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Everything posted by Geoff_L

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Always seem to see nocturnal wildlife when observing. Possums on Mount Dandenong (near the OP); bats and owls back in Cornwall. It was a bit disturbing outside my son's house in Selby, VIC to hear rustling behind me, turn on a head torch to see what it was to find three pairs of possum eyes shining back at me!
  16. The manual for mine was included on the software CD. That said, most of the stuff you need to know is given in the specs at the UK Bresser product page. HTH, Geoff
  17. FWIW, I have a 150 PDS on an EQ5 Pro. The 150 PDS doesn't need an extension tube with any of the eyepieces I possess (either 2" or 1.25"). Although the OTA is a little shorter than the 150 P to optimise it for astrophotography, the focuser has enough backtravel to cope with visual obs IME. Since the OP mentions crosshairs, I wonder whether the "eyepiece" is a colimator rather than a reticle eyepiece? That said, I also have a Baader Q turret, which doesn't work with the 150 PDS as the turret 'pushes' the eyepiece further out and makes it impossible to focus, so the comments about trying to use the 1.25" adapter in the 2" adapter make sense. Both adapters are threaded and you need to remove the 2" adapter and screw in the 1.25" one to use 1.25" eyepieces. I hope the above makes sense and helps. Geoff
  18. Thanks for the info on the distros. To be honest, I didn't think of a Pi, but I will now. It might make sense to have the mount, cameras and a Pi at the mount and then run a single cat 5 cable back to drive the lot over RDP. FWIW, I've just 'hit' another snag. I had assumed that Linux versions of Registax and Deep Sky Stacker existed -- but found these are Windows-only. It seems that at least one version of Registax runs smoothly under at least one version of WINE, but I've found reports of lots of issues running DSS under WINE. Perhaps I'll have to keep Windows for stacking.
  19. Many thanks. Looks ideal. FWIW we ended up at Burke's Lookout (just down the road from Sky-high) last night and got some great views of the Moon .. and the grandkids had fun with the RDF I added to their collection recently. However Jupiter was too low and masked by trees, so again thanks, Geoff
  20. We're currently visiting our son and his family, who live a few km outside Belgrave, VIC. We bought him an ST80 on an AZ3 a couple of Christmases ago, but he hasn't been able to use it much because he can't find anywhere to park up, set up the 'scope and get observing. The problem is the trees; yes, they are beautiful, but they are copious and block the view. We thought about some of the parks (Aura Vale, Cardinia, etc.) but the authority locks the gates at dusk! He has a view to the South with a hole in the tree canopy about 30° horizontally and from 30° to the zenith vertically -- but everything they want to view (Moon and planets) is to the East right now I was going to give them a present of membership of the Mount Burnett Observatory -- but they can't make it on member nights. So we're stuck looking for somewhere to set up the 'scope for an hour or so every so often. I know that a few Aussies post here and so I'm hoping someone can recommend a suitable site near Belgrave. As they're mainly interested in the Moon and planets, moderate light pollution shouldn't be an issue. All help gratefully received. Thanks, Geoff.
  21. Many thanks for the replies. I guess that I need to try GPhoto as my EOS 450D is on the supported cameras list (but in PTP mode -- and I'm not sure whether I already use that with BYE). I might get a 1TB SSD for my current laptop, use DD to copy Win 7 to that and then install some flavour of Linux (I mainly use Debian for other purposes, but I note that lots are using Mint) dual boot, or perhaps just install Linux and run Win 7 as a VM. At least I have until next January to make up my mind. Thanks again, Geoff
  22. With the impending end of support for Windows 7, I'm looking to switch to Linux. I know that I could isolate the Win 7 laptop from the 'net and just run it for astro, but I'd rather have something I can use for everything else and so not have to take two machines with me. I've identified stuff that should work for most of my astro needs: INDI, KStars, Stellarium, PHD2, Raw Therapee, The GIMP, etc. However, I haven't found anything to replace Bacyard EOS or Canon EOS Utility. Does such an animal exist? Thanks for looking, Geoff.
  23. FWIW, I had similar issues the first time I tried to use my EQ5 Pro Synscan. On trying to align, the handset offered Vega as a first star, which I accepted, but I couldn't see anything that could be Vega in the finder after slewing finished. For that, Stellarium told me that Vega was below the horizon at the time. Turned out that I'd entered the date in UK format (10/02/2017 for the tenth of February) rather than the required hideously illogical US format (i.e. 02/10/2017). The reluctance to track past a certain point in RA could just be due to the need for a meridian flip. Perhaps manually slewing to the other side of the meridian and then checking whether sidereal rate tracking now works might help. HTH, Geoff
  24. FWIW, I remember doing the same thing. IIRC, both of us tried to put a Skywatcher 150 PDS on that mount. Thankfully, I also have an EQ5 Synscan that works well with the 150 Newt. That said, putting a 150 Newt on an ES Twilight I is by no means my biggest mistake, for which ATM I have two candidates, both of which I can chalk up on my "Apprentice Astronomer" tallystick: When I first got the EQ5 Synscan, I first used it on 10th February 2017. I'm British, so I entered the date as "10/02/2017". When I tried to do a three-star alignment, I was offered Vega. I hit "Slew" and the mount slewed somewhere other than Vega. Checking Stellarium showed that Vega was below the horizon. I muttered something about contacting the dealer who sold the mount, cancelled the alignment routine and carried on observing using the arrow keys on the handset. It wasn't until the drive home that I realised I should have entered the date in US format. Last night we had almost perfect skies -- among the best in two years. We took our motorhome out to a campsite where the local astronomy group was holding a practical session. After brief visual observation, I made my excuses, returned to the motorhome and got the EQ5, an ST80 and my EOS450D out of the locker to set up for a few hours imaging. I'd levelled the tripod when it hit me that I'd forgotten to bring the counterweights. Due to weather and other circumstances, that's probably the only shot I'll get at the Orion Nebula and the Pleiades until Autumn wasted.
  25. Thanks guys. Polemaster is outside my budget. However, I'll take a look at sharpcap (I already have the free version) as I have a basic CMOS webcam (Bresser Mikrokular HD) that I'm planning to re-purpose for guiding.
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