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Posts posted by DaveL59

  1. 6 hours ago, pete_l said:

    USB connectors are only designed for indoor use. As are the cheap "network" style connectors to the guider /  handset.

    I would suggest the first thing to look at would be ALL these connectors. Not just the ones on the cables, but the ones on the equipment: computer, mount, handset as well. Even being gold plated, they are still prone to corrosion, accumulation of dirt and simple wear and tear. It is also doubtful that cheap connectors would have gold plating to anything more than the absolute bare minimum. Just enough to outlive whatever warrant they came with.

    I'd agree, esp being in an exposed environment with potential for dew. Worth getting some dielectric grease and give each connector a smear to reduce the effects. Beware tho, silicone grease on your fingers can get messy when handling optics afterwards so gloves you can then dispose of or cleaning wipes after hooking up...

    • Like 1

  2. I use a pair of Minolta 10x50 classic sport WP with 6.6 degree FoV and quite like them, esp at the bargain used price of £22 that I paid for them

    I think generally porro, tho bulky by comparison, will give a brighter image vs roofs at a similar price point. For roof you want dielectric coating on the prisms if going above 8x and costs start to mount. That said the hensolt jagd's 6x42 and Nikon sportstar EX 8x25 do pretty well at night.

    Best way would be to try a pair you like really that suit your personal needs and tastes, problem is getting a loaner pair to try at night. For sure try for a pair that are waterproof to avoid fogging issues.

    • Thanks 1

  3. loading example in the spec is:

    • Duration of Operation: About 2 hours at 68 Deg temperature and a 4.4 lb loading with use of alkaline batteries
    • Operating Temperature: 0 deg to 40 deg C


    shame they don't give a max load unless its in a user manual for the ploarie?

    Did find this which may help


    Polarie Upgrade Kits

    If you already own a Vixen Polarie Star Tracker, the upgrade kits are a great way to get more from your mount. Both kits include all components required to increase the maximum payload of the Polarie from 2kg to 6.5kg.

  4. 8 minutes ago, Sunshine said:

    Maybe I should give the nylon pads a light sanding with a fine paper to expose a fresh layer? 

    might not help for long as you'll create a roughened surface and the oxide can bed in easier. Perhaps cover the metal with a laminate (or replace with) would be a better long-term fix. I doubt coating the metal with epoxy or lacquer or similar would work as it'd be hard to get an even layer that would last so not sure if there's a quick fix there either. Stainless steel maybe?

  5. Aluminium is covered with a thin oxide as it corrodes very quickly in air and that could well be what is rubbing off as you rotate the unit on the guides. That oxide may well have become embedded in the blocks (teflon perhaps) and that'll set up a friction surface that will continue to grind against the aluminium surface, compounding the effect. Probably not going to be easy to sort without removing a layer off the bearing edge of the block or replacing them, but someone else that has similar may be able to advise better.

    • Like 1

  6. Problem with your 7AH lead battery tank is that you'll quickly see volt drop if you try to run the laptop, given it'll draw >2A most likely and then the mount will be complaining about low volts. You really don't want to be running a lead battery down to 50% if you want it to last any time before it expires completely and needs replacing, unless its a deep-cycle one which it won't be in one of these. A 17AH you'd have a reasonable chance but even then the volt drop would still be there, a LiFePo would be way better for this type of use but are expensive in the short term.

    Looks like your PSU does indeed have a sense (signal) pin as well as +/- and probably not easy to get one to wire up  which adds difficulty. Now the sense pin may just be to kick the PSU into life or might be needed by the PC to activate the charge circuits, as in it accepts a valid PSU is connected up. HP I think call it smart-sense or something like that.

    Alternative may be to set the laptop power plan to low and dim the screen, disable bluetooth etc so you're only running the components you need and where poss avoid powering USB peripherals. Better perhaps is if the battery is removable see if there's an aftermarket long-run one available. IIRC they used to do a base you could connect that had a battery in it for some models, not cheap tho.


    • Thanks 1

  7. 1 hour ago, SimM said:

    Lenovo sell a car charger to USB Type C. Many newer laptops can be powered by this type of input. 7Ah battery is at the low end but expect better from your car battery.

    Even if you can get it to work it would be best to see if the laptop can be powered but not charged and in a low power mode. If that’s not possible then a battery that powers your scope and dew heater etc. isn’t going to last. Trying to invert a battery to 240AC and then using a charger isn’t a viable thing from a small battery.




    unfortunately its usually powering rather than charging that takes all the current load, even on low power mode and with the screen set v dim it'll be pulling a reasonable amount of current. Ideally you'd want to turn off/disable all devices you ain't using like wifi/bluetooth etc just to save a bit more juice. 

    • Like 1

  8. likelihood is that'd drain a 7AH battery pretty fast.

    Not sure if a buck converter stepping 12v to 20v at 7-10A would do but also depends a lot on the connector at the laptop end. Some of these PSU's have a sense connector as well as +/- terminals and that may cause issues. Running an inverter to get to 240v off the battery so you can use the OEM PSU would also flatten the 7AH fast so not worth doing.

    Can you not get an extended-run battery for the laptop instead?

    • Thanks 1

  9. Mine are Minolta 10x50 6.6 degree FoV tripod or monopod mounted tho I don't really enjoy the neck ache so much lol. Do have a garden chair that tilts back but not really used that so much.

    Other bins are Hensoldt Jagd dialyt 6x42 circa 1945, Foton & swift trilyte 7x35 among others of same format, a couple 10x50 ZCF type vintage japanese, Nikon Sportstar 8x25, several mini reverse porro type from 5x15 to 15x50 (one being a 6x20 Starlux Minim circa 1950's or earlier I think). All told around 27 pairs! plus a few spares/repairs. Madness 😮 

    • Like 1

  10. 24 minutes ago, Fitzroy Clarke said:

    I am a member a couple hours  and I am indeed very impressed 

    I have one request info on which of these two Cameras will be better to own, 
    ASI 183MC  Pro or  ASI178MC

    Many thanks

    can't help on that one but best to post it in the appropriate section such as Discussion - cameras where it'll more get noticed :) 

    welcome aboard btw

  11. has to be remembered too that not all of us are using more modern compression ring fitted gear so I guess the undercuts could be around for a while yet.

    as for hammer and screwdriver to the oil filter, yeah I tried that one time on a stubborn one, wouldn't shift. so chain filter wrench and the old-style torque wrench and... at an off the scale 140+ lbs/ft the filter moved... just as the chain broke! Never let an ovlov garage service an alfa is all I can say (by the PO not me).

  12. I have now a tal-1 (110mm) and the SW130EQ2 and to be honest I don't see a huge difference between them image-wise. You may be able to tease out a little more detail in the 130 but it doesn't seem a huge leap. More experienced users can likely give a more informed opinion tho as I'm fairly new to scopes, depends on your expectations and the quality of the 114 you're thinking to move up from.

    Should ask too, visual or are you thinking photography as the 150 would likely be a lot better for the latter tho it'd need a decent mount to go with it.

  13. Hi Nigella

    That's good news on the scratches, my lens is a lot closer to the dome and seems to work fine tho I can't vouch for whether it induces any distortion in night star views, day views seem fine but the module isn't able to do long exposure so night sky view is limited to brighter stars and stacking. Are you planning to flock the area under the dome, or if its night use only I guess that won't be a problem  regarding reflections.

    On the misting, I assume the box wasn't sealed at the cable entry when you did the test?
    If recently opened you'll have let warm air into the casing and that'll be carrying moisture, was the misting on the inside of the dome?

    I'd put a load of silica gel packs in the case if you can just before you finally seal and that may be all you need, assuming the box will be sealed that is.  I'm guessing your camera maybe doesn't run as warm as the cctv module I'm using which seems fine without, so some form of dew heater may help if that's the case but not sure running it off USB will be feasible esp on a v long USB lead.

  14. 2 hours ago, Waldemar said:

    Obvious to me is that the Internet makes any smart retailer a lot more careful with his customers, because these issues will be mentioned and go around.
    To me that is one of the greatest values of the www. At the end this will be in every bodies favor.

    problem with the wibbly wobbly web tho - you'll see lots of -ve feedback or comments on items but far fewer good ones which can paint a very inaccurate picture of what your intended purchase might really be like. Similarly you can often find reviews that rave about how good something is but in reality it ain't, either bias or inexperience on the reviewers part, perhaps. It can take time and lots of research to find the information you need to make the decision, but then its down to the individual to do their due diligence. Thankfully forums like this are a great source of information and advice, but so many rely on amazon or other reviews, jump in and find the new toy a disappointment.

    oh, that's not aimed at Will of course, clearly he's been burned by QC failure and not poor buying choice.

  15. I'm sure this supplier and many others have shipped lots of SW gear, but like any there will always be the odd issue and perhaps more than just the odd one. They'll most all say there are hardly ever any returns even if they know there's more than just a few so as not to discourage buyers or to try and reassure about the problem you have. No idea how SW or any fair on the QC side and I doubt any supplier will want to say much there either, but if they had a bad rep then I'm sure we'd see a lot more -ve and help posts so its likely they're reasonable overall.

    Given you've been a long-term customer tho, it is disappointing to find you get given the run-around when you do hit a problem and seems 3 came along at once here. If I were you and the scope arrives, I'd be extra thorough checking it over and if there are any issues at all then return the whole lot for a refund and go elsewhere. Even if the replacement scope arrives there likely will always be the nagging memory of these events when any tiny issue comes up in use, leaving you maybe doubting the equipment itself. If they query, just say with all the problems and having checked it all over with the replacements you just ain't happy with it. A reasonable retailer should understand and do the right thing I'd hope.

    • Like 2

  16. 4 hours ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

    Hi Olly,

    That is sound advice thank you I will take it on board.  I was considering a Moonlite for very fine adjustment and you can lock the focuser in place while changing eye piece. This is very handy as I seem to move my standard one out of line very easily. The slightest pressure on the focus tube and it lowers, Very frustrating. I dont do imaging so would only use it for visual. Maybe I could find another focuser which would address my problems cheaper and use the balance to fund more refined eye pieces 🙂



    can you not adjust the tension on the R&P gearing so it doesn't move as freely? Usually a couple screws that press a U plate against a spring plate, might just need a slight nipping up to tune the focuser to your requirements.

    • Like 1

  17. I think EP choice will also come down to how easy it'll be to track objects at high mag with the scope. I don't know that model but the NG I have is without slo-mo controls and it is quite difficult to stay on target given the movement isn't as smooth as I'd like. But then I rarely use it as I prefer the EQ setups I have for more than a quick squint :) Did make me think tho if its possible to retro-fit something as the original intention was as an entry setup for my daughter+grandaughter and I think they'd soon get frustrated at anything more than low power viewing. I did add an RDF and get a 20-something and 6.3mm plossl set to improve the viewing use tho as the stock ones were pretty poor.

    • Like 1

  18. now I'm home and looking at the EP view you posted, I wonder if your secondary is tilted correctly so that it is giving a full view of the primary. Or perhaps its not far enough under the focuser/too far. Tho how you'd adjust the lateral position of the secondary in your case isn't clear as on my mini 76/350 it has 4 screws as per the pic. The outer 3 set the tilt and the central one locks the setting, but the combo can be adjusted to move the secondary further in/out of the OTA. I replaced the original screws in mine so I could get the secondary placed better, seems a common issue on the NG and some others.

    Ideally you'd want to:

    1. Centre (or offset as appropriate) the secondary in the OTA aperture
    2. Centre the secondary under the focuser tube
    3. Adjust secondary tilt so you can see the full primary (and clips)
    4. Adjust primary 

    I use a cheshire to fiddle with mine, don't have a collimation cap and never got round to buying a laser unit but I've managed fine so far. It's fiddly and requires patience for sure especially the first few times. I usually do adjustments in the day then check against a suitable target and later if the sky is ever clear enough will verify and tweak if needed.

    The focuser tube shouldn't obstruct the view of the primary even when racked all the way in (when looking down the focuser tube), it'll only obstruct the light path to the primary from the target and likely wouldn't be too far into the OTA when focused with a regular eyepiece.

    NG76-350 secondary.JPG

    • Thanks 1

  19. sky's looking ok here for a change, but just back in after repairing fence panels on the SE side that bowed inward where the brace at the top edge came away from the nails holding them and the top finishing strip splt in the centre. Luckily a few screws and they're now ok for a while longer. My neighbours to the SE each lost at least one panel and they don't look salvageable after last night's battering. Time for a cuppa and warm up I think...

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