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Everything posted by Lonestar70

  1. If you are using live view for extended length of time during focusing/alignment/framing etc then it is possible the camera is shutting down due to internal temperature (Thermal Shutdown). Does it come back to life after leaving it switched off for 20mins - 1/2hr? Several of the Canon models have such thermal protection fitted... especially those which have video facilities. Best regards. Sandy.
  2. Quote" the appliance internal fuse, if any, properly protects the appliance." And there in lies the issue... Whilst I totaly agree that with a domestic AC mains appliance the plug fuse is there to protect the wiring not the appliance, however, we are talking about a DC installation, probably unearthed on the DC side and where the only return path is via the Negative line, and an expensive mount which does not contain any internal protection for overcurrent or for reverse polarity. It would seem prudent to me (also a fully qualified electronics engineer) to fit a suitably rated fuse at the input of the mount to provide some such protection in the event of an overcurrent situation rather than rely on a much heavier fuse protecting the wiring to a whole bank of sockets... the likelyhood of this blowing before the tracks on the mount motherboard vapourising would seem to me to be tempting fate. The only mount protection provided by Skywatcher is a fuse fitted inside the Cigarette plug on the power cable supplied with the mount and since this is not being used in this case it would seem resonable to replicate it by fitting an individual fuse at the appropriate socket. Good luck with your new supply and I hope you will get your electronic focuser up and running soon... I did mine a year or so ago and it made a huge difference. Best regards and clear skies. Sandy.
  3. Hi and welcome to SGL. The Hitec adaptor is only for use in conjunction with ASCOM/EQMOD+CDC or Stellarium control of your mount without the need to use the handset (it replaces the handset)... it cannot be used for handset or Mount software upgrades. For that you need the following cable: - http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/serial-cable-for-skywatcher-and-celestron-mounts.html And if your PC/Laptop does not have a true RS232 port you will also need one of these: - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plugable-Adapter-Prolific-PL2303HX-Chipset/dp/B00425S1H8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1448297797&sr=8-2&keywords=USB+to+RS232+serial+adaptors as Julian has stated above... This cable and adaptor can also be used to control the mount from your PC/Laptop via the handset by placing the handset in PC Direct mode. This emulates the Hitec device, however, it also adds some additional signal delays which can make some functions, such as guiding or camera control, unreliable... there is also a major problem if you also try to use the handset buttons at the same time when in this mode... things can tend to go a bit nuts. The majority of users choose the Hitec adaptor rather than the PC direct mode. The NPE error is just telling you that there is a small value of angular misalignment between the RA and DEC axis (which should be at 90deg to each other) currently stored in the handset memory... this can be caused by cone error or mechanical misalignment and/or mount not being totally level. You should be able to reset the values stored for both CE (Cone Error) and NPE (Non Perpendicular Error) to zero using the handset, however, they will be updated and re-stored when you do a star alignment. Some people don't worry about it and just accept the error and carry on with the alignment. This only came about in the v3.35 or v3.36 SynScan release and has caused a fair bit of discussion on the forum... try doing a forum search for NPE error. I don't think many members actually know how the value is determined by SynScan... but there might be one or two. I hope this helps. Best regards. Sandy.
  4. Well stated Michael. Gaj, I would point out that wiring also includes the printed copper tracks on your mount circuit boards... some of which are quite small in cross section... whilst these will be of adequate size for normal running currents it is quite possible (and often the case) that they get burnt off when something causes the normal working current to rise rapidly, such as both motors stalling during a slew due to a trapped cable. In such a case the large fuse protecting the whole group of sockets is less likely to blow before the tracks, or other circuit components, are damage beyond repair, wherase a small individual fuse rated say 1amp higher than the normal maximum current would prevent any such damage... it would also help to prevent unwanted/uncontrolled shut down of other devices connected in the chain of sockets which could, in some cases, also cause unnecessary damage. As Michael has stated... mount motherboards don't come cheap... and are not readily available in a lot of cases. A small fuse and holder costs only pence. Your understanding of flammable gas/air mixes is good to hear... sadly so many don't realise the potential danger. The test you described may have only increased the pressure by 1psi but that would have placed an instantaneous load of over 1/2 ton on each door... so I am not surprised they blew open quite rapidly. As for the forced fan venting... I am not a believer in using any type of electric motor in a potentially explosive atmosphere, however, providing the brushless motor is of the GAS SAFE sealed type and the control electronics are outside the enclosure then it should be ok. Perhaps it should be set up to draw fresh air in via a shielded and filtered side entry (to prevent condensation ingress) and with an exit in the base (this should be well off the ground in your case due to the wheels etc). Alternatively, if you can get access to the vents on the battery, it may be possible to fit vent tubes directly to these and pass them through the sides, or bottom, of the case via sealed glands. Stay safe and hope you get clear skies. Best regards. Sandy.
  5. Hi Gaj, A very neat unit with room for future expansion and improvements etc. I would suggest that you fit individual fuses for each output, rated for the attached load... having a single fuse per bank means using a much larger fuse rating which would not fully protect an individual attached device. One word of caution though... DO NOT charge that battery whilst enclosed in the unit. Lead acid car batteries give off Hydrogen gas + Oxygen whilst under charge and the small volume of the box will soon get filled with these... especially with the top board and lid fitted. Hydrogen gas is explosive at 4% by volume in air and the additional vented Oxygen will add further to this explosive condition... all it would need would be a small spark, say from plugging something in to one of the sockets, to cause it to explode. Remove the battery for charging in a well ventilated space. They also give off sulphuric acid fumes when charging, and even when not connected, which will play havoc with your electronics and electrical connections. A better battery choice would have been a sealed gell type leisure battery, albeit they are a somewhat more expensive. I trust you are connecting the mains via an RCD device. Stay Safe. Sandy.
  6. Unfortunately the same applies to Controlmynikon for the same reason. Nikon have not released an SDK for the D3100... or any of the D3000 - D3300 family which makes 3rd party software control very unlikely. 'Digicamcontrol' does not fully control the D3000 series either especially for Live view and Bulb modes. This does not leave many options available for those Nikon camera's. Software control of the shutter for long exposure sequences, using the electronic release you have/are building, can be achieved using a free download 'DSLRshutter'. http://www.stark-labs.com/page26/DSLR_Shutter.html You will only have liveview focusing using the built in screen on the camera... which can, I believe, be zoomed in to get a better resolution. Good luck. Best regards. Sandy.
  7. Prism protrusion will depend on your imaging camera sensor size. A good way to set it is to run your imaging camera in live view or preview mode during daylight and focus on a very distant object... then move the scope to point at an evenly lit part of the sky... adjust the prism down until you can see it just starting to protrude into the edge of the frame... then carefully back it out until it just clears leaving no shadow. Lock it at that and you should be OK. Good luck and clear skies. Sandy.
  8. True, however, you may have to optimise the distance between the OAG prism and the reducer in order to get the best selection for guide stars when the Image sensor is at the correct backfocus distance from the reducer. Once this optimised distance has been established then the spacing between the prism and the guide camera sensor can be established to achieve the same backfocus. It is not always as simple as just making both sensors the same distance from the prism, as may seem convenient, and then adding enough spacers to satisfy the image camera backfocus, since this may not optimise the location of the prism for guide star selection. I hope that makes some sense. Keep Happy. Sandy.
  9. Whilst I agree with Freddie in principle, you must also take into account the backfocus requirements of your reducer (if fitted) and adjust both camera sensors to be at the same required distance from the rear element of the focal reducer. The Imaging camera is the more fussy, since any deviation from the focal reducers specified backfocus distance can make a huge difference to the image quality... the OAG Prism does not enter into the imaging camera's path so it is not really relevent in this measurement. The guide camera is not quite so fussy and can have a little more leeway in location. Hope you manage to get it sorted out... spacing can be a real pain sometimes. Best regards. Sandy.
  10. I have both of these software packages and BYNikon eats controlmyNikon for breakfast... it is, by far, the superior package for astrophotography needs. ControlmyNikon was originally developed as a camera tethering package, more for daytime photography and, originally, lacked the facility to control long exposures necessary for astrophotography use. The latest version does have this facility using a Dsub cable release or directly via USB where the camera model allows... it is a great piece of software for tethered use but lacks a lot of the features more suitable for astrophotography. BYNikon (just like BYEOS) was specifically developed for astrophotograhy and as such it does a lot more in that it can use several different external electronic shutter release devices (including the Dsub). It can also control an electronic focuser via ASCOM to give FWHM focussing in a separate window, it has much more sophisticated camera control, which can be programmed for a whole sequence of timed exposures including sequences of mixed lengths, each of which can have specific names, ideal for targets like the Orion Nebula, or the Andromeda galaxy where shorter subs are required for the brighter core areas and longer ones for the outer regions. It can also directly link and synchronise with PHD for guiding...+ a good many other astro related features, including dithering, which are unfortunately lacking in ControlmyNikon. The old problem of Star Eating in earlier Nikon Cameras is no longer an issue and all in-camera noise reduction can now be dissabled via the camera menu's. The Canon edge for astro use/control is now not such an issue. Keep happy. Sandy.
  11. Hi Louise, Ok, thanks for the info and I hope you can tame yours to your satisfaction. Keep Happy. Sandy.
  12. Hi Louise, That is pretty close... don't forget a siderial day is 23hrs 56min 4.1secs... not 24hrs... so 5 mins early is not far out. What is the normal running current in the specification sheet?... USB2 can only supply a max of 500mA and some PC/laptop ports are limited to 300mA. I have been looking at one of these myself recently for an easy grab and go setup. Keep Happy. Sandy.
  13. It is just possible your 9mm eyepiece may be a Russian origin 32mm dia not a true 1 1/4". A Barlow lens will move the focus point a good bit further out of the focuser, so you would need to bring the draw tube much further out to find focus. Seeing and air turbulance can often make focussing tricky at times, especially at higher magnifications, even with the high quality eyepieces. Keep practicing and it will all come together in time. Good luck and clear skies. Sandy.
  14. Hi Ray, This should do all you need... Use the shield for the -ve. http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/audiovisual-twin-screened-two-core-grey-priced-per-metre-xr20w Hope this helps. Sandy.
  15. Hi Simon, You say you have recently updated to Windows 10... have you also updated your Nikon NX/transfer software... I think you need to now use the lates version NX2/Transfer 2... and possibly latest camera drivers for W10. I believe your problem may be that the EXIF data embeded in your Raw images is unreadable, or being corrupted somehow if using the original NX/transfer software. You should be able to download the update files direct from the Nikon website for free (you may need to input your camera serial number). I use a Nikon D90 and I had a similar problem when I changed from XP 32bit to W7 64bit. http://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/products/22/D5000.html DSS won't load or recognise any files which have damaged/corrupt exif data. I hope you get it all solved soon. Best regards. Sandy.
  16. Hi Patrick, Superb images and a wonderful tribute to your late father... I am sure he is looking down with an approving eye and saying to himself 'I did it right'. I hope your move goes well for you. Best regards. Sandy.
  17. Hi PM, Not sure, but it looks like you may have a male to female (possibly T-2) conversion ring fitted. If you look at your cross sectional drawing (a few posts above) this clearly shows a Female thread inside the adaptor (the side opposite the thumb wheels on the casing) for the telescope connection (bottom side of the drawing).... which extends to the inside face of the casing. Hopefully you will get some confirmation from Altair. Keep happy. Sandy.
  18. It looks to me like the inner bearing has collapsed, or has worn away, inside the top of the mount. If you unscrew the silver star bolt far enough you should be able to lift the yolk out of the tripod, but you may find the bearing has cold welded it'self to the spindle. The silver star bolt should just be a locking screw to prevent rotation, however the inner end may sit in a recess in the yolk spindle to prevent it falling out. It can possibly be fixed with a new bush/bearing. Best regards. Sandy.
  19. PM, I think you will find the SX adaptors all maintain the 29mm thickness but you can email Altair Astro to double check. Don't forget to order the FEMALE thread version to take the MALE SW Coma Corrector thread. http://www.altairastro.com/starlight-xpress-male-m48-face-plate-for-sx-filter-wheels-starlight-xpress-t2-face-plate-for-sx-filter-wheels-choose-male-or-female.html This would result in 29mm +17.5mm = 46.5mm... so you would need to add 8.5mm on the camera side... not the best option really since you need to keep the filters as close to the camera as possible to avoid vignetting issues. Perhaps a better solution would be to get the Male thread version of the SX adaptor and locate a short 8.5mm all Female M48 x 0.75mm extension tube which could then be fitted between the Coma Corrector and the SX adaptor. I believe TS (Teleskop services) may have a suitable extension tube. Note... the above does not take account of the effect the filters have on the optical path length of the filter wheel but I seem to remember this increases the optical length of the filter wheel assembly by something like 0.7 x thickness of the filter, therefore the 29mm physical length would be increased by this amount which will reduce the length of the required extra extension by the same amount. Hope you get sorted. Best regards. Sandy.
  20. Hi PM, You may struggle with this I am afraid but it depends on what adaptors you may have for the scope-side of your filter wheel. The backfocus distance for the SW Coma Corrector is 55mm and with the full format sensor of the SBIG this will need to be within +/- 0.5mm. This distance is measured from the bottom of the thread on the back of the Coma Corrector to the sensor plane. The thread on the Coma Corrector is M48 x 0.75mm. I believe the standard Starlight filter wheel is 33mm front to back including the normal adaptors... so you don't have much to play with. Ask FLO if a suitable scope side filter wheel fitting is available with an M48 x 0.75mm internal thread which could replace the standard fitting... if such is available then the Coma Corrector can be screwed directly to the filter wheel and will minimise the optical path length of the fiter wheel assembly... if not available then you will need a converter adaptor the thickness of which will need to be added to the filter wheel thickness when calculating the spacing. I am not aware of the body-sensor depth of the SBIG... possibly around 19mm so you won't have very much lee way. I wish you luck in getting set up. Best regards. Sandy.
  21. Lonestar70

    Newbie stargazer

    Hi Sagan and welcome to SGL. Hopefully you will get a lucky break in the cloud cover and get to see some great sights in the night sky. Try and find a nice sheltered, but safe, location as far away from Colchesters light pollution, you will be surprised how much difference it will make. Good luck and clear skies. Sandy.
  22. How about using a sheet of black art card available from most good craft shops in various thicknesses... cut an 8" hole in the right place and you could also add a ring, made from a strip or 2 of the same material about 1" wide, to slip over the OTA... easy to do, not overly expensive and simple to work with... also totally light proof. Would fit directly into your frame if you use A3 size card. A couple of coats of clear matt varnish or laquer on the outside will give protection from atmospheric pollution and damp. Good luck and clear skies. Sandy.
  23. Hi Gina, Have you seen this it is quite something. http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_desimone_what_if_3d_printing_was_25x_faster Looks like things are going to change rapidly in the 3D printing field. Keep Happy. Sandy.
  24. Lonestar70

    Mr Cat

    Hi MrCat, Welcome to SGL. Nice find and should get you started on the slippery road of astronomy where being slightly mad is a great asset... you have joined the right crowd. Where are you located in Argyll? I am near Lochgilphead and would be happy to assist if you need any help. Clear Skies. Sandy.
  25. Hi Rico, You may be able to recover the lost files as follows: - I deleted files from my recycle bin, i need to recover them, how can i do this? You may be able to recover the deleted files using the Previous Versions component. 1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder where the original files were stored. 2. Right click the folder and select the Restore Previous Version from the menu. 3. In the Previous Version dialog, select a version with a date and time prior to when you deleted the files. 4. Select the Copy Button. Select the Desktop as the location for the copy and click the Copy Button. 5. Go to the Desktop, open the copied folder and look for the files. If the files are there, move them out of the copied folder to the Desktop. You can then delete the copied, previous version of that folder. Certainly worth a try. Hope this helps. Sandy.
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