Strategies for Recovering Lost Alignments

Strategies for Recovering Lost Alignments

There is nothing so frustrating as losing mount alignment in the middle of an observing session! Your mount can lose alignment for any number of reasons.

It should be noted that a computer crash where the mount remains powered up should not cause a loss of alignment so long as you have saved your currently created alignment points. The option to save alignment point data as you append points is currently available in the points editor as of v1.22g.

Simply:

  • reboot the computer
  • restart planetarium/EQMOD etc
  • EQMOD will update itself from the current position of the mount.
  • restore your backed up points

During an observing session a loss of alignment is most probably due to:

  • a loss of power to the mount
  • an unexpected movement of the mount when bumped and the clamps are not tight.

Your mount can also lose alignment at the end of an observing session due to:

  • improper parking

Recovering Lost Alignment

You can, of course, simply start over with a new alignment. The following technique(s) provide a more sophisticated approach to the problem with very good accuracy.

Assumptions:

  • the mount has been aligned (preferably with at least 3 points).
  • The mount has been previously successfully parked to an accurately reproduced location. The recommended park location for this process is the horizontal one measured with a good digital level (i.e. both the telescope and the weight bar are horizontal). Even if you do not usually use this position for regular parking, you should consider defining it for this process of easily and accurately restoring alignment.
  • you have saved alignment points preferably from the current session. Previously saved alignment points would restore you to the start of the current session.

Recovering Lost Alignment

Steps:

  • Park the mount to the user defined horizontal position. Unclamp the mount first since the mount may move to an unexpected position.
  • Clamp the mount in the horizontal position. (best guess… no precision required)
  • Make sure the “Unpark Mode” option is set to “Unpark” vs some other unpark option.
  • Unpark.
  • Make sure the mount is not tracking.
  • Using your level and the slew controls, precisely level the mount in Az/Dec.
  • Click the [Resync Encoders] button (mount must be unparked and NOT tracking)

  • Start tracking.
  • Restore alignment data

You will find this method gives remarkable accuracy with a minimum of lost time. It's probably a good idea to give it a practice run so you can use it quickly and easily when necessity arises.

/home/welshdra/public_html/eqmod/data/pages/strategies_for_recovering_lost_alignments.txt · Last modified: 2010/08/21 23:01 (external edit)
 
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