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By Ade Turner
I’ve been using my 8’ Edge HD on an Evolution mount for a couple of years now and I added a wedge to it a few months back. Using SkyPortal with StarSense I’ve never really had any major issues getting it aligned.
Last night I was setting up to photograph Mars and went through my normal procedure. StarSense took its images but, after confirming success with the third plate, instead of just winding up a bit and parking it proceeded to pitch the ota towards the north well below the horizon.
Fortunately nothing snagged. I skipped the ASPA and instructed it to goto Mars and was surprised to find it was spot on (better than usual actually).
Anyone any ideas why it took that nose dive? Thanks.
For sale is my beloved but now superfluous to requirements HEQ5 Pro for £650
It's in a used condition as you would imagine. I've had it for about 4 years and found great success with this mount. Ideal for those beginning astrophotography and also good for visual users.
I'm calling it "deluxe" due to the upgrades I've had done.
- It's belt modified
- It's had brand new bearings and grease
- The backlash has been expertly setup
- It has the latest polar scope
- The power port has been replaced with an aviation style port which is a lot more secure
It'll come with the hand controller and at least 1 counterweight (if I can find the second it'll come with both). The polar scope cover has been lost. The counterweight is rusty as always. There is some marring on the counterweight bar housing as shown in the photos.
It also will come with the modified power cable required also.
Note: the power LED sometimes doesn't illuminate but the mount is still powered (please see the photo with the hand controller).
Collection or local delivery within Northampton
This is my first post on this forum (although I've lurked in the shadows for a while). So I thought I'd share some of the modifications that I've had done to the new Mesu MkII I received last week in case someone can benefit. Sadly I haven't tried it imaging yet only balanced, slewed it around and read the Sitech documentation to make sure everything is functioning. The day it arrived we plunged into sub-zero temps and snow 😫.
The mods include an extended wedge for some limited imaging past the meridian, and an angled counterweight bar for clearance in the tight space. Some have commented in other posts on the long Mesu CW bar but its necessary to balance the weight of the head (unloaded) and to accommodate counterweights for the significant payload. Once tested I'll be loading this bad-boy with a number of different focal length scopes as changing equipment at 25C below is not fun. I lasted one winter doing this and the automated ESO (Exceedingly Small Observatory) was born.
Has anybody with this mount installed homing switches? The Sitech1 controller has an aux port for this purpose. For me this would be for integration into the ROR control system to prevent an expensive mistake. Eventually the goal will be to monitor for inclement weather and shut down the system safely or automate parking and calibration frames at the end of a normal session. This is a work in progress as I only completed the ROR roof upgrades this summer.
PS That flats panel needs moving. It was ok with the old mount but every inch counts now!
Monday 5th Oct: un-boxing & 1st View
During the day outside I unboxed a Nexstar 8SE (25mm EP) and did a course alignment of the red dot finder. I'm using a TalentCell power bank & that worked well.
I planned to leave the scope outside but rain arrived.
In the evening I attempted to setup the scope in the dark. I misplaced the camping and the OTA fell into the luckily soft lawn. So that's the metal Shell christened 🤔
I did get to see a glorious moon surface. More detail than from my 80EQ firstscope.
Evening 2: Tuesday 6th
Mars was tonight's planned view.
I didn't get on with a skylight so did a solar align on Mars.
Compared to my old scope I've made Mars a brighter White disc with some greyed areas. (25mm & zoom EP)
The worst thing was mars drifted and when I tried Goto the scope went further away. Looking at my setup I found North America rather than U.K. 🤔
Eve 3 Friday 9th
Last night i.used a GPS to add my garden's Long & Lat as well as a time entry using seconds with my iPhone as the visual time aid.
I failed again at the 1st skyalign. The solar planet align was used again.
Mars was the target and my viewing.
It was a bright disc again but with maybe more obvious slightly darker areas.
Mars drifted again even though the scope's Motors could be heard.
I retired a 3 bright object alignment and this time the Nexstar was happy.
I could choose over planets and Goto back to Mars. It wasn't central in the eyepiece but OK
How similar to novice backyard astronomers is my early experience?
I am surprised at the drift in a goto.but hope.that I just need to be better at Skyalign.
The focus setup looks good as Mars out of focus is two perfect circles looking like a doughnut. I didn't observe how an OOF star looked.
****** Bottom line, when the scope fell out of the clamp that 1st day, have I damaged it's function and not just good looks? ******
****** Is drift a sign of inaccurate alignment? *********
ps Not mentioned is my garden is poor for light pollution and with the old scope it became just viewing the moon & Sun I relied on for interest.
Mars did look ok ~2000 we saw a polar cap with the old scope.
Vixen Polarie Star Tracker with Vixen Quick Polaris Locator Compass in mint condition - For Sale.
This mint condition Polarie Star Tracker and Vixen Polaris Locator Compass have only been used during the course of a review that I carried out for Vixen UK and will be supplied in their original boxes with manuals.
This tracker is the ultimate in portable camera tracking mounts being lightweight yet manufactured to Vixen’s usual exemplary high standard and the additional Vixen Polaris Locator Compass makes polar alignment for wide field imaging quick and simple.
The new price for the two items would be £399.00
For sale at £195.00 delivered. Payment by bank transfer - WILL NOT SELL OUTSIDE UK.
Polarie Star Tracker
Vixen Quick Polaris Locator Compass