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Everything posted by Shimrod

  1. The scientists at Stanford University would disagree with your astronomy teacher! Some useful information here
  2. If you're more comfortable with windows, you could always get one of these Beelink mini-pcs and RDP onto it from your laptop instead. A similar price to an ASIAIR although you will have to do software installs and configuration.
  3. Ioptron or polemaster are much cheaper than the Starsense (especially with recent price rises) if you just want to get better polar alignment before doing the star alignment with the mount. Starsense automates the second part and is self-contained (no laptop required). I find Starsense does help make alignment quicker in my light-polluted skies and I can also get set up before I can see the stars visually - but for the price of both devices it might be worth considering the staraid revolution as an alternative.
  4. You have gone the reverse direction to me - I started off with (and still have) an AVX, but bought the AZ-GTI for a smaller mount that could easily be taken on holiday. I have an 80ed and ZS61 that I can use on both mounts just fine. Have you considered the Ioptron Az mount pro? It was on my list before deciding to get the smaller and cheaper AZ GTI - it offers a quick set up and is self contained with a battery pack. If AP isn't your thing then how important is it to get a mount that offers an EQ option? Alternatively, have you considered getting a ipolar or polemaster for the AVX? I have the ipolar and it makes set up much quicker.
  5. Yes, I was pleased I got the updated puck which makes it look a bit neater.
  6. Just received from FLO today - ADM Vixen saddle replacement - it only takes about 5 minutes to remove the standard saddle and replace with the puck and new saddle (extended to about 45 minutes in my case because I couldn't find the right size allen key!). Although the standard saddle held the OTA fine, there was a little bit of movement of the OTA within the saddle. This provides a much firmer grip, although the movement of the clamp feels a bit rough so I might try a little bit of grease.
  7. You need to run in offline mode(under the options menu) to avoid the search for latest versions of the firmware files -but you will then also need the previous version on your PC to be able to restore - all the firmware files are in packages folder within the CFM folder.
  8. Yes you can revert to an earlier version - I have read on Cloudy nights of some people downgrading to a 2019 version of the firmware that works with the AZEQ mounts.
  9. Some big increases - I bought my EdgeHD 8" and AVX in August 2019. So in just 30 months: EdgeHD and AVX +30% Starsense +50% Skyportal +46% Reducer +14% Celestron Focuser motor + 14% The first three in particular dwarf some of the prices rises in Skywatcher kit seen over the last couple of years (I bought an 80ed in March 2020 and that is only up 20% !)
  10. There is a beta version of updated firmware that addresses this problem available on the TeamCelestron website. This introduced a separate bug (details below) which may not be relevant to you - if you are not attaching any other devices possibly this won't be an issue for you. You would need to join the website to access the beta version as the terms of the website do not allow for sharing of any of the files. Unfortunately this change was from last August, and is the only change made last year - and there has not been a public firmware or software release from Celestron since September 2020. This was originally reported by Derik (the Celestron engineer who seems to run the website) as a staffing issue at Celestron which I guess they are still struggling with.
  11. It's now on the FLO website at £1909 or £1999 depending on whether you go for the bundled tripod. Looks like it needs a computing device (The ASAIR PRO) to provide go-to functionality which would account for some of the difference between this and the RST135. Even at £2000 (non-discounted price) it is out of my price range, but if this does mark the start of lighter weight heavy capacity mounts, something like this could replace my AVX and AZ-GTI in the future. I'm not brave enough to be an early adopter though!
  12. I bought the £15 Astro Essentials dovetail to hold a Canon 300mm F4, ASI533 and lens adaptor - about 2kg in weight. No issues and the dovetail has a 'safety stop' bolt should the dovetail slip in the mount and the right mounting holes to attach to the lens. A quick look on Amazon and you don't seem to be able to buy anything cheaper - even the Svbony 210mm dovetail costs more than the Astro Essentials equivalent. If you are not able to tap extra holes into the dovetail, then probably flexibility of mounting holes in the dovetail is more important that the cost.
  13. That's correct, but it could be set up to auto-renew, in which case the registration will only extend a week or two before it is due to expire.
  14. If he was operating as a sole trader (and it looks like he was) then there will be no entry on companies house - a sole trader only has to register as a business with HMRC. I did check a WHOIS domain history service to see if the domain had ever been registered in the owners name - but it has only ever been registered with Designtec - the people who built the website for him. (The service is https://whois-history.whoisxmlapi.com/ - and you can get a small number of free searches as a trial).
  15. I thought you were going for Wnston Churchill
  16. I think there is a difference between poor and not being able to get focus at all. I doubt Celestron would ship an eyepiece that would not work with the telescope at all unless it is faulty - there is more likely another explanation for the failure to reach focus which buying another 10mm eyepiece would not resolve. Your telescope will have quite a large focus range and although you might not think you have to change it much when switching between eyepieces, it can sometimes require quite a bit of turning of the focus knob! Have you tried using the telescope during the day to test focus? Set it up a pick something in the distance - preferably at least half a mile away, but anything from a couple of hundred metres should be fine. With your 10mm eyepiece in, wind the focus knob all the way through from one end of the focus to the other (this can be as many as 30-40 full turns for the full focus range) checking to see if the eyepiece comes into focus. If this works, put your 40mm eyepiece in and could how many turns (and which direction) it takes to bring that into focus - this will help you when swapping eyepieces in the night. Have you also tried holding the 10mm eyepiece up to the light and checking if you can see clearly through it- it is possible that an internal lens has been put in the wrong way round or there is some residue on the eyepiece. Depending on how you stored the 10mm eyepiece before swapping over, is it also possible that dew has formed on the eyepiece which may also be causing your focus problems?
  17. My laptop (low power HP Spectre X2) battery life drops from 9 hours to about 3 hours or less as the weather gets colder so definitely worth bearing in mind. My laptop charges via USB-C so I use a cheap £30 powerbank to extend the battery life of the laptop - everything else is powered by a Celestron Powertank Pro, which provides enough power for 3-4 hours (my 'night') with plenty left in reserve.
  18. In the case of these articles, the websites are all owned by Future Publishing. This is a company that started off in the 80's publishing computer magazines, but now has a portfolio of nearly 200 brands. Some of these are magazines, others are digital only content. I suspect more effort goes into the search engine optimisation (SEO) than has gone into an article such as this - it is designed to drive traffic to the website - page hits means advertising revenue and possibly some affiliate commission through click-throughs on the products listed in the article. The biggest problem with any 'best of' list covering something like astronomy is that 'best' depends on so much more that just the telescope - individual circumstances and whether you want to image or observe. My litmus test for a website of this type is whether each product mentioned has a link to a full product review on the same website - an indication that the product has really been assessed and reviewed - in most cases this is not the case. Strangely though if you search the website, you can find more balanced reviews for the scopes in the list. I do have some sympathy for magazine publishing houses as people still want to see articles, reviews and news but there is a cost to providing that - so affiliate links and 'best of' lists to attract you to the website are here to stay - but it would not take have taken much effort to produce an article that had some value.
  19. I've no experience of the ASIAIR products as other than mounts, the ASIAIR devices do not support my non-ZWO products (focuser). You may find this thread useful which includes some detailed iinformation from early users and links to some youtube video guides.
  20. If you like the idea of a telescope where you still have to do some of the work, then you could look at 'push-to' telescopes as well. Orion Telescopes have the intelliscope system that might be what you are looking for. FirstLightOptics also sell add-on push-to kits for various Dobsonians, but they are relatively expensive (around £259) so are probably better suited to larger Dobsonians. Of course, that does give you the option of getting a larger Dobsonian without push-to (assuming no space or size restrictions) and then upgrading at a later date when budget allows. You may find that you enjoy learning the night-sky and the push-to kit becomes unnecessary. I should add that I use go-to myself, as I would struggle to find any objects in the nightsky with the level of light pollution where I live and for me that is the big advantage of push-to/go to systems.
  21. Hardly surprising the article appears in multiple places, if you look the websites are all owned and run by Future. You will find a lot of content the same across these and other sites also owned by Future - as someone else has mentioned, articles such as this are all about driving traffic through affiliate links, so Future wants them to appear in as many places as possible. The wording of the articles and titles are optimised to appear near the top of typical search requests for telescopes, accuracy and detail of the content only needs to be enough for that occasional customer click through!
  22. Thanks for the comprehensive write-up. I have looked at the Staraid a few times and it looks like a useful device - its a little expensive to buy as an addition to what I already have, but it only rolls into one three devices I have already bought to do the same functions (Starsense, iPolar and guide camera). I do like the idea of having something that can do polar alignment, guiding and plate-solving without the need for a laptop. Anything to get set up quicker is a real bonus for me. Do you use the sky recognition function and how do you find it? Does it just give region of the sky you are pointing at, or can you ask it to centre the mount on an object?
  23. I don't know about the smaller Celestron powerpack, but I have the Powerpack Pro, and the AZ GTI on its own does not draw enough power to stop the auto-cutoff in the battery switching off the power. My simple solution for this will be to add a dew band once the right size comes back into stock to up the power consumption. This is only a problem when using it for visual, cameras etc will generate a high enough power consumption to keep the battery active.
  24. If there are no external clutches, then apart from ensuring the mount is firmly secured to the tripod I cannot think of any cause other than a fault in the mount. Perhaps someone on here with experience of the mount will be able to suggest something else.
  25. Can you hear any motors whirring when you try to move it the left or right? I don't know if the mount has clutches but it may be worth checking, and if so tightening them up (a loose clutch allows you to move the telescope without engaging the motors).
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