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About mbalkham

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    Star Forming

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    Wellington, NZ
  1. Nice work Mike. Clouds for 2 weeks here so haven't been able to test my latest tweeks, maybe this weekend. My Goldfocus has turned up to help tripple check my colimation (also use glatter and catseye!).
  2. This zero backlash mod mounts the worm gear on a 'spring' to keep contact without east heavy balance.
  3. You've got to change your scale to 4" or even 2"! Looks super smooth though. I think the weight on mine is pushing me to look at a mount upgrade. Better start saving the $$$!
  4. On your tilt question someone told me about the CCD inspector function in ASTAP. It looks at FWHM values across the frame and gives a value for tilt (and it plate solves really quickly). Might help you out. Plus it's free!
  5. Nice work Mike. I'll have another play with mine at some point. I tried last night but we had fog/low cloud so I gave up after a few hours. Feels like it should be better. What was your guiding looking like?
  6. I've had another go with it since the re-adjustment but didnt see much improvement (around 0.9"RMS). Polar Alignment was a little off and afterwards I found that I didnt tighten the counterweight arm locking nut (oops!). Hoping to get down towards 0.5-0.6"RMS with a little tinkering, good PA, balance and seeing! Rubbish weather for the foreseable so not much chance to try again. Still waiting for this upgrade https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p3025_Counter-weight-bar-for-EQ6--chrome-plated--with-5-kgs-counter-weight.html to arrive (at least 4 weks away). That will stop me from leaving the locking nut undone!
  7. I did manage a slight improvement tonight but it still 'bounces' under light load. I'm convinced it is the spring taking up the load doing what it is supposed to to eliminate backlash. I did remeasure the shims and adjust them so hoping for improvement next start night. Also paid more attention to tensioning everything up and adjusting the worms. I also found you can test if it is the springs or a combination of some residual backlash or worm movement with the locking grubs and nuts that the instructions tell you to back off half a turn. If you tighten them up temporarily the play disappears confirming that it is spring movement. If there is any play with them tight then you have backlash or worm issues. remember to back them off though!
  8. It's def not play in the worm. It's the spring in the zero backlash moving. It's supposed to do this.
  9. I'm using a ZWO 290MM Mini on and Orion ST80 (400mm fl). I've played with a range of guide exposure lenghts from 1-5s but it doesnt seem to make much difference. Imaging at 1250mm on and Orion Optics UK CT10 (10" f5) and with ASI071MC Pro. Resolution of 0.824"/pix so hoping to guide at less than that (half ideally right?). Pic before latest mount mod and with old guidecam.
  10. I wish i got down to 0.5-0.7". I'm nearly there now. I did the belt mod, bearings superlube but am still some way off. Any tips?! 1) before belt mod 1.25"RMS 2) After Bet mod ~1"RMS 3) After zero backlash 0.9"RMS
  11. Excuse the crying baby in the background! 20200612_110447.mp4
  12. Yes mine moves as you describe. I cant adjust it out. I figured it was supposed to have some movement as the spring compresses? Tightening the 5 locking screws that attach the mechansism to the casing did help a little.
  13. I've installed this mod today and preliminary results are showing a slight improvement but not quite what I was hoping for right out the box. Needs a little more tinkering. Well built and install was pretty straightforward. Adjustment not as easy as the instructions would have you believe and still rely on feel. Not sure if I'm expecting too much under the load I have on it (20kgs of OTA and 15kg counterbalance!). Will try under less load another night. Also waiting for Geoptik counterweight upgrade to stiffen that connection.
  14. Hi all, Just recieved my TuBlug and single beam laser. Noticed that with just the laser in the focuser rotation of the laser in ther focuser showed no obvious lateral movement. But the addition of the TuBlug introduces (or magnifies?) some movement and then rotating the TuBlug and laser shows displacement of the diffused pattern on the primary (also noticeable on the opposite wall of the tube with the secondary removed). Images show TuBlug rotated through 90 degrees in focuser no changes to primary or secondary. Question Is this normal (and due to the extra magnification of the Barlow in the TuBlug) or has my laser (or TuBlug) taken a knock in transit? Doesn't seam to be useable with such movement in rotation (unless I misunderstand something?). Thanks Matt
  15. Very happy to look at second hand. Shipping to NZ might be an issue for some though! Potentially prepared to invest a reasonable sum. Had the neq6 for about 6 years now and happy with the mods. Will be a great mount for someone with a lighter setup.
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