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JPS

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    SW France
  1. I would be grateful for advice. I recently got the tracking mount all cleaned up, and running fine, thanks to advice from this forum. Whilst having problems with the mount, I was researching/considering buying a different one. I'm new to this- but as far as I can see, the Skywatcher Skymax 127MAK which we have, with the tracking mount, looks to be identical to that supplied with the "go to" SynScan system, except for the hand controller. On the mount, there is just the one power inlet, and one "telephone" type socket for the handset (see pic). The handset has no inlet ports on it. Am i right or wrong on this assumption about the mounts being the same,just the handsets being different?? So, a GoTo handset is upwards of £180, even if I could just plug it into our mount (as i suspect) and use it instead. Is it possible for me to just connect my laptop to the mount with a cable such as this:http: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121429040143?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT or http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201174179808?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT .....in effect doing away with a handset, then use the laptop to control the mount- and, I hope someone will point me to a programme to do so, for it to work as a GoTo rather than just to track objects once found,making life so much easier. OR, am I completely off the correct track here? Thanks in advance.
  2. Hello again. A rather belated reply, but after I posted this enquiry, I got ill, so the last thing on my mind was sorting out the scope! Anyway, I'd like to thank those who took the time to reply and advise me. I'm not (as it may have seemed on the face of it ) an ignorant, boorish clod who can't be bothered to respond, I just was ill..... so please accept an apology to anyone who might have felt aggrieved by my previous lack of esponse Yesterday ( I don't rush into things!) I screwed up the courage to take all the gubbins out of the (quite expensive) mount- 13mm & 10mm sockets, an allen key and a philips screwdriver were all I needed- then disassembled all the gearing, cleaned it up, and reassembled. HEY-HO, it all now works-- so I guess it was clogged up due to lack of use, as suggested by AstroJOE. So, my thanks , once again.......................
  3. Hi. Firstly, a thank you to those who've offered me a warm welcome since I joined this morning. I hope some/several of you may be able to advise me on our telescope. So, I took a lot of advice before buying my wife her first scope about 5.5 years ago. I was pointed toward the Skywatcher 127MAK- so I bought her one with the SupaTrack mount. I invested in all the books- Astronomy encyclopedia, Turn Left at Orion etc- and she was made up initially using the scope. Then, it went away for around the past 3 years, as we were busy with other things. I recently got it out,reassembled it, tried to set it up, as she wanted to restart astronomy. However, the tracking motors don't seem to drive the alt/az axes. There is power, there is a whirring noise from within the mount, but the scope does not move. So, I took the side off the mount. There are two motors, the upper for alt, the lower for az. Each has a black knurled wheel attached- these spin under power, but the motors don't drive. It's not a power issue- brand new 12volts makes no difference. I attach several pics of our scope,including the ( I now think) stupid electronic mount, including a view inside. Has anyone any such experience of this problem- it would appear that this is a pretty common scope on this site? If so, can I fix it, or must I junk the mount- and , by extension, the tripod. I'm rather wishing now / thinking that I should have bought a scope with a manual mount. However, I'm rather baffled by all the mount jargon- EQs 1-6 or whatever, alt/az4 etc etc etc. Our scope is attached to the mount via a dovetail (?) joint. Will this attach simply to any mount?- I've seen that many scopes are attached via rings around their body. It SEEMS that the mount base (like a knurled toothed cup) SHOULD remove from the tripod- BUT, can I then buy a manual mount to refit to the tripod, and if i do so- what should i buy ( reasonably priced options only please, I'm on a pension!). Or should i just junk the mount, the tripod and mount base, and get all new ? Bear with me!- a LAST option - seems to be to get a MORE complicated SynTrak mount like this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Sky-Watcher-Synscan-AZ-Mount-skyhawk-explorer-mercury-startravel-/301278091231?pt=UK_Telescope_Mounts&hash=item462592d7df and then a cable like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Skywatcher-10m-PC-serial-cable-SynScan-Mount-/191274762617?pt=UK_Photography_Telescopes&hash=item2c88dd4179 to control the scope with our laptop- rather than buying a SynTrak controller too. BUT, will that mount prove unreliable too? Any advice- in as plain speak as poss for a novice like me- would be most gratefully received. Many thanks in advance.................
  4. JPS

    New here,hello

    Hi. I just joined this site after searching the web for forums re astronomy. I remembered I'd visited here around 6 years ago when looking for info re telescopes when my wife dropped HUGE hints that a scope would be a welcome Xmas present- so with the info from here, and a couple of visits to astronomy initiation groups and talking to a few retailers, I went ahead and got here a Skywatcher MAK 127 with a GoTo mount. I'm an early retired male living in SouthWest France. I'm not actually the one particularly interested in astronomy per se - though as a former Merchant Navy Navigator from before the days of GPS I've a pretty good knowledge of the heavens - it's my Other Half, but I get the job of sorting out her scope etc etc.............. So, I decided I'd better join this site (a) so I know what to do ( so I can learn from others' experience & knowledge and © I may as well get into the subject too - it seems a shame not to do so as we have dark and (mostly) clear skies in our relatively rural location - without streetlights! We've a problem with the scope- but I'll post my Qs elsewhere.... Thanks.
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