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About HDJ

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  1. In 7 days I'll be meeting Al Worden, from Apollo 15. I'll try get his autograph for free., maybe even a photo of the both of us Check out the Space Shop on the Kennedy website. You can spend many many more times the £100 on signed items. Mind you some of them are first edition prints signed by all 12 Moon walkers! Not bad for the price of a small hatchback
  2. Did anyone manage to view or image this? Apparently it was a short notice object. Was suppose dto be somewhere near to Polaris, but I couldn't find it. 2008 EZ7 is the name I think. 100,000 miles form the Earth.
  3. Mine wasn't so bad, however with the heavier tripod and larger bolts etc, it's certainly more rigid now than before.
  4. Thanks Saturn5. Good post. I'll try to check out the BLues Restaurant. Look slike we'll be getting those "GO ORLANDO" cards, free admission to almost every minor attractions around, so we can please ourselves. Also we get the "Kids Eat Free Cards" thown in too. not that they'll eat much anyway, plenty of doggy bags I reckon! Gonna do 7 days of non-stop touristy stuff, but not consecutively. Out of the two weeks, we'll have the 7 full days, rest of time is chilling time. Phil. (hope to take a scope with me, so who knows)
  5. Well, unconventional as I am.. hehe I won't be visiting any theme parks. No Disney, No Universal etc.. We'll be visiting all the other stuff and driving around. Several cruises over at Tampa Bay, Gatorland, Airboat rides, Silver Springs, Kennedy Space Centre, several other small attractions and chilling out at the Villa. I think when ya go to Disney there is too much on offer and you never feel you did everything, so this trip we WILL do everything we want and be happy Last time I was out there was in 2004, didn't do Disney then either. LOL My kids like Rockets, Gators and Dinosaurs more than Mickey Mouse.
  6. You know I can't really remember which end I took it from. I had to remove it in order to remove the dovetail nut and bolts, as the nuts were basic flat nuts and I had to get into the tube to stop them spinning so I could remove the dovetail mount. Ok, I just looked down the scope and I can see where it used to be. I also measured the tube, albeit roughtly with a ruler. The baffle was approx 14 inches from the Objective inner surface and approx 10 inches from the EP holder. This is with the focuser fully inward. The focuser on this can come out a very long way. and is used mainly about half way in/out to resolve a good focus. I'll re-insert it this week however I think I'll pop it a couple inches closer to the EP to ensure I do not add ant restriction myself by not getting it too far up the tube, I guess this will be better than nothing. I only kept it out after reading about some cheaper tubes stopping down etc.. and as this OTA was the cheapest I could find from the manufacturer I thought, hmmm maybe it's stopped down. As I said, I don't really use this OTA for anything other than an ornament at the moment, but I might be taking it to the USA with me in 5 weeks, as it's small, light and easy to carry. Would be nice to find a small table top mount for it, otherwise I'd have to dismantle and take a larger tripod for it. (chews into my baggage allowance). Thanks for the info anyway guys Phil.
  7. Please find included some photo's of the internal ring (thing) I removed. (click to enlarge) (click to enlarge)
  8. Hopefully, here are some pics. (click to enlarge) This picture shows the Triangle in the center of the tripod legs. This is the original Nexstar item transferred to the Wooden tripod legs. It's very fast quick release design allows the tripod to be gathered up in seconds. Prior to this the original centre was bolted to the wooden legs and took time to unscrew and assemble etc. (click to enlarge) The photo above is an overview of the wooden tripod with the Nexstar mounted on top. This is obviously in it's gathered state which makes it very easy to pick up and walk around with, especially through doorways. (click to enlarge) This photo shows the battery compartment with the plastic top and tray removed. There is ample room here for mounting USB mod boxes for camera use and the cables/wires you see are the original AA battery feeds, since these supply a nice 12V from the external supply I will no doubt modify this feed to supply an external 5V for the USB and Camera supplies, thus removing the need to add voltage stabalizer circuits to add-on mods. For the money these mounts do offer a good level of useage for small scopes and as can be seen can be modified slightly to better suit the end user.
  9. Well since the launch is set for later in the day I hope to visit the centre earlier on and then view the launch form somewhere nearby. I noted however on some tickets it states that the Kennedy Space Centre is closed on Launch Days. Is this for Shuttles only or for ANY launch. If so, then I would need to visit on two days, one for Visit and one for Launch.
  10. I don't have much more info I'm afraid. I read somewhere a review on small scopes (beginner level), and it noted on a few scopes that the objective was quoted to the max figure but the scope tube itself was reduced internally. Unsure why this happens but the review which was done by a leading source (can't recall right now but it stuck in my mind) (maybe Sky at Night), stated that this reduced the useable power of the scope for no reason at all. I have the ring I took out in front of me and it reduces the OTA internal diameter to 29mm and is fitted roughly 18" into the tube. It's a snug fit but was easily drifted out using a piece of soft wood and then gently knocked down with a nylon mallet. I've used the scope since and can see no apparent side effects. Unsure also if the removal has improved it, as I had not used it prior to this. I've just taken some snaps of it, and will post up shortly.
  11. Has anyone been before? Yes I know millions of people have been before, silly! have any of you Stargazers been before or preferably recently. I'll be over there in April and was looking for any tips or suggestions on the cape in general. I'll be visiting the centre over two days, one day will be to look around and to meet a real Astronaut the second day of my cape visit will be to watch a launch and hopefully film it. So, anything that I should avoid, not waste time on? For Launch info check out their website and then April 14th. I think it's a 4 booster rocket that's going up with a Comms Sat on-board. Thanks, Phil.
  12. Yes, good point. What I might do is setup a flat section of ply or mdf etc.. and get it perfectly level then stand the tripod on there. Thus having a reference point to adjust and the stand legs and/or the bubble itself. Also an UPDATE: I fitted the wooden legs and also transfered over the Nexstar plastic tray assembly. Only minor alterations were required, had to drill out the mount leg holes by a couple mm in order for the larger and far sturdier bolts to pass through and I also moved the pins lower down that held the original tray on the wooden tripod. It's far better now, more stable, greater height adjustment and the best part is it is 100% portable, a quick turn on the tray and th elegs all fold in to the centre making it very portable in approx 5 seconds. My next plan for it is where the AA's were once stored under the cover I might make that the new home for the USB hubs and camera mod boxes. USB to serial etc... This way it keeps all the wiring very tidy, and I can fit some sockets to the cover so that there doesn;t have to be any trailing cables when the imaging is not in use. For the money this mount is easily the best value for money I've realised from my astronomy purchases.
  13. I use a slim RC (radio Control Car) battery at the moment. 12v 1.7Ah, so lasts a while and fits perfectly on the mount tray underneath the scope. I made a lead for it that gives loads of slack so no problems there. The Yuasa type batteries that you fond in alarm panels would also be a good solution. I have the figures from the manual regarding the power consumption but some time this week I'll hook up a couple of DVM's and measure these in real time so I can get an exact reading on power usage, this will help me work out the best battery for the mount. If the RC battery fits the bill it can stay put. I have some wooden tripod legs from an older mount, and these will fit the Nexstar motor head, so I wonder if these would make a worthwhile upgrade to reduce vibration etc.. they are also much longer so would provide lots of extra scope height adjustment. The downside is portability, though I think the quick release plastic tray from the Nexstar tripod will fit the wooden legs... gaining back some portability in terms of fold-up time. Will report back soon with how all this goes.
  14. Maplin sell the parts to build the Cig plug to DC plug lead,. they also sell the cig plug with built in fuse and LED. No idea why I bought the 17Ah power tank thing, as I already have a small compact leisure battery rated at 45Ah. Oh well can never have too much power. heh!
  15. Success!!!! :hello1: Ok, the scope is indoors and shooting through double glazing but it works! I'm using a RC battery 12V 1.7Ah, fully charged. Alignment works a treat and tracking.. wow it actually tracks and keeps the object dead centre for quite some time. So consider myself duly ashamed for not figuring out the voltage drop by using Ni-Mh batteries. I also have one of those Maplin Booster Packs on order, might arrive in the morning but I think Monday is a safer bet for that. I've managed to snap some 30 second vids of Saturn and the Moon using the GOTO and tracking, though they have severe ghosting due to the angle of the scope Vz the double glazing. Once I've sorted some extension cables out I can remote control it all from indoors on cold nights One thing I have found however, is the Nexremote software doesn't sync with the hand remote.Once the hand remote is set and aligned you'd think the software would read that and sort itself out. As soo n as you remote control with the software all the tracking goes to pot. Apart form that all I need now is a remote focuser.. save me a load of time that would. So thanks guys.. with your help I have solved my initial problem. Before I end this post, Do all Nexstar remotes not keep track of time, each time I turn it on it remembers the clock time when I last programmed it, even though it may have been running and tracking for over an hour. Is this a bug or just the way it is. No hardship entering the correct time for each use, but you'd have thought that would be a basic feature that it could keep track of the time itself.
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