My Telescope Slews Erratically, And It's Not Locating Objects. What Can I Do

My telescope slews erratically, and it’s not locating objects. What can I do?

Setting up any instrument is frustrating in the beginning. It can be stressful, even more, experienced users.

Are you a beginner with a new shinning telescope? Every time you try to use the scope, it just gives you optimal results or any results at all?

What do you do in such a case? Your instruction manual is not making much sense, either! Fret not; you have stumbled in the right place.

We will help you troubleshoot your telescope with the best technical remedies. Follow along for bonus insights for better a better performance for all your astronomical endeavors.

What is slewing in a telescope?

In general, slewing is when an object rotates around an axis. Slewing is a very commonly used terminology in astronomy.

When you rotate your telescope for observing different parts of the deep sky. You are effectively slewing the scope.

What is the difference between slew, track, and sync?

When you are slewing your telescope, you are rotating it to observe a specific object. Once the scope reaches the target, it starts tracking it.

The tracking in the scope occurs at a particular rate. This rate is called the side real rate. It depicts the movement of the stars across the sky.

This is essentially true for the stars and all celestial objects in the sky. However, these objects may move differently. This allows the telescope to track specific objects better.

The tracking property makes it vital to have a special command. The controls are essential for non-side real rates.

The sync property of your telescope is its internal coordinates. This helps in better tracking. Hence, all three features are different yet interlinked.

What is a tracking telescope?

Pairing a conventional telescope with a computer and a GPS gives rise to a tracking telescope. The scope allows for intelligent operations for navigating celestial objects.

A tracking telescope is a famous commodity among astronomers. With this type of telescope, you don’t have to use a navigation map or conduct manual tracking.

Charging your telescope

There are several methods for recharging your telescope. You can choose between an AC adapter and an AC power supply.

Some specific models are supplemented with an adapter. While for others, you need to make a unique purchase.

AC adapters make for a cost practical choice for getting your scope powered. However, it is crucial to maintain a significant slack in the power cords for safety reasons.

Most telescopes have a standard in-built battery. This is especially beneficial for avid astronomers, as it eliminates the need to buy new batteries frequently.

There two most commonly used batteries for powering a telescope. The first is Sealed Lead Acid Batteries and Lithium Batteries.

Lead Acid batteries are not ideal for more prolonged operations. If you choose to go ahead with SLA batteries, you need to conduct recurring charges.

Lithium batteries are the new way of powering your telescope. They are reliable and cost-effective.

A solution for your telescope slewing erratically and for accurately locating objects.

Is your telescope not giving optimal performance? It would help if you asked the following questions.

  • Is my telescope aligned?
  • Is the alignment mode the right one?
  • Are the time and date settings of my telescope accurate?
  • Are the latitude settings correct?
  • Did I lock the telescope’s RA and DEC axes?

After you have asked these questions and attended to the problems, here is a more elaborate insight into troubleshooting:

The Power Supply

Begin by replacing the old batteries with new ones and in a polished holder. You can also transition to an direct current supply source.

You can try using a high-quality AC adapter. If you are using an external source, make sure the power input is dust-free.

The central pins should be equally spread out. Make sure you do a routine check of your adapters and wall plugs.


You can try factory resetting your telescope. Go the factory settings options. Once you have employed the reset, it will restore the original setting in the manual controller.

The Mounting

With older or used mounts, you need to flare up the hand controller and the firmware. There are various robust firmware programs available online under minimal pricing.

Using the connector cable, connect the PC to your telescope. The connection is made via the manual controller.

Now run the upgraded software to replace the old and redundant version. For relatively new mounts, you can use a firmware manager.

If all these troubleshooting does not work, your telescope needs professional help. The expert will conduct a factory service or restore the optimal settings.

Recommended Reading:


  1. Celestron
  2. Telescope Plus
  3. ArkSky
  4. KDE
  5. Celestron