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  #61  
Old 03-10-2008, 04:42 PM
redsquash
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Well , after an hour on the phone from Japan, with Gary, I bit the bullet
There was no sales pressure just information.

Gary had supplied rapid replies to my earlier emails and I can only say his service is well beyond top notch............just exceptional. It was a real delight watching the moths leave my wallet.

I am looking forward to a product that no doubt has the same built in thoroughness that his service showed.

My reason to buy, even though my scope is small ,was to gain quality viewing time in a hectic schedule with often mediocre weather.
I am guessing star hopping can in the beginning be a slow tedious business , particularly if you are not part of a club. You then can slowly locate the evening sky.

I intend to locate the evening sky and then refer back to the star charts to reinforce my knowledge.
Is that being too optimistic?
I apologise if I have taken the topic off thread.
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  #62  
Old 03-10-2008, 05:42 PM
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Kevnool (Kev)
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Good on ya ...you made the right decsision over the eyepieces i,m sure the eyepieces will come later...but for now you have made a major improvement for your viewing pleasure ....i,m sure you will be impressed as we here all are.

Looking forward for your report on your first night with the Argo-Navis.....cheers Kev.
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  #63  
Old 06-10-2008, 11:37 AM
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erick (Eric)
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My second night serious use of my AN. Again - excellent!

Started off with an encoder check (last time I forgot to plug in the Alt encoder that I have to fit every time I setup). That's strange - no change in the Az steps. Find the plug some way out of the Az encoder - push in and all fine now. Note to self - need better protection for that encoder and its plug since I travel with a couple of plastic stools stored inside the base.

Fix Alt Ref +90 deg with auto adjust on. Line up Achernar and Antares for the two star align using an illuminated reticule 12mm eyepiece. And away I went for several hours (on and off between watching some imaging work going on elsewhere). Several hours were below zero deg C, bottomed at -6 deg C . LCD heater was on AUTO. AN kept on truckin' Hit targets across the sky pretty close to centre of FOV in a 35mm eyepiece. This is fun!
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  #64  
Old 06-10-2008, 12:42 PM
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goober (Doug)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redsquash View Post
How useful would the Agos navi be on my minor Grab and go scope? Most people seem to have at least an 8 inch or 10 inch scope ?
I put one on my 4" Apo on a alt-az mount. I thought it would be overkill, but after using it for six months, I can say it's brilliant. It is so easy to set up and align, and stays bang on target all night (that's more a factor of my mount/encoder installation).

I estimate I observe twice as many objects per session now - the hunt from suburban skies with so few reference stars is much simpler.

I only wish there was some sort of session capture, so you could go back and review your objects observed at the end of a session. That's nitpicking though - it's a fantastic device.
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  #65  
Old 06-10-2008, 01:06 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erick View Post
My second night serious use of my AN. Again - excellent!

Several hours were below zero deg C, bottomed at -6 deg C . LCD heater was on AUTO. AN kept on truckin' Hit targets across the sky pretty close to centre of FOV in a 35mm eyepiece. This is fun!
Hi Eric,

Thanks for the post and great to hear you are ignoring the sub-zero temperatures
and having fun!

Best regards

Gary Kopff
Wildcard Innovations Pty Ltd
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  #66  
Old 06-10-2008, 01:32 PM
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Kevnool (Kev)
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Gary are there any particular ascom or other drivers for the alt/az dob type to allow starry night 6.2 pro plus to interface with the Argo-Navis.

The Meade LX200 drivers seem to work but only as a fork mount but then doing that it positions itself as i,m in South Africa.

Its not really a big issue for me because if i keep playing with it i know i,ll crack it,eventally........cheers Kev.
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  #67  
Old 06-10-2008, 05:00 PM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevnool View Post
Gary are there any particular ascom or other drivers for the alt/az dob type to allow starry night 6.2 pro plus to interface with the Argo-Navis.

The Meade LX200 drivers seem to work but only as a fork mount but then doing that it positions itself as i,m in South Africa.

Its not really a big issue for me because if i keep playing with it i know i,ll crack it,eventally........cheers Kev.
Hi Kev,

Thanks for the post.

The same Meade LX 200 drivers should successfully work with the Alt/Az
mount. The reason is that most planetarium programs simply request the
RA/Dec co-ordinates from the attached telescope computer and these
co-ordinates are identical when pointing at the same place in the sky
irrespective of whether the mount type is Alt/Az or equatorial.

When testing the interface, are you performing a real alignment by pointing
to stars at night or a dummy alignment indoors during the day? This can
make all the difference.

Best regards

Gary Kopff
Wildcard Innovations Pty Lyd
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  #68  
Old 18-10-2008, 09:52 AM
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Kevnool (Kev)
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Gary Dennis from Broken Hill recieved his AN and ringing me this morning to show him to install and drive it.

Dennis dont own a computer to print the user manual out so i suggested to go to the local library to print it.

I reassured Dennis not to get to wrapped in the manual straight away , only to align and use the catalogue for starters.

He will enjoy the AN Next time observing we will send you a pic of all 3 Broken Hill equipped scopes in line...

Thanks again were all still clapping....cheers Kev.
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  #69  
Old 18-10-2008, 11:56 AM
gary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevnool View Post
Gary Dennis from Broken Hill recieved his AN and ringing me this morning to show him to install and drive it.

Dennis dont own a computer to print the user manual out so i suggested to go to the local library to print it.

I reassured Dennis not to get to wrapped in the manual straight away , only to align and use the catalogue for starters.

He will enjoy the AN Next time observing we will send you a pic of all 3 Broken Hill equipped scopes in line...

Thanks again were all still clapping....cheers Kev.
Hi Kev,

Thanks for the post and for assisting Dennis.

He telephoned yesterday and with regards the manual, I suggested if there
was a copy shop in Broken Hill, then simply take the CDROM and have
them print the first 30 or so pages double-sided in black and white.
There is a copyright notice on the last page of the Manual permitting making
a single copy for personal use. I said if he had no luck in finding a copy
shop, then to give me a call.

I have subsequently checked the Yellow Pages and drew a blank as far as
copy services in town. However, your suggestion of the library is a good one
and I know some regional libraries have printers and copying machines
for modest charges.

Your advice with regards initially performing an alignment and then using
MODE CATALOG is excellent. Usage of other features can be deferred to
a later session once one is familiar with the basics of locating an object.

Dennis also said he had modified the telescope so that the Az pivot bolt would
need to be longer than the standard one supplied. I suggested if he carefully
measure the required dimensions, taking into account the clearance of the OTA
over the encoder, we could machine him a custom replacement and simply
swap it for the one he has. He said that he may be able to improvise the
existing one using local resources. In any case, we are here to assist.

Looking forward to the shot of three Broken Hill scopes parked wing-tip to
wing-tip.

Thanks again for assisting Dennis.


Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au

P.S.

Wildcard Innovations will be at the IISAC event 31 Oct - 2 Nov 2008.
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  #70  
Old 18-10-2008, 01:53 PM
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Kevnool (Kev)
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Gary Dennis got the first 60 pages of the manual copied.

He showed me the problem with his 1/2" bolt being short i,m going to
cut and add 42mm to the bolt, Then there should be no trouble after that.

He will be up and observing by this weekend,So will we all.....Cheers Kev.
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  #71  
Old 18-10-2008, 02:26 PM
gary
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Hi Kev,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevnool View Post
Gary Dennis got the first 60 pages of the manual copied.
That's brilliant.

Quote:
He showed me the problem with his 1/2" bolt being short i,m going to
cut and add 42mm to the bolt, Then there should be no trouble after that.
Thank you Kev, you are a champion. The supplied bolt is machined
in free cutting steel, so it is easy to work with. if you have any difficulties,
just let me know.

Quote:
He will be up and observing by this weekend,So will we all.....Cheers Kev.
Fantastic! Look forward to your report. Once again, thank you so much for
assisting Dennis.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Wildcard Innovations Pty Ltd
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  #72  
Old 18-10-2008, 05:05 PM
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GrahamL
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hi gary

thanks for the earlier reply.. In the new year I'll contact you with those measurements .. meanwhile i'll drop a pic here so I can easily referance you to it later... the clearance over my az bolt is tight 50 MM .. that counterweight dosn't have to be there.. my alt bearings are 24 mm ply with 3mm brass plate over the top.. its a 12" f5 .

thanks for your time
cheers graham
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  #73  
Old 18-10-2008, 05:24 PM
gary
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Telescope whisperer

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightstalker View Post
hi gary

thanks for the earlier reply.. In the new year I'll contact you with those measurements .. meanwhile i'll drop a pic here so I can easily referance you to it later... the clearance over my az bolt is tight 50 MM .. that counterweight dosn't have to be there.. my alt bearings are 24 mm ply with 3mm brass plate over the top.. its a 12" f5 .

thanks for your time
cheers graham
Hi Graham,

Thanks and what a nice looking scope!

If only it could talk.
It even looks to me as if it wants a pair of encoders fitted!

The clearance of the Az bolt looks as if it should be OK and the Alt bearing
looks straight forward enough. In the New Year, drop us a line as you've
indicated with the requested measurements and I am sure we can come up with an
installation solution for you that will also be cost effective.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
wildcard@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #74  
Old 25-10-2008, 07:57 PM
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Kevnool (Kev)
Fast Scope & Fast Engine

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Gary heres a Pic of Dennis`s scope,Thought you might like to see it with the Argo-Navis attached.

We got it up and running after changing both ALT & AZ encoders from +0010000 to -0010000 after that Dennis was so happy.

He now can setup ,do a two star alignment, and work with Mode Tour & Mode Catalogue...

Cheers and Dennis says thanks ........Kev.
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  #75  
Old 25-10-2008, 11:58 PM
gary
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Thumbs up Looks brilliant!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevnool View Post
Gary heres a Pic of Dennis`s scope,Thought you might like to see it with the Argo-Navis attached.

We got it up and running after changing both ALT & AZ encoders from +0010000 to -0010000 after that Dennis was so happy.

He now can setup ,do a two star alignment, and work with Mode Tour & Mode Catalogue...

Cheers and Dennis says thanks ........Kev.
Hi Kev,

Thanks for the picture which is really appreciated. Looks great and I see that there
is even a mounting stalk that one of you has fabricated to hold the unit. Good stuff.

Thanks once again for assisting Dennis and it is great to know he is up and running.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #76  
Old 27-10-2008, 12:32 PM
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koputai (Jason)
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I'd love to put an AN on my GSO 12" (with encoders on the 8" as well) and would likely get the encoder/mounting kit for the dob. I've seen a couple of pictures of this mount kit, and from what I can remember it was pretty agricultural and didn't work very well (slack and binding etc). I'm sure the real thing must be better than I've seen. Has anyone got more recent experience with this mount kit? Photo's would be great!

Cheers,
Jason.
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  #77  
Old 27-10-2008, 01:07 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Hi Jason

The AN encoder kit on my 12" works well. I bought it from an owner who knew a good bit about tinkering. Here is a project of his for a stalk to mount the AN unit which includes plenty of mention of the encoder mounting:-

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/63-401-0-0-1-0.html

I took the encoders off for many months until I managed to source a second-hand AN unit. Then reinstalled basically as Scott had them previously. They have worked flawlessly the two or three times I have used it since.

Updates - He shows the alt encoder bracket tied down. I now leave that loose - it just sits on the pin (L hook) under gravity. I since added ebony star strips to the alt bearings, so I work with the tension springs in place, one spring hangs off the brass bolt which is the axis to the encoder. No problem.

He has another project in the IIS listings - for a fan mount ( http://www.iceinspace.com.au/63-400-0-0-1-0.html ). Note that when I took the Az encoder off, I could leave the fan hang loose on the neoprene. Now I have to hold it up with an elastic tie from one side to the other to ensure the fan just clears the encoder as I go for the zenith. Scott was very worried about side-to-side flexure/movement as the OTA moved in Alt. I have done two mods. First I have fitted a piece of "tin" to either side of the base, to just under halfway up the alt bearing. This discourages side-to side movement, and hasn't affected handling. I have just completed a second project, suspending an eyepiece box up behind the scope with two steel bars bolted to the sides of the base. These add significant rigidity to the sides of the base.

I'll get some photos of the encoders, as mounted, over the next week and post them.

I do understand the new GSOs have modified Alt tension arrangements so perhaps the encoder kit has required modifications? Wildcard Innovations can advise, I'm sure.

Eric
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  #78  
Old 27-10-2008, 02:31 PM
gary
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Arrow The Bunnings Stalk

Quote:
Originally Posted by erick View Post

The AN encoder kit on my 12" works well. I bought it from an owner who knew a good bit about tinkering. Here is a project of his for a stalk to mount the AN unit which includes plenty of mention of the encoder mounting:-

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/63-401-0-0-1-0.html
Hi Eric,

Thanks for the post.

Here are some photographs and notes forwarded to us by customer
Stephen J. who improvised a stalk for his LightBridge from parts he found
in a Bunnings Hardware Store.

Stephen wrote -
Quote:
The parts are all from Bunnings, but any hardware store would probably
suffice:

1) The stork itself is a small painting pole extender made from
aluminium (light and about 1.5m extended approx $17.00)
2) The stork top is a paint brush holder (yellow plastic and adjusts for
different angles (approx $4.50)
3) The Bracket are 3/4 inch painted white (found in plumbing pipes
section and unfortunately for me only in packs of 10)
4) I used 3/16ths bolts with washers and nuts (for Lightbridge they were
38mm long) and also bought some Wingnuts.
I drilled the holes with markings made from the brackets when mounted
on the stork as they extend when mounted.
Insert the bolt and washer with nut on other side to hold bolts in
place. Then connect stork with brackets using the wing nuts.
Next I got a piece of wood to add to the paint holder so I could
attach the Argo Navis cradle (I used a horizontal bit of board also).
Finally tidy up the wires with a few more stickon wire tidies.
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Last edited by gary; 30-10-2008 at 11:05 PM.
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  #79  
Old 27-10-2008, 02:45 PM
gary
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Thumbs up New GSO kit available

Quote:
Originally Posted by erick View Post
I do understand the new GSOs have modified Alt tension arrangements so perhaps the encoder kit has required modifications? Wildcard Innovations can advise, I'm sure.
Hi Eric,

Thanks again for the post.

Indeed, the new GSO scopes now come with a different Altitude bearing arrangement
including new trunnions fabricated in aluminium that act as tensioning devices.
They come with thrust bearings inside and are adjustable in height.

These first appeared on the GSO 16 truss pole scopes.

We already have a kit available to suit these scopes. The user needs to
unscrew one of the trunnions and ship it to us for modification and installation
of the encoder coupler.

See here for details -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com..../gso16_alt.pdf

Kev (aka Kevnool) has a scope with one of these kits. In Kev's case,
he's trunnion arrived here in Sydney on a Friday and the complete system
was shipped to him by Monday morning, including the re-machined trunnion.

Thanks again for the post and I hope this coming week affords everyone the
most transparent and steady of skies.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #80  
Old 03-12-2008, 12:46 PM
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erick (Eric)
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Had a good weekend with the Argo Navis on 12" dob at Snake Valley. I'm very happy with it for my purposes. Finderscope is now attracting cobwebs, Stellarium has been put into the background and the lappie is primarily playing music, green laser pointer is staying in pocket!

Not the best conditions - set up on my usual half bricks on a plastic tarp on a few inch long grass - I could feel some rock'n'roll in the mount. I'll be happier on a hard surface. But still aligned well with basic Fix Alt Ref and two stars. If I found the targets were coming up a bit far from centre of 35mm Panoptic, I just did a quick "Mode Align" on the object and carried on. Hope that is a reasonable approach to take.

Randomly toured constellations or "20 deg around that spot" for non-stellars. Saw many new objects. It made finding small planetaries a breeze!

How is everyone else going?

Last edited by erick; 03-12-2008 at 04:22 PM.
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