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About sophiecentaur

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  1. The polar alignment elevation adjustment on my s/h Skywatcher NEQ6 is very stiff and the 'rear' bolt seems to have become 'bent'. I would like to get inside and see what's wrong. I have tried to get hold of a workshop manual but the ebook source I tried didn't turn out to have it, despite advertising it. They also stung me for a short membership fee. (I kicked up a fuss and they are refunding me in full - yesss.) I imagine it should be possible to remove the black side-discs on the casting but I don't want to scratch or graunch it. Has anyone done this job? Life is bad enough when I try to do a polar alignment without having to struggle with stiffness in the works. PS I have looked for the Astro Baby link, which would probably have what I need but the links seem to be dead. Any ideas?
  2. The arrangement of four parallel bolts does rely on the shear strength of the bolts and their holes through the plates. It looks relatively easy (?) to shorten them. The bolts appear to be threaded along their whole length - in particular as they go through the holes in the bottom plate. That arrangement may not be as strong as it looks and they could perhaps be rocking slightly and there is no inherent strength in a parallelogram. Some very fat rigid washers on either side of the holes could perhaps help or a thick block between the plates to reduce the angle change if there is horizontal movement.
  3. If you already have a mains route out there why not just run a Cat5 Ethernet cable out there alongside it? A cheaper solution and Ethernet travels quite well compared with USB (which was a 'Bus' system for connecting peripherals together locally and not really as long distance data link). USB can be a good solution in some cases, though - as is wireless.
  4. I realise that results will be limited but I should be able to get at least something better than I have managed so far. I take your point about the Bayer matrix but the element size is around 4 microns, which is not too glubby. There is no anti alias filter either; the sensor is jiggled around if you have moire problems. And, of course, once I am hooked on Imaging, my spending priorities may change and who knows what I will 'have to' buy.
  5. Thanks for the response. My dslr is 20Mps and the sensor is half frame. I don't understand how a webcam would do better than that. Have I missed something? The camera is a pretty new design; no change to the filtering on it though as I want to happy snap the family too. I wasn't planning on imagining faint DSOs at high magnification - just what should be attainable with an 80/500 scope. (According to what I have found on SGL etc.) I have no problem with planning to spend money on advanced things, once I have seen the inadequacies of what I have and the DSLR has produced some very nice images of 'easy' stuff so far. Problem about other cameras is that I don't use a laptop and I use Apple computing stuff. Bit of a double whammy at present.
  6. I have been trying to get pictures of Jupiter with my DSLR. Not big enough with my 800mm refractor and X2 barlow. From what I am reading, the idea of eyepiece projection seems to be out of fashion. It's even worse in my case because I only have 2" eyepieces and the hardware doesn't seems to be obtainable except at huge cost. So I need a more powerful barlow (x5) which would fill the sensor better. The question is whether to buy a much cheaper X5 1.25" barlow or a 2" X5. With a 1.25" I would need a different T Ring adaptor for that - but they aren't too expensive - and couldn't use my 2" eyepieces. Also, the Powermates seem to be highly recommended but pricey. Any opinions about that?
  7. If you have bad WiFi signal in your garden, get yourself a second router and 'daisy chain' them. A wired connection to your existing router would be worthwhile and you may well find a spot in your house where you can reach the second router by wire and have good coverage in the garden (cable out through one window frame and back in through another upstairs). The cost of a Cat 5 cable plus a router wouldn't be that high (not an 'astronomical' amount). It could also improve connections to some places in your house. Wireless routers are truly rubbish and barely do what they are supposed to do.
  8. Trying to line up the scope shadow on the ground to get it to point in the right direction was driving me mad. I looked around on Google and found a load of alternative designs and prices for solar finders. I spotted one design which totally suits my Baader ASTF80 filter. It cost nothing. All I have done is to mount a long M3 screw, facing forward (perpendicular to) on the front plate of the filter. There are three spare holes on the plate so no drilling was necessary, even. It throws a shadow onto the filter plate. When the sun is on boresight, there is no shadow. That's more than accurate enough for my 32mm EP lens to locate the Sun. It will only work for filters that have a flange of some sort. I can see no safety issues and it lives permanently on the filter in a deep box. You could do the same thing on a spare lens cap for the finder scope - or any other suitable flat surface.
  9. I can't think what's wrong with degrees as an angular measure. Still, there's probably a history to this and there's no point in changing things that aren't actually wrong. Thanks for the replies.
  10. Polaris appears to follow a circular path round the celestial pole once a day (24 h ours). Finding a 12 hour 'clock' face, marked on the reticle has left me confused. Whilst I have no problem with mimicking the picture on my iPhone app (apart from the lousy visibility that the red led provides) I cannot see how there are 12 'hours' marked on it and not 24 hours. HAs anyone else been confused by this or is there a simple explanation?
  11. Ah yes! I keep getting confused with names and Motorways. Durr Thanks for the opinions guys. I will do some sensible shopping. I get the impression that my 10" Newt will be more use than the 80ED when I really want some impressive results. It's such beast to get it fired up.
  12. I keep reading that people get better results with filters. My experience with the two I have bought: A heavy neutral filter was a great buy for looking at the Moon. It stops you feeling you've gone blind when you look away from the EP, so - good value (not very expensive iirc) A cheap pollution filter: the jury is still out on that one as I don't get a lot of street light problems. With and without comparisons are not very conclusive for my eyes. On eBay, you can get all colours for a few pence and they are probably a waste of time (?) but then you seem to have to go to tens of £ each. Starting with visual improvements and assuming I want to see the cloud bands on Jupiter better - acting on information received, I looked for the red spot but I couldn't persuade myself it was there in the time window. I have just acquired a Skywatcher ED80 and Jupiter shows up big enough to see bands quite clearly. More than 50X and it was going fuzzy last night. In my 200p, andromeda nebula was impressive but not as big (ref the stars around it) as the best pictures I have seen. Does anyone have suggestions for moderately priced filters that could impress me? I have a feeling that you chaps will tell me that I need to shell out on an expensive set (and my EPs are 2") I have come to terms with the fact that the Sun will never look really cool without an Etalon, very narrow band filter. ££££
  13. Back again - no punchups, lads! Your comments have been very useful. Thing is, I set it up from scratch in the garden (no obs available yet) each time. I store the mount on a shallow shelf so the dovetail is naturally parallel with the polar axis. I guess that's what you refer to as the Home Position (?). I connected the 12V and moved the mount (motor) so I could put the 10" Newtonian on it and then started the setup. So it still knew where the home pos was (?) and went straight almost to star no 1. etc. Funny thing was that, at one point, I dissed the 12V by clumsiness and everything went barmy. I tried a re-alignment and it was looking for stuff down below the horizon and graunching itself against the tripod. I got cross and went indoors to lick my wounds. Obvs, I had messed up the home position. Of course, there is another problem which is rapidly becoming obvious and that is it's hard to use the scope to look in the direction of Polaris with the EP in a good position to see stuff in other directions. I have to rotate the whole tube to do that and it is a pain. The only good thing is that the NEQ6 is like a battleship and it doesn't seem to be bothered by me climbing all over it. I just realised why people like Smidt Cassegrains and refractors; you can see everywhere without needing to stand on steps or lay on the ground! I will try to use the graduated circles to set up within a degree or so and will need to sort out three firm pads with register marks on, for placing the tripod feet instead of making holes in the lawn. That should, again help with setup. That solar scope is hard work and kills my neck! There must be something I can do with a laser to avoid all that. I must try to figure it out. Anything that can be done in broad daylight saves the brain.
  14. Thanks for that. It seems I was just lucky (as I suspected). I guess I engaged the clutches with the scope pointing 'up and back' (towards Polaris) and the drive started from there, getting to Betlejuice by chance. Next time, I will do what you do. I understand that it's only for long astro exposures that polar alignment is critical. I started with a Dobsonian (manual) and life was so different. It's uncanny how Jupiter and its moons just hang there in the EP, even on high magnification. it gives me a chance to relax and chase the best focus. That NEQ6 was expensive but it is firm as a rock.
  15. So I fired up my new (S/H) NEQ6, having spent about 30 minutes scrabbling about on the floor to get Polaris within the little ring in the polariscope and told the Synscan that I wanted to do 2 Star Alignment. I chose Betlejuice as no.1 and the mount took me almost straight there. Likewise with Castor No.2. I was gobsmacked. To me, that implies that the servo is constantly registered with the polar part of the mount, which obvs saves a lot of time. So, is that right or was I just lucky? And is it possible (or ever necessary) to do some sort of adjustment? I sort of assumed that when you undo the clutches, that disconnected the tracking mechanism. The rings with angles marked, seem to be turnable. Wot's going on?