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Everything posted by erraph

  1. Hi everyone, apologies for bringing back this 9 (!) year old thread. It's quite high up on google when searching for Vixen MT-1 motor properties , and something I wrote 9 years ago was wrong, and will be confusing to people who stumble upon this. It did actually confuse myself , when I re-read this trying to figure out what kind of motor I was holding in my hand ... To recap and correct... MD5SP motors have 5-pin connectors and 1/300 gears. They are unipolar steppers. MT-1 motors have 8-pin connectors and 1/120 gears. They also are unipolar steppers. MD-6 motors
  2. Hi everyone, as the title says, I'd like to power my two MT-1 motos from USB , through a handset which is rated for 12V input voltage. My handset uses roughly 0.4A at 12V input for RA tracking, and 0.8A if slewing in RA and Dec simultaneously. I am currently powering it from USB through a boost converter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boost_converter), and get usually 4h of tracking and occasional slewing out of my (tiny) 36 Wh rated (and by now probably quite old) USB power bank. I am wondering if there are more elegant/efficient solutions, and if I put my handset at risk from vo
  3. hey! just a wee update, I did find the answer , so let me for completeness link to pages which might be relevant for people stumbling upon this in the future: https://forum.astronomie.de/threads/welcher-schrittmotor-ist-verbaut-in-dk-3-motoren-vixen-mt-1-kopie-fuer-eq5-sp-gp.301230/ (with pictures!) http://www.astrosurf.com/topic/57409-problème-sur-raquette-dk3-a/ (has details on the cable connections) http://www.astrotreff.de/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=48242 (contains parameters to program the controller)
  4. Hi! I wanna fix a broken Vixen MT-1 step motor... (so hard to find one on the used market). I've a two-axis drive, and I don't want to replace all of it just cause of a single broken stepper. The MT-1 clones can still be found online, I mean the motors that belong to this drive set: Has anyone ever checked what kind of stepper is built-in? For MT-1 motors, it's a unipolar PF42-48I3G stepper (though some handsets drive it as a bipolar motor) with a 1/120 reduction gearbox ( see e.g. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/512813-vixen-mt1-stepper-gear-ratio/ ) ; the old
  5. 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.
  6. 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 R
  7. 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!
  8. 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)
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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 sug
  12. 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
  13. 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+
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. ...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°.
  20. Dear garethmob, the tripod should be stable, but: the Photo-guider itself is made for a *fixed* polar height (more or less 55°, so for a latitude of 35°). You will thus need to incline the mount a bit further, and I guess more than can be done by extending one tripod-leg more than the other. So unfortunatelly, you don't just need a tripod, but also a suiting head. But there meight eben be a cheaper but yet stable solution for you: I found the picture below on the net (so I didn't take it, and its not my mount). The owner uses a AZ-3 mount and a selfmade adapter to hold the photo-guider, this w
  21. Well you have a ball-head on one side, and a rotatable 1/4-inch screw on the other side. I'd suggest you get a dovetail-clamp that has a central 1/4-inch thread (e.g. this one: Schwalbenschwanzsystem Vixen, Celestron Typ V bei Baader Planetarium, Zubehoer - Sektion 03 - or probably also this one: http://www.geoptik.com/en/scheda-prodotto/mechanical-accessories/144/30a072/217/30a072.html ), and attach it to the rotatable 1/4-inch thread. Then you can attach your Refractor as on any GP-mount. As for the ballhead supplied with the mount, I doubt that it will hold a 200mm-lens well.... so you migh
  22. Hello garethmob, I recently bought one of these from Linton (the one who is active in this forum), and it seems to be quite a decent mount. It has the standard 144-tooth-gear, so you can use the standard vixen drives and motors to make it track. While there is a slow-motion knob in RA, there is no such thing in DEC. I didn't use it to make pictures yet, as my photo tripod turned out to be not strong enough, now I've to save to find a suiting tripod before actually using it. You can find them on the used market for different prices. On the german board astronomie.de, I saw them selling used
  23. Keith, I'm confused now -- you have a V-Shaped case (like the old unipolar motors had), but drive it with a controller for bipolar motors? Well, the only way to find out which motor hides in the case is to open it. There are just three screws to remove, so I just took these pictures: http://erraph.square7.ch/mt1.JPG http://erraph.square7.ch/md5sp.JPG Yesterday I actually recorded how the motors sound, as I was confused by the sound of my MT1-motor, but it seems to be just normal as they told me on cloudynights. If you want, you can listen to the motors here: http://erraph.square7.ch/mt1.ogg ht
  24. Good evening Lonton, ok so thats what I know about Vixen step-motors: With the Vixen SP, the MD-5 controller has been introduced, together with the MD5-SP motors. They are unipolar and need a 5-pin connector. The motors have a built-in gear drive with ratio 1:300 afaik, so the motor actually rungs *much* faster than outer brass gear-wheel. These motors don't have a thread on top but are attached to the Vixen SP using 4 grub-screws that attach on the V-shaped upper part. Look here (picture I found on the net, so thats not my website): http://air.ap.teacup.com/kussy/timg/middle_131345840
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