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Everything posted by DaveL59

  1. do check the output voltage with a meter first, the one I have gives >15V hence I added a buck converter to regulate that to 12v. Other than that it gives good use and after a couple hours still shows full charge. I'm only running the SynScan off it tho, no dew strips etc which will drain the pack harder of course.
  2. Surprised nobody has stepped up to recommend a Tak as yet
  3. I must get a pair of CZJ's one day I will admit that while servicing the onces I've accumulated I have made a few "improvements" on some, blacking prism sides, flocking the objective barrels etc. The latter transformed the old Jagd's, culling the stray light when the sun is near on-axis. But then I'm fortunate to be able to take them apart and fettle where most wouldn't attempt such surgery.
  4. only way to know for sure would be to try, tho run-time may be drastically shortened as they'd be close to the drop-out voltage of exhausted Alkaline cells even when fully charged. If you can rig 5x NiMH batteries in series that'd get you 6v and probably work just fine. edit - assuming you're thinking to do a direct swap using the existing holder then you'd need to engineer a solution. Alternatively get a 6-cell holder and just fill one bay with a dummy cell or bridge the connectors one that bay to complete the circuit.
  5. sounds like you are seeing an eddy current, heated air in the scope moving around or perhaps even in front of the tube from warm air in the room moving past. Ideally the tube needs to be open and the internals allowed time to cool and stabilise to get the best viewing. Likewise heat rising off roof and road etc can cause a turbulent image given the magnification a scope brings to the view. Remember too that air trapped between glass in double glazing also moves since the outer glass is colder than the inner, this may cause some effects that above the range of mag a bino will give become noticeable thru a scope. Looking at targets outside can have the same effects with wind and moisture in the air, it can feel like looking up through flowing water on some nights, a disadvantage of being ground based that we can't do much about Given your budget for eyepieces you might consider buying one zoom eyepiece, say 7-21mm that would essentially give you a range of magnifications in a single piece, cost approx £40-70 and then if you stay with the hobby you could look to purchase individual wider angle eyepieces to improve your experience. The Hyperflex gets good reviews as do the Svbony ones, the latter sv135 costs around USD 50 from their store on Ali and generally shipping takes a week.
  6. damp conditions could well have been a cause as the different metals involved will cause things to corrode, looks that way from your pics and see that on cars a lot too esp with salty roads here. Assuming you don't need to lock the threads with loctite blue as Pixies suggests, then a very very light smear with grease on the lower threads (vasoline will do) then wipe the threads clean before reassembling will help stave off future corrosion and make maintenance easier. Stainless bolts won't prevent corrosion in that you still have 2 different metals involved. Black japanned screws should work but as mentioned, avoid painted ones. To get the remains out, heat helps, a small butane torch will get things hot quickly and a light spray of WD40 at the threads will then wick and help crack the corrosion. Of course you'll then need to use degreaser to clean up before you refit the mirror. Heat alone may do enough but try keep it focused in the area you're working on so you don't distort things. Might have to retouch the paint after too.
  7. I more prefer a frac but that's a personal thing and you may find a reflector suits you better when you get to that stage when you want to upgrade. Having said that tho I have 3 fracs and 4 mirror-buckets lol. One of the easiest of mine to pop outside and use is the small TAL-M 80mm reflector on a pedestal and that'll happily reach x139 and give very good views. The TAL's tho do punch above their weight esp compared to the lower-cost end of the market. As suggested above tho, if planets are your main thing then a Mak may be a better choice. I have used the LT70 on moon, jupiter, saturn and mars and found it performed pretty well but sessions were short with the recent weather. I'd have liked time to play with barlow and higher mag but cloud and rain prevented that. Seeing also hasn't been great much of the time and that doesn't help. I reckon with the 8-24mm zoom that I got up to x88 in targets and while objects were small (they always are tho exc the moon) they were sharp and pleasing. I think with quality eyepieces and a proper star diagonal you'll get more enjoyable views but the scope will always be magnification limited tho the objective lens does perform quite well considering the price. The 2 other frac's I have to compare against are a TAL100RS (100/1000mm) and a 50's vintage 3-inch (76/1100mm) both of which show better but they run at higher mag given the much longer tubes. The 3-inch has a chip across part of the lens which is blacked out which reduces its effective aperture and still performs well, so I'd not say these low-cost 70mm scopes aren't capable There is a thread on here "what can I expect to see" which would be good to read if you've not already. The other issue to overcome is your own expectations. All the planets will look small, they are after all a very long way away and on the surface we're limited in how much magnification we can use for numerous reasons, the scope being only a couple of them. As Kat says, patience, learning how to see more, adapting to dark viewing are all part of the journey. For planets you don't need to be fully dark adapted, I find I get by just fine after just a few mins but then I do adapt to seeing in the dark quite quickly. We'll never see the level of detail that imagers display in pictures but you'll get to the stage where you can make out a lot more than a bright blob, patience, the most important tool in the kit
  8. ahh buckets with mirrors in them, I've a couple of those too lol Don't write the ability of this little frac off too quick tho, optically it seems not bad at all I was quite surprised but then I'm using better eyepieces than the ones it came with I'm sure a larger aperture would out-gun my reflectors (80, 114 and 130mm) but my 3 fracs (70, 76 and 100mm) I think do just as well. Not really looking to step up to a 200mm or bigger, no room for more scopes for a start.
  9. not had this one very long ( just over a week I think) as it was bought for the starsense part which works pretty well. It is pretty wobbly because of the mount and tripod, not sure you find the same. Not much can be done to improve that I expect tho will see when I've time and bits to try. Focuser was quite stiff so I slackened off the 2 screws under it just a touch to make it run a bit easier. Optically it's not bad tho other than everything being plastic lol. The zoom I have works very well and they get good review on cloudy nights and a couple of us here have bought them. Steve (second time around) has the 7-21 and reports it to be good so likely worth getting that one zoom than buying 2-3 individual ones as a starter. Otherwise I'd look to say 10mm 18mm and 25mm in something like BST Starguider or Vixel NPL for example but those are in the £40-55 region each. Of course you can use them on a future scope if you stick with the hobby and upgrade. Don't fall for buying those eyepiece sets that Celestron and others sell, not worth the cost for what you get really.
  10. heh yeah I replace these on most things, hence I buy packs of 20/25's longer than needed. Real easy to snip to length with those cutters At least that scope is usable, same re the LT70 which is actually pretty good image wise. Be handy to lob in the car and being so light is the easiest to pick up and have a quick peek in the garden too. I've got the Philips SPC900 on it at the mo, was hoping to try get mars but so far cloud, cloud, rain...
  11. today received some m5x25mm nylon thumbscrews which replace the originals in the 50mm finder holder that arrived a couple days back. The originals were too short to work with the TAL 6x finder I wanted to use it with. Trimmed 6 nylon screws with precision cutters and moved the locator ring on the finder to match the spacing and there it is done. It'll neatly fit a Synta holder tho it'll likely end up on the vintage 3-inch frac rather than the SW130.
  12. if you can get a buck converter to wire the M18 pack to that should be able to step the volts down to 12v regulated, I do that with a 20AH LiPo car starter pack since that pushes 15+v with no load and I wasn't looking for it to blow my SynScan mount. You'd need to ensure the buck converter is suitably rated for the load, the one I got was 5A and runs just fine. You will need to obtain a suitable flylead with the correct plug for the scope and have that all securely wired up but I can see no reason why it'd not work. Bear in mind the longer the lead the thicker the wire you'd want to use to avoid voltage drop.
  13. Does your scope give an erect image when used in the daytime? My LT70AZ has a plastic diagonal that is erecting and mediocre in night use so I purchased a star diagonal to use with it instead: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32881221402.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.54138306lLwVpv&algo_pvid=f5587306-8516-4db9-852f-931bbc265a13&algo_expid=f5587306-8516-4db9-852f-931bbc265a13-0&btsid=0b0a555c16039867688276822e75fb&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_ Also the stock eyepieces I've never used knowing they won't be great but I already have a couple sets of decent Plossls and others. A 3x barlow would be pushing it and as you say is likely poor quality anyway and the 4mm is probably of limited use and won't be viable with a barlow. The 20mm will be usable tho as you've found, well done on the pic You might consider buying a zoom eyepiece, something like the Svbony SV135 (7-21mm) would probably work well and isn't too pricey. I have the SV171 8-24mm and it works very nicely but is huge and heavy on this scope. A zoom paired to a reasonable barlow would cover most of your viewing needs and you could then get better single-focus eyepieces for wider field of view etc once you've determined which ones suit best for your viewing.
  14. a 17AH lead battery will underperform a comparable LiPo or LiFePo and you'll see a significant volt drop once you hit 50% remaining charge or even earlier. Also never run it flat nor forget to charge it back up after a session or you'll soon have a dud battery. As a comparison it's reported that a UPS which uses dual 17AH lead will perform the same with a 10AH LiFePo battery in terms of runtime. Sadly the LiFePo batteries do cost a lot more but are significantly lighter and won't suffer if not recharged right away.
  15. this was the one I bought and it performs very nicely and is solid. No idea how you verify it is dielectric but it compared well against the TAL diagonal I have, couldn't tell any difference. As you said, at that price... https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32881221402.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.54138306lLwVpv&algo_pvid=f5587306-8516-4db9-852f-931bbc265a13&algo_expid=f5587306-8516-4db9-852f-931bbc265a13-0&btsid=0b0a555c16039867688276822e75fb&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_ Also handled the huge Svbony SV171 8-24mm zoom easily and that thing is pretty heavy
  16. I recently received an Svbony 1.25-inch diagonal that the ad said was dielectric, seems very well made and at the time was at a reduced price too from their Ali store, think it was under USD30. Mainly got it for the cheapie Celestron LT70 to replace its plastic thing but likely will use it on the TAL at least as much maybe more.
  17. Nice idea, just be careful if it ever ends pointed upward that you don't take yer eye out tho
  18. Temperature controller arrived today so wired up and in a food box (don't have a spare and unfortunately too big to sit in the same box as the LDR one. Upside tho, easy access to the 3 push buttons to maintain settings if needed. Again an in-line fuse just in case and Y-cabled for the source power. I joined the 2 outputs into a single plug feeding out to the sky dome as I didn't have another Y handy. Placed the temp probe against the shed glass which should be good enough and set it ti turn on at or below 7C. So hopefully now with darkness or low temp the heating should turn on and keep the dew at bay. None last night but then the shed windows didn't dew up either so no surprise so awaiting a proper dewy night to know if it all works as desired.
  19. Funnily enough when a friend in the US recently asked "Does it always rain there" I replied that sadly a lot, so many scopes and little chance to use them... Does get frustrating for sure but then there's other things to fiddle with so I'll just grab opportunities as they make themselves available
  20. I'd avoid the type that have reversible polarity esp if that's achieved by fitting the tip in one or other orientation, too easy to refit incorrectly if it gets disconnected. Do you know the size of the plug required? If it's a regular 5.5/2.1mm then a CCTV PSU would do just fine such as the one you linked. At 2A it'll more than handle the load when slewing fast etc and better to have lots of spare capacity than be running the PSU nearer to its limit. I have a 5A one for my SW SynScan mount when powered from mains or a LiPo car starter pack for when I can't and both work fine
  21. and for the cat lovers amongst us
  22. given the date approaching tho, something like this might be fun to have
  23. hmmm contemplating last night's image results I'm thinking a knock while it was all apart or being reassembled may have switched the IRcut filter out, the pink-ish foliage in the trees kinda give it away. Did wonder why the IR lighting was being picked up so strongly on the shed roof edge and trees so was figuring that might have been what happened. The strong flare at the top edge too as that's the direction of the IR floods. Unfortunately being a webcam it doesn't have an IR switch ability so a dismantle will be needed to sort. Will have to check the trigger volts and see if I can just zap across the trigger wires when there's a long enough dry spell. Tho I do like the tree being partly lit up, adds atmosphere to the night sky view but it does obscure parts of the sky elsewhere so I'll have to sort it I think, adding flocking to dull the internal reflections will only help a little unfortunately as these sit in the line of fire from the floods. Might be more reliable to glue an IRcut filter on the back of the lens if I still have any left but I'd rather avoid dismantling as far as poss.
  24. it'll be a 12V DC but get a regulated one rated higher Amps than the unit needs, saves having problems when slewing etc, but check the docs or their website for the correct spec. Are the battery contacts clean and in good order? Always possible a wire has come loose internally but that'd mean dismantling and so on.
  25. have you run it on rechargeable batteries before? They only give 1.2v per battery compared to 1.5v for alkaline cells so may be just not enough voltage to get it to power up. Worth trying a mains adaptor if you have a suitable regulated one of correct voltage.
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