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About CanesVenatici

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  1. Sorry, for my needs the AZ baby is fine without an extension bar. I am sure that the astroshop could tell you.
  2. I recently bought one of these mounts and it is very nicely made. It is basically a 2" / 50 mm Teflon disc mount, about the same size as the TS AZT6 but with an easily accessible, top-mounted azimuth knob. It uses plain bearings and apart from some internal washes is made entirely out of machined aluminium alloy. I guess some would like to see roller bearings or some such, but there is no room for slop anywhere in the AZ baby's design and everything fits together very snugly. This mount has actually been around for over 10 years, and is machined by the Liu Xiaoyi brothers in China, who used to sell it direct as the Astroslew AIM. (They also did a version in stainless steel, plus a much larger version.) Now the astroshop seem to be their main distributor, who sell it with a generic but well-made Vixen-compatible dual clamp. (TS sell the clamp as their XL Premium Dovetail for 65€). XL is about right, as it is rather oversized, being rated for 20kg against the much smaller mount head, rated for 4kg. If it matters, the clamp is now silver anodised, rather than the black shown in astroshop's photo, but the mount is still anodised black. Only Issue I had was that the two M8 mounting bolts for the rail clamp sat a little proud of the surface of the clamp, so I replaced them with 2 M8 stainless bolts that I had filed down couple of mm. I have found the mount to be very smooth in use, and I have it fitted to a Manfrotto 190X tripod, which lacks the option to set the extension at 90 degrees but is more rigid as a result. It only carries a Tecnosky AC 62/520 (the same scope as the Orion Starblast, Vixen A62SS and Baader Scopos 62 - essentially a Long Perng S520M) but it settles down within a second or so, unless the central extension on the tripod is raised too high.) It would have liked to test the AZ baby alongside the TS AZT6, which is a bit cheaper, but had to choose one so went for the more 'engineered' look of the AZ baby. If you want some more reviews of this mount do a search for the Astroslew AIM.
  3. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/nov/28/comet-ison-sun
  4. Must admit that as a one-time 'WIS' (Watch idiot savant) that made me smile, especially the bit about lasting a lifetime. A mechanical watch migh have the potential to last a lifetime, but it will need regular and expensive servicing. Although all the Swiss manufacturers play much the same game, Rolex are one of the worst for fleecing thier customers once they have bought a watch from them. Rolex have introduced many restrictive trading practices, including refusing to sell spare parts to anyone who is not a part of their own network, and a basic service will cost £500 upwards and be needed every 3-4 years if the watch is to keep anything like good time. For a watch with a chronometer function the cost could be almost double this! Tales also abound of Rolex refusing to work on a watch that has been worked on outside their network, or demaning that every part they they deem was non-original be replaced. In one case I saw Rolex refused to repair a watch unless the customer agreed to them replacing the after-market strap with a Rolex bracelet, as had originally been fitted to the watch, at a cost of around £1000! The Swiss watch industry is fascinating, a real triumph of marketing over sustance! Anyone intrigued by the novelty of a clockwork mechanism would be better served by buying something like a 'Made in Japan' Seiko '5' at a cost of around £70!
  5. Thanks for that Mcavity, now that I know the issue I have noted goes by the name of 'cone error' findng further information will be much easier.
  6. Just a quick update. Before going out tonight I rotated the puck 90 degrees from its factory position so that I could see through the polar scope when the scope was in the home position. True enough, Polaris was just out of my field of view in the scope itself, but easilly spotted through the finder, which I used to do a quick set up of the mount. After this I rotated the mount to the correct time and date position to do the final adjustment via the polar scope and found that it was already just outside its circle. For me this was much easier than trying to locate Polaris from the off via the polar scope.
  7. Thanks for that. So, I was overlooking something! The maximum field of view through my scope is under 1.5 degrees. Next time I will take a look at exactly where Polaris is in my finder, allowing for the needed offset from the pole. Thanks again!
  8. Hi there, I'm just getting back into astronomy after a break, and of course this means getting back up to speed with my polar alignment routine. Whilst doing this the other evening it struck me that it would be great if the finder and scope were perfectly in line with the polar scope, so I could do the basic altitude and azimuth adjustment of the mount via the finder and scope, then only minor adjustments of the mount would be needed to get Polaris spot on in the polar scope. Perhaps things are supposed to be this way, but they aren't with my HEQ5. (The polar scope is correctly aligned with the mount itself). If I could so this I would be able to avoid the problem of finding Polaris via the polar scope, which I often find quite tricky. I can see that it would be relatively easy to calibrate the declination axis to the polar scope by locating a target in the centre of the polar scope, turning the declination axis until this was in line with the target and then setting the scale or marking the mount with a fine line, so creating a 'home' position that was exactly aligned with the polar scope. Problem comes with aligning the saddle to the right ascension axis, as the only way I can see to adjust the 'tilt' of the scope relative to the mount is to shim and /or file the saddle a little. Has anyone done this? I have a feeling that there is some built in error with my set up somwhere as I have just installed the go-to upgrade and, although it does align correctly, it always needs a lot of adjustment, especially for the first alignment star. I am assuming that this is because the software assumes that the scope will be pointing to exactly the same location as the polar scope. Does anyone else have their scope set up this way or am I overlooking something? Thanks for any help or comments!
  9. P.s. I just had a quick look for the post where FLO explained why they don't carry some lines. Before I found it I came across a couple of threads explaining that they no longer offer discounts. I guess that scuppers my theory as to why they don't carry Televue products.
  10. As we all know, retail price maintenance is illegal, and yet is still common, with retailers who sell at ‘discount’ prices finding that manufacturers will no longer supply them. I also recall reading a thread where FLO said that they don't carry some lines as they refused to agree to the pricing terms that the manufacturers / importers were demanding. Putting two and two together, we might have the answer as to why Televue have felt that they can get away with hiking their prices so much, and also as to why sellers like FLO don't sell Televue products.
  11. Hi there, good to see that FLO is always on the look-out for new lines. I can confirm that the true adjustment on these seats is 39-89 cm, once you have unscrewed the two small plastic stops, one on each leg. I would recommend lightly dressing the holes where the screws hold the stops in place with a small round file to remove any burrs as the sliders are a tight sliding fit on the legs. Oh, and the chair is marked as having a maximum working load of 110kg. I'm still impressed with mine.
  12. Nice review, but I would still that that the following is a far better option. What's more it costs only a few quid more for something that is primarily designed for use in industry and was made in Germany, rather than being knocked up in China, probably for a couple of quid! http://stargazerslounge.com/astro-lounge/159674-observing-chairs-another-option.html
  13. To me a 'counterfeit' is something made in a different factory to the original, but which claims to be identical in all ways to the original, including place of manufacture, and is sold as such. In such terms the TMB 'clones' are hardly counterfeits. Having read some of the discussions relating to the manufacture of 'TMB' eyepieces, it seems that the term 'Genuine TMB' is, like 'Plossl' or 'Newtonian', effectively little more than a designation of the design, not a guarantee of quality or place of manufacture. Some have argued that the factory that first made these for Thomas Back did so under the understanding that they could also independently market eyepieces of that design in order to defray the tooling costs and so forth. It has also been argued that Thomas Back was quite happy to see eyepieces produced by others as a 'TMB' design, just as one sees 'Plossl' used. I can also see how the estate of Thomas Back would like to reclaim 'ownership' of the 'TMB' label / design. Perhaps more important from a user point of view, and as one of the other threads linked to on here has noted, there appears to be no discernable difference in quality between those eyepieces currently sold via the marketing company TMB Optical, and the 'clones'. In fact, the only eyepieces that have been reported as being shoddy were some of the 'genuine' versions, such as the 6mm. I also fail to see why a 'TMB' that is not marketed via TMB Optical should be necessarily inferior, especially given that they are probably made side by side on the same production lines. In my experience even cheap generic Plossl eyepieces cannot be dismissed as having 'zero QC and bare minimum production standards'. By the way, I have an 8mm TMB 'clone' and it is a perfectly good eyepiece, well worth the price paid. I have also bought some other stuff from Alan as 'Skys the limit' and would have no doubts about buying another of these eyepieces from him.
  14. I would be tempted to say that the proof of the pudding is in the seeing. So I would take a peek though it first to see if you think it is worth what you paid for it, and keep it if you think it is.
  15. Well, that and following the two golden rules of the American business model: screw down your costs wherever possible and charge not a dime less than the market will bear!
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