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A McEwan

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About A McEwan

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    Brown Dwarf

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  1. There was a video on Youtube ages ago that showed one mature observer's solution to setting up a heavy (may have been 14") SCT on the mount. I can't find it anywhere but am probably using the wrong search words! Anyway, they used a stool and had that set to the right height, so that they could put the OTA, front down, on the stool so that it was holding ALL the weight. The mount and stool would be beside each other, so that when the OTA was on the stool, it would be lined up with the mounting hardware (in vertical alignment) so that all the tightening up could be done while the user was not carrying, lifting or holding anything! Once tightened up, the OTA could be swung up, the stool moved away, and everything was set up! The only lifting would be carrying the mount, stool and OTA out separately, and it would make the fiddly attachment much simpler if you're not trying to support a heavy dead weight at the same time. Wish I could find that video.....
  2. That's a great little scope and a very fair price. Think of the tripod accessory tray problem as an "opportunity to excel" and you'll feel happier sorting it yourself. When I last had one, I replaced the tripod with one off an EQ3 mount, so I had to do some drilling and fiddling, and for me it was a worthwhile upgrade (but I kinda like to tinker with scopes, so I'm probably not typical). Hope you enjoy using it and a great time to get it too, with Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all making appearances!
  3. Another vote for the AZ4 here. Quite easy to find second-hand at affordable prices, and sturdy enough for any 100mm scope. I have used 120mm on it too, with relatively good success. Mine is mounted on a Berlebach UNI-18 tripod, which increases stability, but also the price (by quite a lot). A pier extension completes the assembly for when I want greater elevation.
  4. OP probably has read these suggestions now, and generally the recommendation is for a 3-4" ED or achromat. I agree, but I'd suggest going for as large an aperture within the budget that you set yourself, whether it be ED or achro. If going for an achro, don't go for a "shorty" fast f-ratio one: stick to something like f8 or more. There are sometimes 100mm f11 achros available (like the Lyra one I used to have) which are excellent, or a 100mm f9 ED Skywatcher. If you can afford it, a 120mm achro f8.3 is a good value for money scope but yes it will show some false colour. The 120mm f7.5 ED version has very good optics and is a great planetary scope. It's probably one of the most discussed topics of conversation in Astronomy, so there will be plenty of opinions on it online! Good hunting!
  5. Congratulations from another Tak & GP user! Hope you enjoy using that lovely most-modern Tak! Ant
  6. Probably kinda sorted now. (90mm f10)
  7. The Skywatcher 150PL will get you most of what you seem to be looking for, but you will still have to add at least a Right Ascention motor to track. The optics in the 150PL will be great for planetary, fine for DSOs, and are usually fairly good quality. You will get best results by blackening the inside of the tube, and paying particular attention to collimation, but at f8 it will be easy to do and should hold collimation for long periods of time. Mine certainly did. Down the line you may want to replace the 4-vane secondary spider with a curved variant which will eliminate the annoying diffraction spikes seen when viewing bright stars or planets. A light/dew-shield will also aid in increasing contrast. So that package is certainly a good start, but you may find something similar with tracking already included on the second hand market if you're willing to shop around or wait patiently. As much as I'm a fan of refractors, I'd say that a 150mm f8 is a very good option with great "bang for buck" score.
  8. Nice! Thanks for link!
  9. Well.....yes..... quite a few actually.
  10. I've had the 105 and 127 Maks before, and can say they are both great scopes. Be sure to invest in (or make) a long dew shield for whichever one you get as they are dew-magnets. If you can afford the larger, go for the larger, but if you go for the 105, it will still serve you well. Nice an compact and easy to use. They can even be collimated fairly easily, once you find the instructions on how to do it! It might need a little longer to cool down to ambient temperature (depending on where you store it and what your ambient observing temperature is) but it shouldn't take too long.
  11. My 831 project is almost finished now. I had the optic looked at by Es Reid, who was very encouraging about it and described it as "sweet"! He cleaned it up and I got it back from him yesterday. In the meantime I had been working on the fixing hardware for the 40mm original finder-scope which I got from the USA last year. (I actually couldn't believe how long I'd been sitting on this not doing anything with it - so I'm glad to have finally "got round to it"!) The brackets were prepped, primed and sprayed with Rustoleum paint to give the wrinkled finish to match the other metal hardware on the finder, and I also applied black flocking material to in the inside of the dew-shield. The lens cell and dew shield parts all screw into each other, which is good in that everything is held in perfect alignment, but also tricky, as I can by trying to unscrew the dew shield, and suddenly the cell starts unscrewing! So it takes some care. The dew-shield actually extends on this scope, but only by an inch or so. It's nice, but I will be using an additional flexi dew-shield over the top to extend it a bit. Anyway, it's all together again now and ready to go - except I need to find a suitable bolt to finish off the finder-scope mounting! All those boxes of bits'n'bobs and I don;t have the right style bolt. Unbelievable... I'm not particularly a big fan of straight-through optical finders anyway, but it will be nice to have it on there for "completeness". That's pretty much it. Just need some decent skies now. It will go on my AZ4 or GP mounts no problem, and I'm looking forward to actually gathering photons with this wonderful instrument!
  12. Sorry to go off-topic slightly, but... does that have Vixen/Celestron optics? And a metal objective call? Do you know how old it is? Have you posted about this scope before? When are you selling it?
  13. As this thread includes "from our Dob history" -and I'm not sure if I shared this on here, here is my long-departed GSO 8" f6 Dob. It started off basic enough, but after a while I stripped it all down, sent the mirrors for Hi-lux coating, sprayed the interior flat black, sprayed the exterior in Peugeot Blaze Yellow, added a "steering knob", added a Skywatcher electric focuser motor (later on I upgraded to a Moonlite with motor drive), added a proper flexi dew-shield, Bob's knobs, uprated collimation springs, had magnetic counter-balance weights instead of the tension-adjuster springs, did some work on the base to make it super-smooth with just the right amount of stiction.....and.... it was a GREAT performer! Had many great nights with that scope - but it always point blank refused to show me the Horsehead! It's one of the scopes I shouldn't really have sold, but I'd kind of tired of it and wanted something else, so it went. Later on I would get the 10" GSO and even a 12" Driven Skywatcher Dob, but both of those went fairly quickly as they were a bit too cumbersome for me to transport easily. Oh well.
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