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Posts Made By: Stuart St. Clair

May 22, 2008 05:17 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Argo Navis Encoder Reading Error

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

My Argo Navis unit, which I recently purchased used here on Astromart, isn't receiving the signal from the altitude encoder. Both encoders and pigtails are working (I checked both with the azimuth cable). So, the problem is either in the altitude cable or in the Argo Navis unit. The cable is brand new, so my first hunch is that the problem is in the AN unit. I think maybe the connector where the cable joins the unit may be dirty or otherwise not functioning properly. Has anyone else experienced such a problem and have any advice to give me or other theories on where the problem may lie? Is there a good way to clean the contacts on the AN receiving connector without causing damage? Thanks.

September 1, 2008 06:04 AM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

16" Dob

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

Here's my 16" dob based on Albert Highe's wonderful design -- that's my son in the photo, not me. Albert was very helpful with advice as I slowly built this scope. He also made the mirror cell for me (for a modest fee), which was a huge help -- the cell looks like a sculpture that should be in an art museum, unlike the rest of the scope. My son wasn't very interested in the scope until I put Dob-Driver 2 on it. Moving it by hand didn't catch his interest, but moving it by pushing buttons on a keypad is a different story. Maybe one day I'll even get him to stay up and look through the eyepiece.

September 20, 2008 10:30 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Weather in Southern Arizona

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

I'm thinking of a trip to southern Arizona with my 16" dob in the next year or so. Considering weather conditions only, and putting aside any other considerations, which month(s) would be best in terms of best chances of clear skies, good seeing, etc. Thanks for your input.

September 22, 2008 06:51 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Large Scope Rentals in Southern Arizona

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

As I mentioned in another thread, I'm planning an observing trip to southern Arizona in the next year or so with my 16" dob. One reason I picked southern Arizona is that Gary Myers of Stellarcat offers a 30" dob for rent. His site is at the edge of a green/blue dark sky zone, so it should be pretty dark. But if I could find another large scope to rent that's in a black zone, or that I can transport to a black zone, that would be even better. Does anybody here know of anyone else who rents out scopes of say 24" or larger in southern Arizona? Thanks!

January 4, 2009 08:44 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Need California Partner for Arizona Trip (30" Scop

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

I have Gary Myers' 30" StarSplitter with ServoCat reserved for March 27 and 28 (Friday and Saturday nights, new moon weekend). I'm in Fresno, CA, and I'm looking for someone who would like to share driving/costs for the trip to southern Arizona. Total cost including gas and scope/RV rental will be around $400, which means about $200 per person. I'm thinking of leaving Fresno on Thursday night or early Friday morning, returning Sunday. Please PM me if you are interested. Please feel free to forward this opportunity to anyone you know who might be interested. Thanks.

November 5, 2002 10:17 AM Forum: Telescope Making

November 6, 2002 09:43 AM Forum: Telescope Making

equitorial platform

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

Here are a few more links that may be useful. I have been collecting these in advance of starting to build an EQ platform. Note also that the Affordable EQ Platforms has links to several other pages, some of which are redundant to those already mentioned.

March 15, 2003 04:07 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Couch Potato Binocular Chair

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

Thanks for the input guys. I definitely plan to get one of these in the near future. My biggest binos right now are 11x56 Oberwerks, which it sounds like should be OK on the CPT.

May 24, 2006 10:19 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Dave Ek DSC, First Try

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

How are the DSCs working out? I'm interested to know whether the 1,000 tic encoders work OK. I'm planning to build the Dave Ek DSCs soon for my dob, and the 1,000 tic encoders are a lot cheaper than others.

May 23, 2008 09:44 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Argo Navis Encoder Reading Error

Posted By Stuart St. Clair

It happened quite strangely, but I finally got it working last night. I cleaned the contacts, but it still wasn't working. I took the unit apart, and there seemed to be some play and clicking noise when I pressed on the encoder input jack. I concluded that I needed to send it off to have the input jack re-soldered to the circuit board. Then, I was just fiddling around, and I decided to disconnect the az cable (which had been working all along) and just leave the alt cable connected, to see what would happen. For some reason, that fixed it. My alt readings started to work, and when I re-connected the az cable, that one worked also. I tested it thoroughly, and everything seems fine. I'm a happy camper, as a friend has invited me up to his place in the hills next week, and my new 16" ATM dob should be ready to go by then. I'm hoping to see Omega Centauri. Does anyone with knowledge of Central California think I have a shot from a location in Squaw Valley (in foothills 30 miles east of Fresno)?