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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5388903 - 08/26/12 10:45 PM

Quote:

Gday Ed

Quote:

It is a little difficult to see in the photo, but it looks similar to the CGE Pro style of spring loading. Rather than the entire worm pivoting outward from the ring gear like in some other mounts, the worm assembly pivots on one end.




Not so sure there. Looking at the very bottom of the bracket, you can see alloy plug screws that Meade normally use to preload worm or pivot bearings.
I reckon the whole worm carrier/motor gearbox pivots outwards on a lower axle, and the bar at one end is only there to provide a backstop for the tensioning spring and backstop. Cant really tell from the photos tho.

Nielson, does the whole upper section of the worm carrier pivot ????
If so, how is the worm height adjusted to allow it to fit the wormwheel correctly??

Andrew




Andrew,

You may be right. Sooner or later one of my freinds will get me their's when they finally get it and I will be able to check things out closer. One of the things I find interesting in the picture is the fact that the L-shaped metal that the spring and limit screw are attached to looks bent. That would seem a bit odd to me and might imply that things were overtightened to being with. I would be a little surprised if it was made with that bend in it.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Why me? new [Re: EFT]
      #5388928 - 08/26/12 10:57 PM

Hi Ed...

Jan and I should be home by the end of the week...
And the mount will be yours to tinker with...


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: EFT]
      #5389055 - 08/27/12 12:53 AM

Hi Everybody,
I just came in. It appears the worm gear is all that pivots but there looks like a pivot joint half way down on both sides. I think the motor gears and worm are all mounted on the top piece and is solid on the right side and the left side has the spring to push it against the ring gear. That flat metal strip is being used as a spring. That came from my first mount. It was bent, its week where the middle screw is. I removed that metal piece and beat it with a hammer on a flat anvil and straitened it and it never bent after that.

I set up my mount and noticed the RA was rocking back and forth. Apparently the middle screw on that spring thing came loose. I hadn't put locktite on it. I really regret it now. I aligned it anyway and slewed to Arcturus. I centered it and it stayed in the middle of my illuminated reticle at least 15 minutes or more. I tried slewing every direction on the lowest speed and it worked great. I wanted to leave it but that bouncing ota makes it useless for imaging and its irritating so I took the mount off and disassembled it in my shop. Setting it up right is very difficult. It has a small sweat spot like had been said.
I can not tell when all that movement is out because it takes the weight of the ota to get that spring loaded wormblock to move. So I have to re assemble it just to check it.
If you put a crescent wrench on the block to test the tension and you pull it much more than the tips of the teeth that metal spring thing bends so don't try. You have to assemble it and wiggle the RA so the gear is pushing it out. It can only push it to the ends of the teeth that way so it wont bend it.. After 3 times taking it apart I felt like I had it. each time I tighten the spring I have to turn on power and measure drag while adjusting the limit screw in the back until the amp draw was low enough. This time I couldn't get down to .33amps without causing play in teeth. I just got .37amps. whenever I got it lower there was play in the ring gear. finally I put locktite and put it together. I tested it again. It wasn't as good. It locked and held the star but it was hard to get it moving when slewing at lowest speed. Then to make things worse there was still a little play. Geez. Plus I got heat exhaustion from temp in the 90's and 99% humidity. I don't know why it was so difficult to adjust it good but It will be alot easier in the daylite. If I can get it set right tomorrow I will make sure and locktite it. That "L" shaped thing they are using as a spring is very poor quality cast that they grinded into shape and is not hardened spring steel. I just hope it was the screw loosened and not that piece bending.

Ever since the first time I looked at that wormblock, I felt it was a crummy setup. There is too much pressure on those little parts. That wormblock was designed for light weight loads only. If its set up properly it will kick out easily if it hits something and it will flex to absorb inertia when stopping or changing directions at high speeds. to prevent damage to the plastic gears. But when its got a heavy 10" ota it has to be tightened too much. then It doesn't absorb inertia when You use a small light weight ota.

If I can get it setup like I had it this afternoon it will work really well.
neilson

Edited by neilson (08/27/12 02:12 AM)


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5389830 - 08/27/12 02:01 PM

Hi Everybody,
I opened the mount and removed that "L" piece. The whole wormgear, motor pivot. I had adjusted all that play in the RA out before but I didn't realize the coil spring was completely closed. I had removed all of the worms ability to kick out. Thats not good. I re adjusted it so it is as tight as possible while still being able to flex a little. Then I adjusted the limit screw in the back so that it has .36 amp draw. If I go any lower the ring gear isn't tight. As for that "L" piece its not really a spring but it does have a little flex if overloaded like when the spring is collapsed.

I put everything together to test it. That spring is way too weak. The ota is bouncing around. Even my small fan is making it bounce. I pointed at the tower but the slew was very slow, too slow. I don't think it's going to work when the sky is moving.

I tried my refractor 23lbs. The bouncing was minimal but not as bad. It is acceptable but just. Any more would be too much. I aimed at a tower and slewed at low speed. It moved great. Much faster than with the 10" and plenty fast for when the sky is moving. The amp draw is slightly lower at .34 amp

Before I wasn't paying attention and missed that spring collapsed all the way. And mistook the "L" piece as being a spring, it isnt. That's why it was working so good. But the worm wasn't able to move therefore increasing the chance for the plastic gears to be damaged.
The way it is right now mount is not capable of handling the ota in polar mode. If a heavier spring is installed to reduce the bouncing to acceptable levels then it might work fine for visual but the amp draw will increase making it even slower when slewing at the lowest speed and it might not work when the sky is moving.



I took some photos of the wormblock with the "L" piece and spring off so you can see it pivot, I am going to add them to my photos folder in the LX80 yahoo group. The folders title is "Opening the RA drive on the LX80".
neilson

Edited by neilson (08/27/12 03:38 PM)


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5389960 - 08/27/12 03:30 PM

Sorry to hear that things did not work out. Honestly, I would have been very surprised if the mount had been capable of doing imaging with a 40 lb load. The AP Mach1 is rated close to that, 45 lbs, and it cost $6400. So if Meade had been able to make a $800 mount that could handle the same load and do photography, that would have been something!

The truth is always what we would like to hear, but quality cost money. There just is no way to make something great for 10x less money.
Blueman
Quote:

Hi Everybody,
Well the news is not good. I opened the mount and removed that "L" piece. The whole wormgear, motor pivot. I had adjusted all that play in the RA out before but I didn't realize the coil spring was completely closed. I had removed all of the worms ability to kick out. Thats not good. I re adjusted it so it is as tight as possible while still being able to flex a little. Then I adjusted the limit screw in the back so that it has .36 amp draw. If I go any lower the ring gear isn't tight. As for that "L" piece its not really a spring but it does have a little flex if overloaded like when the spring is collapsed.

I put everything together to test it. That spring is way too weak. The ota is bouncing around. Even my small fan is making it bounce. I pointed at the tower but the slew was very slow, too slow. I don't think it's going to work when the sky is moving.

I tried my refractor 23lbs. The bouncing was minimal but not as bad. It is acceptable but just. Any more would be too much. I aimed at a tower and slewed at low speed. It moved great. Much faster than with the 10" and plenty fast for when the sky is moving. The amp draw is slightly lower at .34 amp

I would rate this mount as Maxed weight 25lbs but not for AP. I would say 20lbs for AP.
Before I wasn't paying attention and missed that spring collapsed all the way. And mistook the "L" piece as being a spring, it isnt. That's why it was working so good. But the worm wasn't able to move therefore increasing the chance for the plastic gears to be damaged.
The mount is not capable of handling the ota in polar mode. If a heavier spring is installed to reduce the bouncing to acceptable levels then it might work fine for visual but the amp draw will increase making it even slower when slewing at the lowest speed and it might not work when the sky is moving.

Ok guys I was able to find the usable limits today. I had compressed that spring too much and got it wrong before.
Its time for me to admit that I was wrong. Wrong about this mounts capability, wrong about thinking that I could make it work with that 10"ota for AP or even visual in polar. I trusted Meade and believed that it was going to max at 40lbs like their published specs state. This 10" ota has no business on this mount in polar, and Meade has no business selling a 10" ota with it. The 8" at 20lbs is Meade's largest ota that will work. You guys are right and I was wrong.

The only thing that I can think of is if Meade modifies this wormblock to handle more weight. I could modify it but I am going to see what Meade comes up with. They should of known this. Maybe they already did know.

I took some photos of the wormblock with the "L" piece and spring off so you can see it pivot, I am going to add them to my photos folder in the LX80 yahoo group. The folders title is "Opening the RA drive on the LX80".
neilson




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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: blueman]
      #5390123 - 08/27/12 05:14 PM

Hi
I spoke to Carlos and he said they just have to adjust that spring tighter. Also since I was having so much trouble with the mount handling the weight back before I found out the bearings had no grease, I had switched from 3 weights to 2 weights and slid it down the rod more to the last section of rod but not the end. Now that the bearings have grease Carlos said to use all 3 weights.

I put the 3 weights back on and it helped the bouncing but it was still not good enough. I took it apart again and tightened the spring just a little more but that closed it, I already had it close before. But its barely closed so there is just a little left to close it tight. That little bit and the flexure of the "L" piece allows it to move a little. I put it together after readjusting the limit screw in the back.

I tested It and Its not bouncing any more. There is about 1/16" movement when you wiggle the RA but it doesn't move by itself or with my fan blowing on it. When slewing at high its only drawing .34 to .35 amp. I retrained the drives and I can slew on the lowest speed and it works good but I had to set RA percent to 20%. I think that's good. Everything seams like its going to work real good now. But all I have to do is test it against the sky. I think its going to do good. It might even do well imaging. lol I know its too soon to say that, I'm just trying to be funny. And as for adding a guidescope. I wouldn't.
There's only one thing, and its that with all that weight its pushing it. If there were no plastic gears then it would be fine but since that spring is almost closed the wormgear cannot disengage if needed. All that weight has alot of inertia and each time it starts moving there is a momentary big draw on the amps. But thats not the problem, the problem is stopping all that weight. When you stop slewing it uses all that 1/16" of movement and needs more so it bounces back and forth momentarily. If someone was to slew in one direction at high speed then switch directions without stopping completely, I am afraid something is going to give when you start that motor in the opposite direction. Like one of the teeth from one of those plastic gears. Oh and its still not a 40lb max mount. Yes you guys told me so. Yes you were right and I was wrong. It looks like the limit might be 30lbs.

As for your comment about making a mount handle the weight, I feel this mount and bearings when greased have no problem with this weight so the only thing holding it back is the RA drive. Meade fabricated this wormblock, If they would have made the little "L" piece a little thicker and used a heavier spring the wormblock could handle 50lbs. If the motor needed to be a little bigger like the one on the LXD75 or LX200 then they already have them. It doesn't take $6,000. to make a mount that can handle a 10" ota well for AP. But in this market they can charge that kind of money so they do. If Meade would of spent a few dollars more or even if it was $20. or $50. more this mount could max at 50lbs and handle a 10"ota and small guide scope very well for AP. But all they care is about each dollar more they can make on each unit. Thats why they removed that little handle and the stickers from my ota. Its cause removing those things made them an extra $1.00 per unit. That adds up once you sell tens of thousands of units over time. Look they are too cheap to put a 50 cent bigger spring but instead said we just tighten it more on the bigger otas. The smaller spring probably cost 25cents. Its not just one thing its a bunch of little things that add up for extra profit per unit. That's just my opinion. Not Meades policy to my knowledge but that's how most factories operate.

I will test this tonight weather permitting. I still have to tell Carlos how this went.

neilson


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390218 - 08/27/12 06:30 PM

I said it before. I hope Meade makes a "DX" version of this mount - one with higher quality bearings and drives, and with the new (LX600/LX800) electronics that would support Starlock as an accessory. Rate it for around 45-50 pounds.

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Joe Ogiba
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/14/02

Loc: NJ USA
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390220 - 08/27/12 06:31 PM

What would you say is the limit in Alt/Az mode (visual only)? I was thinking of my C9.25 and CT152 that are in the 20-25 lb range each without binoviewers, diagonals etc. Or I might use the C9.25 and 102mm Meade F9 ED/APO with 11 lb CW.

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: Joe Ogiba]
      #5390265 - 08/27/12 07:04 PM

Hi Joe,
Alt/az works great. I was using my Meade 10"ota 30lbs. on one side and an ES AR152mm 23 lbs.and one 11 lbs counter weight on the other side and it worked great. 30+34= 64lbs total. I had no issues in Alt/az . Meade claims 75lbs max in duel scope Alt/Az mode.
neilson


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Joe Ogiba
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/14/02

Loc: NJ USA
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390312 - 08/27/12 07:40 PM

Wow, thanks for that info neilson, it looks like the C9.25/CT152 combo is a go for me if my LX80 ever ships.

Joe


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390328 - 08/27/12 07:46 PM

Hi Everyone,
I just talked to Carlos at Meade and expressed my concerns about having the wormblock spring tight and all that inertia when I stop after a slew on high speed. He said not to worry. When the mount slews at high speed in goto it slows down first before it stops. So when I slew with the handbox I will just use a slower speed. Tonight I will test if it handles my 10"ota well.
He said the only thing to look for is during imaging with that setup if it has trouble tracking smooth then I will need to adjust the spring looser.
Yes you heard right I should be able to Image with my 10"ota on this mount. maybe I misunderstood him.lol.
neilson


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390345 - 08/27/12 07:57 PM

I'd like to put a 35 pound OTA on it, but I don't plan to do long-exposure long-focal length astro-photography with it. Your opinion is, it would work fine assuming either Meade could get them built properly, or I fixed what they didn't do right as you have?

I do plan to do some modest exposure-length (say, 0.5-5 minutes) unguided astrophotography in polar, but that setup would weigh less than 5 pounds including camera, and have a maximum scale of around 5 arc seconds per pixel (usually less). If I understand right, Meade will need to fix the PEC recording but after they do, that will probably also work, correct?


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390616 - 08/27/12 11:18 PM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

I took some photos of the wormblock with the "L" piece and spring off so you can see it pivot,




Sio it is a similar mechanism to the LX200s,
however, just thinking about what would be different in Polar Vs AltAz.
How is the top of the RA bearing unit supported when fitted?
Ie if i follow your disassy piccies, you remove three screws at the bottom,
and the whole lot just slides out.
If so, what holds the top stable when fitted????
Ie how rigid is the lower casing that it all fits into?,
as the rigidity of the top joint will affect the overall stability.
This wouldnt show up altAz but would polar???
Just a thought on whats different.

Andrew


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390644 - 08/27/12 11:32 PM

Quote:

Hi
I spoke to Carlos and he said they just have to adjust that spring tighter. Also since I was having so much trouble with the mount handling the weight back before I found out the bearings had no grease, I had switched from 3 weights to 2 weights and slid it down the rod more to the last section of rod but not the end. Now that the bearings have grease Carlos said to use all 3 weights.

I put the 3 weights back on and it helped the bouncing but it was still not good enough. I took it apart again and tightened the spring just a little more but that closed it, I already had it close before. But its barely closed so there is just a little left to close it tight. That little bit and the flexure of the "L" piece allows it to move a little. I put it together after readjusting the limit screw in the back.

I tested It and Its not bouncing any more. There is about 1/16" movement when you wiggle the RA but it doesn't move by itself or with my fan blowing on it. When slewing at high its only drawing .34 to .35 amp. I retrained the drives and I can slew on the lowest speed and it works good but I had to set RA percent to 20%. I think that's good. Everything seams like its going to work real good now. But all I have to do is test it against the sky. I think its going to do good. It might even do well imaging. lol I know its too soon to say that, I'm just trying to be funny. And as for adding a guidescope. I wouldn't.
There's only one thing, and its that with all that weight its pushing it. If there were no plastic gears then it would be fine but since that spring is almost closed the wormgear cannot disengage if needed. All that weight has alot of inertia and each time it starts moving there is a momentary big draw on the amps. But thats not the problem, the problem is stopping all that weight. When you stop slewing it uses all that 1/16" of movement and needs more so it bounces back and forth momentarily. If someone was to slew in one direction at high speed then switch directions without stopping completely, I am afraid something is going to give when you start that motor in the opposite direction. Like one of the teeth from one of those plastic gears. Oh and its still not a 40lb max mount. Yes you guys told me so. Yes you were right and I was wrong. It looks like the limit might be 30lbs.

As for your comment about making a mount handle the weight, I feel this mount and bearings when greased have no problem with this weight so the only thing holding it back is the RA drive. Meade fabricated this wormblock, If they would have made the little "L" piece a little thicker and used a heavier spring the wormblock could handle 50lbs. If the motor needed to be a little bigger like the one on the LXD75 or LX200 then they already have them. It doesn't take $6,000. to make a mount that can handle a 10" ota well for AP. But in this market they can charge that kind of money so they do. If Meade would of spent a few dollars more or even if it was $20. or $50. more this mount could max at 50lbs and handle a 10"ota and small guide scope very well for AP. But all they care is about each dollar more they can make on each unit. Thats why they removed that little handle and the stickers from my ota. Its cause removing those things made them an extra $1.00 per unit. That adds up once you sell tens of thousands of units over time. Look they are too cheap to put a 50 cent bigger spring but instead said we just tighten it more on the bigger otas. The smaller spring probably cost 25cents. Its not just one thing its a bunch of little things that add up for extra profit per unit. That's just my opinion. Not Meades policy to my knowledge but that's how most factories operate.

I will test this tonight weather permitting. I still have to tell Carlos how this went.

neilson




If the mount needs better gears, stronger springs, etc. someone (Ed) should get to work on a Hypertune kit.


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Mantis707
member


Reged: 08/14/12

Re: Why me? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5390671 - 08/27/12 11:44 PM

Great news! I might consider one of these as a secondary mount for grab and go!

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5390761 - 08/28/12 12:55 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

Hi Andrew,
I just came from testing. When your in Alt/Az the Assembly sits flat on one larger bearing with the smaller bearing is on top and not carrying any weight. When in polar the bearings are standing on edge and both bearings carry weight.

I tested my scope tonight and I think it was good. That little play (slop)in RA is only 1/16" and has no effect in visual. I centered Arcturus and it was still centered in my 12mm illuminated reticle eyepiece after 15 minutes. I was able to slew with the lowest speed in any direction. I wanted to try and image. I removed my 2" diagonal and put the camera. I kept getting a little drift. So I unlocked RA and balanced it with the camera on. It was different.
I re centered Arcturus and locked the clutch I tried different times and 45 and 50 sec. turned out good with round stars. I got a few that had very noticeable drift Then 38 sec gave me round stars.

Then I went for 128sec. ISO 100 at F/10 unguided. I just couldn't believe it, I got a pretty round star. I had a big grin and had to try longer.
The next image was 181sec. ISO 100 at F/10 unguided. Wow, this one isn't perfectly round. But for 3 minutes unguided at f/10 I am amazed. I have never had any mount at any focal length make a star this good 3min. unguided.
In the upper left you can see a dim star drawing what looks like a graph with a peak. I don't know if that's the movement or if that's PE.

I am going to try and put both images here, I never put images on CN before. If I cant download them I will also put them on LX80 yahoo group photos section in my folder called Neilsons images.On yahoo group the 3min pic. is normal size not blown up.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390780 - 08/28/12 01:07 AM Attachment (33 downloads)

below is 3 min. unguided f/10
I had to crop it alot to fit here, its zoomed about 60%, I think.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5390826 - 08/28/12 02:48 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

Gday Nielson

Quote:

I just came from testing. When your in Alt/Az the Assembly sits flat on one larger bearing with the smaller bearing is on top and not carrying any weight. When in polar the bearings are standing on edge and both bearings carry weight.




I am thinking bigger,... like the "whole" assy you pulled out,
I have taken the liberty of pinching one of your your pictures from the Yahoo LX80 site
to reproduce here, so others can see it and help me explain what i'm after.
How is the whole upper assy secured into the base housing itself.
Ie when heavily loaded in polar, whilst the "OTA" may be balanced,
there will be a large bending moment going into the base.
As far as i can see, the whole lot just "sits" in the top of the base housing
and the three screws at the bottom stop it coming out.
Im wondering how good/rigid the joint between the base and upper assy is under load, ie can it flex at this upper joint under load???

Quote:

In the upper left you can see a dim star drawing what looks like a graph with a peak. I don't know if that's the movement or if that's PE.




I'm sure there is some PE in there, but the fact it makes a V shape ( if thats what i am seeing ) is odd. PE on a misaligned scope shows up more like a wiggly snake, it never reverses on itself. I wonder if this is an artifact of DEC motor movements.

You mention F10, but whats more important here is actual Focal length.
If that is with your 10" F10 ( ie 2500mm FL ) and 3mins unguided, with no PEC,
then thats not too shabby a first run, but the V shaped star intrigues me a bit more.

Andrew


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Why me? [Re: neilson]
      #5390981 - 08/28/12 08:10 AM

Quote:

below is 3 min. unguided f/10
I had to crop it alot to fit here, its zoomed about 60%, I think.




neilson, the length of exposure and brightness of your star are masking your "actual" results. To the "slightly" upper left in you image.....what looks like a UFO is actually a smaller star. It's showing the true results. That star is jumping all over the place.

Best, Joe


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? [Re: jmiele]
      #5391163 - 08/28/12 10:19 AM

Umm, Neilson, you don't have round stars.

The V shape on other mounts comes from a simple first order PE correction with a triangle wave.

The mounts to a flat plate are a really good way to built a spring. I spent a lot of time playing with that problem as a structural analyst back in the day. Lots of people make that mistake, though.

-Rich


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