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Everything posted by SnakeyJ

  1. I should say I do have soft shower cap type covers for both - proper astrotech ones, but the elastic fails over time and they invariably fall off. Very good for keeping dust off while allowing the damp flocking to dry out though.
  2. Ah now the ply is an excellent suggestion and I like the idea of the drawer knob as a handle, perhaps if I steam it I can also bend it around the radius of the OTA - it will certainly be cheap, easy to cut and should bond well with Gorilla glue - I will knock up a steam box/bag and have a quick play.
  3. I want to make up new end caps for both of my OO Newts (replacing the thin/brittle and not terribly useful thermoplastic ones supplied by OO). I was thinking of wrapping and laminating some kitchen laminate edging strip to get a close fit around the end of the tube, with some DC Fix flocking to help with 'stiction' and prevent wear damage, and perhaps some 2mm aluminium sheet for the round. I'm more concerned about fit/durability than aesthetics, but could pretty the whole thing up by flocking internally and perhaps spray or wrap the outside. Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts or suggestions on better materials/method for end caps?
  4. An excellent and practical engineers solution - I messed about in photoshop for 15 minutes and managed to get: F4.6 1/10 080805PR01 (or possibly RR01). No entirely certain on this, but it appears the reference is date/project reference so hopefully this will be enough for OO to retrieve the certificate/results.
  5. Nice to get a same response back from John Pemberton at Orion Optics. It seems the can reissue the test certificate, but they needed the serial number engraved on the back of the primary. Not too easy to see this, but best effort..
  6. There was a stubborn and almost milky film of muck over the primary and secondary mirrors, that took a bit more soaking and soap than I was expecting (almost enough to remove the stickers). Won through in the end and hope this will last another 10 years - I will definitely make up some better end caps for the OTA (the OO thermal plastic ones are rubbish). Before - it still works (like trying to shave in a steamy bathroom mirror) After - much improved (nerves calmed once it was sercurely mounted back in it's cell) OO stickers (serial number, date of manufacture, inspector?, diameter and focal length in mm) - Has anyone ever asked OO to provide a copy of Zygo report? Now to find out how well the optics will work 'sans cataracts'
  7. It always ends up taking a little longer than originally envisaged, but managed to get a fair crack on with this over the weekend. I ended up removing the optics, stripping the OTA down and spent a couple of hours re-sticking the edges of protostar flocking down. Note to self, don't use highly volatile PVC glue, in a confined space (like a 15" wide tube). A rather poor image of the newly reflocked interior... Cosidering Julian'a advice, I decided to mount the lead flashing on double sided tape around the OTA and countinued along the overlapped lead flashing. This helped to keep it all tightly fixed and, with luck will stop it slipping in future. I now have the ballast/radiation shielding in place.... And then wrapped the whole lot in white tape, having forgotten to bring any blue home from the office. Once it was wrapped I carfully cut out the rebate for the crayford focuser and drilled the holes for the spider bolts. Not too bad cosmetically and I don't think it's going to move around once I get a few more fixings bolted through it. I'll give the optics a careful wash to remove the 10+ years of dirt, then rebuild, collimate and see if I can find a strong friend to help get this mounted - I figure it will weigh in around 27kg, but it will be difficult to slide this up in to the losmandy saddle on my own.
  8. I fitted the cradle last night and conducted a quick and dirty test balance using a short piece of 12mm bar as the fulcrum beneath the centre of the losmandy bar. Placing the full 7kg roll of lead flashing at the focuser end of the ota, I was able to achieve a balance point (CoG) at 830mm/710mm (or roughly 54:46%) giving some margin of comfort on the 60:40% target. I will probably lose some of the flashing to cut in around the focuser and access for the spider bolts, and it's mass will also be acting approx 75mm in (half of sheet width), but I have some margin and will also add close to another kilo for the optical train. The flashing is a 3m roll of 150mm x 1.3mm and the circumference of the OTA is a little short of 1200mm, so approx 2.5 wraps and 4mm at it's thickest. I'm not planning to bond this to the ota, but hoping I can achieve a good friction fit by tight winding it on, accurate cut in around the focuser and wrapping with a few rolls of blue PAT (trying to stay close to the colour scheme). At least the calcs look good - now to test theory against the optics of reality
  9. Thanks Helen - I'm hoping I shall be safely out of the way (and the cold), running this remotely from indoors. It certainly won't be fully automated, but hopefully I can open up and power things on and then return at the end of the evening to shut it all down (at least that's the longer term plan). Worst case I can crawl around the pier to poke and prod as required.
  10. Probably not impossible, but certainly optimisitc and stretching the bounds of my limited engineering genius to attempt to shoehorn Johninderby's 'Big Blue Orion Optics VX14' into my modest 2.2m Pulsar Dome. Here's Big Blue, against the current incumbent, my 10" F4.8 VX and, here's the objective, my currently underutilised dome The VX14 is 1540mm long by 375mm diameter and weighs in around 20kg, but will need to be substantially ballasted to move the COG forward sufficiently (marginally less than 60:40) to swing this inside the dome. The OTA will be mounted on a Celestron CGE mount so some margin for additional weight for it's intended purpose, which is planetary, comets and short exposure (globs and small brighter DSO's). I had to do a little prep to make the workshop operation, fitting my new drill press and compounding table, so I could drill and tap the OO radius blocks to fit my ADM 15" imperial losmandy dovetails. Tapped and drilled as M6, because I don't possess 1/4" UNC taps I will fit the second dovetail on top to keep things rigid. Now for some secret magic ingredient to balance and adjust the CoG.......... I will need to mount this forward of the focuser for maximum effect, which will probably create quite a pendulous effect and I expect the scope will take some time to settle after slews, but hoping this will all work out and be reasonable..
  11. Great results on both targets Martin - excellent given the exceptionally low alts.
  12. Most jealous - have a fantastic time, good luck with your studies and look forward to seeing some of the widefield images when you return
  13. Thanks everyone - sold to Muzz. Could the mods please move to sold/archived listings - thank you
  14. Or, with a little camouflage, a pill box come the next threat of invasion
  15. There a non goto EQ6 at a reasonable price on ABS at the moment http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=138924 (no connection with Seller) Also available on SGL classifieds!
  16. SW ED80 DS Pro OTA Standard Tube Rings and 7" Vixen Dovetail Bar Aluminium Case Star Sharp Bahtinov Mask SW 0.85 reducer/flattener AE 2" Aluminium EP/Focuser Plug Usual marks on dovetail, slight dint to top of ota from camera screw (usually concealed by tube rings) and light signs of use, but clean optics and good working order. Will ship in case and original packing (double cardboard shipping box) £ 325 delivered to mainland UK
  17. That's a great capture from UK at the moment and a whole more surface detail on Jove than I could find last night - well worth sacrificing a pint of of blood for the local bloodsuckers! If you got this with the 150pl and ASI120MC at almost 53 deg north it is a remarkably good!
  18. Thanks Shane, I'll avoid my usual foaming Gorilla Glue, which would almost certainly get messy. Araldite seems too hard/brittle and also seems to weaken when stored out in the cold and damp. What do you reckon to Evostik impact contact adhesive? It really wants to be waterproof, high grab, but remain flexible over the long haul.
  19. Does anyone have a recommendation for an adhesive to cure the lifting edges of protostar flocking? The flocking was done beautifully some 10 years ago, but a few corners have lifted and, while still tacky, need a little encouragement to stay down!
  20. There's a v3 synscan controller on Astroboot at the moment £ 77.50 less 10% (Snow Sale Still On!) - http://www.astroboot.co.uk/AstroBoot
  21. I will definitely run in some fibre when I pull in the permanent power feed, so this will be an option. I shall have a dig around re other RPi like boards, but nothing cheaper than what you already have and quite happy to run my laptop headless, with control back in the house - It might even be easier to run this with a remote KVM extender and I can switch this with my home desktop inside in the warm!
  22. Ok - sorry I think I have this but looks like I initially have to have the handcontroller connected to align - then transfer the alignment data. Once this is stored in nexremote, it looks like I can remove the handcontroller and use the 'Last Align' function on the Nexremote. Have to try this again tonight - at least the skies are forecast clear! https://www.celestron.com/blogs/knowledgebase/why-does-the-nexremote-want-to-align-the-scope-on-startup-when-the-mount-is-already-aligned-with-the-real-hand-control
  23. I've finally got my CGE permanently mounted in my observatory and am controlling it with Nexremote on my laptop. I've got a pretty decent polar alignment and only need to refine for cone error if I swap out OTA's. However, the nexremote is still forcing me to step through the alignment routine every time I start up - this is a right PITA with a small chip planetary camera and I have to resort to swapping the image train over for a reticule EP. Having aligned and calibrated the mount is there really no way to save the alignment model? It would seem to be a very basic requirement for any mount in this class. I was told when I purchased the mount from @philj to avoid the mounts hibernate function, which is unreliable and can result in dangerous/damaging slews (no respect for limits).
  24. Thanks Gina - I would love to do this and probably makes a lots of sense for deepsky, but I don't think the Pi3 would provide enough grunt (USB3 connectivity or the i/o to SSD) for high speed planetary imaging. However I could run all of this on Linux on the laptop and firecapture will run natively on Linux (limited support for cameras, but does cover the ZWO/QHY). I will have a read through your blogg as I do have an idle RP3+ available and was thinking of using this to control my dome.
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