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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: MKV]
      #6141298 - 10/16/13 04:59 PM

Thanks Mladen

John, what type of equipment do you have to do these interferometric tests? Do you have a website where you published some of your tests and such? I'm getting curious about your work


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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6157451 - 10/25/13 01:11 PM

I did the concrete poor for the 14" pier last week-end.
Will try to do the 4 footings soon so I can start on the flooring asap!




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s800
member


Reged: 03/19/08

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6158166 - 10/25/13 08:44 PM

Thanks for continuing to post your progress... great read and great work!

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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: s800]
      #6180053 - 11/06/13 09:45 PM

Super small update:

* I've installed the gear cover - That's it I can't add anything else to it before it's permanently installed on the pier!
* I've poured concrete for the 4 footings and should be able to start working on the structure (floor) this week-end


http://cooledpix.com/2013/11/06/eq-z-ra-housing-and-shaft-assembly-part-3/







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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6187767 - 11/10/13 11:11 PM

slow progress on the observatory this week-end.
One of the 2x6 was way too twisted to be useful and I didn't have any spare, so I couldn't install any of the 2x4 floor joists.


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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6195167 - 11/14/13 06:28 PM

Hi
I finally decided to get a Sitech ServoII controller for the mount. I initially intended to use my Gemini2 controller but I am not sure how long it would take for it to support High Resolution encoders. Has anyone with a home made mount any experience with it? Do you like it?


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cloudmagnet
sage


Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: Georgetown, Texas
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6195267 - 11/14/13 07:13 PM

Forgive the intrusion, but I feel a comment is in order. In your post containing the photo above (the one of the corner posts and "rim" joists) you state that you intend to use 2 X 4's for floor joists. Are you sure about that? It appears that the floor is about 10 feet square. I was in the home remodeling business for over 25 years and have also built dozens of decks. For a floor this size, I would use 2 X 10 rim joists, and at least 2 X 8's for joists- assuming 16" O.C. Am I missing something???

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polaraligned
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/26/08

Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6195293 - 11/14/13 07:24 PM

Hi Stephen.

Looking fantastic. Probably the best build ever posted here.

I was wondering if you could comment on the cost of your telescope and mount vs if you purchased a CDK17 and a Paramount ME?

I am assuming that you are doing all the design work and having a local machine shop produce all the parts?

Thank you.


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Chucke
member


Reged: 03/12/10

Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6195298 - 11/14/13 07:29 PM

I am using a Servo II although I don't use the high-res encoders. What do you need to know?

Chuck


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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: cloudmagnet]
      #6195338 - 11/14/13 07:45 PM

Quote:

Forgive the intrusion, but I feel a comment is in order. In your post containing the photo above (the one of the corner posts and "rim" joists) you state that you intend to use 2 X 4's for floor joists. Are you sure about that? It appears that the floor is about 10 feet square. I was in the home remodeling business for over 25 years and have also built dozens of decks. For a floor this size, I would use 2 X 10 rim joists, and at least 2 X 8's for joists- assuming 16" O.C. Am I missing something???




Hmm, you're probably right - I had skyshed plans which I had to modify to fit my needs of using concrete posts. I found a few plans of "sheds" which used 2x4 they were only 8x8 though. The floor isn't done yet, maybe I should follow your guide. (however note that none of the astro equipment will load the floor - if that makes any difference)


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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: polaraligned]
      #6195344 - 11/14/13 07:47 PM

Quote:

Hi Stephen.

Looking fantastic. Probably the best build ever posted here.

I was wondering if you could comment on the cost of your telescope and mount vs if you purchased a CDK17 and a Paramount ME?

I am assuming that you are doing all the design work and having a local machine shop produce all the parts?

Thank you.




A fraction of the cost - I only paid for material for everything, I did all of the CNC programming and machining myself (minus the 2 shafts since I didn't have access to a lathe was big enough).


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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: Chucke]
      #6195350 - 11/14/13 07:49 PM

Quote:

I am using a Servo II although I don't use the high-res encoders. What do you need to know?

Chuck


Just random feedback Also I would be interested in knowing the tracking capabilities of the system when using high resolution encoders.

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Chucke
member


Reged: 03/12/10

Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6195638 - 11/14/13 10:27 PM

Like most non-trivial systems there is a learning curve although it is mostly involved with figuring out what settings apply to you and the values of the settings. Once you have that figured out it pretty much takes care of itself. Print the manuals and study them.

The tracking is quite good. It continually amazes me how good it is. I am running at about 2700mm with a 16" newt. My mount also uses a 15" Byers gear for RA and a 12" for Dec. I have an 80 point model (overkill) and am guiding with an AO8. I can go 15 to 20 minutes without a mount bump.

Objects are always placed near the center of my chip (ST10XME). If I am set up for multiple nights, at the beginning of the session I unpark, take an image, and solve it. Then I am good to go. If I am freshly set up I can often use the same process. It just takes a little longer to solve. In the worst case you have to manually synch on an object. Be careful when you synch that you have the correct side of the mount selected. It is a check box on the synch screen. Note that to plate solve SiTech will connect to Maxim, Nebulosity, or Astroart. It can also be pointed to a specific path to find the image although I have never tried that. I use Maxim. It does not support CCDSoft or SkyX for camera control although SkyX can slew Sitech.

The most aggravating problem I have had was getting park/unpark to work. Once you get it to work all is good until you have a computer crash. When that happens the mount does not not know where it is pointed and you have to manually tell it by synching on an object. Afterward you may or may not have to reset the park position.

PXP does not have the same problem with synching as t-point does. You can synch as often as you want and it will not affect the model, If you somehow mess up the active model you can delete it and reload from a saved copy.

The most important piece of setup is to input the correct number of encoder ticks per rev of the worm gears. That will be easy for you because you are using gears. It is more of a problem for dob guys or eq mounts using rollers. Note that you can set the motor voltage and maximum current draw for each motor individually in ServoConfig.

SiTech is a really great system. Dan deserves endless kudos for it.

Chuck

Edited by Chucke (11/14/13 10:29 PM)


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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: Chucke]
      #6196365 - 11/15/13 11:24 AM

Thank you so much, Chuck this is very good feedback!

Your paragraph about park/unpark and computer crashes makes me wonder what type of connection is used to connect to the mount? I am guessing USB? Does it mean that you need to keep the mount and computer powered on at all time (in the case of a remote observatory). I've got a PDU to start and stop equipment (mount, computer, etc) remotely, and I was hoping I could turn everything off after a session until the next morning. So I guess my questions are:

Do you have any problem getting everything connected which is it's better to keep everything on?
In the case of turning the controller (and PC) off, the model would get wiped off every time the controller is power cycled, right? That's why it's good to keep a copy on the PC to reload it every time? Plus, syncing to a star afterwards.

Thanks again


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cloudmagnet
sage


Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: Georgetown, Texas
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6196402 - 11/15/13 11:41 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Forgive the intrusion, but I feel a comment is in order. In your post containing the photo above (the one of the corner posts and "rim" joists) you state that you intend to use 2 X 4's for floor joists. Are you sure about that? It appears that the floor is about 10 feet square. I was in the home remodeling business for over 25 years and have also built dozens of decks. For a floor this size, I would use 2 X 10 rim joists, and at least 2 X 8's for joists- assuming 16" O.C. Am I missing something???




Hmm, you're probably right - I had skyshed plans which I had to modify to fit my needs of using concrete posts. I found a few plans of "sheds" which used 2x4 they were only 8x8 though. The floor isn't done yet, maybe I should follow your guide. (however note that none of the astro equipment will load the floor - if that makes any difference)




Even for an 8X8 floor 2X4's are too small, unless they are sitting right on grade (generally not a good idea for several reasons). I would urge you to check with some local builders.


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Chucke
member


Reged: 03/12/10

Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6196547 - 11/15/13 01:15 PM

I am using USB to connect. It will also support serial. There is a jumper to select which interface.

If you power off the computer or close SiTech.exe without a valid park point it will loose its location. If you park before powering off then unpark when you restart, all is good. It will automatically activate the current pointing model when unparked after a successful park. The model information is actually stored in the park information file when a successful park has been done. Unfortunately it is not easy to determine if the park was successful until you unpark. If the part was not successful the unpark will tell you at that time.

The first time you set a park point it would be a good idea to close SiTech.exe, restart it, and unpark. If that is good you can then park it and be confident that when you restart the mount will know its location to within the accuracy of the computer clock. BTW, there is a clock calibration utility in SiTech.

No problem with connections. I start SiTech first, then Maxim, then TSX, then Focusmax. You want to connect Maxim to SITech in the Observatory window (unless you are using CCDAP), and connect TSX to SiTech. I have found this sequence to be reliable for my setup.
Chuck


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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: Chucke]
      #6196667 - 11/15/13 02:39 PM

Thank you so much for the detailed response, Chuck. That's all I needed to make sure basically

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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6196821 - 11/15/13 04:38 PM

One other thing I wanted to share/inquire with you guys. I initially wanted to use a Moonlite focuser since I heard they were working on rotator/focuser combo and expanding their line with a 3.5" however, it doesn't seem it's ready yet.

I designed my own but considering how busy I am with finishing the mount it's very unlikely that I will be able to have it done in time especially considering it will probably need quite a bit of work adjusting everything together. I posted some 3D models some time ago.

Anyway at this time I am not what focuser I should be getting. There isn't much choice.. I like the Fli Atlas but it's pricey it would require special adapters. My friend Dan just reminded me about Don Clement Focusers and I am pretty ashamed that I had actually never seen a picture of one. I am impressed by the design and capacity numbers, fact it is controllable with a simple Robofocus is kind of a plus for me and it's quite a bit cheaper than the Atlas.

So I was wondering if anyone would recommend me to go with Don's 3.5" focuser? I've already emailed him and hopefully he'll come back at with good news about making a custom flange to match my cell!

Thanks


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DigitalArtist
journeyman


Reged: 02/10/13

Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: zytrahus]
      #6202841 - 11/18/13 11:54 PM

Have you considered Hedrick Focuser of Planewave?

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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: 17" CDK and Equatorial Mounting new [Re: DigitalArtist]
      #6202875 - 11/19/13 12:21 AM

Hi - Hmm that may be a good suggestion...

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