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Everything posted by Alan64

  1. The aft RA bores, one stepped, were stripped... The other side, and where the lock-nut goes, was particularly gruelling, as I not only had to remove paint and smooth the metal surface, but I had to do all of that from the top of a deep well... On the left, that's after I had removed most of the paint; on the right, where more paint was removed whilst sanding and polishing the surface. That's about as good as it's going to get. In that that's the butt-end, so be it.
  2. Tsk, tsk, tsk. An instance of where paint needed to be removed, of the saddle, and before I had masked and painted it... Casting burrs were also filed down where needed. The RA-axis, exploded...
  3. Hmm, that's odd about the saddle placement. I have this Meade EQ-2 that I got last year, and it seems to be centered... Oh yes, I have this Celestron 9V-battery motor-drive for the mount. It can be used on a CG-4(EQ-3) even... The worm-shaft must turn easily with the fingers before using the motor-drive, lest the plastic gears inside lose some if not most of their teeth. I'll be seeing to that.
  4. Thanks, Stu. I do hope that folks look upon this smallest of equatorials in a whole new light once I've completed its hyper-tuning, and as a practical mounting solution, albeit for the smallest of telescopes.
  5. I shall, and I did in fact. At first, I had gotten this 73p rattle-can of gloss-black, and from my local department store... But later, I discovered this... The mount, the black paint, has a hammered finish. The dark-grey of the "AstroMaster" saddle does not however, so I had to go out and splurge... I would never do that. I didn't want to paint over where the dovetail-bar would slide and be clamped into position, so I masked that portion off... There, that's done... Incidentally, throughout this whole project, I've had to remove the paint from all of the bearing surfaces, where metal moves against metal. To wit, Synta's painting methods are one of the major banes of my existence. What, is paint lubricating? Who paints bearing surfaces???
  6. Now for the mount-head, and the star of the show... I had gotten this "AstroMaster Deluxe" CG-2 last July... But since that time I've come to judge it a bit too garish and tacky in appearance; too moderne. It does, however, come with a Vixen-style mounting saddle. Still, I now prefer the old-school, far more tasteful and subtle appearance of the basic CG-2... Why, I could grey-scale that image, and you couldn't really tell the difference... See? I like that. This basic CG-2 comes with painted, rudimentary thumbscrews to clamp down the axes, and a bolt-on mounting-saddle... It's 2019, and it still comes with that archaic, draconian saddle. Those are really the only two aspects that are more "deluxe" on the "AstroMaster" variant. During the interim, between the acquisitions of the two CG-2 mounts, I had submitted a warranty claim with Celestron, and ended up with a spare "AstroMaster Deluxe" mount-head, and somewhat stripped. Are you thinking what I'm thinking... Shall I, or shan't I?
  7. Ah, but you are using it for an astronomical project still; good that.
  8. The eyepiece-and-accessory tray screws onto the hub... ...and with provision for your favourite 1.25" and .965"(!) eyepieces and accessories... I may make another tray for it, and on a rainy day. I've had LOTS of those hereabouts, and over the weeks and months. This is a nice touch: angled feet... I wonder how well those will keep the legs from sinking into the mud...
  9. Yes, and in the hanging of a weight from the bottom of the tray as well; and yes, the foam to dampen.
  10. Those rolled-pins came out easy enough... Where the arms attach to the legs, the supplied stainless-steel screws and lock-nuts were a refreshing discovery, albeit skimpy. I went out the other day to my local hardware at the county seat, whilst on another day also to the big-box hardwares near the state line, and got non-metric, #8(quite close to 4mm) stainless-steel(always) screws and lock-nuts, and #6 washers of nylon and stainless... I had to squeeze the rolled holes at the six anchoring points to as small a diameter as possible, and for a tight fit, but there at the legs I had to insert brass sleeves to fill the holes further for the screws, as shown. The tripod completed... The tripod now snaps open and closed like one of those collapsible top-hats... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0MG6F2WjBk Now, elsewhere someone suggested filling, the center legs at least, with sand, but that would make the tripod heavier. The thing I like about this tripod is that it's ever so light in weight, so I won't be doing that. Another suggestion was insulating-foam, from a spray-can, and to fill with that. That would be in keeping with the lightness of the tripod, but I can't see or understand the benefit of that at present.
  11. The only pressing, real problem with the aluminum tripod, is the spreader... It's no wonder it shakes and wiggles at the slightest breeze or bump. Now, I have a few wooden tripods, and from smaller, older kits, but this arrived along with the telescope, and I don't want to throw it away. The hub of the spreader... The arms are anchored onto the hub with rolled, stamped pins. What might be done with that?
  12. I must be psychic, as it was after I had posted my most recent post that I read yours, and there you state that you had used the mount-head for a project. Incredible!
  13. There, among the debris and refuse within the landfill, it's usually the upended tripod that one first encounters... But where's the mount-head? It's nowhere to be seen. Alas, I suspect it was utilised for some non-astronomical project or other; a pity, sad, that.
  14. I would be very interested in seeing an EQ-1 with a wooden tripod, as I've never seen one before. Do you have a photo of it to share? After I illustrate what I've done, and what I am to do further to this one, it is my earnest desire and hope that others will renovate theirs similarly, and then to make practical use of them.
  15. Actually it's not a Newtonian, but a catadioptric, and in the case of the 127mm an economical alternative to a 130mm Schmidt-Cassegrain, and by virtue of this, its "corrector"... ...a doublet-lens integrated at the bottom of the drawtube of the focusser. One method of collimating the telescope involves the removal of the lens, whereby it may then be collimated in the manner of a classical Newtonian. No, the mount, and the subject of this thread, will not be hosting the telescope in question. I do have a few smaller telescopes that will be mounted upon it, however; one in particular: my "Floating Achromat"...
  16. I recently acquired a new kit, and my very own "Bird Jones", at long last... But this thread is not about the telescope. That will come in future, and once I set to "fix" it. The kit came with a genuine Celestron CG-2, or EQ-1. The mount has been described, among other adjectives, as "spindly", and indeed this one nigh disappears among the spindly, wintry branches of the trees surrounding it... If I had a nickel, or a five-pence, for every EQ-1 upended in landfills all around the world, I could buy, well, this mount, and the telescope to boot... There's a reason for the castaway nature of an EQ-1, especially the modern ones, not least of all these plasticky, soft and spongy washers... But it doesn't have to be so...
  17. Take that up with the manufacturer at the next conference, and if they fix it, I'll buy one.
  18. I imagine it's some manufacturing necessity. Let's just hope that they find a better way, and up to the 127mm advertised.
  19. It is always desirable to have slightly more aperture, but in the case of Maksutovs, a 150mm would be quite heavier, bulkier, and would take longer to acclimate to the outdoor conditions, and all for an extra 30mm. I say "30mm" because a Synta(Sky-Watcher, Celestron, Orion) 127mm Maksutov is in reality a 120mm. Despite that, a 127mm Maksutov is the sweet-spot among the varying apertures; not too small, nor too large, just right rather. I have a Celestron C90, a 90mm Maksutov, here in the household, but I'll be forever wanting a 127mm until I finally get one. But I'm in no hurry, as I want to see if the aperture is ever increased to an actual 127mm.
  20. Hello Miles, and welcome to our hallowed pastime. I second the choice of a variable-polariser, as it will also help to dim down Venus to see its Moon-like phases, and for Jupiter to see more detail. The polariser will also reduce and even eliminate those pesky spider-vane flares... That was my experience when using my 150mm f/5 Newtonian. You have just the next size down, a 130mm f/5, and quite a light-gatherer in its own right. You can get two of these and screw them together, then rotate to adjust the level of dimness or brightness... https://www.365astronomy.com/Polarisation-filter-with-30-transmission-level-1.25-inch-M28-5X0.6.html It's the same filter, if I'm not mistaken, as this one... https://agenaastro.com/gso-1-25-polarizing-filter.html Note within that listing that one gets a discount if they purchase two of them, and for a variable-polariser. The Orion unit is the same thing... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-5560-1-25-Inch-Variable-Polarizing/dp/B0069VY9CO This is my own, and I've had it for many years. I wouldn't be without it...
  21. I use Super Lube for all of my astronomical equipment... It's a PTFE(Teflon)- based grease, and quite adequate for up to an EQ-5 at least. It's also food-safe, in case one wants to take their mount out for dinner. It's neither thick nor thin; just right rather, and the perfect thing for replacing factory glue-grease...
  22. The focusser, of any telescope, is really the only mechanical aspect, and consisting of several parts(notwithstanding the secondary assembly of a Newtonian; that's another beast entirely). All you're doing is placing a smaller tube within a slightly larger tube(that of the focusser's housing), but you want it centered as perfectly as possible within the other... When finished, you also want the drawtube to rack inward and outward, in a straight line, and true, with no drooping, no slop, yet the motions easy and smooth... Such is essential to ensure that the eyepiece is centered onto the objective at the other end, and collimated, or aligned... I used strips of PTFE(Teflon) to renovate that focusser. But from where to source the PTFE? How about from this online vendor... https://www.directplastics.co.uk/ptfe-sheet You might select from this range... I have PTFE sheets of those thicknesses, and from a U.S. supplier... The 0.5mm thickness is the thickest I've used, and for a few focussers. Once you get a hold of those, you're in the clear. Everything else that you need can be had locally... ...scissors, a craft-knife, clear double-sided tape(I use the Scotch-brand), 91% rubbing alcohol or 100% acetone(to clean and degrease the surfaces before joining the materials). Here in the U.S., I get my 100% acetone in small six-ounce bottles out of the ladies' cosmetics department at Wal-Mart... Make certain that it's pure, 100%, as they also sell a type that's not so pure, containing moisturisers and other contaminants(not for our purposes). 100% acetone is ideal, as it evaporates quickly, leaving no residue. All mating surfaces must be clean; dirt, grease, and oil free, and the acetone will ensure that very thing. One other item that I use is HVAC-type aluminum-foil tape... Sometimes the thickness of the PTFE that you're using is not quite thick enough. That's when I use that aluminum tape to build up the substrate. I apply a layer or two of that, then a layer of the clear-double-sided tape, and then the PTFE on top of that... PTFE bearing-strips for the drawtube are luxurious, yet accomplished inexpensively. In the end, the effort amounts to simple arts-and-crafts work.
  23. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1061423-REG/meade_216003_polaris_90mm_german_equtorial.html/?ap=y&gclid=CjwKCAiAqaTjBRAdEiwAOdx9xlBfZFZhITaKfk6jvxvExfUUpbRGkqu1Z6ZOdwB9QpkBovSt5ta2lBoCKmMQAvD_BwE&lsft=BI%3A514&smp=Y You can track any object with the included equatorial mount; motorise it even(the RA-axis), and so to keep an object centered within the eyepiece for as long as you'd like. At f/10, the false-colour would be at a minimum compared to the Celestron 102 f/6.5. I have one, and I couldn't be happier...
  24. That could be the factory grease, and the factory bearing-strips, if present. You won't know until you take it apart, and then through trial-and-error get it to where you want it.
  25. Yes, that's an EQ-2 mount, and quite substantial for the 70mm achromat. In a pinch, you can go to an arts-and-crafts department or store, and get self-adhesive felt(any colour), and line the drawtube's cavity with three strips of that, for bearing surfaces for the drawtube. Felt compresses under pressure, so get it as thick as needed. The slop will be considerably diminished as a result... Arrange the narrow strips in a triad, as shown. I had done that with that one before I had discovered the PTFE(Teflon) solution, but when using PTFE the thicknesses must be much more carefully measured, hence my suggestion of the felt instead, for now at least. There are three screws that hold the focusser to the tube. Simply remove them and pull off the focusser. To remove the drawtube, remove this plate, and with its screws... Pull the drawtube out... Whilst you're at it, you can clean off the old factory glue-grease, with charcoal-lighter fluid(cuts right through), and replace it with a good-quality grease, like that used for machinery or bicycles, lithium-based grease or other, but only the pinion assembly shown at far-left, and the drawtube's rack shown at far-right. Apply the new grease sparingly.
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