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Everything posted by Luna-tic

  1. I re-greased my AVX with Lubriplate 130-A. It isn't temperature sensitive (at least not within the bounds a human can survive or is willing to endure). It clings well to gears without being "sticky". I use it on the trigger assemblies and bolts of my semiauto rifles. https://www.lubriplate.com/PDFs/PDS/3_14-130-Series.aspx
  2. Very nicely done power supply, looks great and nicely laid out.. I just finished mine, will deliver 12VDC or 115VAC with included inverter. I'm using a 96 amp/hr deep cycle wet cell lead-acid battery. Very true. Generally, the heavier and more basic a battery is, the less it costs per amp/hr. capacity. As you go up in capacity, up in technology (AGM or Lithium)or down in weight, the prices climb correspondingly. Choose your priorities in weight, technology and capacity, then look at what's out there. As a very broad rule of thumb, you can figure it that way, but you can only c
  3. Glad you narrowed it down a bit. I was going to say there are a boatload of them across the big pond, which is, as you asked, west of London. If ever in the States, PM me and I'll treat you to ours.
  4. Generally, plan on about 80% usable capacity, max. Once you get to that point, the voltage starts dropping, and the mount will shut down from insufficient voltage. Also, with lithium batteries, the nominal voltage is less than a lead-acid battery, right at 12VDC, so any heavy draw will drop the voltage more quickly to an unsuitable level. If your mount draws 0.75 amps@12VDC, count on about 1.5 amps to account for slewing, temperature, reserve, etc., and select your battery capacity accordingly. Celestron's Power Tank Lithium is 17 amp-hours and will run my AVX about 4-1/2 - 5 hours on an obser
  5. That one looks identical to mine, but mine goes by another brand name. I imagine they all come from the same factory in China. I did an all-up test on my system last evening. I hooked up my EQ6R-Pro mount, the dew heater strip (turned up full) for my C8 corrector, (both of those to DC connections), my DSLR with its AC adapter, and my laptop to AC power. The battery was at 12.9 volts no load when I started, slightly less than its 13V full charge. With all the above named gear running, voltage stayed at 12.32-12.45V, current load varied between 4-6.5 amps (current drain would go up about 2
  6. Easy enough to add, and in the plans. Hopefully, any apocalypse will wink out civilization so nobody has to suffer long. I'd much prefer a simple disaster like a blizzard or wind storm.?
  7. I just finished a field power system that will proved me both AC or DC power. The heart of the system is a 96 amp/hour wet cell deep cycle battery, so light weight wasn't on the priority list of features. It sits on a small dolly, so it can be moved relatively easily, but I wouldn't want to haul it across a field. I can usually take my cargo trailer within a few yards of my viewing spot, so it isn't a big deal. It will sit below the tripod, I can even strap the tripod to it to add stability. AC power is provided by a 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter, DC power is channeled through a RigRu
  8. 1-Level the tripod, then attach the mount, balance scope and attachments, input necessary time and location data, as for any session. Place telescope in Home position. 2-The HC will tell you the clock designation for Polaris. Don't worry if the time marks on the ring are upside down or at some angle; adjust the altitude and azimuth screws to place Polaris in the clock position indicated, assuming the top of the polar scope view is 12 o'clock. This will adjust the axes to the proper angle. The HC will also tell you your Alt-Az error once the polar alignment is done, so you can improve it
  9. I found that the DSLR's screen is just too small for me to see well, even with a Bahtinov mask, I can't see the diffraction lines well enough to determine a good focus. (I'm also getting older) I bought an accessory 7" screen that plugs in the HDMI port on my DSLR. It has a hot shoe mount that allows attachment to the camera, although that doesn't work well for telescope balance, and also comes with a gizmo that allows strapping the screen to a light bar (made for professional photographers). It works well clamped to a tripod leg. The screen has quite a few functions that work well for AP. Th
  10. You can get by with the AVX using a longer focal length, but you'll need good guiding to get decent results and will work harder to get them. I like my AVX a lot, and started out using an Edge HD 8 (2000mm F/L) with it. I've since bought a heavier mount to use for AP, and the AVX is primarily my visual mount now, although if I have the Edge set up on my EQ6R Pro and want to get a widefield shot without changing things around, I'll put my shorty refractor (478mm F/L) on the AVX and get great results. The stiffness in the RA lies at least partly with the grease used. I disassembled my RA an
  11. Referring to the picture of the worker out on the dish; you can see the dish is made up of many individual panels. There are, in fact, 2004 of them. The dish is an "active" surface, meaning it can change its shape to compensate for expansion, contraction, and sagging in order to maintain its highly tuned parabolic shape. There are 2209 actuators under the panels that move the panels to keep them aligned. The panels have a surface accuracy of 50 micrometres; the scope can operate at frequencies between 290 MHz and 100 GHz.
  12. As promised, a few pictures while on the telescope during the tour. 1st picture is a worker out on the dish, you can see how large it is. 2nd picture is at the dish level, looking up at the underside of the array platform, which is 325 feet up. 3rd and 4th pictures are from the array platform. It's still another 45 feet to the secondary reflector, but it can only be accessed by climbing the structure. The telescope in the distance is the 140 foot telescope. Last picture is the base of the telescope, not the size of the trucks below it. A couple of interesting notes about the 140 foot rad
  13. English is my native language, and you're doing a better job than I do most times.? Of course, I live in the US South, so our English can be a little.....different.
  14. I'm beginning to think the same thing. It works well when it works, but I've found it to be occasionally inconsistent. Some nights I get perfect star alignment, some nights I think it's on a different planet than I am. Most times are okay. I had purchased the Celestron Starsense before getting an EQ6R, and had wondered about inter-compatibility between the brands. It was quickly apparent that the connector for the hand controls was not compatible between brands, and I was somewhat disappointed I couldn't use the Celestron Starsense on the Skywatcher mount. However, when I saw how accurate the
  15. The trade-off is price vs. weight when buying suitable battery packs. OP could go with the Powertank Pro Lithium, its a 158wh (translates to 13.16 Ah at 12VDC) Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO) which weighs 4.5 lbs., but costs over twice what the standard power tank costs. I would have suggested the Powertank Lithium as a great match for his mount. It's smaller than the Pro, has 86.4wh (7.2Ah) and only weighs 2.25 lbs. I use one with my AVX and it will power it for a long night or two short ones. It's smaller than Foster's Lager oil can. I figured the OP was looking for something more economica
  16. I agree with Uplooker; the larger, 17 Ah model would be much better, if it falls within budget. 17Ah will get you a full night and possibly two full nights on a single charge, depending on how much slewing you do and whether you use the light or USB chargers for other items.
  17. You would be hard pressed to find a 10" SCT and a mount suitable for astrophotography in the budget range you mention, unless you find a good deal in the used market. Difficulty with seeing directly overhead with a SCT isn't so much a consequence of the scope itself as it is the mount. A fork-type mount may be difficult to use overhead, especially if you're trying to take pictures, due to clearances between the bottom of the fork and the eyepiece or camera setup. An offset fork is better than a straight one, but an equatorial mount is much more suitable. Also, unless you have a fork mount
  18. If you have a link to such a site, please post it. If you're looking for a way to see the sky in a real-time scenario, try downloading Stellarium. It's free, and is a virtual sky. You can zoom in and out, click on desired objects and get all the pertinent information about them, search for specific objects, there's even a configuration box where you can input your own telescope specs, and then view an object and see it like you would through your own telescope. Stellarium will also control your telescope with the proper connections.
  19. Very impressive scope. I can't help but wonder why he placed his observatory out on a wooden deck, knowing it can't be as solid or vibration-free as the brick patio/driveway he's showing off this cannon on.
  20. The difference really boils down to whether you like black or white better. Maybe it's more popular in the UK, I couldn't find one of the top 4 or 5 sellers in the US who show the HEQ5 in their ads. It's a very close rebrand of the Orion Sirius EQ-G (both are made by Synta). As an owner of an AVX mount as well as a Skywatcher mount (EQ6-R Pro), I'm beginning to like the Synscan better than Nexstar for navigating the menu. But between the AVX and HEQ5, even though they are rated the same capacity, I think the AVX is a slightly more robust mount.
  21. The 8" mirror is 35% larger than the 6" in area, and has significantly better views. All other things being equal (price, mainly), the only way I'd take a C6 over a C8 would be if transporting it was the prime consideration. The C8 is fairly lightweight, but quite a bit bulkier than the C6.
  22. This isn't so much to advertise an upcoming party as to share my experience at a recent one. If needed, mods please move to a more appropriate section. I realize much of the readership on SGL is European and UK, I thoroughly enjoy reading what like minds are doing across the big pond. I thought I'd share a bit about the star party I attended this past week on my side of the Atlantic. Starquest XV is held yearly at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia, one of the most beautiful areas in the eastern US. GBO is a radio astronomy observatory, and is home to the largest steerable radio
  23. I have an AVX and it's a good mount for the C8 (I have the Edge) visually. May be borderline for a steady imaging platform for a long focal length but is great with shorter F/L's, I use a WO GT81 (F/5.9, 478mm F/L) on it, too. Go-To is accurate with the ASPA and 3-star alignment, even better with Starsense. I recently bought a Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro and it is awesome, but may be a bit over your budget if you're looking mainly at the AVX and EQ-5.
  24. If the Earth were stationary it would look like that, but since Earth is also in motion around the Sun, the Moon would actually appear to weave "in and out" , as in these pictures:
  25. Can I join the club? My EQ6-R Pro arrived today, along with a Stellarvue FG50 guide scope which I'll install on my GT81. I have an AVX that I really like and unlike some, get good service from. I'll keep it for mainly visual, and grab-n-go service. I may even image with the GT81 on it, but the EQ will definitely get the Edge 8 for AP. Plans are also to use a tandem dovetail saddle and use the GT81 as a guide scope for the Edge. All I've done so far is unbox the Skywatcher and put it together, stand back and admire it. I've looked through the Synscan manual, looks like there's quite
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