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Lessons learned . . . the hard way.

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#26 Borodog

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 07:34 PM

<Furiously googles "ScopeBuggy">


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#27 moonrider

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 11:18 PM

I have found in many years of astronomy and as the OP posted guitars that Gravity, sucks when it comes to telescopes and corresponding equipment and guitars..........Don't need to say any more........,


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#28 tocster

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 11:53 PM

I posted this awhile ago, but it still hurts.  Always make sure that your counter weight shaft is over a tripod leg, otherwise when you unmount your telescope the whole thing will topple over, destroying your $5000 mount.


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#29 Rock22

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 11:58 PM

Two nights ago I accidentally let my heavy duty tripod & wedge (the tripod is originally for a C-14; I use it with a C8) topple over into my guitar rack, damaging two of my guitars, my favorite ocean blue flame maple acoustic (two nasty dings in the top side) and the formerly mint condition Ibanez Artcore (semi-hollow jazz box) that my wife gave me 10 years ago (cracked the veneer on the top side all the way across the thickness of the body).

What lessons have you learned the hard way in your journey into the hobby?


This brings back a memory... I wanted to change out the strings on my new Taylor 714ce with Elixir strings. I was cutting the excess with the wire cutter part of my needle-nose pliers, and the pliers slipped out of my hand. The tip of the pliers landed right into the new cedar top, leaving a small dent and in the wood near the bridge. Very obvious, and very disappointing. Still sounds great and the dent reminds me to be ever so careful when changing my strings.

I dropped an eyepiece once. It rolled off my portable table onto the ground, falling about 18”. A little bit of cosmetic damage, and never again do I leave an eyepiece outside of its storage place.

Dropped my ST80 about 4’ onto some blacktop and bent one of the focuser wheels and a lock screw. It fell when my mount tipped over while I was adjusting one of the tripod legs to level it. Brand new 2” focuser, too.

Just glad those lessons were learned when I was just starting out. Thanks to all for sharing their lessons learned the hard way. “Smart people learn from their mistakes. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others.”
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#30 Rasfahan

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 07:10 AM

Lesson 1: It is possible to pick up 30kg of equipment to prevent a collision

Lesson 2: I can not do that with 30kg of counterweights, 20kg of scope, 15 kg of mount and 30kg of pier.

Lesson 3: I am quick enough to loosen mount clutches to prevent a collision after a failed lifting attempt.

Lesson 4: I am not quick enough to prevent a nasty cut into my finger during lesson 3.

Lesson 5: When you automate image acquisition, do the test runs without a scope mounted to prevent further instruction in lessons 1-4.

Lesson 6: No astro equipment makes grinding noises during normal operation. None. If it does on its first use, it is still broken. Continuous operation is not conducive to the health of other equipment.


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#31 hypergolic

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 09:27 AM

1. Never try to learn more than one piece of new equipment at a time.

2. Don't adjusterate secondary mirrors in orient-tayshuns where dropping of the tool will cause wailing and gnashing of teeth.

3. Don't just toss cords on the ground for power. Better yet....don't use extension cords if you have plentiful-powah.

4. Don't charge your lithium ion battery with an incorrect charger. In some cases this situation will liberate free lithium (this is not a revolution). Free lithium =  bad bad bad.

5. Don't forget your counterweight shaft toe-saver. Don't have one? Get one! Your little piggies will thank you.

5. Don't observe in remote/questionable areas; recall the nasty scenes from the film "Deliverance". 

6. Don't assemble your scope and ACK-sessories after dark. Polar align as soon as you can see stars.

7. Newtonians hurt your spine/neck after you hit 50...you ain't a spring chicken anymo', Joe Bob. All that twistin' hurts.

8. Cable management is important. Make sure your power umbilical will not get tangled up in the moviing widgets during tracking/slews. 

9. Use GFCI protected power cords. See item 3. As an Electikle Injuneer, I can tell you dis is impo-tent.

10. Make DERN sure your solar filter is SECURELY attackerated to the end of the tube. Its not fun when a gust of wind blows the filter off while you are looking into the eyepiece. Having a laser-like beam of light drill a hole thru yo' punkin haid ain't fun. You'll end up blind in one eye, possibly daid, and your head will whistle in the wind in certain azimuthal orien-TA-shuns.

 

Note: Not all these bad things have happened to me. Not saying which ones, either, junior!

 

Fleep


Edited by hypergolic, 07 February 2021 - 09:32 AM.

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#32 Borodog

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 10:39 AM

I got the old solar flare treatment the first time I tried to use my home brew solar filter. Luckily no permanent damage. It went straight in the trash.


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#33 luxo II

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 06:08 PM

What lessons have you learned the hard way in your journey into the hobby?

Never, ever disassemble eyepieces less than 15mm - they'll never work as well again after reassembly. Long ago I had 4 and 6mm Unitron orthos, which through very frequent use had acquired some crud inside. They were never a great experience so ... it was no big deal deciding to trash them, I wouldn't even give them to someone.

 

Keep an eye on the power cord - SkyWatcher All-View and AZEQ6 - both have a tendency to rip it out of the socket while slewing.

 

Never power mounts from a 240VAC-12VDC power pack - I've received shocks from a mount before where the power pack clearly was not properly isolated from the AC mains. Always use a battery.


Edited by luxo II, 07 February 2021 - 06:18 PM.

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#34 WilRobinson

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 10:16 PM

A 2 in 40 mm eyepiece dropped on a wood deck will leave a dent in the deck.

 A 1.25 in 4mm ortho dropped on the same wood deck will shatter the lens.



#35 Pedalpoint

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:15 AM

It is possible to pinch your finger between an EQ6 and the tripod when assembling it in the dark. Blood was involved.

A glass solar filter will not survive a fall onto concrete.



#36 KenS

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 05:31 AM

Two nights ago I accidentally let my heavy duty tripod & wedge (the tripod is originally for a C-14; I use it with a C8) topple over into my guitar rack, damaging two of my guitars, my favorite ocean blue flame maple acoustic (two nasty dings in the top side) and the formerly mint condition Ibanez Artcore (semi-hollow jazz box) that my wife gave me 10 years ago (cracked the veneer on the top side all the way across the thickness of the body). I was gathering up the tripod to take it outside, and thought of something I wanted to grab to put in my pocket (leveling shims for beneath the feet) and left it stood up but mostly collapsed. Well the wedge put the CG about a millimeter beyond the footprint of the legs and it slowly toppled before crashing into the guitars. I saw it happening and lunged for it but I was too far away by then. Thankfully the damage to either guitar is only cosmetic; nobody but me can really even see the damage except when I point it out and hold the guitars so the light hits them just right. And I can't see the damage while playing them. But I know it's there. But they still sound just the same and still make me happy. So, lesson learned. The hard way.

 

But the scope was ok, yes?


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#37 alphatripleplus

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 09:29 AM

I learned a long time ago not to fiddle with an eyepiece while standing on a concrete patio. One slip and the eyepiece is history.


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#38 Peter B

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 10:57 AM

Never leave a camera lens on the top of someone else's car.
Never try to straighten out a bent knob.
Always make sure the three screws that attach your Jaegers clock driven eq mount to the pier are tight.
Otherwise somebody will jump in the car and drive away down a bumpy dirt road and you'll never find that lens again. Or, the bent knob will snap right off and you'll never be able to adjust your altimeter again. Or, the mount will fall off the pier onto the concrete block pad you just installed and break the bracket that holds the clock drive to the mount. Just don't do those things!🤯
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#39 litesong

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 01:52 PM

I have found in many years of astronomy..... that Gravity, sucks when it comes to telescopes......

Ah....that’s why the Hubble Telescope is orbiting in zero-g!


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#40 Borodog

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 06:04 PM

But the scope was ok, yes?

Oh yes. Scope was not on the tripod. They are impossible to move as a unit, so the scope was already outside waiting.



#41 luxo II

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 08:55 PM

Another one...

 

When inspecting a prospective new acquisition,  relying on views of distance chimneys, light poles or other terrestrial items does not give an accurate impression of its optical performance.

 

How many noobs have been suckered by that one... self included.



#42 emflocater

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 10:55 AM

The lesson I learned is I started a new hobby...collecting pillows! Never have to worry about damaging them by accidentally dropping them, bumping them into walls, stepping or tripping over them or even dew or moisture as I just toss them in the dryer! Works great on my stress levels! tounge.gif

Cheers

Don 


Edited by emflocater, 09 February 2021 - 11:40 AM.


#43 csrlice12

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 11:02 AM

Big fluffy pillows in the sky


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#44 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 03:14 PM

The lesson I learned is I started a new hobby...collecting pillows! Never have to worry about damaging them by accidentally dropping them, bumping them into walls, stepping or tripping over them or even dew or moisture as I just toss them in the dryer! Works great on my stress levels! tounge.gif

Cheers

Don 

That's a good idea!  Tie pillows all around everything, and lay more pillows below to drop eyepieces onto.  lol.gif


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#45 Jarno

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 08:50 AM

They say that a falling knife has no handle, I can confirm that the same applies to a soldering iron. On the positive side it can be very useful not to have fingerprints for a while. crazy.gif

 

Jarno


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#46 Borodog

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:10 PM

When I first replaced the finder on my 10" Sky-Watcher Dob, I looked at it and thought, "That's going to fall off." So I put a thick rubber band around the rail and shoe in such a way that it will be retained if it comes loose.

 

Can now confirm that it did, in fact, try to fall off and my rubber band finder retainment system did, in fact, work as intended.



#47 dx_ron

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:06 PM

Why, just this morning...  Small potatoes compared to other stories (all of which make me vow to be even more vigilant about shortcuts with heavy/expensive equipment) (except the soldering iron tale, worked at my dad's electronics manufacturing business in Silicon Valley as a teen and contacted way more than my share of hot soldering iron bits and the occasional 120vAC, luckily while not well grounded). Anyway, nothing lost except a couple hours that could have been productive.

 

The USB/serial cable for my mount had the sheathing pull back out of the modular plug that goes into the hand controller. Amazon messaged a photo to the vendor and they were awesome, sent a replacement right away. Went test the new cable before re-cabling the rig. Unplugged the old one from the USB hub and plugged the new one in. Fired up Ekos - no mount connected. Crud. Plugged the original cable back in - no mount connected. Crap. Did they send the wrong kind of converter chip (there weren't any labels on the packaging) and it somehow fried the hand controller? Troubleshooting mode. Hand controller by itself - well, that works fine. Fire up linux command line, lsusb. I can't really make heads or tails of the listing - bunch of 'Realtek something somethings'. Oh, I still have IOptron Commander on my windows laptop. Plug in the old cable - there's the mount. Plug in the new cable - there's the mount. Hmmm. Unplug everything from the pi usb ports and move the converter from the hub to the pi. lsusb - there's something with long gibberish including 'fifo' - I bet that's the converter chip. Fire up Ekos, there's the mount, happy as a clam.

 

Oh wait - the hub has these little tiny on/off push buttons next to each position, doesn't it?...


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#48 alphatripleplus

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:07 PM

One recent lesson I learned is: If you roll your telescope on a buggy back into the garage after an observing session, makes sure the door from inside the garage to the house is not locked from the house side before you close-up for the evening's activities. Otherwise it means banging on the door to wake someone up to let you in, or going out the main garage door again and around to another entrance to the house.


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#49 Rasfahan

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 08:29 AM

Think, measure, *then* attach things (nothing broke but my ego):

You can not reduce backfocus by replacing a 0.5“ M90 spacer at the front with a 20mm T2 spacer at the back.
Adding more shim rings will still not reduce sensor<->flattener distance.

Neither will exchanging the camera with one with same or more backfocus.

 

Lemma 1: Allen keys are subject to gravity.

Corollary: Only let people handle allen keys in front of mirrors whom you love more than the mirrors.

Observation: There exists a certain optimal angle of a tube to the ground that a falling Allen key will not strike the mirror (*phew*). Margin of error for setting that angle seems to be low.



#50 DSOGabe

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:56 AM

I learned counterweight shafts are very hard and do not give at all when struck by a head.

But, on the other hand, the OTA does give some. As long as one doesn't mind doing the entire alignment process again....




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