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Carbon Brush

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About Carbon Brush

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Ollerton/Tuxford Area. Notts.
  1. OK I'm not too far away! You can never have enough scopes.... PM on the way. David.
  2. Hi. Is the item sold? If you edit the title, the mods will find it easier and move the thread to 'completed'. Cheers, David.
  3. A general word of caution on USB cables if I may? USB leads may appear to work OK in certain places but not in others. The seller may insist it is a good cable, though you think otherwise. USB leads do two distinctly different jobs. First they can provide power. Whether to charge a battery, run a camera, run a comms protocol convertor, etc. Second they need to carry data. In 'ordinary' USB connectors the outermost pins are for power, the inner pins for data. I won't get into identifying chage/power types and USB-C as the post will get very long Sometimes a USB lead provided with a device that only uses power will have the data part of the cable missing. It charges your phone but won't connect it to your computer! Sometimes a USB lead intended for data has thin (high resistance) power leads. Use this cable to link two devices to transfer data and all is OK. Use this to power a (hungry) camera, or charge a battery pack in a tablet and you have problems. Then there is the 'quality' of the data wires. They should be a twisted pair of wires for optimum high speed data transfer. But to save a penny or two, if you don't twist them, you can transfer data slowly, or over short distances, or between certain devices. Other devices that are less tolerant of poor signal levels or timing may not work very well. Then there is the question of a screen over the cables. Put an unscreened cable in the vicinity of devices generating electrical interference and you will have problems. For example if you run a USB cable next to the mains cable for a switched mode power supply and expect problems. A screened cable has a copper braid or foil over the data and power cables. This connects to to the plug frame. These cables are far more likely to give good performance in a 'nasty' environment. Then there is the question of the wire insulation. Nice and flexible in the home. But what about at -10C on your scope? If in doubt, leave your proposed leads in the deep freeze, then bend to see if they snap. Yes some cables do snap! So an ideal USB cable contains a twisted pair for data. Also two really thick cores for power. Around it is good braid screen. It has 'arctic grade' or similar insulation. It is expensive and probably not that flexible because of the braid and thick power wires! In any USB connection regime, try to do the long run with one cable and plug at each end. Several short cables strung together risk losing data integrity and increased resistance (on power connections) at every joint. Remember the recommended limit for USB is 5 metres maximum. That does not mean 5 + 5 + 5 metres by stringing leads together. Always use some sort of buffering device for longer runs. If you are trying to copy a few photos from your phone, or charge it and have a few issues, it is not the end of the world. But if you are running imaging equipment with multiple USB devices, that is a very different situation. You possibly expect all of the kit to run from USB power. You expect to set up at room temperature and everything still works at -10C. You set up and walk away. Hopefully capturing several hours of images on your £5K scope from the one clear night in the month. Are you going to trust all of this to a 99p from ebay or Amazon Marketplace seller? Or are you going to buy a premium cable from a known name manufacturer? Unfortunately outright price does not always ensure good quality. There is an element of trial and error. HTH, David.
  4. If in doubt use more. The cost of studs/bolts/nuts compared to the mount and the pier materials is negligible. HTH David.
  5. I think the response from OVL is reasonable. They have arranged to collect and take a look. When they receive the scope they will hopefully do 'the right thing'. As someone who works in manufacturing (not astro kit) I can tell you that promising to undertake repair or replacement is best left until you have had sight of the equipment. Yes there are genuine problems that you need to act on promptly. But there are also those who try to pull a fast one. Returned faulty equipment to me once included a computer keyboard full of brick dust. The customer had demolished a wall in his factory without protecting nearby machine control equipment. I have seen 'faulty' printed circuit boards with the corners knocked off. Dropped from a height? Then there was the faulty optical encoder. One with a glass disc. It rattled. The disc was smashed. The customer had (using a bench grinder) decided to grind a flat on the shaft! Another encoder had the 10mm diameter steel shaft bent. No he hadn't done anything to it. I think that this is OVLs first opportunity to look and put things right in this case. I (and others) look forward to hearing the outcome. In my view, after seeing the glue, they should be opening their stock to ensure this is a one off. If it is not a one off, they need to give the China factory an ear bashing and pull stock off sale. In terms of the quality and delivery issues. Please remember that most retailers are drop shipping popular items from OVL. The retailer cannot easily control the actions of the manufacturer and shipper. Anyone can sell you dud product. The outstanding retailer is the one who deals with the problems quickly and effectively. That being an offer of refund if you get more than one problem. If the general quality is not good, then OVL will get an earful from all the retailers. In extreme, they may choose to not stock certain ranges, or manufacturers. I'm sure the retailers will (usually off the record) tell you about certain manufacturers they won't touch. Keep us updated, David.
  6. Thanks for posting. I knew those dodgy newspaper reports of a WW2 bomber being seen on the moon had some truth to them!
  7. You have certainly had more than your share of problems. Lenses and coating are generally quite robust. OK don't clean them with wire wool. But a decent leans cloth with a drop of lens cleaning fluid won't do harm. If it is just a string of glue, it will probably break off easily. I think that this is the review situation..... You start NEW review of the supplier. After the mods will ensured it meets the guidelines, they will append it to existing reviews for that supplier. I may be wrong and await correction! HTH David.
  8. Nice pics from Stu. Just one question. Whats a clear sky? I ventured out several times to take a look. There was not one time that I could see the moon in a clear sky to be able to ascertain the dimming - let alone any darker regions. The few times I saw a full disc, it was definitely not full moon brightness. But given the absence of stars I could not in all honesty claim the dimming was an eclipse. I will though believe it happened! Thanks for posting the reports and I'm pleased that some saw it. David.
  9. Excellent advice from Ed. Just to emphasise. Covers on before you come inside. The amount of moisture that air can hold depends on temperature. It is not a simple relationship. It is that cold air can hold a lot less water than warm air. If you have a big scope tube full of cold air, it contains little moisture. So when capped (sealed) to bring inside there will not be condensation as it warms. As the caps are not perfect seals, it will eventually exchange air with the house but will be warm before this happens. A house is warm, and importantly quite humid by comparison with the outside. Think of you, the dog, the cat all exhaling moist air. Then of course showers, hair dryers, steaming sinks, cooking, etc all add to the moisture. So an uncapped cold scope chills the warm moist air that enters the tube and you get condensation. If the scope does dew up when indoors, just give it a blast with a hair dryer to bring up the temperature. It is reasonable to expect the tube to dew on the outside, but not inside surfaces. Obviously you aren't bothered about warm air currents or uneven heating. HTH, David.
  10. Gravity is also available on Amazon TV - if you have prime. Watched it again only a few days back HTH, David.
  11. The first questions to ask..... Are the batteries going to be powering separate loads? Are the batteries going to be permanently connected to the chargers(s)? Even when driving a load. David.
  12. When a manufacturer chooses to omit specification on items that are important to performance, it puts me off buying. This applies to any product, not just a scope. If Skywatcher aren't telling, then either they have some wonderful new materials and methods they want to keep secret. Or they want to leave the door open for future cost saving. Or the product does not exist. My suspicion would be that the first batch of new scopes would use good glass, stainless screws, metal tubes and brackets, etc. Then later when are all blown away by the product and fighting to get stock.... Would they be tempted to put milk bottle glass in the end with push fittings to avoid screws in the plastic drainpipe tube? OK an extreme example, but you get the idea. We all have experienced or heard of products where certain years or marks or revisions are better. In astronomy, I remember people asking for photos of Meade 4000 eyepieces before buying used. This was to ascertain the quality. Some were known to be better than others. In cars we all know about certain model years having a noisy engine fan, or missing vents, or other annoyances in different runs of the same model. Just my two pennorth. David.
  13. The advice on which mount also varies with time. New mounts do come along at intervals. Rules that are reasonably fixed are: Buy the largest/strongest/best mount your wallet will allow. But also..... Take into account the weight and your usage. That being fixed or setup every time out. For example my alter D6 is on a concrete pillar in the observatory. Weight only matters if I remove it for maintenance. It does thought tip the scales at about 35Kg, with another 35Kg for the tripod. Something to consider if I want it as my 'grab and go' option! HTH, David.
  14. I read this on the BBC news website and was a little surprised. The BBC are not known for sensational or ridiculous stories. They do though sometimes get things out of context, or print partial statements that don't tell the full story. I won't be lining my house with tinfoil just yet. I reckon the fine mesh chicken wire embedded in the plaster will be OK. The tinfoil hats are for when I am outside.
  15. Do you want to power the mount only? Dew heating? Camera? Tablet? The reason for the question is that a standard Celestron/Skywatcher type of powertank will be quite adequate for a mount. That will look after connections, charging, etc without knowledge of electricity. Here is an example. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/batteries-powerpacks/skywatcher-powertank-7ah.html Assumming you are starting out and not wanting to power lots of additional items, it is difficult to justify the additional cost of a larger battery, or a lithium pack, etc. Yes you can buy cheaper from fleabay and the like. But ........ If you want to run the (power hungry) extra devices then a bigger powertank or leisure battery needs more thought. Whatever you do. DO NOT rely on crocodile clips on a battery. Use proper clamp terminals. Keep asking the questions. HTH, David.
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