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About colinheath

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  1. OK From what I can gather from further research is the usb to serial converter should work fine as is with no need for other circuitry. I need to look at spec of board to see if it offers any isolation to protect laptop also. Just need to use ascom driver then and hopefully have a goto scope. I am still investigating the bluetooth method though as I wish to use my PDA also. Won't get anything else done for a few weeks now. It will take me that long to find my way around astromist anyway:D
  2. Thanks for the reply. Yes I think I need to go with USB to serial card. Somebody else on here has just used one so will source one the same. Just suss out the connections and hope the ascom driver will do the rest:D I am thinking of bluetooth also as want to use my PDA for control as well. So I may just go with bluetooth serial adapter and see where that gets me:) I will post updates as they happen but will be a few weeks as on hols shortly. Should be some nice dark skies there so will take the binos:D
  3. Sorry to drag up an old thread:) I am looking into PPC control of my skywatcher supatrak scope. Does anyone know of a recent version of bluetooth adapter anyone has had success with please? Any help much appreciated:D
  4. Hello All, I have looed at it and going to convert my Skywatcher Mak to Goto although it will remain in it's original form. I have seen a great article on the web about building your own serial to scope interface with the MAX220 chip and then going to use stellarium or similar to drive it. Now I may not go for the serial interface and go for usb card shown in autoguiding thread on here instead. reason being I would like to use my PDA to drive if possible when in the field then use laptop if imaging as it will be out with scope anyway. ANyway this is just at conception stage so welcome any input from others with similar experience:D I should add my skywatcher has the supatrak system at present. My main reason for this is I have little time for viewing so would like to maximise it when i do get chance:)
  5. Thanks James, Will start a thread when I build the pier:D I have already sowed the seed with the boss indoors and she is coming round;) Thanks for the kind words Dave:D I will knock up a diagram and post it up. maybe a few days though as really busy at present. Please feel free to bump the thread as a reminder;) Stainless steel welding is fine with a little practice. i work in the food industry as an engineer so have had lots of experience. I prefer welding stainless to any other metal now.
  6. Put a decent guide scope/finder on my 127 mak as cant find anything at present:( Pier for the scope as tripod is terrible for vibration buy a good book on astro imaging with ccd vid camera (neximage) to read on hols:) Build power box for dew shield I have (astrozap) Learn my way round the sky!
  7. OK tried the focuser last night and it made life very easy:) Much better to focus and was lots better with imaging. My imaging is terrible but the focusing was fine:p I did notice some vibration if i wasn't careful with lead but apart from that it's good. Next mod is going to be a decent pier mount for the scope. I was going for one sunk in ground but the boss indoors doesn't seem keen on the idea;) So i will build a base and concrete into ground then just have to slide it onto studs. I will be using 4" stainless steel pipe with 8" x 1.5" disk on bottom also in stainless.
  8. Well here is the second lot of pics taken last night. A little better and some colour can be seen in rings. I tried varying the contrast as suggested and seemed to be much better:D I have some questions if you dont mind;) How long to people make a capture for on Saturn? My vids were around a minute and i am assuming need to be much longer to get more detail. Also i used registax to process and AM cap to get video. now when I went into manual contrast the frame rate becomes manual to. I used fastest frame rate and assumed this would be ok? The biggest one for me though is size of image and tracking. Now my images are really small. is this all you can expect with a camera like mine? should i use a barlow to increase size? Now the tracking on my scope is miles off. I dont know if i have my latitude set wrong. one map i went to said i was 75deg but that sounds wrong and perhaps I was mixing up with altitude:icon_scratch: will go and check that as i couldn't keep image on screen for more than 4 seconds. is this about right for the sky watcher alt/az tracking mount? If so i will make a pier and mount on wedge then mod drive:D Ok enough of me going on here are the images. get your magnifiying glass out:D
  9. Thanks for the kind words people:D Nice advice on the gain there also I will give that a try. Could even be tonight as the sky is clear and wind has dropped:) I have electric focuser finished now and working along with finding out how to set up tracking properly so should be good:hello2:
  10. Yes I modified the servo for continuous rotation. was a very easy with a stanley knife to just cut off tang on plastic gear then just remove control electonics:D
  11. OK I think I have it all finished (for now) I had a little plastic pulley ready made on the servo but couldn't get any grip on belt. I then made an aluminium pulley and this works much better:D It all works now and gives good control on speed etc with no apparent vibration of scope although the proof will be in the viewing. If i will change anything it will be the control box as I made a bit of hash of the cutouts etc and switches aren't as level as should be. I have been making panels for years but never used square switch bodies. will be round next time;) Here are the pictures and will get a vid posted up later of operation
  12. Thanks James, I was worried about clearance viewing over head but clears fine so all good:) I hope to finish this weekend if work doesn't prevent me so will get the finished pics up:D
  13. I only went to such levels just because I have the kit available to do it. It can be done with a simple bracket that could be fitted under dovetail and just clamped. reason being the servo is very light so doesnt require anything near as complex as I have done:)
  14. Oh huge clunky bolt has been replaced with grub screw now;) and it will all be cleaned up when finished. Maybe even anodise it:D
  15. Thanks for the reminder:D Here are the pics. not the best as taken with phone. the ali block has dovetail machined on back so slides straight onto original mount bracket. servo is bolted into this. will have coiled cable between.
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