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What did you do to your Scope/Mount Today?

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#9176 Jehujones

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 09:12 AM

Today I couldn't help noticing this toilet paper roll is out of collimation.

Robert

 

I see that a lot on these mass produced products today, especially the larger ones. wink.gif



#9177 Cavs56

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 11:27 AM

I collimated the new to me Meade 826. I purchased a laser device to collimate. When I removed the mirror to clean I noticed the previous owner had the adjustment screws on the back of the cell screwed all the way in crushing the springs. I loosened all three screws exactly two full turns each. There was still tension on the springs but they were no longer crushed. I also placed a center dot on the primary mirror after cleaning. First I adjusted the secondary. One of the three screws was as tight as it would go so I started by loosening it approximately one turn then started again. It was quite easy with the laser. I did the secondary next and it was very easy. I am supposed to have clear skies for four days so I will do a star check tonight. Excited to try it out.
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#9178 CHASLX200

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 05:58 PM

I collimated the new to me Meade 826. I purchased a laser device to collimate. When I removed the mirror to clean I noticed the previous owner had the adjustment screws on the back of the cell screwed all the way in crushing the springs. I loosened all three screws exactly two full turns each. There was still tension on the springs but they were no longer crushed. I also placed a center dot on the primary mirror after cleaning. First I adjusted the secondary. One of the three screws was as tight as it would go so I started by loosening it approximately one turn then started again. It was quite easy with the laser. I did the secondary next and it was very easy. I am supposed to have clear skies for four days so I will do a star check tonight. Excited to try it out.

Nothing to worry about as it should be a killer like all 826's are.



#9179 Roger Belveal

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 12:37 PM

Well, after meticulously collimating this little orange tube Comet Catcher thanks to so many great comments on this thread... It was time to put it to the test. I had to remind myself what this scope was designed for and not to expect too much. The wide field views were awesome as expected and I found myself just scanning the night sky using my Baader 21mm eyepiece. I went ahead a tried a few eyepieces on the moon around the terminator and the view was also as expected, not overwhelming to say the least. After reading several comments about these scopes not being the best on the moon at higher powers, I decided to try anyway. I used 4 different eyepieces which ranged between 8mm and 3.8mm. They were ok at best. All were somewhat mushy and far from sharp. Just as I was about to move on to another target I thought I'd try out a seldom used eyepiece, due to the fact that it only seems to work with my 5in One Sky. So I placed my Orion 2.3 lanthumum eyepiece in the helical focuser and I was shocked! Sharp as a tack almost from edge to edge! I think my jaw might of dropped a bit! It looked even better with filter I added. I'm so glad I held onto this seldom used gem! This scope is quickly becoming my favorite grab and go scope, and after that view of the moon with that 2.3mm I can't wait for planet season to begin! Cheers!
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#9180 starman876

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 02:00 PM

ordered a new 12" aluminum tube from Hastings for the 10" Meade starfinder.  Hate the sonotube.     Also, got discovery optics for it and changed out the focuser and got new  split rings.  Only thing left wile be the primary mirror cell and spider plus the mount.   Figured a lighter tube should help the mount perform better. 


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#9181 deSitter

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 02:07 PM

ordered a new 12" aluminum tube from Hastings for the 10" Meade starfinder.  Hate the sonotube.     Also, got discovery optics for it and changed out the focuser and got new  split rings.  Only thing left wile be the primary mirror cell and spider plus the mount.   Figured a lighter tube should help the mount perform better. 

I would sure like to see that tube. Have thought about replacing my rolled seamless steel one. Not really necessary but an incremental improvement.

 

-drl



#9182 ccwemyss

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 02:45 PM

Some tweaks to the Jaegers 110 mm. Turned the Vixen dovetail around, so the overhang is at the back. With heavier eyepieces, it needed to slide further forward. Some of the oil leaked out and dripped down the face, which needed to be cleaned up.

 

Added a Telrad -- not to make it easier to point at things. With such wide field, that's not hard. But when sweeping, I would discover objects and then not be able to tell where the scope was pointed in the sky. So call it a de-finder. With it on the left side, it made sense to turn the saddle around, to be offset to the right. Now it is basically balanced right-left.

 

Tall eyepieces (like the ES wide fields) make it want to tip up when swinging higher than about 50* in altitude. Thinking about adding a counterbalance weight. But then it would want to swing down with shorter eyepieces. Maybe just have to turn the tall ones sideways, which seems to work OK.

 

Chip W. 


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#9183 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 03:03 PM

ordered a new 12" aluminum tube from Hastings for the 10" Meade starfinder.  Hate the sonotube.     Also, got discovery optics for it and changed out the focuser and got new  split rings.  Only thing left wile be the primary mirror cell and spider plus the mount.   Figured a lighter tube should help the mount perform better. 

Let me know how ya like the tube and what it cost to ship. May redo my 826 for a 2" focuser and need another 4" of tube. I guess they are all in odd sizes and nothing will match the OD of the 826.


Edited by CHASLX200, 13 July 2024 - 03:05 PM.


#9184 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 03:05 PM

Well, after meticulously collimating this little orange tube Comet Catcher thanks to so many great comments on this thread... It was time to put it to the test. I had to remind myself what this scope was designed for and not to expect too much. The wide field views were awesome as expected and I found myself just scanning the night sky using my Baader 21mm eyepiece. I went ahead a tried a few eyepieces on the moon around the terminator and the view was also as expected, not overwhelming to say the least. After reading several comments about these scopes not being the best on the moon at higher powers, I decided to try anyway. I used 4 different eyepieces which ranged between 8mm and 3.8mm. They were ok at best. All were somewhat mushy and far from sharp. Just as I was about to move on to another target I thought I'd try out a seldom used eyepiece, due to the fact that it only seems to work with my 5in One Sky. So I placed my Orion 2.3 lanthumum eyepiece in the helical focuser and I was shocked! Sharp as a tack almost from edge to edge! I think my jaw might of dropped a bit! It looked even better with filter I added. I'm so glad I held onto this seldom used gem! This scope is quickly becoming my favorite grab and go scope, and after that view of the moon with that 2.3mm I can't wait for planet season to begin! Cheers!

Maybe a Paracorr would help.



#9185 starman876

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 06:53 PM

I would sure like to see that tube. Have thought about replacing my rolled seamless steel one. Not really necessary but an incremental improvement.

 

-drl

Tube is not hear yet.  Decided not to have end rolled.  4 foot tube is about $100 plus another $100 for shipping.  Not bad.



#9186 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 07:23 PM

Tube is not hear yet.  Decided not to have end rolled.  4 foot tube is about $100 plus another $100 for shipping.  Not bad.

4FT?  Must be a fast scope.



#9187 starman876

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 08:26 PM

4FT?  Must be a fast scope.

Is there any other type



#9188 deSitter

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Posted 13 July 2024 - 09:42 PM

I installed a new display in my original Autostar 497 from 2003. That was satisfying.

 

-drl


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#9189 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 July 2024 - 05:44 AM

Is there any other type

Plenty of types. F/8 was the norm years back.  What scope is the tube for? 10" F/4?



#9190 starman876

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Posted 14 July 2024 - 09:44 AM

Plenty of types. F/8 was the norm years back.  What scope is the tube for? 10" F/4?

F 4.5  Perfect for my location to sweep the skies with.   I love seeing all the stars in the eyepiece.  And then with an aperture stop I got the perfect 5" scope.  What more can I ask for. 



#9191 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 July 2024 - 09:56 AM

F 4.5  Perfect for my location to sweep the skies with.   I love seeing all the stars in the eyepiece.  And then with an aperture stop I got the perfect 5" scope.  What more can I ask for. 

I can always ask for more. I just can't stop buying.  Hope you got a Paracorr.



#9192 andylsun

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Posted 15 July 2024 - 06:28 AM

Just need to wire up the steppers. Control board is flashed with OnStepX.

 

pier extension will get L brackets at the bottom. Currently held with a pipe test plug for centering. Old Meade standard tripod from a 10” LX6

Edit: It's moving! The DEC axis worm has some wobble, but I think it may be fine when guiding. Will see.

https://youtube.com/shorts/mxg33AGLs6s

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_3654.jpeg

Edited by andylsun, 15 July 2024 - 07:10 PM.

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#9193 jkmccarthy

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Posted 15 July 2024 - 08:44 PM

Out in my garage this weekend I bolted a classic-era Vixen Multi-plate:

 

Multi-plate_c.jpg

 

directly to the saddle of my heavy-duty SP-DX mount using the two 1/4-20 tapped holes spaced 160mm apart along the multi-plate's centerline (i.e., at 6cm and 22cm on the tape measure above), and attached to it the pair of 12-inch I.D. tube rings (using the four longer horizontal slots spaced 3" apart in width) to hold my Vixen SC180L OTA (a.k.a. Celestron C11; see last weekend's post #9173 here https://www.cloudyni...7#entry13553479).  As I expected, balance around the Decl. axis could achieved with the tube rings near the right-hand limits of the long horizontal slots in the photo above (i.e., at about 8.3cm and at about 26.8cm on the tape measure's scale).

 

Then setting the Declination to 0-degrees and swinging open the hinged rings, it was very straightforward to lift the OTA into the fixed lower halves of the rings, close+clamp them around the tube, and balance the setup on both axes:

 

IMG_3671c.jpg

 

Indeed I found this installation approach to be considerably easier than negotiating the dovetail bar on my SkyWatcher 180mm Mak into a dovetail saddle on this same SP-DX mount (ref. post #8643 here https://www.cloudyni...6#entry13293234).

 

I had been considering bolting a dovetail bar onto the bottom of the multi-plate that would then engage the FARPOINT dovetail clamp on the SP-DX saddle, but I opted to bolt the multi-plate to the SP-DX directly so the OTA would sit an inch-or-so closer to the R.A. axis.  But hindsight being 20/20, I think the greater benefit (especially when handling the larger-aperture C11) is in not having to maneuver the bulkier OTA to engage the dovetail bar into the dovetail clamp, as I found lifting[*] the OTA into the fixed halves of the tube rings much simpler and easier, as well as offering less risk that something could go wrong.

 

The SkyWatcher 180mm MCT OTA weighs 17.2-lbs (not counting the external focuser on mine), whereas the C11 OTA weighs 27.3-lbs (not counting the tube rings, etc.).  Still TBD is whether the weight and center-of-gravity of the C11 OTA will prove to be too much for the SP-DX mount to hold steady, even just for visual use.   Note that Vixen originally (circa 1991 when this photo appeared in Vixen's catalog) ...

 

post-363526-0-29450900-1714173012.jpg

 

... offered their SC280L -branded C11 on the Vixen Sensor mount (pictured at far right) as a necessary(??) step-up from the SC200L -branded C8 OTA they sold on either the Vixen SP or SP-DX mount (left and middle examples in the 1991 catalog).  Suffice to say that I expect to find out for myself here soon enough ....

 

Clear Skies,

 

        -- Jim

 

[*] For reference, the height of the red tool cabinet in the second photo is about 4-feet, and in the garage I had the tripod leg extensions fully retracted --- same as in the post #8643 photo of the SW-180mm MCT on this SP-DX.


Edited by jkmccarthy, 16 July 2024 - 12:40 PM.

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#9194 daltons

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Posted 15 July 2024 - 09:21 PM

A few months ago I came down with a case of aperture fever while browsing ZenMarket, ending up with this Celestron C11 OTA (which Vixen offered for a time as their "ATLUX-SC280L" ... SC for Schmidt Cassegrain):

 

 

So, that was you win the autiongrin.gif


Edited by daltons, 15 July 2024 - 09:22 PM.

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#9195 deSitter

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Posted 15 July 2024 - 09:48 PM



Out in my garage this weekend I bolted a classic-era Vixen Multi-plate:

 

attachicon.gif Multi-plate_c.jpg

 

directly to the saddle of my heavy-duty SP-DX mount using the two 1/4-20 tapped holes spaced 160mm apart along the multi-plate's centerline (i.e., at 6cm and 26cm on the tape measure above), and attached to it the pair of 12-inch I.D. tube rings (using the four longer horizontal slots spaced 3" apart in width) to hold my Vixen SC180L OTA (a.k.a. Celestron C11; see last weekend's post #9173 here https://www.cloudyni...7#entry13553479).  As I expected, balance around the Decl. axis could achieved with the tube rings near the right-hand limits of the long horizontal slots in the photo above (i.e., at about 8.3cm and at about 26.8cm on the tape measure's scale).

 

Then setting the Declination to 0-degrees and swinging open the hinged rings, it was very straightforward to lift the OTA into the fixed lower halves of the rings, close+clamp them around the tube, and balance the setup on both axes:

 

attachicon.gif IMG_3671c.jpg

 

Indeed I found this installation approach to be considerably easier than negotiating the dovetail bar on my SkyWatcher 180mm Mak into a dovetail saddle on this same SP-DX mount (ref. post #8643 here https://www.cloudyni...6#entry13293234).

 

I had been considering bolting a dovetail bar onto the bottom of the multi-plate that would then engage the FARPOINT dovetail clamp on the SP-DX saddle, but I opted to bolt the multi-plate to the SP-DX directly so the OTA would sit an inch-or-so closer to the R.A. axis.  But hindsight being 20/20, I think the greater benefit (especially when handling the larger-aperture C11) is in not having to maneuver the bulkier OTA to engage the dovetail bar into the dovetail clamp, as I found lifting[*] the OTA into the fixed halves of the tube rings much simpler and easier, as well as offering less risk that something could go wrong.

 

The SkyWatcher 180mm MCT OTA weighs 17.2-lbs (not counting the external focuser on mine), whereas the C11 OTA weighs 27.3-lbs (not counting the tube rings, etc.).  Still TBD is whether the weight and center-of-gravity of the C11 OTA will prove to be too much for the SP-DX mount to hold steady, even just for visual use.   Note that Vixen originally (circa 1991 when this photo appeared in Vixen's catalog) ...

 

post-363526-0-29450900-1714173012.jpg

 

... offered their SC280L -branded C11 on the Vixen Sensor mount (pictured at far right) as a necessary(??) step-up from the SC200L -branded C8 OTA they sold on either the Vixen SP or SP-DX mount (left and middle examples in the 1991 catalog).  Suffice to say that I expect to find out for myself here soon enough ....

 

Clear Skies,

 

        -- Jim

 

[*] For reference, the height of the red tool cabinet in the second photo is about 4-feet, and in the garage I had the tripod leg extensions fully retracted --- same as in the post #8643 photo of the SW-180mm MCT on this SP-DX.


I use my Celestron 180mm Mak on an LXD75 and I need 2 10lb counterweights. It also has 6x30 RACI or 9x50 direct, and 60mm f/7 side scope, but those are pretty light. I would consider that scope as pushing the limit on the LXD75. I can also use the 5" Meade ED on the LXD75 but again, pushing the limit - a slightly heavier scope.

 

-drl


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#9196 jkmccarthy

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Posted 15 July 2024 - 10:45 PM

A few months ago I came down with a case of aperture fever while browsing ZenMarket, ending up with this Celestron C11 OTA (which Vixen offered for a time as their "ATLUX-SC280L" ... SC for Schmidt Cassegrain):

 

post-363526-0-70964600-1720405486.jpg

[...]

So, that was you [who] won the auctiongrin.gif

Yes, 'guilty as charged' (LOL) ... https://zenmarket.jp...ode=k1133114237 ... since the seller's title said "...model number unknown...", my hope was it might fly under the radar, given the auction was scheduled to end not on a weekend, but instead on a Thursday night (in Japan), coupled with it being somewhat unattractive, cosmetically-speaking [... but as it turned out, all the black marks were only superficial ...].  After all fees and shipping charges [including a fee paid to ZenMarket to dispose of the big Celestron storage trunk it came in, which was badly deteriorated and *not* something I wanted shipped to me ...], my final cost for just the OTA + visual back + dustcap (as shown) totaled US$733 ....  So not a huge steal, but I think I made out okay, considering the 280mm aperture, and no dents or other damage ....

 

Feel free to PM me to discuss further ... a bit off-topic here ....

 

        -- Jim

 


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#9197 deSitter

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Posted 16 July 2024 - 04:38 AM

Just need to wire up the steppers. Control board is flashed with OnStepX.

 

pier extension will get L brackets at the bottom. Currently held with a pipe test plug for centering. Old Meade standard tripod from a 10” LX6

Edit: It's moving! The DEC axis worm has some wobble, but I think it may be fine when guiding. Will see.

https://youtube.com/shorts/mxg33AGLs6s

What's the "X" for in OnStepX?

 

-drl



#9198 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 July 2024 - 05:49 AM

I use my Celestron 180mm Mak on an LXD75 and I need 2 10lb counterweights. It also has 6x30 RACI or 9x50 direct, and 60mm f/7 side scope, but those are pretty light. I would consider that scope as pushing the limit on the LXD75. I can also use the 5" Meade ED on the LXD75 but again, pushing the limit - a slightly heavier scope.

 

-drl

I can't see a C11 on my GP . Even with the LX200 tripod my GP is maxed out with the SW120 Mak.


Edited by CHASLX200, 16 July 2024 - 05:49 AM.


#9199 andylsun

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Posted 16 July 2024 - 06:17 AM

What's the "X" for in OnStepX?

 

-drl

Advanced.

 

there are two versions of OnStep. 
 

OnStep (version 4.24) runs on 8 bit microcontrollers (arduino mega etc) and is basically frozen with no new major development.

Onstepx (version 10.something) runs on 32 bit microcontrollers and is in very active (constant) development and has much greater capabilies.

 

My first mount controller was an arduino mega so I’ve run both, but if anyone says OnStep nowadays they are probably talking about the new X version.

 

Shout out to Howard for all the amazing work he does on this and the fact it’s open source. It’s turning up everywhere now.



#9200 jkmccarthy

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Posted 16 July 2024 - 09:01 AM

I can't see a C11 on my GP . Even with the LX200 tripod my GP is maxed out with the SW120 Mak.

Chas -- the SP-DX is significantly more capable than a GP, and is reported to be somewhat more capable than the GPDX / GPD even.   Some insights into why are revealed in the blog cited here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...ade/?p=13478573
 

Cheers,

 

        -- Jim

 

P.S.  The reference to "SW120"" in your post above is a typo, yes?  I presume you meant to refer to your SW180 Mak ...




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