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Everything posted by Woking

  1. Anybody tried these or similar? Interesting concept with the swivel in filters, but are there any drawback with this.
  2. A first for me anyway! SW120 ED from back garden. Jupiter a little mushy as heading near neighbours house and too early being 8ish. Bands coming in and out with the radiating heat from a lovely Sept day. Saturn delivered good contrast. Cassini spotted. Neptune found. A bluey green dot with hint of a disc. Happy with that from suburban skies and glad for the goto. Couple of hours wait for Mars and best view for a number of years for me. Spent time teasing out surface detail i.e. differing shades of orange, dark grey, and white. Not long to wait for Uranus to appear from behind the trees and a clear disc. An obvious step up from Neptune After viewing the Snowball neb earlier it shows why such objects are called planetary nebulae. Back to Mars again before packing up for the night. Great session in shorts, t shirt and flip flops....summer observing does has it's plus sides! On a side note I'm wondering about trying all 7 in one night. A future personal challenge maybe. Shame my home sky won't allow Pluto with it being between Jupiter and Saturn at the moment. Not sure if it's possible with my kit either. Clear skies and stay safe.
  3. Veil really needs dark skies. I've tried and tried from my suburban garden but even with an Astronomik OIII it's nothing compared to the one time I saw it from a dark sky site in it's full glory. Dark skies and OIII = spectacular. Light polluted garden and OIII = disappointing faint wispy smudge and a car journey to a dark sky site. No OIII can't see it at all from the garden
  4. Weight should be a consideration too. My ES 2x FE pushes the mount to it's limit and I should really be rebalancing the scope everytime it's added or removed.
  5. Glad it was a good first light and no QC issues with them. Both planets and their moons are useful for checking the entire FOV. My preference is handheld for wildlife so the individual focus just reinforces 20x80s for astro only.
  6. That gun barrel rdf certainly does the job and worth a try. I own a rdf gun sight but it's the rail fitting.
  7. Like the setup bryand. I already use the Celestron star pointer pro on my frac so being able to easily swap between that and bins would be ideal. The celestron skymaster pro bins specifically remark about it's central rail allowing RDF fitting. Just want sonething similar on a higher quality pair of 20x80s though.
  8. Thanks Steve, that's really helpful to know.
  9. ditto on reading your opinion of them. They look a quality pair of bins for the price
  10. I seem to be in a similar decision making process to yourself, were there any major reasons for choosing the Helio Stellar 11 over the LightQuest which were also within your budget? As I currently own 10x50 and 15x70 bins I was looking for the extra step up in mag, so 20x80s make more sense than 16x80s. As you already have the stability of a tripod would you regret the extra mag at the expense of FOV? I can't remember from the excellent Binocularsky reviews if there was any noteable mention of the difference in magnitude of 16x80s vs 20x80s - will have another read now!
  11. Just wondering if there's a real benefit in using a RDF with 20x80s. I currently use 15x70s without a RDF on a pistol grip and whilst not as easy as handheld 10x50s it's not that difficult to hone in on a target with some star (and tree/bldg.) hopping. Would the extra mag jump from 15x70s to 20x80s make a mounted RDF a beneficial or even necessary aid? On a side note, does anybody know if a RDF can be fitted to the Helios LightQuest 20x80s? It doesn't have the central bar /rail that the Helios Stellar and even Celestron Pro versions have.
  12. Have checked and I had previously done the same firmware update. 190221 for both handset and mount. Glad it went ok Steve, I thought the process and instructions were pretty good. Don't understand the serial cable supplied though, could have supplied something more compatible with modern laptops! My SkySafari 6 Plus is v6.3.2 46 for Android. Seems fine but only tested inside...I can connect to the mount, use GOTO to different objects to see the mount move, and then the align function. Without checking properly outside with the scope it doesn't seem to be an issue. Only niggle is the mount had forgot my SSID settings and password encryption yet again. Battery wasn't drained but it's been charging for a couple of hours and it had a full charge before storage only a couple of weeks again. Looks like it needs a charge before every session which can't be right. The wifi settings is bugging me. If anybody alreadty has this setup or wants to try setting this up, it would be great to know if it's a common problem or not.
  13. Steve I will check tonight and with SkySafari. I'm pretty sure I connected to the mount and tested after the updates but with all the comments think I will double check.
  14. There's a section in the manual on setting up SkySafari via the mount's in built wifi. Simple to follow and will work with smartphone or tablet. Only drawback if using with smartphone is you are effectively offline when connected to the azmp wifi. It does mean no whatsapp or email interruptions whilst observing so probably no bad thing!
  15. I'm using SkySafari plus 6 and works fine. Ioptron released updates for both mount and handset a few months back which is worthwhile doing. The serial port connection was a bit of a faff though as laptops don't have the male port required so i ended up using an old docking station
  16. Cheers for this. Guess I'm suspicious that there's only a 30day warranty on the battery compared to the 2 years I think for the mount itself.
  17. I've found the AZMP to be pretty spot on with just the auto 1 star calibration. Occasionally have to resynch when moving from one half the sky to the other. Have not mastered the balancing yet. The manual says to also check the spirit level as the mount rotates during the auto calibration. It's always off for me and I've tried an additional spirit level too. Can never get the spirit level centred for the full 360 and this probably explains the above resynch when say going from a south to north objects. Have you tried controlling the mount with SkySafari? I use this instead of the handset and it's been great. Also how are you finding the battery life? I'm not sure about mine, seems to drain quicker than the advertised 10-12hours. Think it's even draining when not used for a few weeks.
  18. I kept finding the thrill of the chase diminishing the later it got at night and purposely leaving those tricky objects till last! 1am frustration knowing the alarm clock is going off in not many hours. GOTO eliminates frustration and enables a proper night's sleep
  19. That's the understated benefit I found. At an even more basic level I was even more confident that the small smudge in the FOV was what I was looking for and could then spend more time on it without having to constantly adjust the az and checking the star map and SkySafari. Despite years of enjoying manual visual it's still a time consuming skill to find tricky objects when the star map,, RDF, finderscope, and EP are flipped in different perspectives under LP skies. Hats off to those expert star hoppers who have not only mastered this but enjoy the thrill of the chase too.
  20. Same here, made the move from years of manual visual just a few months ago. The main push was motorised tracking to simplify high mag observing and keeping objects aligned when away from the scope, changing EPs etc The extra GOTO functionality has been a revelation even though I was happy enough using my A3 star maps and basic SkySafari app. I'm now observing 2 to 3 times more objects in a session under my suburban light polluted skies. This was kind of expected but what I hadn't realised was the GOTO allowed me to view objects I had given up on trying to find at home. Those difficult to find objects especially which need averted vision. I'm now a convert but yes I do feel a little guilt setting up for a session when seeing and not using my homemade star maps which have served me so well over the years. Technological progress is now SkySafari Pro on my smartphone controlling my GOTO.
  21. Been having a few issues with my few months old AZMP WiFi set-up. I can configure the SSID to a name of my choosing and set a password as per the manual, and then successfully connect both my laptop and smartphone. Skysafari works great connecting to and controlling the mount via my smartphone. Problem is the next time I turn on the AZMP after a few days it’s defaulted back to the factory SSID and no longer password protected. Any other AZMP users experiencing such issues or having no problems at all with similar WiFi set-up? I’m suspecting the internal battery as the AZMP doesn’t seem to be retaining a full charge for a period of time say a couple of weeks of lack of use. A few times I've been caught out just a short time into a session with the flashing red power LED. The AZMP does seem to retain other settings changes though e.g. turning off the handset sounds. Have just updated both main board and handset to the recent firmware release and given it another full charge so will test again over next few of days. Would be good to hear of other users experiences as not found anything on the web specific to this. It’s a nuisance as I’ve been having some great observing sessions with the AZMP connected to Skysafari.
  22. Is it a newly purchased AZMP? Mine has grinding noise and squeaks when slewing in just one direction. Could only find operating manuals on ioptron website and opening it up will likely void the 2 year warranty. I've contacted the retailer, have you tried this or Ioptron support?
  23. On mine too. Focuser was straightforward to fit even for those of us with minimal aptitude for this kind of thing. It comes with simple instructions too.
  24. I tried the Veil last night from the backgarden but gave up as it was washed out. I didn't think of using my Oiii....not observed in a long time so a bit rusty. Will give the Oiii a go next time thanks to this post
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