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Old 15-08-2019, 12:09 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Flaxton, Qld
Posts: 1,669
I did manage to do some more work on the setup yesterday/last night.

With all the time passing, I've become a little impatient, so I decided to put the RC10 on for the largest FL I've got to really test things out (so no FR, just the "vanilla" 2000mm F8 setup). I may need to collimate the scope, so this setup may change to my refractor depending on how that goes.

The first thing I discovered was that balancing the CEM seemed to be a little bit more tricky than the GEM. Part of this was related to only having 2 counterweights and the back heaviness of the RC10. Getting the RA balance close was not too difficult, but I had to adjust it if I made changes to get the DEC balance sorted (when shifting weight as well as the obvious add/remove weight).

The DEC balance was more difficult because of the saddle plate locking knobs. I wanted to ensure all 3 were used to grabbed the dovetail, so the RC10 was sitting back further than what I used to have on the G11. To sort out the lack of weight on the front, I found that using my solar scope mounted on the top rail did the trick - which is handy because I was planning to mount it there anyway.

Wiring up the mount is great now. I connect to the mount via ethernet, so that's one less cable to the computer. I also connect to the USB3 on the mount, and have wired up the camera, fw and guide cam to that. I'll be adding the focuser to that as well, but it means I have just one direct connection from mount to PC - USB3.

Not content with just changing one thing, I messed with a few other things, including the OAG I was using, a tilt adjuster, the spacing between the camera and the filter wheel, etc. This meant that it took me a while to sort out the correct backfocus. It didn't help when the guide camera got chosen instead of the main camera when I was trying to check things. It confused me until I realised what was happening and sorted it out.

Eventually I got a very rough focus in place and noticed the PA was quite whacked (well having done no PA so far, probably not a surprise. ). My dome still can't rotate, so I had a fixed opening to try to sort it out. I spent a bit of time trying to get it better, but I was still getting drift in one direction. I ran out of time to do any more (and I was getting tired), so I hope to continue tonight. I'll go back to basics and work it out from scratch.

I am starting to get used to the idiosyncrasies of the mount hand controller and the Commander software. There's a few things in each I would do differently (just like for the G11), but nothing that's completely broken. Probably the most annoying thing is having to power cycle the mount if you park using the hand controller. The Commander software allows you to unpark. Just the usual type of weirdness one gets with astro gear/software.
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