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  1. #1
    VenusAstronomer's Avatar
    VenusAstronomer is offline White Dwarf
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    Default need help with drive and field centering controller

    Hi all -

    I have an old-style Newtonian scope on a fork equatorial base. One-of-a-kind, professionally made 14.5 inch mirror; f 4.13, with fiberglass tube, steel fork, OpticCraft brass gears and "pillow block," pier set in concrete, in a roll-off roof observatory. Slow motion (NOT GOTO!) motors for centering and guiding. AC 60 hertz on RA, DC on Dec. I bought this scope from a fella in Canada; I live in Florida. The control box (which I have schematic for) was made for a place where there is no dew, so things have shorted out a few times over the years. Well, this time, by golly, I want to not just replace the shorted out capacitor, or whatever, I want to get this thing done right, in a watertight box. This SHOULD be a pretty straightforward thing, for someone who knows what they are doing! (As in - not me!) I have tested both motors, and when power is applied to them directly they work, so it's just the controls to the wires that are my problem. The RA motor, being 60 hertz, tracks along, with the help of fine adjustments, using a timing chip and diode, both of which have shorted out in the past. Fine adjustment centering in RA is done by either speeding this up, or "stalling" it for the appropriate amount of time. Dec centering, with the DC motor, is done by running the motor one way or the other.

    Along with the tracking needing to be fixed, the field centering also needs work. The controller for this had been jury-rigged to 2 focuser hand-boxes, taped together. The previous owner used this, but I have just used the slip-clutch feature to manually center things - which is seriously AWFUL! I would like to get field centering control on a paddle type box. Seems like that wouldn't be too much to hope for in2019! I have seen these at "AWR Technology" site. but they are in the UK.

    Any suggestions on who (in Florida) I might be able to get to do this, or if I might be able to get this done myself with a little advise? (Tried to upload a picture, but I don't seem to be able to do that. ???)

  2. #2
    Gabby76's Avatar
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    Default Re: need help with drive and field centering controller

    Hello and welcome to the forums
    The forums here are broken and being over run by spammers, the membership has moved to a new site at
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
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    Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite
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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the
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    / camera. - Gabrielle

    Ya gotta keep this Apo/
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    thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

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