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discardedastro

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discardedastro last won the day on September 15 2019

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About discardedastro

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    Oxfordshire, UK
  1. That's definitely much better - I'd probably have another go and see if you can improve things, and definitely look repeat the same with the RA. But if you're guiding at 0.7" RMS that's widely accepted as being the limit of good guiding with this mount, so could consider that "done"! How much backlash will affect you is largely a function of how aggressive your guiding has to be - if you nudge PHD2 a bit towards avoiding direction switches (i.e. use the ResistSwitch algorithm and adjust a bit) then you can reduce backlash impact a little. But RA is generally going to be doing some back-and-forth so is worth making sure it's good and tight.
  2. You can definitely run all this off a Pi4, yes. I do everything but the obsy motor control on my rig today with a Pi4 without issue.
  3. I've only just seen this and it's made me realise I don't actually need to make a walk-in structure to achieve my ambitions of unattended imaging. My day job involves (amongst other bits and pieces) designing equipment cabinets for telecoms stuff, so I'm quite happy working in that smaller form factor. Only snag for me is that my scope is a 200PDS, which is a little larger, but actually could still work just fine mounted lower to the ground and in a short-height enclosure. I think I'll work out what the envelope would have to look like, but it'd definitely be a lot cheaper and easier to build something at that sort of scale, maybe around a very basic/small-scale concrete pier. That or swap the 200PDS for a smaller frac What're your plans for v3? What has and hasn't worked well?
  4. +1 to being super careful with the adjustments. Keeping track of what you've done is also really important I found - I marked each screw with a number and put a reference mark on the side for rotational measurement so I could write it all down. I did my adjustment without the scope attached - seemed easier and it appears to have worked well - but scope-on is probably going to give a better result owing to it being under "correct" mechanical load at that point. Any non-direct-drive mount will suffer from mechanical tolerances not being 100% and thus some backlash - more expensive stuff like the GM1000 has tighter tolerances but you're still trying to make two gearing surfaces be perfectly in contact in something made up of different materials, changing temperatures, etc. Stuff like the Mesu or ASA mounts which are direct-drive or friction drive (i.e. there's no potential for functional "slop" in mechanical interfaces beyond the motor itself) naturally has effectively no backlash (or at least not in the mechanics of it all) but you're 3-5 times the cost of the EQ6-R at that point.
  5. That does look like a lot of backlash. I'd probably look at doing the backlash adjustment routine - this is documented a few pages back, and is pretty straightforward with some allan keys and a bit of patience. The motion looks good and consistent once you're past the backlash, so it's likely you've just got some excessive spacing in the gear train causing that, which is easily fixed with that adjustment routine.
  6. I did - but it may have been user error. I had cinched everything up adequately (I think!) having balanced the dec axis during the day, but I had just spent a good hour carefully coating the exposed metalwork (excepting things near bearing/contact surfaces) with ACF-50 rust inhibitor, which is also a pretty good lubricant - so my hands weren't terribly grippy. The default knobs aren't terribly good to start with, so I think I must've just misjudged things. Having said that, wouldn't mind having something with chunkier knobs on it, and slightly better tolerancing! The stock saddle is definitely very sloppy in terms of the contact surfaces, being painted rather than anodised.
  7. Right - but if you're worried about import duties etc I'd maybe see if FLO can offer it. I imagine they'd get a fair few takers (after a little slip of my stock saddle, I think I'd consider one as an upgrade).
  8. Given FLO stock ADM I would imagine they'd be able to source the EQ6-R part if it isn't just https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adm-replacement-saddles/adm-dual-saddle-upgrade-for-heq5-neq6-avx-zeq-ioptron.html
  9. Honestly, the best approach I've used is either long focus exposures - which will average out atmospheric turbulence - using software to measure FWHM or similar. That combined with using parfocal filters and focusing with L, which is never going to be perfect but if you've got a motor focuser and parfocal filter system is a pretty viable option. For the 600D you should be able to take 10s exposures or similar and get a reasonable exposure on a mask.
  10. That's not normal, at least on the Nikon ones - you can have a 0s interval with a 60s exposure without issue.
  11. If your calibration data doesn't change, yes. Generally I keep my "calibrated but unprocessed" raw data from each night for this reason - get to the point where you've applied darks, flats, etc, and store the raw images. Not sure exactly how you'd achieve this with DSS, but I think there's an option to export calibrated data rather than going straight to stacking. The advantage of this approach is you can then register all your images without having to recalibrate each set. I do this consistently now and have combined data from 4-5 nights of data capture in the past - it makes combining later data super straightforward as (in PixInsight at least) you just process your latest night's data till you're ready to register, and then throw everything in and process it all as one big dataset without treating each night differently (I will usually do this and then do filtering of bad frames, though will always discard clearly broken frames in advance).
  12. What's your processing workflow look like to get it to that point? Can you post some raw data? I would guess at some stage you're exacerbating an issue with the raw data in your processing.
  13. Looking at the EQ6 puck for the Altair, maybe - it looks like it might have the required side-fit bolts. Given the costs are pretty similar I'd go for the ADM myself - guaranteed to fit as it's stated in the part description, and the ADM stuff is good quality in my experience. For those wondering about long-term use outside, I've just done my "annual external service" - haven't stripped anything down but did move everything to a new observing position and while doing that I also went over all the surfaces that have started to rust with a corrosion inhibitor (ACF-50). The parts that are corroding on mine after a few years outside are almost entirely cosmetic - basically all the exposed shiny screw heads, bolts, and threads - none of it is stainless etc. The only points of concern I have are the spring on the lower altitude bolt, which has corroded on the surface entirely, and the smaller screws holding covers on, just because there's not so much material in there. The tripod has seized on one leg, but they're cheap and cheerful so hardly unexpected - might treat it to a little pier or a Berlebach this year if it's not getting the obsy. The counterweights are variable but largely starting to rust where the paint surface has been scraped. The counterweight bar is also corroding in spots along its entire length. I think I'll try and find equivalent fasteners in stainless for as many of the exposed bolts as I can, and next time I've got it inside for a service I'll swap them. The counterweight bar etc I can't do anything about I don't think. This is under a Telegizmos 365 cover on soft ground near (25m from) a minor stream of water in Oxfordshire, as a point of reference - fairly damp but no salt.
  14. Definitely never spray cleaning fluid onto eyepieces or objective lenses - the risk is high that fluid may migrate beyond the outside surface and between lenses, leading to condensation etc. Ultra-clean wipes are the key, combined with a good fluid like the Baader stuff (Calotherm's lens cleaner is a good option also). I would generally recommend disposable lint-free wipes; e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Solwise-Fibre-cleaning-Lint-Free-Pk-300/dp/B06XYRN5V2/ rather than using a microfibre cloth since there's no risk of foreign material being dragged across the lens coatings, but if you have to use a reusable cloth make sure you keep it impeccably clean and use it only for lens cleaning. The Caloclean cloths that FLO sell come in a resealable pouch which is ideal.
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