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Hello Everyone, 

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. 

Thanks

Gary.

PS That flats panel needs moving. It was ok with the old mount but every inch counts now! 

 

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Hello and welcome. I'm a visual astronomer, but the Mesu has an excellent reputation. That looks like an incredible set-up! Hoping you have clear skies soon.

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1 minute ago, Ships and Stars said:

Hello and welcome. I'm a visual astronomer, but the Mesu has an excellent reputation. That looks like an incredible set-up! Hoping you have clear skies soon.

Thanks! I've been doing astrophotography for about three years.  It's become an obsession! 

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Hi, 

Your ESO naming is definitely appropriate and your innovative solutions to enable this mount are Impressive. My Mesu Mk 2 with it’s CW bar fit snugly into my 2.2M Pulsar Dome so I am not dependant on a home arrangement just yet, but will be very interested in any solution to support such an arrangement for my ROR observatory.

I operate my Mesu using only plate-solving and it guides great using PHD2 without the need for a Sky or PEC model. How are you planning to operate your mount?

 

Edited by Xsubmariner
Correction

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6 hours ago, Xsubmariner said:

Hi, 

Your ESO naming is definitely appropriate and your innovative solutions to enable this mount are Impressive. My Mesu Mk 2 with it’s CW bar fit snugly into my 2.2M Pulsar Dome so I am not dependant on a home arrangement just yet, but will be very interested in any solution to support such an arrangement for my ROR observatory.

I operate my Mesu using only plate-solving and it guides great using PHD2 without the need for a Sky or PEC model. How are you planning to operate your mount?

 

Thanks for the comments!

The ROR is partially automated and I have magnetic switches that detect when the mount is not parked. This kills power to the opener so the ROR can't decapitate the scope. The current weakness is if the roof is closed, unparking could result in a collision. The home sensors would be used to inform the control system an unsafe state exists. Another way I've been mulling over is to use an Arduino to sense roof state and the mag switches on the mount. I have to learn how to program it though. 

I'll operate as you do with a plate solve. On my CEM60 the only time I use the handset is to polar align; I don't even have a finderscope attached anymore. Setting the home position, slewing to the target and platesolving does the trick.  The Mesu I think operates a bit differently requiring acquiring the target manually and syncing to initialize the mount. Regardless a near platesolve should still work (If my eyeballing is off then a blind solve in APT and sync would work). 

As I said I haven't tried any of this yet due to the weather so let me know if I'm wrong. 

Gary.

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