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Macavity

Mounting your Wixey Digital Gauge!

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Mounting your Wixey - OK, of limited MASS appeal, but this handy Digital Gauge seem to provide FEW possibilities for non-destructive and ACCURATE attachment to a scope! So I arrived at the following solution. The finder shoe (foot) was sawn off a redundant finder bracket, filed smooth, and fixed (via M4 c/s bolts) to a FERROMAGNETIC right-angle bracket (DIY store special!). A bit was sawn off one arm of the latter to fit the dimensions of the Wixey, and magnets in the Wixey's base do the rest. Naturally the Wixey has to remain upright, and in a vertical plane, so a containing shoe is screwed to the SIDE of my (alt-azimuth mounted) scope. Aside: Thanks to a SPARE (sophisticated) adjustable shoe, provided with a "Skysurfer V", I can even "fine tune" the angle indicated by the Wixey in the field - When (and IF!) I see a star of known azimuth... :wink:

The EXPLODED view (No rocket science involved - Obviously?) :mrgreen:

Wixey.jpg

And, in situ, as part of my (progressing) "PushTo" setup:

Pushto.jpg

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I must say, Chris - you have one heck of a smart set-up there! Honestly - looks like ... cool!

Now complete with a smart Wixey bracket too!

Nice one 8)

Andrew

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Thanks Andrew - And "Long may your Concrete Harden"! :wink:

Indeed, for us DIY'ers everywhere, here's:

! :)

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Mac.....thats an excellent solution, and a really smart setup. I was just thinking how much easier that kind of setup would be when trying to teach my kids and their friends how to find our galactic wonders.

Keep up the good work.

BTW is that a William Optics mount head?

JV :wink:

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Hi JV!

No, it's actually the "Tele-Optic Giro III Mount" (head) - About which I say a few pithy(?) words HERE. :wink:

Yeah, For me, having learned my astronomy in my Nain's [Gran's] back yard (Not a million miles from you!) I'm firmly "Alt-Azimuth". But you can actually FIND stuff with one azimuth circle and a Wixey! Of course you need a Palm / Handheld to get coordinates. Alternatively if you're an accompished Star Hopper, no probs? :)

I can run either my ST102 or MAK127 with 2x4lb counterweights on t'other side, or indeed BOTH as a balanced system. I use an old EQ3-2 Tripod (The Giro fits!) - Purists may want something steadier, I guess - But it's good enough for me! Indeed, all the "bits" are (well) under 10lb in weight, so (fairly) grab and go. And it's all so smooth... :)

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Great report Mac.

Did you make your own setting circle, or is it purchased?

It really does look like an excellent piece of equipment. Out of further interest, what program do you use on your PDA to get the correct coordinates?

JV :wink:

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Hiya JV,

The "setting circle" is just 20mm MDF light - about 5" diameter with a 3" inner circle cut out to fit around the body of the Giro III. This then painted white and attached to the EQ3 Tripod, via drilled/tapped M4 countersunk bolts. The 0-360 scale is a bit of my own "custom graphics", printed onto thin white card, and covered with transparent sticky backed plastic. An alternative might be the old-style "school protractor"? But if anyone needs a custom scale, of this ilk, I might be willing to produce a PDF file or whatever... :wink:

I don't have much need for a sophisticated PDA in everyday life, so the coordinates are calculated by a dedicated cheapie PALM Z22 running "Planetarium" Software. Sufficient - Indeed Excellent for the purpose? Overall, I reckon I can "point" the setup to within a degree azimuth and (say) 0.2 Deg altitude. But well within a typical FINDER field. Right now, I'm loving my new Baader Skysurfer V. The 'Frac also acts as a (big) finder for the MAK. Actually the two-scope setup has a slight (0.2 Deg) "squint", but I reckon I can "shim" that one away at some stage... :)

I think all I really intend to do now is to attach some RED LEDs to illuminate the setting circle & Wixey - Plus (rechargeable) battery boxes (ergo the Jubilee clips!) and that's about it? The Giro III's dual scope loading capacity (I'm at about 60%!) gives me a bit of "future-proofing", should I ever (be able to afford to!) buy a "Posh" refractor or even a bigger MAK. :mrgreen:

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Thanks Mac. The whole push to set up really fasinates me. Yours is excellent, thank you for posting it. How did you work out the "squint"? I assume its on the dovetail bars, I can't imaging the mount head being out. In fact I think I have some machine shims in my late fathers workshop....any use if I can find them? Or will it be a file job?

Mind you 0.2 shouldn't really worry you....should it :wink:

JV

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Yeah JV, it really INTERESTS me too! :wink:

Sadly I didn't inherit the workshop (or in my case skills?) but merely some of my late DAD'S tools! But I think "you've got it" (or rather agree with me!) - It's down to Dovetails... perhaps Tube Rings... indeed the non-circular nature of OTAs etc.? But so many of these things seem to work out at around (guestimate!) some fraction of a moon width (i.e. 0.2 Deg). On the other hand, it STILL (favourably!) surpises me just how "re-settable" some of our optimistic setups are...

Nice thing about these (in general?) DUAL mounts is that you can set both scopes to a common Altitude. Thanks for the offer of shims - I suspect, if I address the problem, it might be a case of "Baking Foil width" or somesuch. Alternatively, perhaps it might be "instructive" to wait for the same object to "drift into field" as they are wont say... :)

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re the mounting of a Wixey, I intend to use a small piece of steel plate for the Wixey to sit on and then velcro to fix the whole thing to my aluminium scope tubes.

you have an excellent rig there! love the setting circles.

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