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  1. Past hour
  2. I have been umming and ahhing over which direction to take, regarding a travel scope, since getting my 9.25 Evolution SCT: It is in no way ever going to be described as a backpack scope! At first I thought I was settled on a refractor, such as the 72 ED from Skywatcher, but gradually drifted away from that and thanks to various posts on this forum, decided to go for a C5, instead. Added to which there will be a cross over between the two SCTs, regarding accessories. Next I had to decide which version to go for, which was not as easy at it should have been really. I was going to get the version on the Celestron SLT mount, even though it is not yet available, but having asked questions here about that mount, I was put off. I had heard many good reports about the Skywatcher AZ GTI, but of course, even though the two companies are owned by the same parent company, you cannot get a package including: a C5 and a AZ GTI. I would think it is an obvious package, shame non of the sellers can arrange that! @FLO Anyway I decided to get the final mount separately later, intending to get the OTA and mount it on a Horizon tripod, which I already had, for the short term. The thing is that the OTA on its own is just short of £ 500, the same as the C6 OTA, oddly, but I soon saw that the Omni version was only a little dearer, so I thought it was a no brainer really... I got the Omni version and have yet to use the mount, not sure that I ever will, but it has potential, seems much better than the Skywatcher EQ3-2, which I also own, we shall see. However even though I had doubts about the Horizon tripod being up to the job, it is! I do have issues with balance, but feel I will soon sort that. I have now learnt several things, not least that it attaches very easily and seems very secure! It has also showed me how lazy I have become since getting the Evolution mount, tracking is just so good! This is especially so when using higher magnification. I think moving forward the purchase of a new lightweight; tracking mount has to be a high priority. I first used my new 26mm ES 62 degree eyepiece and was very happy with the result, sharp across the entire view, maybe better that my 9.25, at least in some ways, which makes me wonder if I need to revisit the state of the collimation there... I was very impressed with the sate of collimation on this scope, ( thank you FLO, ) no attention needed there I would guess. Lots of good views, though it got quite hard to track with the higher magnification, as I said. I also tried the cheap Seben zoom eyepiece and the Baader barlow and found everything very satisfactory. I saw no problems with CA, unlike with my 102 ST, which means that may be on the way out soon too as I doubt it is going to get used much now. However this scope is going to get a lot of use, it is just so light, about a quarter of the weight of the 9.25 OTA, in fact just one hand, even with the tripod included. Which is a good point to include some weights here I think. The OTA alone weighs in at about 5.2 pounds, ( 2.36 KG, ) without a diagonal or eyepiece, which is less than the 6.5 pounds that FLO etc., quote. The Horizon tripod weighs in at about eight pounds, which surprised me, but still gives a very satisfactory total light weight of around 13.3 pounds, ( 6 KG. ) My weigh ins are of an unknown accuracy, but I think they are reasonably accurate. I can well imagine that a light weight tripod would be good here, but which one? This of course is why I have posted in this section, rather than just the review section, this is a journey towards perfection and I suspect I will need help. Which brings me to my next questions: Do I still go for the AZ GTI, or will the Skywatcher Star Adventurer be a better all round performer, the do after all seem to have similar specs. Or for that matter there are further options, such as the ioptron possibilities. I wonder how long this decision will take to make? I think I am close to a perfect travel scope here, not only very lightweight, but very compact and without any doubt a backpack scope. Lastly I have to admit to a little accident, when unpacking, all of the packaging was great, usual from FLO, but the end dustcap on the OTA is not the best, it was loose as I pulled out the OTA and dropped off towards the floor. No problem? Well, yes when my reflex made a grab for it before it hit the floor and caught the correcter plate with my greasy paw... Is there an after market improvement on the supplied dustcap available, because the supplied one is not very good? Not a disaster and it does not seem to affect the view, but I just know my mad head will forever see that grease every time I take the OTA out of its box. I know I shouldn't and probably will be able to resist, but it will be there accusing me! If there is interest in the thread, I will post updates as I go on my journey, if not I will not, obviously...
  3. Are you referring to the SGP Framing and Mosaic Wizard not finding objects when you type in the name. It uses the online Simbad database to find object coordinates if they aren't in your local cache from previous searches. Sometimes it takes a while for Simbad to return the coordinates. Platesolving isn't used to find named objects, just to point the scope to the coordinates that are returned by querying Simbad or other databases. I've noticed Simbad doesn't recognize Caldwell designations but has no trouble with M, NGC or common object names. Alan
  4. Will have to have another look now, whizzed round the rim earlier and only spotted the big prom. Dave
  5. and don't make them too shallow, also if the steps are in darkness, paint some fluorescent edges...
  6. Has somebody cut a brassiere in half ??
  7. I hope you enjoy Mark. If you find collimation is off try rotating the focuser slightly. I could never get it set up correctly so the rotator could be used.
  8. Just don't cover both eyes at the same time!
  9. Does anyone know the correct mounting points for a motor focuser on an Esprit 150? Looking at the bottom of the focuser there are four slotted screwheads that seem to be set in concrete. Are these the best place? Also how do you get the focuser knobs off. The x10 knob comes off easily by undoing a screw, but there are no obvious screws for the large knobs. Again they appear to be set in concrete if you pull them. The focuser is a Pegasus cube on an L bracket.
  10. Very interesting. I'll give that a try. Thanks Ole. Olly
  11. I've heard from a very trustworthy source that the 72ED makes a terrific visual grab and go scope.
  12. All ok but where in phd2 do i adjust gain please
  13. Hi all, Does anyone have any recommendations for good sites for AP around Brecon or the Elan Valley.... or anywhere within about an hour from Hereford? Finally happy that I can run my rig reliably from a leisure battery and also power my laptop so want to go to a dark site . Rgds Aidan
  14. Hi, just got one of these for imaging, cant say about observing but have found it V good with a TS FR/ FF. for imaging with a ZWO 1600 pro. Nice little scope.
  15. Well if it is one of the corner stars on the box i will find it.
  16. Easy to find, difficult to splt being both close (1.3 arc seconds currently I think) and the componant stars being uneven in brightness. A real test of observer, seeing conditions and scope optics:
  17. Ahoy thar fellow astronomers! Nah all thin's 'ave t' be fancy 'n expensive. These ones prolly 'ave some o' th' best performance t' price ratio thar be.
  18. is this because these targets aren't in the SGPro database? If yes, then you could try other planetarium software that has telescope control - I use SkyMap Pro, but there are other capable programs such as Cartes du Ciel. I use Pinpoint Lite to plate solve (within MaxImDL) and this just does plate solving, no target selection/go-to, for this you go-to the target beforehand (I use MaxIm or SMP as detailed previously). For info, plate solving does fail sometimes, even PS2. In these rare cases I try to get a deeper image with a larger pixel scale resolution (just bin the image to give a coarser resolution) - this seems to help. HTH, Andy
  19. Well the objective diameter is just the aperture of your scope, and the limiting magnitude will be the faintest star you can see on a clear night. If you look at Ursa Minor, the faintest star is just under mag 5 so if you can see all seven then you NELM is about 5.
  20. I dont have a frying pan big enough
  21. Hi @Brian28 I usually use the internal database within MaxImDL to go-to targets and then use PlateSolve2 if (when) PinPoint Lite fails to solve. Otherwise I use SkyMap Pro to find more difficult targets such as comets and then solve within MaxIm/PS2. As it turned out, I didn't go for the Ring as the Owl seemed a better target as I haven't imaged it before and it was much higher altitude. Thanks for the suggestion And then when setting up I remembered that I had started a long term project for when the Moon is around, Sharpless 174 in Cepheus. This is a tough target for me, needing 15 min exposures in Ha to get any signal that is significantly above the background. Why SkyMap Pro calls it a "bright nebula" I'll never know lol! So last night, this morning I moved on the Owl with the intention of creating a HOO image at some point. Here's 2 hours of Ha from earlier today. I'll aim to grab some more tonight.
  22. Today
  23. I'm not too concerned about selling the fork mount. In fact, I'd probably prefer to keep it in case I ever decided to switch OTA, then I could refork and sell as a complete package. As far as mounts go, I'd prefer to move away from fork mount. Having the flexibility to use different OTA's on a mount is appealing (whether I do so or not) and my imaging train is rather long, I'd probably have to jump up to the larger LX200's to avoid issues and that's quite a cost/weight issue.
  24. Balance is fixed. Now thew scope sits way up in the saddle after i added a heavy Vixen weight to the saddle. Now i can reach my SLO- MO controls.
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