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  2. It is, but the SW wasn't on the market when I bought the TEC (second hand for about the same as the current Esprit 150. ) I don't think there would be much difference between TEC140 and SW Esprit 150 images. Olly
  3. I have an Esprit 80mm and ran it on an AVX for about two years. While I can't compare it to the Explore Scientific, I will say that the Esprit is a no-muss no-fuss scope. It works well for imaging, it produces nice stars without color aberrations, has a decent focuser on it and one which is easily motorized if you want to go that far ... it's a keeper. It actually worked just fine on the AVX. The main issue I had with the AVX -- and I think this was mount specific and not a general AVX issue -- is that periodically, typically after an hour of guiding, the mount would suddenly veer way off on the DEC axis, guiding would fail and I'd have to manually get things going again. Not the end of the world, but it meant I couldn't go to sleep. But otherwise, I enjoyed two good years of imaging with the Esprit 80 and AVX, and while I've since retired the mount, the little Esprit is here to stay.
  4. Today
  5. Many thanks. Looks ideal. FWIW we ended up at Burke's Lookout (just down the road from Sky-high) last night and got some great views of the Moon .. and the grandkids had fun with the RDF I added to their collection recently. However Jupiter was too low and masked by trees, so again thanks, Geoff
  6. The Moon is at the same infinity focus as stars/galaxies. Could it be the brightness of the Moon that makes it look as though focus is soft? Putting an aperture mask (can be a piece of cardboard with a hole) on the scope reduces brightness.
  7. Online images of the scope typically show it with a diagonal and eyepiece. It seems the scope has a lot of backfocus and a spacer is required to mount a guide camera. For example: https://www.astrobuysell.com/propview.php?view=35653
  8. Hi Geoff L from Geoff B in Olinda! We were showing our UK visitors around yesterday and took them up to John's Hill Reserve, Ridge Road, Kallista (off Grantulla Rd). Amazing 360 degree views up there and even if they close the gate there is plenty of room to park by the roadside and it's a very quiet road. Would be Bottle 4 skies up there, a bit darker than here for sure. Give it a go.
  9. visual only this is it after the shield was fitted I cannot go for anything in the south at all.
  10. Hello Andrew, welcome to the lounge. Rick
  11. Been using my new CEM60EC for two nights during the full moon for testing it out. It is pretty darn awesome. The same 5 minute subs are better than the ieq45 pro managed and that mount typically lives around 0.5-6 total RMS under guiding. The interesting thing is the CEM60EC also is in that range but the image appears better. Of course I was using very aggressive guiding settings to get the ieq45 pro to such low RMS and in the CEM60EC the settings were only for correcting polar alignment/refraction and for when the SCT mirror moves. I am quite happy with it. I am running the qhy163C off it's own USB3 connection that doesn't use the cable management system. Although, iOptron manuals actually state you are free to remove the polar scope and add your own through the mount wiring so I might consider that path. The rest of the setup runs over the USB2 built into the CEM60EC and I have not had any issue. I actually put 2 USB hubs right at the top of the pier to help terminate the cable lengths so that I have shortest cable length off the OTA. If you don't do that you might find you accidentally exceed USB cable length especially for USB3. For the EC vs non-EC debate I suppose the non-EC CEM60 is more than good enough but for me the EC just removes that last part of worrying about PE and guide settings. And it really was not that much extra compared to what people spend on the expensive brands. I would not in the near term consider unguided setup because there's just a lot of work and my Edge 8 is not the ideal OTA for such a setup. Even then I think there are advantage to the EC like being able to use longer exposure for guiding during galaxy season. Speaking of guide exposure if you use a flexy flippy OTA like my Edge then you really can't expect to use very long exposures. I was staying around 5s to get enough SNR and also still active enough to correct for less than perfect polar alignment and any mirror movements. Built quality wise there was a recent online post where someone's new CEM60 had scuffs in the paint. Mine's perfect. Actually I think the design and built quality is more than fine baring the more laxed than luxury brand mount QA acceptance bar. One thing to note. I got the worm removal/adjustment PDF from iOptron. This mount is built in a way that make doing some work hard, like inspecting the worm/wheel grease and replacing it. In contrast the ieq45 pro was a dream for working on. On the 45 you just pop off two plastic covers and all the bits you typically need to work on is right there.
  12. We're currently visiting our son and his family, who live a few km outside Belgrave, VIC. We bought him an ST80 on an AZ3 a couple of Christmases ago, but he hasn't been able to use it much because he can't find anywhere to park up, set up the 'scope and get observing. The problem is the trees; yes, they are beautiful, but they are copious and block the view. We thought about some of the parks (Aura Vale, Cardinia, etc.) but the authority locks the gates at dusk! He has a view to the South with a hole in the tree canopy about 30° horizontally and from 30° to the zenith vertically -- but everything they want to view (Moon and planets) is to the East right now I was going to give them a present of membership of the Mount Burnett Observatory -- but they can't make it on member nights. So we're stuck looking for somewhere to set up the 'scope for an hour or so every so often. I know that a few Aussies post here and so I'm hoping someone can recommend a suitable site near Belgrave. As they're mainly interested in the Moon and planets, moderate light pollution shouldn't be an issue. All help gratefully received. Thanks, Geoff.
  13. I used to use Sky Safari at the scope in night vision mode, min screen brightness, but try to avoid it now to best preserve dark adaption.
  14. Except the tec 140 is over twice the price of the TS refractor. I would go with the refractor though.
  15. Thanks! Quite possibly. Although I'm not to sure about my framing. I believe the bright spots are just overexposed craters, although they might have become worse with sharpening.
  16. Scope seems to be very good.
  17. Yesterday
  18. Out of interest, is this the USB3 model (of the ASI120), or the old USB2 one? James
  19. As iwols said, try focussing during daytime then refine the focus on a star. Easiest way would probably be using Sharpcap. Turn down exposure and gain till the image looks like it's not overexposed (basically not white or black), then start with the focus at 0 and see if you can get a somewhat sharp image. Maybe you need to use spacers / adapters if you can't find the focal point.
  20. I agree, it's a very nice image. For my taste I'd say it's bright enough, but we all have slightly different preferences. There are some small areas of very high brightness where the image might be a little clipped. I always found that tricky to avoid myself. I think it happens when the image is sharpened (so the unsharpened image looks fine). I'm not sure though. Most of the time I just decide to live with it. James
  21. Just for your information and anyone else who might be looking for a solution I discussed this with Zoltan at 365Astronomy. He suggested an Astrotrac tripod: which he would modify to take the 3/8 threaded bolt and supply a flat mounting plate included in the list price of £76. I lent heavily on a sample and it felt rock solid so I ordered one which I collected today. To compare like with like I connected the Canon 500D with TeleVue 5x PowerMate to the 80mm extension tube to exert maximum leverage as before. Barely a tremor as I adjusted focus and camera settings on tonight's moon. At £30 less than the price of the SW and lighter in weight (aluminium rather than steel) my problem seems to be solved. Thanks again for your response.
  22. Just using a laser as I'm doing static eeva with a 16'9 chip and aligning the camera with target direction, about a minute of stacking before the alignment stars are lost so if the target requires more light I just dial back the scope and stack another minute. With dark skies and a good camera I am totally getting away with this, amazing how sensitive the cameras are these days. With being disabled this method keeps me in control of the scope as I've always preferred the push to experience, also doing all sky and using an 18-55 lens for wide field while employing live stacking...the all sky shots are pure star insanity from a darksite, too much fun
  23. hi using autofocus which works very well on stars/galaxies,but after moving to the moon with same focus found moon slightly out of focus,would you expect this,just making sure my autofocus on stars/galaxies is working ok
  24. not had no joy with the moon and guide camera ,so what i did was set focus up during the day on a distant object,then try at night with a bright star ,slightly adjusting focus,really had to turn exposure down ,used sharpcap to do continues downloads while adjusting focus,when your in focus then try with phd,just gone through same thing
  25. Well I was thinking about getting a new guidescope... maybe I should just go for a bundle then and use the ASI120 for planetary
  26. WO 132 ZWO 178MC ADC x 2.5 P/M
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