Monday, February 27, 2012

My New Mount 2012-02-25

After a few years of using my EQ-1 for my astro work, I decided to finally buy something better. Part of the reason is due to a heavier 8 lbs scope I bought from a friend(thanks Henry), which my EQ-1 can't carry. I didn't want to sacrifice grab-and-go, so I decided to settle for a light-medium capacity mount, a Synta EQ-3/CG4. Although this mount is not a fine mount for astrophotography, I'm betting that it can do at least a 30-seconds unguided exposure.

After a few months' wait, I finally got my used CG4 mount. I went to Fairview to pick it up from Alex. Boy! It was heavy.

After unpacking, I attached some ropes to act as the tripod spreader. The tripod is already a battered one with cracked plastic lock and the spreader missing. These problems can be remedied with simple mechanical skills. Maybe I'll replace it with wooden tripod in the future.

I decided to make some plate to allow me to attach cameras and other scopes to the mount.

I whipped out my Apex 127 to try and do a simple test. Instead of using big and expensive D size cell, I used some "battery fat suit" to allow an AA size cell to fit the container.

During initial test, the mount showed a bit of play on the declination axis. While I was surprised that the Apex  showed a near perfect airy disk, because as far as I can remember my old test have shown that the Apex had a little bit of collimation error.

The following day, I bought a 6-ft long chain to act as spreader instead of the plastic ropes for added security. As an added bonus, the chain will allow me to compress or spread the legs at will. I disassembled the mount and fixed the declination axis problem as well. Fixing the dec axis wasn't hard, but I had to check several sections at first in order to know which screw will fix the issue.

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