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Found 28 results

  1. After discovering a periodic signal (once every 11 seconds) in my guiding in the RA axis I did a bit of digging and found the motor pinion rotates 1 rev/11 sec at sidereal rate. By motor pinion I don't mean the big brass spur gear visible with you take the cover off... I mean the output from the motor before the reduction gearbox. When I spin the motor at a fast speed you can easily see that the pinion wobbles about which is not a good thing. The pinion is simply hammered onto the somewhat thin drive shaft rather than held in place by a grub screw. Dec motor wobbles the same. On the Celestron website there are photos of the CGX and CGEM motors and they look exactly the same... this may suggest the wobbly pinion is not an issue :/ I then opened up the encoder. Nothing odd there but the optical wheel was worryingly grubby so I cleaned it with a damp cotton bud. There were markings on the PCB: "E8300 Rev.A RoHS". Time to open up the gearbox. Inside are 4 pairs of cogs. The gear ratios are: Motor pinion (9 teeth) -> 2nd gear (27 teeth) ==> 1:3 3rd gear (11 teeth) -> 4th gear (33 teeth) ==> 1:3 5th gear (11 teeth) -> 6th gear (33 teeth) ==> 1:3 7th gear (16 teeth) -> 8th gear (32 teeth) ==> 1:2 Overall reduction 54:1 Motor output speed 1 rev/ 11 sec Worm period: 11*54 = 594 seconds Note 2nd, 3rd and 4th cogs are plastic, possibly ok due to the low torque at that stage although someone here on SGL has experienced a split gear. I found that cleaning off all the excess grease results in a much smoother gearbox. I was tempted to open the motor casing itself but thought better of it So I was left with what to do about my RA high freguency periodic error... in the end it seemed a good idea to swap the Dec and RA motors over to see if that would help, especially as I had everything in pieces. Also my RA motor has had a hard life so far... my RA axis had been very, very tight - so tight I could not turn the worm by hand. This was due the tension ring being ridiculously overtightened and also the worm mounting bottom bolts being completely loose so the worm was not seated against on the ring gear properly. I only recently fixed this. I'm surprised the motor had not burnt out or a plastic gear split. I'm hoping it may have developed a slight problem and that the swap will help, though I admit it's a long shot. So will test shortly and see what the outcome is
  2. Took my Celestron AVX Mount out this afternoon to familiarize my self with it in the daylight. Wasn’t sure if or how it would work, since it’s my first goto Mount. I got it setup per the directions and attached the SkySync GPS. It locked on my location very quickly so I did the Quick Align option just as a test. The polar scope was oriented north, and I used Sky Safari to locate stars I couldn’t see cause it was daytime. My first choice was Sirius and it slewed right around to what should be the general vicinity! I then chose Venus in the West and off it went! I hit home and it went back to the original setup position. I can’t wait to take it out tomorrow night and really put it through it’s paces! This is totally most excellent!
  3. I have just had my Celestron AVX mount back from Dark Frame Optics (DFO) after a hypertune. Has anyone else had their AVX mount tuned by DFO and would be happy to share their data? I have a C8, 6.3 focal reducer with DSLR camera on the back so I would be keen to know what the maximum exposure time I can expect for both unguided and guided with my set up? I have seen conflicting answers from various sources. I don't think 10 minutes unguided is possible with a C8, maybe with a lighter OTA or DSLR with lens attached. Thank you
  4. Here's a quick guide to adjusting the tightness on the Dec and RA axes on the AVX mount. Freeing up the axes means better guiding, less wear on gears and motors (some gears in the drivetrain are plastic), lower worm PE and you will be able to balance more precisely. Dec axis: Remove the counterweight bar and cup to reveal the tension ring. To adjust this first loosen the 2 grub screws at its side... there is a small access hole at the side of the housing. You'll need a tiny allen key to do this. Then use a slightly larger, stiffer allen key and insert this into the access hole and against the grub screw so that the tension ring is wedged tight against the allen key - this serves to hold the tension ring in place as you turn the axis, no need for a special tool! Now rotate the mount saddle anti-clockwise to loosen the tension ring until you feel some vertical play (grab hold of the saddle and move up and and down to test). Slowly tighten until there's no play. Tighten grub screws. RA axis: Remove the plastic cup at the end of the axis. The RA tension ring has 3 grub screws and the access hole is hidden by the control panel cover (3 screws hold this in place). My RA axis was very tight and needed a few turns of the axis before I got any vertical play. For those wishing to improve their AVX further I recommend adjusting the worm housings in both axes.
  5. My AVX mount is having some issues, and I'm currently working with my retailer to resolve them. I'm curious though if anyone else is aware of similar issues to what I'm seeing? Sometimes during a long slew, the mount "hiccups" as the slew gets momentarily interrupted then continues, with some inaccuracies in slews after this occurs. After a higher-speed slew, the mount starts making ticking noises, that match when the worm spur gear appears to repeatedly jerk as the drive is being taken up for normal tracking - as if the worm is sticking somehow. The motor spur gear has maybe 2-3mm of lateral rocking movement (in the same plane as the gear) seen as drive is reversed. Difficulties with contact over the handset serial port with the current (early Jan '16) firmware revisions on the mount and handset. I have video of these behaviours, but as I'm working with the retailer I won't post them up until after we've worked it out with the UK supplier. I'm interested to see if my issues are one-off and confined to my particular example or fairly typical of this mount as a whole. I'm just hoping that I won't have to exchange another time, or to have to swap to a completely different manufacturer. Note that I'm currently quite happy with how my retailer is dealing with the situation which is why I've no need to name that retailer at the moment, but I'm becoming unhappy at how slow the Celestron upstream supplier is proving at the moment. (I'm trying to use the mount for video astronomy, for video astronomy for outreach, and for the first steps into basic guided astrophotography. These issues make it more difficult to achieve these..)
  6. Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help with an autoguiding problem. I have a Celestron AVX mount. I cannot get it to guide at all externally. It moves fine from the handset. I have tried guiding from FireCapture, PHD2 (both auto and just manually guiding) I have tried to connect via the USB to Handset, and via the autoguide port (via my ASI290mc). I know the handset port communicates (on COM4) because I flashed the Celestron Firmware. I am beginning to think I have a tech support problem, but I want to rule out errors on my part. Thanks, Long time lurker, first time poster.
  7. I have a Nexstar+ handset on my AVX and despite reading the manual and scrolling through the options; I cannot find where to search by entering RA & Dec on the handset. Mostly I have been using the Deepsky and Stars sub headings to enter SAO, search Messiers etc but can't find search by RA & Dec can you help please? I can see that you can enter and save targets in User objects by entering and saving RA & Dec... It could be me suffering a sleepy head??
  8. £45 plus postage: AVX pier adapter, made by Altair Astro (they are £79 at present)
  9. Celestron Avx mount for sale, great condition..just over 2 years old ..guides fantastic with a 80mm refractor..im doing 10-15 min guided subs and it handles it very well indeed..will be sad to see it go but need a mount with a bigger payload for imaging with my sct.. £400,really don't want to post this..im in Kent but work in the Hertford/Cambridge area most weeks..
  10. idigitize

    New toys

    From the album: My Kit

  11. Hi there, may be a silly question that has been answered many times before. I have been in astronomy for over 35 years. I have a celestron 9.25 SCT on an AVX mount (my first goto which I bought in march this year) , i think the mount is great in that it is portable, and pretty sturdy, but it loses alignment after a couple of hours (and its a pain sometimes to get it aligned also for some reason, the keypad spews garbage at times, so I reset). Anyone else found this problem, and is it worth upgrading to a cgemii, or something like a CGX, or maybe an EQ6 if its suitable ? I am a visual observer, so I would assume an AVX would suffice, but I tempted to save up for a cgem ii, or cgx. As at times it seems the mount is labouring with a 41mm TV panoptic. (I use a tracer power supply, so power is fine). I make sure everything is well balanced. Ohh and I bought a skysync GPS for it, that helps , even though it costs a daft amount for what it does. Advice and experience appreciated. Cheers, and clear skies!
  12. Hi guys, Okay so I have a few questions regarding my AVX mount that have basically generated from me reading up on setting up my mount. Please don’t think I’m lazy, I have read up a lot regarding my new mount (hence the questions) and learned a lot so far but as I’ve only had the mount a week and due to work and time constraints I have been unable to do any more than literally unpack the mount and put it together. I should mention it took 30 minutes to flatten all the cardboard ready for Mr Recycling Man but the more packaging the better so no complaints there at all!! So, my questions are so I can have a one stop shop answer reference rather than trying to remember where all the tips were on this wealth of knowledge forum. Please excuse my ignorance, I’ve had my trusty Sky Watcher 130p AZ2 for 6 years so I’ve not just jumped in blind ..... 1) Why is there a necessity to ensure the mount is facing the correct direction when setting up the scope? 2) I’ve heard similar comments made with regard to members permanent piers in their observatories, again, what is being referred to here and how would you ensure a circular steel pier IS facing a correct direction? 3) Does the peg on the tripod Base plate need to be directly over one of the legs or is it fine where it is positioned? (In between two legs) 4) Is there anything I should do during daylight hours other than align the (finderscope) in preparation for the alignment process? 5) Do I need to update my mount with the latest firmware (?) Software upgrade or can I assume as I bought it 3 weeks ago it will come up to date? 6) HOW do I update my firmware software? 7) How accurate does the declination need to be? Can I work off the (slightly crude) scale on the mong or should I be looking at getting a digital spirit level for accuracy? 8) With vibration in mind, until I sort out a permanent pier my scope will be on the tripod in the observatory, should I allow the tripod legs to stand on the soft flooring foam tiles or should it be on the wooden floor of the shed? 9) Do I need to worry about leaving my spanking new scope and mount exposed to the elements, all be it under a waterproof bike cover in the obs and secure? Slightly nervous ? I really appreciate your time in both reading and hopefully replying with some useful guidance! All the best, looking forwards to those clear skies!
  13. Hi there, I'm looking for an extension tube to put on top of my Tripod. It's an AVX Tripod, but I won't be using it with an AVX head; it'll be used with a Giro Ercole mount. Both the Tripod and the Ercole Mount have 3/8" threads on the connector. I know it's difficult to get an extension to which the AVX mount itself will fit, because it requires a North peg in a different location from the usual Skywatcher types, but that's not an issue here as I'm attaching a Giro mount, which as far as I can tell does not require a North peg, but tell me if I'm wrong. All I really need is an extension which will physically fit on the AVX Tripod, not the AVX mount. Any ideas?
  14. Hi guys and girls, So I've decided on a 9.25" SCT for my upgrade as initially I want to continue visual observations whilst dabbling in imaging with my DSLR. Then I will look to increase my set up. The question I have is would the AVX be capable of dealing with a imaging set up, whether it be a guidescope or off axis guider? Assume I will be using a monochrome CCD camera with filter wheel when I say imaging setup and not my DSLR. OR should I down size the scope to an 8" as upscaling mount beyond the AVX isnt really an option unless i look at the EQ6. Your thoughts please.
  15. Hi. In preperation for a remote box-observatory i have been setting up a pc for telescope controll and more. I now have Kubuntu working with a ssh tunnel and headless vnc setup. KStars is installed with all necesarry drivers for my celestron avx, eos 550d and orion autoguider. Everything starts up in KStars and i have controll over all the exuiptment, except! The issue. 1. When slewing to an object using the nextstar hc on the mount: Recticle in KStars moves in the same path as the telescope, and ends up at desired target. 2. When slewing to a RA/DEC coordinate in INDI control panel -> Eq.Coordinates: Recticle moves as excpected and ends up on target. 3. When selecting a target in KStars gui, right clicking and selecting slew or track in mounts context menu: All kinds of craisyness.... The recticle moves erratic. Sometimes to high in the sky, and sometimes down in the ground. At one point i ended with the counterweight bar straight up and the scope pointing more or less at polaris, when telling it to slew to the zenith. The strange thing is that the recticle in KStars is pointing where the teleskope is pointing. So KStars "knows" that it's not pointing the scope at the target i selected, but it keeps on going. I was thinking it could be some time-site issue, but the t-s is set up in INDI control panel. Using INDI to slew manually, everything works as expected. Not 100% sure how the sync option works in KStars. Could i have synced to some random place in the sky and "un"calibrated KStars? Don't know how to undo it if that's the case. New to KStars and INDI. Hope someone can help with this issue. Magnus.
  16. I can confirm that there are issues with connecting via serial to the Nexstar+ handset on the AVX mount with the latest firmware . I'm currently trying to guarantee the behaviour process I'm seeing but it's intermittent and that is annoying when trying to troubleshoot. I'm having problems in getting repeatability of the issues being seen, but this is the most consistent behaviour I'm getting. The behaviour I'm seeing is: With everything powered off, I connect up the cables between my SkyFi and the handset. I put the handset in the cradle so it doesn't move. I've previously modified the cradle to allow the serial cable free access to the handset port when connected. I power up the SkyFi, and I confirm I have connection to my wifi router. I power on the mount and awaken from hibernation, entering the date and time (without moving the handset from the cradle), and the mount sits at the standard prompt on the screen, and the mount has started tracking. Trying to connect via SkySafari 4 on my tablet, I get an error that I can make the wifi connection but not to the mount itself. Touching nothing else I gently tap the "2" button to get to the Stars menu, then I hit "back" and exit out of that submenu back to the main prompt. Attempting to connect again on the tablet, I immediately get the telescope connection and it appears stable for the rest of the session. It's not likely to cabling, as I've exchanged out all of the SkyFi to serial cabling, and I'm seeing computer serial port difficulties as well. If it were cabling it would not just start working each time at the same point when I've exited the submenu.It really does look as though the handset doesn't communicate on the handset serial port until submenus have been entered and exited from. As an aside, when the mount is pointing exactly at 90 degrees declination, it actually reports itself on the serial port as being at 0 degrees declination. Interesting way of avoiding the RA singularity at that point. My mount's firmware levels are current as of January 10th at least.
  17. Hi After selling all my equipment some time ago I have now started the hobby again with a C925 on an AVX mount. Last night was my first chance to try out the Starsense Accessory, which seemed to work quite well. However I was a bit concerned that when doing the calibration for the SSA camera position and during the Polar Alignment routine the tracking seemed very jerky at higher magnifications. The video I took of Jupiter after alignment did not seem to show this (although poor in all other ways) so I don't know if the jerkiness is something to do with tracking mode used by the SSA handset during alignment. It could also be a mount fault or poor balance but I would expect that to show in the video? Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks Barry
  18. Here's a thing, I have a beautiful condition AVX and have been looking at the amount of weight she will take.... 30lbs 13.6kg (although there was a view 35lbs from somewhere I read) I just weighed my 150 Frac and without EP, Diagonal and Telrad it's coming up 9.8kg ... that leaves me 3.8kg for counterweight mmm I take it the load of the mount is scope plus counterweights? I think I might need a bigger boat????
  19. Noticing a break in the cloud late evening on my 'Weather Channel' app; I decided to practice my new polar alignment skills on my wonderful sturdy AVX mount. Armed with my weapon of choice - the sensational Altair Starwave 102 F/11 Achro Frac which never fails to give me crystal clear and colourful views, I made my way onto the lush green grass of my girlfriends reasonable dark, edge of town garden lawn. It's fair to say that when I started it was very cloudy and it proved quite entertaining trying to catch alignment stars teasing me by peeping out between the white stuff. Last week I treated myself to an illuminated reticule which has turned out to be a fantastic addition to my armoury. Talk about centering stars in the field of view (perfect). Also following a suggestion from a practical friend I utilised my zoom EP for the first time when honing in on centering stars. Chuffed to bits with my new found polar alignment skills and equipment I proceeded to observe. I confirmed alignment by pin point precision by capturing some obvious targets. I then selected my 12mm Meade HD-60 and decided to whizz through some doubles and trust the handset tour to provide some interesting objects, using that EP gave me 100 x magnification. I actually think it was a great tactic as I didn't have to change my EP once (unit the end) So at 100x on everything. M11 the Wild Duck Cluster literally blew my pants off...! I acknowledged a smile when seeing 95 Her and 61 Cyg I noted as kind of yellow orange… Sissy Haas marks those as Amber Yellow so I was bang on :-) lovely! M57 The ring nebula was a Wow moment... Probably my imagination and my brain filling in what I knew was there but it looked in colour and so ‘ring like’ it was brilliant... M76 little dumbbell wasn't so clear but at least I could make it out ok. Delta Cep and Alberio were lovely and got me all double excited. 17 Cyg - Great and of course Zeta Lyra - lovely NGC 869 & ngc 844 The Double Cluster was sweet! I mean - really sweet and filled my field of view. Andromeda (was there) it's more what it is, that excites me more than what it looks like when you’ve seen it a few times (don't get me wrong I'm not under selling this great target). ‘Just to see Gamma Delphini is worth the price of a telescope’ So says Sissy Haas in the rather nice book 'Double Stars for small telescopes'. So I checked it out and can confirm that; Gamma Delphinium was amazing! like two tiny gold circles in the 102 so for this I decided to select my 6.5mm Meade for a closer look - and at 184x Gamma Delphini was stunning... I then did a few single stars which is good fun in that 102.. I love the sharpness of that frac. The AVX is such a solid mount and was really nice to set up. The 2" tripod is although heavy, very solid! Aligning with that illuminated reticle is brilliant and fair play to the sec suggesting the zoom EP for hunting initially. Last night felt like the damp is on it's way, although the kit stayed nice and dew free... I packed in not long after 11 as I had achieved my objective of super successful polar alignment and got to see some wonderful objects… As I cleared away the milky way gave me a farewell wave before being engulfed in the white stuff again. Great night, great timing and worth noting it would have been easy for me to pack up as I was starting due to the cloud but I hung in there waiting for that clear session... I’m back in love with this great but sometimes frustrating hobby :-) Bring on the long nights of winter!
  20. Dusted off the scope last night to check if everything is working ok, aimed for a quick bash at Jove, then some fiddling with the OAG setup using M13 as target. Attached is Jupiter at around 1030 with Io bottom left. I was quite pleased as only had 2 runs of 3 minutes before moving onto the guiding practice which went 'badly'
  21. Celestron 9.25" SCT AVX GOTO with EXTRAS Celestron 9.25" AVX SCT (bought in march 2017 from FLO). As new, in immaculate condition. 9.25” (235mm) f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain includes StarBright XLT coatings. Tripod is a Celestron Advanced VX goto mount with Nextar+. Includes everything that came with the scope,6x30finder, 25mm plossl etc. Also includes.. Astrozap 9.25" Flexi-Heat Dew Shield. (RRP £73) Artesky Padded Bag. (to protect the OTA). (RRP £89.50) SkySync 16 channel GPS Accesory. (RRP £155) This is on ABS, lil bit cheaper on here. Collection Required. I have upgraded to a cpc 1100 (11") SOLD to Shaun Price: £1,300
  22. Hi guys. Recently I had the opportunity to restart my hobby with a short astro-imaging test run in the back yard - a nice quiet little playground actually, near the place where I live. My setup consists of an eq mount (AVX), a dslr (EOS 550D), and either a classical M42 manual focus photo lens (anywhere from a Takumar 35 to a Tair3S 300mm, sometimes aided by a 1.5x or a 2x TC), or an ED refractor (C80) most of the time reduced with a 0.8x FF/FR. Since the area where my observing spot is falls within a +5 NELM around Zenith, I always use a LP filter (IDAS LPS P2 2", or Optolong CLS 1.25") for better results. Unfortunately my mount isn't PEC'ed yet, but I'm quite confident that i'll soon be able to achieve this goal, as it is rather imperative if I am to get any useful >120s subs. Guiding is not my main objective, as I do not have all the possibilities to do that - technically, logistically, financially... etc. A couple of nights ago I went for a test run with a rather unconventional "weapon" - the SW 127 MC. Yes, that's right, a Mak for DSO. Now, I know some of you have already played with this kind of instrument before, and had some pretty decent results. I also know that many imagers with higher standards have the habit to blame this little scope for its limitations. But who cares.. It's all about experimenting and having some late night fun. I used mine with a 0.63x FR, set at 0.73x due to the actual chip-to-lens distance I got, which brings down the focal ration from an infamous 11.8 to a more usable 8.6, which is quite doable exposure-wise, but a little inconvenient when it comes to star shape and vignetting (although the latter can be dealt with by means of flat frames). With a MC-SCT thread adapter and a custom made rotatable SCT-2"-M42 adapter, I could use both the Celestron reducer and the 2" LP filter with the dslr on the Mak127, for a couple of dozens 50/50 hit rate 30s subs for each object, along with a set of correction frames (darks, flats, bias). I really hope next time, with PEC, the hit rate (percentage of usable subs with round stars) will increase, and subs will be longer, so I can take better images. Until then, this is what I managed to get. Processing is done in a "keep-it-simple-son" manner: DSS & PS CS5. I didn't bother shooting RAW, although I am aware of the limitation of using JPG correction frames. Maybe next time Clear skies, everyone!
  23. Hey guys, First post here. I received my AVX mount 2 days ago, and on my second night I finally got the Go-To and tracking right. First night the controller didn't ask my for location info, and I didn't input location by overriding the preset. I was doing some visual observing, and then decided to photograph Alberio. For that I had to remove my eyepiece and attach my camera. And because the mount is ALWAYS tracking (what ever it is pointed at), the motors are running, and I was worried to put even slight pressure on the tube while tightening the t-adapter. Is it ok to put slight pressure on the telescope to reconfigure it, while the mount is turned on? I would prefer to keep the mount turned on, since every time I turn it off, I have to input the date and time over again. And maybe there is a way to disable tracking? I also noticed that when the clutches are released, its still hard to balance, because it doesn't swing freely. How do you guys do precise balancing with the AVX? Thanks in advance!
  24. Hi Everyone, Just wanted to post my experiences with the Celestron AVX+Advanced GT and Celestron's Firmware Manager (CFM) - Specifically Boot Loader Errors I've used Celestron's Advanced GT Mount for a few years and only had a Boot Loader error once. The Good people at FLO re-flashed my handset and away I went. Happy camper Before getting in touch with FLO, I tried desperately for days to try and re-flash myself (I've worked as an IT hardware repair technician for years so i'm not an id10T but I am certainly no programmer/software engineer). I used probably every version of CFM available and every version of windows / XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 (also contacted Celestron and had 2 people sending me links to CFM - they couldn't figure it out!) also I should point out i was using 3 different computers AND 2 completely different cables lol. I never managed to update my handset due to - freezing / crashing / mount not detected and the general instability of CFM. Now on to my AVX. I'm very happy with it overall but i've only had it a few weeks. Tonight it threw a Boot Loader error at me (just as i was about to start collecting data on Andromeda ) - very similar if not exactly the same as my older Advanced GT. ahh....SO it's ok i'm thinking! I just re-flash! Hmmmm lol now my re-flash worked sort of and I now get "Advanced GT" on the screen with an error 17 "No response invalid model" Personally I think CFM is JUNK (I've seen more stability/reliability with windows vista and an 8800GT playing Crysis 1 lol) it has taken me 5 years and 2 mounts to come to that conclusion. What are we to do if we plan a trip and the skies are just right - then (BOOT LOADER ERROR) pops up? Anyone else had any similar experiences or feel frustrated by this? Sure if you can re-flash in 10mins then your good to go but what if that ends your trip and AP session? There is no way i'm alone in this Thanks for reading and please share your experiences! Nuka
  25. Hi guys, Having had difficulty in aligning and never actually managing to get my AVX to track to the standard I know it can, is the Celestron StarSense gadget the answer? I know I can align my scope accurately if I put the effort in and having moved last year I’ve been unable to have my mount fixed on a pier so I’m seriously considering this piece of kit as an easier way to align and to motivate me to get out more often. Please share your thoughts..... Adaaam75
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