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I proposed at Cloudynights a thread with some tricks to improve the accuracy of the Sky Watcher mini equatorial wedge that many of us use for their mini tracker.
Here is the thread : https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/700024-skywatchers-small-equatorial-wedge-improvement-solution/
Those tricks are quite straightforward and greatly improve the wedge's behaviour.
I popped this topic on CN too but noone seems to know anything.
I came by an old Celestron Ultima 8 pre-PEC. I really like the scope and the mount it may be that I have read too much of Uncle Rod's and other's praise that I feel this scope has some intangible personality and charm.
Circuitry in the base seems to work fine even though the batteries don't hold charge but drive the Ra axis . I have 2 replacement on its way to me.
Now my issue: It didn't come with a hand controller. I know it is not needed for tracking, and I don't have a Dec motor but I find it would be useful for centering in RA and D.A.R.V. method drift alignment.
I was on the verge of making a crude controller out of veroboard and 4 momentary switches that I thought to be correct from the info on various sites, but then I came across an Ultima 8 project that clearly showed the hand controller for my scope.
The pic attached is the one.
I am looking for help on how the dial and buttons are wired in and/or photos of the innards of the hand controller or if anyone knows what else is inside the handbox.
The sources I was going on so far is a combination of the following 3 links:
These of course don't include drive rate rotary switch in the middle and if I could I would really like to to restore the full ability of this mount without spending too much on electronics. Plus I don't want to spend time and effort on wiring something that doesn't work.
Oh and lastly I have no background or experience in electronics just own a soldering station and a whole lot of determination.
Thanks in advance
From my other post, you all should realize 2 things about me. 1: I can't leave well-enough alone. and 2: I like to fiddle around with things. In my last thread, I got setup with my goto telescope and managed to control it remotepy with KStars or Stellarium and even got my CCD working so I can sit inside in comfort while stargazing.....ALMOST. I still have to run in and out to turn the focus knob. So....
There is a raspberry pi running the INDI server pointing the scope and managing th CCD. I have a nice little geared motor and a HAT board that I know how to connect and control with the pi to make the motor go fast or slow, or forward and backward. I can manage the machine work to create a connection to the focus mechanism for the motor. What I need to know is if there is already a DIY-ish or configurable driver for INDI. And yes, this probably is a post for INDI forum, but for some reason I can't get a login there. So, if anyone knows or has done this, thank you in advance for any information you are able to provide.
I am thinking on grinding my own lightweight mirror (first f4 16", later f4 24"). The lightest and cheapest option is to get a thin blank and slump it in a decent kiln.
Anyone has longer term experiene with slumped mirrors? Overall doesn't seem to be more work than a normal (not pregenerated) blank.
Do I have to grind the backside as in case of normal flat back mirrors to avoid astigmatism? How do people support a convex back while grinding? Does it make sense to grind a hole in the middle for additional support? I am remotely considering a convertible Newtonian/Cassegrain system anyway...
I've finally got around to making my flats box.
I decided to go for a cylinder rather than the normal square as I thought it would maximize the amount of reflected light and limit any 'dead' areas. I could also use the Celestrons dust cap retaining pins to lock the flats box onto the 'scope.
I purchased some of the craft board that has a thin foam sheet sandwiched between two sheets of thick paper/thin card. In order to bend the card into a cylinder, I creased the board every 20 mm by pressing the edge of a steel ruler into the board. It took two of the sheets to make a cylinder big enough to fit my C9.25, with only a couple of cm trimmed off.
I then made a reinforcing ring/defuser holder from two strips of the foam board; this time creasing them at 15mm intervals. I stuck these level to the bottom edge so the joins were 90° to the main cylinder joins. These strips were cut wide enough to ensure that the diffuser cleared the secondary housing.
The cylinder was designed to lock into the C9.25s dust cap retaining pins so next I cut two keyways into the bottom outer side. They looked a little weak so I reinforced them with some Christmas chocolate reindeer plastic packaging!
Although the foamboard is quite shiny, I wasn't happy with all the grooves, so I lined the inside with white A4 paper. The Perspex sheet was cut to shape and hot glued into place onto the ledge.
Next, starting at the top, I notched the edge of the cylinder to run the LED string lights cable through and then started to spiral the LEDs around and down the cylinder.
The top cap/reflector was made from two discs of foamboard. One to go inside the cylinder and one to sit proud of the edge. They were glued together before being hot glued onto the top of the cylinder. The LED light string that I bought has an integrated on/off button as well as both up and down brightness buttons with a 3M sticky pad on the back, so I stuck this to the top cap.
As I had previously made myself a 'scope mounted power distribution box with aircraft sockets for power, I removed the 3 pin UK plug/ac-dc converter and soldered on an aircraft plug to match my 12 volt DC supply socket.
The lightbox illuminated.