Hello from Astroshop.de.
My name is Marcus Schenk. GoTo telescopes are the navigation systems of the sky. So a GoTo mount is a bit like your very own little electronic astronomer. When you have a clear starry sky and you take out your brand-new telescope, turn it on and then enter a target, the telescope automatically moves to that target. You then look through your eyepiece and you see the object in the centre of the eyepiece’s field of view. It’s that simple.
But how do you operate such a GoTo mount? In this video, we explain the GoTo control using a Skywatcher AZ-EQ 6 mount. The general principles apply to other models of mounts, so not only for Skywatcher, but also for other brands. Because GoTo controllers are all similarly constructed. First you make sure that the telescope or the mount is pointing north. We also have a special video in which we explain this. Then make sure that you have connected the power supply, so that the mount has power, and plug the handheld control box into the correct socket. Finally, you simply switch on the mount. After switching on, the handset first displays the message: EQ Mode, that is the parallactic setup method. You confirm this with Enter. Now the software version appears, again confirm with Enter. Next, a warning that you should not look at the Sun without a solar filter. You should definitely take this to heart! Then, again, confirm with Enter. Next, very importantly, enter the
geographic latitude and longitude coordinates. Because if you don’t do that, then the telescope can’t orient itself to the correct target, because the mount does not know where it is. Here in Germany, Austria or Switzerland we enter the eastern longitude which for us here is 10 degrees 52 minutes. Here you then choose between east and west.
For us, as I say, east. Then select 48 degrees north latitude and 58 minutes and press Enter again. Next, we have to enter the time zone, which for us is +1. And press Enter again. Dann sollten wir das Datum überprüfen. For example, if we are now in August, the 15th, in 2014, then we have to enter it this way. And then we have to enter the exact time at which we are observing. This can be, for example, 10.30 pm and then press Enter again. We have to confirm this again with Enter. Now we have to input whether we are in summer or winter time. We are in summer time right now, and we press Enter again. And the next step is: Begin alignment? The handset asks us if we want to orient to the first alignment star or whether we don’t want to use star alignment and instead want to move the telescope manually. In this case we want to use star alignment so we press 1 YES. Now we can choose whether we want to use the 1-star alignment method, or the 3-star or 2-star alignment methods. For simplicity, let’s use the 1-star alignment method and press Enter. The next step is to simply choose a suitable reference star. Take a look at the starry sky and see which star is familiar to you. The alignment stars are basically the brightest stars in the constellations, which are also included in the list, and you simply select the correct one. Let’s take Rukbah and then we press Enter and then the telescope automatically slews to the reference star. That takes a few moments. You can also see on the handset exactly when the telescope has reached the reference star. Now look directly through the telescope, your eyepiece, or the finder scope and see if you already see this reference star. If it is not yet set exactly in the centre of the field of view, use the direction keys on the handset, here, and press until the alignment star is really visible in the field of view. Then press Enter. So the alignment was successful and you can set up the first astronomical objects. The next step is to do just that,
you can, for example, slew to a planet, you go to Planet, back again, then to Planet and then select from a list of planets, which one you want to go to, e.g. Saturn. Then press Enter again and once again Enter. And then it asks you if you really want to set that target, and then it automatically slews to Saturn. And once it reaches Saturn, you have Saturn exactly in the eyepiece and you can observe it. And so it goes with many thousands of objects, that you want to take a look at. Just select the object, let it slew and then you can observe it.