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    Durham Dales
  1. Hi All... I did the Gary Honis dismantling thing and the Lifecam worked a treat until I put some matt black paint over the LED. The camera promptly stopped working. I was just about to bin it when I thought "it's b******d anyway - can't make it worse" so I washed the paint off with a little brush and some thinners. When it was dry I plugged it in and it started working again. The paint must have been loaded with carbon to make it black and being conductive shorted some tracks out. I still can't believe that the paint did no permanent damage, or that the thinners didn't dissolve something important! I'll try sticking a bit of blu-tac over the LED. Cheers Malc
  2. Hi All... Just a quick bodge job. The Lodestar camera is attached to a piece of steel plate using two plastic waste pipe clips. The plate's attached to the dovetail bar with two M4 bolts. The lens is a Kowa F1.8 12.5 to 75mm zoom "C" mount video camera lens which I've used in the past with a Mintron to make vids of meteors. As the steel plate is only 1mm thick it's probably far too bendy but if it works in principle I'll make another one out of something a bit thicker. I know it's not high tech but if it works I'll be happy. KRs Malcolm
  3. Hi All... Once again Aldi are selling chromed steel door stoppers. ALDI - Sunday Special Buys 11th March 2012 With a bit of drilling and tapping you've got a nice looking small counterweight. Clear Skies Malcolm
  4. Hi All... I'll post images if and when I beef up the tab. I've sent an Email to FLO about this problem because with my NEQ6 when I move the mount by hand to about 60 degrees latitude and screw in a long bit of M10 studding, it misses the tab altogether which suggests that either the rear bolt hole is in the wrong place/drilled at the wrong angle or, and this is just a crazy idea, that Synta make mounts for different latitudes and I've got one meant for the equator to about 45 degrees latitude. It adjusts easily between these settings but above that the bolt contacts the tab at an increasingly acute angle while making a mess of the tab. At 55 degrees (my latitude) the bolt starts climbing over the tab. It's really difficult to move the mount in altitude as well. The M10 thread in the mount is very loose and this contributes to the problem. Why can't Synta use a decent alloy or at least use steel threaded inserts for these bolts? I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem. I'm tempted to run an M12 tap through the hole and use a socket head bolt with a suitably rounded end as this would probably cure the problem. The mount's more or less in a permanent position so once it's polar aligned I generally won't need to touch it, but it's still under warranty and I don't want to mess around with it. I'll wait and see what FLO have to say. Has anyone else had problems with wear in this area, and how did you cure it?? Best wishes Malcolm
  5. Hi All... Does anybody know a way of removing the altitude decal from an EQ6 without totally destroying it? I've tried warming it with a hairdrier, soaking it with WD40 and isoprop then trying to lever it off with a thin blade but it just won't budge. I need to dismantle the mount to get to the bit that the rear latitude bolt bears against to move the scope up in latitude. It's worn away and I need to dismantle the mount to put a steel face on the affected part. I've tried longer bolts but the mount just sticks at 53 degrees and then the bolt just grinds away at the metal! Best wishes Malcolm
  6. Hi Guys... My Dad (Jack Youdale) has a 4.5" 76" focal length OG made by David that could have possibly been ground from the batch of special glass from Thermal Syndicate that was mentioned in a previous post. As far as I know, David made two of these OGs. I don't know what happened to the other one but Dad got this one from Ian Heslop who used to work at G.P. This one is waiting until we find a suitable tube to mount it in. It'll be a long scope but I'll bet it'll be a good one. Best wishes Malcolm
  7. Hi All I'm having a go at deep sky imaging. I've got an EOS 1000D with the IR filter removed and not replaced with another one. I'll be using camera lenses and a Moonfish ED 80 with it. Do I need to use any extra filters to stop IR focussing behind visible light and blurring the image? I've already got a 1 1/4" IR/UV cut filter but I reckon it'll cause severe vignetting of the image. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I can go about a hundred quid for any filters I might need. The camera will only be used for astro imaging. Best wishes Malcolm
  8. Banni

    Battery Box

    I've run out of the right size of sticky inside heat shrink sleeving. I'll insulate them when the next batch arrives. Cheers Malcolm
  9. Hi All Not Hi-Tech but compact. The battery's an 18 AH SLA. The socket strip's from Aldi and is attached with Bostik Hard Plastic glue. The fuse is stuck on with a bit of hot melt glue so as to be easily removable if necessary. Saves carrying around a big yellow box full of compressors, jump leads etc. Now to start on that auto guider project for my EQ3-2...... Best wishes and clear skies Malcolm
  10. Hi All... Once again, my local Aldi (Washington) is selling 60mm 20-60 zoom spotting scopes, this time for the incredibly cheap sum of £19.99, a reduction of a fiver from last year. They come with a nice zippy bag and a little table tripod plus a cleaning cloth. OK they're not Swarovski or Leica but are brilliant value for money. They're OK as long as you don't push the magnification too far and there's a bit of image shift when focussing, but twenty quid - come on! Best regards Malcolm
  11. Hi Brunty I wear specs 'cos I'm longish sighted and it's a real P.I.T.A. Specs on to read the lappy screen, off for the guide scope, back on for the screen. Same at work with microscopes and PC screens. I've got diabetes and this can do strange things to my eyes depending to my blood glucose level. Next eye check I'm seriously considering laser surgery, although I've heard a few horror stories. My eyes aren't suitable for contact lenses unfortunately. Anybody else got any comments? Cheers Malcolm
  12. Hi Guys Not sure if this is the right place to post this - moderators please move it if necessary. My local Morrisons (West Denton) is selling 10 x 50 binos for £8.00. They're not quite as well made as the Lidl ones - a bit more plasticky but still brilliant for eight quid. Tasty red coating on the OG as well. Cheers. Malcolm
  13. Hi Guys... My wife's OK about astronomy. Mind you, she hasn't got much choice - her Dad's been the president of our AS for the last 30 years! She was brought up to the smell of boiling pitch and the sound of mirrors being ground. Seriously, I've been yammering on about a new mount for a while, saying how it would improve my observation and imaging skills, so yesterday she suggested that I should get in touch with FLO and enquire about an EQ6 PRO Synscan. Naturally I said it's a big investment (!) but to cut a long story short I'll be ordering one some time this week before the prices go into the stratosphere. Can't wait. Best Regards. Malcolm
  14. MRF Finder for Moonfish........socks.......more socks......nice warm hat.
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