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Posts posted by Key

  1. Be careful with the altitude adjustment bolts. The standard ones are made of a soft steel that has a tendency to bend. There are many horror stories out there of bent bolts that have to be drilled out. There are stronger replacement bolts available that will save you time, money, and trouble by replacing before the standard bolts bend.

    Yes, I read about that problem - thankfully the mount I bought had already been upgraded to better quality bolts. Why don't SW just use a higher grade set from the outset; it wouldn't cost them much and their customers would be a lot happier. From the ad's I've seen it's not even as if people buy the upgrades from SW so they wouldn't be losing out on sales either.

  2. Well, I finally took the plunge on an HEQ5 and have to say very pleased. Reassuringly heavy but still manageable for assembling/moving. Still very early days for me in getting to grips with my first EQ mount but it's very sturdy so I'm hopeful of getting far better results than with my old Dob GoTo.

    Thanks for all the advice - as usual there's been a wide range of opinions but it all helps.



  3. Hi,

    I've read various articles saying that the EQ5 is the minimum requirement for deep sky astrophotography but also seen some impressive pictures by people using an EQ3; would it be a mistake to go for the EQ3 to reduce the initial cost but soon feel the need to go for the EQ5?

    Anyone upgraded from EQ3 to EQ5 that can comment?



  4. Hi Mitchelin,

    I've been having a look at my scope and attachments; my set up looks very much like in your photo's for prime focus use as these pic's show:

    T-Ring and adapter attached to the focus tube: post-12807-0-09386100-1385745081_thumb.j

    T-ring and adapter exploded view: post-12807-0-26384400-1385745257_thumb.j

    Close-up of the T-ring which I've discovered can be taken apart but unfortunately even then it can't be fitted directly into the focus tube after removing the 2" eyepiece holder: post-12807-0-03247500-1385745427_thumb.j

    Grateful again for any further ideas or suggestions.



  5. Well, it turns out that the two holes at the bottom end of the trusses are at right-angles to where the tightening screws make contact - is this normal? (I bought the 250px 2nd -hand so not sure if these trusses come ready assembled on the tube or not); I tentatively tried to rotate one of them but it didn't seem to want to move and I don't want to risk any damage if they're not intended to move!

    Next I measured the noted 110mm and just slipped the scope down that amount before tightening the screws to see if reaching focus was now possible - it made no difference at all: stars which are nicely pin-pointed visually (with the tube fully extended) were again seen as small discs even when using EOS Backyard to assist with the focussing.

    Anyone got any ideas?

    Anyone had the same focusing issue for astrophotography with a 250px Flextube and found that fitting a low-profile focuser was the answer?



  6. Hi.

    Seems to be some confusion ;) There is an additional set of locking point holes in the trusses 110mm back from the main ones. So you can lock the tube at less than full height. They were present out of the box from new.


    I tried a pair of Skywatcher binoviewers last night and with the tube fully extended. I could not reach focus without a barlow. I then shortened the tube length by locking back into the other holes. Binoviewers then easily reached focus without barlow. What is interesting is when I then extended the tube fully again and swapped in my 31mm Aspheric, it was perfectly in focus. Coincidence? I'm starting to suspect that Skywatcher have added the 2nd set of locking holes for this very purpose.

    Hi, I'm very interested in this: unfortunately my 250px flextube doesn't have the extra set of holes drilled into the truss tubes. Has anyone tried just tightening the lock at 110mm without holes? Is it safe to do this with the extra weight of a DSLR attached to the scope?

    I've tried some basic DSLR astrophotography with the scope but achieving enough inwards travel on the standard focuser is a problem -  I'm hoping the shortened tube idea may avoid the expense of gambling that a low-profile focuser would be the answer. Will give it a try next time there's a break in the clouds!

    Grateful for any ideas.



  7. Anyone know of a good UK source for the equivalent "Set of Three (3) Leveling Feet for Dobsonian Telescopes" sold by Opticsmart.com in the USA? They come with strong steel brackets so it's a complete package - they do seem a bit pricey though and that's not even including the overseas postage/import tax, etc.. so a home-grown solution/supplier would be very useful. Cheers.

  8. For 2" eyepieces, tops from Gaviscon containers fit perfectly, and being white, are easy to find. :cool:

    Click on photo to enlarge.

    Another top tip, and given that the cost of 2" eyepieces is enough to give anyone heartburn it's likely that there'll be a Gaviscon container to hand should you need to borrow the lid!

    • Like 1
  9. The caps to be found on plastic milk containers can make satisfactory top caps for 1.25 Plossls and similar sized eyepieces (after thorough cleansing of course!).

    That is a brilliant tip! Just bought a couple of cheap eyepieces off ebay and one came without a dust cap; tried a lid off a milk container as suggested: a perfect fit and a heck of a lot cheaper than importing from USA!

    I don't understand why there are no UK suppliers of decent and reasonably priced dust caps though; there's clearly a market for them - and afterall, they can even double-up as lids for milk containers!!!

    • Like 2
  10. Thanks for the tip Dave!

    I recently bought a 50mm finderscope that didn't have a lens cap so made do for a while with a paper bun case held on with an elastic band - not very elegant eh? Having read your post I gave it a go and found a pinch lens cap with lanyard for 99p on e-bay and with free postage!! It's a good fit and has restored my street cred!

    Thanks again for the tip!

    Key :)

  11. Originally Posted by AndyH viewpost.gif

    If funds permit, get the best quality power pack you can. I've had about 4 over the years and 2 had to be sent to the recycling after about a month. Of the other 2, one is perfect and the other holds only a 50% charge.

    A bigger outlay at the time may be a bit disheartning, but it will pay off in the long term.


    Go on then: what make/model is the "perfect" one?

    @AndyH: You can tell me; I won't tell anyone else!

  12. You don't need a barlow for visual ... modern long eye relief EPs mean that there's no benefit in them. Something similar is essential for increasing the image scale for lunar / planetary imaging. Don't waste money on anything but the best!

    Mmm, me-thinks buying the 'scope is going to turn out to be just the first of many items; and not many of them will be cheap! No wonder astronomy is regarded as a hobby to last a lifetime! :)

  13. If funds permit, get the best quality power pack you can. I've had about 4 over the years and 2 had to be sent to the recycling after about a month. Of the other 2, one is perfect and the other holds only a 50% charge.

    A bigger outlay at the time may be a bit disheartning, but it will pay off in the long term.


    Go on then: what make/model is the "perfect" one?

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