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About erraph

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  1. Hi lenscap ! marvellous advice ; that's just the type of suggestions I was hoping for by posting here. And yes, I had read through the onstep pages, which motivated me to attempt this . Hi malc-c , thanks for the encouragement! Not worried about the software, I code for a living, just wanted to ask whether for astro applications a different combination of hardware modules was suggested. And I agree there is lots of documentation online; I already linked to some in my original post.
  2. Hi! it's becoming subsequently harder to find hand controllers for Vixen MT1 motors -- there are different go-to solutions out there, e.g. - onstep: https://onstep.groups.io/g/main - littlefoot: http://www.lfep.de/ (though the website w built instructions seems down atm?) I'd be interested in sth simpler, namely a stand-alone controller for the Ra axis, similar to the Vixen SD-1 controller; powered through DC 9V input or USB , with 1x, 4x and 16x tracking speed, a pause button and a north/south switch . Are you aware of any well documented built instructions for Ra tracking available? (There is of course tons of material on running stepper motors w Arduino online.). I'd pitch an Arduino-based controller, the main goal being to use standard, easily available components; I'd make the software and instructions available, tailored to Vixen MT-1 (bipolar) motors. I'd start with a breadboard setup, and once it's working try to fit this in a hand controller-sized box. Haven't worked w Arduino yet, but we've all a long winter ahead I reckon, so this might be a fun project for some Sunday afternoons.! What about these three standard main components: - Arduino Nano Every ( ~ 10 Euro) - MB 102 power-supply board (would allow to power via 9V DC and USB) ( < 2 euros) - A4988 bipolar stepper driver ( < 2 euros) Any opinion on using different components? And please if I missed some project which is already documented, I'd be keen for links! Rapha
  3. Hi! I'm trying to find a used Vixen SD-1 single axis controller , ideally in working order! Alternatively also a DD-3 (or DD-2) Ra/Dec controller would do Offers via PM please! Cheers!
  4. Surely a great eyepiece! I'd like to try out the 12mm version, too, to see if I'd enjoy it more than I do enjoy the Radian. But I couldn't afford it without selling the Radian, so I will definitely have to test it first... (still, also the 20mm Plössl combined with the 2x Barlow gives excellent views at a similar magnification)
  5. I'd like to second the XF 8.5mm. It's not just very comfortable to use because of the extendable eye-cup, but also gives me excellent views in my C8 and in my f/5 refractor.
  6. Ok here they are... they are used on a C8 (8" f/10) and an 80mm f/5 Vixen Achromat. Combined with the barlow, they give useful magnifications ranging fron 63x - 235x (C8) and 12.5 - 94x (Refractor). For collimating the C8, I reach magnifications of up to 470x, which is sufficent to see the Airy disk. And that's the case they are kept in: Have a good day!
  7. Thank you John and Keith for you feedback. Well, the Zoom covers a range of focal length down to 8mm -- that won't be enough for collimating the C8 properly (following Thierry Legault - The collimation). John, I agree that 80/400 refractors aren't made for planetary observation; but with a magnification of 80 - 100x, my 80/400 (Vixen) does still deliver quite a good view without too much CA. So, when going for the Vixen Plössl, I should probably go for a 8mm, and 5mm, giving (250x / 50x) and (400x / 80x) -- the 400x are certainly just used for collimation, not for observation. Would you suggest to go for a Plössl instead of an orthoscopic eyepiece? For the ~5mm eyepiece, I don't worry about the f.o.v. (as just used for collimation and planets), but the ~8mm eyepiece delivers 50x in the refractor, which is not enough for planets, but with an ortho I might also not be able to enjoy DSOs... what do you say?
  8. Hello! I think I need your advice. My telescopes are an old C8, and an 80/400 refractor, using the following eyepieces: Plössl 32mm (gives 65x / 12.5x) Plössl 20mm (gives 100x / 20x) Radian 12mm (gives 167x / 33x) I'm very happy with these eyepieces, thus I don't feel like changing them. But I'm lacking a high-power configuration (Eyepiece and/or Barlow), for planetary observation (at 200-250x with the C8 and about 100x with the 80/400) - and collimation use (400x needed for the C8). For which eyepiece/barlow combination would you go? Just to make things more difficult, three other pieces of information: (1) My budget is.. rather limited. I want to buy used and am willing to wait and save money, still, please no Ethos/Nagler/... suggestions please :-) (2) some month ago, I tested a 9mm TMB-type planetary eyepiece, and wasn't really satisfied (internal reflections). (3) I read the Radians don't really barlow well Have a great day! Raphael
  9. Good evening, just made this very small but useful modification to my MD-5 drive, but the same modification should work well for the more modern controllers. One reason of them dying is the fact that they are missing a proper reverse polarity protection. You can solve this problem easily by inserting a diode in the circuit, preferably a Schottky-Diode as with these you have the smallest loss of voltage. Luckily, there is enough space on the circuit board to put the diode. When choosing the right polarity, pay attention that the cable connected to the shielding of the power plug actually is V+, while the central pin is GND! I used a diode designed for a maximum current of 1A (at least for the MD-5 controller this is more than sufficient -- even under load it consumes no more than 0.2A). The voltage loss is around 0.3V and thus not problematic for the power-supply I am using. At the end, use some electrical tape to avoid any possibility of open contacts or even short circuits. So, if you didn't do this modification yet, do it before you reverse the cables to the battery on your next night on the field Raphael
  10. Well, if you want a mount you can easily take on a journey and want to make wide-field-pictures, I'd stick with the photoguider -- as long as the seller repairs it / pays the spare parts needed! If you want higher-magnification, autoguided pictures, then use the chance to give back the photoguider and start over with a GP -- or a cheaper Chinese alternative.
  11. autoguiding will just work in RA with the Vixen photo guider, there is no adapter to make it work in DEC. Really? 190 Pounds for a new GP2 head? In Germany and Italy they charge you more than 400 Euro for this one!
  12. The mount is really nice and they are not that easy to find. Well, I'd do it like this: ask the seller to get you a new worm gear. I think this one should be just fine: Worm gear with shaft for EQ-5 and similar mounts If he is willing to pay for it, I'd keep the mount and do the repair (shouldn't be too hard -- still, I think the link gets you the right worm gear, but you should hear other opinions too). If he is not willing to pay for the replacement gear, get your money back. I saw the mount sell for prices ranging from 120 GBP to 290 GBP (!!) -- but given the age and the fact that there are other small mounts that can be used for astrophotography as well, I think a fair price would be between 150 and max. 200 GBP for a well working mount in good condition. Still, if he is paying for the replacement, its a very transportable mount that you'd definitely enjoy.
  13. There is a thumbscrew that fixes the brass-bar to the shaft of the mount (I'm talking of the brass-bar in the top of the picture I posted). Loosen this thumbscrew with an Allen wrench and remove the brass-bar. Then check if its really bended -- maybe it just wasn't well attached and got in a wired position during transport. If the brass-bar is not bended itself, put it back on the shaft of the mount, and chose the distance so that the loose brass cogwheel sits without pressure on the cogwheel attached to the motor. When putting back on the silver clutch, by tightening the knurled-head screw you automatically lock the cogwheel to the shaft, thereby establishing the link between motor and mount. As there is some play in the motor, you should - even with tightened clutch - be able to move the cogwheels by some degrees back- and forth. If you can't do that, you have to adjust the position of the motor, as it sits too tight. I hope that was more or less clear... if this doesn't work out, and the brass-bar is really bended, you'll be able to replace it as its the same thats being used for the modern GP-mounts. Raphael
  14. Do you mean the brass-bar here on top? Can you maybe post a picture of the problem? Then we can figure out if there are spare parts available. Raphael
  15. ...I just realized that in my last post I said something confusing. So I'll say it again, this time right. The mount is made for a certain fixed polar height of about 35° (the angle made by of the z-shaped base of the mount and the horizontal is 55°, describing the intended height of the celestial equator). To use it in northern Europe, you'll have to incline the base another 20°, to reach a latitude of about 55°.
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