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About scorpius

  • Rank
    Saturn's Groupies
  • Birthday 10/30/1934


  • Biography
    My web pages tell it all --- The good, the bad and the ugly..... But basically I have spent nigh on 65 years in radio communications, operating, designing and building, servicing etc from very high power industrial transmitters to mini micro devices. I have held a ham licence G3UJS / VK6DX for almost 50 years, since June 1964. Became interested in Astronomy at the turn of the century and plunged in head first and built my first DOB, an 8", using a storm drain pipe for the tube and a couple of 2nd hand mirrors.
  • Location
    Parkwood 6147 WA
  • Interests
    Just about everything
  • Occupation
    Life of leisure
  • Astronomy Equipment
    8" home brew Dob 10" Dob
    EQ6Pro asstd Binos/scopes.
    Canon 350D, A520. Var film.

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Western Australia

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  1. Finding guys that will do small one off jobs are becoming very scarce. I had a mate at Willeton (next suburb) who had a decent sized CNC machine and he did a number of mods for me for focusers and scope adapters. But they jacked up his rent so high they put him out of business and he went back to being an employed CNC machinist. I think he sold his CNC to the company he went and worked for. Even hard to find a GP Welder, had one of those at Willeton, same routine, rent increases and he took off back to New Zealand. Yeah, Willeton used to be great area for small business, but the property owners got too greedy and now half the properties are empty. I have all the parts etc to build a small CNC machine, I need a round tuit and enough enthusiasm to build it. We also have a small MIG welder here which I used to build rotator cages for my ham radio masts, they went reasonably well. Dave
  2. OK Ray - Even too cold to paint that mod, struggled to reach 19C here today Bah - Still we need the rain to fill the dams, understand the Avon is flowing again. Bells could be an interesting shoot. (with a cam not a canoe!!!) See current flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjvUmF-6XXA Dave
  3. Tks Shane. Will tidy up the wiring and give the job a lick of black paint. I will make a power unit control box and include the PWM unit plus interface of the 500D to the 10" monitor I now have for "live" focusing. The whole set up will be really easy and convenient to use remotely with the laptop. Weather in the West is shocking today coldest Jan on record apparently and we have a week of rain from Tropical Lows coming down from the NW. (Global Warming ?)!
  4. With cloudy skies at night and sunny days (for the moment) made up the controller mentioned above, and fitted it to the EQ1. Together with the reversable PWM speed controller, as this is on the DEC control it will only need to be used to touch up any minor error in tracking and has a reversable switch. On my control panel I will have this mounted plus a press button to activate such for minor movement. this will also work as an RA driver as I can run it at around 1 rpm per 6 mins. The aluminium bracket I made conveniently uses the rear scope mounting screw which is long enough to hold the controller and the scope The joy of this? its 1/4 the cost of a SW RA motor drive commercially available. (I have some spring type shaft joiners coming. But the fixed one should be OK the alignment is pretty spot on.) Any one interested in source of parts can PM or Email me Luckily I found a bag of screws for the gear box in my junk box I think they are 2.5mm Jif Dave
  5. You never stop learning Ray. When I left school to Join the Navy aged 16, the headmaster said to my father "Well, that is the end of his his education!" My father replied "Mr Birtles, there you are very wrong, today his education starts, you have only given him the tools to learn". My father was a Fen Drainage Engineer and was classed as an "Essential Worker" and excused call-up in WWII because of his Engineering skills. Have never forgotten that day and yes, it is an upward climb, hobbies, pastimes etc, the more you learn about them, the more enjoyable they become. A motto of one of the schools I attended was: "If its worth doing, its worth doing well" I think that says it all. BTW. I think there is a conjuction of Venus, Mars and the Moon this evening in WA. Break in the rain and clouds also, seems we have broken a bunch of records for January for foul weather. https://www.joe.ie/news/make-sure-look-sky-tonight-see-mars-venus-moon-rare-sight/575671 Dave
  6. Thanks Shane - Yep I found a copy 32/64 bit version and downloaded it earlier, apparently is now abandon ware. The link works, some of the contents have 404 error, which is to be expected. Have grabbed some alternate versions to what I have. Just replaced the 12volt 10Amp SLA battery in my "Scope power Box". Supplies power to EQ6Pro, focuser and fans etc with sockets for 12V/5V DC and a 10amp 13.6V AC PSU for charging or running of an invertor Also has socket for 12V Solar panel input. Dave
  7. Congratulations to all of you. The first 5 boys are the hardest, My Eldest is 53 and the youngest 34. Gave up trying for a girl! 6 Grand children 3 boys and 3 girls - My Father was of 7 boys and 1 girl That's when Grandpa stopped
  8. A wee update to things. having celebrated 2 Christmas's and 2 New Years (Julian and Gregorian with Val), during the period Planets and moon have been in all the wrong places, then the weather broke and been very cloudy with rain, jeepers anyone would think we had moved to a Summer in Sydney or Melbourne. Rain in January and temps below 30C virtually unheard of in Perth. Howsomeever did some more tests using a PWM source of control of the motor/gearbox and still had it running at 1RPM per 8 minutes, far less than I need at 1rpm/6 mins I was unable to stop the motor, so the torque is there. Still waiting for some couplers etc and then will make up a power pack and mounting bracket. Received a Bahtinov Focusing grid today 31/01/17 very well made and will fit the SW 90/1250 scope nicely. Also downloaded a sheaf of info on using the device and this may be the answer to my failing eyes, I have also picked up a 10 inch monitor with HDMI/AV/Comp inputs which I can use with the 500D Canon in Live mode. I will make up an "easel" on which to mount my control and monitor device. With my small Notebook (Asus) on a fold down table. This unit will also be very useful for when I eventually drag out the EQ6Pro/10" So Lots of things to do, but it will make life so much easier. Couple of Pics, the Focuser and a ready to run external screen that are available on EBay. Quite pricey compared with buying a basic 10" monitor plus it is only a 7" display. You're paying for the Frame and mounting etc. Probby OK for young eyes Looks like the skies will clear at the end of the week. Dave
  9. Looking good. With a my bench power supply set to 6 Volts regulated DC. the output dropped to 1 revolution every 3 minutes. The SW RA device by the way runs off a 9Volt battery and claimed to last up to 40 hours. A simple variable LM338 voltage regulator (7 amp) device and a pair of 3.7V 3amp #18650 batteries would last a week !! (maybe) built into a small zippy box. I also have a number of 10 turn potentiometers with a small 1/2" calibrated dial for accurate calibration and resetting. PS the Skywatcher RA module appears to rotate at 1 Rev per 6 minutes (app) The gearbox motor will rotate as low as 3V DC. But think PWM is probably better to gain more tourque. Tests continue/ Dave
  10. I posted that I was getting an RA motor for the EQ1 that came with my Mak90. At the same time I toyed with the ideal of making my own and doing a search I found what appeared to be some suitable geared motors. one of them was 12Volt DC motor with built in gearbox that revolved at 0.6 RPM see: http://tinyurl.com/jezzajl I have 2 of them and they appear to have good torque and tests so far is that they will run quite happily on 6v at even a much slower speed. I have yet to do further tests, but there are 2 methods one is purely lowering the voltage by using variable power supply or by using the PWM power control units which are also very cheap. The advantage of using PWM is that the voltage remains at 12v and the pulses are widened or narrowed to increase or reduce the motor speed. I use these on my model railway locos and can have a loco screaming around at 100mph or simply very slowly crawling. My only concern about using PWM is that with Photography on timed shots the pulse could be an issue with the resultant exposure. For general viewing it would really have no effect on the image presented. So far I have not found a reduction gearbox slower that 0.6 RPM The units are selling around $12 ea and the Speed controllers start at around $5 For EQ1/2 Tripods the control shafts are 6mm in diameter and the motors are 1/4" output shaft Spiral metal couplers are available 6mm to 6.36mm which is 0.01mm oversize. http://tinyurl.com/z8cyfp8 When the temperature drops below 40C I go back to my shed and do some more tests. The motors will fit in a similar sized box as the Sky Watcher RA motor unit Dave
  11. With Valentina we celebrated the Orthodox Christmas yesterday .. Nothing much to photograph nor comment on. No Snow, Planets all zooming across the sky during daylight etc etc so I thought I would throw in a picture of our Heidi who decided that she wanted to join us at the Christmas meal table. Quick shot with the old Canon A520. Heidi is 14 years old, I have had her since just over a week old. Dave and Val Heidi the Cat
  12. Hi Ray: As they say necessity is the mother of invention. I filled the top of the "extension" centre tube with "Knead-It"** plastic putty and embodied a 5/8" bolt which fits the 141 head. I used some 35mm PVC pipe and large flat steel washer as the spacer over the extended tube. Very solid and stable. Now have a very useful lightweight setup to use until I can handle my big stuff again. Regarding the Tendon its the main one known as the Supraspinatus Tendon had an ultrasound done this arvo. The operator said I have done a really good job and torn it completely in half! I now have a matched pair. I did the left shoulder one in last year (2015). I can confirm that they can bring tears to your eyes, initially I was on Oxycodone, and now on Panadiene Forte. Going to be a while before it stabilises. Basically there is nothing they can do at my age other than pain management. (A Cabinet Shiraz also works well ) Dave ** Knead-it available from most good hardware stores. sets like rock, can be drilled, tapped, machined etc. I even repaired a bail arm bearing on a fishing reel with it!
  13. Nice images. I must move my imaging up a notch or two and look beyond the Moon and Planets. Recently the sky has been good in Perth. However the night I wanted to catch the Last Quarter of the moon, the clouds rolled in as it stuck its head above the horizon. Unfortunately looks the 10"/EQ6 is going to be out of the question for a while. Still waiting for the motor for the Mak90.