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Everything posted by lenscap

  1. You might want to consider the WeMos R32 with CNC V3 Shield version as well. This option, which uses the same ESP32 chip as the maxESP, has only been available for about 6 months so it is still a bit experimental & not all the optional Onstep features have been implemented yet, but if it has the features you want the build is at least as simple as the Mega2560 options but with better performance. Just plug the CNC shield into the WeMos R32, plug in a pair of LV8729 drivers, connect power & motors and you have a funtional controller that can be directed by Bluetooth from your phone.
  2. I prefer the realistic on-screen "look" of Stellarium but if you are printing charts Cartes du Ciel is easier because. By default CdC prints black on white, so no need to copy/paste into a photo/graphics app. You can place as many eyepiece or finder circles as you like on your chart within CdC before printing. Just the job for star-hopping. https://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/start
  3. That's great @tooth_dr, thankyou. I would prefer black and 3 or 4 weeks delivery would be fine so I'm happy to wait till you need to change filament. If that's ok please pm me a rough price estimate & your email so I can paypal you the money. Thanks again.
  4. The files are from here; https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3017274 They have been printed before. I would be happy to take the risk of the hardware not fitting.
  5. I would like to use this handset case for my next Onstep build. Since it is designed to fit the pcb it would look so much better than a bodged, off the shelf project box. Especially with my clumsy bodging. As usual with small items the online services look good until you consider their minimum order values & expensive delivery charges. st4_bottom.stl st4_lid.stl Would any kind soul be willing to print it for me? Obviously I'm happy to pay for it. Thanks for reading.
  6. I think so. You might have to put spring washers under the bolt heads. Using inserts would allow you to use softwood for the forks. Threads tapped in softwood would wear away quickly. Or you could use longer bolts with nylock nuts.
  7. I enjoy stargazing with binoculars but even with 10 x 50's the effect of handshake can be noticeable and trying to hold them still can be stressful. So I built a parallelogram mount to use with an old "EQ3" tripod, using materials already to hand. The forks & mounting plate assembly are made from 19mm oak, from an old kitchen-cabinet door. The "horizontals" are 17 x 57mm pine. The pivots are M6 bolts. The holes in one plate of each fork are tapped M6 (using a modified M6 bolt as the tap) so the bolts are tight enough to adjust and maintain the friction and locknuts are not required. The parallelogram is 510 x 140mm. The "bearings" are CD's. Since the EQ3 tripod head has an Azimuth peg an adapter is needed. The mount is secured by a 100mm M8 through-bolt & Thumbwheel. With the tripod at maximum extension the C of G of the bino's is 75 inches (1900mm) above ground level. And with the tripod at minimum the bino mounting screw is 22 inches (560mm) above ground so you can observe the zenith while laying flat on a recliner. It's amazing how relaxing & stress-free it is to observe with a parallelogram mount. You see much more & you can keep your hands warm in your pockets.
  8. Have a look here. Scroll down to Dobsonian and Alt/Az; https://onstep.groups.io/g/main/wiki/4414
  9. I do most of my observing with a 200p/EQ5 but am looking to add something a bit more portable in case we are ever allowed out of our houses again. So when I found a second-hand kit including an interesting 6" scope, an old but pristine EQ3-2 mount & a broken EQ3-2 tripod, locally for very little money, I grabbed it. The tripod had none of the scuffs you would expect from normal use but two of the plastic leg-connectors and two sections of the leg-spreader had been shattered as if someone had used them for Karate practice! Having read much on SGL about the near legendary properties of a certain steel-reinforced epoxy, it looks like this is a job for JBWeld. Glued, clamped and left to cure for a couple of days at room temperature. Then excess adhesive filed off & sanded. Now I reckon the maximum load I will put on this tripod (mount, scope & counterweights) will be about 15kg. Best put a bit more on for the load test. Thats 45 kg! No signs of distress to the repairs so I reckon that's job done. For JBWeld the legend continues. (Other brands of two-pack epoxy are available.) Now if only the skies would clear.
  10. I do most of my observing with a 200p mounted on an EQ5 Onstep Goto powered by a 12 volt leisure battery. I'm putting together a second, more portable setup using a smaller scope on an EQ3-2 dual-axis tracking mount which needs 6 volt power. This can use 4 x 1.5 volt "D" cells, which are a pain to keep replacing, or 4 rechargeable 1.2 volt cells which will work fine, but I'd have to buy a suitable charger. I could just buy a 12v/6v DC "buck" converter to use with my spare 12v battery but where's the fun in that? Looking in my box of "Electrical bits that are bound to come in useful someday" I found a couple of in-car charger/power supplies. The Binatone belonged to a long-dead SatNav. It outputs 1 amp at 5 volts which is ideal. The other charger, a Motorola, came with my very first mobile phone and produces 1 amp at 7 volts which might be even better on a long cold night. Each charger has a replaceable 20mm fuse built into the barrel which is handy. So I bought a cigar lighter socket, added a pair of crocodile clipped leads to it and replaced the Motorola charger's USB plug with a 5.5/2.1 mm power plug. It works a treat and, since it can accept an input of up to 24 volts, I could also use it with most power tool batteries as a lighter alternative to lead-acid. Waste not, want not.
  11. Don't complain. If a distant neighbour still has his Christmas lights up you can use them to align your finder. And if they include a well illuminated shiny bauble you may be able to use it for a star test on a cloudy night. "Always look on the bright side of life."
  12. If anyone is looking for a used Skyliner 200p dobsonian there is one for sale in Bridgnorth, on Facebook Marketplace. No connection with seller.
  13. Did you buy direct from Lunt USA or from a UK supplier? Your contract is with the company that you bought the item from. What exactly does the small print say about warranties & is your specific fault listed as being excluded from the warranty? If you bought from a UK (or EU?) supplier you may have legal rights in addition to the warranty terms. If you bought direct from the USA you will have to rely on reasoned argument and the goodwill of the manufacturer.
  14. I've put this on my list, in case we ever get another clear night here! Astonishing that the white dwarf can be seen at all - it is 16 light years away and only about twice the diameter of the Earth!
  15. Try selecting Bradford, United Kingdom and see if that sticks after reboot. If so it is so close that it will make no practical difference. This is not correct. The offset is the difference between UT and the local standard time. It is the same all year round. Provided you specify the correct DST rule the software will allow for British Summer Time when appropriate.
  16. Change the UT offset for Skipton to zero then press the + button to add a new version of Skipton with the correct (zero) UT value. Then select the old Skipton and delete it with the - button. The DST rules should be "EU". We were in the EU when the software was written and are still using the same rule for daylight saving time (British Summer Time) AFAIK
  17. Hi Rapha. A Nano is fine as an RA tracking controller. I used DRV8825 stepper drivers which allow 32 microsteps rather than 16 for the A4988, and are more robust. The Onstep wiki has details for a Basic Hand Controller which you could design your software to use. https://onstep.groups.io/g/main/wiki/3860 It is not difficult to implement in stripboard if you don't want to use their pcb. If you use a Mega2560 instead of the Nano, you would have the option of using the Onstep Goto software (which of course includes tracking) even if you don't use the Goto facility. The Onstep software won't fit on a Nano.
  18. Is this the sort of thing you're after? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Baader-Microstage-II-Digiscoping-Adapter/dp/B002SYHDIS It appears to be available from here. https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/baader-microstage.html
  19. I use a 200p F/5 on an EQ5. It's great for visual and you could take snapshots, but I'm sure that imagers would recommend a HEQ5 or better if you intend to do long exposure AP. An Alt/Az would be more convenient in terms of eyepiece position (without rotating the tube). However it is easy & cheap to add an RA motor to an EQ to convert it to a tracking mount which I find more relaxing. In fact I built a diy Onstep Goto system for my EQ5 for less than £100.
  20. Hi Eduardo and welcome to SGL. Here is a guide to building a wooden telescope tube; https://www.instructables.com/Wooden-Telescope-Part-2-Tube-and-Mount/ Good luck with your project.
  21. There is an ED80 ds pro for sale on Gumtree in Sutton Coldfield. No connection with seller.
  22. I'm a visual observer. If in doubt I focus on a nearby star or planetary moon.
  23. I tried a B-mask on Mars recently. Instead of 3 razor-thin intersecting lines you get 3 bands, each about the width of the planetary disc, so it's not very precise and I didn't find it useful.
  24. Near the top right of this page click on the small globe icon. At the top of the window that appears, click on "Notification Settings". In the large window that appears, select the type & method of notifications that you want.
  25. Hi, do you know the model name & number of the Helios scope? Helios scopes were rebranded as Skywatcher in 1999 so the scope would be old but should be good quality, ( but avoid the "Apollo" models.) I have a 20 year old Helios Explorer 200p that performs almost as good as new.
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