Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

What did you do to your Scope/Mount Today?

  • Please log in to reply
4519 replies to this topic

#4401 licata

licata

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 209
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 05 April 2019 - 07:52 AM

The Old vs. the New

 

Back in the 70's I used the Edmund/Sam Brown method to polar align. Tonight I will be using my Polemaster. I guess I've grown lazy.undecided.gif

The Edmund photo bracket made it easy to attach! Gonna check how well the 6" Space Conqueror tracks tonight and measure its periodic error. If there's time I'll snap a few pics of objects with the cell phone adapter.

 

"Wally Cleaver" never had it so good!

Attached Thumbnails

  • Polemaster_lo.jpg

Edited by licata, 05 April 2019 - 07:58 AM.

  • tim53, CCD-Freak, terraclarke and 5 others like this

#4402 Michael Covington

Michael Covington

    Author

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5163
  • Joined: 13 May 2014
  • Loc: Athens, Georgia, USA

Posted 05 April 2019 - 11:30 AM

The good thing about Sam Brown is that he tells people what polar alignment *is*.  Newcomers to the hobby are often unaware that there are mounts that track the stars without computers!


  • davidmcgo, tim53, licata and 3 others like this

#4403 licata

licata

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 209
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 05 April 2019 - 02:59 PM

The good thing about Sam Brown is that he tells people what polar alignment *is*.  Newcomers to the hobby are often unaware that there are mounts that track the stars without computers!

Very true Michael. Understanding what's going on when polar aligned and tracking is fascinating in itself. No other publications explained it better than the Sam Brown books. Many are unaware how well these old scopes work with relatively simple technology.


  • terraclarke, Bomber Bob, Michael Covington and 2 others like this

#4404 Compressorguy

Compressorguy

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2134
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Clayton, NC

Posted 06 April 2019 - 03:37 PM

Just received a case from scopehed. Made a great little travel case for my Celestron Cometron CO-62. Even better at $25 shipped. Just need to add some foam and an eyepiece caddy. I’ll keep the original case put up for posterity. Thanks again Bill!

 

https://www.cloudyni...-carrying-case/

 

A131F4E1-71A5-4936-815B-3CCD9F68FFCD.jpeg

 

3A25BDC8-5BA1-45EA-A5EB-EFAD7F7B4D82.jpeg


  • mattyfatz, Chuck Hards, terraclarke and 4 others like this

#4405 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14955
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 07 April 2019 - 09:47 AM

Took a break this morning from my 2018 taxes to prep my 1971 Criterion RV-6 for this focuser upgrade:

 

RV6 Upgrade S01 (Hino Focuser).jpg

 

This is the vintage Japan import that I bought from Brian.  Compared to the original, this mint condition R&P is a serious upgrade!  As you can see in the photo, I replaced the original .965" adapter with a Vixen 1.25" model.  Note the 3 B engraved on the flange...  No clue what that refers to.  My Edmund 4" F15 Cassegrain mirror set was made by 3B, but did the same company import / make complete reflectors??

 

CharlieB and others with an AO LN-4E:  Is this the way the focuser attaches on those reflectors?

 

I like the design.  Having a base plate with what looks like a standard opening means that I could replace the focuser with another from the 1970s if needed.  But this one saw little use and has been well cared for, so I don't see that happening any time soon.  Unfortunately, the base is about 10mm wider than the Criterion.  The 2 sky-end holes line up on the tube, but I'll have to drill 2 new holes for the mirror-end.

 

In a normal Swamp winter (which we haven't had since 2016!), my RV-6 is my work-house reflector.  It weighs just 10.5 lbs, rides well on both tripod & pedestal Polaris mounts, and gives 4" APO views on most objects.  All for $150!  Even with my upgrades -- Nihon-Seiko 8x50 RACI finder & this "new" focuser -- it's my cheapest Big Scope.  This is the last of my hardware changes.  All that's left is repainting the exterior.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 07 April 2019 - 09:50 AM.

  • licata, mattyfatz, TOM KIEHL and 4 others like this

#4406 mic1970

mic1970

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2018
  • Loc: St. Louis Metro Area

Posted 08 April 2019 - 09:36 AM

Well.. the plan was to work on my pipe mount, but ended up vacuuming, cleaning, and disinfecting my camper from wintering mice ****.  However, good news: the refurbished starter scope, table top pipe mount, and goodies raised some money for local high school.

C17BADC4-50BE-47CC-A655-0E8D374138D3.jpeg

Attached Thumbnails

  • EB024E91-5170-4315-8827-2238313D7292.jpeg

Edited by mic1970, 08 April 2019 - 09:43 AM.

  • licata, mattyfatz, ziridava and 4 others like this

#4407 Esso2112

Esso2112

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 833
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2017
  • Loc: Magnolia, TX

Posted 08 April 2019 - 06:34 PM

Got a new toy the other day for these cloudy days and I have been trying it out. It’s the Takahashi collimating scope. It blows away the traditional Cheshire eyepiece for collimating refractors. Extremely accurate and easy to do on the bench.

 

Tonight I tweaked the collimation on the FCT-125, which was just slightly off. Considering that the scope has been all over the world, I am not surprised it was a tad out of collimation. When I say a tad, I mean about an eighth of a turn or less of one collimation screw. Trying to get the scopes ready for the Texas Star Party, which is less than three weeks away. 


  • rolo, Allanbarth1 and Earthbound1 like this

#4408 mic1970

mic1970

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2018
  • Loc: St. Louis Metro Area

Posted 09 April 2019 - 09:20 AM

For the first time ever, collimated an SCT, my Meade LX10.  It was painful and long.  At one point I backed out screw out of the hole.  Once I figured out what eyepiece to start with, and got the direction to screw, I finished in about 30 minutes (of two hours).  LOL...didn't get to use it because the dew hit about 10 minutes after finishing. 

 

Yes painful, but I did it and know how. 


  • terraclarke, Esso2112 and Earthbound1 like this

#4409 DMala

DMala

    Apollo

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 1455
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2015

Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:37 AM

Very true Michael. Understanding what's going on when polar aligned and tracking is fascinating in itself. No other publications explained it better than the Sam Brown books. (...).


I have to admit that I am still not clear on how to properly align my RV6 and S&S Optika newtonian mounts. I do not have any of the original paperwork. So far I have not found any clear step by step instruction online. How do I zero the circles? Do I eyeball the alignment of RA and Dec to set the mount at the start? If anyone knows of online access to such info pls reply.
  • Earthbound1 likes this

#4410 licata

licata

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 209
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 09 April 2019 - 12:58 PM

I have to admit that I am still not clear on how to properly align my RV6 and S&S Optika newtonian mounts. I do not have any of the original paperwork. So far I have not found any clear step by step instruction online. How do I zero the circles? Do I eyeball the alignment of RA and Dec to set the mount at the start? If anyone knows of online access to such info pls reply.

The method I used most back in the 70's was Sam Brown's fig.13 "adjustment to the pole with finder". (pictured). Simply put, I would just make sure Polaris would draw circles around the finder cross-hair when flopping the mount from east to west in RA. I'm not sure what you mean by zeroing the setting circles relative to polar alignment though I seem to remember trying something like that.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Polar_aligning_lo.jpg

Edited by licata, 09 April 2019 - 01:02 PM.

  • mattyfatz, terraclarke, TOM KIEHL and 5 others like this

#4411 licata

licata

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 209
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 10 April 2019 - 01:39 PM

PE on the Edmund 6" HD mount - minor cycle of the worm only = 71.4 arc sec. (Not too good.... Major cycle will be worse but clouds prevailed.)

calculated based on EFL = 1509. Photo below was deliberately misaligned 5° east of pole showing drift and gear wobble using Edmund photo bracket, 1 1/8" EP, 35mm lens & 60D camera.

 

Ref: "All About Telescopes", Sam Brown, pg. 59  - E.F.L.= Power of Telescope x Camera F.L.

Attached Thumbnails

  • PE.jpg

Edited by licata, 10 April 2019 - 01:39 PM.

  • rolo, steve t, TSSClay and 1 other like this

#4412 Augustus

Augustus

    Stardust Telescopes

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 7450
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 10 April 2019 - 05:01 PM

I got my Ultima 2000 tube back after selling it (long story, don't want to get into it). I think I'm going to put it on my Twilight 1 and use it for outreach.


  • rolo, terraclarke and Esso2112 like this

#4413 Esso2112

Esso2112

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 833
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2017
  • Loc: Magnolia, TX

Posted 11 April 2019 - 09:40 PM

Tonight, I tweaked the alignment of the focuser on the Brandon 130. Using a laser and mask for the objective, got it all aligned. It actually was off by a fair bit. After that, checked the collimation and recollimated it. I was having some issues finding the third reflection (Triplet objective) in the Tak collimating scope; could only see 2 reflections. Pondered this for a while before touching the collimation.  Eventually it hit me.  The Brandon 130 has a cemented triplet, thus only two lens to air surfaces for reflections. Got it collimated in a snap after I figured that one out. 

 

 


  • rolo, Bomber Bob and DMala like this

#4414 rolo

rolo

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2007
  • Loc: GA

Posted 11 April 2019 - 11:00 PM

Nothing like a finely tuned APO.


  • Esso2112 likes this

#4415 licata

licata

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 209
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 13 April 2019 - 12:54 PM

Space Conquered!

 

Made some final adjustments to the newly restored Edmund Space Conqueror mount the other day and decided to try taking an image of M13 through it using this crazy camera bracket gizmo Edmund sold with it. I was skeptical that it could even work, especially with no way to guide. Balancing everything out, polishing, lapping and greasing the gears was key. The work paid off! Exposures below 30" were mostly good. Even some at 60" were acceptable, showing minimal PE. I think the new Teflon bearings are helping too. When properly balanced, it moves effortlessly, no slop or binding anywhere. I will follow up this post with a careful PE check next clear night. I think it is drastically improved.

 

I searched all over for the formula to figure focal length of the "afocal" set-up below but couldn't find anything. (nobody does this anymore for many good reasons). Then I remembered good'ol Sam Brown, "All About Telescopes". He had it on page 59. The internet didn't. lol.gif

With this set up on the 6" Space Conqueror, my lens was set to 35mm over a 40mm EP, so it is 35mm/40mm x 1231.9 = E.F.L. 1078 @ f/7. (1231.9 is metric the 48 1/4" FL mirror). Effectively, the camera lens functions as a focal reducer! Not a bad set up at all, so long as the knobs are tight wink.gif

 

The frame is a stack of unguided, (of course), short exposures. On close inspection some trailing due to periodic error can be seen but I am happy to report this old telescope drive is working better than it's original 1962 factory condition, (the motor however had to be replaced with a 1973 unit).

Attached Thumbnails

  • m13_Edmund6_12Apr19.jpg

  • davidmcgo, mattyfatz, steve t and 9 others like this

#4416 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14955
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 18 April 2019 - 05:58 PM

A small upgrade to my 1971 Criterion RV-6 that'll pay off big time:

 

RV6 Rebuild S81 - Hino Focuser.jpg

 

This vintage "3B" Japan-import rack & pinion focuser is much much better than the original.  All I gotta do is cut a slot for the rack through the tube and she'll be ready.


  • licata, mattyfatz, DreamWeaver and 6 others like this

#4417 G-Tower

G-Tower

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 156
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2018
  • Loc: PR & GA

Posted 18 April 2019 - 06:51 PM

Space Conquered!

 

Made some final adjustments to the newly restored Edmund Space Conqueror mount the other day and decided to try taking an image of M13 through it using this crazy camera bracket gizmo Edmund sold with it. I was skeptical that it could even work, especially with no way to guide. Balancing everything out, polishing, lapping and greasing the gears was key. The work paid off! Exposures below 30" were mostly good. Even some at 60" were acceptable, showing minimal PE. I think the new Teflon bearings are helping too. When properly balanced, it moves effortlessly, no slop or binding anywhere. I will follow up this post with a careful PE check next clear night. I think it is drastically improved.

 

I searched all over for the formula to figure focal length of the "afocal" set-up below but couldn't find anything. (nobody does this anymore for many good reasons). Then I remembered good'ol Sam Brown, "All About Telescopes". He had it on page 59. The internet didn't. lol.gif

With this set up on the 6" Space Conqueror, my lens was set to 35mm over a 40mm EP, so it is 35mm/40mm x 1231.9 = E.F.L. 1078 @ f/7. (1231.9 is metric the 48 1/4" FL mirror). Effectively, the camera lens functions as a focal reducer! Not a bad set up at all, so long as the knobs are tight wink.gif

 

The frame is a stack of unguided, (of course), short exposures. On close inspection some trailing due to periodic error can be seen but I am happy to report this old telescope drive is working better than it's original 1962 factory condition, (the motor however had to be replaced with a 1973 unit).

Upon closer inspection, none of the stars looks like pinpoints. A suspect an actual size image would easily show trailing stars. Godd effort thowaytogo.gif



#4418 PeriodicTrends

PeriodicTrends

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Valparaiso, IN

Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:32 AM

Athough it is a bit of a stretch, it should count ;-)  Readying things for a new planetary pier that I started a few weeks ago.  That way I can tote a classic right outside.  Hopefully I will finish the rest today.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • CE8828C9-FF46-46DA-8BFE-28AAFEF47820.jpeg
  • CBB59B7E-B8A8-4D29-A437-8FF827FEECE3.jpeg

  • licata, terraclarke and Bomber Bob like this

#4419 clamchip

clamchip

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9546
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2008
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:08 AM

A tree trunk makes a excellent pier.

I have a article on the adapter for the top of the trunk-to-head, I wish I

knew where it is, shouldn't be too hard to figure something out.

 

Robert 


  • Defenderslideguitar likes this

#4420 SkyCruzr

SkyCruzr

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 934
  • Joined: 03 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 20 April 2019 - 11:03 AM

Athough it is a bit of a stretch, it should count ;-)  Readying things for a new planetary pier that I started a few weeks ago.  That way I can tote a classic right outside.  Hopefully I will finish the rest today.

Chainsaw filter at work!


  • DMala likes this

#4421 PeriodicTrends

PeriodicTrends

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Valparaiso, IN

Posted 20 April 2019 - 11:31 AM

A tree trunk makes a excellent pier.
I have a article on the adapter for the top of the trunk-to-head, I wish I
knew where it is, shouldn't be too hard to figure something out.

Robert


My thoughts exactly!
  • clamchip and KentTolley like this

#4422 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14955
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 20 April 2019 - 11:56 AM

I finished the RV-6 focuser upgrade:  Removed & cleaned the mirrors, wiped down the tube interior, and flocked the new larger hole that the drawtube passes through.  I haven't had these mirrors out in years.  No need, as I keep the tube sealed, and the RV-6 holds collimation like a refractor.  Once I've checked all the hardware, and I'm happy with the placement, it'll be time to strip all that metal off, and paint the exterior.  I bought this scope from the original owner's son, and apparently he decided to "pretty it up" by masking the focuser & finder, then applying a thin layer of flat white to the tube -- and everything else that was exposed.  I'm no rattle-can Picasso, but anything I do to it is an improvement at this point.

 

**  Love the "new" focuser.  Smooth, precise, and no slippage -- even with the heavy Tele Vue eyepieces.  **


Edited by Bomber Bob, 20 April 2019 - 10:15 PM.

  • licata, rcwolpert, DMala and 3 others like this

#4423 vicg

vicg

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 31
  • Joined: 25 Mar 2019

Posted 20 April 2019 - 01:23 PM

So after buying a Meade DS90 from ebay for 50$ and receiving what I though to be a bit of a white elephant, turns out that after some tinkering on the DS mount, and changing out a broken negative wire, it started working like new again. The OTA came completely out of collimation and it was as dirty as the bottom of a shoe., but luckily after swabbing with alcohol, the optics are near perfect. The tripod was scavenged from a no name 4.5 relector with a boken equatorial mount, and I weighted down the hollow tripod legs with plaster of Paris..so now its nice and sturdy. Used a 3/8 bolt with some retaining nuts to fix the DS mount to its new home. the DS mount, will eventually use different OTAs within its weight limits.. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • meade clean.gif
  • tripod1.jpg
  • tripod2.gif

  • mattyfatz, Bomber Bob, DMala and 2 others like this

#4424 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17384
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 20 April 2019 - 05:39 PM

Made the saddle for my 8" F/6 Meade 826 for the AP 800.  I have a short pier as this pier is way too tall for Newt use.  The Meade 826 mount was just flat out bad and i gave it away.

 

Now the 826 is riding first class.

23hq0er.jpg


  • mattyfatz, CCD-Freak, terraclarke and 3 others like this

#4425 mic1970

mic1970

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2018
  • Loc: St. Louis Metro Area

Posted 21 April 2019 - 05:11 PM

I don’t know if this qualifies, but I tested and bought an AVX mount. I don’t know if this qualifies as doing something. Lol.
  • Michael Covington, DMala and Defenderslideguitar like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics