Reply To: NEQ6 and TheSkyX

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Grant Privett

Okay, what I wrote earlier appears to have vanished… version2.

A while ago, I sought help here regarding my NEQ6/TheSkyX setup forgetting where the sky was and regularly losing connection.

Highlights of the problem included when I asked it to point at NGC1999 and it ended up pointing 30 degrees below the horizon: deep joy.

So, I was using a TPlink connection to the telescope and that proved very unreliable. I had the earths and cabling checked professionally – and that was all good – but it would regularly lose connection during a night and even took to disconnecting when our microwave cooker was turned on.

After much investigation, I discovered that one of the 4 switched mode power supplies I used was dying (they have some nasty failure modes)- it still tested as 12V and there was little AC “ripple” on the voltage, but the fault mode meant it was chucking huge amounts of noise down the mains.

So, I dumped that PSU and things improved, but were still not perfect. I got a BT Wifi extender to connect and dumped TPlink. That massively improved things. Now, its unusual to get a single disconnection event during the evening and the pointing issue went away.

However, I discovered that 4 switched mode power supplies were still causing problems. The OTA is isolated from the mount by felt pads and I found that with one of the PSUs my CCD and the tube seemed to be experiencing a floating voltage (a DC offset).

Finally, fed up with the PSUs I decided to ditch them entirely and got a cheapo 20A 13.8V linear power supply that feeds my mount, CCD, fan, dewheater(s) and minipc – having checked with manufacturers to make sure they were all okay with 13.8V, instead of 12V. That seems to have solved all the problems. No connection loses, no lose of pointing and no floating voltages. Wish I had tried it a year earlier.

The PSU is quite heavy, but it now lives in its own little enclosure together with all the wires and the collimator.

Thanks to all who helped.