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Eric the Halibut

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Everything posted by Eric the Halibut

  1. Hello, I had exactly the same problem with my 490ex and the safest solution was to use a strap wrench - very cheap on ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Baby-Boa-Constrictor-Strap-Wrench-Jar-Lid-Opener-Undo-Open-/231411340712?hash=item35e130d5a8:g:ez4AAOSwnDxUgHPK and works every time. Rgds, Alex Avalon Fast Reverse Mount; TS 130 Photoline; Skywatcher ED80; ES CometCatcher; Astromodified Canon 1100D; Canon 700D; Atik 490EX; ZWO 224MC
  2. Hello again, Well the silence is deafening on this problem, including some other groups that I have posted in, but I have found the answer to the problem. I ran Astrotortilla in Windows Safe Mode and it worked fine. So I started removing services and applications and read on another forum that antivirus software doesn't always coexist well with the application. My antivirus software is Kaspersky. Merely stopping Kaspersky is not effective, what you have to do is completely uninstall it and then Astrotortilla runs perfectly. I replaced it with AVG free and that runs ok. So if anyone else has problems with Astrotortila hanging, perhaps running in safe mode and checking antivirus software might be a good starting point. Rgds, Eric the Halibut
  3. Hello, I have managed to use astrotortilla successfully with widows xp but having bought a Dell laptop recently running windows 8.1 (and now windows 10) , whenever I try to plate solve files saved from my previous computer (created using BYEOS) the program always hangs with the message "jpeg to pnm: writing ppm file". I have completely removed cygwin (not an easy task) several times and re-installed astrotortilla v5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 several times but always get the same result. I assume that it is a permissions problem, maybe with backend.cfg? Would anyone have any idea what is going on and how to solve it? Eric the Halibut
  4. I have recently become very interested in Astrophotography and so I downloaded Astrotortilla having seen many very positive comments here regarding it. My setup is a an observatory mounted 12" Meade LX200 ACF with an ED 80 Piggy-backed on top. I have very good Polar alignment and good goto accuracy using either the handbox or Skytools 3 or Stellarium using the Ascom drivers for my mount via POTH. I have no problem solving images taken with BYEOS using a Canon 1100D - solving usually takes between 10 and 20 seconds but when I attempt to use Astrotortilla to slew to the accurate position it moves in the wrong direction and actually gets further away from the target - you can see this happen if you engage BYEOS during the slew process. Has anybody got any idea why this should happen? Is it a fault of the Autostar II system or maybe an ASCOM driver problem - this would be strange because the mount works well with Skytools3 and also Stellarium? This is disappointing because Astrotortilla would seem to be an ideal solution for getting the image central on the camera chip. I initially thought that it might be due to using the handbox to perform the initial goto but the same thing happens if I power on the scope and perform the initial goto using Stellarium or Skytools.
  5. Hello Space Beagle, Have you considered the RVO astronomy chair? It folds up for storage, is adjustable and there is a video of it being assembled on the attached link. RVO New Observing Chair | Telescope Accessories | Rother Valley Optics I bought one and am very impressed with it. Rgds,
  6. what was the delivery time on the hand set ?? Mine arrived after 2 days. I have used Teleskop Service in the past and they have always been very reliable.
  7. I got one last week and it works fine with my 10 inch skywatcher auto dob. It comes with rev 3.03 firmware and you need to upgrade it to rev 3.08. Mine didn't come with the pc rs232 lead but they sent me a lead free of charge when I queried it. The software upgrade is very easy.
  8. Thanks for that Jason. A fascinating article but it is starting to get rather complicated - I shall try again tomorow. At the end of the day is it worth getting the collimation absolutely spot on? When do diminishing returns set in? I suppose that the ultimate test is with a star but there seems no chance of that at the moment with the current weather.
  9. I am still having trouble getting my skywatcher 10inch dob accurately collimated. I can align the primary to the secondary and the secondary to the primary fairly accurately and repeatably using the hotech laser collimator, but the final setup is not centred in the collicap - it has moved up a bit giving a gap at the bottom. The starting point is fine and I can get the image in the colli cap fairly central by adjusting the central screw in the spider as per Astro baby's guide, but as soon as I align the secondary with the primary centre spot with the hotech collimator - which entails moving the 3 hex bolts - than as soon as I am centred, the image in the collicap has moved upwards. What am I doing wrong, or should I just ignore the error. The whole process seems to be very repeatable nomatter how much I deliberately disturb the secondary mirror, the same ending situation alway occurs so maybe the scope is deliberately offset in some way. Thanks in anticipation.
  10. Thought youmight like to know that Teleskop Services now sell a "Skyscan" handset specifically for the purpose of upgrading the skywatcher auto dobsonian scopes to goto. Wolfi says that they have sold a large number of these and it works perfectly. Cost is about £178 including delivery which works out about £120 cheaper than buying the goto option outright. Skywatcher SynScan GoTo Upgrade für Autotracking Dobsons
  11. Eric the Halibut


    Hello and welcome to SGL
  12. Thanks for that Peter you were spot on. I wound the focuser all the way in and bingo I can see all of the clips. Mel's tutorial actually says 'Use a collimation cap in the focuser to force your eye central to the focus tube and rack the focuser tube as far out as possible.' Perhaps this should say 'as far in as possible.'
  13. My Skywatcher 10" auto dob arrived last week. Unfortunately there were a few problems: 2 small dings in the tube; thumb screw in 1.25inch adapter broken in half but worst of all the telescope would not stay in any position below 45 degrees without falling back to the horizontal position and the motors would not function properly. I had to send the offending panel back to OVL and received the replacement today. The scope works fine now but unfortunately they left out the handle and screws for the side panel. Do Skywatcher not have a QA department? These seem to be pretty elementary problems that a half decent QA system should have sorted out. I am now nervous about the long term reliability of the scope. Are Skywatcher telescope generally reliable? Anyway the question I have is to do with Collimation. I read Astrobaby's guide and other Youtube videos on collimation and decided to try to collimate the scope today. I bought a Hotech lase collimator and also a Cheshire collimator for this purpose. When I attached the Hotech collimator and switched the laser on the collimation was way off. You could clearly see the laser beam shining through the tube and missing the secondary mirror when you held your hand up outside the tube. After a lot of fiddling I managed to get the secondary to line up with the primary centre spot and also got the primary to lilne up in the collimator. This proved to be a very worthwhile exercise as it showed me the mechanics of collimation which weren't as terrifying as I originally thought. I checked with the Cheshire and it seemed pretty good. My question is, when I put the home made colli cap (made from an old 35mm cannister as suggested) into the eyepiece, everything looks fine but I can't see all of the primary retaining clips. In fact the clips are outside the diameter of the view. Is this something to worry about seeing that the primary and secondary appear to be well aligned to themselves. If it is a problem, I don't see how I could cure it because merely rotating the secondary mirror via the adjustment screws won't shrink the image so that the clips appear in the eyeiece unless I'm missing something. Thanks in anticipation.
  14. Rother Valley Optics do a really nice one RVO New Observing Chair | Telescope Accessories | Rother Valley Optics. There's a demo of it available on Youtube at the url above.
  15. Hello and welcome to SGL
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