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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!
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.....
So my birthday just past so money to splash on astro stuff , i will have my 1000D modded by juan at cheapastrophotography and also have ordered an autofocuser from deepsky dad https://deepskydad.com/autofocuser i know they can be done DIY but this is a neat package and costs about the same as a SW autofocuser and a hitechastro focusmaster and i`m no electronic wizard and pavel seems to have a good product and works with ascom and confirmed it works with APT i will update in a few weeks time when hopefully i will have received and tried out .
I have a Helios 200p (identical to the Skywatcher) mounted on an EQ3-2.
I know it is overloaded but I find it OK for visual provided I give it a couple of seconds to settle down at high powers.
I intend to motorise the mount using stepper motors & an Arduino. It will be tracking for visual only with a possible upgrade path to GoTo.
Since I dont need fantastic precision and having read the relevant threads on this forum, I propose to drive the RA worm directly & the DEC with a simple belt drive. By avoiding a step-down gear set I will still be able to use the manual slo-mo controls without disconnecting the motors. I think that centering the target with the slo-mo's & then switching on the tracking will be nicer than using fast-forward & fast-reverse controls.
But no step-down means no torque amplification. So how much torque do you need to drive an overloaded EQ3-2. I decided to do some quick & dirty tests.
200p with 25mm Plossl & 9 X 50 Finder, payload about 9kg.
EQ3-2 with 10kg of counterweights
Improvised wooden pulley, effective radius 0.375 inch
2 X 1kg barbell weights
piece of string
For each axis ,with the clutches locked, a 1kg & then 2kg load was hung from the pulley & released. This was repeated for the opposite direction of rotation.
DEC 1kg Torque 13.5 oz.inch Rotated smoothly at about 90 degree/minute
DEC 2kg Torque 27 oz.inch Rotated quickly at about 300 degree/minute +
RA 1kg Torque 13.5 oz.inch Did not rotate
RA 2kg Torque 27 oz.inch Rotated smoothly at about 90 degree/minute
The required torque for RA would be on the limit for a (cheap, ungeared) NEMA 14 stepper but a NEMA 17 motor with a torque of 84 oz.inch should be up to it.
So now all I have to do is order the bits & learn how to use an Arduino.
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'