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Everything posted by derherr65

  1. Armadillo, coyote, dogs, birds, and lots of rabbits.
  2. GOTO is very sensitive to date, time, location, and level. If you haven't set your exact lat/long do so. Be fairly meticulous about all of the above numbers. Like a previous poster I have a different system, Meade. There are sub menus that allow the user to retrain the motors, etc. I found that helped my scope significantly.
  3. To avoid eye strain you'll want to adjust the focus of the binoculars the same way you adjust the reticle on a rifle scope. Look at a very distant object (stars work well), pull the binoculars up so you can see the same object through them. You probably will notice your eyes adjust focus. Keep changing the focus of the binoculars until your eyes no longer have to change focus between visual stars and binoculars. Its likely left and right eyes will have slightly different focus point, so if your binoculars have that feature adjust them independently.
  4. Short exposures of planes crossing the moon or as pointers to constellations would also be interesting, perhaps even challenging? Be creative.
  5. Being clairvoyant I'm sure he's gotten the answer by now.
  6. They make a simple round bubble level that would work well. You would still like to rotate the dob to cancel out any error with any of the above levels, I would think.
  7. 1" = 25.4mm, crisis averted. I had to round my 4.5 reflector up to 5 for y'all.
  8. Amateurs! Puppies are not optical devices, they are telescope accessories. By alternately immitating a speed bump and a speeder they aid in slowing motion in their area to prevent accidental bumping of the scope. They are also excellent thermal foot warmers. Any dropped item will be found easily even in pitch black conditions, though may not be returned in the same condition as found. Another use is to mitigate the sticky fingered nature of children, as the puppy's fur takes the initial abuse.
  9. The mount is something I can fabricate, I have a full garage. Looking to give in a little to aperture fever, on the smallest budget possible, while still having goto. I was thinking that means buying a secondhand 6" OTA only, or OTA on a cheap stand. Remaining parts could be sold as a working unit to further reduce cost.
  10. I would love to replace my 4.5" OTA(Meade DS2114 goto) with a larger aperture version that the goto mount would still handle. Are there any light 6" or super compact and light 7-8" that might work?
  11. Made some progress tonight. In and Out focus have similar views, and have reasonable clarity when focused. Ran into a mechanical issue so did not fully test focus. Due to tracking a smaller circle I realised the shadow of the center spot on the primary does not circle and should be centered in the laser receiver regardless. I think sixela is right. The corrector lens makes this model highly sensitive to even small laser errors, and the sloppy focuser aggravates that even more. What sort of laser accuracy is required in my 40' span?
  12. For those of you keeping score, still definitely scribing a circle, though slightly smaller than last time. Now, on to scope collimation.
  13. Ok, laser collimator now accurate to 1/2cm over 12m... or less that 1/4" over 40'. The nearest tape measure happened to be metric. Any closer is going to require bearings and a driver motor.
  14. Too low in the sky for my area. I was using orion, and can see at least a 4.75 reliably tonight.
  15. Pleiades through a 4.5" newt. By luck had just the right size Plossl to fill the field of view, amazing that the little smudge can turn into a cluster of brilliant blue and white stars. Moon through a 3.5" MC.
  16. The surest sign of intelligent life on other planets is that they haven't contacted us. - A very wise man.
  17. That's what the cat wants you to believe. In fact you are being punished for you many transgressions... supper late, stepped on tail, moved squeeky toy, took away dead mouse, etc.
  18. I have done a rough v block collimation of the laser, but intend to do better. Halving the laser error actually made very little difference in the size of circle seen in the scope, hence my suspicion about the corrector lens. Will report back as soon as I have confidence in lasers collimation.
  19. With more than half a moon, walking the dog night vision, leaves off trees making neighbors lights more visible, and a high light haze which is unusual for here, I can see a 5.0. Waiting for a new moon to really do the test.
  20. Lol, as I reread that, thinking spherical mirror, corrector lens, wobble in focuser, possible corrector lens misalignment(glued in naturally!), If I were giving the advice I'd be struggling no to suggest ditch the OTA and put a decent one one the mount.
  21. I am beginning to agree. My results are more consistent, just not effective. The laser collimator is by "ANTARES." I check with a micrometer to make sure the secondary is centered in the 4.5 aperture, and inline with the focuser by making sure the mirror clip is directly opposite the focuser. I sit the laser in the focuser, usually bottomed out, screws just tight enough to prevent wobble. The corrector lens in the focuser turns the laser football(American!) shaped. I've found that the laser also scribes a circle on the primary as it turns. I collimated the laser resulting in a smaller circle. So I declare center the center of the circular path. Adjust the three screws on the secondary to center the laser on the primary mirrors center dot. (also installed by micrometer) Then I adjust the primary to get the laser "dot" to circle the focuser. It is usually half in the focuser hole and half out as it scribes it's circle. I have not found any rule as to how far in out out the secondary should be so it is entirely possible it has wandered while I attempted to visually center the secondary under the focuser. I have measure the focal length of the primary mirror, and found it to be somewhere inside the focuser. I suppose the corrector lens only works correctly if the focus is at some exact point? Is there a way to determine why the laser scribes a circle? I'm sure wobble contributes, but it's too consistent for random wobble. Is it likely the corrector lens is not centered in the focuser? The football shaped laser tumbles as the laser is spun in the focuser so that one flatter side continually points toward the middle.
  22. I'm about ready to throw the towel in. I started with a scope that had an egg shaped view through the eyepiece but fairly clear. After multiple laser and visual collimations I have gotten nice circular and concentric views through the eyepiece, but stars are blurry and planets have multiple lobes. I'm at a loss.
  23. If you had to limit yourself to 2 or 3 scopes, to handle every situation(visual to astrophotography, portable to stationary, etc) what would they be? Having practically no experience, I would go for variety. A 4-5" refractor non-driven, a 8-10" catadioptric equatorial mount and goto, and a 14-20" dobsonian reflector. What do the more experienced say?
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