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Everything posted by SteveA

  1. Have you assigned the mount to the correct COM port ? Steve
  2. Indeed....something doesn't seem quite right here. I would probably apply the thinking that..."if it sounds too good to be true it probably is" Steve
  3. Winter nights are dark and cold! Summer nights are not so dark...but lovely and warm! I don't like the cold! I want to move to the tropics where the nights are dark and warm! ?? Steve
  4. Keeping the filter clean seems to be an important thing to do. I'll certainly be taking better care of my new one....? Steve
  5. I'm looking forward to the auto restart functionality! My old one didn't have that and we suffer a fair number of power outages where I live. I mostly discovered we had had a power cut on finding a dripping wet observatory...very annoying. Glad to hear your unit it is back to doing its job. Steve
  6. Clean...filter? I do vaguely remember reading something about that when I first used the unit. Sad to say that I have never even thought about doing it since, and quite possibly this may have had something to do with my failure. Having just looked at the filter...it actually looks cleanish, which is kind of surprising after 10 years of use! Curious about the spec of your DD822 I,see it now seems to be unavailable? I have however found a direct replacement for my expired unit and I will be ordering one tomorrow http://www.dehumidifiersuk.com/eco-air-dd122fw-mk5-portable-cellar-dryer-dehumidifier-with-2-year-warranty.html Steve
  7. Mine is running on mains power being in an observatory. I installed IP66 rated sockets in the observatory and the whole lot is on its own RCD. So far I haven't electrocuted myself? The whole business with condensation revolves around humidity, temperature and ventilation. Some observatories or out buildings suffer to varying degrees and although ventilation its self can for some people provide an adequate solution, I personally despite plenty of ventilation have always been plagued with it. I normally turn my dehumidifier on around the end of October and it runs until about April. I have a remote weather station and a sensor installed in the observatory, I keep an eye on the temperature and humidity and over the years I have learnt to judge when it's possible to turn it off, so if the weather warms up or the atmospheric pressure is high I know that condensation will not be an issuance I turn the dehumidifier off. Steve
  8. So I guess that unless you have an observatory and use a dehumidifier most people will have little interest in this. On the other hand if you do and you have a desiccant type dehumidifier to keep the inside of your observatory free of the dreaded condensation that seems to build up from around this time of year you may have some interest in this... I purchased my DD1222FW desiccant dehumidified from http://www.dry-it-out.com/dehumidifiers/observatories about 10 years ago. It has given me a perfectly condensation free observatory for all that time and over the ten years I have had it, it has run almost constantly during the winter months. I think you would agree that's pretty good going for what was a relatively cheap bit of kit. With the temperature falling I decided to switch it back on for the 2018 winter season, as usual it started up absolutely fine and did its job for a couple of days. I popped into the observatory last night and as soon as I opened the door I was hit with that all to worrying smell of electrical burning. With the lights off I wasn't quite sure what expect, for a moment I suspected I had left the power on to the astro kit and the whole lot had got fried. Clearly that wasn't the case, but straight away it became apparent that the dehumidifier was dead and no lights were showing. I'm not quite sure what happened to it, there is certainly no outward signs of any kind of inferno, but I'm fairly sure it's terminal and a replacement is required. Of course, this particular model is unfortunately no longer available though DIO seem to have a couple of likely looking contenders. Anyway bottom line is...they clearly don't last forever! Steve
  9. So...the first chance since re-assembling the mount to get it re-installed in the observatory and mount the telescope. First thing I realised is that I have NEVER had the telescope properly balanced! I mounted the Quattro in the normal way and with the now tuned mount it was way off balance in both DEC and RA, I was properly stunned believe me. Both axis are now beautifully free to move with no binding or tight spots. Even the RA axis on which I did the minimum amount of work has significantly improved due to the new bearings and a polished brass gear. It's the DEC axis though that has shown the most improvement though and I now realise how poor it was before. I'm pleased that I took the chance and lapped the dec axis collar, it has totally transformed that axis and together with the new bearings it feels like a completely different mount. I'm hoping that my ability to properly balance the whole setup will lead to better tracking/guiding which was of course the whole point of doing this. I was thinking of trying the old "propeller" test...but I bottled it. I know it would do it, but I just can't quite bring myself to start spinning it like a kiddies toy...just in case it comes off the mount. Just tuning out a bit of free play in the worm and will then get it all polar aligned once the weather improves...fingers crossed! And a bit of a p.s. When I was stripping the mount down, I removed both of the motors, which I had previously modified with the Rowan belt mod kit. I made an interesting and slightly disturbing discovery. On both the RA and DEC motor mounting plates the nylon rollers which are part of the belt modification were extremely loose. What had happened was that the small roller axle which screws into the aluminium mount plate had worked themselves loose. The movement of the belt between these rollers had on both motors caused one of the axles on each assembly to essentially un-screw its self. This was particularly pronounced on the DEC motor and the axle was close to falling out...see the included picture. It was a simply job to tighten these up, but maybe a worth while check for anyone who has modified their mount with this kit. I did my modification about three years ago. Steve
  10. I know the feeling....I wouldn't have done this if I felt I had any option, but after stripping down and installing the new bearings the axis was so tight I was doubtful I could have got close to balancing it. I know it is risky, but using fine abrasives and not going OTT, has I think resolved things. The fact that this has cleared the binding and the stiffness clearly points at this as having been the problem and the axis is far easier to turn than it has ever been. Clearly the proof will be when the mount is loaded up, so I'll definitely update you. Steve
  11. I spent a fun filled evening with a couple of sheets of 2000 & 3000 grit wet and dry lapping the inside of the Dec axis collar! I tried marking the inside of the collar with a magic marker as suggested but I found it difficult to identify specific areas that needed rubbing down, I decided therefor to lap the entire inner surface of the collar. I did however find couple of small rough edged pits at the top of the collar, which I rubbed smooth with the abrasive paper as these were clearly contributing to the binding and roughness when rotating the axis. I cut several strips of abrasive paper about 70mm long and as wide as the depth of the collar, I found that I could hold the paper against the inside of the collar and applying even pressure rotate the collar and spindle on my work bench. this I felt removed material evenly from the entire inner circumference of the collar. I worked gradually using plenty of 3:1 oil to lubricate the paper and cleaning before reassembly and testing. This did make the whole process rather time consuming, in total I guess I spent a good three hours working on this. I dare say a rougher paper would have got through it quicker, but I was paranoid about removing too much material and rendering the mount...knackered. I also added an additional Delrin shim to the top of the Dec gear, raising the collar slightly to try and stop any pottential binding in that area as I could see that the brass barrel was marking the underside of the collar. I have ended up with a slightly larger gap between the collar and the worm housing than I would have liked, but this seems a small price to pay for the added smoothness. The inside of the collar is now silky smooth, there is no binding when reinserting the spindle and...most importantly the axis is now very smooth to rotate with no binding. I still have to reinsert the tapper bearings and tighten everything up but so far as I can't see this has made a massive improvement. Steve
  12. I just found this document on the EQ6 Yahoo group.. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/EQ6/files/Rebuild_and_Adjustment_Tips/?guccounter=1 Its regarding the same issue as far as I can see on the RA axis, so will see if helps in my case... EQ6 RA Clutch Fine Tune.pdf
  13. I will check the taper bearing later, I hadn’t thought about that, but I have a feeling that isn’t the issue. I have a set of shims as well...just in case?
  14. I’m glad it isn’t just me?. It seemed strange to me when I bought it, that it didn’t spin freely, but at the time I was a bit of a newbie, so I just accepted it. I would probably have sent it back if I had been more knowledgable. Interesting that you have the same problem on a mount of the same age, maybe there was an issue with the casting at that time. I agree with you, that the barrel and the collar aren’t sized correctly. As I say though, new bearings have actually made things worse, so maybe even the spindle isn’t “true”. I’m also thinking about upgrading the mount....not that I can afford it though? Steve
  15. I did think about that...I simply can't afford it unfortunately. Though having spent over £100 on bearings..I'm wondering now if I made the right call!
  16. Yes....I have the clutch removed and the weight collar is just as loose as it can be, however the gear is engaged with the worm to keep it static. The dec setting circle isn't binding and can be rotated freely. With the weight collar as loose as it is I can pull the dec collar over the barrel of the dec gear by about 7 mm and its still binding.
  17. This has turned into one of those jobs I wish I hadn't started.... My EQ6 is around 10 years old now and has always had an issue with a stiff dec axis. I've managed to live with it over the years and despite two previous strip downs and re-greasing I've never been able to cure it. It certainly has made balancing that axis problematical though in operation the mount has worked reasonably well. I decided the other week to try and super tune the mount...I emphasise TRY! I decided on replacing all of the bearings and these are now installed. However, I had an absolute nightmare of a job getting the dec spindle and collar re-installed. It was extremely tight and now the stiffness in this axis is actually worse. Clearly the issue is with the barrel of the dec worm gear binding within the collar. I'm not sure why this should suddenly be worse but it is. I've double checked that all of the bearings are seated correctly and they look okay. I feel like the barrel needs some lubrication, but all the tips I've seen on re-assembly suggest not applying any grease to the outside of the barrel? I can understand keeping the section of the barrel that the clutch button engages with grease free, but is it really necessary to avoid lubrication on the rest of this? Having said this I'm not altogether sure that lubrication would cure the issue anyway and I'm considering taking to the barrel of the worm gear, or the inside of the collar with a fine abrasive to see if I can reduce the binding. I'm feeling like this could do it but I'm some what nervous of totally wrecking the thing. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Steve
  18. That is a possibility I guess. As you say the PrimaLuce rings are really rather expensive, especially when you consider the fact that a set of rings of this size from Skywatcher are only about £50. It seems to me that Synta are missing a trick here. Their latest mounts are equipped with dual Vixen/Losmandy clamps, but all their OTAs come with only a Vixen dovetail (I assume that statement is correct?). I know Synta have drawn criticism on certain aspects of their hardware over the years and in some cases have addressed these, strangely I've never heard complaints relating to mounting bars etc. Steve
  19. So...a wet Saturday afternoon and sitting at work slightly bored....always dangerous! I got to thinking about mounting my F4 Quattro on a Losmandy style mounting plate. I upgraded the EQ6 dovetail mounting clamp to an Altair dual Vixen/Losmandy clamp a while back and although this clamp is a seriously beefy bit of kit, the Vixen/Synta dovetail seems fairly flimsy in comparison. It seemed like a fairly obvious thing to consider just replacing the standard dovetail with a nice wide and presumably more stable Losmandy plate. However, this doesn't seem as easy, possibly not even feasible with the Skywatcher tube rings, which are obviously designed for the standard dovetail. The attachment between the tube rings and the dovetail is on a remarkably small base and even if it were possible to attach these rings to a Losmandy plate, this small attachment base would likely not increase the stability of the mounting to any degree. So.....how about upgrading the tube rings? I almost had it when I stumbled across the Primaluce tube rings. Unfortunately....not available for tubes with 288mm OD! Very anoying as these would have been just right. https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomy/250mm-plus-support-rings.html So...the big question....Losmandy plate and a Skywatcher 250 Quattro...is it possible? Steve
  20. I stumbled across a link a few days back, which I've subsequently lost now, however the topic was around an upgraded polar scope/reticule for the EQ6. I've searched around but can't seem to find anywhere that actually sells this, so I'm not sure now if I just imagined this or if in fact the thing exists at all. Anyone got any info on this and/or where it can be sourced from? (FLO doesn't seem to have it on their web site) Steve I
  21. I always used to prefer Sky & Telescope as well... I like the style, the way the mag was laid and what I consider, very rich and varied content. Of course it's one of the oldest amateur orientated publications. I remember drooling over uber expensive Celestron telescopes in editions back in the 70's. It used to be available on the shelf in WH Smith until reasonably recently, but since they stopped carrying it I don't read it anymore? Steve
  22. I was feeling flush this time last year and forked our £18 for the Geoptik grease. https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/geoptik-equatorial-mount-grease-kit.html Unfortunately events conspired against me and I never managed the planned mount strip down, so I can't tell you if it’s any good or not. I’m hoping to do the strip down over the coming weeks....time permitting ? Steve
  23. Curious that you couldn't use pulse guiding particularly as you are using EQMOD. I would be tempted to pursue that method and do away with the old ST4 cable for good. Steve
  24. I have the predecessor.....it was expensive, but it was also a huge lump of superbly engineered aluminium. I was surprised to see it being no longer made. Despite a few small issues it was a great bit of kit? Steve
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