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Posts posted by cabby

  1. My parents are on the NW side of Mull, every time we come up to see them it's raining!! We've been there when it's coming down nearly horizontaly.

    Mind you last Oct we came up for a few days and one night it was totally clear, so scope in the car and drove up to the top of the hill road and what a sight, it takes your breath away.

    When it's clear it's the best sky I've ever seen.

  2. Scope cooled and ready to go, mount tracking the moon for some filming after dinner.

    %$£"!*& it where did all that damn cloud come from, went out the front and it's as far as the eye can see.

    I wouldn't mind but it's been clear all day long. :D

    Moon was looking really good tonight as well!

  3. Many years ago before the internet we have now and ebay, when things were for sale in specialist magazines. I used to buy and sell alot of vintage scooter spares.

    I always sent by recorded delivery and once it actually payed off. I sold a very rare petrol gauge, the buyer sent a cheque and I sent it recorded delivery.

    He eventually rang to say it never arrived, so I got the info from Royal Mail when it was delivered and a copy of the signature (which matched the cheque!!).

    I rang the buyer and gave him the facts and told him not to bother buying anymore from myself or others who sold the same parts in the Scootering Scene

    as his name was going to be passed on country wide, he put the phone down and I never heard from him again!! neither did anyone else.

  4. I'm not familiar with your scope, but with my Celestron Goto mount I can use 1,2 or 3 star align. You don't need to find exact stars.

    I put in the date and time then I basically centre a bright star in the ep and then align, then do the same for the next 2.

    I use Polaris and then move east to the next brightest star and so on, the further apart the better.

    The software then works out where the mount is, very clever stuff!

  5. Hi Gina

    The servo I used was one I've had for at least 30yrs! It's an old Sanwa, but I'd of thought most servo's would do the job, they'll be slightly different inside though.

    You just have to be able to mount a thread into the main gear.

    I'm not sure what the speed output is for the controller but it can go very slow for pinpoint focusing and as fast as you would like, to fast really! It was just an easy option as it was ready to use straight from the box.


    • Like 1

  6. A few people have asked me for details of the focuser I made for my Celestron Astromaster 130.


    All the details are on this site which I used to make it, so all the credit goes to the many people who worked it out before me.

    I thought it would be easier if I put all the details in one thread instead of lots of links.

    I've listed all the components I used and their part codes from Maplins.

    RN41 Panel Mounted Speed Regulator Module

    HF28 PP3 Type Battery Snap

    N70BQ ABS Enclosure (box) 112x62x27

    FJ89 Phono Plug

    YW06G Phono Chassis Socket

    FH07H Miniture Toggle Switch On/Off/On non locking both ways

    FH98G SPDT Ultra Mini Toggle Switch Off/On

    A length of speaker wire, 2mtrs should be enough.

    First of all you need to remove the focuser wheel towards the base of the scope. This is held in by a small philips screw.

    I managed to find a similar screw, but much longer in my spares. You will need one of at least 25mm long that will fit into the focuser rod and still be long enough to attach to the servo.

    I'm sorry but I don't know the exact thread size, maybe someone reading this may be able to tell us.

    Next you need to take the R/C servo apart. Different makes etc have different internals so basically all you need are the motor and gearing. All other parts ie wiring need to be removed.

    On the main gear will be a raised stop, this basically stops the gear from revolving 360 degrees. This needs to be cut off with a sharp knife.


    The next part needs to be taken slowly, have a drill bit the same size as your screw and drill out the centre of the gear where the original servo screw went, you will need to check how your servo gear is supported, you may only be able to drill down a short way. On mine I went all the way through. If you can't you'll need to cut the screw head off.

    You can now connect the screw to the gear so the other end will screw into the focuser rod.

    It should be Araldited into the gear once you are sure it is long enough.

    The next stage is to drill a small hole in the servo base to allow the speaker wire through. Once done both cables at one end need to be soldered to the motor terminals. The servo is now complete and ready to be put back together.

    The other end of the cable needs to be connected to the male Phono Plug.



    It is better to screw the servo into the focusing rod so you can get the exact measurements for your bracket.

    These are the measurements that I used for mine.


    I made my bracket from a piece of aluminium I had spare and then sprayed it black.


    If you look under the focuser there is a metal plate which holds it all together with 2 screws in. Once you make your bracket you can drill 2 holes in your bracket and use these screws for extra support if you wish, I didn't on mine and it is stable enough.

    I also added a small piece of rubber sleeve to cover the screw thread.


    The next stage is the controller. All the parts listed fit into the box, just!


    You can see more or less where everything fits.

    The hardest part was wiring and soldering the main switch as it is quite small and fiddly.

    I have included a very basic wiring diagram and you can see how the switch is wired. It must be done like this as you need forward and reverse for the motor.


    And here it is in the flesh.


    Once everything is done and you are happy screw the thread into the focuser with a tiny bit of thread lock and do up tight. Attach the bracket and then fix the servo to it.

    I included an on/off switch as in another thread as it was noted the controller would run the battery down even when not in use.

    When I hold the box in my hand right hand I can use the focusing switch which is forwards for in and back for out. If this isn't right for you just swap the wires in the phono plug around.

    Your left hand can adjust the speed.

    Well there it is, any questions just ask. No more wobbles at high mag, using a webcam you can get the focus spot on, and you can still use the left side for manual.


  7. I've had them in my shed's and garage over the years and they have done alot of damage. I used to keep base mixes for C a r p bait and that is what attracted them.

    I don't keep any in there anymore and only get the odd visitor now and then.

    Here's a tip from a very funny Cornishman for a special mouse trap!!

  8. Good luck with it. We've had the same scope since Oct and have had many fun nights with it.

    You'll get used to the cloud! we usually set the scope up and let it cool down just ready for the clouds to show up and ruin it all!

    Just use the time to read up on info and work out what you want to see the next time it's clear!

    If you pop into the kitchen during the evening always have a look outside because many times the clouds have gone!!

    I have been known to set up again at 11 o'clock much to the amazement of the wife who thinks I'm mad!!

    Have fun

  9. You will be buying flowers and chocalates on the way home, won't you :icon_salut:

    for the next year I reckon!!

    That's why I used to love C a r p fishing so much.

    The wife never showed any interest in it and never knew what gear I had.

    On the odd occasion she wandered down the workshop, if she noticed something new I always told her I'd had it for ages!!

  10. I've got a 130 Astromaster and the focusing is fine on that with the SPC900.

    It has the same f/l 650, I've used a barlow for Jupiter as well with no problem.

    Here's my first pic of the moon from the other night.

    Forgot to say that I use a DIY electric focuser that I've made from a R/C servo with a speed control for very fine adjustment,

    it does make focusing so much easier.


  11. My first shot of the moon so be gentle!

    I used my Astromaster 130 and Philips webcam with Sharpcap and Registax.

    This is all I could get on the screen, so I presume I will have to do a mosaic to get the full monty?

    I'm just chuffed that at long last I managed to get a hole in the clouds for a couple of hours!!


  12. scopes been out cooling down, had a quick look at the moon while it was still light.

    Thought I'll have my first look at Venus and it's covered in whispy cloud!

    Just looked to the NW and a huge bank of cloud is on it's way!!

    Time for a beer me thinks!!

  13. Great pictures, still struggling to get anything close with mine.

    Clear skies last night but just ended up with the white blob as usual! I was really gutted as 3 of the moons were in shot and appeared on the screen in sharpcap but not in the final pic!

    Fri is looking promising so I'll have another go.

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