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DaveL59

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Everything posted by DaveL59

  1. hehe yep the TAL-1 isn't light, being a solid ally OTA at near 1M length. It worked pretty well as pictured tho I could adjust where the phone rig sits. The Joby adjusts and holds very well once the screw is tight, it isn't a ball head so you have only a tilt axis. I didn't need to use the mini ball-head for this setup, for the EQ5 mounted 100RS I'd just have to "cope" with the phone tilting as I move around the sky being the mounting would be fixed to the dovetail bar
  2. so tonight I tested the TAL-1 rig with starsense, it seemed to work very well, quick position location and not phased by the EQ mount tilting the phone even so it was edge vertical as I panned around. Had to do a bit of balancing tho with the extra weight of the tube ring, holder and phone on top of the usual finder and eyepiece. But I think I can report that it will work on a GEM setup, tho I guess it may depend on the sensors your phone is equipped with. I'm using a note-10+ so pretty much top end of the range. Then switched to the LT70AZ on the OEM rig and again similar results, located quickly and directed just fine tho the phone of course does remain at a "better" position during the pan actions, no crazy tilt angles or rotating the OTA required Seems accurate enough to at least get you to the right part of the sky and on target for the lower power EPs before you home in with more magnification. Cloud now stops play here, managed to attempt some video capture with the LT70 and the Philips SPC900 tho probably poor as cloud had drifted over Mars' location as I was attempting this. Will have a play and see how it comes out in a while. For sure that'd have been a lot easier on the EQ5 mount with proper SloMo controls lol.
  3. I recently got the svbony sv171 8-24mm eyepiece, seems very good on the couple times I've had a chance to use it. It is huge tho but has held well in the low cost Celestron LT70AZ I recently purchased. If you can wait for it to arrive then the svbony store on Ali had them at around £50 tho seems to be out of stock for the moment https://www.svbony.com/svbony-sv171-zoom-eyepiece-8-24mm/ They also do a 7-21mm zoom that is smaller but I can't comment on that one. Seems the svbony range get reasonable reviews on CloudyNights so may be a better choice than the Celestron or other cheaper zooms.
  4. Added the scope nosepiece with IR filter Fitted it to the LT70AZ 70/700 scope to test with no diagonal in the path, not easy to hit focus on treetops that are blowing all over the place in the wind but A fair bit of CA but at least a result and that little scope should be able to hit focus on the planets at least. I expect the TAL100RS would give a better result but is a lot more effort to shift out for a very brief test.
  5. thought I'd try a couple Sky shots with the 2.1mm lens in place to see how this SPC900 does. Too narrow FoV and blocky at max 640x480 to be worth using as a SkyCam I think and I'd expect going wider with a 1.7mm lens would be even worse.
  6. yep, found it on the bay of E for £30, it's pretty much as new and even came in the original box. You can only get them used these days but they do come up every now and again, tho often at higher prices (>£45). Occasionally an astro-modded one pops up, last one I saw was around £50 with a serial cable (LX mod) but I didn't hit the bid/buy button on it. Just swapped the lens out for a 2.1mm wide that I had kicking around from my cctv mods. Only gives around 60 degree FoV so it wouldn't be much use for a SkyCam, with a 1.7mm it'd give a wider FoV, perhaps 120 or so. Resolution however isn't good given this only runs to max 640x480. I did find that Skype picks up this camera quite happily even tho the camera app in W10 doesn't, shows pretty well with the 2.1mm for use as a webcam should I need it for that purpose. Will drop the scope nosepiece into it later and have a play with one of the fracs and see how it does.
  7. today this got dropped off Installed the driver on the W10 desktop and SharpCap picks it up just fine, tho Camera app doesn't and looking in device mangler I guess I'm not surprised as it apparently isn't a camera Still it works which is the main thing. Hasn't been LX modded not sure if I'll bother to but a quick search didn't find the how-to as the site seems to have vanished. Main aim I guess will be to have a play with imaging planets so LX isn't such an issue. I see in Sharpcap that the slowest shutter is 1/30s on this SPC900NC where the Logi C270 goes to 1sec and the Dericam HD that I took apart for the SkyCam goes to 1/2s so I guess I have some options on which to use for the desktop and which for night sky use between the Logi and the Philips.
  8. Funny coincidence John but I have a mini ball-head also but hadn't thought to use it for this mod. One handy thing I realised was that the camera flash bars I bought fit that finder shoe I just received tho would be too wide for a regular Synta one. Might be worth me fitting this shoe to the vintage scope so the starsense can be used there too For reference this is the view from the Celestron OEM mount off the mirror with my phone (note 10+). Still get some clipping at the top corners and the phone obstructing the bottom part, hence I think a prism will perform just fine and did in early tests. I guess the view with the mirror rig will vary according to phone and position of the cameras, shame the note-3 can't work for this as the camera was better positioned for this use-case compared to where the 10+ ones are. So with this in mind and having built a holder for the prism, I've moved the OEM mount back onto the LT70 and using a tube ring here's the rig on the TAL-1 Now I think this may be workable on the EQ mount and if I run into issues with the angle I can always do what you normally do with a newt in an EQ mount to sort the focuser angle... rotate the OTA or in this case, just the starsense finder if necessary being it is on an independent ring. For the 100RS and SW130 I wouldn't have this flexibility unless I acquire an additional tube ring for them which I'm not planning to quite yet.
  9. one thing to check tho, the CD SATA interface is often not set to run at the full speed the port the SSD/HD is connected to. On some you can sort that in the BIOS if the manufacturer made that option available, some don't.
  10. I bought a Giottos monopod that has 3 legs in the bottom part so you can turn it into a sort of tripod. Similar to this one https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GIOTTOS-MM5560-MONOPIE-MONOPODE-monopod/224184549059?hash=item343270bec3:g:vR4AAOSwADZevXbv The one I have is the 5570 model which extends to 177cm and is nice and solid.
  11. doing my bit to keep the clouds hanging around... A star diagonal and finder shoe courtesy of Svbony. No idea how you tell if it really is dielectrically coated but hopefully it'll be as good as the TAL one. Good news is the OV polarizer filters fit the nosepiece just fine Intention with this one is so the little Celestron LT70 has a proper diagonal to use rather than the plastic erecting one it came with. The finder shoe I may fit later on to the vintage scope so it'll be easy to swap an RDF or regular finder onto it.
  12. not 100% that the prism I'm using is coated but might be. Are you seeing reflections between camera lens and the prism then? Could be the light level, at night it may not cause any issue unless aiming at a bright target. As you can see I flocked the edge facing the camera as well as the long edge, cut a hole wider than the camera and flocked the area under the phone. Idea was to quash as much stray light as possible and to give the prism as optimal a housing as I could. Seemed to work quite well. A bit of vignetting doesn't seem to affect the ability to get a star fix so I've gone ahead with building it. I do see a section at the lower part of the image that has a darker area as per your pic but it didn't seem to affect it at night so could just be stray internal reflections in brighter light. Saw similar with a prism diagonal of older japanese vintage when looking through the prism while cleaning it and when back in the diagonal looking down the barrel. But in the scope day or night I didn't note the effect at all. I did black the ground edges on the prism I'm using just to try to dull off any potential effects, kinda mute really tho being it is now fully clad in a flocked housing
  13. thanks, hopefully will get a chance to test sometime in the next months Interesting re the accelerometer I guess that could become a problem, I guess we'll know soon enough. As to the printer, yes I have thought about it but where I currently am, space and curious kitties are the issue. One day perhaps...
  14. The loss of FoV with a bino prism isn't too bad really, a squared prism like Mark showed would be better but I didn't have one of those laying around so tested with what was to hand. The rig I fabricated should work well enough given the first mockup was some acetate film and flocking and that located under the stars very well sat on a photo tripod. Not having a 3D printer, hacksaw and acetyl sheet was the easy route, not to mention something to do to pass the time! I plan to use it on EQ mounts as most of mine are that way Not had a chance to test it out like that tho as weather here has been typically cloudy/wet of late but hopefully it will be usable. Always a chance that Celestron will release it as a stand-alone one day with a finder shoe mount, but the base model scope isn't exactly expensive for a play and other than the mount it performs pretty ok as it happens.
  15. Hi Alex yes it does seem tolerant as in my testing so far the prism and plain mirror solved faster than the starsense OEM rig which surprised me. I was aiming the camera high to NW at the time and that way is the London light dome tho my back garden is reasonably dark. Others on CN have tried with plain mirrors, shaving and the like and reported it works just fine. The mirror I used was very thin glass and fell off a hairbrush so I figured why not see if it works. Losing some of the FoV doesn't seem the be a big issue so long as there's enough sky for it to solve, more a problem is cloud or brightness in the sky. It warns of a bright moon and suggests to look at other regions of the sky as accuracy can't be assured in the region of the devil's floodlight.
  16. hmmm I get that if the prism is in free air, but if you hold dark/flocked card against the long edge the the image correct to be only what is in front When there's plenty of light you get the interference of light entering via both exposed surfaces unless they are silvered or blocked in some way. For me I didn't see the point buying a diagonal even cheap when I have a couple spares binos just kicking around waiting for a good use to come along
  17. If the prism will give an inverted view with the camera looking in one short side and therefore of what is in front of the other short side, assuming you have good internal reflection off the long face then you'd be good to go. An old 10x50 bino prism is what I'm using in the rig I made, but a plain regular mirror also works, doesn't need to be first surface from a test I did the other night. As John says a cheap plastic diagonal might be easier as that already has the box you can glue to a phone holder etc. As for the big wings in front, they baffle the stray light from the mirror so I guess if there's total darkness you won't need them, but not hard to add as needed if you find it necessary. I thought it worthwhile as I've no control of neighbours turning bright upstairs lights on etc.
  18. always the way Ade, here it's not too bad tho cloud is drifting across now from the NW, but tired eyes and needing to be up and out early, need to go unload tools etc from the car before I head off to zzzz so won't be playing tonight. Would like the epoxy to have a chance to cure off properly too before I try using that home-made prism rig
  19. do bear in mind Mark that you'd need to buy a starsense explorer scope so you can get the unlock code, else the starsense app won't let you use the camera to platesolve. The LT70AZ is the cheapest one at £135 but stock is low like with most scopes at the moment. Performance wise it's ok but the mount is real shaky, if patient with it tho it does pretty well I found. Was able to give it a short try out w while back with the SV171 zoom but I expect it'll perform better with a proper star diagonal rather than the erecting one supplied. Yet to have a chance to test this on an EQ mount but can't see any reason it won't work albeit the directions may get confusing being geared for alt-az but will report back when I get a chance to test it out.
  20. using epoxy which should work, roughened up the contact areas first with emery cloth. Here it is assembled and flocked (well where it matters at the moment at least) Tapped for 2x M3x16mm thumbscrews which will secure the prism, the top one nudges into the ground off corner that Bino prisms tend to have. Will make it easier to remove the prism for future cleaning. The nib at the front (arrowed) should be a close fit to the lip of the case on the phone and stop the prism holder sagging, I noticed that it did a little so added this and a rib underneath so things stay reasonably stable in use. comme ça View vignettes because of the prism but earlier testing when I had some clear skies showed it worked just fine and quickly found the location and offered directions to target. Prism needs a clean as I can see I got sharpie pen onto the long surface, oops Worst case if I find this doesn't cut it I can easily swap in a piece of plain mirror which also works
  21. hmm ok so I guess the webcam doesn't generate much heat compared to the CCTV module Guess I may need to fit a dew heater inside the dome. Wonder if I can do that off the USB tho I expect the Network-USB hub isn't going to like supplying high current, will have to check but IIRC it limits to 500mA/port.
  22. I was tempted to use a spare case to glue the prism carrier part onto, but then swapping cases each time I wanted to use this sounded too much hassle. Not to mention the hard back and soft sides of the case would then split apart after a while and it'd be back to doing another build. This way just seemed simpler in the long run.
  23. I'll only earn that if I round off all those sharp edges and angles I think
  24. as the 2mm thick acetyl sheet has arrived I thought I'd start looking at making a prism carrier for this, aim being I'd use the Joby adjustable phone holder for my phone and re-fit the OEM mount back onto the LT70. The Joby on a camera bar is an easy transfer across to my other main scopes but the LT70 less so, plus hopefully I can pass that on to my daughter later on so the OEM holder would be real useful at that stage. So I made a mock-up using card so I can confirm the idea might work and that the 100x300mm sheet is big enough. On the right is the acrylic sheet test rig I knocked up earlier for comparison. Next take the mock-up apart and check it'll be workable Then get the Acetyl all marked up ready to cut Now assemble the cut pieces with masking tape so I can test for fit. Reason for picking 2mm is that the phone will still be held secure with this sheet under it in the Joby clamp. As you can see I make that small acetyl offcut work by cheating - well I prefer to think of it as creatively cutting the base of the prism baffle into the flat section that will be under the phone in the holder and so invisible in use Side views And view from the front/Prism side All seems to work Some tidying to do and then glue it all together, fit a stiffening rib on the underside to prevent it flopping and locator lugs to align with the phone. Oh and of course make a hole so the camera gets to look out via the prism. Then flock the baffle surface and fit a removable sprig across the prism top edge so it won't try to escape. I'm thinking I'll drill and tap a couple 3mm holes one each side of the prism too, so I can lock it in place and have a little side to side adjustment if needed, much like some older Japanese prism diagonals do. A quick check looking through the prism and the baffle is outside the FoV so I reckon this DIY rig will work just fine once finished.
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