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EQ6-R owners club


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30 minutes ago, mercandrea said:

I spied this in the earlier post too and am planning something similar.  I'm also taking nervous steps towards having my setup permanently outside though so might try to fashion some sort of housing for my hub and raspberry pi that attaches to the tripod legs or the accessory tray. Currently they live in an old recycling box that sits between the tripod legs, keeps them out of the weather ok but the cables snag occasionally having everything so close to ground. 

I went the opposite way - given I have a Newt on the top which benefits from some counterweight on the tube, I did a similar thing with wide adhesive velcro strips to attach the USB hub and a small project box with the Raspberry Pi in it directly to the back of the scope opposite the focuser.

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After 8 months of owning the eq6-rand being disappointed as it performed like my old hypertuned heq5-pro i finally managed to get it to outperfom my heq5-pro. The main issue i have with it is that tha

This is how I did mine, made a little video for YouTube. The balance after doing this does seem better than just doing it by feel.  This method obviously useless for battery powered mounts

I was rather lucky with my Christmas Bonus and splurged on a new mount to replace my EQ3 Pro Synscan....  Yep, I took delivery of a shiny, new, heavy, glorious EQ6-R from FLO.   It's sort of

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1 hour ago, kookoo_gr said:

Wouldn't it be better if you placed the hub,pi, power supply on top of the scope? You will save a lot of space, cables and they will be far better protected form the weather and any accidents with cable snagging when placed at the legs

@kookoo_gr I have thought about placing it all on the scope and have seen it done successfully but I'm not sure myself.  It would definitely sort out any cable management issues but a couple of things have made me hesitate.

  1. The pi 4 runs quite hot and I'm worried that it might overheat if sat right under the covers, there's another plastic sheet that goes around the whole OTA, guidescope and DSLR in case the external cover fails, the Pi would definitely get toasty under there🔥
  2.  I'm also a little unsure about putting this mini heater directly on the OTA in case it introduces some thermal issues within the scope.

The cable snagging hasn't been that big an inconvenience either so I am wary about exchanging one small set of problem for a bigger set of problems 🤣  I intend to leave the Pi running 24/7 as it will eventually be monitoring temperature and humidity (sensor just arrived this morning!) so I need to think carefully about the heat situation.

The alternatives I'm considering are:

  1. Attaching to the tripod legs/accessory tray:  the idea here is to get the pi in contact with some steel to conduct some heat away but somehow still have it enclosed to protect from moisture. I'm thinking along the lines of a modified Tupperware box that has a hole in the bottom for starters to see how things go.
  2. Attaching to the mount body and actually making use of the heat to try and keep condensation away from the mount electronics. This is probably where I want the humidity sensor too so would mean nice short cables for it.

Lots of options, interested to hear other peoples thoughts. Wherever I end up putting the Pi I will probably also put the hub.

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9 minutes ago, discardedastro said:

I went the opposite way - given I have a Newt on the top which benefits from some counterweight on the tube, I did a similar thing with wide adhesive velcro strips to attach the USB hub and a small project box with the Raspberry Pi in it directly to the back of the scope opposite the focuser.

Good point about the counterweight @discardedastro I have a 10" Quattro under the cover there so that could be useful to me and I do love it when things can serve dual purpose. Having the pi close to the aperture might not be so bad from a thermal perspective and the heat might keep condensation off the secondary without the need for a dew strip. Food for thought.

Still not sure about that position while it's under cover though, any ideas? Does our setup live permanently outdoors?

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Hi Guys

I was wondering if any of you have tried attaching their dSLR camera and guide scope to the EQ6-R pro mount?

I have a canon 600d and the Sky Watcher 50ED guide scope.

I have a Star Adventurer Pro and plan to try both of these attached either side to the long dove tail mount that come with it to allow for a portable solution, but would also like to try this with my main mount when at home.

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I have used a pi under high humidity (as many others on this forum), almost 100% within its case, on my scope and i didn't have overheating issues (the temperature of the pi was near 60C if memory sreves me right) nor any significant condensation. Granted, you will use it 24/7 i believe it may be of concern during the summer days (if the scope is directly under the sun) but then again you will not be using any applications that will need lots of processing power to overheat the pi, especially if you use it to record temp/humidity.

Even if you place it (with its case) at a metal surface the heat disipation will be minimal at best.

Whem it comes to placing it on the mount to protect the electronis, this will not affect the mount at all, we use these mounts under almost 100% humidity and i haven't read any post in any forum that the mount's electronics were fried from humidity nor that their operation was affected by humidity.

Placing the pi near any mirrors in order to prevent any condensation will not affect them in the slightest, we have dew heaters that we place almost directly on the optics to prevent dew. On my ed80 i have a dew strap and i have covered it in a bandage in order to minimize heat loss in the air and it looks like it just came out of the hospital 😛

For comparison, i used a Mini pc (dimensions about 10cm x 3cm), a pi and now i use a nuc pc on my scopes and none of them was nowhere near in overheating and none of them had any significant condensation

Personally if i wanted to record temperature/humidity 24/7 in order to monitor the status of the scope under the cover, i would use a seperate logger with a pi zero and have the data downloaded/transered in my house and use the pi for my imaging sessions and record at the pi the temperature/humidity while imaging

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8 hours ago, mercandrea said:

Good point about the counterweight @discardedastro I have a 10" Quattro under the cover there so that could be useful to me and I do love it when things can serve dual purpose. Having the pi close to the aperture might not be so bad from a thermal perspective and the heat might keep condensation off the secondary without the need for a dew strip. Food for thought.

Still not sure about that position while it's under cover though, any ideas? Does our setup live permanently outdoors?

I have it on the primary end of things rather than at the secondary - it's all fine under cover (there's a guidescope there too).

Definitely won't make a difference to dew or anything like that but has been stable in extreme conditions so far. I haven't gotten to the point of sealing it up or conformal coating anything. My setup does live permanently outdoors under a TeleGizmos 365 cover.

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2 hours ago, billhinge said:

Looking at the EQ6 puck for the Altair, maybe - it looks like it might have the required side-fit bolts. Given the costs are pretty similar I'd go for the ADM myself - guaranteed to fit as it's stated in the part description, and the ADM stuff is good quality in my experience.

 

For those wondering about long-term use outside, I've just done my "annual external service" - haven't stripped anything down but did move everything to a new observing position and while doing that I also went over all the surfaces that have started to rust with a corrosion inhibitor (ACF-50). The parts that are corroding on mine after a few years outside are almost entirely cosmetic - basically all the exposed shiny screw heads, bolts, and threads - none of it is stainless etc. The only points of concern I have are the spring on the lower altitude bolt, which has corroded on the surface entirely, and the smaller screws holding covers on, just because there's not so much material in there.

The tripod has seized on one leg, but they're cheap and cheerful so hardly unexpected - might treat it to a little pier or a Berlebach this year if it's not getting the obsy.

The counterweights are variable but largely starting to rust where the paint surface has been scraped. The counterweight bar is also corroding in spots along its entire length.

I think I'll try and find equivalent fasteners in stainless for as many of the exposed bolts as I can, and next time I've got it inside for a service I'll swap them. The counterweight bar etc I can't do anything about I don't think.

This is under a Telegizmos 365 cover on soft ground near (25m from) a minor stream of water in Oxfordshire, as a point of reference - fairly damp but no salt.

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I have the adm saddle and it is amazing. The scope is rock solid on the mount and i can easily balance the scope on the saddle. The only drawbacks it has if you can call them drawbacks are that it is heavier than the stock saddle and the counterweight bar extends a few mm when you want it fully retracted.

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@kookoo_gr, @discardedastro, thanks for the input RE raspberry pi placement. always good to hear other opinions. I decided to do some baseline temperature readings with the pi in it's current home close to the ground and fairly well shielded from direct sunlight. Average temp ranged between ~ 60 - 70 degrees celsius throughout the course of a day with some spikes when load was applied.

piTemperatureBaseline.thumb.jpg.ca05092aef5f141be02f9a0b4ff0d763.jpg

 

In this case the load was me performing some mount rotations via kstars /ekos/indi to balance the setup with my recently purchased clamp meter. Based on this I'd probably be reluctant to put it on top of the scope while under cover as it is likely to be warmer in direct sunlight. If I get time I'll try to gather some data with the pi on top of the scope to test that theory.

For anyone that is looking a clamp meter, I purchased one for £37 +change and it has done the job for me:

https://cpc.farnell.com/tenma/72-2985/clamp-meter-mini-200a-ac-dc/dp/IN07620?CMP=TREML007-005

I'm running the mount off a 12v battery so just put the clamp meter around one of the terminal wires at the battery end rather than split the cable further up.

 

Edited by mercandrea
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3 hours ago, kookoo_gr said:

I have the adm saddle and it is amazing. The scope is rock solid on the mount and i can easily balance the scope on the saddle. The only drawbacks it has if you can call them drawbacks are that it is heavier than the stock saddle and the counterweight bar extends a few mm when you want it fully retracted.

Whats the difference between the two saddles, one is $170, the other is cheaper.

Did you order  from the US, if so did you get hit for import duty?

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2 minutes ago, billhinge said:

No it isn't that one, it isn't on FLO which is why I asked the question

https://www.admaccessories.com/product/dual-eq6-rpro-xl-dual-series-saddle-fits-skywatcher-eq6-orion-atlas-mounts/

 

Right - but if you're worried about import duties etc I'd maybe see if FLO can offer it. I imagine they'd get a fair few takers (after a little slip of my stock saddle, I think I'd consider one as an upgrade).

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Did you  have a slip from the stock saddle? There was a discussion on the stock  saddle and replacement which is why I was considering it, plus adding some bling 🙂

email sent  to FLO, but I'm not averse to buying  from US if the price is OK 

Edited by billhinge
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1 hour ago, billhinge said:

Did you  have a slip from the stock saddle? There was a discussion on the stock  saddle and replacement which is why I was considering it, plus adding some bling 🙂

email sent  to FLO, but I'm not averse to buying  from US if the price is OK 

I did - but it may have been user error. I had cinched everything up adequately (I think!) having balanced the dec axis during the day, but I had just spent a good hour carefully coating the exposed metalwork (excepting things near bearing/contact surfaces) with ACF-50 rust inhibitor, which is also a pretty good lubricant - so my hands weren't terribly grippy. The default knobs aren't terribly good to start with, so I think I must've just misjudged things.

Having said that, wouldn't mind having something with chunkier knobs on it, and slightly better tolerancing! The stock saddle is definitely very sloppy in terms of the contact surfaces, being painted rather than anodised.

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13 hours ago, billhinge said:

Whats the difference between the two saddles, one is $170, the other is cheaper.

Did you order  from the US, if so did you get hit for import duty?

I can't tell the difference because i went direrctly for the ADM since i have at my ehq5 pro an adm saddle. I can't tell about import taxes for UK since i live in Greece but i did pay import taxes when it came in the mail. If you order from the US contact them and make sure they package the saddle with extra protection, mine came a bit banged up.

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I’ve been using an ADM dual saddle on the HEQ5 for the best part of ten years, no issues.

I ended up fitting a GEOPTIC equivalent on the NEQ6PRO, no issues.

when I upgraded my older TV Systems mount, I went for an ADM dual saddle.

They are very well designed and well built. I would recommend either.

 

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Hi Everyone

Well the last week has been brilliant and I've finally been able to put the whole setup to work and have been getting some good pictures.

However with my last session I did have some trouble and found that the tracking was not as good as it has been.

So far I have been getting below 1 RMS and when I performed the guiding assistent I was getting the following graph.

IMG_7001.thumb.jpg.a456cf73f3a0e711d4cac13a9ba46ffb.jpg

 

After reading more about the software learnt that I was not taking enough points and need to increase the calibration steps as it had not been calculated correctly.

I adjusted this and when I ran the assistant again I got this and the tracking was not very good at all. With the region of space I was imaging I was close the the meridian and this was where I performed the guiding assistant. I was wondering if that could be the cause?

Everything was balanced (I think) so not sure what to make of it. I am planning to clear all the calibrations and start again tonight. 

Question to everyone, should I let the software do its calibration on a star and then run the assistant or should I run the assistant first?

IMG_7019.thumb.jpg.6c7f21adabfe5d34d008507432869eb8.jpg

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On 15/09/2020 at 21:46, billhinge said:

Did you  have a slip from the stock saddle? There was a discussion on the stock  saddle and replacement which is why I was considering it, plus adding some bling 🙂

email sent  to FLO, but I'm not averse to buying  from US if the price is OK 

Got a response from FLO

Sorry for the delay, this is now on our website and can be ordered:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adm-replacement-saddles/adm-dual-saddle-upgrade-for-sky-watcher-eq6-r-pro-mounts.html

We should receive some in 1-2 weeks.
 

Now ordered 🙂

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@billhinge please let us know if it's a big improvement as I must admit the stock one isn't brilliant. The first time I put my new Esprit on it and thought I'd fully tightened it, I then turned around to pick something up when I heard a strange sound, which turned out to be the scope gradually sliding down out of the saddle. It's a good job I hadn't gone inside to get something or I'd have had a smashed scope. I'm now using an ADM dovetail bar which is slightly wider but I'm still very wary and make certain it is tightened.

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Hi Guys to follow on from my PHD2 guiding assistant question/results I had another go the other evening after rebalancing the scope. These were my results, which look bit better than the ones in the previous post. I was also averaging 0.8-0.7 RMS all night during imaging (which was of the wrong area but thats a different story)

Do I need to be concerned with the lag that I'm seeing at the start of the South plot?

IMG_7031.thumb.jpg.9b410f92e70d9e35cf0e603bbcbab735.jpg

Edited by Greg Shaw
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That does look like a lot of backlash. I'd probably look at doing the backlash adjustment routine - this is documented a few pages back, and is pretty straightforward with some allan keys and a bit of patience.

The motion looks good and consistent once you're past the backlash, so it's likely you've just got some excessive spacing in the gear train causing that, which is easily fixed with that adjustment routine.

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Thanks for getting back to me.

Last night whilst looking into this issue I found the article Astro Baby wrote and then saw a YouTube video posted by Cuiv explaining it. I will give it a go later today and will test again tonight.

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