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  • Location
    Cannock (Staffordshire, UK)
  1. I was just looking for collimation advice on google (the scope has been through 2 house moves since it was last used) and the first result was my old post from 6 years ago. I saw the request for a review now I've had it some time, although the request is old if anyone else searches for this scope they also may stumble here. I only use it a few times a year at most, my old house had a north facing garden and so wasn't the best and the size of it makes travel to a dark sky site a bit off putting. My new house however has a south facing garden and is darker as well . So while my knowledge of the night sky is better than it used to be, I still consider myself a bit of a novice astronomer. I'm still using the eyepieces that came with as well as a barlow I picked up at a later date. Setup - Put the scope outside for an hour or two so it cools to ambient temperatures then use the 2 start alignment. Tracking - As long as the base is level and 2 star alignment has been done tracking has been pretty reliable. Of the supplied eyepieces the 25mm is good, the 10mm is average. I really should sort out a replacement for the 10mm it's on my to buy list now I'm getting back. I love the view of orion's nebula through the 25mm eyepiece. As I live in a town I spend most of my time looking at the moon, planets, star clusters and binary stars. The scope copes with it all well. I can get ok views of some of the brighter nebula's and things like the andromeda galaxy. The spotting scope that comes with it isn't great, I quickly upgraded to a red dot finder from first light optics. The power lead supplied with the skywatcher power tank was loose and kept causing the scope to lose power require re-alignment, I replaced it with one from first optics that was longer and frankly much better quality. I have just (today) updated the synscan handset to the latest firmware having been using the one supplied in 2011 until now. It worked perfectly first time from a windows 10 machine. Travelling with the scope, I haven't moved the scope in my new car but the base used to fit in the boot of a mk5 astra sport without putting the back seats down (take the parcel shelf out) and the scope itself safely strapped into the passenger seat with a couple of extra elastic cords. Collimation stayed pretty good on short journeys. The scope is still working well, touch wood I've only had one problem with was the scope slipping, a quick chat with first light optics where I got the scope from and all I had to do was tighten a single nut. Finally I see I asked about astrophotography and it's fair to say you probably won't do all that well on nebula's (I haven't tried) but I've had some success with a modified webcam on the planets. To use a webcam with the flextube don't expand the scope all the way up, from memory leave it down about an inch and you'll be able to get a focus. These were taken some years ago and Saturn was done from a dark sky site. I'm sure with more practice I could get even better results. The moon taken afocally with an iphone (I can't remember if it was a 3 or 4) Jupiter Saturn - Webcam Mars - Webcam
  2. Probably satellites, I didn't realise till I took up astronomy quite how many were visible.
  3. I only recently learnt that focusing using a star was quicker and easier than focusing on a planet, this tip is superb stops all the messing about. Thank you.
  4. Yeah the bit that goes into the mount, fair enough if it's the one that came with it should be fine, might well be dodgy.
  5. Doesn't really matter with a dob unless it's a goto or auto tracking one.
  6. I did something similar, but I used the feet you put on the bottom of kitchen units. Mine has to go on grass normally so I needed to do something, it also raises the height of it making viewing things more comfortable.
  7. I got caught out on a night with patches of cloud, was ok for viewing and the clouds looked harmless, then as one had nearly passed over some rain came from it, quickly put the scope horizontal to stop drops getting on the primary, got the caps on and took it inside.
  8. tom I haven't used a slr on my flextube, but I have done some webcam imaging on the planets, there isn't enough inward travel to focus. However with the flextube there is a lovely way to very quickly fix the issue and you don't have to be technical or have an engineering degree to do it. Essentially the primary mirror needs to be closer to the secondary to achieve focus, now in some scopes people physically move the primary mirror by various methods I've read about some taking the drastic measure of cutting bits out to shorten scope length. With the flextube just don't extend it all the way, I leave about 1 to 2 inches from full extension and can then focus.
  9. Absolutely fine, I've had mine in and out of the house loads without collimating it and it's been fine. As I said even 4 trips of over 2 miles haven't really knocked it that much. Tweaking the primary is a couple of minutes at most. It's the secondary that takes the time and that only needs doing on rare occaisions.
  10. I've done it twice since I had it in December, did the secondary the first time and haven't touched it since, though it does need a small adjustment. The primary is what moves the most and that was still pretty good even after several trips to remote locations. It's very easy to become obsessed with collimating. It has to be pretty bad before you start to notice a problem.
  11. Dobsonian isn't suitable for astrophotgraphy other than the moon and planets. Whatever you get will need to be on a eq mount.
  12. For the smaller pieces I found sharp scissors easier than a stanley knife, didn't try a serrated knife though.
  13. No problem. They come with a couple of the silica gel packs will just keep them in. Just having a look through the thread you linked to Keith, I think that's were someone mentioned these cases were quite often discounted.
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