Report - well, kind of

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turboscrew
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Report - well, kind of

#1

Post by turboscrew »

I put this here, because it has very little to do with actual astronomical objects.

Let this be warning for the newbies that think that big tube and big mount is cool. But I still think this is my way - I must be masochist or something.

The forecast said that the rains (water and sleet) should end around 8 PM. It has been so long time since the last clear-ish night, that I decided to try my "new" CEM120 anyway. The sky cleared and I started to bring the gear out.
I also started warming the sauna - I thought that I'd just have a short try. Also tried to follow NEAF.

The first problem was the orientation. I knew roughly which way north is, but not accurate enough for easy polar alignment. I don't know why, but it seems hard to find the directions. I tried with compass and two different phone apps. They all acted the same weird way: When I first align compass or phone to some direction, I got the reading X. If I then turn 90° clockwise and back and wait for compass/phone to get steady, I get a reading around X + 15°. If I turn counter-clockwise I get a reading around X - 15°.

So I set up the Tri-pier 360 in the north-south direction to my best knowledge, and level it. Then I put the CEM120 on top of the Tri-pier and set it to my latitude. Next the counterweight bar, then the telescope (VX12) on top of it, and after that, the counterweights. Balancing with RA-axis was quick and easy, but the DEC axis wasn't.

The tube tended to turn about 10 degrees clockwise even with a small counterweight I made of boat motor axle anode, washers and a long M8 bolt.
It seemed to work when I tried it in my living room, but not now.
The Losmandy-plate of the CEM120 is somewhat heavier at the back end (probably due to the "cable connector block" and 300 mm Losmandy dovetail is just long enough for all the 3 screws, so the tube balancing needs to be done with the ring locations around the tube. Also, the new RACI is to the right from the focuser (which is pretty well in the middle), and I think that causes the turning tendency. The counterweight I made, balances the DEC axis in some positions, but not in all positions. So I think I need some weight symmetrical with the RACI in respect of the focuser. The turning tendency wasn't that strong, so I decided to go on.

Next the polar alignment. Except that it was already 10 PM, and still no stars. Had to wait for darker. At around 11 PM it got dark enough to see Polaris.
I dragged my smaller A-ladder there to have a peek though the RACI - it was really badly aligned. No sign of Polaris through my new 2" Omegon 26", 70° SWAN.
Now someone could mention, that I should have aligned the RACI earlier in the day. Well, there was the sleet rain. Also, I may have not needed the A-ladders if I was 2.3 meters (7' 6") tall. I'm only 1.77 (5' 9"). That's how high the focuser is in the zero position. Also, it's hard to place the A-ladder well, because of the feet of the ladder and the feet of the Tri-pier 360.

The sky looked weird through the SWAN. It looked like all the stars, even in the middle of the view, seemed to be pestered with a huge coma - except in different directions that changed with the angle I looked into the eyepiece.

I looked along the tube to see how much I'm off and which direction. Yep, I had to turn the whole >80kg (176 lb) a little bit. Again, easier said than done. The Tri-pier 360 has "flexible ankles" that decided to flex. The set-up tried to fall down, and it was hard to keep it up with one hand and set the "ankles" right with the other. It seems more important to get the Tri-pier 360 orientation right, than I thought. Still not good. And the RACI didn't focus.

I decided to try to align the RACI, so I slewed to Regulus - well, near it. I did find it with some manual movements, and I left the tracking on, and started adjusting the RACI - except that it didn't adjust. At that point I decided to call the quits, and go to sauna. When I got all the stuff back in, it was already midnight. Got out of sauna around 5 AM.

In the nut shell:
- Find out the orientation of your place well enough for polar alignment.
- Align your tripod/tri-pier well before piling the gear on it.
- I need to check what caused the weird view. Is it the scope or the new eyepiece?
- I need to check what's wrong with the RACI. Why it didn't adjust?
- There was also quite lot of play in the RACI mount.
- Why the RACI didn't focus?
- How to handle the height?
- How to balance the tube for the RACI? Guiding scope?
- Too many pieces of new gear at once.

It took 4 trips to get all the gear moved:
1. Tri-pier360 (on shoulder), counterweight pole, counterweights (in a strap on shoulder)
2. CEM120 in a tool box
3. Electronics (cables, power, handset, ...)
4. Optical gear.
I could have used a bag for combining 3. and 4.
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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Re: Report - well, kind of

#2

Post by GCoyote »

I went through a similar experience last summer with not getting the finder adjusted before dark and not being close enough to true north for a good alignment. I also have a magnetic field problem that prevents using a magnetic compass.
I now have a spot marked on the patio with a visual reference to a known distant object that aligns with celestial north. I need to mark out one or two more spots that will give unobstructed views in different directions.

You might want to consider marking a spot on your property and attaching a small reflector on a tree or post in the direction of true north from that location. That way you will always be able to do the first part of your set up in daylight.

A folding utility cart or folding shopping cart might help with moving your gear. I tried one but it turned out to be too big for my needs. I'm looking for a smaller one now.

It sounds like you are very organized and methodical in recording and diagnosing the problems you encountered. I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Good luck, Clear skies!
Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

Meade 114-EQ-DH f7.9 Newtonian w/ manual GEM
Celestron Power Seeker 76mm f9.2 Newtonian Alt/Az
Bushnell 90mm f13.9 Catadioptric Alt/Az
Celestron 7x50 Binoculars
(And a bunch of stuff I'm still trying to fix or find parts for.)
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turboscrew
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#3

Post by turboscrew »

I forgot to mention, that this was also first time after offsetting the secondary mirror.
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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Re: Report - well, kind of

#4

Post by SkyHiker »

Congrats on setting up for the first time with only 3 to 4 trips that's not bad! You should be able to store the pier, counterweights and bar in the garage without a problem and the mount too, it's just the grease that stiffens up in winter time I think. Your VX12 is 30 lbs lighter than my 12".

One trick that worked well for my OTA is to attach a block of multiplex at the top end of the dovetail. When I put the heavy OTA on the mount I simply hook that block over the end of the saddle and then it is stable and won't slide down. I can then easily tighten the screws with little effort.

To balance the system I loosen the rings a bit then shove one end of the rings then the other side of the OTA and repeat. Small increments but it goes fast enough. I have to say I have very nice rings that let me do this safely.

Having to climb on a ladder is a pain though. Can't you turn the OTA so the focuser is in a better position? Of course your latitude is much higher than mine and I haven't tried much since I use cameras mostly, for polar alignment too.

I have the best position of my tripod marked with duct tape on the pavers. Even when the plastic is gone after the sun burns it off the fabric stays visible for a long time.
... Henk. :D Telescopes: GSO 12" Astrograph, "Comet Hunter" MN152, ES ED127CF, ES ED80, WO Redcat51, Z12, AT6RC, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S with OnStep, AVX, Tiltall, Cameras: ASI2600MC, ASI2600MM, ASI120 mini, Fuji X-a1, Canon XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: OnStep controller, Barndoor trackers for 10" Dob and camera, Afocal adapter, Foldable Dob base, Az/Alt Dob setting circles, Accessories: ZWO 36 mm filter wheel, TV Paracorr 2, Baader MPCC Mk III, ES FF, SSAG, QHY OAG-M, EAF electronic focuser, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, Laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: KStars-Ekos, DSS, PHD2, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK, Computers:Pi4b, 2x Pi2b all running Astroberry, Toshiba Satellite 17"
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turboscrew
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#5

Post by turboscrew »

SkyHiker wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:33 pm Congrats on setting up for the first time with only 3 to 4 trips that's not bad! You should be able to store the pier, counterweights and bar in the garage without a problem and the mount too, it's just the grease that stiffens up in winter time I think. Your VX12 is 30 lbs lighter than my 12".

One trick that worked well for my OTA is to attach a block of multiplex at the top end of the dovetail. When I put the heavy OTA on the mount I simply hook that block over the end of the saddle and then it is stable and won't slide down. I can then easily tighten the screws with little effort.

To balance the system I loosen the rings a bit then shove one end of the rings then the other side of the OTA and repeat. Small increments but it goes fast enough. I have to say I have very nice rings that let me do this safely.

Having to climb on a ladder is a pain though. Can't you turn the OTA so the focuser is in a better position? Of course your latitude is much higher than mine and I haven't tried much since I use cameras mostly, for polar alignment too.

I have the best position of my tripod marked with duct tape on the pavers. Even when the plastic is gone after the sun burns it off the fabric stays visible for a long time.
In the garage? :lol:
IMG_0740.JPG
Also, the yard is old and not founded like the yards are founded these days.
There's a lot of clay beneath, and the ground frost has its effects too.
IMG_0741.JPG
The little hole is made by my dog.
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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turboscrew
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#6

Post by turboscrew »

I got the RACI to focus, and the adjustment problem was stuck O-ring. The finder attachment was good, but the shoe in the side of the telescope is loose. I haven't checked that further yet.
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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Re: Report - well, kind of

#7

Post by SkyHiker »

turboscrew wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:13 pm
In the garage? :lol:
Image

Also, the yard is old and not founded like the yards are founded these days.
There's a lot of clay beneath, and the ground frost has its effects too.
Image

The little hole is made by my dog.
The garage is an easy problem to solve! Most of it is only knee deep. Build a small platform attic hanging off the beams with chains, get many shelves, throw out the junk (mostly that, I think). Or get a Rubbermaid shed for it.

If you put three tiles down in the yard, they won't shift that much. You have to adjust the PA anyway when you set up from scratch even on a solid foundation.
... Henk. :D Telescopes: GSO 12" Astrograph, "Comet Hunter" MN152, ES ED127CF, ES ED80, WO Redcat51, Z12, AT6RC, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S with OnStep, AVX, Tiltall, Cameras: ASI2600MC, ASI2600MM, ASI120 mini, Fuji X-a1, Canon XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: OnStep controller, Barndoor trackers for 10" Dob and camera, Afocal adapter, Foldable Dob base, Az/Alt Dob setting circles, Accessories: ZWO 36 mm filter wheel, TV Paracorr 2, Baader MPCC Mk III, ES FF, SSAG, QHY OAG-M, EAF electronic focuser, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, Laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: KStars-Ekos, DSS, PHD2, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK, Computers:Pi4b, 2x Pi2b all running Astroberry, Toshiba Satellite 17"
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turboscrew
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#8

Post by turboscrew »

Well, the picture doesn't seem to give a good idea. It's actually mostly waist deep. :lol:

I took some pictures about the stuff I tried to describe.

The "ankle" issue.
IMG_0743.JPG
The balance issue.
IMG_0744.JPG
This little weight helped the balance issue a little, but wasn't really good.
IMG_0745.JPG
The height issue.
IMG_0747.JPG
This is from the side. Zero position looks like this with my latitude.
IMG_0748.JPG
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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Re: Report - well, kind of

#9

Post by GCoyote »

NICE!
Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

Meade 114-EQ-DH f7.9 Newtonian w/ manual GEM
Celestron Power Seeker 76mm f9.2 Newtonian Alt/Az
Bushnell 90mm f13.9 Catadioptric Alt/Az
Celestron 7x50 Binoculars
(And a bunch of stuff I'm still trying to fix or find parts for.)
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#10

Post by Bigzmey »

That's some monster setup there, go big or go home! :)

Looks like you are making good progress.

I believe with large scopes like yours people do use step ladder for observing.

Maybe you should get a smaller scope like 6" newt OTA to establish your observing routing? It will be much easier to handle and you can use it for practice runs (setting up the mount, finders, alignment, finding targets, observing techniques, etc.). Once you learn the ropes with smaller scope it will be easier to switch to the big one.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
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Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric; AltairAstro: Positive lock prism.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S, 6-color set; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 2173 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 1699, S110: 77). Doubles: 1445, Comets: 18, Asteroids: 95
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turboscrew
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#11

Post by turboscrew »

It's now dobson again. It's easier to sort the tube issues separately from the mount issues.
As dobson, it's easier to align the finder shoe and find out about the SWAN-thing.
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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Re: Report - well, kind of

#12

Post by Lady Fraktor »

Use the 12" as a dobsonian and purchase a refractor for the eq mount when wanting to image or tour the skies.
Best of both worlds.
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
Mounts: Berlebach Planet w/ 410mm pier, Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ 250mm pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, Skywatcher EQ-5 w/ dual drives, TAL MT1C w/ wood tripod, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & 200mm half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Long Perng Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#13

Post by Arctic »

turboscrew wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:10 pm
I also started warming the sauna - When I got all the stuff back in, it was already midnight. Got out of sauna around 5 AM.
You definitely needed the sauna after all that!
Gordon
Scopes: Meade LX10 8" SCT, Explore Scientific AR102 Refractor on ES Twilight 1 Mount, Oberwerks 15X70 Binos, Nikon Action Extreme 10X50 Binos.
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Observing: Messier Objects--110/110, H1 Objects-- 400/400. Hundreds of additional NGC Objects. Significant Comets: Kohoutek, West, Halley, Hyakatake, Hale-Bopp, McNair, Neowise. Transits of Mercury and Venus.
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#14

Post by turboscrew »

With the dobson mount, I went out to observe some cones again.
One of the finder shoe screws was loose. Got the shoe aligned and the screw tightened.
Also, the tube is fine (phooh!). The problem was that with the other eyepieces, 30 mm extension tube is good, but the SWAN needs 50 mm. Luckily I already have a 50 mm extension tube too.

Spent quite some time on the yard trying to figure out my property orientation and finding some landmarks for alignment.
Easier said than done. Found one almost north-south line, though. Studies are to be continued.
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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Re: Report - well, kind of

#15

Post by turboscrew »

Lady Fraktor wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:33 am Use the 12" as a dobsonian and purchase a refractor for the eq mount when wanting to image or tour the skies.
Best of both worlds.
I found out that I'm not a huge fan of dobsonian. There's still too much friction to keep the tube directed. One "notch" and the target disappears, an sometimes it's hard to get it back into the view. And the "notches" are bound to happen. The tube needs readjustments every couple of tens of seconds. It's hard to even get to focus in-between.

The tracking was actually the main reason of getting an EQ. I just decided, that I don't want to buy two of them, so the one should be good enough for trying some AP later on. Even if the tube is big (and so are the problems), I'm still happy with it. I remember "deciding" (at the age of, maybe, around 13), that one day I'll have a 30 cm tube. :lol:

Even if the face already hurts, bring it on!
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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Lady Fraktor
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#16

Post by Lady Fraktor »

A solution to gettng the tube down to a more comfortable level is to make a pier set into the ground cut to length so that the back of the telescope tube clears the ground.
That should eliminate using the ladder while viewing at least
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102 f/13.2, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
Mounts: Berlebach Planet w/ 410mm pier, Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ 250mm pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, Skywatcher EQ-5 w/ dual drives, TAL MT1C w/ wood tripod, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & 200mm half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Long Perng Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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turboscrew
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#17

Post by turboscrew »

Lady Fraktor wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:47 pm A solution to gettng the tube down to a more comfortable level is to make a pier set into the ground cut to length so that the back of the telescope tube clears the ground.
That should eliminate using the ladder while viewing at least
Umm, I didn't quite get the idea.
Senior Embedded SW Designer
Telescope: OrionOptics XV12
Mount: CEM120, Tri-pier 360 and alternative dobson mount.
Eyepieces: 10 mm and 25 mm Kellners, 15 mm TV Plössl, 6 mm Baader Classic Ortho, 26 mm Omegon SWAN 70°
Explore Scientific HR 2" coma corrector
Meade x3 1.25" Barlow
Some filters (#80A, ND-96, ND-09, UHC)

LAT 61° 28' 10.9" N, Bortle 5

I don't suffer from insanity. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

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Bigzmey
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#18

Post by Bigzmey »

Well, if you don't want smaller newt or frac - it is your back! :D

On a more serious note I would not give up on dobsonian mount yet. They are popular for a reason. In my experience most of astro equipment now days does not work right out of the box and require some tweaking. I would create a separate post for experienced dobsonians ... dobbies (what is the right term? :)) to chip in.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Binoviewers, Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & 2xXFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68, 62; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: 2xBCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV, Meade: Plossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric; AltairAstro: Positive lock prism.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S, 6-color set; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 2173 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 1699, S110: 77). Doubles: 1445, Comets: 18, Asteroids: 95
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SkyHiker
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#19

Post by SkyHiker »

To make a Dobsonian track, an equatorial platform is the cheapest way. They don't have to be super accurate to eliminate the need for bumping. One disadvantage is that analog setting circles cannot be used. But for star hopping that should be no problem.

I would have made the same choice, get a large light bucket, a solid mount and see if it can be made to work for visual and AP. In fact I have that now but for some strange reason I don't need a ladder. I'm 1.90 m (6'3) and I can turn the 12" Newt in its rings to face down or horizontal. My mount is a G11S on an HD tripod that I use with half extended legs. I think your pier can be adjusted a bit lower, and with turning the OTA that might just do the trick.

If you have trouble emptying that garage, there is a TV show in the US about hoarders. Maybe watching one episode will motivate you to clean up. Or if you are not married, dating helps too. Indirectly of course, and you may or may not like it! Well, you said "bring it on"...
... Henk. :D Telescopes: GSO 12" Astrograph, "Comet Hunter" MN152, ES ED127CF, ES ED80, WO Redcat51, Z12, AT6RC, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S with OnStep, AVX, Tiltall, Cameras: ASI2600MC, ASI2600MM, ASI120 mini, Fuji X-a1, Canon XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: OnStep controller, Barndoor trackers for 10" Dob and camera, Afocal adapter, Foldable Dob base, Az/Alt Dob setting circles, Accessories: ZWO 36 mm filter wheel, TV Paracorr 2, Baader MPCC Mk III, ES FF, SSAG, QHY OAG-M, EAF electronic focuser, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, Laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: KStars-Ekos, DSS, PHD2, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK, Computers:Pi4b, 2x Pi2b all running Astroberry, Toshiba Satellite 17"
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Re: Report - well, kind of

#20

Post by Graeme1858 »

Sounds like a great first time out!

Just one minor point, you might want to put the counter weights on before the OTA.

Regards

Graeme
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Celestron 9.25 f10 SCT, CGX mount.
ZWO ASI294MC Pro, Canon 600D, Altair GPCAM2 290C.
Celestron 80mm Guidescope, QHY5-II Mono.
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