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mbalkham

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About mbalkham

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    Wellington, NZ
  1. Fixed (see separate post on homemade custom dew heater to fit around draw tube fixing screws). Pretty successful on a few hour test last night.
  2. I ended up making my own custom heater from nichrome wire, insulating tape, neoprene and velcro. Fits around the screws (cutouts in the right place on the plastic backing board) and works pretty well on the test last night!
  3. I have recently received and insatlled the Kendrick Digifire FX Pro and secondary and guidescope heaters (see setup attached). I need also to heat the Baader coma corrector mkiii and light pollution filter installed on my baader protective t-ring inside the diamond steeltrack focuser (controlled by the steeltrack focus motor). It gets dew fogged fairly regularly. Not much room to apply heat and close to the camera (want to avoid heat at the sensor!) but I'm thinking of trying to heat the draw tube on the focuser. Any ideas on narrow heater bands or ones I can make holes in the bands to accomodate the focuser grub screws? I have also improvised a passive dew shield which def helps and if I cant heat this element I might need to explore improvements to that set-up. Images below Thanks in advance
  4. After another imaging session cut short by dew at the weekend, my Kendrick FX-PRO turned up today (ordered over a month ago but Canadian postage and NZ Customs did there bit to make sure it took it's time getting to me!). Hopefully the last of my issues! Has anyone installed the secondary heater with the copper strips supplied to reduce defraction issues? Keen to see someone's install if you have any photos. Also not sure how I'll go about attaching the heater to the focus tube to keep the coma corrector clear. Thinking I'll just wrap the baader steeltrack focuser drawtube and hope it doesn't get in the way of focussing (also ordered the steeltrack motor focuser which should arrrive today).
  5. FIXED!!!!! Don't ask how I did it (I couldn't recreate it lots of forum posts and eventually it worked!) but it works and that's fine by me. Even managed to get the pi system date and time to read the gps and update. Bring on the clouds!
  6. cgps works fine after a manual start (along the lines of sudo gpsd /dev/gps -F /var/run/gpsd.sock) so I know the gps is working fine (it is this one https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/HHAGST0354/GlobalSat-BU-353-S4-Weather-proof-USB-GPS-receiver). The GPS talks to the Pi which talks to KSTARS (running on the mac via wifi hotspot). The location and time in KSTARS are update from GPS. All works fine until the Pi is restarted when gpsd does not run automaticaly (I understand that is the point of the /etc/default/gpsd file and the statement START_DAEMON="true". Just can't get it to work! Work around is to run the gpsd manually each time and everyhting is fine but would be great if I can work out how to do it automatically! Next step talk to Stellarmate. Seen heaps of links and just read the one you posted. Sounds similar problem but I have tried the suggested fix and it hasn't done the trick for me. I'll take another look tonight. Maybe a couple more hours and I'll crack it!
  7. Hi All Been struggling to get the new USB GPS to play ball with the Pi. Manage to manually connect to it and it works with KSTARS but getting it to connect on boot is problematic. I've read heaps of great forum posts on configuring GPSD on boot (using something like below) to modify my /etc/default/gpsd file. Still no joy. Lost a whole night of imaging mucking up drivers and reinstalling everything and now onto about day 3! Running Stellamate OS 1.4.2 and KSTARS 3.3.3. Any pointers welcomed (new to playing with Linux and Pi). Cheers Matt /etc/default/gpsd # Default settings for gpsd. # Please do not edit this file directly - use `dpkg-reconfigure gpsd' to # change the options. START_DAEMON="true" GPSD_OPTIONS="-n" DEVICES="/dev/ttyUSB0" USBAUTO="true" GPSD_SOCKET="/var/run/gpsd.sock"
  8. Sorry just to be clear, I should say I'm very happy with the focuser and not looking go change that. Just looking for motor drive options.
  9. Hi All, Looking to add a motor focuser to my baader diamond steeltrack for newtonian focuser. I see the new SteelDrive II is available but about twice the price of the original steeldrive. Does anyone know if the new one is worth the extra investment?! Open to ideas of other makes if appropriate. Thanks in advance Matt
  10. Hi All, Should start by saying I'm a complete raspberry pi noob so steep learning curve so far! Go easy with any technical replies! Recently been playing with control of the rig using Raspberry Pi 3 essentially as a wireless USB hub (for the mount, autoguider, canon 6D control and PoleMaster), still doing the control with the Widows 10 Nextbook but now from inside the house (hopefully!). I have it all talking to one another whilst on my home wifi network and hope to test it outside when I get a clear sky. Pretty chuffed it seams to work given the trouble we all have with USB drivers and windows updates! My question relates to what happens when I take it to a remote dark site without wifi! I read it might be possible to create a wifi direct link between Pi and Nextbook but it doesn't look straight forward. Else perhaps get a Ethernet-USB dongle for the Nextbook (no Ethernet port) and hard wire (since I don't need the nextbook too far from the scope while I'm elsewhere). Failing that I can unplug and go back to a USB hub but I want to tie wires out the way and fix the Pi on the mount somewhere in a waterproof enclosure and unwiring every time will be a pain. Any tips/ideas welcome. Thanks in advance Matt
  11. Did the power plug mod as per the previous link and had a great night of imagining with no problems. Fingers crossed we're fixed and for less than $15 and an hour of time! Should have done it ages ago! Surprised that the manufacturer hasn't picked this up. Can't be any more expensive than the stock part.
  12. Thanks for the replies. I don't think it's the USB side of things though it could be. I've had many sessions with no problems and assume if it was an underpowered hub I'd see the issues more frequently? I've never liked the connection on the side of the nextbook but haven't yet got any real alternative (though I saw a blutooth/wifi option somewhere). Could be the power connection I guess and I've seen a power socket/plug mod somewhere before (http://bendun.net/Images/STARFEST2011/EQ6 Power Plug Modification.pdf) so it might be time to try that. Have been meaning to rationalize the cable routing so maybe also bring that up the to do list. Reassuring that people don't (so far) think it's internal!
  13. I'm currently experiencing an intermittent problem with my NEQ6 stopping mid slew. It loses connection with the nextbook and all alignment info. I have to manually put back to the home point and start alignment process again (plus target alignment and imaging and PHD calibration). Thinking it might be a loose electrical connection or mechanical issue overloading the drive? A real pain tonight as first clear night in ages and I've given up after 2 resets (the worst is ever been). Most common cause would be parking to home position from a high position (pointing close to vertical). Anyone experienced similar issues and even better fixed them?! Thanks in advance.
  14. I'm fairly sure it's not an external cable issue. It happens at about the same point in the sky and stops with a jolt & funny noise. I'll try taping the cables to the mount and see if I can recreate the issue.
  15. Last night was the first time out for a while. All went pretty well until I needed to flip. As the mount was slewing (controlled via EQMOD from C2C) it froze and lost connection to the computer. I needed to completely restart the mount and EQMOD (and everything else). I then needed to reset everything (guidecam, mount pointing, camera, etc. etc. etc.) which is a real pain. It's happened to me before too same deal doesn't like slewing across the meridian for some reason. Once up and running on the other side no problems imaging for several hours. Any ideas?
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