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About sophiecentaur

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  1. I am in the middle of this situation and it seems that different people have had very different experiences. My second hand mount has been used with quite a heavy load and I think this is to blame for what has happened to me. People seem to blame ham fistedness and not using the two bolts properly but I don't think that's always fair. My North bolt hole has just distorted so that the bolt points downward a tiny bit; enough th be skidding across the face of the lug and off the end at around 48 degrees setting. Not surprising as there is a immense length of overhanging bolt, supported in about 1 cm of hole depth. Neither bolt nor casting material were designed for that amount of torque. I am working on a form of cuboidal 'follower' (as in cam-follower) to support the far end of the bolt and transfer force to the right place on the lug. It worked with a crude wooden model and I have ordered some steel for a stronger version. At least that will transfer the force as pressure on the floor of the casting and spread force over the lug face. A couple of problems that will need to be solved. The profile of the face of the follower needs to be thought about and I will need a method of keeping the follower in place if the counter-acting bolt is loosened too much and the lug moves away.
  2. Upgrading would be an attractive solution if I could do it for an attractive price. There are a couple of mods which I have found and they effectively bring the angle at which the south side bolt engages to more like perpendicular. It limits the range of latitudes that it can be used at but that's not a problem. I have the thing in pieces now and it is a sorry sight. When I think of the many ways such a control could have been achieved I really can't understand why they didn't find a better one. It does worry me about the potential for finding more lunatic problems with the NEQ6. I guess a decent worm / gear drive would have added a few of hundred quid to the cost. For the want of a nail, a shoe was lost etc.
  3. The "thing to have gone" is the face of the 'peg' that the bolts push on. I notice you are in Portugal and that could well mean that you have a different experience of the mechanism. I took it apart this afternoon and - The first thing was a broken piece of bolt that hadn't been taken out. The previous owner had obviously not removed the mount and shaken it because the length of thread just fell out when I moved the Elevation. The second thing was severe graunching of the peg; so much so that the bottom edge was chopped away and the bolt passed through the resulting groove and had no effect at my latitude at 40N the thing works ok but 51N is too far for reasonable operation, apparently. The bolt is almost at a tangent to the peg end! Anyway, I shall order one of those pretty anodised gizmos and fit it. I have ground the bolts so that they have rounded ends. The rough put ends were very savage as bearing surfaces. (More bad design) Henceforth, it will get treated with respect and last for ever. - till the next thing falls apart.
  4. Thanks for the replies. The Astro-Babt link is good for the RA and Declination mechanisms but not for the Alt/Az system, unfortunately. I have found pictures of what it's like inside the mount and it really isn't a very good engineering design. It's particularly true for UK latitudes because the design pushes laterally against the North screw, causing severe graunching of the heavy 'peg' that controls the altitude, over time. The mount was second hand and the damage was already there when I bought it because it was very stiff and there was a replacement hex bolt for the South end. Its really is a shocking bit of design, to say the mount is a favourite for so many users. There are a couple of mods available, I have found, that basically shift the problem from high latitudes to low latitudes. The naffest motor car would not have such a poor mechanism for steering or tracking. No excuse at all for it. That's an interesting comment - what's it based on? The seller gives them an excellent write up. (Haha)
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.