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Everything posted by SnakeyJ

  1. HI Paul, Many thanks for finding and posting this - wonderful to see the original specification and pricing. Over £ 4,000 pounds in today's money...
  2. It does smack of quality, the mirror looks to be 2.5" thick! I've never seen a mount quite like that, but I do like the double D lines..... slightly reminiscent of the robot in 'Forbidden Planet'
  3. No connection to the seller, but this looks really interesting, with a very heavy and unusual looking EQ mount. I would guess it's early 70's, but would love to know some info on this. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/184162508130 Sadly I don't have the time or space for another project, but hope this finds a good home.
  4. HI Aidan, I would like to buy this if it's still available - I will pm you.
  5. I love that, a most well deserved AAPOD and hopefully more to follow.
  6. Excellent point Rusted - I have a lot of assorted cast iron weights of various makes and colours and will invest in some white smooth hamerite and a few cheap brushes
  7. Thanks Ben - amazing condition given 20 years exposure to British weather. I'm sure that 20 years will see me through. Interesting that the street light, a traditional bane of UK astronomers, can prove to be such a useful tool. In my area we changed over to LED some 4-5 years ago, I expect the contractors will have scrimped on fittings, but will take a closer look now!
  8. It certainly would look awesome, but a fair amount of polishing to keep it gleaming - would look great for that cyber punk effect (like the Great Weatherall Refractor below) and a little denser than SS, but also fair bit more expensive to buy. The stainless surfaces up nicely with Carbide tooling on my lathe and no problems so far with drilling, boring and tapping ops - though I did use the feed and suds pump for the finishing cuts.
  9. Hi James, and thanks for your response - I do still dip in and follow the forum and progress on your obs, but have been busy with my daughter and very little time and energy for astronomy. I have managed to sort my bijou 8x8' workshop and trying to get my new planetary setup running. My rig is quite unweildy, with an OO 14" swinging on old style CGE Pro, within a 2.2m pulsar dome. To shift the OTA CoB forward sufficiently to operate in the dome, I had to add almost 5kg of lead flashing wrapped around the front of the OTA. This is held in steel rings between two 14" losmandy dovetails. All up with camera, ADC and Barlow's, just under 30kg. I'm hoping the OO ultra grade optics, smaller CO and open tube will give the C14's a run for the money and have a couple of years yet to tweak before Jupiter, Mars and Saturn become decent UK targets. Certainly not expecting this to perform for LX imaging, but with CMOS sensitivity improving, exposure rates commonly over 100fps at f15-f20 and the rig reasonably sheltered from the wind, it should be stable enough.
  10. 316 is good, but much more expensive and harder to machine, though a few inserts or taking lighter cuts makes little real difference to me at home. Cold galvanise, paint or electro plate all good enough for me, but it would be nice to do stainless if I could find a bit.
  11. I managed to source some 32mm diameter 304 grade SS at a sensible price for another project, but have enough left to make an extended counterweight shaft for my cge pro. Looks great and machines nicely - pretty sure it will do the job and stay shiny in my obs, but just wanted a second opinion. The original is 15.5" X 1.25" including turned down externally threaded end at 1" X 16tpi but thinking I might add 7-8" and reduce the number of weights (currently 25kg, original Celestron 10kg, 2 X SW 5kg and 2 X 2.5 iron gym weights). (BTW - I'm still looking for some cheap/free 8" SS billet bar - about 10" should suffice and a powered hacksaw/ bandsaw.... )
  12. I'm another vote for the 224MC, which has provided excellent some excellent results when I've had the chance to get out! The camera delivers high frame rates, even at F20 on my 10" OO (TV 3x barlow with some extension), commonly over 120fps on 640x480 ROI. The camera's sensitivity has been a big step up from my previous QHY5LII mono (ASI120MM equiv) and much less fuss with the processing - though worth stressing that best results do require the ADC (particularly for planetary imaging from UK Latitudes). A capture laptop with USB3 and a decent SSD drive can also bump the price up if you don't already have them.
  13. Love that Neil - how wonderful to literally fly over the lunar surface like this! The enhanced relief adds new understanding to the structure and wide variation in the lunar surface. Any chance you can post up the original source image for comparison with the video?
  14. This saddens me too, it would be nice to see some real production behind British badged brands, even if we outsourced the castings and heavier production. The global economy has all but killed off UK production. At least I know my Mk1 Bantam is 100% British built and powered by Brook's Motors of Huddersfield. It may be old and worn, but will certainly see me out Oddly enough a Dalian lathe did come up for sale locally - it looked well equipped and not a lot of money, but rather too big for my workshop and I'm not keen on another hernia!
  15. Forgot the photos this morning, but a much better run at machining a test bar yesterday. I was running this on 20mm black mild steel bar, so a little lumpy and naturally some chatter at 7" out from the chuck, but the results were considerably better and I was able to get a reasonable first pass on this. Still measuring in metric with the micrometer, but I machined to 19.25mm at 20mm from the chuck jaws and ran out to 19.30mm at 150mm (170mm from chuck). Quite a taper, but heading in the right direction. I should be able to resolve this with precision levelling of the bed and tweaks to the head alignment. I will do the subsequent test cuts with a taper mounted collet chuck, which should give much more accurate alignment and see if I can source some truer bright steel bar stock.
  16. Hi Noah - I was posted with HQ 19 Infantry Bde, Goojerat Baracks, Colchester myself between '88-90 courtesy of the Army. Without doubt the best and friendliest garrison town in UK and many fond memories of the town and surrounding area. My only claim to fame would be entertaining and photographing Atkinson, Fry, Laurie and Robinson with the band of the 3 Royal Anglian, when they filmed the title sequence for Black Adder Goes Forth - Stephen Fry, Tony Robinson and Hugh Laurie were great fun, but Rowan Atkinson was very aloof and withdrawn. Genius together as they played off each other as they seemed to make the gags up as they went along. Colchester Machine Tools are still very much up and running and producing/exporting quite a lot of machine tools - Looks like they are mostly CNC driven now, but they still sell the traditional centre lathes Student and Master models - bet they cost a fair few shillings though. I think the move to Yorkshire was part of the rationalisation of Harrison and Colchester under 600 Group Plc, both brands are still produced. It's good to see that England is still producing and exporting some machine tools!
  17. Thanks Gina and Damian - definitely getting there. I've just lashed out on a proper 0.0001" dial test indicator Mitutoyo so should be able to get the bearings properly adjusted and then complete the levelling and alignment. This engineering kit is almost as expensive as the astro toys - Hopefully I can turn a few projects out rather than just making piles of swarf and getting oil everywhere!
  18. I spent most of the night stressing over this, but finally decided it must be the spindle bearings that had worked loose. The manual says these should be tightened so the end float is 1/10000" or 0.00254mm measured on the face of a flat centre in the spindle nose and 'the spindle remains free to turn by hand' Rather subjective, but I checked mine and I was reading around 0.05mm on my cheap Chinese dial indicator, or 20x the specification. I've decided to tighten the bearing up to 0.01mm making sure that it still had a good free spin on the spindle. I then cautiously ran the lathe up through the gears to it's max 1600rpm - much quieter now and the eccentricity seems to have been largely removed. I will borrow a proper dial indicator to double check this during the week, but the surfacing looks much better on a piece of bar stock, certainly sufficient for my needs and I will have another go at sorting out the head alignment. properly.
  19. 've been using my lathe a little of late, but was worrying this week as I was starting to see more chatter and some very poor finishes. I decided to check alignment and brought a 10" length of 1" steel bar home as a test piece on Friday night. The idea was to take a light surface cut over 6" and then mic this up to confirm any run out. However the results were dire and very noisy as I moved further from the headstock. I put a clean piece in and ran a dial indicator along the saddle - it was way out. Having slept on it I decided to properly inspect the head today and stripped it down It all looked clean and well lubed inside, but then I decided to put a centre in check this - Houston we have a serious problem... VID_20181020_121908.mp4 At this point the panic was setting in - I reread the manual and did a quick Google and decided to check the bearings. Apparently these Gamet bearings are seriously expensive £6-700 + vat for the pair! A cup of coffee and a think - how can it be so bad? There's no obvious play in the bearings or spindle. It has to be the centre? I decided indicate the spindle nose. VID_20181020_124716.mp4 Not amazing, but at least it's back in the right ball park. Now I always wipe a Morse taper out before use and I've now given this a proper clean out, but still seeing a big alignment error 0.3-0.4mm with this center. I get about half the error with another center that also came with the lathe. I'm guessing that I have some damage to the spindle taper and may need to hone this out to remove any high spot's. But is it actually possible to bend a center? Sorry, excuse the duplicate video at below - unable to edit this out having started the post on my phone! VID_20181020_121908.mp4
  20. I purchased this here 12 months ago from AstroMick, but have not had the opportunity to use at all. Excellent condition and boxed, c/w original software CD, spare desiccant tablets, plug, mains PSU, cigar lighter socket and USB2 cable. Full specification at https://www.firstlightoptics.com/atik-cameras/atik_414ex.html £ 650 inclusive of UK postage. Payment paypal (+fees) or bank transfer.
  21. solar and batteries looks good unless you wanted to run anything heavy like a dehumidifier - and even the no damp/bucket route looks quite useful.
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