

James

The hole is obscured because the telescope is supposed to be turned to dec =0 or 90 out when you are using the polar scope.  This moves the telescope so it will not hit you in the head when you are trying to use the polar scope.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

James


The vixen bar when mounted in the saddle is correctly pointing along the ra axis.  It does look as though it is not but it is.  The camera should be mounted to look directly down the vixen bar.  

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Jeff
 

Wes et al,

I'm now at a complete loss, I just can't seem to get things straightened out.  I have my camera mounted to point directly down the vixen bar.  But I still seem to be 90 degrees off.
I tried doing a two star alignment within Explore Stars, but I do have some obstacles and don't see anyway that I can choose the stars to align to.  Is there any way to tell ExploreStars
which stars I want to use for alignment?  My thought process was to have the mount slew to a known star that I can actually see, and then manually control ExploreStars to position the 
camera so that it is inline with that star and then sync.  But all of the star choices it gives for alignment are either obstructed by landscape or light pollution.  

The only tools I have at my disposal are the ExploreStars on iPad, my mount, and my camera. (Telescope still on backorder)
I've scoured YouTube and other sites looking for something to aid me in this, but everything seems to point to using a Pole Master or other software which I don't have the equipment right now
to use.

Are there any resources that I may have overlooked?  

Also, on my Exos 2gt, there are a lot of dials, do I need to do anything regarding them?  

I sincerely appreciate all the feedback I have received thus far.

Jeff

--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, Canon 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (Backorder)
Software: ExploreStars (iPad)


Wes Mcdonald
 

Jeff:

SOmething is amiss.  Some of your other problem we can help you with.

I have to go out soon, will get back to you probably tonight ifn o one else has.  MEanwhile make sure you have the signs on your latitude and longitude in exploresatrs setup page.  Turn off auto align.  Then you can press next, next next next until you find a star you can see, then you can goto it in the 2-3 star.

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Harry
 

Jeff, just a couple of thoughts.

Are you using the time, date, position (Lat & Long) from your iPad to update that info in Explorestars? Anyway, however Explorestars is getting that info, double check it is correct. Especially the + or - for its position. Local time correct? The camera/vixen bar altitude is set to your latitude?

Do you have the mounts Home Position (north pointing tripod leg) oriented to True North, not magnetic North.

Wes has a great article in the files section of the Mounts Forum for establishing the mounts home position. It is geared for the iExos 100 mount, however I think its helpful for any mount.
--
Harry

Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ST3 Tripod

Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Guide: ZWO 30mm Mini, ZWO ASI120MM-Mini
Software: ASIair Pro, iPad Pro, MacOS, Affinity Photo, SkySafari Plus
Cameras: ZWO 533MC Pro, Nikon D5500 (UV/IR Mod), D600
Misc: Rokinon 135mm F2 Lens, ES USB Power Bank
Filters:  Optolong L-Pro, L-eNhance






Jeff
 

Harry,

Yes, I've validated that my Lat & Long are correctly updated in ExploreStars.  Time is also correct.
The camera/vixen bar altitude is set to your latitude? (My ignorance will show here..) I think I correctly polar aligned my mount.  I point the one leg (the one inline with the polar scope) towards
where Polaris is.  I try my best to get as accurate as possible.  I then turn on my 'red light' in the polar scope, and adjust my angle up and down with the two "handle" like screws. I then use the two knobs to adjust the side-to-side to get Polaris into the tiny little dot.  I also have my tripod leveled very accurately.  I perform this every time I take it out.

I hope this clarifies what I'm and have been doing.  I'm just confused as to what the other dials are for, like the dial where the balance rod goes into the mount and the dials around the polar scope eye piece.  Do I need to do anything with those?

I will certainly search for Wes' article and see if it helps me.  Thanks, Harry.

--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, Canon 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (Backordered)
Software: ExploreStars (iPad)


 

On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 12:19 PM, Jeff wrote:
I'm just confused as to what the other dials are for, like the dial where the balance rod goes into the mount and the dials around the polar scope eye piece.  Do I need to do anything with those?
Jeff, 

Those are for positioning to RA/DEC coordinates.  Legacy features, from back in the day when mounts of this design were manual, or just clock-driven.  No worries - just ignore them.  

- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2, Serial
Scopes: SW 130P-DS, SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM 6.3, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Harry
 

Jeff, 
Yes, at the home position, your scope or  camera should be pointed up at the approximate angle to match your latitude. So, if your position (from iPad or ExploreStars) is N35 degrees, your mount altitude should be 35. This means at your position, Polaris is 35 degrees above the horizon. There is a marked dial with degrees to use for this. However the dials are adjustable and generally not that accurate. Many of us use an app called PS Allign Pro on a cell phone. It has many functions, including a compass, and angle meters to measure your altitude angle, as well as a simplified screen of where the celestial North Pole actually is. That’s because Polaris is just a rough location. The CNP is slightly offset from this.
--
Harry

Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ST3 Tripod
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Guide: ZWO 30mm Mini, ZWO ASI120MM-Mini
Software: ASIair Pro, iPad Pro, MacOS, Affinity Photo, SkySafari Plus
Cameras: ZWO 533MC Pro, Nikon D5500 (UV/IR Mod), D600
Misc: Rokinon 135mm F2 Lens, ES USB Power Bank
Filters:  Optolong L-Pro, L-eNhance






 

Jeff, one thing that you might be missing is that the system must be powered up when the mount is in the home position. That’s because it calculates its position from the motor ‘counts’, beginning at zero; and zero is reset every time the mount is powered up. If the clutches are ever released and the mount manually moved after it’s powered on, or if the power is cycled when the mount is not in the home position., the system will lose track of its coordinates.

 

So, the mount must be set to home position, clutches locked…then powered on…and clutches never released nor power cycled after that. The fact that you’re 90 degrees off might be a clue that the system, for some reason, was powered up at 90 degrees to the home position.

 

Just a thought…

 

Chuck Lewis  

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff
Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2021 9:52 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] ESOS-II GS Mount confusion #EXOS2

 

Wes et al,

I'm now at a complete loss, I just can't seem to get things straightened out.  I have my camera mounted to point directly down the vixen bar.  But I still seem to be 90 degrees off.
I tried doing a two star alignment within Explore Stars, but I do have some obstacles and don't see anyway that I can choose the stars to align to.  Is there any way to tell ExploreStars
which stars I want to use for alignment?  My thought process was to have the mount slew to a known star that I can actually see, and then manually control ExploreStars to position the 
camera so that it is inline with that star and then sync.  But all of the star choices it gives for alignment are either obstructed by landscape or light pollution.  

The only tools I have at my disposal are the ExploreStars on iPad, my mount, and my camera. (Telescope still on backorder)
I've scoured YouTube and other sites looking for something to aid me in this, but everything seems to point to using a Pole Master or other software which I don't have the equipment right now
to use.

Are there any resources that I may have overlooked?  

Also, on my Exos 2gt, there are a lot of dials, do I need to do anything regarding them?  

I sincerely appreciate all the feedback I have received thus far.

Jeff

--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, Canon 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (Backorder)
Software: ExploreStars (iPad)


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools


Jeff
 

So, by "home" position, do you mean that the etched arrows need to be in alignment on the RA and DEC? (I have pics in my original post regarding those arrows).
Chuck, this may be my problem, and when I get a chance to go back out I will give this a try.  This is very good information!

Jeff
--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, Canon 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (Backordered)
Software: ExploreStars (iPad)


 

Yes. Home position is when your mount is polar aligned and the arrows are matching on both RA and DEC. If your mount was powered up while you were doing a PA using the polar alignment scope (which requires you to rotate the dec axis 90 degrees), then that would account for the 90 degree error you’re seeing. The fix is easy: After you’re PA is done, loosen the clutches, align the arrows, tighten the clutches, and THEN power up the PMV-Eight electronics. That zeros the motor counts at known, repeatable angles. There are ways to establish a more accurate home position than relying on the arrows, but for now, it might be close enough to get you going.

 

Chuck

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2021 6:23 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] ESOS-II GS Mount confusion #EXOS2

 

So, by "home" position, do you mean that the etched arrows need to be in alignment on the RA and DEC? (I have pics in my original post regarding those arrows).
Chuck, this may be my problem, and when I get a chance to go back out I will give this a try.  This is very good information!

Jeff
--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, Canon 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (Backordered)
Software: ExploreStars (iPad)


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools


Jeff
 

Aha!!! I bet that's my issue!  Chuck, you're a gentleman and a scholar.  I shall name my third born in your honor. lol. I'm eager to try it out to confirm, but will have to wait for the right night.
Who or what do you use to control the clouds and weather?  lol.  

Jeff
--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, Canon 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (Backordered)
Software: ExploreStars (iPad)


Jeff
 

Chuck,

You da man!  I was able to finally get out and test your theory.  Although I wasn't able to precisely align my scope due to just using the view finder of my camera, it slew to the general positions 
that I chose from the catalog.  I assume that I will have to do a 3-star or 2-star alignment each and every time?  I think once I get a real scope mounted on, I can better align the mount.
But, yeah, before turning the PMC on, I made sure to match up the arrows, then turn on the PMC.  Oh, and I did turn auto alignment off.  Should I always have this setting off?

Are there any tricks when performing a 3-star or 2-star alignment?  I'm not opposed to doing things the hard way, but if you (or others) recommend that I purchase any software and equipment for that purpose, I would love to hear any recommendations.

Again, thank you and the rest of the group for helping me get over what I'm sure is my first hurdle.  :)

Jeff

--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, Canon 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (Backordered)
Software: ExploreStars (iPad)


Wes Mcdonald
 

Jeff

2-3 alignment only needed when first setting up.  If you move your mount, redo it.

When you do the 2-3 it’s very important to align on the correct star.  So to help in vein go sure you have the correct one you will need a res dot finder.  It is the easiest to use because it shows you the entire sky which you can compare to a sky chart to see which of the stars in the constellation is the correct one.  I use SkySafari and use it to see what star is what relative to the one used by Explorestars.  

Auto align off of what you want.  It allows you to keep moving the through the list of bright stars until you come to one that is visible and you can identify in the sky without question.

Once you move the mount so the star is in the center of the res dot, you then center the star in a medium power eyepiece.  It must be very close to center.  

Once you have completed the 2-3 star go to a star and after you center it hit the SYNC button.  This removes most of the residual errors.  This can be done also when you do a goto to a deep space object that you cannot see to center.  Do a goto to a nearby star thst you can see and center it.  Then SYNC.  The. Do a goto to the DSO. It will be dead center.  

Wes



--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100, ESG11
ES ED 127+MoonLite Focuser, 10" LX200GPS+ MoonLite focuser+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified, ASI071 cooled OSC, ASI MM290 guide camera
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


 

Jeff,

 

I’m glad you have cleared that hurdle! But I think I’m the wrong one to help you with 2- or 3- star alignments. My backyard has a very limited area of sky , and I can’t see anything below 45 degrees elevation…and even then, over only a small azimuth. So, I’ve never tried that alignment method. My solution, since I can see at least the eastern part of the region around Polaris, was to obtain a small guide scope and camera, and to use SharpCap to do the polar alignment. That made a huge difference; I can now slew to a selected star and be pretty close. A plate-solve will center it quickly. I am using a tripod-mounted P.C. (one of the inexpensive “mini-computers”) with a short serial connection to the PMC-8 box. I’ve got a small monitor & wireless keyboard/mouse plugged into the P.C.  Once I’m set up and running, I can switch over to Remote Desktop and monitor the guiding and exposure sequencing from inside the house. Other systems like Asiair, and Raspberry PI should be similar. Getting that stuff working was easier than expected, and it seems to have paid off with a big bang-for-the -buck.

 

You are a couple steps away from that level of complexity…maybe one of the helpers here on the forum can advise you on a 2/3 star alignment, or even a simple drift alignment. But hang on; each of these challenges has a solution or two, and the learning process is a lot of fun.

 

Chuck  

 

   

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2021 4:47 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] ESOS-II GS Mount confusion #EXOS2

 

Chuck,

You da man!  I was able to finally get out and test your theory.  Although I wasn't able to precisely align my scope due to just using the view finder of my camera, it slew to the general positions 
that I chose from the catalog.  I assume that I will have to do a 3-star or 2-star alignment each and every time?  I think once I get a real scope mounted on, I can better align the mount.
But, yeah, before turning the PMC on, I made sure to match up the arrows, then turn on the PMC.  Oh, and I did turn auto alignment off.  Should I always have this setting off?

Are there any tricks when performing a 3-star or 2-star alignment?  I'm not opposed to doing things the hard way, but if you (or others) recommend that I purchase any software and equipment for that purpose, I would love to hear any recommendations.

Again, thank you and the rest of the group for helping me get over what I'm sure is my first hurdle.  :)

Jeff

--
Mounts: EXOS-II GS, PMC-Eight
Cameras:  ZWO ASI 290MC, Canon 7D
Scope: ES-ED0806-01 (Backordered)
Software: ExploreStars (iPad)


--
Scope: Explore Scientific AR-102, Astro-Tech AD72ED, Nikon kit lenses
Mounts: Exos2GT-PMC8, Homebrew barndoor tracker
Camera: Nikon D7000, QHY5III-462C
S/W:  APT, DeepSkyStacker, Stellarium, CdC, PHD2, Sharpcap Pro, Gimp, RawTherapee, StarTools