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The weather here: 55% predictability even today...
Did some upgrade, I installed a little usb hub on the tripod and reduced the number of cables. Moreover, I've been able to get more distance from the scope with the computer. Yuri the Cat disapproves, but I don't care :)
A new family member, the Teleskop Service 8'' Ritchey–Chrétien. Now I have my little Hubble, baffles inclued. I like the build already, raw and solid. I hope it will perfom as well as it looks :)
Testing the Imaging train weight.
Trying to reduce flexures during guiding,.I invented this workaround, I hope it works!
My latest "invention"... a guide scope dew shield made with insulating material. I tried it yesterday and it works like a charm! :)
Yuri, my assistant cat, rolling under the tripod :)
My best companions: Yuri and the telescope :)
This is Insane.... after fiddling (a lot) with backlash settings, my mount basically stopped doing corrections in RA. There are micro corrections here and there but truly nothing compared to before. Now I have only Dec corrections to compensate the backlash, numbers are very stable too... and stars round. :) PS ... I got it .. actually the mount is correcting in RA, but the backlash preventive corrections are so huge that they make the RA corrections invisible.
Some of my hardware mods to improve the scope functionality. Maybe many are obvious but maybe it can be of inspiration for someone :)
Here's a story... maybe it may help someone :) Two nights ago I wanted to refine the polar alignment of my mount but It was impossible to move it in the azimuth axis with the knobs and in the end I had to turn the mount with my own hands. It was very hard to align the mount and I wasted a night because guiding was extremely poor. The day after I removed the mount head and realized that the alignment peg broke part of the thread and went off it's screw hole. Fortunately the damage wasn't too big and I managed to put the peg back in its hole quite firmly. I also realized that the surface where the head lays it was far from smooth, so I took some sand paper, made it smooth and applied some lubricant all over the surface. After this little work, the mount now moves very easy with the azimuth knobs and achieving alignment has never been so easy. Since I had the head on my working table, I wanted to have a look at the RA and DEC worm gear placement, something I never did before... but soon or later it must be checked right? My mount always had quite the play in the DEC axis and none on RA. And my RA axis sometimes, when pointing very low south, get stuck. So by looking on CN I went to the conclusion that my DEC worm gear might have been a bit loose and my RA worm gear a bit too tight. By following this tutorial: http://www.astro-baby.com/EQ6%20rebuild%20guide/EQ6%20worm%20alignment.htm, which applies also for the CGEM mounts, I've been able to reduce a lot the play in DEC and to create a very minimal play in RA (my trick was I don't see the play but I feel it with my hands). Well i guess that a picture speaks more than a thousand words, this is part of my guiding graph tonight when the target was just past the meridian. This was the best moment but during the whole night I've seen very nice numbers and the backlash of my DEC was reduced a lot (in PHD the auto-backlash settings it was reduced from the 1000 ms before the worm gear fiddling to 150/250ms)
The imaging train is threaded, the imaging train is straight, if a clamp is used, God gets quite irate I got the new focuser! :) I also put the collimation ring and a dec counterweight. Next step OAG, I already have it, but I need adapters/extensions... :(
I applied some "cosmetics" to the telescope and mount by adding ADM handles (finally) and a nice sticker (I'm with the dark side) :P
My mount turns 6 today! Still in good shape I'd say :)
Lately I was having some problem guiding in dec: my mouth was moving suddenly north or south and PHD2 wasn't even "realizing" it, so everytime this happened the star was lost and the guide interrupted. So I tried to unbalance the DEC axis ... well I've never seen such a graph over 400 seconds...
In about 3 year I created around the tripod an area that now I call "Mordor" because nothing grows there anymore... :P So I decided to buy some fake grass carpet and place it around there.. at least now I don't have to use plastic bags and blankets to keep the electronics away from the soil.
All this pictures during the day, somebody may wonder If I ever use my scope at night! :P An action picture at the end of the session.
How's the polar alignment, Yuri?
The weather here: 55% predictability even today...
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