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About stu640

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    Reigate, Surrey, UK
  1. Jam1e1, I'm just off Jn 8 too - Reigate. Don't get the chance to get out much, but good to know there's folks local!
  2. Another holiday in Brittany would've been good, the skies were great when we camped there a couple of summers back! And thanks for the tip - I'll get the WD40 out! Thanks again!
  3. Yes, fixed it! Unscrewed as suggested, but realised I could probably have just jiggled the piston rod back through its hole. Not pictured, but the spring behind pic 1 looks pretty heavy duty! Essentially, it looks like if you wind the dec controller all the way in, the metal plate can push the piston rod all the way its hole and the flat part of its face gets caught the wrong side (pic 3)... Some pics to help explain... Thank you so much for your help Rich! I wouldn't have wanted to unscrew stuff without knowing it was going to be ok!!
  4. Thanks Peter - lesson learned! Just need to know if whatever it is I've broken in there can be fixed...
  5. Hi Julian, thank you - I don't think meshing is part of this mechanism. The dec controller seems to be a push rod. It's not easy to see in the pictures, but the mechanism is under the plate, which you can see changes position in the first and second picture according to the declination motion. In the third of the pics you can see inside to the pointy end of the rod. Hope this helps!
  6. PROBLEM FIXED I'm pretty sure I have, but don't know if it's terminal! I have the EQ2 supplied with my Skywatcher Explorer 130. The Dec control stopped working last night. It winds until it hits its hard stop at either end, but only moves the mount under control if the end of the rod internally pushes against a just visible metal plate. When the Dec control is 'unwound' this plate and the mount/scope moves freely on the Dec axis by maybe around 10 degrees. Wind it in and the Dec axis is solid, and only movable by unlocking the dec lock screw. From what I've understood from google, basically, firstly I shouldn't have been using the Dec control for anything more than a few degrees of motion in the middle of its range and secondly, the 'return' on winding is probably meant to have been spring loaded against the back of that metal plate. If the latter there's definitely no spring in there anymore! And the system is not as I thought a worm screw like the RA motion control! This free movement of the mount renders the whole setup pretty useless. If the diagnosis of a broken spring somewhere in the dec mechanism is right, is this easily reparable? And is it cost effective to do/easy to acquire parts? Thank you in advance for any advice!
  7. Fascinating discussion. As a newbie it's really made me think about why I'm interested in astronomy and the concerns I have for my future with it. Ever since a master at school took some of us boys out stargazing with his telescope back in the mid-80s I've always enjoyed looking up. That master even took us to a lecture by Patrick Moore and I felt really privileged to have met a hero. Fast forward 25 years and I'd done nothing about this hobby except look up occasionally and watch Brian Cox popular science documentaries. I found myself in Afghanistan under some awesome dark skies which made sentry duties bearable! I knew the enthusiasm was there, but no time to do anything about it. Fast forward again, to this April and I get a telescope for my birthday and high-fiving a mate who joined me on only my second outing when we saw a moon shadow transit Jupiter sealed it for me - I'd left the hobby for 30 years, but it hadn't left me! Something innate about the wonder of it all? I think so. What concerns me, however, is how long will I still enjoy trudging out to find a suitably dark spot for observing? I have a track record here. I used to be an HF radio operator. Establishing HF comms is a dark art, much like finding that DSO I guess, and I got a real buzz out of it, especially when the Yeoman, told me, 'don't bother, it won't work tonight' to then prove him wrong. That buzz faded, to be replaced by the buzz of training others to achieve the same, but even that faded and I changed job. I hope it won't be the same with astronomy, though I know if it turns out that way I'll still always look up in wonder and I'll always like marmite (thinly spread and not too often!)
  8. Colour receptors - Rods at night, cones in daylight. Rods work best under red light conditions and are sensitive to bright lights and less effective under illumination of other colours. Not sure about green, but most night vision equipment gives green/black pictures and in my experience I found they harmed my own night vision. Hope this makes sense - the bright iPhone screen is hurting my eyes as I'm writing this in the dark! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. See my profile pic...! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. Hi Heimdall and welcome - I think I'm maybe a week or two ahead of you in this journey! I've got a 130 as well and I was quickly recommended on here to get a 6mm EP to add to the 10 and 25 that came with the scope (I found an affordable 6.3mm plossl). I've only been out a few times since I got the scope in April (because of the poor weather) and just stuck with the planets and moon so far, where those 3 EPs have been more than enough for really rewarding viewing, so I wouldn't blow the budget on buying a large collection of EPs early on, at least until you get a better feel for what you want to do. In terms of other things to look, as suggested above I'm firstly going to try for the Ring Nebula as it seems pretty straight forward, being so close to Vega and especially having read the guide to finding it in Turn Left at Orion, which includes drawings of what you should see through your EP. Enjoy, Stuart
  11. Blimey! This photography thing is getting more complex every time I look at it! Thanks for cluing me in! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Wow, how do you capture it when it moves across the sky pretty quickly, with a single exposure? Do you lead it then stop and ambush snap it?
  13. Hopefully this will sound simple enough! If your telescope is going to have RA and Dec setting circles which spin freely, you may use this method to find an object. Find an object you know close enough to the one you're looking for. Set its coordinates on the setting circles. Your telescope mount now has the sky's 'grid' set for that particular moment in time. You won't have long to now slew the scope to the coordinates of your target on you setting circles, before the sky moves on. Now that's the theory I've picked up - I've not tried it yet!
  14. Would we still be homo sapiens in a million years? Would it still count as 'us' leaving? A sort of reverse Whig approach to the question!
  15. Hi, New kit, new astronomer and don't want to make a mistake! So very annoyingly on my second ever excursion I decided to use the RA motor to track Jupiter and the Io transition on Wednesday night. Polar alignment was much more simple than I expected - a little nudge to a tripod leg after a daylight compass alignment and the altitude needed only a light touch too. After swinging onto Jupiter I was chuffed to see that to manually track I needed no Dec adjustment even at x142. So I engaged the motor and no difference. I tracked manually for the next hour with no Dec adjustment, save when I accidentally selected it instead of the RA!!! I've subsequently found that the Philips screw holding the wheel (pic below) was loose - the wheel turned but it didn't subsequently turn the RA worm screw shaft. I've now tightened the screw, but my questions are: What would you do next to ensure it doesn't happen again? Just tighten before each session? Use loctite? Would I store up problems for the future with this intervention? Is it broken? - Is there a notch and groove on the wheel and shaft that should have engaged so that the system doesn't rely on a screw that will inevitably become loose regularly? I don't want to take it to bits and risk damage at this stage - even though this is a relatively cheap mount, I can't afford more for the foreseeable! I'm already lusting after spending more as it is, but that's way off! Thank you in advance for any advice! On the plus side Jupiter was amazing! Stuart
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