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Incorrect Date and Time Displayed on GPS Models During Quick Align and Auto Align

If the date displayed is approximately 20 years in the past, read THIS article.

During most alignment routines the scope references the GPS module for the correct date and time and uses the time zone and daylight savings time settings in the hand control to display local time.  If the GPS module can obtain a link, the date and time will be updated, if not, the GPS module reports the date and time based on the last link, potentially off by a few seconds.

One source of inaccuracy is an incorrect setting for either the time zone or daylight savings time - read this for more details.

There is another potential problem. The GPS module uses either a small rechargeable battery (older models) or a super-capacitor (current models) to maintain the date and time as well as the most recent data elements downloaded from the GPS satellites. If your telescope has not been used in several weeks or is only used infrequently for short periods of time this battery or supercapacitor will lose its charge. In this case the date and time will revert to an arbitrary state and linking to the GPS satellites will take longer than normal, perhaps several minutes.

While a supercapacitor charges in minutes, the battery used in older models can take some time to fully recharge. To recharge the battery, connect your power source and switch the power on. There is no need to perform an alignment - in fact it is better that you don't so that the scope will not begin tracking. Leave the power on for at least 48 hours. Then take the scope outdoors to allow a GPS link. If the date and time are incorrect the next time you are unable to get a GPS link (typically only if testing indoors), the battery may need replaced.   Read this for the location of the GPS board and how to actually replace the battery.

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Michael Swanson
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