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About Olsin

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    Jutland, Denmark
  1. Polar scope on AVX?

    I had exactly the same problem John. I had installed them as per the manual with the long handled one at the rear and the shorter butterfly like grip one at the front. My solution was to simply switch the latitude locking nuts around. The long gripped one has no detrimental effect being at the front, while the short butterfly gripped latitude knob enables a clear, unobstructed view through the PA scope. @Op ... A PA scope has to be carefully aligned to the mount before you can use it. I've spent hours twiddling about with mine although the best i've ever achieved was still ever so slightly off. For this reason, i can't use it to get a good PA. I find ASPA on my AVX while initially horrendous when i first started using it, has improved greatly now that i have had more time to hone setup and alignment routines.
  2. Hi Mick ... I'm aware of the problems associated with connecting straight to a mains outlet, so no problems there. No, what i'm looking for is a heater and controller where the controller has a 12v dc power adaptor attached to it instead of the standard 2 meter lead and cigarette lighter adaptor. I just want something that'll plug into a mains outlet instead of a power tank. I'm well aware that there will have to be a 12v dc adaptor in there somewhere. I originally brought a 12v dc 3 amp power adaptor for my avx mount but upgraded it to a 5 amp version. I still have the 3 amp. Do you think a 3 amp adaptor would be powerful enough to run a heat strap to fit an 8 inch SCT? And i've looked all through Kendrick's line......it's just that, hmm....well, for what they are, heat straps and controllers are outrageously overpriced....kendrick's line is up there with the best of them. I just can't get myself to pay those prices for something that was probably thrown together for less than 30 bob in a sweatshop! It's strange...pet shops sell heat mats and heat strips in all shapes and sizes together with thermostats for less than 50 pound. Why should something that produces less heat and has less technique in it, be so much more grrh! However I recognise i need something to combat dew! Up to now i have used a home made dew shield with a hair dryer taped at an oblique angle onto a small tripod that i position out of FOV but that blows cold air into the opening of the dew shield. It works very well although its' not ideal. More than once i've knocked it over when i've been moving about in the dark. Less clutter would be better.
  3. Hey guys ... I'm having a bit of bother trying to find a dew strap and controller for my 8 inch SCT. All the controllers i find have the cigarette lighter plug as the adapter. I don't use power tanks as my scope is always set up at the back of my house where i simply run an extension lead out to the scope. So what i'm trying to find, without it costing a fortune, is anti dew heater and controller that ends out in a standard plug (2 pin euro for me). I've seen a few dew straps advertised as "no need for controller" because of their low wattage. Does anyone have any experience with these?
  4. You just lose tracking accuracy which makes photography a no go. Using your telescope for visual observations (eye instead of camera) though doesn't really require polar alignment.
  5. Illuminated reticle EP

    Hello. I see plenty of illuminated reticle eyepieces around the 12mm size but very few in the larger apertures. I'm looking for one that ideally fit's into the 20-25mm bracket, has a large FOV and of course is illuminated. Double cross hairs could be an added wish although not totally necessary. Item must be able to be posted to Denmark. I can pay with PayPal. Thanks.
  6. Apologies for not getting back before now and thank you all for your input. I realised that the question was probably old hat and had undoubtedly been asked and answered a million times before. I guess i was just feeling lazy. I hadn't considered a zoom although after reading about them, i see the attraction. A 32mm plössl and Baarder zoom does indeed sound like an ideal starting point. I also see the Hyperion mark IV comes with a fair array of extra's (e.g. fittings for 1.25 and 2" extensions). @ronin The BST starguider range of EP's all seem to be competitively priced. They also seem to receive very good press here on SGL. Decisions decisions.......Thanks again for your help guys. I reckon i can take it from here.
  7. I've been using the standard 25mm Celestron plossi, that i received with my scope for almost a year now. The EP seems fine to me although i've never looked through others so i have nothing to compare it with. I read all over the place that standard issued EP's are at best middle of the road and that visual observing can be enhanced greatly by investing in upgrades. With that in mind i've been searching around various astro sites, trying to get an idea what EP/s i'd like. However it's a jungle out there and i've been bombed out by the range and variety. I do a small amount of planetary and moon observing when they are about although i'm much happier observing DSO's and star's in general. So can anyone recommend an EP or two for a 8 inch SCT? I'd like another 25mm - 35mm but one which has a greater FOV than my standard 25mm plus an intermediate 12-18mm and a high end 6-9mm for when conditions allow. I'd like to keep the budget to not more than £100 pound per EP. Incidentally, i already use a f6.3 reducer.
  8. I've been in exactly the same position as you. I brought a polar scope for my Celestron avx thinking that i could then drop the All Star Polar Alignment (what bright spark at Celestron wrote a software routine that first has you star aligning, then polar aligning and then realigning your star alignment...what on earth was wrong with a routine that allows you to polar align first!). Ok, slightly sidetracked. I calibrated my polar scope to the best of my ability. There was no deviation of the center point of the reticule when the scope was turn through 180 degrees as far as my naked eye could see. So all good. I used the Iphone PA App, found the correct reticule template for my polar scope and PA'd my mount. An ASPA shouldn't now have been necessary. The mount was polar aligned. However, out of curiosity i ran the ASPA routine anyway simply to check how well the mount was polar aligned. If the PA scope had done it's job, the selected star my mount would slew to for the PA routine should already be lined up in the EP. There shouldn't have been any need to readjust the az/alt screws. The star wasn't lined up! I tried it a few more times but the results were never satisfactory. I now don't bother with the PA scope.
  9. Giving up imaging

    Crikey, i didn't expect so much response. I spent 1500 quid on scope and mount (8"sct + AVX) expecting it to live up to specs. Unfortunately my mount won't hold it's polar alignment. I can get it dead on but as soon as the motors have moved the tube around, it's lost....and yes, i've checked, double checked and triple checked everything. Mount is standing on very stable concrete plus it's got extra weight hanging from it to lower it's center of gravity and keep it more stable. RA/Dec screws are tightened and i don't touch the scope/mount once PA'd. Some people have been lucky with their AVX's, some haven't...I'm one of those that brought a lemon. Purchasing additional equipment for imaging, ie guide scope and cam seems a waste of time if the mount can't hold it's polar alignment. So i guess what i'm really doing is just trying to make myself feel better. If my mount won't allow me to obtain decent images, then by golly i won't bother and i'll even find a reason why imaging is a waste of time to boot. Truth is though, i really wanted to image DSO'S ... i'm just so disappointed that my crappy junk mount won't allow me to. It's raised a bitterness in me that doesn't want to subside.
  10. I'm giving up imaging before i even really got started with it. Way to much gear is needed and the frustration factor when your mount won't give a good solid polar alignment is just to much ... and at the end of the day, all i was trying to do is take pictures that hundreds if not thousands of others have already taken. No matter how good my pictures could be, they are never going to beat professional astronomers takes from their monstrous telescopes and multi thousand money camera's. It's like walking to a hilltop and taking pictures of all the houses, trees, roads and other landmarks from only one direction and then comparing them with other pictures taken from the same perspective of the same objects, taken by someone else. Just feels like such a hollow pursuit so i'm giving it up and sticking to just visual from now on.
  11. Chuckles ... I've just deleted a long winded explanation explaining why i did what i did, how i did what i did and the circumstances i was working under but at the end of the day, i'm only kidding myself. Yes i blundered. I hadn't tightened down the bolt holding the mount to base. That explains the consistently high figured align errors, despite all other parameters being on track. As soon as i read that line in your post, i remembered that i had only tightened it sufficiently to hold the mount while i attached the leg plate. I didn't get back to it. Visually observing the play on screen in the alt/az bolts lead me to conclude 2+2=3. The good thing is though, i now know the whole handset routine pretty well. With clear skies forecast for this evening/night i'm now itching to put it all together and see if i can't achieve a decent PA and star alignment. Thank you everybody for your help and encouragement.
  12. After 4 complete routine run through's last night i've given up trying to get my AVX accurate. I think i've been unlucky and brought the worst one of the batch. I've also located the problem which is the altitude knobs. On top of the 4 run through's i tried an ASPA and got the star dead on. I then unsynced and immediately ran through another ASPA on an adjacent star. It should have been spot on considering the mount had just been polar aligned but it was half way across the FOV..hm, I finished the routine and again tried another ASPA on another star. Again it was way out!. I think the problem is tensions in the alt bolts, there is to much play in them. Trying to tighten them just introduces movement on the az axis....loosening and redoing the az axis also affects the alt axis. It takes a long time to align the star dead center and often i have to settle for one of the axis's (or both) not being absolutely tightened right down. I have to compromise if i want a dead center alignment. As soon as i slew the mount again it seems to release small tensions in the alt/az knobs. I noticed to that the merest brush against the weight bar was also enough to knocked it out of alignment. I'm a bit saddened by the realisation that i may have brought a lemon, especially considering the amount it cost ... a definite under the belt blow to my enthusiasm. So yes, 4 complete run through's and every run through was double minutes out of alignment when checked! I have been as precise as i can at every step of the set up, i can't do it any better than that. You can't make something more level than level, you can't point it more north than north. Double checking and then re-checking every entry into the handset and spending time to precisely get the alignment stars to end dead middle of viewfinder using the correct down and right buttons on the handset to finish off. Ok...writing that down helped a bit. There's still enthusiasm there. I guess a polemaster won't help that much if the mount itself can't stay where it's put. Would a guide scope/cam/PHD be able to soak up those inaccuracies?
  13. Now that's the sort of honest opinion i was looking for when i first started this thread. All things being equal, just what is the AVX capable of? I don't really want to keep wasting my time chasing accuracy if that accuracy is not to be had. I've already considered polemaster and a guide scope/cam configuration but that would just be introducing even more complexity into an already challenging exercise. I'll go that route if i have to, however if the AVX is capable of comfortably giving 60-90 second subs though a manual alignment and maybe a touch more if i perfected drift aligning, then i'd certainly be happy with that for now.
  14. @ Peter .. I rebooted the mount simply because i've read a few places that rebooting and doing another 2+4 should be better than unsyncing through the handset and re-aligning ... although it's all still very new to me. I don't know if one way is actually better than the other. However, now that i can read what is scrolling across the screen on my handset (which in turn now makes the manual much easier to follow), i'm sure it's only a matter of time before i've settled into a good routine.
  15. Thanks MathMog, as i mentioned before i use my DSLR for centering. It has a flip out and turn around live view screen that can have a grid projected on it. The grid intersects in the middle of screen giving me cross hairs. I can zoom in on the star and get it absolutely dead on. However you are correct, I don't use the zoom in feature everytime, inaccuracies could be creeping in there. I'll tighten up my act and see if i can improve those align numbers. I've read posts of people saying they get 90 sec subs just by doing a 2+4 then ASPA and another 2+4. I can see i've got a way to go before i can match that. @Filroden .. No i didn't check PA alignment there, i went straight into the ASPA routine. I realise it shouldn't be necessary to do both analogue and ASPA but i wanted to see if they matched up. My thoughts were that if ASPS slewed right back on the star and there was no need to adjust then the analogue PA routine would suffice in the future. I should have done it the way you mentioned though. My way leaves me in doubt as to which of the 2 routines was inaccurate. I'm none the wiser. So yes, maybe i should concentrate on one method. ASPA and drift you say. I'll have to look into that. @newbie alert .. Hm, no, what i done was powered down (leaving the scope pointing at Arcturus i think) and then manually reset the mount to the index position before powering up again. I didn't select goto home on the handset and i didn't set home position before i started. I've somehow changed my default home setting position and can't get it back. When i first got the mount, selecting goto home on the handset would send it back to the index position. Then i accidentally clicked "set" one night when i meant to select "goto home". Since then the mount doesn't associate home with the index position. I've tried restoring factory defaults but it doesn't change anything. If i want it to goto the home/index position now i have to set it at power up and then reset it if i power down and power up again. Are you then saying that by manually setting the mount to the index position after i powered down, i ruined my alignment?