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Everything posted by buzz

  1. Does anyone know of a place I can get 54 and 48-mm male threaded dustcaps? I need them for my cameras.
  2. When I wrote my book The Astrophotography Manual, I wanted to explain how to collimate an RCT. I gave myself a 5 page budget. There are many, many alternative possible ways of collimating and in the end, I tried most of them, if only to discount them. The chapter took 25 pages. Those techniques that rely on anything other than mirrors are flawed - there is no guarantee that mirrors are centered in housings or center spots are centered. In essence, it takes three passes. The first checks the secondary spacing to ensure the focal length is right (big difference to field curvature), second
  3. I'm leaning towards the GT102. It will accept the same flattener and reducer as my FLT132. Good chance that one of my spare Lakeside focus brackets fill fit too.
  4. Found the review on CN. Very interesting, Esprit gives the Tak a run for its money. Unfortunately its focal length is a bit short for my needs and only 20% longer than my Tak85.
  5. Sam - good points. Maybe it has something to do with the red color (it matches with my MyT). Do you have any links to the Esprit comparisons? I have nothing against SW - their mirrors are often fantastic.
  6. Thanks for the suggestions - the sharpstar quaduplet looks nice but is a bit short and close to my Tak85 native focal length. As already mentioned, I previous had a FLT98 and FLT110 (which I sold to buy the FLT132). I used the Flat 68 from the FLT132 on my FLT98 but I never found a spacing that gave a good outer field, so I only used it with a reducer making it only 500 mm FL. I sold both to buy the Tak85. Nice to hear about the rotolock, has to be better than my original DDG focuser, which wagged around like a puppy tail. Nobody used the StellaMira (or the Orion-badged equivalent)
  7. I'm looking for a good performance and value 600-something focal length refractor for deep-sky imaging, which is relatively portable. Over the years I have had several WO scopes (FLT98 / FLT110 / Star 71 / ZS 73 ) and still have an FLT132 (feathertouch) and RedCat. I sold the FLT98 to get a Tak85 - but the Tak106 is too close in focal length and more than I want to spend. The FLT132 and Redcat have good optics, most of the others were good to ok optically but their focusers were a mixed bag. I have the new reducer for the FLT132 - but the assembly is a bit of a beast for portable us
  8. The major problem lies with how one defines 'beginner'. Some want to do astrophotography with their iPhone. Remarkable as it is and while some will get some images, it is not the right tool for the job. Some starters will want a full explanation of how to use a photo-editing suite like Photoshop. That is a book in itself. The subject depth is an issue with some books that cover a broad church. When you delve, however, there is precious little insight in any of the tricky subjects like guiding, autofocusing and image processing. Publishers restrict page count and it is a tricky decision o
  9. My book, The Astrophotography Manual, is intentionally not a beginner's book. It is aimed at existing practitioners who want to progress. Astro books go out of date very quickly and some of these are already showing their age. I have just published a new book, aimed at beginners, called "Capturing the Universe" which is bang up to date.
  10. To polar align - it depends on what reticle they are using. If it is a clock face, like the latest EQ ones, you would set a single orientation with 12 - 6 line vertical, center the reticle (once only) with the two adjusters by rotating RA axis and then just read off the setting from any smartphone app.
  11. My ROR came from homeobservatory.co.uk a company in Norfolk, for the price of a reasonable 4-inch refractor. Really nice job and well-built wooden obsy. Fitted with motor and remote control, which I then ASCOMized.
  12. There were several working units at Astrofest last weekend. I was told it was shipping.
  13. It is now a year on from the "November update" on their website, with no sign of saleable units. Anyone got news? I really liked the concept
  14. thanks all - I remember Maplin when they first started out in Rayleigh. clear skies Chris
  15. I have acquired one of these and need to make up a spare power lead. Does anyone know where I can buy the two pole locking connector? I just need the connector, as I use XLR connections for power distribution in my system.
  16. I think that is about it , the link in the subscription email showed the same- Teleskop Express informed me they would be getting units next month.
  17. Some new news on their website now. Looks like its electrical interface has developed. I'm guessing if you can control a modem or printer via a HTTP webpage, there is no reason why you couldn't do the same with a mount to align it and point it in the right direction. Full robotic control (via ASCOM say) would be the icing on the cake.
  18. Is there any news on availability? The website is unchanged for several months now and it feels like the days of the Sinclair QL
  19. thanks - like everyone else I started with a NEQ6 - I'm assuming the belt-driven ones have less backlash?
  20. This is not a newbie question but a genuine one, trying to find a sensible mount recommendation around £1000 for imaging. I already have an Avalon Linear and Paramount but I'm not up to date with the less expensive models. I'm trying to put a system together for a strict budget and which is going to be usable. I bought a GEM last year, which will remain nameless, which had a PE of 80" pk-pk. A replacement worm increased that to 110 and a replacement mount was worse still. It went back. I really don't want another horror story. I did consider Fornax and Astrotrac but once you add all the b
  21. buzz

    Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)

    amazing image - the LP around me effectively masks the fainter details, even after 25 hours of exposure.
  22. There is a Tak 130 on ebay over this week for a remarkable price. I was initially interested but the advert keeps on being taken down after a few days and put up again with a different buyer name with a different buyer history. Proceed with caution.
  23. I agree with the last post. I share the frustration with UK weather and LP and am finding myself resorting to narrowband imaging more and more. I did a talk at a local junior school on astronomy. One lad asked me why do I do it (astrophotography). I thought for a moment and replied 'because it is difficult'.
  24. I need to update this. Worse - iOptron iEQ30 pro for lightweight imaging - had three before throwing in the towel, PEs of 65, 80 and 110" pk-pk and refused to guide and do PEC at the same time. Also went haywire with low level RFI and had to use with DC dew heaters rather than PWM. Real shame.
  25. The tripod has sold. thanks for the interest
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