Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

stargazine_ep29_banner.thumb.jpg.da7f3b163f7bd35187cb558b0346baf6.jpg

Recommended Posts

You may have seen that a 28lb box containing my new mount was delivered to work last Thursday direct from Austin, Texas in the thread:

'UK 'astronomer' spots another 'Nova'...'

So added below are the now customary SGL 'un-boxing' shots of my new baby....

On Saturday I had chance to try out the Tak and get my head around the Half Hitch Telescope 'two axis balance' philosophy, see:

http://www.halfhitchtelescope.com/two-axis%20balancing.htm

More shots to follow in due course....

Damian

post-4105-0-11675900-1399242873_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-69689700-1399242878_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-10237800-1399242886_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-47392000-1399242890_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-98543300-1399242893_thumb.jp

Edited by TakMan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that is once serious business like looking mount

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Had chance to learn the Half Hitch 'two axis balancing' that the Nova employs on Saturday plus it was sunny - so took a few pictures of the new gear! 
The Berlebach Planet came from FLO's 'Clearance Section' a few months ago in anticipation of the delivery and has worked a treat - looks nice too and I'm now glad I didn't opt for a metal one, liking the 'play' of the warmth of wood and it's grain against the CNC metalwork.
The Planet has the EQ6 head, so I did have to import from Germany the 3/8" adapter - but that, along with the Half Hitch Telescope 'TQR' Tripod Quick Release has added some more height/clearance for the azimuth drive and given a bit more zenith clearance due to the wide head of the tripod.
The TQR was an inspired idea from Charles. Apart from being beautifully designed and made, it makes set-up as easy as adding a DSLR camera to your standard tripod's quick release mechanism. There is no fumbling to find the screw hole and scratching the underside of your mount, or worse getting the angles all wrong and then crossing the threads. The wide contact plate almost 'guides' the two surfaces together in a sure-footed way and offers plenty of contact area for you to happily use one hand to close the cam locks - another superb design choice.
If any of you have a tripod and mount using the standard 3/8-16 screw method, I urge you to consider an order from his next batch!
Anyway, onto some pictures - with more to follow of my 'new toy'....
Pic 1: Quick release and Nova Hitch
Pic 2: Quick Release back, azimuth cam lock and encoder housing
Pic 3: Half Hitch Telescope's 'TQR' Tripod Quick Release
Pic 4: Quick Release on Berlebach Planet (thanks FLO!)  :icon_salut:
Pic 5: Nova Hitch Yoke detailing and Dovetail-Saddle
Pic 6: Nova Hitch front face
Pic 7: Nova Hitch Side Profile1
Pic 8: Nova Hitch Side Profile2
Pic 9: Saddle back assembly

post-4105-0-56024800-1399368082_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-49377000-1399368317_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-85032300-1399368353_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-16891200-1399368416_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-75191800-1399368543_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-62717500-1399368550_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-60353100-1399368556_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-14285200-1399368588_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-38857600-1399368766_thumb.jp

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that chaps....

I've had another chance to play with the Half Hitch 'two axis balance' routine in the daylight over the weekend as the nights have been so poor recently too have a chance to try her out.

I'm getting there in slow increments and can so far accommodate eyepieces ranging from the 1.55lb 17mm Ethos down to the lightest at 0.95lb, the 8mm (refocusing as I go), without adding any tension to the altitude clutch**. This means that the scope remains completely fluid at any angle, no matter which Ethos I use. I can add a touch of 'resistance' if I need to, just to temper any inertia...

So far though, the weight of the 21mm (2.25lb) is too much for this current setting, the weight pushing the focuser end down.... I can overcome this weight offset by adding tension/resistance into the axis to combat it (the slow motion controls are ambivalent to the added tension and remain completely fluid though, which should also remain true when the tracking motors are engaged), but I want to experiment to see if I can keep any added tension down to a minimum when I am manually manipulating the scope from just grabbing the diagonal.

Another option would be to add a small counterweight onto the OTA to offset the 21, but that is a last resort!

**I have to lock the altitude axis when performing an eyepiece change mind (a quick operation using the black cam-locks), otherwise the scope will drop down to the horizontal safety stop!

Some more pics, now with the scope added as well...

Detail1 Altitude drive arm, encoder housing and tracking motor

Detail2 Altitude manual slow motion control and tracking unit

Detail3 Azimuth drive arm and tracking power hook-up

Detail4 Altitude clutch tensioner, horizontal stop, cam lock saddle

Detail5 Nova Hitch two-axis up-down saddle adjusters

Detail6 Nova Hitch tracking Azimuth drive gearing

Berlebach Planet, Nova Hitch and TSA102s

Tak fitted to Nova Hitch close-up

Tak on Nova Hitch - users perspective

Tak on Nova Hitch - front view

Detail1 Nova Hitch and Takahashi TSA102s

Detail2 Nova Hitch and Takahashi TSA102s

Detail3 Nova Hitch and Takahashi TSA102s

Zenith reach BEFORE filterwheel adjustment!

Damian

post-4105-0-57531300-1399902622_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-60746800-1399902635_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-68714500-1399902653_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-87385900-1399902666_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-92330500-1399902683_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-62046800-1399902700_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-29279400-1399902718_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-16654800-1399902731_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-77013900-1399902744_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-87244800-1399902759_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-40928600-1399902771_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-31365100-1399902785_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-89721600-1399902803_thumb.jp

post-4105-0-10403900-1399902819_thumb.jp

Edited by TakMan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Coastliner
      Hello all,
      I have just discovered the  benefit of turning off the auxiliary encoders on my AZ-EQ5GT.  Goto after a PA puts the target in the fov first time with no star align or platesolving. My question is does the mount also have primary or main encoders? or does it rely on accurate home positioning and accurate stepper motors for goto? 
    • By Gasconman
      I’ve found two apps and a couple of pieces of photo kit that I think could be a big help to other raw beginners like me. But before I get into detail on those, I would just like to mention my experience with my red dot finder.
      The Sky-Watcher RDF which came with my Sky-Watcher 130M failed on its second outing. As I was reluctant to accept a replacement, FLO kindly gave me a voucher to set against the cost of a Baader 30mm SkySurfer III. I don't have a reticle eyepiece so, to make sure I was setting up the RDF accurately, I first sighted a target about 2 kms away from me using a 25mm eyepiece, getting the target in the centre of the EP as best I could judge (in daylight this is). I then adjusted the RDF until it fell on the target. I then swapped the 25mm EP for an 18mm and found that the target was off-centre slightly, so I re-aligned the scope and made further adjustments to the RDF. Finally, I changed the 18mm EP for an 8mm and did the same again. At the end of this, my RDF was absolutely spot on.
      OK, moving on to the apps, the first is called PolarAligner, the second is called SkEye.
      PolarAligner comes in two versions, free and paid for. The ‘Pro’, paid for version (which is cheap enough) has a ‘Daytime Alignment’ setting which I don’t think is available in the free version. Using ‘Daytime Alignment’, you lay your phone down on its back, on your mount, and parallel with the axis of the mount. You then adjust the azimuth and altitude positions of the mount with the aim of centring a white cross against a red target. Et voila! When you’ve done that, your mount is pretty much polar aligned! And in daylight! I lay my phone along my EQ2 mount axis by resting each end of the phone on the bottom of the two tube rings, holding it there with an elasticated hair band, kindly donated by my partner. See the image below taken in my home at around midday today.
      SkEye is a free app which is similar to other sky map apps, except that it allows you to enter a target object and then shows you in which direction to move your phone in order to find that target. After you’ve selected your target, the app creates a circle with an arrow projecting from it, the arrow pointing in the direction in which you have to move the phone. When you have located the target, the circle brightens and expands, the arrow disappears, and the target is shown inside the circle.
      To put the two apps into use, I swapped the tube rings on my mount, placing the one carrying the ¼” tripod screw at the front. After daytime aligning my mount with PolarAligner Pro, I fully tightened the azimuth and altitude settings on my scope and then fixed the OTA in place. In my case a Sky-Watcher Explorer 130.
      The two pieces of photo kit I happened to have in my collection of bits and pieces were a spring-loaded smartphone holder with a ¼” tripod bush, and a dual camera photo bracket. The latter is about 25 cms long, and has a ¼” tripod bush at the centre  with two 1/4" tripod screws on either side, each adjustable along a length of about 7 cms. I fixed the dual camera adapter to the front tube ring and then attached the phone holder to the right side of the adapter, as per the pics below. Then it was simply a case of putting my phone in the holder and making sure that it was exactly perpendicular to the OTA in both planes.
      When I fired up SkEye and searched for Polaris... bingo!... I saw Polaris located in the circle as you can see in the photo below... so 10/10 for PolarAligner.
      Using SkEye in a phone properly fixed to the OTA like this, you have yourself a brilliant ‘PUSH-TO’ facility. You can then obviously refine your target fix with your properly aligned RDF.
      PolarAligner cost me £2.49, SkEye was free, and, as I said, the two bits of kit I already had. But you can get a tripod-bushed phone holder from £7 upwards, and the dual camera bracket is available on Amazon for £9. So, say £20 in total. And for that you get a brilliant polar aligning aid together with a Push-To sky map screen which makes operating your scope so much easier, especially if it’s an EQ2 mount like mine.

      I hope this is of help to all absolute newbies like me







    • By TakMan
      Sad news... I found out today that the creator of my beautiful Nova Hitch mount, Charles Riddel (based in Austin, Texas), passed away after a short battle with cancer.

      Some of you will know of his hand built, CNC machined creations - the Half Hitch and Quarter Hitch alt/az mounts (and their 'super' variants), plus the Nova Hitch and FTX range.
      http://www.halfhitchtelescope.com
      Recently he has been working on bringing to market the Hitch Hiker, see here:
      http://www.hitchhiker-om.com/index.html
       

       
      I'm sure you'll join me in sending our astro community condolences to his son Jake (who hopes to continue his father's work) and to the rest of the family...
       
      RIP Charles
      Damian
    • By nicoscy
      A bit ambivalent about this as scopes come and go and a scope may come in the future resulting in seller's remorse, but here we go!
      For sale is a Discmounts DM-4 as follows:
      DM-4 Head 4" Tilt-in Saddle-3 4" Dovetail Converter Universal Angled Handle (shortened a bit as it was too darned long!) 4K Encoder Kit 4" Tilt-in Saddle-3 GRAB & GO BAG FOR DM4 DM-4 8" Tripod Extension   Priced new these are (prices shown on Discmounts website) $1,555 + $190 shipping and insurance cost (took this from the invoice that Charles sent me) = $1,745   At today's rate it is £1,245 + VAT (ours is 19% so I will use ours to show my actual cost, not yours which is 20%)  £236 + Tariff code 90058000 on telescope accessories of 4.3% (not applied on shipping) £48 = £1,529 which was my cost and the cost you would suffer (well, just a bit more as your VAT is just a tad higher).   I am willing to part with it for £1,050 and I will throw in a Nexus II so that you have use of the encoders (if you don't "know your way around" or you are in a light polluted environment) which costs $199 + shipping + above taxes or about £185.    Price includes shipping with full insurance and tracking via EMS (takes about 4 working days to hit your local post office) and PayPal fees. I will only accept PayPal (best for the both of us).   Dropbox link with some photos here: Dropbox Link   I may be willing to sell the tripod if someone is interested. It is the Sirui 5214X and if you grab the package above, I will toss in the tripod at less than half the price of Amazon. Amazon charges £799, I'll sell for £350.    Tripod not sold separately unless mount sells first and kindly note that the photos include other equipment which do not form part of this ad and are not for sale. Prices are not negotiable as they are already quite low and also because I know that I will live to regret it when I decide in the future that I want yet another scope for which the DM-4 would be perfect...   Here's your chance to grab a premium mount that can lift (and has according to various photos you can find on the internet) up to a 5" refractor (I have seen photos of it with a AP 130 and I tested it with my FS-128 and I only had to be a bit careful changing eyepieces because of the scope's length!) at a competitive price. I have had this setup for a year but used it sparingly (a total of 5-7 times?) as two months after purchasing the mount and tripod, I purchased a FS-128 and a AYO DIGI II mount and well, I love the FS-128     Clear skies,   Nicos
    • By NGC007
      Hi all,
      for those that are interested, Serge from AstroDevices.com has sent me some pics of the encoders he has just finished working on for the Stellarvue M2 mount.  Looks like a very professional job to me and I am looking forward to installing them ASAP.
      I intend using them with the NEXUX DSC from Astro Devices but you could use the NEXUS II as well.  I anticipate the encoders will cost around £290 ish here in the UK after taxes etc.  Astrograph.net is the UK distrubuter.  
       
      The last image is of my own M2 opened up.  Installation should take 15mins I am assured.
       
      Clem







×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.