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Thread: New Wide Field Rig Built

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    Default New Wide Field Rig Built



    I've been contemplating working out how to use some of my F-mount lenses for AP. That project just came together and weather willing it will get its first light tonight. It is all made mostly from off the shelf parts. To wit: a standard Losmandy rail, dovetail up, bolted to a vixen rail, dovetail down. Two rings ride on the D plate to hold the camera and lens. A clamp is bolted to the back to attach a 50mm guidescope bolted to a short V rail. Importantly I constructed a motor mount from standard 15mm rail follow focus parts. I sent the camera slider to Ron at Moonlite and he mounted one of his high resolution steppers to it and attached a belt drive pulley. Things are not quite as they should be because I need to get longer belts so I can flip the motor so its electrical connection is on the outside. But a bench tests suggests this should all work as planned. The rails the motor moves on can be positioned along the perpendicular rails to achieve proper tension and the motor sled can slide forward and back to accommodate different lenses. The belt was slipping on the focuser, but it appears that two rubber bands fixes that. So, let's see if I can get first light. Now to find a suitable target high enough in the sky that is about 5˚ square! Don't know if there is one now. The first lens I am testing is a 135mm f/2. I'll probably shot at 2.8. I'm sure I'll find lots of things to tune up when I take this for a spin.
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    Richard
    Mounts: GM1000HPS,CEM60,ZEQ25; Scopes: NP127is,ES102ED,ZS 71,RASA, EdgeHD1100, LS60Tha/1200B/PT; Focusers: MoonLite 2", 2.5" SCT,2x FeatherTouchMicro; Modifier/EPs: TV 7,27,35mm, ES 18mm; TV 2,4x; HT 2" flattener, TRF-2008 0.8x R&F, EHD11 0.7x
    Cameras: Nikon D800 converted,QHY16200A,QHY23+FW, ASI120Mx-S+FW,ASI224MC-C; Filters: Baader 36mm LRGB, 7nm Ha,OIII,SII; Astronomik 1.25" LRGB, 2" LRGB, 2" 12nm Ha,OII,SII; Astrodon 50mm Ha,SII 5nm, OIII 3nm Software: PixInsight, APT,SGP,PinPoint,AstroPlanner,CS6

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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    Clever set up there Richard. Hope it works well for you. I love seeing the ingenuity that AP'ers come up with!
    JJ
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    Telescopes: Assorted brands and designs from 60mm up to 203mm (9). Eyepieces: Two 6mm BO's (Brown Organics - Eye Balls). Mounts: Celestron, Meade, Orion, Vixen, Skywatcher. Cameras: Canons, Logitech, Orion, QHYs.

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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny J. View Post
    Clever set up there Richard. Hope it works well for you. I love seeing the ingenuity that AP'ers come up with!
    JJ
    Thanks for the kind comment -- we'll see if this is a swing and a miss or a hit. I decided on a first target -- the region of Markarian's chain. I think I'll center on M86 -- assuming all goes well ;-)
    Richard
    Mounts: GM1000HPS,CEM60,ZEQ25; Scopes: NP127is,ES102ED,ZS 71,RASA, EdgeHD1100, LS60Tha/1200B/PT; Focusers: MoonLite 2", 2.5" SCT,2x FeatherTouchMicro; Modifier/EPs: TV 7,27,35mm, ES 18mm; TV 2,4x; HT 2" flattener, TRF-2008 0.8x R&F, EHD11 0.7x
    Cameras: Nikon D800 converted,QHY16200A,QHY23+FW, ASI120Mx-S+FW,ASI224MC-C; Filters: Baader 36mm LRGB, 7nm Ha,OIII,SII; Astronomik 1.25" LRGB, 2" LRGB, 2" 12nm Ha,OII,SII; Astrodon 50mm Ha,SII 5nm, OIII 3nm Software: PixInsight, APT,SGP,PinPoint,AstroPlanner,CS6

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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    Initial results are encouraging. Autofocus is working and drawing fairly good graphs. I still need to tweak the parameters and see if I can do something about the F-mount. The F-mount came from Precise Parts and unlike everything else I've gotten from them, this part has been trouble from day one. Tonight the major issue is there is a lot of rotational slop when the lens is mounted. Given the motor drive of the lens' helicoil, when the motor reverses this rotates the lens in the mount a bit before moving the lens focus ring. I'm sure I can work out a black lash compensation amount to take care of this, but it would be nice if I could also make the lens mount better physically. I'll have to ponder that. I started my Lum exposures at 5 sec f/2.8 -- any higher and a few stars would saturate. Inspecting the first few frames added further evidence to want I have seen for months, namely my sensor is tilted. Another thing to work on. It is a small amount, but depth of focus at f/2.8 is not too forgiving. So, I switched up to 10 sec at f/4 and will complete the run there. I'll try for 128 frames each of LRGB. That should give me enough data to do a 2x drizzle without missing too many pixels. I'm usually way over sampled but at an image scale of 5.64"/px this guy is way undersampled -- a good test for drizzling, which I have only tried once before. Fingers crossed that I get at least the Lum in before the clouds notice what I am up to and roll in. That way I could have a real first light test image, if only in Lum.
    Shellshock187 likes this.
    Richard
    Mounts: GM1000HPS,CEM60,ZEQ25; Scopes: NP127is,ES102ED,ZS 71,RASA, EdgeHD1100, LS60Tha/1200B/PT; Focusers: MoonLite 2", 2.5" SCT,2x FeatherTouchMicro; Modifier/EPs: TV 7,27,35mm, ES 18mm; TV 2,4x; HT 2" flattener, TRF-2008 0.8x R&F, EHD11 0.7x
    Cameras: Nikon D800 converted,QHY16200A,QHY23+FW, ASI120Mx-S+FW,ASI224MC-C; Filters: Baader 36mm LRGB, 7nm Ha,OIII,SII; Astronomik 1.25" LRGB, 2" LRGB, 2" 12nm Ha,OII,SII; Astrodon 50mm Ha,SII 5nm, OIII 3nm Software: PixInsight, APT,SGP,PinPoint,AstroPlanner,CS6

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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    That's a clever rig, Richard. As for the F-mount adapter, the people at Precise Parts are very good about parts that don't fit or work well. Just let them know that there is sloop in the mount and they'll make you a new one.

    Tim
    Celestron 1400HD on a CGE Pro mount. QHY 10 OSC. Modded Canon T2i. Celestron OAG,
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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    Quote Originally Posted by spokeshave View Post
    That's a clever rig, Richard. As for the F-mount adapter, the people at Precise Parts are very good about parts that don't fit or work well. Just let them know that there is sloop in the mount and they'll make you a new one.

    Tim
    I thought that too. But they are not as good as their reputation. Ashley's answer was basically, I'll be happy to take it back if it is not working for you. That is great but hardly a solution to my problem! I said this was trouble from day one. Well, they left metal filings in a hole they drilled that the lock pin rides in. The result was the day before a trip where I needed a particular lens I used it to test the mount I had just gotten from PreciseParts. I mounted it just fine. But, when I tried to unmount it, it would not come off of my $6K lens!!!!!! I was leaving for a 2 week trip the next morning so I could not exactly let PP handle it. After much gnashing of teeth and the use of pliers (GASP) I got it removed. When I disassembled it I found that the hole the lock pin rides in was both too small and had metal filing in it causing the pin to bind and not release the lens. Those metal filings where inside the throat of my expensive lens. Fortunately there was no evidence that any "got out". Anyway I cleaned the filings out and found the pin still would bind. So, I gingerly with a tiny rat tail file enlarged the hole until the lock pin could reliably be moved. I found there was no aperture adjustment ring (this was my bad for just assuming there was an aperture ring on this $173 part just because all my other commercial F-mount adapters had them). In my email about the trouble I had had with the part I asked if there was a way they could modify it to hold the aperture open -- this is trivial and would require a small metal tab at the right spot. The response was not, oh we can do that, but well I'll give you a full refund. I thought that was generous, but not the level of service I had been lead to believe existed. I expect the reason no offer was made to improve the part is that they do not in fact make the component that attached to the lens, they just use an off the shelf part which they modify to add the back end attachment requested. On those G lenses without an aperture ring I cut a small piece of plastic and wedge it in the slot the lever that opens the aperture rides in. This is not elegant and risks a small piece of soft plastic falling on the rear surface of the lens should it come loose, but the risk of that causing damage seems very low and acceptable. But this is not elegant and not worthy of such an expensive part. Now, I should be quick to add that PP has made 3 other parts for me and they have all been perfect. I think the difference is they machined those parts themselves from blocks of aluminium. I wish PP had been more interested in solving my problem, since I cannot be alone in facing these issues, but alas, they were not. Perhaps it was just a getting up on the wrong side of the bed problem. Too bad because it turned them from adapter gods to a typical firm in my mind. sigh. That being said, I'm sure I will use them many times in the future and highly recommend their service with the exception of the F-mount. But they will make it and if you need one and don't need aperture control and can tolerate what seems to me like excessive rotational slop on the mounted lens, then go for it. Just be very sure the release pin moves freely before you attach a lens!!!! In fact I used this part just last night <G>
    Richard
    Mounts: GM1000HPS,CEM60,ZEQ25; Scopes: NP127is,ES102ED,ZS 71,RASA, EdgeHD1100, LS60Tha/1200B/PT; Focusers: MoonLite 2", 2.5" SCT,2x FeatherTouchMicro; Modifier/EPs: TV 7,27,35mm, ES 18mm; TV 2,4x; HT 2" flattener, TRF-2008 0.8x R&F, EHD11 0.7x
    Cameras: Nikon D800 converted,QHY16200A,QHY23+FW, ASI120Mx-S+FW,ASI224MC-C; Filters: Baader 36mm LRGB, 7nm Ha,OIII,SII; Astronomik 1.25" LRGB, 2" LRGB, 2" 12nm Ha,OII,SII; Astrodon 50mm Ha,SII 5nm, OIII 3nm Software: PixInsight, APT,SGP,PinPoint,AstroPlanner,CS6

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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    Wow. That's disappointing. I have never had an issue with a PP product, butt I have read where others were very satisfied with their after-sale support. For what they charge, one would expect it to be excellent...

    Tim
    Celestron 1400HD on a CGE Pro mount. QHY 10 OSC. Modded Canon T2i. Celestron OAG,
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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    Very cool! Is that the Zeiss APO Sonnar?
    OTA: Celestron C6, C8, Takahashi Sky 90, Coronado PST Mount: Celestron AVX - 0 degree lat mod, Nextstar Evolution Eye pieces Televue Delos 6mm, 17.5mm, Televue Panoptic 35mm, C Plossl 13mm, 25mm, 40mm lenses Televue 2.5x Powermate, f6.3 reducer, Tak 0.81 reducer Guiding
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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    Quote Originally Posted by tempocalypse View Post
    Very cool! Is that the Zeiss APO Sonnar?
    Yes. I really like this lens -- it is so sharp you can shave with it.
    Richard
    Mounts: GM1000HPS,CEM60,ZEQ25; Scopes: NP127is,ES102ED,ZS 71,RASA, EdgeHD1100, LS60Tha/1200B/PT; Focusers: MoonLite 2", 2.5" SCT,2x FeatherTouchMicro; Modifier/EPs: TV 7,27,35mm, ES 18mm; TV 2,4x; HT 2" flattener, TRF-2008 0.8x R&F, EHD11 0.7x
    Cameras: Nikon D800 converted,QHY16200A,QHY23+FW, ASI120Mx-S+FW,ASI224MC-C; Filters: Baader 36mm LRGB, 7nm Ha,OIII,SII; Astronomik 1.25" LRGB, 2" LRGB, 2" 12nm Ha,OII,SII; Astrodon 50mm Ha,SII 5nm, OIII 3nm Software: PixInsight, APT,SGP,PinPoint,AstroPlanner,CS6

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    Default Re: New Wide Field Rig Built

    Status update: my computer has been grinding away at this data set all day long --- maybe I do need a faster computer! I do not like overexposed stars so I ended up with 400 subs (and 96 flat subs). That is a bunch of data to handle. I think another time I will not be so fussy and let the brightest star cores blow out. With 20 sec frames you lose a lot of time in data collection. Back of the envelope is for 5 hrs of imaging I got 1.5 hours of data since overhead (downloading the frames, dithering, settling the mount, etc) ate about 52s per frame. Then of course the there is the processing burden of integrating in software what could have been integrated in the wells of my sensor. Last night was not ideal, but I wanted/needed to get first light on the new rig. There were high cloud running through all but about 20% of the frames. I eliminated 143 subs by going through with blink and axing the ones with the highest cloud cover. At this point a have a drizzled integrated Lum, B and G. I may not finish tonight (unless I stay up very late <G>). The autofocus seems to have worked very well and I have nice pinpoint stars (FWHM=1.526, ECC=0.4667). The 2x drizzle yielded FWHM=3.308 and ECC=03684. The right side is very slightly bloated thanks to a very small sensor tilt, but by switching to f/4 that was rendered, at least to me, not objectionable. DBE will have its work cut out for it in G. That was the worst hit by the clouds and I was only left with 27 20s subs after elimination of the most horrible --- and I was more permissive in what I kept of the Gs to not eliminate the lion share of the G subs. For all the real time spent I only was able to use 9m of the G.
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    Richard
    Mounts: GM1000HPS,CEM60,ZEQ25; Scopes: NP127is,ES102ED,ZS 71,RASA, EdgeHD1100, LS60Tha/1200B/PT; Focusers: MoonLite 2", 2.5" SCT,2x FeatherTouchMicro; Modifier/EPs: TV 7,27,35mm, ES 18mm; TV 2,4x; HT 2" flattener, TRF-2008 0.8x R&F, EHD11 0.7x
    Cameras: Nikon D800 converted,QHY16200A,QHY23+FW, ASI120Mx-S+FW,ASI224MC-C; Filters: Baader 36mm LRGB, 7nm Ha,OIII,SII; Astronomik 1.25" LRGB, 2" LRGB, 2" 12nm Ha,OII,SII; Astrodon 50mm Ha,SII 5nm, OIII 3nm Software: PixInsight, APT,SGP,PinPoint,AstroPlanner,CS6

 

 
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