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About Geoff_L

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    Star Forming

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    Cornwall, UK
  1. I wonder whether the secondary mirror of a 150 PDS is available from SW as a spare part that can be employed to get around this issue. However, the position of prime focus and secondary mirror size aren't the only differences as the 150 PDS also has a reasonable 2-speed Crayford focuser. FWIW, I sometimes find it difficult to get focus in my DSLR with that and suspect it would be worse with the R&P focuser of a 150P. I note that SW Explorer PDS reflectors have come down in price at FLO since I bought my 150 PDS (£229 for the 150 and £176 for the 130 at time of writing), which makes me wonder whether the conversion makes financial sense. That said, tinkering with adaptations always makes sense from a 'blokes in sheds' perspective!
  2. I have a cheap laptop bag into which I inserted two layers of foam, one thick and the other thin. The thin layer provides protection at the 'bottom' of the case while I cut pockets in the thick layer to fit my eyepieces, finders, etc. I also have a couple of BST Starguiders in their boxes, Bahtinov masks, etc. stored in the various outer pockets.
  3. This is what they say in the small print on the page: That said, I agree it's a bit misleading for them to only mention that once but say it has Win 10 in multiple other locations.
  4. FWIW, I got an EOS 450D with a 50mm kit lens and low shutter count from Camera Jungle and can't fault them. I use just the body with my 150PDS, connecting it to the focuser via a T-ring and nose piece. If you don't want to use the DSLR for conventional photography, you may be able to use the funds you'd otherwise spend on one or more lenses to 'upgrade' your camera choice or to have the camera astro-modded. HTH, Geoff
  5. I guess that storage depends on the camper. A typical panel van conversion (PVC) might have an issue, but this probably isn't the case with most coachbuilts and A-classes. We're lucky as two of us rattle around in a 7m coachbuilt. However, even with a PVC, you can load up the habitation area with mount, scopes, and accessories as they'll be outside the van once you're set up on site, and can be stored in the front of the van when you're not doing astro and want to use the habitation area. That said, I agree about the binos -- we keep a pair of 8x50's in the van. We often also take an ST80 with us just in case we get a clear night when we're using the van for something other than astro. FWIW, folks were queuing to view Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon at the last couple of music festivals we went to!
  6. FWIW we use our campervan as a mobile observatory. The camper is nice and warm inside and has a reasonable supply of 12v electricity. So the mount and telescope go outside in the cold and a couple of cables connect that to a laptop inside the van. Once the rig is set up, we can come in from the cold and spend the night imaging in the warm. Even if you only want to do visual obs now and/or your budget doesn't run to imaging, you might want to consider the comfort that a camper can provide and buy equipment that can be used or upgraded for imaging later.
  7. FWIW, I checked how much it would cost for First Light Optics to ship some eyepieces to Australia when we were over there earlier this year. It turned out that I could buy BST Starguider EPs and have them shipped to Aus for less than it would to buy and have delivered to UK. I suspect that the removal of VAT more than made up for the increased shipping costs. That said, you might need to pay taxes etc. in the destination country and it depends on where you are in Asia as to whether FLO can deliver to you: check out the map on this page. HTH, Geoff
  8. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I guess from your username that you're from Cornwall but I can't guess from where in the county. For info, there are a few very active clubs/societies in the county that might be able to help, particularly if your father was a member. Cornwall Astronomical Society meets near Penzance and Helston; Kernow Astronomers meets at St Columb Major near Newquay and also holds practical evenings at Trevarrian campsite in the winter. Callington Astronomy Group meet at St Dominick, near Saltash. In addition, the Roseland, Caradon and Tolcarne observatories have associated groups. You could also look at the Go Stargazing website to find events near you. While I'd hope you'd "catch the bug", at the very least you'd get the chance to talk to some very knowledgeable people at those events about your father's astro equipment. BTW, if you do 'catch the bug' a local club might be prepared to offer storage in exchange for you sharing the gear with members. I wish you all the best however it turns out.
  9. I suspect that it's not on back to front as there's enough room on the input shaft to slide the gear up to mesh with the smaller cog. However, the RA might be meant to be like the OP's is. I can't say as I've never removed the cover of the RA drive on my EQ5 Pro and can't check right now as I won't have access to my mount for a day or two. That said, it should be fairly easy to slacken the grub screws on the input shaft cog and slide it up to mesh with the smaller gear, adjust the motor position so that they mesh correctly and then try another 'dry alignment' to see whether that's done the trick. If not, it should only take a few minutes to restore the mount to its current configuration.
  10. The following photos are of the DEC motor and DEC input shaft on my EQ5 Pro. As the first photo shows, the motor is fitted with two cogs, a large one and a small one. The larger of the cogs meshes with the pinion on the motor shaft and the smaller cog should mesh with the cog on the DEC input shaft (i.e. the cog shown in the second photo). It is possible to position the motor on its mounts so that the large cog on the motor meshes with the DEC input. As the large cog has approximately 1.5x the number of teeth of the smaller cog, meshing the wrong cog of the motor with the DEC input would make the DEC drive slew approx 1.5x the correct amount. HTH, Geoff
  11. 1.5x suggests to me (at least for the DEC drive) that you might have the wrong cog meshed with the cog on the DEC driveshaft. The smaller of the two cogs on the motor shaft should mesh with the cog on the DEC driveshaft. I've not had cause to strip the RA motor drive and so can't say whether the same applies to the RA drive. HTH, Geoff
  12. FWIW, I'm not convinced about a 'wall charger' rather than a proper power supply. A 12v battery connected to both the mount and a charger should be OK. That said, you now have me wondering whether the AGM battery is good -- they wear out eventually. Do you have another 12v power source to try? Have you tried alignment with the mount unloaded (i.e. without any equipment on the mount except, perhaps, something to use for sighting [such as a rule or other straight edge]). With that, you should be able to sight along the straight edge accurately enough to check whether the alignment is way off with the mount as lightly stressed as possible and hence determine whether load/balance is a factor. As I wrote, I can't find the info I used but the thread I created when I had my issues is at https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/286642-sw-eq5-pro-synscan-dec-motor-which-cog/ You could also try searching for "EQ5 Pro Synscan tuning" HTH, Geoff
  13. That said, something's awry if you notice a significant voltage drop when using a 75Ah AGM battery to power the mount. Even on full speed, the current draw should be minimal. FWIW, I have an EQ5 Pro mount carrying a Skywatcher Explorer 150PDS with a piggy-backed Orion ST80 complete with a DSLR imaging camera and Bresser eyepiece camera that I power with a 17Ah car jump-start pack that also provides power for my laptop and a powered USB hub without issue. I suspect that your mount is greatly unbalanced, something mechanical is binding or you have one or more electrical issues (e.g. bad connection, defective connection cable, etc.) Have you checked the mount balance (both in RA and DEC)? Does the mount rotate freely when unclutched? Is the error repeatable (i.e. does the mount always slew to the same, erroneous position when you slew to the first alignment star)? The cable between the control box (the one that clips to the mount, not the handset) and the RA unit and the one between the RA and DEC units are interchangeable. So, if the error is repeatable, try swapping the cables (with the power disconnected) to see if the mount slews to the same position when you slew to the first alignment star. If the mount still slews to the same (repeatable) position, the issue is probably not with the cables. However, if the position changes to a new, repeatable one, you probably have a defective cable. FWIW, when I got my EQ5 new, the DEC drive unit wasn't correctly aligned with the corresponding input shaft on the mount and skipped the occasional gear tooth. I had to adjust the position of the DEC unit to get the mount to slew accurately. I can't find the guide I used to help sort my mount out, but there the information is out there if you search. HTH, Geoff
  14. FWIW, I have a variable polarising filter and I need to be careful when using it with one of my diagonals because it fouls the mirror. These filters are approx twice the thickness of a single filter. It's still usable, but I can't afford to slide it all the way into the diagonal.
  15. I wonder whether the OP has made the same error as I did. I entered the date as 'dd/mm/yyyy' rather than rather than the illogical 'mm/dd/yyyy' US format that Synscan requires. I was lucky that the mount slewed to an area that had no bright stars when I accepted its offer of Vega and so I knew something was awry. On checking with Stellarium, Vega was just below the horizon at the time. However, if had been a bright star in the EP, I'd probably have assumed that was Vega, aligned with that and possibly ended up with a situation similar to the OP.
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