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Everything posted by Newastro

  1. Hi Merlin 66, Youre first statement was correct. When powered up on it's own it goes through it's setup routine including the warning messages but then the screen goes blank although the backlight stays on. I now seem to have another error as when the mount is connected I get one continuous warning tone? This thing is driving me crazy. I haven't taken off the covers etc to check the motors yet, I'm not keen to do this as I might cause more problems than I solve. Malcolm.
  2. Hi Parallax, I tried a different cable on the system and it made absolutely no difference to its operation, so I guess we can rule that cause out, but thanks for the suggestion. Malcolm.
  3. Hi Steve, Yes, It allows me to add my coordinates,time etc. But after doing the setup routine and reconnection to the mount not much happens on the handset screen when I ask for the telescope position? I'm confused! Malcolm.
  4. Hi Guy's Thanks for all the good info, but my main problem is that the handset screen doesn't display anything at all after it finishes the inialization and pressing all the buttons gives me precisely zip. Malcolm.
  5. Hi Beamish, Thanks for the helpful info that you posted. I am trying to run the mount from a 12V Power Station torch whilst it is recharging. Do you think that this is too optimistic and the cause of my problem? Malcolm.
  6. Hi Folks, It's some time since I posted a question on the forum as I've been busy at work and contenting myself with just reading all the good stuff that's been posted here by other people. However I have purchased a HEQ5 Pro mount and I was trying to test it out indoors and ran into a problem that I'm not sure how to solve. I have set up the mount into the home position but without the tube or counter weights attached and have the SynScan controller connected. When I turn on the power the contoller says that it's performing initialization and the the controller screen goes blank (back light still on) and pressing the keys does nothing at all. I have the Dec and RA locking levers slackened off. Is this correct or should they be tightened up during use? If some one out there could put together an idiots guide to starting up the mount I would be grateful as I don't want to damage the mount through ignorance as I've never used one of these mounts before. Thanks for any help you can give. Malcolm.
  7. More worryingly - What happens when the sun hits the mirror at the right time/angle? :sunny: Still I guess we could all get a good sun tan simultaneously
  8. Hi Barkis, You can find the beginning of this project at http://stargazerslounge.co.uk/index.php?topic=11596.0 Unfortunately I don't have any drawings for the mount, but I guess it wouldn't be too difficult to measure a few things for work to progress. Malcolm.
  9. Hi Barkis, I've done a bit more digging around on the subject of the drive for this beast and there seems to be a couple of good bets; a) There is the Mel Bartels system from the US which was my first choice initially - I believe that Arthur had a complete system up for sale recently but someone beat me to it - d*mn it! :x or There's the AWR Technology system which is relatively close to me in Deal (Kent). Either system with the correct gearing should allow me to both motorise the mount and hopefully make it 'goto' with the aid of a laptop and Skymap Pro software. My real problem's going to be attaching the drive mechanism to the actual mount as I no longer have a friendly engineer around to advise me and make any mounting plates etc. Malcolm.
  10. Hi All, As a newcomer to astronomy I looked at the Intes range of Mak-Newts and was impressed with the reviews they obtained. Could someone explain to a newbie why these scopes are near APO performance for visual use but not apparently for imaging anything other than the moon etc as indicated by Jamie? Malcolm.
  11. Hi again folks. I thought I'd add a photo of the aluminium drive worm and wheels I intend to use to motorise the Newt. I have a pair of each of these which were made for me as specials, the worm wheels are 8.75" o.d with 360 teeth and a 1" bore for fitting to each shaft, the worm itself is a single start and together they should give me a reduction ratio of 360. I haven't yet decided on the rest of the drive mechanism so any suggestions would be helpful to give me a range of options. Cheers for now. Malcolm.
  12. Hi CC, After prolonged discussions over a pint :occasion5: we came up with a couple of possible ways of making this glass fibre (GRP) tube, both depended on having a form on which to 'layup' the GRP. I was lucky enough to be around at work when some ducting was being installed in one of the lab areas and there was this 6->7 ft piece of 10" id grey PVC ducting about to be thrown in the skip, why not use this for the tube? - because the wall was only 2.5mm thick and definitely not rigid enough to prevent bending/flexing during use. So we could; a) Add a few layers of GRP to strengthen the PVC........... wasn't keen on this really as it would give an even smaller tube id for the primary etc but might be the only option if method didn't work Use the PVC tube as a form to create a completely new GRP one of 10" id. Now I'm no GRP expert so I'll try to explain it as it was explained to me. The tube was made by initially coating the outside of the PVC tube with a layer of releasing agent ( you have to bear in mind that for a 6-7 ft 2 layer tube the resistance against getting the inner one out might be considerable if not impossible ) followed by a black gel coat layer ( to make the internal surface permanently black ) and then applying a couple of layers of GRP matt and resin. Once dry a layer of E-Glass was added ( a linear stranded GF material) to add longitudinal strength and then another couple of layers of GRP matt and resin were applied to give a final outer tube thickness of 4mm. In order that the tube didn't bend or warp during curing of the resin the tube was Hung vertically from my mates workshop ceiling rafters for 1 month( "let gravity do the work" , unquote). Now the moment of truth arrives, can we get the inner form tube out??? The guys at my mates workshop were having a sweepstake on how long it would take him to get the inner tube out and how many !@&% words he'd use doing it! ( all guesses gratefully received). Any way he did get the inner tube out and we drilled the hole for the 2" focuser and the job was finished. This sounds easy but my mates very good at his job and spent some time arranging for a smooth operation and what to do if things didn't go to plan (e.g. - like hanging me from the rafters for a month for giving him the problem in the first place!). Hope this gives you some ideas. Malcolm.
  13. Last time, I guess I should mention the secondary whilst I'm at it. I wanted to remove the diffraction spikes often seen in images of stars taken with a normal 4 vane spider, so I ordered a curved vane spider from the US and attached it to my secondary as shown (hopefully) below, I hope that after the assembly of the whole OTA I will have an optical system that was worth the waiting. Malcolm.
  14. Again sorry for this, i'm getting confused by this image attachment thing :? :? Malcolm.
  15. Hi, I think I slipped up with the photos somewhere ( an understatement, damn new technology!), I hope these are better. Sorry folk's for the confusion. Malcolm.
  16. Hi Folk's, me again. A bit more on the 8.75" Newt, I thought I'd share with you my proposed OTA plans which I guess are maybe as important as the mounting . I initially looked into the cost of buying a carbon fibre tube until i realised I'd have to sell my new car to pay for it :shock: and so my second point of call was to talk too my friend who makes fibreglass boats and we came up with a way to make the uniform 10" i.d, 6.5ft long and 4mm thick glass fibre tube shown below, the tube is drilled to accept a 2" dual speed crayford focuser as shown here, the primary mirror cell was based on a design found on the web that had been used in a Lourie-Houghton system and was both rugged and simple to construct, the original design was made from aluminium but for my purpose I wanted something lighter to keep the tube balance point nearer the centre of the tube, also I didn't have the resources to fabricate the ring and backplate from aluminium. The cell is shown below and is constructed from scratch using? , yes you guessed it 'fibre glass'. The mirror is attached to the backplate using silicone (mirror sits on 3 raised points on a radius of 0.4, calculated from the PLOP design software to ensure least mirror deformation) and then the back plate attaches to the tube ring mounting via 3 push/pull sets of screw adjusters. I guess this rather long post has gone on long enough so for now I wish you all clear skies. Malcolm.
  17. Hi Barkis, The plan is to fit a slip ring onto the tube which will slide into a groove cut out of the top set of rollers and allow rotation of the whole OTA (I hope). I wasn't sure which shafts you were asking about but the cradle shafts are aluminium and the RA and Dec axes are s/steel at 1" diameter. I've had the original RA shaft lengthened to allow room for the proposed drive gear. Malcolm.
  18. Hi Folks, I'm afraid this has been a while in coming so my apologies for the wait. As you might remember the last time I posted to the forum I was in the process of building a 8.75" Newt, well I thought it would be good to share with you the state of play at the moment. Below is a photo of the mounting along with some (dodgy) tabs showing the general parts. One of the aims in building this mount was to use materials that don't corrode and this mount contains s/steel, aluminium and some advanced engineering plastics such as PEEK,I must add at this point that the basic mount was physically engineered by a friend who happens to be a gifted engineer, sadly I no longer have access to his skills. The mount is designed to allow rotation of the OTA to provide viewing relief for the eyepiece( I guess we'll see how that works or not later! ) and to allow fine adjustment for polar alignment. The mount is fitted on each of the three supporting legs with screw adjusters to allow for the leveling of the system once fixed into a concrete pad and with a sealable drive electronics and power supply box if I decide to use mains power to run the system. Anyway enough for now, I'II post some more info later too keep you up to date. Clear skies. Malcolm.
  19. Hi Trudie, I'm no computer expert and other people on the forum may know better but I did have an experience similar to yours. I collected some data at work late one evening and in a rush to be out the door I called my filename the date I was collecting the data. I then had an awful time trying to find the file because the system had interpreted the forward slashes in the filename as subdirectories. You might find that this has helped to 'hide' your files too. Here's hoping you find your AVI's soon. Malcolm.
  20. Hi Folks, Well I've attached the diagonal with the silicone and all went OK except that I used a pad of loo roll to do the job on and had a diagonal covered in something after the silicone had set.... rats! I think my better half has taken to buying the stuff with aloe vera on it :shock: . I removed it by wiping the diagonal with pure cotton wool and absolute alcohol (let's see her remove her makeup now!), this seemed to leave a nice clean and undamaged surface. Of all the things that I thought would or could go wrong, this wasn't one of them, oh well we live and learn. Malcolm.
  21. Hi Geppetto, The Newt program did say that there was vignetting of the 75% ray but when I looked at the Newt dimensions data it was only 1mm too small to pass the test and I didn't think it would be a problem. I think your right about it being a beast, I'll have to make sure I control it rather than it controlling me :whip2: Malcolm.
  22. Hi Folks, I'm looking for a sanity check for the design of the 222mm f7 telescope I'm attempting to build, every time I look at this thing I get to thinking it's not right and then spend ages trying to convince myself it's OK :? Would one of you wonderful experienced people give me an opinion on this design that I currently have, it was designed using NEWT V 3.0 and the parameters are as below. Primary = 222mm F = 6.94 (measured using the radius of curvature method ) Tube inside diameter = 250mm ( Yep! I know its a bit tight but that's what I was limited too ) Tube thickness = 4mm Focuser Ht = 82mm Focuser i.d. =50.9mm Focuser extra travel = 20mm Diagonal minor axis =44mm Focuser to front end of tube = 200mm ( I think I was a little too generous here!) Mirror face to back of tube = 100mm Any suggestions for improvements or problems envisaged would be welcomed. I propose to use this thing for visual observing initially but might progress to imaging later. Thanks for your comments in advance. Malcolm.
  23. Hi Guys, Thanks for the advice on the diagonal fixing :thumbup:, I've got the silicone now and I'm going to give it a go today. I'll probably be asking some more daft questions of you guys later. Malcolm.
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