Jump to content



New Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


5 Neutral

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Location
    Shannon, Ireland

Recent Profile Visitors

308 profile views
  1. Yikes! I just bought this mount and find that the tracking 'jusdders' rather than tracks smoothly, even with low power eyepieces. I was told I probably needed to update the firmware but looking at this thread I'm terrified to even try! Has anyone ever successfully updated! First go? Lol.
  2. Hey all. I'm about to hit 'buy' for a 6" f/12 Classic / Classical Cassegrain. Having read all the threads here I'm convinced it'll be a super scope for Planetary / Lunar visual but also Imaging. Not having to worry about due plus a faster cooldown time is really appealing. Seems super well built and out of the box very little needs modding. Maybe a sturdier focuser but I think that's it. My question is though have any of you guys managed to get any planetary images with it? Please share if you have and your experiences working with the scope. Thanks!
  3. With the platform I built as inspired by the guys before me on this thread for my 16'' (project link below) I could get away with one drive on the downward motion but I rely on both drives rotating at the same speed to track. I hand cut the arc's and filed to as close to the template as possible and for visual at high mag I get around 30 min of tracking with the object centered. I've tried imaging on the setup but I find the wobble is very frustrating and I've pretty much given up. I don't have the patience for it. I used to do planetary with an ETX125 (5'') Mak and that also used to drive me bonkers - chasing the planet around the chip get's old really fast! Honestly, with a 12'' dob I think one EQ drive will do fine and if you are super careful in making / cutting / levelling / orienting the base then you'll get very decent tracking. However, if you've the ability to make it with a stepper motor like a Nema one and control the speed via some kind of input then I'd heartily recommend it. You'll just eliminate any doubts you have with what may be causing drift or tracking rate issues if you get them. Best of luck with the project! https://www.flickr.com/photos/franks_astrophotography/albums/72157719520338922
  4. Excellent thread. I've been looking for a dedicated OTA for lunar/planetary to go on the mount I ordered (Explore Scientific EXOS-2 PMC-8). I watched a bunch of YouTube vids on each and then when I came here - there they all were! - great to see such a cool community. I'm concerned though about back focus and don't want to end up with issues. I've bought a ASI462MC(color) and a ADC. With a 2 x Barlow will it reach focus?
  5. Right! After much flaffing about. I settled on (for now) a 2X 1.25" TeleVue Barlow. So I think this is how I'll need to set it up... 2" - 1.25" adapter > ADC > TeleVue 2X barlow > ZWO462 Do ye reckon this'll work?
  6. Taking inspiration from the 10'' platform John (westmarch) here on SGL built : https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/315290-10”-equatorial-platform-for-dummies/ plus, a lot of procrastinating and reading every scrap of info online about EQ Platforms, with blissful ignorance I went for it. I settled on Reiner Vogel’s design for a Vertical North Segment platform http://www.reinervogel.net/index_e.html because his designs are proven for large dobs. This V1 is 99% finished, I just need to paint it black. It provides around 40min tracking powered by 2 x Celestron EQ drives. A fair bit of testing was done to match rotation speeds but got there in the end. As a V2 I'll power both from a single 12V source (stepped down) and add a single power switch. I'm also thinking of a lever/clutch mechanism would be useful as the full set up riding on top is +55Kg so a bit of effort is required to (carefully) slide it back to start position. At the moment I'm relying on 2 bolts as a critical stop when the end of the travel is reached on the arcs but I don't like this so I'll probably connect some kind of audio/visual warning a few min before that point. Last year I rebuilt the lower assembly in 18mm marine ply. The original is particleboard which is super heavy and like a sponge in this climate. While remaking it, I figured I could make it easier to transport and assemble by detaching the rocker from the base and making the 3 sides foldable. (actually just 2 sides fold and the 3rd clips in with latches). The sides then sit down in between timber slats I attached. This all ended up making the lower assembly lighter and just as sturdy as before. While I was under the hood so to speak, I replaced the OEM mirror springs with slightly stiffer ones and also the secondary mirror colimitation 'Phillips head' type screws to thumbscrews, all from Bobs Knobs. I stuck a resistor also under the glass for the Tetrad as I found this was fogging up constantly. Lastly, I picked up a very nifty 'Push-To' kit from Romer Optics (called EZ Push-to) for around 100 Quid and it works a treat. For the platform, it's a pretty small list of items really. Some 5mm aluminum pieces for the arcs / L-brackets. The EQ Drives - (I reckon anything under 16'' you'd just need one drive as it'd give enough torque on it's own) A pair of 5mm to 8mm flexi shaft couplers. A length of 8mm steel bar, 4 8mm pillow bearings. One fairly long M20 bolt for the Southern Pivot and 3 large bolts for the levelling feet. Then a pick-n-mix of various screws/nuts and bolts. I've logged the photos of the steps in an album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/franks_astrophotography/albums/72157719520338922
  7. That's a great idea regarding the battery. I also like how you made the dial larger by adding the adapter. It's good to know that it's possible then to have a digital value for a particular speed. I really just want to be able to set it to Sidereal or Planets easily.
  8. I'm building an EQ platform for my Dob and using a Celestron EQ motor; ''Logic Drive - Precision DC motor For Celestron CG-2 and CG-3 equatorial mounts''. Has anyone ever tested or looked at the max/min rotation rate v's the voltage? These drives have a little voltage regulator on them to adjust the speed. So I can get a visual reading during observing to know what the tracking speed is; I hooked up a multimeter and got these ranges. I'm curious are they the same from drive to drive or is there a particular voltage that equates to a tracking rate i.e. Planetary / Lunar / Solar / Sidereal. Slowest speed = 1.57v Fastest = 4.73
  9. I've ordered the ZWO ASI462MC & a ADC (My friend had this device on his refractor a few nights ago and while Jupiter was quite low, the ADC did wonders for pulling the image together, at least visually). I'm thinking about getting the 2" 2X Powermate (because unlike the 1.25" 2.5X the 2" 2X doesn't reduce magnification with distance away from the back end) Do you think this optical train would work? : 2" 2X PM > 2"-1.25" adapter > ADC > ZWO462
  10. Sorry if this is the wrong location for this post, it's the most suitable I could find. I want to try some planetary imaging with my 16" GSO (I'm currently building an EQ mount for this) and while I have experience imaging the planets with an ETX125 (5") using a 2x barlow and a Phillips SPC900 - I'm going to get a better camera for a start (possibly a ZWO or at minimum an Imaging Source). But my question is, as the scope is a 2" natively, should I use a 2" Powermate? (I think I'm going to go with PM over a Barlow due to the visual improvement I saw through a friend's).
  11. Not at all and thanks for replying! Half the fun is figuring this stuff out and if @Moonshanehas any advice I'm all ears!! I've seen dobs larger than mine on eq platforms and for sure the whole rig I'm making will need to be beefed up to accommodate the weight and higher COG. I'm sure I can source stronger bearings / metal / suitable motor with clutch.
  12. So, I figured I'd scale up your plans exactly) onto the footprint and outline of my base and it's actually looking pretty good. By eye the footprints looked different but when you scale it precisely (and I overlayed your plan onto my plan in photoshop) I could align the 3 feet with mine showing what lengths to draw. The black outline in the pic below is just that and this is what I'm going to use as a cutting template for the top and base of the platform.
  13. John, your design and build is the exact inspiration I needed to get building my EQ platform. So to you ant the other contributors - THANK YOU! I've a couple of questions before I get the jigsaw out if that's ok? (*update I think I've answered everything bar the motor question in the next post! ) 1- Your plans are for a 10"dob. If you've got a different size, for example mine is a 16" GSO with a circular base diameter of 800mm. How do you work out what the initial length and width measurements should be (in step 1 of your plans). 2- In step 2 where you measure 122mm each way from the centre and then the angled line at 20° - does this measurement of 122mm matter? For my scope it looks like it'd have to be more so that the end of the angled line finishes just a little underneath the feet of the base board of the scope. 3- The size of the aluminium arcs. I'm presuming these are left as is and printed off from Reiner’s page to be cut exactly as they are. Again, I'm guessing the arc of the circle stays the same no matter how wide. Also the time it takes to roll from start to finish is constant (sidereal rate) so no 'scaling' needed there? 3- Motorhead! Will the EQ-1 have enough torque to drive my set up? It'd be good to know but I lack the smarts to work it out. I remade the base of mine from plywood because the composite board all these dobs are made from is super heavy by comparison. (I saved 6Kg doing this). So now I'm running at 56kg fully set up (see pic). Lastly, how do you reset? Do you just turn the drive off and slide the platform back to the start? Is there any need for an alarm or indicator that the arc is at the end? I'm imagining screaching metal or the whole thing being driven off in the middle of the night! Thanks again!! Frank
  14. Guys, our club is buying a travel scope and we are seriously considering the SUMERIAN OPTICS ALKAID 16". Michael has been very helpful answering questions but we'd love to hear your impressions or advice, ESPECIALLY if you currently own or have owned one. Photos of the mirror cell or of the setup would be very helpful (says it's 6 point but looks like 3 arms, is this sufficient?) What is the alt/az movement / balance / shake like? If you've used it to travel via plane also, what was that like? Did you find it easy to manage. Cheers!
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.