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What did you do to your Scope/Mount Today?

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#26 figurate

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 02:22 PM

I wasn't kidding about that- I worked up a head of steam yesterday and got some tricky fabricating done, the old-fashioned way, by hand. I needed two parts to make the transition between each side of the cylindrical RA housing (on my mystery mount) and the flat support plates. Accuracy has to approach machining tolerances because of the requirement of fitting those gaps perfectly, and that means 'sneaking up' on the correct size, very gradually, by using a cylinder of the same dimension for a form. I'm not there yet, but it is in-process, and that is better than I was doing before (its the shiny part to the side in photo). This topic helped me get it in gear. Bright comets are helpful, too.

 

Fred  

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Edited by figurate, 18 January 2015 - 09:08 PM.

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#27 figurate

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 02:25 PM

One more shot.

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#28 starman876

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 11:47 PM

I reinstalled the servo motors for the Gemini drive system on my CI 700 mount. I want to see if it will hold the meade 178 ED refractor. The CI 700 mount is easier to move around than the meade LXD 750. Was going to set it up tonight and the clouds moved in before I had a chance.

#29 orion61

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 11:53 AM

My thing was easy, I got the dec motor and clutch installed on my Omni G4 mount.. THANKS Terra for the pics..

Every day I can do just a bit more!!

I will be putting an extra Orion Skyview Pro (G5) with RA and Dec drives up for sale soon.. That is when I'm up to

packing it and shipping..

I love the Solar Finder Allan!! very clever! I'll bet you could sell those! Especially if you could keep prices down and on an Orion dovetail for a quick swap out

from the reg finder.... hint hint!! Great ideas, and work guys...



#30 SpaceNetworks

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 11:07 PM

Bought some hex bolts, washers, and wing nuts.

Cleaned the wood legs with tack cloth, then applied Old English.

Made the brackets straight(er).

Assembled the legs, hub, and tray for the first time.

The alt-az head that came with it is a no-go.  Needs a mount-- thinking about it.

 

Vixen_hub1.jpg


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#31 clamchip

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 07:49 PM

I was looking through some photos and ran across this special dolly I made for my Coulter 17-1/2 inch. 

I'm no longer the owner of this magnificent instrument and selling it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life because it was in perfect condition and you will never see another one in perfect condition. It would totally blow my mind everytime I looked through it, I really miss it.  I bought it from a man who ordered it, used it once, put it away never to see light again and bought a Questar.

In the top photo what is happening is I'm jacking the dolly until the level indicates level, and then screwing the screw jacks down to the driveway. The scope movements are 100% better if the scope is level.

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Edited by actionhac, 25 January 2015 - 07:55 PM.

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#32 Chuck Hards

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 09:32 PM

I got some good wrinkle paint on a few more Shrine Manon tripod components today, after a few didn't wrinkle enough to suit me on Saturday.  I think I finally have the wrinkle technique down.  The paint behaves differently in winter than in summer.

 

The tripod legs are about half sanded down to clean wood, hopefully I can finish all the sanding by next weekend and get some fresh clear satin urethane on them.  Early February should see the completion of the first telescope, with the second one by the end of that month.  The Ordway Tasco is tentatively scheduled for a serious start in March. 



#33 figurate

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 08:22 PM

I performed a tricky bit of repair last week, on one of the dog-eared tube ends that came with my 8" Mak, recently acquired. It is astonishing that the rear cell never fell out of the tube in 30 years; only three screws secured it and they were all located very close to the edge, with no end rings for reinforcement. With the countersinks drilled, only a tiny bit of fiberglass was responsible for holding it all together. In addition. there were lots of unsightly chips and cracks in the outer layer, right at each end.

 

Using some 3/4" aluminum stock sourced from Lowes, I took a couple of weeks to gradually form it into a circular shape while I planned the details of epoxying the new trim ring to the tube end. I decided, needing both one more attachment point and new screw locations, to first lay out and drill pilot holes in the trim ring, then epoxy, clamp, and drill the tube using the pilot holes in the ring as guides. Later I would drill and tap new holes in the installed rear flange, again using the existing holes as guides and gradually increasing the size.

 

It didn't turn out to be so simple...     

 

 

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#34 figurate

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 08:24 PM

…But it did work!

 

Fred

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#35 figurate

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 08:57 PM

The whole operation was comical, with a lot going haywire while the epoxy was setting. I managed, though, to solve all problems and had it all nailed down tight and flush with the tube end (with all holes drilled) in the nick of time.

 

I have been also refurbishing and lightening the rear cell and investigating the secondary support. This scope is literally a one-of-a-kind item, with both front and rear cells made from modified, pre-existing parts that he must have had lying around. The crucial stuff is purpose-built, like the mirror supports and the nice conical central bearing for the primary. More importantly, the optics are fabulous. It turns out, an earlier owner, probably the first, had added a 2" extension in length to the rear baffle, (totally inappropriate, the installed baffle dimensions are right) and there was a slight misalignment of the baffle tube, which I corrected with a painstakingly located shim. Lots of trial and error on this ongoing project; anyway there was a lot vignetting as a result of those two issues.        

 

I had been using an old film canister as a plug in the tubing that supports the secondary and it looked naked up there, so yesterday I drew a facsimile of the R E Brandt logo on the plastic cover, from a catalog illustration on the net. Not trying to match it exactly so much as get the 'sketched' feel of the original; and I made the optics a perforated MCT primary.

 

Fred

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#36 KenS

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 06:20 AM

I've been working on the Super Polaris mount to get it tracking better. Its got a big periodic error and I'd really like to use it for basic astrophotography rather than get a new mount. As much as anything because I'm an old scrooge :)

So I pulled it apart to regrease all the bearings. First time in 30 years and a sign that it was needed was when the counterweight would stay horizontal with the clutch off and no payload. The grease I used as tinted blue so naturally everything got covered in blue stains. Managed to put it all back together with no bits left over and certainly everything seemed to move better. It might need another go as I'm not sure if I used enough grease. But I'll wait till the wife stops making remarks about the blue stains.

I then tweaked the RA worm to snug it up better and same with the RA motor. I had been worried that the worm had been bent during one of our many moves but a close inspection seems to indicate that is not the case and that the adjustments should help. Hope I did them right as I went entirely by feel. Just little tweaks on the screws and testing the slo-mo to see if there was no slack but not too tight to turn by hand without the knob. Also checked that the motor could turn everything without laboring. The only thing I wasn't happy with is that I could not get the motor gears to mesh as closely as I'd have liked so there's still a bit of backlash there. Now I'm just waiting for a clearish night to try it out and see if it makes any difference.

On top of all that I modded the DMD-1 controller. Most importantly I changed the DC input to the standard positive inside, ground outside. I also shoehorned in a 9V regulator so I could run it off a 12V supply. Seeing as I use it in the backyard this lets me run everything off the mains with just one 12V supply and no need for a 9V battery or separate supply.



#37 gelkin

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 03:28 PM

Around Christmas time I picked up a couple steel rounds to make weights from a Speedy Metals sales promo. This week I picked up the machined pieces from the shop. I just didn't have the right tools for the job this time. I wanted them to be as close as possible to the Unitron originals. This required the discs to cut down thinner, edges beveled, center holes drilled, and cable slots cut in.

When I got the 160 there were 2 weights included. I have seen photos showing 3 and at times 4 weights. The weight drive does run a little slow even set wide open with only 2 weights. So the need to try more weight.

Weight shown in photo 2 is the original top weight which goes on above the cable / weight holder.

 

DSC_1457.JPG   DSC_1691.JPG

 

DSC_1778.JPG

 

New weights are a little too smooth.  :lol:


Edited by gelkin, 15 February 2015 - 08:24 AM.

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#38 tim53

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 04:52 PM

Well, I'm going to head up to Cosmic Acres tomorrow for some "casual AP" tomorrow night.  Hope it's not windy, but it ain't cold (last I checked the thermometer here in LA, it was 84° in the shade).  

 

I've been playing mostly with the Tak epsilon-130 on its original EM-1 mount when I do get out in the dark (not recently).  I really like the mount.  Very old school.  No guider port.  It takes 4 D-cell batteries to run it happily for about a week, and I think the set with it now are pretty new.  Best of all, It tracks so well that I never guide.  I just keep my exposures short enough that I don't have to.  

 

Anyway, I felt like my FC-76 wasn't getting used enough, so I think I'll bring it along this time, though I'll still bring the 130 in case I run into a problem I didn't anticipate.  

 

The saddle plate for the 130 comes off quickly and can be replaced with the ring clamp for the FC76.  Here it is with my Panasonic mounted on top with a ball mount:

 

 

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#39 Vesper818

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 05:20 PM

Star tested my F20 refractor! :-) :-) :-)
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#40 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 11:47 PM

Watching paint dry :fingertap:


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#41 Chuck Hards

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 04:08 PM

I finished one of Shrine Manon twins today!

 

Oh my, what a beautiful, charismatic scope on a marvelous alt-az mount, with slow-motion on each axis.  It looks brand-new at first glance.

 

It's twin isn't far behind it.  I've got a good start on the refurb thread, will start posting it in a matter of days.

 

This has been a very enjoyable project.


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#42 mikey cee

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:42 PM

Nothing.


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#43 clamchip

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:53 PM

I made an adapter today so I can bolt my Optic-Craft equatorial head on to my Edmund pier rather than the Optic-Craft tripod. 

I made the adapter from ABS plastic fittings, am I getting lazy or what. It was just too convenient to pass up. It should be fine.

The Edmund pier is a male 4" NPT and I bought a female 4" NPT to 4" slip fit and a 4" cap to provide a flat surface to bolt the Optic-Craft head to. I then just glued the pieces together.

I can't get myself to trust the glue joint alone so I'm going to run a "all-thread" safety from the top of the cap to the bottom of the pier. 

Robert

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#44 Chuck Hards

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 09:31 PM

Sneak peek of the Shrine Manon twin restoration project.  Dedicated thread to follow soon.

 

110_zps544efd8e.jpg

 

109_zpsfcb40af1.jpg

 

:whee:


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#45 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 09:51 PM

Entertainment for the day , FRESH From The Bench...

 

1. Straighten Pinion shaft

 

2. Replace Rack Gear

 

3. Clean All Optics

 

4 .Clean , Rub Out , and Wax

 

5. Take Pictures , To Show You All :lol:

 

Another Circle  W , Must stand for the   " WU - TANG CLAN " ( just kiddin' )   :rofl:    http://www.cloudynig...bols/?p=3530147

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Edited by TOM KIEHL, 17 February 2015 - 10:22 PM.

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#46 Vesper818

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 09:51 PM

Just beautiful! :-)

#47 Compressorguy

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 07:45 AM

I didnt do this today but a while back. I made a 10" PVC pillar extension for my 1974 orange tube C8. It only cost a few dollars and is completely reversible. All I can say is what a tremendous improvement in viewing ergonomics this has made. The height of the original design was too low for me to use comfortably and i'm sure was a compromise of some sort. I mostly stand to view and the 10" addition has made the viewing experience immensely more comfortable and enjoyable. The damping time has remained very low and to me the mount is easier to carry out as I can rest more of it higher up against my shoulder. If you have one of these locked triangle mounts and stand to view, I cant recommend this mod enough. Here's a link t the original post with details.

 

http://www.cloudynig...od-ever/?hl= c8 +pillar

 

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#48 fjs

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:19 PM

I attached the ADM Vixen saddle to my Polaris "Borg mount". $99-which is more than the price of the mount, but still a good deal.

Question: should I remove the felt from the stock saddle on the mount? It looks like I should, it's kind of in the way, but I hesitate to do so.

Stock photo of "Borg mount"

DSCF0391.jpg

#49 terraclarke

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:02 PM

If you are going to keep the ADM saddle on it, then by all means, remove the felt. It's redundant. And, you're allowed. ;)
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#50 fjs

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:09 PM

Thanks Terra.

 

Yes you have me pegged. I am always leery of breaking certain rules. Some rules do not matter to me, others mean more than perhaps they should.

 

Some of the rules-I make up.


Edited by fjs, 18 February 2015 - 08:10 PM.

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