I bought a GoTo upgrade for my EQ3-2 mount from Astroshop Warehouse Deals. The connectors for R.A. and Dec. cables are in inverse order with correct but upside-down labels. The defect appears not to affect the actual operation.
The Sky-Watcher upgrade kits do not contain installation instructions for the motors, and the handset manual was for a previous version. Fortunately, a blogger has provided self-made instructions, and Orion has a V5 hand controller manual. Orion also offers a manual for installing the motors, but the motors are different. Even so, the manual provides a couple of tips not mentioned in the blog: the setscrews in the gears should hit the flat part of the worm gear shaft, and the R.A. motor gears are more comfortable to align without the motor cover on the way. In the end, installing the kit was not too tricky, but getting the gears aligned required some trial and error.
To check if the device works properly, I made a dry using my iPhone and SkySafari as a telescope. On the first attempt, the GoTo was totally off, but after double-checking the setup (the controller wants the day and the month in reverse order), it was able to point to the general direction of the target. Later the sky cleared enough, and I was able to perform a real test. Unfortunately, no stars were visible, and I was not able to test alignment. Lunar tracking worked well enough for visual given the crude polar alignment.
So far, I have only used the hand controller, but Stellarium seems to be able to connect with the mount, and it should be possible to use SkySafari via SynScan Pro App for Windows. I am not sure if I want to go through the hassle of installing EQMOD at this point, but it has some exciting features like using a gamepad to control the mount or using any star for alignment.
I have arrived at the Jaques Station in Colonia, and the eighteen-month journey is finally over. The legs with dates are in the table below. The Cobra lost 65 % of its paintwork, and my exploration rank increased from Surveyor to Ranger.
My ship had a meagre ~26 light-years jump range. Upgrading to a Diamondback Explorer or Asp Explorer would have shortened the trip, and I should have enabled the jet-cone boost from the beginning. Visiting all Blue Star Line, and Colonia Connection systems led to some detours, but in exchange, I was able to collect more exploration data. Next time I will probably only visit the stations to save time.
Blu Thua AI-A c14-10
Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-10
Eagle Sector IR-W d1-117
Removed Planetary Vehicle Hangar to increase jump range.
So far I have only done afocal moon photos with a smartphone, so a couple of nights ago I try prime focus photography with my system camera. Because I do not have tracking motors, I was able to use exposure times up to only 0,5 seconds. With the ISO turned up to the maximum I was able to capture the Orion Nebula. The quality of the images is not particularly satisfying as I only got time to capture a few frames. Also, the Trapezoid cluster seems overexposed, so I can probably tune the ISO down next time. Both of the photos above were stacked with Sequator and processed in Affinity Photo.
The final processed image shown at the end of the video is the one from My First Telescope. I used a trial version of Adobe Premiere Rush to compose the video. The user experience was much better than the open source editor I used for the previous Moon video, but the software was sluggish even on a Surface Pro with an i7. Also, all the premade titles and callouts look rather hideous.