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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies


Reged: 09/11/06
Posts: 9062
Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Nebhunter]
      #3044920 - 04/15/09 08:34 AM

Quote:

Methinks pouring a wee dram of Bowmore would be in order! Maybe wear a kilt to boot.




By Jove... He's "cracked me code"

did just that last night...

I've only got the plate and the RA Assembly mounted thus far... didn't have much time yesterday... will hopefully get the rest setup today/tonight -but today's a busy one as well (no doubt with an emergency visit to the post office as late in the day as possible!)

It is hard not to think about getting to USE this mount!

clear enough skies

--------------------
Dave

MI250 SBS mounted: C11Hyperstar,FSQ106ED,TOA130NFB;Lunt60THaB1200FT/DS50
Visual:DM6, XT10i w/ZambutoMirror,RTP
EP: 31T5, Ethos (21,17,13&8),10XW,5XW,3.5XW; Paracorr T1
MallincamColorHyper+,QSI583WS,QHY8
SBIG STV eFinder
Denk II: (2x24Pan,2x10XW)
Gerbings Heated clothes, Wilder Skies Observatory (BYO#90), Speco9"Monitor


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Trebor777
Hazy


Reged: 01/04/08
Posts: 1207
Loc: Connecticut - U.S.
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3044957 - 04/15/09 08:56 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Methinks pouring a wee dram of Bowmore would be in order! Maybe wear a kilt to boot.




By Jove... He's "cracked me code"

did just that last night...

I've only got the plate and the RA Assembly mounted thus far... didn't have much time yesterday... will hopefully get the rest setup today/tonight -but today's a busy one as well (no doubt with an emergency visit to the post office as late in the day as possible!)

It is hard not to think about getting to USE this mount!

clear enough skies




Congrats...And it looks like Thurs/Fri are nice and clear for ya.

--------------------
- Randy

Telescopes, Eyepieces, Mounts, Filters, CCD Cameras,
Astronomy Accessories, My Eyes, My Mind (Sometimes) and Hopefully Clear Skies.




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bdjeep
sage


Reged: 01/29/07
Posts: 476
Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Trebor777]
      #3045035 - 04/15/09 09:59 AM

Hey Dave,

It looks like your window of opportunity will be Thursday or Friday night. After that, NEAF followed by rain & clouds.

Unfortunately, I don't think the government will grant you an extension on your taxes because you got a new mount. It might be worth staying up late to get it all set up.

I managed to get a one day reprieve from my "honey do" list to do the marathon drive to/from NEAF in a day. Going to split the driving with a club member.

Enjoy the new mount...hopefully you'll get to try it under the stars this week.

--------------------


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Jason Glass
sage


Reged: 06/27/05
Posts: 240
Loc: 3633'9.19"N, 8640'7.36"W
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3045060 - 04/15/09 10:12 AM

Quote:

got the plate and the RA Assembly mounted thus far...




That's a relief! Did the plate to pier interface give you any trouble?

No matter how confident I am that I nailed the threaded hole locations in the azimuth plate to spec, I still feared that Murphy and his laws might show up at the party.

--------------------
Best wishes,
Jason Glass



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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies


Reged: 09/11/06
Posts: 9062
Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Jason Glass]
      #3045499 - 04/15/09 02:52 PM

Murphy has left the building... no issues at all... took TIME to get the old plate off and the new one on, etc... wanted to be super careful...

fortunately it's pretty straightforwards to setup (thus far!)... I may have a free hour this afternoon to see if I can get it setup the rest of the way - hope so, cause my skies are starting to look better!

clear enough skies

--------------------
Dave

MI250 SBS mounted: C11Hyperstar,FSQ106ED,TOA130NFB;Lunt60THaB1200FT/DS50
Visual:DM6, XT10i w/ZambutoMirror,RTP
EP: 31T5, Ethos (21,17,13&8),10XW,5XW,3.5XW; Paracorr T1
MallincamColorHyper+,QSI583WS,QHY8
SBIG STV eFinder
Denk II: (2x24Pan,2x10XW)
Gerbings Heated clothes, Wilder Skies Observatory (BYO#90), Speco9"Monitor


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Jason Glass
sage


Reged: 06/27/05
Posts: 240
Loc: 3633'9.19"N, 8640'7.36"W
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3045543 - 04/15/09 03:19 PM

Hi Dave,

You know we're going to need some photos of her in her new home, right?

--------------------
Best wishes,
Jason Glass



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LLEEGE
True Blue


Reged: 03/03/05
Posts: 12767
Loc: Cloud-chester,NY
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Jason Glass]
      #3046091 - 04/15/09 08:39 PM

OK, I think we have waited long enough. Where's the pictures!?

--------------------
A wise man once said........nothing.

A good mount
A few good OTA's
A few good EP's
A decent camera
Crappy skies


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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies


Reged: 09/11/06
Posts: 9062
Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: LLEEGE]
      #3046174 - 04/15/09 09:41 PM

Well...

I've got good news... and bad news...

first the good news...

I found about 90 minutes this afternoon to go out and finish unpacking (gotta mention AGAIN that Jason, you REALLY know how to pack!!!) Took the entire 90 minutes to:

a) unpack the DEC and the Counterweight - the DEC was actually TRIPLE boxed

b) get the DEC mounted on the RA Axis

c) add counterweight

d) do an initial installation of, and side by side balancing of, the Vixen and TMB (with the piggyback mounted STV camera)... balancing an SBS rig is NOT easy, it's more iterative...

e) semi, re-pack all the packaging and boxes and transport them up to my 3rd floor attic. 5 Trips

The "bad news"?

1) ran outta time this afternoon - had to go and coach a little league practice from 5:45 to 7:45, then dinner, now bed - I'm getting a cold

2) Not going out tonight to finish (installation of Gemini and fire up, and then polar align... just too tired

3) No pictures (yet); Tomorrow, ok?

Once again, this is an unbelievably well made mount; every bit the quality of an AP (at least so far)... The machining is first rate, and the precision of all fitments is quite impressive.

I wasn't able to mount all 3 counterweights; even with them all the way up, I couldn't balance properly. So, only two on there, and they are pretty far up as it is! Which is too bad because man, oh man, are they beautiful...

The "overbuilt" nature of this thing must be seen to be experienced.

One thing I did notice, it is quite possible (mechanically) to move the DEC axis such that it can smack right into the RA motor - I presume there is some sort of control/limiting going on in the Gemini system to prevent this?

Wish for:

1) me getting over this cold
2) my CSC to STAY as it currently is

so that tomorrow can be the final setup and DEBUT!

clear enough skies

--------------------
Dave

MI250 SBS mounted: C11Hyperstar,FSQ106ED,TOA130NFB;Lunt60THaB1200FT/DS50
Visual:DM6, XT10i w/ZambutoMirror,RTP
EP: 31T5, Ethos (21,17,13&8),10XW,5XW,3.5XW; Paracorr T1
MallincamColorHyper+,QSI583WS,QHY8
SBIG STV eFinder
Denk II: (2x24Pan,2x10XW)
Gerbings Heated clothes, Wilder Skies Observatory (BYO#90), Speco9"Monitor


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied


Reged: 05/18/05
Posts: 21117
Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3046236 - 04/15/09 10:39 PM

It can smack the motor housing on the Dec. axis, so be careful. Larry said it can image about 40 minutes past the meridian. I've never done it, but I'm sure someone here has.

And we're giving you one additional day to get the pictures up...

David

--------------------
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.



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f29pc
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/23/05
Posts: 732
Loc: Maine
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #3046279 - 04/15/09 11:04 PM

Dave when you set up the Gemini, pay attention to the safety limits setting. When you select the MI 250 for the mount, they should (I said SHOULD) load automatically, but it's always worth a look. This is what will prevent the mount from slewing the motor into the mount, (and it will if the safety limits aren't set correctly). The mount can track about 40 min across the meridian, then the safety limit will stop the mount. I routinely image 15-20 min past the meridian, your balance has to be perfect to do this and get a good image.
If you don't have one already, Larry sells a Dec cable that has a 90 deg plug , that gives you a little more room below the Dec motor
Paul

--------------------
14" LX200 R OTA
12" LX200 UHTC OTA
WO 105mm APO, 80mm APO, 66mm APO
MI250
Next day air makes every night X-mas eve!
www.burkesobservatory.com


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RAKing
Postmaster


Reged: 12/28/07
Posts: 5349
Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3046636 - 04/16/09 07:35 AM

Dave,

If you don't know this already, you can also tailor your own safety limits in the Gemini.

One of the nice things about this control system is you can go well past the meridian when imaging. That can also be one of those "heart stopping" moments with this control system.

You will definitely hold your breath the first time you watch your scope roll well past the meridian and come *this close* to the pier.

Take care,

Ron

--------------------
Time spent looking at the stars is added to your life
My beloved Bashful, Misty, and little Ralphie - they are my heavenly stars

AAVSO - Sustaining Member
TEC 140 ~ STF-Mirage 8" Mak ~ 8"f/6 Zambuto Newt
A-P Mach1 ~ Losmandy GM-8


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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies


Reged: 09/11/06
Posts: 9062
Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: RAKing]
      #3048709 - 04/17/09 09:18 AM Attachment (37 downloads)

OK, guys... at long last a photo!

Last night was sorta frustrating. I wasn't totally thinking straight because of this nasty cold I've got... But, darn it, it was freaking clear out!

So, went out... got things all hooked up, etc... and then started to try and learn Gemini...

first, I manually aligned as close as I could on my TMB80SS to polaris (mechanically) having the scope in as close to 90 degrees as possible. I noticed that since I have an SBS setup, the helpful markings that MI put on the RA (and DEC) assembly don't line up, i.e. there isn't one for someone using native SBS. So, I had to eyeball the 90 degree "initial polar setup of RA and DEC axis.

anyways, with that part done, I then used the Alt and Az adjustments to get Polaris as centered as I could. These are much easier to use/adjust than the CGE in that there isn't any "backlash" when you tighten them down (on the CGE there's a bit of backlash/backcreep when you tighten the Alt locking bolts (Az was fine).

OK, so now to power on Gemini...

Got my location setup (Lat/Long), timezone, entered the time, etc...

Did my first Goto Bright star... The first one on the list that I knew was up, was Polaris... so selected it...

The mount slewed about 45 degees to the EAST (!) and pointed in general direction of Polaris (being under Cold Medicine at the time I gave this no thought)... So I then used the HC to get Polaris centered in the TMB... Then put in my 22T4 in the R200CF... not centered, so centered in THAT scope, then adjusted the TMB to match

Good now the scopes are parallel (again)!... At that point then aligned on Polaris...

Then tried another alignment star... no matter what I did I got the "Sorry" error... This was very frustrating...

So... at this point, I then decided to set the home position, and shut down.

Went in and READ the manual (some more)...

I discovered that I made two errors:

1) I entered my LOCAL time, not UTC time

That would explain why it was looking for brightstars that wouldn't rise for 3-5 hours, huh?

2) I wasn't using the proper procedure to get to the next alignment star... stupid user error there.

Conclusions from first (sorta) light?

1) My goodness, but this is a solid, quiet, precision mount... the slews were so... PERFECT sounding

2) Gemini is going to take some time, although it isn't too hard, just have to get used to it... it is QUITE logical (and comprehensive). I'm certainly going to LOVE having everything PERMANENT - I'd hate to do all this all the time (as, to be fair, I would have with my CGE - I'm LAZY)

3) I'm going to need to give some thought to cable management and mounting my anti-dew system... There's no convenient flat place to mount the Kendricks (like there was with the CGE)... Not a big deal, just needs some thought

Can't wait to get out tonight and SET THE TIME RIGHT!

As you all can see from the picture, it is so beautiful! (I like how the grey/green color(?) goes with the CF tube too!

Clear enough skies, and more reports tomorrow!

Attachment

--------------------
Dave

MI250 SBS mounted: C11Hyperstar,FSQ106ED,TOA130NFB;Lunt60THaB1200FT/DS50
Visual:DM6, XT10i w/ZambutoMirror,RTP
EP: 31T5, Ethos (21,17,13&8),10XW,5XW,3.5XW; Paracorr T1
MallincamColorHyper+,QSI583WS,QHY8
SBIG STV eFinder
Denk II: (2x24Pan,2x10XW)
Gerbings Heated clothes, Wilder Skies Observatory (BYO#90), Speco9"Monitor


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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies


Reged: 09/11/06
Posts: 9062
Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3048715 - 04/17/09 09:20 AM

Oh yea, one more simple question:

What is that squarish (about 3/4") electrical tab thingy that is embedded into that black anodized "joining ring" between the CW shaft and the DEC axis of the mount???

There's nothing in the manuals about it???

call me curious

clear enough skies

--------------------
Dave

MI250 SBS mounted: C11Hyperstar,FSQ106ED,TOA130NFB;Lunt60THaB1200FT/DS50
Visual:DM6, XT10i w/ZambutoMirror,RTP
EP: 31T5, Ethos (21,17,13&8),10XW,5XW,3.5XW; Paracorr T1
MallincamColorHyper+,QSI583WS,QHY8
SBIG STV eFinder
Denk II: (2x24Pan,2x10XW)
Gerbings Heated clothes, Wilder Skies Observatory (BYO#90), Speco9"Monitor


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Jason Glass
sage


Reged: 06/27/05
Posts: 240
Loc: 3633'9.19"N, 8640'7.36"W
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3049310 - 04/17/09 02:38 PM

Hi Dave,

That electrical thingy is the declination encoder connector. I engaged a blank connector to protect the pins. Just slide it straight down and off to see the pins.

Actually, I installed the arrow stickers on both axis to denote my park position. I doubt they're right on for CWD, but they're close. They are helpful if you set your park position on them, and use them as reference for a warm restart.

Thanks for the glowing feedback on AM. I appreciate it!

--------------------
Best wishes,
Jason Glass



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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied


Reged: 05/18/05
Posts: 21117
Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3049517 - 04/17/09 04:47 PM

Quote:



2) I wasn't using the proper procedure to get to the next alignment star... stupid user error there.






Probably the most common Gemini mistake. Sync the first star, goto bright star, select star, center star then enter ADDITIONAL ALIGN. You can do that over and over again until you have a pointing model that is scary good.

Nice picture! It's just a great mount and you are going to be very happy with its performance.

David

--------------------
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.



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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies


Reged: 09/11/06
Posts: 9062
Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #3049597 - 04/17/09 05:29 PM

Yeah - I think I was trying "next align" (or something like that)... The ex-engineer in my thought I could just brute force my way through...

of course, it was somewhat complicated by the fact that my time setting was 4 hours off, and so NONE of the "GoToBright Stars" were "available"...

My CSC says I can get out tonight, but right now it don't look so promising!


clear enough skies

--------------------
Dave

MI250 SBS mounted: C11Hyperstar,FSQ106ED,TOA130NFB;Lunt60THaB1200FT/DS50
Visual:DM6, XT10i w/ZambutoMirror,RTP
EP: 31T5, Ethos (21,17,13&8),10XW,5XW,3.5XW; Paracorr T1
MallincamColorHyper+,QSI583WS,QHY8
SBIG STV eFinder
Denk II: (2x24Pan,2x10XW)
Gerbings Heated clothes, Wilder Skies Observatory (BYO#90), Speco9"Monitor


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied


Reged: 05/18/05
Posts: 21117
Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3050001 - 04/17/09 10:19 PM

You can go to any object in the database and do an Additional Align. It works best with the star database. Just get the ASO number, enter it and slew, center and do an Additional Align.

And once you get your pointing model all set up, make sure that when you power up, you use Warm Restart. Once you do that, goto an object and if it's off just a bit, center and Sync. I wasn't sure what would happen if you did a Sync after a Warm Restart, but it doesn't do anything to your existing pointing model.

It's a good system. You'll have a great time working through the quirkiness.

David

--------------------
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.



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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies


Reged: 09/11/06
Posts: 9062
Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #3050063 - 04/17/09 10:59 PM

Well, the skies cleared up and it was a GREAT night!

I was able to get a really good model built - 5 alignment stars... had no trouble landing M51, M97, M65 and a few others (Saturn was nice tonight - our seeing actually sustained my 3-6 zoom at 3mm in the TMB w/ no issues - very crisp views...

The goto's on this puppy are very accurate, even after the first alignment star... I can't wait to next time, with the Warm Restart...

Next time out, going to try and get a really tight polar alignment, and then setting up the QHY8...

And, I hafta route a bunch of cables for the dew system as well...

Tonight was visual and Mallincam.

And then, back inside in time to watch the Sox actually pull it out (they were down 7-0 when I turned it off to do the dishes and head out to the observatory)...

Yes, a GOOD night!

clear enough skies

--------------------
Dave

MI250 SBS mounted: C11Hyperstar,FSQ106ED,TOA130NFB;Lunt60THaB1200FT/DS50
Visual:DM6, XT10i w/ZambutoMirror,RTP
EP: 31T5, Ethos (21,17,13&8),10XW,5XW,3.5XW; Paracorr T1
MallincamColorHyper+,QSI583WS,QHY8
SBIG STV eFinder
Denk II: (2x24Pan,2x10XW)
Gerbings Heated clothes, Wilder Skies Observatory (BYO#90), Speco9"Monitor


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied


Reged: 05/18/05
Posts: 21117
Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: OK, I've been tapped! Need help deciding!! new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #3050642 - 04/18/09 10:57 AM

Great news, Dave! I'm looking forward to your image from the 8. Should be terrific!

David

--------------------
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.



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