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Everything posted by Lonestar70

  1. Hi Gina, You certainly get yourself involved in some interesting DIY stuff. I like the idea of the inverted belt, however, you appear to have a groove around the outside of your carousel... was this for a drive belt? One problem you might run into is securing the inverted belt since it will only be supported at 2 points across it's width... placing external tension on this (with another, larger dia belt from the motor) will almost certainly lead to the rim belt collapsing into the groove... I think you would need to fill this with something (car body filler or epoxy) before you fit the inverted rim belt... I presume you will be glueing this in place? How are you intending to Index the filter positions using the Arduino? are you intending to have a sensor at each position with a home position sensor as reference?.. or perhaps some form of quadrature encoding? I can see, what appears to be a single hole for a reference (pos home position sensor) but do not see any others. How thick is your carousel wheel? and how deep is the recess for the 36mm filters, also what is the (clear) inside diameter of the filter holes?... I am assuming that the outside dia of the filters you have is 36mm. I may be able to help you with the required 1 1/4" - 36mm adaptors, and any other bits you need turning. Pm me a sketch of what you require and your email address and we can discuss it off-site in more detail. Best regards.
  2. Hi All, The important thing to remember, when thread cutting METRIC threads on an IMPERIAL machine, wheather you use motor power or hand power to turn the spindle, is to not disengage the feed (half nuts on the leadscrew) until the thread is complete***. This method will always work wheather you have a threading dial fitted or not. Threading large holes in a plate can also be done if you have enough clearance in your lathe bed to enable the workpiece to rotate when attached to a faceplate. Not difficult when the hole is in, or close to, the centre, however, multiple holes which are located around the centre (as is the case with the filterwheel) would mean quite a large off set of the plate. This now means the plate is rotating eccentrically and will require considerably more bed clearance... not very likely unless you have a very large GAP BED lathe available. For heavier pitch threads (Metric or otherwise... Say 2mm pitch or 10 tpi or larger), where the depth of thread is greater, it would be better to use the method where the compound slide is set at half the included angle of the threadform since this will reduce the loading on the cutting tool (especially if using hand power)... this method uses the Cross slide to advance/retract the tool to the ZERO position (the outside or inside edge of the work) and uses the Compound slide to apply the cut depth... but that is for later. :evil: *** There is a method on an imperial machine with a thread dial fitted (specific note must be made of the number on the thread dial when the leadscrew is first connected before any threading begins), but it requires a lathe where the spindle can be stopped very quickly when the motor power is turned off, usually involving a fast spindle brake,immediately after the leadscrew is disconnected, specific note is made of the overun of the thread dial which is then corrected for by turning the spindle in reverse... the carriage is then returned to the start position and the leadscrew re-engaged with exactly the same number showing however, for most home workshop lathes, which often don't have a thread dial fitted, or a spindle brake, this can not be used easily, or without running the risk of error.... For home use it's much easier and error free just to leave the leadscrew connected. Incidentaly... the same rule applies when cutting Imperial threads on a Metric Lathe. Keep happy... and I look forward to seeing both your respective completed filter wheels.
  3. Hi Jason, Very well done... I told you it was easier than you thought... No stopping you now Best Regards
  4. Hi Kev, and welcome to SGL. Ask all the inane questions you like, there will always be someone to help and advise. clear skies (yes you do get the odd one or two in London)
  5. Hi Dave and welcome to SGL. Setting up a business takes a great deal more effort than most people realise and often the first year or two you feel you are working for nothing as the bills keep rolling in, but the turnover doesn't keep up, and there is always the next things to purchase and get set up. At least you are past that stage now with yours. You will soon get back into the swing of things with your astronomy... I wish you the best in both ventures.
  6. Hi hgriffin1 and welcome to SGL. Sounds like you have found a nice piece of hardware there and you should have some nice dark sky locations around your area in which to get the best from it. I have made upwards of 40 visits to CT (work related) and away from the bigger towns/cities ( Hartford, Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury etc) I always saw some great skies and wished I had a scope with me. I was blown away by the skies up around Litchfield Hills, Mount Frissnell and Bear mountain... Lots of nice horses up that way too. Enjoy your find. Clear Skies.
  7. Lonestar70

    New member

    Hi Mike and welcome to SGL. That's a nice scope and mount combo you are getting and it will give you some great views. It will also be perfect for Deep space Astrophotography if you choose to go that route later. Enjoy. Clear skies.
  8. Hi Jules, Yes I suppose that is one way to get your camera mounted, at least it won't mean spending large sums of money. My main concern is why you need to be so close in with the PDS and the idea of finding where the SCOPE mirrors focused relative to the focuser was to try and determine if there was a possible problem with your particular unit. Hence the paper test and measurements I suggested. As has been said, by many of the other guys, it seems very odd that you should need to be that close in with a 20mm back focus camera when others, including me, can get focus with 10mm - 20mm of spare INWARD travel when using cameras of 46mm - 55mm back focus requirement... this just not add up. Anyway, you have a plan and it is worth trying... If you have any problem finding someone to turn down the addaptor body for you... give me a shout (on here or via PM) and I will be happy to do it for you on my lathe... No Charge... other than the small amount of postage involved. Keep us informed. Best regards.
  9. Hi Jules, Well I think that might just be far enough away Ok, try this... take the camera away and just leave the sw adaptor in the focuser. Get a piece of tracing paper, or thin white paper, and tape it to the outer end of the adaptor. Point the scope at the moon and adjust the focuser for the smallest white dot... you should be able to see this through the paper. This will tell you where the focal point of the telescope is in relation to the end of the focusers fixed body... so measure this distance. Your camera focal plane need to be behind this length (Further out) by a few mm to allow the picture to cover the sensor. If you also subtract from this distance the thickness of the top of the sw adaptor this will give you the available inward travel from the point of focus. Once you know where the telescope focal point is you should be able to figure out the length of the required fittings to mount the camera... and as long as this length is less than the available focus travel by say10mm or so then you should be able to reach focus with a little to spare. This is a very strange situation. Best regards.
  10. This is very odd... I use a Nikon D90 an my 150PDS with a 2" - T2 nosepiece screwed into the T-Ring and this comes to focus with around 15mm of In Travel still remaining. The D90 has a back focus distance of 46.5mm... wherase your camera only requires 20mm... this would suggest you needed to be further out ( by 26.5mm )... not closer IN.... all very odd!!. Silly question... but what are you using as a target for focusing?... the 150 does not like to focus on things much closer than a mile away. Best regards.
  11. Hi Jules, How does part A attach to your SW adaptor?... does it use the T2 thread? If so then you might try unscrewing part A from part B... then screw part B straight on to the SW adaptor... this would buy you the length of Part A as extra In Travel... it Might just be enough and won't cost you anything to try. Don't get to downhearted my friend... we have all shared similar experiences with various astro gear and I am sure we will get you sorted for imaging between us. Failing that... the TS adaptor I linked to would buy you an additional 20mm or so on top of the above extra travel. Hope this makes sense. Best regards.
  12. Hi Jules, It is not clear from your photos, but I suspect that your camera adaptor is the one designed to allow connection of T2 threaded lenses to your camera... hence it's long length... this is to allow such lenses to reach focus with a 55mm backfocus. your camera has a back focus of 20mm so for astro work you need a shorter adaptor such as this one: - http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p3676_T2-ring-for-Micro-Four-Thirds--Panasonic--Olympus-.html This is designed to perform both functions and you would need to use it without the extension. Instead you would use either the 11/14" -T adaptor: - http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p201_TS-Adaptor-1-25--to-T2---Focal-Adaptor-for-1-25--Focuser.html Which I think you already have, or the 2" -T adaptor: - http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p200_Adaptor-2--to-T2---low-profile.html either would fit straight into your focuser. I would suggest the 2" version since this will reduce/eliminate any Vignetting. both are threaded for filters. The one you have at the moment would probably work Ok with the SW Coma corrector, since this needs the 55mm back focus distance. Hope this helps. Best regards.
  13. Hi Gina, No problem Gina... we all have to help each other where possible. Well at least you have found the main problem with CdC... Clock Time wrong... I had the same issue until I realised that the windows time routine was Rubbish... and changed it to the same one you have chosen. as for GPS... I don't think CdC can read directly from a GPS receiver (but I will stand correction on this if there is a way)... at least I never found a way... what I did was start ASCOM/EQMOD from CdC and get ASCOM/EQMOD to read the GPS, I then opened CdC's setup>observatory and typed in a suitable location name and manually entered the GPS co-ordinates as read from ASCOM/EQMOD... I then told CdC to save the location file. CdC will read this on the next startup and the co-ordinates will be correct. I am sorry to hear that it has stopped working again... have you got any USB2 ports on your new laptop?... I have read several reports of ASCOM, and other astro programmes, not working as expected when trying to use USB3... this may be an ASCOM/or other Driver problem since I believe most of these drivers were written for USB1.1 and USB2... I know USB3 is supposed to be backward compatible but it would seem this is not the case for some implimentations... judging by the number of failures read about. I would try a USB 2 port if you have one. Hope this helps a bit more. Best Regards and enjoy your imaging session... it's still very cloudy up here
  14. Hi Gina, A couple of pointers re your software issues with CdC and ASCOM. I had similar problems when I first installed these on my laptop and found the following: - 1/ Make sure you set all software to start up as ADMINISTRATOR. 2/ Do not start ASCOM/EQMOD and then start CdC... always start CdC and then use it to conect to and start ASCOM/EQMOD. 3/ Double check that CdC and ASCOM are showing the same settings/parameters for TIME and LAT/LONG... there was often a discrepancy between them with some versions whereby the Lat/Long figures were different in, I believe, the minutes window... If I recall correctly it was something to do with ASCOM/EQMOD being able to store 3 digits (with the last digit hidden) wherase CdC will only accept 2 digits, or something like that... I am not sure if this was corrected in the later revisions though. If you have GPS available then I would use this to set up both CdC and ASCOM/EQMOD... this will also take care of SUMMER TIME/WINTER TIME variations. CdC and ASCOM would normally use your PC/Laptop clock to obtain the current time, so It would pay to synchronise this to the GPS time and arrange for it to be updated from one of the ATOMIC clock sites... there are several to choose from under clock steetings in Control Panel. Finally, It will be of benefit if you go into 'POWER SETTINGS' (from Control Panel) on your laptop and dissable the SLEEP MODE for both Battery and Mains power... the last thing you want is the laptop going to sleep halfway through an imaging sequence. I would also dissable SCREEN SAVERS and all auto updates (such as WINDOWS UPDATE and your ANTI VIRUS)... since these will still try and connect to the internet even though you have it dissabled (i.e. wireless link or LAN)... at best such occurances would possibly mean a lost frame... worse case is it loses your guide star (PHD can be very touchy)and you now what that can mean. I hope you find the problems soon. Best Regards.
  15. Hi Guys, Steve... The old pentax thread was M42 x 1mm pitch (same as Zeiss and Praktica) for astro fittings M42/T2 is 0.75mm pitch. Jason... The thing that caught my eye on your dividing attachment was the size of the dividing wheel... how many divisions has it got?... I have a similar unit on my Myford which can take Myford gears, and it fits into the back of the spindle where it is locked in place with an expanding taper. It also has a sliding rod through the spindle, which serves as an adjustable backstop... this has a separate locking mechanism. For Screw cutting I can attach a separate hand crank. I also meant to add that Internal threads an be done using the same technique... the only differences being that you move the tool outwards rather than inwards to increase thread depth and the tool can be made from a spare boring bar. Keep happy.
  16. Hi Jason, You are making a super job of that filterwheel, must have a go at one myself soon. That is a very interesting looking divider attachment you have there, is it your own design? If you have a spindle handle for your lathe then that is the thing to use for this sort of threading. Don't even think of trying to run the lathe in reverse, with the tool at the back... you will almost certainly unscrew your chuck. If you make an undercut about 1 thread wide, and the same depth as the thread + about 5 thou = (0.127mm) at the shoulder this will allow you to run the thread cleanly up to the shoulder. Make a 60 degree threading tool on the end of a piece of a 1/16" or 3/32" wide parting tool, this will save a good bit of grinding. The M42 thread you need is 0.75mm pitch, so you will need a 21 tooth change gear. Once you have the gear train set up... the tool fitted (make sure that it is at 90 deg to the work and at centre height) and you are ready to begin threading... engage the leadscrew nut and leave it engaged until you have finished the thread completely. Lock your compound slide (tighten one of the gib screws if you don't have a separate lock bolt). a/ Take shallow cuts ( a few thou at a time... this is put on using the cross slide handwheel) and wind the spindle until the tool reaches the undercut... you should see a shallow thread forming. b/ at this point retract the tool, using the cross slide handwheel so that it is clear of the thread... wind the spindle in the backward direction until you are back to the start position... c/ put on a bit more cut,using the cross slide handwheel and repeat steps a thru c until you have reached the required depth...You can check this using an M42 t-ring or some such. The thread depth will only be around 15 thou so keep an eye on your cross slide dial (this is why it is handy to be able to zero it). Hope this is of some help. Look forward to seeing how you get on. Best regards.
  17. Hi Bacchus and welcome to the CLAN SGL. Yes the weather is also lousy on the West Coast at the moment so I know how you feel. Hopefully we will get some clear skies later this week. Best Regards.
  18. Hi Artemisia and welcome to SGL. 'Saturn'... one seen never forgotten. I am sure you will learn a lot from the SGL community, I know I have, so just ask your questions and I am sure you will get lots of help. Clear Skies.
  19. Lonestar70

    Hi all.

    Hi Mike from GM8ICC and welcome to SGL... the best place to be when clouds are about and propogation (radio waves) is rubbish. Clear Skies. 73
  20. Hi Kris, welcome to SGL. Bet you can't wait for your 10" DOB... nice size. Clear skies.
  21. Hello from a cloudy Scotland and welcome to SGL. You should get some great views with your 200p. Clear Skies.
  22. Lonestar70


    Hello MYLUCKYSTARS, welcome to SGL. Clear skies.
  23. Hi Again, I thought that might be the case, however, all is not lost. What you need is one of these: - http://www.amazon.co.uk/adapter-Prolific-PL-2303-Chipset-compatible-Windows/dp/B0085MGSG0 This can be inserted into one of your USB ports and the 9 pin end of the lead you were supplied with (for updating the handset software) can be plugged into this. The other end of the supplied lead then plugs in to your handset (see your manual) RJ11 socket. You should just plug the USB end of the adaptor into your laptop first though... this will detect the converter and load the appropriate drivers (you may get a CD with these on it... if so then insert the CD when prompted and let the task complete. If you then open 'DEVICE MANAGER' from your laptop control panel and scroll down to 'PORTS (COM & LPT)' click on this and you should see your adaptor listed... take a note of the COM port number assigned to it... Stellarium will need to know this number. If you now download 'STELLARIUM' (google it) which is a FREE planetarium software, this has a plug in (installed when you install the package) I think it's called 'Stellarium Scope' with which can control your telescope. Stellarium is also great for learning the night sky and for planning a viewing/photo session. Once the adaptor drivers and Stellarium are installed, you can then connect your telescope using the supplied lead. As for a camera, well I would suggest a webcam, modified with a suitable nosepiece (there are quite a few webcam mod theads under the DIY section which will help you with this)... in conjunction with 'SharpCap' which is a FREE video capture programme for astrophotography use.( Google it) I hope this is of some help. Best regards.
  24. Hi simmo39, A word of caution... you may find that this is not a serial port, but an external VGA monitor port. How many pins does it have?... if it has 15 then it is a VGA monitor port... an RS232 serial port will only have 9pins. Nor sure how old the laptop is (I know it is new to you) but most modernish (is that a word?) laptops are no longer fitted with serial ports. What mount are you using?... this may help us to advise you better as to how you can control it from your laptop. Best regards.
  25. Hi AndyO, I had a similar problem with my ED80 and my solution was a custom made balancer. I did post a description and pictures of it in the following thread. http://stargazerslou...n-ed80-on-heq5/ I am fortunate enough to have a lathe and milling machine so this made things a lot easier. However your solution looks to be a good alternative for you, and for those not having the same facilities. Well done. Best regards.
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