The Good, the Bad and the Snuggly

5 years 3 months ago #102629 by mykc
The Good, the Bad and the Snuggly was created by mykc
I took a break from the festivities tonight and took advantage of the clear sky to try out Santa's gifts.

First the Snuggly - following Lunartic's recommendations (thanks Paul), I now have Aldi ski trousers and Astro gloves. With a "trapper hat" completing the outfit, I ventured into the cold looking very odd, but feeling nice and snug. The gloves are excellent, they are thick enough to keep hands really comfortable, but the fact that the tips of the thumbs and the first two fingers are exposed makes it easy to change eyepieces, tighten screws, etc. A cosy outfit makes such a difference when observing in Winter.

Next the Good - a new small telescope for wide field viewing and observing wide doubles. Santa brought a Celestron Travel Scope 70, an inexpensive 70mm f/5.7 scope that is light enough to piggyback on my SCT. It has the advantage over most finder scopes that it accepts standard 1.25" accessories. The prism and eyepieces supplied are of modest quality but I used a spare diagonal and a cheap Plossl instead and the brief test tonight suggests that the little scope performs very well. For example, the Pleiades were a lovely sight, and Albireo was attractively close at 20x, whereas it is too wide at 50x, the minimum magnification of the SCT. I tested it an a camera tripod (not the wobbly one that came with the telescope), not piggbacked on the SCT on the CG5 mount - which brings us to the Bad.

Having set up the scope on the CG5 as usual, I plugged in the power supply, but the LED did not come on and the mount had no power. I tried every remedy I could think of but without success, and I had to abandon the planned session and dismantle the gear. At first I feared that the CG5 might have a major fault, but Google searches indicate that the likely culprit is a faulty power switch. If that turns out to be the case, it will be relatively easy to fix and I should be back in business soon. If anyone else has had a similar experience I would appreciate any advice.

In the meantime there's plenty more Christmas cheer to be enjoyed! :)

Mike

Celestron 280 mm f/10 SCT
CG-5 mount
Toolbox full of bits n' bobs
Thermal underwear
The following user(s) said Thank You: michael_murphy

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5 years 3 months ago #102632 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic The Good, the Bad and the Snuggly
Valerie and I had guests on Christmas Day and night. We also observed the Pleiades along with double stars Polaris, Almach, Kaffaljidhma, (Gamma Ceti), Zeta Piscium. Robert Burnham's Celestial Handbook came up trumps with the facts and the figures of the distances between the A and B components -which blew away our visitors in our backyard.

Valerie then asked could I show them a planet. So I starhopped from Cetus to Uranus, and we observed the green planet at 225X.

Lastly, the icing on the cake (pun intended), we viewed TX Piscium. Its intense orange red colour was enjoyed by all. If I get the opportunity, I must try and get an estimate on its magnitude using the other in the Circlet.

I hope things work out with your electronics soon, Mike. Enjoy the rest of Christmas everyone.

P.S. Last night, was my 59th observing session of the year. I hope to make it to 60; six days left in the year!!

Aubrey.

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5 years 3 months ago #102635 by KevinSmith
Replied by KevinSmith on topic The Good, the Bad and the Snuggly
Ditto on all three! I had problems with my CG5 Power but luckily managed to fix it - was only the handset RJ11 that needed to be crimped rather than the controller board that I feared might be causing the problem.

I was really cosy out there Christmas morning and have similar gloves for 'fishing' and the fingers fold back and hold with Velcro so you can put your bait on in the freezing cold. I bought some motorbike underwear a few month ago for under the long johns and they work a treat.

I too also have the Travel Scope 70 and added a better Celestron diagonal/eyepieces to it and popped it on a different tripod. I added a homemade solar filter as well. Have you tried it as a guide scope at all? I was thinking of doing this as it’s so light and it seems you have yours on the scope?

Clear Skies!

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5 years 3 months ago #102639 by mykc
Replied by mykc on topic The Good, the Bad and the Snuggly
Hi Kevin, that's quite a coincidence! The 70mm is brand new so I haven't tried it as a guidescope. I did use a 50mm finder as a guidescope for a 1000mm focal length reflector and it gave good results - most 1 min exposures using the CG5 were fine.

Speaking of the CG5. I got the multitester out and checked the power board. The notoriously dodgy power switch was indeed the culprit. I cleaned it and flipped the "rocker" to give better contacts and it worked again. However, the LED still did not come on and I thought some other component on the board had failed too. Facing the prospect of a long wait for a replacement board, I tested it one more time this morning and found that the handset needed to be plugged in to the board for the LED to come on. So, the mount is back in action now. :-)

I guess it is only a matter of time before the switch gives up the ghost for good. I'll bring it to a computer repair shop in the new year to get it soldered to the permanently on position. Hopefully the other components will survive for a while yet, I'm really dependent on that mount dread the day when it fails and cannot be repaired. Because it is discontinued, spare parts are becoming harder to find, so if anyone has an unused CG5 lying around I would consider buying it as a source of spares.

Cheers,
Mike

Celestron 280 mm f/10 SCT
CG-5 mount
Toolbox full of bits n' bobs
Thermal underwear

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