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 Post subject: Re: Pier
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:02 pm 
Great news Bill. I spent about 3 hours on Friday using Alignmaster to drift alight the mount. It was tricky as some of the selected stars were very low down in the gloom of the northern horizon which is not an open aspect for me. However a little perseverance paid off in the end. It's not absolutely spot on but I found that the adjustments required were so minute that I kept over doing them so I plan to come back to it another night, probably when it is darker for longer.

I tried the mount last night and was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy and the fact that I was not lugging a heavy tripod and mount around or scrambling about on my knees peering through a polarscope. I used a one star align and then used the handset to pick out a few bright stars then Saturn using an 8mm plossl and a 2xBarlow. Saturn sat in the eyepiece without drifting out of view, not quite the norm for me.

Good luck with your setting up


 Post subject: Re: Pier
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:20 am
Posts: 113
Location: Atherton
Hi Bernie. Just need a clear night now to align the mount. I'm hoping to achieve some accuracy with Alignmaster as you have. Did you use it in combination with EQASCOM and if so, did you heed the warning about clearing any existing model and going into 'dialog mode'.
Have you just used the Stellariumscope user guide to find your way around or is there a more detailed tutorial to be had? Regards. Bill

 Post subject: Re: Pier
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:03 am 
Hi Bill

There is an Alignmaster tutorial on Astronomyshed. Dion uses a camera whereas I used an eyepiece but the processes are the same, well worth looking at. I did not have Stellarium running when I did the alignment. EQASCOM opened when I selected the two alignment stars in Alignmaster and it used EQASCOM to slew to the selected stars when the GOTO button was pressed. This worked fine for me. You will need to adjust the RA rate and DEC rate but there are 4 presets that can make this easier as the adjustment sliders are very small. I think a gamepad would make life easier if you have one. but that is probably another can of worms! I did see the message about dialog mode but did not find this option or need to use it.
I used the help menu within the Stellarium, Telescope Menu and puzzled it out from there adopting my unscientific "Poke and Hope" approach. There is a tutorial on you tube but this uses a Celestron telescope and the Strellarium plugin so it wasn’t much use to me.


 Post subject: Re: Pier
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:38 pm 
Pier update - Home Brew to the rescue

I came across a home build pier project that had an upturned plastic dustbin attached to the top of a pier to keep the elements out. This bin struck me as being a bit on the large size until I found a home brewers bin that was the right size for my mount. Unfortunately the lid is quite contoured and I had to split it in two to make it work so it does not fit flush and has lost some of its rigidity, I am working on a modification. The lid is attached to the top of the pier with 4 bolts and wingnuts as it needs to be easily detachable since it would foul the mount/scope in operation.

Beneath the bin, the mount is wrapped in some horticultural fleece and towels. Some desiccant gel packs are soon to be added. The outside cover is one I picked up at the Peak Astronomy get together last year. I think that everything will be doubled up in terms of layers for the winter.

 Post subject: Re: Pier
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:37 pm 
I sent this progress report to Bernie Holmes, who suggested that I
post it on the forum, so here goes:

I've made some progress with my own pier now, as follows:.

I found a sturdy steel tube 4 1/2 " diameter, 4 foot long, with a flange welded on top and bottom, in the yard of a builder friend. It was quite rusty so I cleaned it up using my angle grinder with flap disc. I painted it with red oxide then Hammerite.
I dug a hole 0.6m deep and 0.5m diameter (too big)
I threaded a couple of holes at the corner of the square base,
and inserted some M8 studding so I could adjust it for plum,
then sat it on bricks at the bottom of the hole.
Checked for tube being plum then used postmix to fill under bottom flange.
Unfortunately the post mix did not go off properly. I tried another bag with
the same result, and ended up taking it back to the shop for a refund.
I had to dig it out again and start over, - a lot of work.
Next time I used good old fashioned sand, gravel, and cement.
No problem this time, except hard work mixing for such a big hole,
but had plenty of time to check that the pipe was plum and adjust before it set.
I would not use postmix again! Others have said it goes off very quick (like in 10 minutes)
I did it in layers, and then used a slice of on old dustbin to create a mould for the top
layer to produce the plinth.
It's all set now and rock solid.

My next job is to make an EQ wedge which fits the top flange so I can mount my
Celestron C8 and get it polar aligned.

To be continued!!
Steve Read

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 Post subject: Re: Pier
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:01 am 
My EQ Wedge is almost finished.
I still have a few finishing touches to make, but it is ready
to test for polar alignment.
This is how it looks:
Steve Read

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 Post subject: Re: Pier
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:22 pm 
Looks like a top job there Steve, good luck with the alignment, should be easy going with those worm screws.


 Post subject: Re: Pier
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Horwich
New Pier setup in temp location until Knee is sorted,

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Not sure on the colour yet :o

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