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4 hours ago, Soupy said:

Marc not sure if I have any rings etc. I'll have a look when I get back from Kielder, think it might just be the OTAs.

nice work on the Horsehead Matt! :)

 

No worries - got a set coming on Thursday...

Now, bearing in mind I'm strapping the skyliner F6 to this thing rather than the typical F5 200p, I think the next purchase will need to be a comedy camping windbreak... and any heavy breathing in the vicinity will be frowned upon!

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Sorry to hear about all the probs last night.  Managed to get out for a good session for the first time in ages, went out about 10.30 to nice clear skies!!

 Hit M42, M36, M37 and the starfish cluster. What a difference an extra 4"of apature makes!! Nothing wrong with the old 4.5" scope but wow the 8" dob makes a big difference!!!

Tried star hopping to M78 and the cone nebula but failed miserably! My drawing of M78 turned out to be a drawing of the stars I was supposed to be hopping past :iamwithstupid: more practice required....

 

Forecast says fog tonight but you never know!

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Shame about the issues people were having last night, hopefully they can all be sorted in the light of day. But a night out under clear skies is still a night out and not to be sniffed at!

There was lots of cloud about up at Kielder last night so sat with the family and watched some rubbish TV. Let the cat out at 23.45 to discover the stars were a twinkling, so sat in the freezing cold with a sambucca in hand and enjoyed the full majesty of some dark Kielder skies with Mk1 eyeballs for half an hour while he did his wandering about! Hoping for a clear spell over the next few days so I can get some decent, sober, observing in! ;)

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Managed another good session last night, plenty more subs for the Horsehead, which I've added to the ones from the previous night. It was distinctly colder though and a layer of ice over everything when I came to pack away.

Horsehead Nebula, 26-28.12.2016, 55x Ha 180s + calibration frames. 2hrs 45mins total exposure.

Horsehead_Nebula.jpg

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22 minutes ago, MattGoo said:

Managed another good session last night, plenty more subs for the Horsehead, which I've added to the ones from the previous night. It was distinctly colder though and a layer of ice over everything when I came to pack away.

Horsehead Nebula, 26-28.12.2016, 55x Ha 180s + calibration frames. 2hrs 45mins total exposure.

Horsehead_Nebula.jpg

That horsehead shot is more or less how I see it in the scope Matt although in about half the field so much larger. 

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Despite the problems, and Damian packing up just as I got there, it was still a good hour and half session and good to get out there on a reasonable night. 

But Damian did show me a bit of the sky that he "claimed" had a galaxy in it,but I'm not convinced ;)

 

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Glad to see you guys getting out! Matt, the horsehead nebula looks good, cant wait to see the results from that.

Looking at the forecast it might be cloudy tonight, the bbc has it clear though, but other forecast sites say at least 15% cloud

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1 hour ago, mapstar said:

Heater problem located to the cheap Chinese connecting plugs. Replaced and now working o.k. 

Wales this aft if all goes well 

Glad you got It sorted Damian

good luck in Wales if you go, being looking at a four channel dew controller £70 from rother valley optics

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4 hours ago, Mark62 said:

Sorry to hear all the problems last night. Hope it's something that can be easily remedied Damian and the batteries are not starting to fail Eric. But glad you all got out. 

Was Eric having problems with his battery

Or was it just me 

Neil 

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Spent today stripping the NEQ6 head to try and dial out as best possible the grinder noise that both motors make on spool up / spool down (once up to speed, usual silent-ish whine, which was fine).

ALL the icky noise of the mount is produced by the stepper pinion spurr to output gear alignment on both motors - ie: the two pictured below. This seems to be one of the newer NEQ6 Pro’s... made 2013 onwards judging by it’s polar scope (which only has the Octans constellation - quite useless - they expect you to do it all from hour angle etc if in Northern Hemisphere, rather than eyeballing the dipper) and the brass washers in use under the output (larger of the two) gear. Prior to 2013 these were rubber O-rings, which were even worse! Anyways, it’s these brass washers which vibrate and bind in a recess beneath the gear itself as the output shaft is pulled out of line when under torque. This is the cause much of the noise. It gets DRAMATICALLY amplified thru-out the body of the mount (and if you set it up on bare floorboards, thru your whole house!)

20104.jpg 

So... I’ve pulled both motors out, and spent an hour or two tweaking the motor mount bolts and the grub screws on the output gear shaft, refitted them and 90% of the noise is now gone. I’ve got some 5 micron (0.005mm) mylar for repairing condenser microphone diaphragms (but sods law it’s in my desk drawer at work and they can knackers if they think I’m showing my face there before Jan 6th) so back end of next week / next weekend I’ll take a look at ALL the gear alignments thru-out and try and get them all as consistent as possible with 5x folds (for 0.05mm rather than 0.005mm - chances of getting things THAT precise are as microscopic as 5 microns itself).

I can see why folks turn to the belt mod (ignoring backlash reasoning) as a fix for the noise - it’s probably much less faff just installing that rather than pratting about with mylar, 5x adjustment screws & a torque gauge. Shame I couldn’t stretch the extra £80 @Splittersplatter wanted for the belt-mod kit really... if it’s still around come Jan 15th (payday!) I might end up getting back in touch.

Have also calibrated the polar scope to the RA axis on a TV aerial over the road, and locked the Alt angle to 53.4 deg (load-bearing adjuster replaced with a good old fashioned bolt - will eventually replace the opposing one with a much shorter bolt than the stock adjuster which protrudes about 4” from the body - can’t see I’m ever going to be needing more than +/- 2 deg of adjustment from it).

Here endeth the day’s play!

Edited by Marci
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2 hours ago, astrotyke said:

are you off down to wales? 

Just in Wrexham now grabbing a bite to eat then off to give Mike a nudge (he's been on nights) then another hour to Bala.

All being well set up for 7 and viewing while the early hours :wink:

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2 hours ago, Mark62 said:

Ops sorry Neil I thought it was Eric. That's what you get reading in a rush lol

No problem Mark 

l got the battery's from work so they are used but I was thinking they would put me on for a while until I got a bigger battery and another dew heater strap for the eyepiece and then the camera lens it's all pay

 

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19 minutes ago, gtis said:

No problem Mark 

l got the battery's from work so they are used but I was thinking they would put me on for a while until I got a bigger battery and another dew heater strap for the eyepiece and then the camera lens it's all pay

 

That's not too bad then Neil free is good and if u use 2 or 3 a night it's ok cos it's free 

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1 hour ago, rich6626 said:

Was out earlier trying to track down Neptune - no joy there.

Seems very hazey tonight with the sky looking particularly milky so might not bother tonight unless it improve at all.

 

 

Same here, im just trying to decide if its worth going out or not with the scope and dslr. cant decide 

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Nice result Lee - welcome to the dark side! Pleased to see you had some clear sky. I need a scope fix but foggy/hazy skies and long hours at work have really been getting in my way this past month.

Nice to read that some of the gang have been getting out under the stars :)

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