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  1. Hi We are trying to set up a 14in Orion Optics UK ODK at a remote site in New Mexico. We have so far been unable to get the scope to focus as it should. It now looks as though the primary to secondary mirror spacing is not correct to give focus 210 mm from the rear cell as it should be. We know how to set the spacing using the supplied Ronchi grating using a star. However the telescope is not polar aligned so that will be a bit tricky. Does anybody know a correction formula for how the focal distance will change from 210 mm for a star at infinity to an artificial star at 15 feet or so. This will allow to set the spacing approximately, Then polar align the scope and the repeat process on a star for a more accurate result. Thanks for any advice. John
  2. Thanks for the info guys I doubt if it will be worth ever bringing the scope back - easier to sell over there if we break up and none of the partners want it.. So I think it will be more sensible to have Orion UK sent it to one of my US partners - probably in Georgia where the sales tax is apparently 4% rather than the 9% in parts of California. Regards John
  3. Hi I wonder if anybody has any knowledge of sending equipment for use in the USA. I have an Orion Optics UK 14in ODK on order which I was intending to house in my observatory in Cornwall. I have now got involved with a group with a scope hosted at Sierra Remote Observatory in California, with the intention of moving to their own RoR observatory at a really dark site in New Mexico. The ODK get much better use over there with clear skies and good seeing. And it would be very welcome to the rest of the group who contribute various bits of equipment and share resulting subs via Google Drive. I have established that if I have Orion send the ODK direct to the US Import Duty and Sales Tax comes to much the same as VAT here. The question is if I take delivery here, pay VAT, test it out and then send it retaining ownership is a second lot of duty payable in the US Thanks for any advice John
  4. Hello I have taken the plunge and ordered a 14in ODK to replace my now sold Meade 14in ACF. I would be interested to receive any advice on keeping the mirrors dew free both when the scope is in use and at other times. My RoR observatory is in a small field in Cornwall and hence dew and dampness is common despite a dehumidifier. I have taken the option to have Kendrick heater pads installed on both the primary (3) and secondary (1) mirrors during construction and the scope is fitted with fans as standard. I am considering some scheme to keep the heater pads and perhaps fans running when the scope is not in use, perhaps with a thermostat to cut off the power when the observatory warms up. Any advice would be appreciated on how to best control the heaters and fans. Regards John
  5. Well thanks for all the replies - given me a good deal to think about. The ODK 14 is indeed available again and Orion quoted me a reasonable price. But in view of the crummy weather here I guess I will persevere with the Meade for the moment. Also as some have said the ODK is only really worth it if using a larger format camera which in turn means a 3in focuser and rotator, Besides since I make a point of buying second-hand equipment, why pay for a 'new' new scope. John
  6. Hi At present I have a 14in Meade ACF f/10 mounted in a Homeyer cradle on a Paramount ME in a RoR observatory. The cradle also supports a 130mm Hiper APO for wide field imaging and a Skywatcher ED80 guidescope. I am considering replacing the Meade with an Orion Optics 14in ODK which with minor alterations to the cradle will fit in it instead. The scopes use is mainly imaging. I would move across to the ODK my 2in Optics TCF-S, Optics Pyxis, QSI 683 wsg-8 and Lodestar, leaving out the Optec Lepus reducer which makes the Meade about f/7. I also have a QHy8 Pro and SX OAG to use with the ODK .Any advice on whether this is a worthwhile move? John
  7. Hello I have a well equipped RoR observatory here in Cornwall (perhaps not the best place in the UK!). But when I saw this opportunity I jumped at it. So far there are 5/6 of us planning for the first year to have a setup hosted at the Sierra Remote Observatory. It may then stay there or move to a RoR observatory planned by one of the members in New Mexico. Promised at the moment is a setup with TAK 106FSQ, Paramount ME, Takometer rotator, QSI683wsg-8 with LodeStar guider and Astrodon filters For longer focal length scopes there could be a Celestron 8HD or an AT10RC The aim is to take good long total exposures via ACP on group agreed targets. The subs would be exclusive to the group but each member would be free to do as he/she wished with their final processed image. There would be a commitment for a years costs upfront to get the group started to pay for ACP & Schedluler, remote computer, UPS etc. With the shared $900/month hosting charge for the minimum group of 8 this would amount to in the region of $2000 Any serious imagers who would be interested in joining email me for further details John Noble
  8. I too have been impressed with this cloud sensor. Since there is so little decent weather for observing I sometimes leave my observatory running under the control of CCDAutopliot5 now that Aurora have produced new software that produces a Clarity data file that CCDAP5 can read. I have been very cautious so far as it was only a Clarity I file and the rain reporting was suspect. On a few occasions however the cloud sensing has correctly prompted scope parking followed by roll-off roof closure. On others I have checked the Met Office Radar and shut down remotely from the house seeing showers approaching. I have used the relay output to light a warning red LED in the attached warm room for when I am imaging 'manually'. However there is now a new ALPHA version that generates Clarity I and Clarity II data files that can be read by both CCDAP5 and CCDCommander. It seems quite stable and has been running all night so I can check it out. I do notice the default value in settings for Rain is 10, whereas 1 would correspond to the current Cornish light mizzle. However this can be altered to suit - better a false positive than the other way round.
  9. Well, thanks for the remarkably quick reply. I have looked at my SX OAG and see what you mean about the rear projection. I guess there are 2 choices - remove this projection and loose the positive centering it gives or machine the front face of the Atik EFW2 as you have done and presumably loose the chance of connecting to it in any other fashion. Either way alas I do not have access to a lathe! I have some complications in that I have 2 imaging scopes mounted together - a 5in APO with the WO FF4 and a 14in Meade ACF with a Optec Pyxis and Reducer. I get good guiding results with the APO using a guidescope but really need an OAG for good results with the Meade. So I would need to remove the OAG when using the APO - why, because the inward focus is limited and while I could just focus with a CCD and filter wheel in place, I would not be able to with the extra backfocus of the OAG Regards John
  10. I already have an SX OAG and at the moment just an OSC camera. I was thinking of buying a mono camera and filter wheel. The Atik EFW2 seems to have less issues than the SX version but the Atik OAG is rather deep so giving backfocus problems with focal reducers as well as specific problems using the Williams Optics Reducer/Flattener 4 which I have. Does anybody know if the fixing holes in the 2 OAGs are the same so that the SX OAG can be mated with the Atik EFW2 (Some chance I guess!) I guess if it is possible, then the Atik383L would be the best bet for the camera - any views please?
  11. I have an A&M 130mm APO which has a 2in Feathertouch focuser with about 2in of travel. For imaging it needs a 2in extension to achieve focus and with my QHY8 Pro with 23mm backfocus it needs a short T spacer as well. Having heard that a Williams Optics Field Flattener 4 would suit the scope I tried one tonight, using a 32mm T spacer to set the QHY8 Pro 55mm from the Flattener 4 i.e. the spacing of a DSLR for which it is intended. With a 2in extension in front of the Flattener it was a long way out of focus with the scope focuser right in. Without the 2in extension it was closer but still out of focus by a bit with the focuser right in. As expected adjusting the lens to chip adjustment on the flatenner had no effect on the focus. Any ideas please?
  12. Well I got in touch with Arthur and he gave me the flange dimensions. A local metalworker in Plymouth is making one up for me for the reasonable price of £95
  13. I bought one of the FLO piers a couple of years ago - red painted 10in tube with a nice level adjustable aluminium plate mounted on 4 steel studs. Very satisfied with it but have just changed from a 14in wedge and fork mounted 14in Meade to a 14in Meade ACF on a Paramount ME. I need to raise the base of the pier about 12in to have the OTA at the optimum height in the RoR observatory. I have found a local fabrictor who can make me up an extension to put below the exiting pier. Would anybody be able to tell me the hole pattern on the base. I do not think I can measure it accurately in situ as the base is well below the observatory floor. And I would rather not be unable to use the scope while the extesion is made up as it might be some time.
  14. I was making progress last night until a sudden power cut. Basically I think the separation has to within a very close tolerance such that trying to measure it is not good enough. Yesterday I thought of a good way of doing it. Focus a star in the centre of sensor, then taking continuous images move the scope a little so the star is in one corner of the sensor (the one with the worst distortion). Then adjust the separation until the star is round. Repeat as necessary. In my case I had a good distance of thread between the CCD and the SX AO to allow 2 or 3mm of adjustment. When I resume (hopefully tonight) I will repeat and then find a spacer to take up the unused thread so the all is firm. There may also be a bit of tilt to correct for but I think spacing is the major issue. I do not believe clamping the corrector in the focuser is an issue.
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