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Leo - with the EQ1

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With my back feeling nasty, and about to miss another clear night, I remember my little eq1... so set it up for a bash at something. A hurried PA with the finder scope I bolted on, and I realised that Leo wasn't going to fit with the 50mm.. shame... So, swapped over to my old 24mm lens instead... Fitted nicely. With the cheapy motor, and the poor PA, a few quick test, and I was good for 2.5 minute exposures @ f/4... so off I went...

The battery died some time later, and I'd got 39 useable exposures... having lost one to poor tracking, and a couple more to the tests I did to determine exposure time... So with the lens set to f/4


What do you think ?

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That's good to know ta :D Yeah I'm being perfectly modest in my expectations... I was thinking of making a barn door tracker, and I would hope that this will work at least as well, and perhaps even a bit better? And with a lot less effort required on my part too :rolleyes:

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The best thing about the photo is the sheer number of stars showing. Leo's dead easy to pick out in the night sky, yet I had to work hard to find it the first time in that image just because of the number of points of light. It really does start to bring home just how many stars there are out there...


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Thanks Steve... There's a couple of small niggles I have to work out, which you've resolved by using a different mounting method for the polar scope, and the best way to mount with a smaller counterweight, direct works, but loses some of the flexibility...

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John, I just got my EQ1 last night and I was hoping that you might be able to clear a couple of things up for me? The main "interesting" point I've found with this mount is it's amazing ability to collide with itself when rotating about it axis'. The slow-mo control of the DEC easily hits things, and the RA motor sticking out the side totally fouls things up too...

It seems odd that a bit of kit is designed such that it cannot easily make use of the full range of motion. In fact the available range of movement seems quite limited :S I presume that in use this isn't as big an issue as it seems to be right now?

The DEC control had me baffled for a moment too. I had to stare at it for a few seconds before I uderstood that it was only a fine adjuments thing, rather than a full rotation affair.

The one I've picked up looks in good nick, and having the motor drive is a real plus :) I just need to decide if I want to spend £20 on the commercial 1/4" fitting or to bodge one somehow... Seems crazy to spend £20 on this one tiny bit when the mount and motor were only £50! :S

Edited by samtheeagle
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Sam, remove the slow mo controls... mine have never actually been on it. There can still be an issue with the weight or camera colliding with the motor housing, but... if you set out with the weight just below the motor housing, and the camera at the other end of travel, that's a good few hours motion before trouble appears. Stick the camera on a ball head and you've got almost total pointing flexibility.

I mounted a light, 700mm refractor and used a high power to point at a star, then adjusted the tracking speed till it was just about right. Then marked it on the speed knob with white paint.

I got an aly plate from AstroBoot when it was opened, that happened to fit perfectly, with tapped holes for the camera bolt and tube ring bolts for a pound I think. I did buy the proper fitting, but second hand for much less than the £20.

Also, worth checking Steves website for his polar finder mod. It's much better than mine.

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