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E.Fric first light, champion in Price / Performance / Capabilities

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#1 vdb

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 04:37 AM

So I finally had the time to setup the mount in the garden, heavy LP zone, I had no spare LP filters, so in this regard it's just to test the mount, what can I say.

 

E.fric:

http://www.geminitel...man-equatorial/

 

- It's a beauty, I really like steam punk smile.gif

- Easy to balance, the benefit of friction drive but has clutches so it can move freely.

- Easy to polar align, it has a built in adaptor for the Polemaster, so alignment was done in 5 minutes

- I use the Onstep controller from Instein 

- I use geoptic Hercules tripod 

- I put an FSQ 106 + QHY367C on it, no guide scope! 

- It slews smooth, low noise level, no noise when tracking

- So after the polar alignment I took a 30 sec shot, round stars, 60 second, round stars, 120 sec, round stars, 180 second round stars ... at 1.8 Arcsec/pixel not bad at all ...

 

I still need to dial in my limits for auto meridian flip in SGP ... stay tuned.

 

In my opinion there is NO better mount in this weight / accuracy / performance / price ratio 

 

 

/Yves

No guiding, 1 plate solve object dead center, no calibration, no dither  (SGP direct mount was to big in jumps) ... 30x3minutes sub

 

50348317976_acdb53dda6_h.jpgE.Fric test by Yves, on Flickr


Edited by vdb, 16 September 2020 - 05:50 AM.

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#2 MarcoItaly

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 09:49 AM

Glad to hear!

In the era when premium brands put massive electronics to overcome possible mechanical flaws a small manufacturer can give a premium product at an affordable price relying on quality mechanics with opensource and cheap electronics.

Maybe I'll drop a line to Andras to understand if a bigger mount can be made or is being developed...I have to carry a TOA150 and a RASA11"...

 

Marco


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#3 ajaymandke

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 12:09 PM

That is great image. I have my E Fric mount with Onstep controller on order too. I am really excited by the positive reviews and some of the images posted on CN threads.

Andras has been very responsive to my queries/questions as well.

 

Ajay



#4 vdb

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 12:40 AM

Last night I got automatic flip + SGP dialed in.

The onstep FW needed a setting adjusted, prefer east side.

So it’s quite simpel, in the ascom driver you say how many degrees past meridian you can goto, when you are on the west side.

With the option in the FW enabled you now can track past meridian and when SGP sends the goto command, Onstep does the right thing and moves the OTA to the preferred East Side ...

 

Another night with 80+ subs unguided and round stars, no need to build complex models etc, what a joy!

 

 

/Yves


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#5 orlyandico

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 02:20 AM

Would be interesting to enable the refraction correction in OnStep and see if you can still get long exposure unguided at lower altitudes (say 30 degrees above the horizon).



#6 vdb

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 02:31 AM

Would be interesting to enable the refraction correction in OnStep and see if you can still get long exposure unguided at lower altitudes (say 30 degrees above the horizon).

I think it’s on by default, need to check, I will see and check my subs to see if there is one as low as 30 degrees ...

 

/Yves



#7 elmiko

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:08 AM

Excellent results! Congratulations on your new camera!



#8 vdb

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 12:26 PM

Excellent results! Congratulations on your new camera!

Thanks,

Yves



#9 vdb

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 12:28 PM

Would be interesting to enable the refraction correction in OnStep and see if you can still get long exposure unguided at lower altitudes (say 30 degrees above the horizon).

I have to about 40 degrees, you start to see a bit of trail but hardly, I think refraction was not on ... 

If I have a chance I will try tonight.

 

/Yves



#10 vdb

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 02:22 PM

M31 just above 30 degrees 180 seconds no guiding. 1.83 arcsec/pixel, I don't know if refraction correction is even on ... 160%

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  • Screenshot 2020-09-17 at 21.19.51.jpg

Edited by vdb, 17 September 2020 - 02:25 PM.

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#11 vdb

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 02:30 PM

5 minute at 100% I have never seen this in a mount WITHOUT high res encoders, also there are gusts of wind, the friction drive handles this without any issues ... never ever seen this kind of performance of any of my mounts, including my Mesu's 

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  • Screenshot 2020-09-17 at 21.28.46-s.jpg

Edited by vdb, 17 September 2020 - 02:39 PM.

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#12 vdb

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 03:16 AM

Some pictures of the mount, last night full automated run of a 2 panel mosaic, still need to proces that one, M31 of the night before came out perfect.

 

50355754086_9aafe76c95_b.jpgM31 E.fric by Yves, on Flickr

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Edited by vdb, 19 September 2020 - 03:18 AM.

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#13 vdb

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:13 PM

50360222928_5159b63bf5_h.jpgIC1318 by Yves, on Flickr


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#14 Gregory

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:41 AM

Hello Yves,

 

I'm glad you are having such good success with the E.fric.

 

I have been testing it for several nights with a 24kg payload

(requires about 26kg in counterweight), and the Pulsar2

controller, at 1570mm focal length, and have not been having

such good results as yours.

 

I started out my testing with a small refractor (a 75mm), which

was encouraging because I was getting similar results to yours.

The weight was very much less, requiring only a single 3kg

counterweight about 1/3 down the length of the counterweight

shaft.

 

Unguided at 300 seconds, Dec was right on, but there was

some slight variation in RA that showed up while unguided,

that eventually had to be guided out.  The guiding (using relays)

seemed to work quite well at that focal length (500 mm).

 

With the 24kg load (truss Cassegrain OTA is about 1 meter in

length *with* imaging train), I have been trying to work out why

I am experiencing variation/wiggles in both Dec and RA

(unguided).  These are not huge, but cause excursions of

+/- 1.5/2.0 arc-seconds (4 arc-seconds peak/peak), enough

to ruin my exposures.  Everything is tight, it is well-balanced,

and there is no cable drag.

 

I would have said that it could have been equally the mount or

the controller, but in fact, by chance, one orientation (straight

up toward the meridian) of the OTA did produce good results

for one 120-second exposure.  (This was documented in 

another related thread in this forum.)  However, moving to a

different part of the sky, with the OTA at a different angle, caused

the problem(s) to reappear, which persist in most (if not all)

orientations.  BTW, the mount seems not to struggle in any

way with slewing/go-to motions, which are smooth and

responsive.

 

I have yet to complete my tests, but for now, what I would say to

a prospective buyer is that the E.fric *may* not be suitable for

the load range specified (as I said, tests are not complete).

If true, this would be sad for me, since I purchased the mount

with the expectation (and express need) that it would handle a

24kg load.

 

Gregory

 



#15 Gregory

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:43 AM

Hello all,

 

Marco recently posted:

 


Maybe I'll drop a line to Andras to understand if a bigger mount can be made or is being developed...I have to carry a TOA150 and a RASA11"...

 

Hmm, the weight of the TOA150 is listed as ~15kg (without OTA

counterweight).  Even with camera/filter wheel/focuser, it should

not exceed about 22kg or so.  This is within the range of the E.fric,

which is rated at 30kg photographic.  Even with the additional

torque from the moment arm, the E.fric *should* be able to handle

this, according to the rated specification.  The RASA 11 may be

more of a challenge at 20kg basic weight, but the weight might

be mitigated by the smaller overall length.

 

I am carrying a payload of 24kg total, with an OTA almost exactly

the weight of the RASA 11 (before imaging train).

 

On the other hand, I am currently having some (undiagnosed)

difficulties with that, despite the rated payload specification.

 

Gregory


Edited by Gregory, 20 September 2020 - 10:59 AM.


#16 vdb

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 12:39 PM

Hello Yves,

 

I'm glad you are having such good success with the E.fric.

 

I have been testing it for several nights with a 24kg payload

(requires about 26kg in counterweight), and the Pulsar2

controller, at 1570mm focal length, and have not been having

such good results as yours.

 

I started out my testing with a small refractor (a 75mm), which

was encouraging because I was getting similar results to yours.

The weight was very much less, requiring only a single 3kg

counterweight about 1/3 down the length of the counterweight

shaft.

 

Unguided at 300 seconds, Dec was right on, but there was

some slight variation in RA that showed up while unguided,

that eventually had to be guided out.  The guiding (using relays)

seemed to work quite well at that focal length (500 mm).

 

With the 24kg load (truss Cassegrain OTA is about 1 meter in

length *with* imaging train), I have been trying to work out why

I am experiencing variation/wiggles in both Dec and RA

(unguided).  These are not huge, but cause excursions of

+/- 1.5/2.0 arc-seconds (4 arc-seconds peak/peak), enough

to ruin my exposures.  Everything is tight, it is well-balanced,

and there is no cable drag.

 

I would have said that it could have been equally the mount or

the controller, but in fact, by chance, one orientation (straight

up toward the meridian) of the OTA did produce good results

for one 120-second exposure.  (This was documented in 

another related thread in this forum.)  However, moving to a

different part of the sky, with the OTA at a different angle, caused

the problem(s) to reappear, which persist in most (if not all)

orientations.  BTW, the mount seems not to struggle in any

way with slewing/go-to motions, which are smooth and

responsive.

 

I have yet to complete my tests, but for now, what I would say to

a prospective buyer is that the E.fric *may* not be suitable for

the load range specified (as I said, tests are not complete).

If true, this would be sad for me, since I purchased the mount

with the expectation (and express need) that it would handle a

24kg load.

 

Gregory

Did you do guided tests? At such focal length and mirror you need to guide OAG, to do unguided at such a focal length with mirrors you need elaborated modelling that 10Micron, PM and some other high end mounts offer. Anyway I would never ever expect the E.fric to do unguided imaging at such focal length with mirrors that is just not realistic. If you guided and where not seeing good results that's another story ...

 

/Yves



#17 Gregory

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 02:04 PM

Hello Yves,

 

Thanks for commenting -- you posted:

 

Did you do guided tests? At such focal length and mirror you need to guide OAG, to do unguided at such a focal length with mirrors you need elaborated modelling that 10Micron, PM and some other high end mounts offer. Anyway I would never ever expect the E.fric to do unguided imaging at such focal length with mirrors that is just not realistic. If you guided and were not seeing good results that's another story ...

 

/Yves

 

Yes, it's another story.  smile.gif

 

Running unguided (in my case) was only a short test, to see if the

guide star would stay relatively stable.  I was not even collecting

an image on the imaging camera at this point, just watching the

guide camera images and looking at the guide output.  (It is

possible to run the guiding software without generating guide

pulses, just to observe the behavior.)

 

I am quite aware of the demands of longer focal length, and of

higher payload weight, having dealt with both for several years.

That's why I purchased the E.fric, and why I am lightly

cautioning people who may have higher-weight payloads than

yours, that may approach the photographic specification of the

mount, until I can do a little more testing.

 

By the way, you mention the "mirror" -- often when people see

the designation "Cassegrain", they think "Schmidt-Cassegrain",

then they think of a commercial Schmidt-Cassegrain like a

Celestron that has a moving primary.

 

My telescope is a Cassegrain (most OTAs with a centrally-perforated

primary are), but in this case, it is a truss Harmer-Wynne, with a

"fixed" primary.  I put "fixed" in quotes, because it is alignable

(capable of being adjusted for "collimation"), so it does of course

have adjusting screws, which are suitably tightened in order to

prevent the sort of problem I am seeing.  And you are correct,

mirror telescopes in general, no matter how constructed, are

often collections of moving parts.  wink.gif

 

Guiding tests somewhat check the guiding mechanism as well,

but my actual *guiding* has been pretty good.  That is to say,

the guider tries to compensate for the jumps taken by the guide

star.  I incorporated a suggestion by Andras to reduce the guide

speed and lengthen the guide pulse.  So, I am guiding and not

seeing the results I was hoping for, because of unexplained (i.e.,

not related to seeing) movement of the guide star on the guide

camera sensor.  Since this can have several causes, I am trying

to eliminate them before coming to any conclusions.

 

As you know, that could take days or weeks!  I already have

a few of each put into divining the problem.

 

Gregory

 



#18 vdb

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 02:08 PM

Hello Yves,

 

Thanks for commenting -- you posted:

 

 

Yes, it's another story.  smile.gif

 

Running unguided (in my case) was only a short test, to see if the

guide star would stay relatively stable.  I was not even collecting

an image on the imaging camera at this point, just watching the

guide camera images and looking at the guide output.  (It is

possible to run the guiding software without generating guide

pulses, just to observe the behavior.)

 

I am quite aware of the demands of longer focal length, and of

higher payload weight, having dealt with both for several years.

That's why I purchased the E.fric, and why I am lightly

cautioning people who may have higher-weight payloads than

yours, that may approach the photographic specification of the

mount, until I can do a little more testing.

 

By the way, you mention the "mirror" -- often when people see

the designation "Cassegrain", they think "Schmidt-Cassegrain",

then they think of a commercial Schmidt-Cassegrain like a

Celestron that has a moving primary.

 

My telescope is a Cassegrain (most OTAs with a centrally-perforated

primary are), but in this case, it is a truss Harmer-Wynne, with a

"fixed" primary.  I put "fixed" in quotes, because it is alignable

(capable of being adjusted for "collimation"), so it does of course

have adjusting screws, which are suitably tightened in order to

prevent the sort of problem I am seeing.  And you are correct,

mirror telescopes in general, no matter how constructed, are

often collections of moving parts.  wink.gif

 

Guiding tests somewhat check the guiding mechanism as well,

but my actual *guiding* has been pretty good.  That is to say,

the guider tries to compensate for the jumps taken by the guide

star.  I incorporated a suggestion by Andras to reduce the guide

speed and lengthen the guide pulse.  So, I am guiding and not

seeing the results I was hoping for, because of unexplained (i.e.,

not related to seeing) movement of the guide star on the guide

camera sensor.  Since this can have several causes, I am trying

to eliminate them before coming to any conclusions.

 

As you know, that could take days or weeks!  I already have

a few of each put into divining the problem.

 

Gregory

OAG or guide scope?

 

EDIT: Do I see an ONAG in the picture?? Did you ever successfully used that on another mount, just curious, I would if you have a small guide scope hanging around mount that ... host to exclude some issues in the imaging train, I know the ONAG should be top of the line ... but debugging such a complex system in one go is not trivial and hard to point a finger on an issue when encountered, just my 2 cents ...

 

/Yves


Edited by vdb, 20 September 2020 - 02:17 PM.


#19 Gregory

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 02:40 PM

Hello Yves,

 

You recently asked:

 

OAG or guide scope?

 

EDIT: Do I see an ONAG in the picture?? Did you ever successfully used that on another mount, just curious, I would if you have a small guide scope hanging around mount that ... host to exclude some issues in the imaging train, I know the ONAG should be top of the line ... but debugging such a complex system in one go is not trivial and hard to point a finger on an issue when encountered, just my 2 cents ...

 

You understand, then -- neither OAG nor guide scope, but on-axis guider.

 

I have used the ONAG for several years with several OTAs, and with this

OTA for about two years.  It has worked quite well for me.

 

I have the distinct advantage of being able to compare exact OTA/imaging

train systems between two very good mounts (the E.fric of course, and the

Astro-Physics Mach1).  I was hoping to exceed the performance of the

Mach1, and that still may happen; it just hasn't happened yet.

 

As you say, these are all complex systems, but I have a way of reducing

the number of variables.  The Mach1 (with this exact OTA/imaging train)

did not exhibit this particular undesirable behavior that is puzzling me

right now.

 

Gregory


Edited by Gregory, 20 September 2020 - 02:42 PM.



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