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Lessons learned . . . the hard way.

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#51 Tyson M

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:31 PM

Various objective/eyepiece/mirror cleaning errors.  Dropped a refractor on concrete shattering the objective.

 

All of which costed me a decent amount of money.

 

I too like to learn the hard way it seems. 


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#52 endless-sky

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 02:15 PM

Sorry to hear about the damage to your guitars. It's always sad when something you deeply care about gets ruined.

 

What lessons have I learnt so far? Nothing so damaging or hurting. But definitely to trust my eyes more than a weather app. I lost quite a few otherwise perfectly clear nights only because my app of choice told me that one hour later it was going to cloud over.

 

Nowadays, despite what the app says, if it looks clear when I go outside 30 minutes before darkness, I set up. Worst case scenario, I only manage to gather a few lights (which is still better than no lights at all and so many fewer lights I'll have to take my next session(s) to finish my project); best case scenario I get a good few hours.

 

Clear nights are a rarity, around here, here lately. I won't let an app make me miss a rare opportunity.



#53 pyrasanth

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 03:19 PM

Never home your Paramount MX+ whilst the counter weights have been removed- it will slew- as I found out- then gravity takes over and the RA axis moves rapidly through the hard stop with a loud bang.......you mount is now broken with the RA axis stuck between the middle of 2 hard stops......and then you get a $5K bill to have it repaired........DOH!


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#54 emflocater

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 09:11 PM

Never home your Paramount MX+ whilst the counter weights have been removed- it will slew- as I found out- then gravity takes over and the RA axis moves rapidly through the hard stop with a loud bang.......you mount is now broken with the RA axis stuck between the middle of 2 hard stops......and then you get a $5K bill to have it repaired........DOH!

That is a HUGE ouch! So sorry to hear that.bangbang.gif

 

Cheers

Don 


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#55 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 10:27 PM

Aren't counterweights supposed to be first on, last off?cool.gif



#56 DSO Viewer AZ

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:02 PM

That’s a bummer on the guitars. Sorry to hear about that.

 

I was taking my dob through the patio door, wrapping up for the night. My scope has wheels, so it was rolling in when it slipped only a couple inches, slamming into the patio door, breaking the dove tail mount for my spotting scope, bang, boom crash, waking the family and uttering a curse or two that is probably not very proper to post here. Good news, after spotting scope hitting the floor, with broken base, my scope fits very easy through the door now. crazy.gif

Side note, I never used the spotting scope anyways, I’m more of a telrad guy, so it worked out in the end. Just making lemonade over here. 



#57 SimonIRE

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 09:16 AM

Number 1 lesson for me. 

 

Buy the best gear you can afford - always. 



#58 Jarno

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:08 PM

I've learned a lot from all these posts but the majority comes down to one single lesson: gravity is NOT your friend, at best it's an unreliable ally.

 

Jarno


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#59 alphatripleplus

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 06:57 PM

One that I have not put into practice yet, but I think I may: If you are prone to dropping counterweights, steel capped boots would be a good idea when outside in the dark.



#60 Wow!

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 08:24 PM

Make a checklist.

 

Otherwise you'll have to try and be a bit ingenious and fill a bag full of sand to double as a counterweight when you forget said weight at home.... the week after you forgot your M42 adapter cutting the night short (but actually didn't forget it, it was in the box the whole time, you just didn't see it)

 

bVV3KQp.jpg


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#61 stomias

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:14 PM

I've found that buying a guitar and playing it hard for 50 years results in the same outcome :) 

 
 
1011163 10201574496908371 659530881 N

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#62 doole

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 10:19 AM

Don't go big - go quality.


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#63 ResQU

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 10:42 AM

When storing your 10" dob, upright, make very, VERY sure the thumbscrew on the dual finderscope mount, the one carrying the 70mm wide field RACI finderscope and green laser pointer, is very, VERY tight.  Otherwise, it slides down the scope and bounces across the hardwood floors.  Cost me a GLP holder and a 1.25" prism diagonal.  Only lucky that I had removed the 13mm Nagler first!

 

Hard learned lessons are the ones you don't have to be told about twice.  Thankfully!

I reversed the base mount on mine exactly for this reason....(there is a stop tab that prevents it from sliding through)



#64 ResQU

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 11:00 AM

Make this change,

I don’t understand why they aren’t set this way to begin with....



#65 ResQU

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 11:03 AM

I learned that the retainer screws on my diagonal won't retain an eyepiece if they don't get tightened sufficiently.

 

Of course, I was set up on concrete when I made this discovery.

Concrete is known to have increased gravitational pull....



#66 Borodog

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 11:07 AM

I don’t understand why they aren’t set this way to begin with....


Because you are meant to store them aperture down so that dust does not settle on the primary.
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#67 Fitz8710

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 06:01 PM

Me and the wife were camping once and there was a dog on a leash that tripped our friends 2 year old daughter into the camp fire. That was the fastest i have ever moved. She didnt get hurt. Only thing i can compare this to was mounting my 32 lb reflector on my cem70 without counter weights on, then unlocking the RA. I moved just as fast that day too. :). She also didnt get hurt.
So the lesson learned the hard way was paaay more attention and dont rush. Especially when your equipment starts getting heavier. It applies to the second story not the first of course. O_o
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#68 George N

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 04:37 PM

My "First Rule" for anyone looking thru my Obsession 20 F/5 ---- "If you start to fall off the ladder --- let go of the telescope!"  ;)


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#69 rgsalinger

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 10:09 PM

1. If you have a bunch of accessories in a case and take one out, lock the case back up. Otherwise, 6 hours later you try to pick it up to put the accessory you took out back into the case and $3000 worth of eyepieces will tumble out onto concrete. There is always concrete around when you drop anything. 

 

2. Keep all of your cables (I'm an imager) in a single container that you bring along with you. In addition, if you can have one extra of each type - USB, pin power cables, rs232 USB adapter just in case.

 

3. Always home the telescope (or set it into the necessary home position) even if you don't think that you need to do so. You never know who might have moved it when you weren't looking (star parties). 

 

4. Never make two changes in a working system at the same time. If you want to make two changes, make one, test it out and make another. Testing includes the things that you do with the system, not just whether the computer connects or the first slew seems to work. 

 

5. Use velcro ties and not cable ties unless you are really really sure that you will never want to re-cable your system. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#70 Jarno

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 12:06 PM

2. Keep all of your cables (I'm an imager) in a single container that you bring along with you. In addition, if you can have one extra of each type - USB, pin power cables, rs232 USB adapter just in case.

I handle this a little differently. I keep all my gear in a padded photography backpack with compartments. Main cam, guiding cam, filter wheel, Asiair - they all go into their own compartment along with their associated cable(s) so if anything is missing it's visible immediately. There's also no guessing game as to which cable belongs to what. 

 

Jarno 


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#71 AradoSKy

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 07:21 AM

Hello,

 

I have enjoyed learning to laugh at our mutual mistakes. My lesson learned is Dark is the Night, use a light, any light. Confirm with light. 

 

First lesson

 

I was attempting to address my configuration for viewing. I had just picked up a extension tube for my TeleVue Panoptic 35mm. In the dark, I was adjusting my setup for additional viewing. Thinking I had installed the tube, I removed the eyepiece and began disassembling the eyepiece. Thinking about the next task, I hear crash on concrete the big thick lens as it rolled away. Doh! Fortunately, YouTube has a Panpotic cleaning sequence to put it back together.

 

Second lesson again.

 

Dark was the night, I had just completed the mount setup with motors in the dark. I installed the OTA into the ADM Vixen dovetail. In the Dark, it looked “right”. Lopsided it was. In the Dark, it looked right. I was close to the mounted OTA setting up power, when crash, the OTA rolled over and into the tripod. I semi caught it before cratering my front yard. I now have a “battle” of “I can do this in the dark. Really, I can.” Not!

 

From these experiences, I can now disassemble and reassemble my Panoptic. I can collimate my OTA. All because I could see in the dark. Not! 

 

I have red lights. Even they have limitations. I am at my house. I will setup in Daylight. Plate solving is now my friend.


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#72 OldManTaco70

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 11:17 AM

My turn!

 

Initially, I thought the ScopeBuggy was a godsend for moving my scope from my garage shelter to backyard. But I now know it was sent by a sun devil!

February 2018, I bought a lightly used Meade LX200 12” Classic SCT. It came with both a ScopeBuggy and an accessory cart/table for maps, EPs, etc. Initially I was very impressed with the mobility the ScopeBuggy would give me with this heavy scope and tripod. Set up the scope on the ScopeBuggy and quickly determined that I would need at least 5-6 feet of door clearance to get this monster outside. After breakdown and reassembly in my garage, and after adding large washers to the three wheel axles as described by other CN posters, I learned that the buggy needed modifications to help it fit through my yard gates (no yard access from my garage.)  So I removed about 5” of steel from each of the rear legs to clear the gates by less than ¼” (tire rubber scraping on the gate frame.) Now I noticed that, as I pulled the buggy across my gravel yard (Live in the AZ desert!) the rear axles were slowly sliding out of the frame. I corrected that worry by drilling 1/8” holes in the axel/frame and pinning with dropping some common nails to prevent unwanted movement. Now, as I get occasionally caught by deep gravel or having to lift the front wheel to clear the raised edge of the patio, I’m afraid my top heavy scope is going to tip out of the buggy. I fixed that by attaching a ratcheting strap to the tripod leg top and a U shaped metal strap attached to the buggy's central leg extension thru-bolt.  OK! Now I can safely and comfortably move the scope from my garage to my patio with ease. But now I am constantly tripping over the buggy wheels as I try to enjoy an evening of visual observing. I fix that by tipping my 120+ lb. scope/tripod out of the buggy and now only worry about kicking the tripod legs. But now I created a bigger problem – I need to tip the scope back onto the buggy so I can wheel it back into my garage. Well very soon I had one long night of great viewing that ends with cloud cover and a fear of rain. So while tipping my scope and tripod back onto the buggy I almost lose it and drop everything into my pool! (Sorry but the best site for viewing is within 5 feet of my pool.) As others have stated, I lost confidence in the ability of the ScopeBuggy to keep me from getting my heavy scope into serious trouble.

 

Now remember that accessory cart I mentioned at the beginning of this novel? Well I decided to mount the scope to it. After several strengthening and usability modifications I now have a platform I can easily and safely wheel through a standard door frame. It holds all my EPs, observing lists, maps, books, etc., Sets up in less than 10 min. And I am ready to observe as soon as it gets dark enough.


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#73 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 12:45 PM

The scope buggy, to me, has always looked like something that could easily end in disaster.  I would build something more substantial. 



#74 DavidWasch

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 02:22 PM

I also have a toppling story--

 

One cold night, I just wanted a quick view, and brought my dob onto my gravel driveway just outside my garage. I had a nice view with my binoviewers, and then took a break to warm up inside.

 

An unexpected wind kicked up and toppled the dob, with the bino eyepieces taking the brunt of the impact.

 

Fortunately, I didn't have expensive eyepieces, because the ones that dove into the gravel were all scratched up; the focuser board cracked as did the kydex of the upper cage.

 

It didn't take long to fix the damage, I even took the opportunity to improve my scope by getting a much needed thicker focusing board and wider ground board. The biggest PIA was waiting for the binoviewers to be recollimated. 

 

Lesson: never leave a decked out scope unattended; the worst will eventually happen.


Edited by DavidWasch, 12 March 2021 - 02:23 PM.

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#75 bnickeson

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 09:31 PM

Instead of yelling, cursing, and kicking the air for two hours straight when you can't get your plate solve to work or your OTA pointed correctly, first make sure your 'daylight savings time' setting is correct in your mount's menu.

 

It's always something.  At least I haven't sent anything flying to the pavement.  Yet.


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