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Re: [LX200GPS] Re: New Star Alignment Method & Scope Errors

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  • Matt Taylor
    You know, with all the vast amounts of knowledge we have stored in the experiences of members of this group it seems to me that if they were to put their heads
    Message 1 of 31 , May 31 11:20 PM
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      You know, with all the vast amounts of knowledge we have stored in the experiences of members of this group it seems to me that if they were to put their heads together a very worthwhile monthly E-Tech publication could be put together and I bet subscriptions to it would be astronomical (pun intended). I also think vendors would support it because it's much easier to get a click through than a "read and remember to surf through later".

      As for the print mags, 90% or more of the things they cover can't be seen in my telescope, can't be performed by me, and is usually over my head anyway. I read the astrophotography section & that's about it. Sometimes I'll read a review, for example, the TV 127is review was interesting. The new astro gear section....... the rest of the time I spend looking through the same vendor ads I looked through last month.

      Setting worm to worm gear mesh, better autoguiding techniques, how to remove & replace a corrector & primary, how to get the slop out of my focus knob for good, diamond lapping in the comfort of my own home, how to rid my SCT of mirror flop (don't laugh.... we sent men to the moon ya'know), testing & correcting goto operations, better alignment for dummies like me, Zen & the ancient art of tube flocking, and where the hell does all that dust on the INSIDE of my scope come from anyway, these are the kinds things I'd like to see in print or e-print.

      Detailed instructions on how to do real astronomy with my amateur gear, that would be nice. How to make some of my own accessories, I saw a home made wood & film solar filter on Astromart recently that was a real beauty! Electronics projects like how to make my own dew-buster & heater straps without burning my observatory down in the process or how to make my own focus motor controller that won't put half the state into total blackout at the first push of a button.

      What I've never really understood about the vast majority of articles in the astro mags (from this bait fish's bottom feader point of view) is why do they always write about things that can only be seen or done using pro astro gear that I can't get & why do they seem so lacking in information about how to better employ my amateur gear that their advertisers sell. Doesn't that just seem odd, or is it just me? I mean, wouldn't you think that if the advertisers are selling to amateurs the magazine would cover amateur topics? Have I lost all perspective here?


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: plalbrecht
      To: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 7:45 PM
      Subject: [LX200GPS] Re: New Star Alignment Method & Scope Errors

      --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com, "Chuck" <vineyardman68@...> wrote:

      > I think the major astronomy magazines are really missing the boat in
      this area. They feature all the pretty stuff, so we can look at it all
      with glassy eyes. If they would only enter into the world of forums
      like this one, they would see the need for information on how to
      repair or improve the products we have.

      You can probably forget Astronomy Magazine ("Astronomy Lite"). Sky &
      Telescope _used_ to cover such stuff, especially in their "Gleanings
      for ATMs" column, but that's long gone. As is the ATM hobby itself.
      And that's why I keep decades and decades worth of S&T on the shelf.

      There may be some hope for us astronomical gearheads in the form of a
      new magazine, called Astronomy Technology Today.

      > Wouldn't it be great to learn how to properly clean optics (a
      leading topic now it seems) with written text and pictures showing us
      just how it should be done.
      > However, knowing that their displaying all the new and "better"
      stuff is where they really get their money, showing us how things are
      done, is out of the question.

      Congratulations, you've decoded the magazine biz. Here's a trick
      question for everybody else: 1) What is the product of a magazine? 2)
      Who are the magazine's customers?

      Most people would answer that the product of a magazine is editorial
      content -- stories, articles, reviews, etc. And the customer is the
      reader who subscribes or buys it at the newsstand. This is not true.
      Subscription and newsstand can't begin to cover the cost of printing
      and distributing the magazine. The customer of a magazine is its
      advertisers, the product is reader eyeballs delivered to the
      customers, and the editorial content is the bait used to attract the


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Conrad Maloney
      Michael, Hi The Fork Arms are bolted to the RA base and can be individually adjusted on slotted mounting holes. Access to these mounting bolts is by removing
      Message 31 of 31 , Jul 23, 2007
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        Michael, Hi

        The Fork Arms are bolted to the RA base and can be individually
        adjusted on slotted mounting holes. Access to these mounting bolts is
        by removing the plastic Elbow Covers on the fork arms.

        The mounting faces of the fork arms are tapered, so a change in
        height of the arms changes the separation of the DEC bearings, which
        in turn applies a pre load (pinch) to the OTA. Too much pinch can
        distort the OTA.

        That being said, the height of the left arm relative to the right arm
        can be set to produce a true orthogonal setting of the RA to DEC
        axis. Adjustments to 0.001" or better are desirable.

        There are many suggested ways to set these accurately. My preferred
        method is to calculate the error from star alignment, and then adjust
        one arm to remove the error. The use of a Dial Gauge is by far the
        best way to measure the movement during the adjustment. Any point on
        the fork arm can be used as a reference point to indicate the amount
        of movement that is applied to the fork.

        Wedges or screw jacks are needed to support the fork arm during

        On my web site at

        there is some information that may help. Or you can brows from the
        main index at


        If you want any further info or help you are welcome to contact me


        --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com, "Michael H. Cain"
        <MichaelH.Cain@...> wrote:
        > Is there a way to adjust the forks to minimize the affects of the
        > not being orthogonal?
        > --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com, "Conrad Maloney" <conrad@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi all,
        > >
        > > For some time I have been analysing the effect of mechanical
        > > on star alignment and telescope pointing errors.
        > >
        > > I have now complected my model of a fork mounted telescope and
        > > verified it with star alignments.
        > >
        > > This has produced what I believe to be a new method for
        > > mechanical alignment errors and offers potentially precise star
        > > pointing.
        > >
        > > A discussion paper is available here:
        > >
        > > http://crcm.net/lx200gps8/otacad/Align-Error.pdf
        > >
        > > that gives results and analysis.
        > >
        > > Please enjoy and come back to me with comments.
        > >
        > > Regards
        > > Conrad.
        > >
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