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 Post subject: A spot of gardening...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:56 pm 
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Since the foundations went in last weekend, it's about time I stuck the pier on it. First problem was that although the concrete was levelled before the bolts were put in, putting in the bolts un-levelled it quite a bit. So balancing the pier as best I can, it's still got a noticeable lean. I didn't have a spirit level so had to use a tablet, which showed it was about 1 degree off vertical - the photo makes it look worse as the camera has quite some optical distortion to it. I'm thinking I could get some washers to pack under it to level it off? The instructions for this pier say it doesn't have to be perfectly level, since the levelling can be done on the top plate, but I want to do this for cosmetic reasons.

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And here it is with the EQ6 stuck on it. According to the bubble there's a slight offset from level, but I'll do that more accurately later. I don't have a spanner big enough for the levelling nuts anyway so it's just finger tight for now.

Hopefully the few clouds will go soon, and I'll get it rough polar aligned and start imaging the moon...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:37 am 
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Hi popo,

Looking good and I think you'll find your productivity will take a huge step forward. My own pier isn't quite vertical either due to my poor woodworking skills when I made the form for the concrete but I designed a similar arrangement to the one you have connecting the two plates at the top which allowed me to get an accurate level. The only other critical element was getting my equatorial mount aligned as closely as possible to true north before permanently bolting it to the removable top plate. The mount's own adjustment does allow some fine tuning during final polar alignment but life is so much easier with a good initial rough alignment.

As for polar alignment itself, I did the whole thing with the camera. Maxim DL provides a software crosshair and that allowed pixel precision. I also have an eyepiece with an illuminated crosshair but in the past I've found it less convenient and less accurate.

I decided the combination of a full moon plus thin high cirrus was enough to rule out imaging tonight but hopefully it was good enough for your purposes.

Hope you get that SCT delivered soon! 8)

Bob.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:56 am 
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It should save my back as well as time. I'm leaving the EQ6 out there, got a telegizmos cover for the lot.

While I didn't do it last night, I do intend to try a software package like EQalign to get the polar alignment spot on, but that will have to wait until I've decided on the exact pier configuration I'm going for. So it isn't worth doing just yet.

There was definitely some high cloud passing over last night, so even without moon it would have been frustrating to do deep sky. Hence I have a moon mosaic I need to post some time.

SCT expectation has gone ahead, hope to get it tomorrow now :)

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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