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Blogs

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    First test of Baader 2.25x and Celestron NexYZ

    Fitted straight to Hyperion and couldn't get focus on Jupiter or Moon on either the 2" or 11/4". Had put some grease and loosened the focuser locking knob made it easier to adjust but still no joy.   Took it back home and Hyperion had the 1.25" adapter fitted to which Barlow with its converter were attached. After removing the Hyperion 1.25" adapter, Barlow fits straight on with its converter. This makes it usable up to around 9mm (18mm/2). At higher magnification the focuser would need

    RobertK

    RobertK

    The metal has landed!

    The metal has landed!

    After much advice here and thanks to a friend of a friend I took delivery of this today. 1.3 m high, many kilograms heavy!  It's been treated with zinc phosphate primer and will get a couple of coats of Hammerite or equivelant before planting.  This weekend I'm running Cat6 cable out to the plinth and starting to build the equipment box which will be fitted to the bottom of the mount.  Michael

    Synchronicity

    Synchronicity

     

    Reboot

    It seems a cheek to continue a blog about being a beginner 2 1/2 years after the last post but in many ways I still am.  Family health issues have meant that I got out with my equipment irregularly so spent most of my time trying to get set up.  I would collect an hour or so of data but rarely enough to encourage me to do anything with it. This year I decided to use what I have learned, solve my issues, and do a ‘reboot’. Equipment.  I’ve bought a QHY10 OSC cooled camera and spe

    Synchronicity

    Synchronicity

    First night with Baader

    First night with Baader

    Telrad fitted. Baader zoom has to be used in place of the 1.25" focuser, straight into the 2" focuser. Had a go at collimating first and managed to mess it up. All I could see after pointing at Vega first was a blob of light. Collimated again and was better, but realised it's too far from the secondary mirror. Removed the 1.25" focuser and fitted straight into the 2" one and that's perfect. Need to grease the focuser. Found Double-Double but was unable to split the 2 stars into 4 at 16

    RobertK

    RobertK

    First night viewing

    First night viewing

    Managed to get some clear skies shortly after 10 pm after the weather kept me anxious all day with sunshine, rain, and thunderstorm. Had to align the scope slightly, still needs some tweaking but I can’t get it to turn as it shows on some YouTube videos. Still, managed to put it near Jupiter and then with a bit of scanning with the 25mm piece found It. At first, only saw the bright disk and 3 moons (from left Callisto, Ganymede and Io on the right side of Jupiter). After a moment I was

    RobertK

    RobertK

     

    Comets, Space Stations and the Milkyway

    Hi all Been a while since I added to my blog. To be fair, not really had much to report! I have been out of furlough for over four weeks now, and with nearly 2000 of our Greene King pubs reopening in the space of a week recently, the last three weeks have been manic! We have a reduced team, but have all pulled together and got each site across the line! I would like to say things are slowing down a bit, but that just doesn't seem to be happening! But I'm not complaining - happy to be busy a

    Nigeyboy

    Nigeyboy

     

    Adding 3rd Party INDI Drivers to RPi for Astro Imaging

    This blog describes Installing 3rd Party Drivers into a Raspberry Pi having installed Ubuntu MATE and followed the instructions to run the AstroPi3 script to install INDI and other astro related software.  SSH has been enabled so that now the RPi can be accessed remotely from Terminal.  eg. ssh gina@rpi where gina is my user name and rpi is the computer name as set up during the Ubuntu MATE installation. This set up process is detailed in my blog :- Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Astro

    Gina

    Gina

     

    Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Astro Imaging and Control - Updated Feb 2020 for RPi 3B & RPi 3B+

    INTRODUCTION This is a tutorial explaining how to install an operating system and software into a micro SD card to use in a Raspberry Pi 3B or Raspberry Pi 3B+ for astro imaging and control of the relevant hardware.  The software to capture images, control camera cooling and other things such as the mount etc. is called INDI and provides a set of drivers to control all the hardware. The Raspberry Pi will run in what is called "headless" mode - meaning that no human interfaces ar

    Gina

    Gina

     

    Modifying 28BYJ-48 steppers to run off A4988 driver modules (like NEMA 17)

    I modify my 28BYJ-48 stepper motors to run off the A4988 driver modules, just like the Nema 17.   I use these for remote focus for my astro imaging. These motors come with centre-tapped coils with the centre-taps connected internally.  We need the full coils without the centre-taps and these need to be separate so the internal link needs breaking and center-taps ignored.  This in turn effectively changes a 5v rated motor to one that works fine with 12v. These photos show the coils and

    Gina

    Gina

     

    It’s alive 2!

    Finally bit the bullet and knuckled down to wiring the handpiece- really made a rod for my own back though with the very tight space for the wires...it’s going to be really tricky getting the other half of the housing on there without squashing wires 🤦‍♂️ But it works-almost perfectly-almost that is except the pwm on the LED isn’t pwming 🤔 I swapped from a nano to the new Arduino nano every and I’m guessing the code isn’t totally compatible... 0E01F364-3061-4211-904D-1334A76EFE8A.MOV

    markse68

    markse68

     

    "GinaRep Mini Mk.2" 3D Printer

    A new improved version of my "GinaRep Mini" 3D Printer.  The first version used cord for the drives whereas this one will use the standard timing belt for X and Y and trapezoidal screw drive for Z.  I also expect to use a stout wooden case of 18mm plywood like my Concorde printer, for maximum rigidity.  This is to be a specially accurate 3D printer with option of nozzles as small as 0.2mm.  Print bed will be 200mm x 200mm with around 200mm printing height.  Essentially this is to be a reduced si

    Gina

    Gina

     

    Magnetic coupling

    Initially I planned to make the focus motor quick release and the magnetic coupling made some sense but I ended up going for a simple screw mounted motor so it makes less sense now 🤔 But it’s done now and it works really well- better than I’d expected. It allows for lateral misalignment yet is a nice stiff rotational coupling for the sort of torque required to turn the moonlite knob. A ptfe pad keeps the magnets slightly separated so the two plates can move a little easier against each other. Th

    markse68

    markse68

     

    3D printed housings arrived

    I had to wait an unbearably long time but the 3D printed housings arrived this week and they look great 👍 Surprisingly everything fits- a bit snug but it fits! I’d hoped to get the handset all soldered up today but wasted too much tome shopping so I’ve just been staring at it- psyching myself up to it and trying to plan the best way to wire it- it’s a tight fit and I don’t want to screw it up. The little round pcb is a reverse polarity protection pcb I built for something else that also used li-

    markse68

    markse68

     

    Spider hub

    The spider hub came together tonight- bit of a mare as it’s glued together with high strength retaining compound which gave me about a minute to assemble everything and try to align all the screw holes 😳- needless to say it was a right panic not helped by a friend deciding to strike up conversation at the critical moment. Wish I hadn’t rushed it as it’s not perfectly aligned and not much I can do about it now but it’ll do I think. It’s getting a bit hefty though which is a worry- 200g alrea

    markse68

    markse68

     

    Big improvement- this will work I think

    Disappointed with the function of the design yesterday due to friction issues I’ve modified it- it now has only one spring and 4 screws. The spring keeps the indexing screw in contact with the v-groove in the mirror cell top plate. Adjustment is achieved by slackening all the screws then adjusting the tilt to focuser angle with the indexing screw, and the focuser-axial rotation with the 2 side screws then all 4 can be nipped up to lock it which is better than just relying on the springs I think.

    markse68

    markse68

     

    It kinda works 🤔

    Completed the screw adjuster plate so I could give the swash plate mechanism a try- it does kinda work but I think there’s too much friction in the swash plate and the ball joint- a ready made Igus part. So I’m thinking they might need to be ptfe and polishing the back of the mirror cell top plate will likely help. But getting there I think... 40749B06-F1D5-43DB-9E9C-3ACA97EC0561.MOV

    markse68

    markse68

     

    Starting to come together

    While I’m waiting for the 3D printed parts for the stepper focuser I’be been making a bit of progress on the secondary mount. Here’s the top plate of the mirror cell with the ball joint and the rotation locking grooved insert and a video to show how it’ll work. You’ll have to imagine the mirror tube as that’s next on the todo list 😉 69104768-5797-42C4-ACB7-BF8EE2E23CF9.MOV

    markse68

    markse68

     

    The design

    I like the original secondary mount on my Fullerscope- it cleverly separates the tilt from the rotate of the mirror but it’s a bit crude and too big for my new mirror. The new design is meant to be kinematic and I think it is 🤔 It tilts the mirror on a ball joint and axial rotation is locked by a sliding key way on one of the adjuster screws. There are 2 adjuster screws opposed by strong springs and the second screw and the springs bear down on a nylon swash plate to make the action smooth. The

    markse68

    markse68

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