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Everything posted by jonathan

  1. If you're still struggling then perhaps a photo of the setup will help us determine if something is amiss. Seeing white usually means the telescope is pointing at a white wall (if indoors, which is not the most ideal place to observe from).
  2. Ah, that old chestnut, I think we've all been there. A decent red dot finder can help, I think, as you'll be able to get to the general area much easier than with a magnified finder, and if everything is properly aligned (finders) then it should already be in the magnified finder somewhere. There are some finders that use sticky pads to attach to the scope, usually the adjustments are then made from the finder's own mounting platform for precise alignment. While I think a Telrad might be somewhat large for a 4" Mak, there may be other options or a DIY solution to add a red dot finder.
  3. Keeping in mind that this is a small budget refractor, we don't want to get carried away buying exotic carbon bodied accessories so I'd probably start by looking at the following: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/diagonals/astro-essentials-90-erecting-prism-diagonal.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/tripods/horizon-8115-2-way-heavy-duty-tripod.html I'm aware that these two items together cost about the same as the scope itself, but any telescope lives or dies by how steady the mount is so this part at least shouldn't be overlooked. Other photo tripods would undoubtedly be a
  4. I think a 100 aperture refractor is only going to be slightly shorter than your current 90, and if you're spending a few hundred then you'll want to keep it in a sturdy case for transport. Once you factor in a case, the tripod / mount, and accessories etc you might find that you need to have four or so sturdy cases. When I take my 102 refractor out to a hillside I take my eyepiece case, my mount accessories case (hand controller, additional counterweight, etc), my battery case, the telescope case, and finally the mount & tripod on the back seat (they just fit and don't need to be separat
  5. I have this exact same scope and I have to disagree a little with some of the comments here, for what it is it's a very capable small refractor, on a good clear night you'll get sharp crisp views of plenty of objects in the night sky. Think of it as a large mounted monocular, or one half of a large binocular pair (it's probably slightly better than my 15x70 binoculars). A few things could improve the views and usefulness of the scope - first is the tripod. Mine was supplied with what is probably the flimsiest tripod I've ever used, so invest in or use a heavier duty camera tripod, prefe
  6. You should find out the weight of your telescope with your usual attachments and an eyepiece fitted (you can weight them separately and add the weights up for safety if you like), then look for a mount with a carrying capacity that is something like 1.5x the weight of your telescope setup. This should provide good stability and minimise vibration. EQ mounts can be motorised in a few different ways - the most basic is RA tracking, with a manual slow motion control knob for the DEC axis. This will allow the mount to track the movement of the stars as they race across the sky with only min
  7. I'd be very surprised if they were usable in an 8SE.
  8. I have only ever used the Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24 Zoom (in terms of zoom eyepieces), my experience of it with the 8SE has been superb, a very good match it would seem, even at the 8mm end (I often can't get any useful views from regular eyepieces less than 14mm with my 8SE). It would probably work well in the 4SE too however I've never tried that (as I don't have a 4SE). This eyepiece also works very well in my Lunt LS60 solar scope. Baader make very good products on the whole, can't think that I've ever heard of a bad product with their name on it. If using the 4SE/8SE on the
  9. My old Celestron Plossl 25mm is the first eyepiece I use in each session, so your choice of 24mm should serve you well; whether it needs to be Explore Scientific (ES?) is probably just down to personal choice. I have the 82 degrees 14mm Explore Scientific which works very well as a mid-range eyepiece. Baader are a reputable brand, however the T2 looks geared towards attaching a camera - is this your intended purpose? I use the William Optics 2" diagonal but you may not need the 2" aperture with a 4" Mak (I use the same diagonal with a couple of my scopes). I would have thought a more s
  10. +1 for what Stu said. I recently read something that may well apply here - do something badly, and you might just be pleasantly surprised at the results. So in this sense it could mean get something more manageable, get a basic setup going and get to grips with how it all works. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve with even just a standard camera zoom lens on a tracking mount. There's plenty to learn even before you start getting into guide scopes and all of that, just setting up a standard tracking mount for polar alignment is a learning experience (one that I
  11. On the refractor side, it depends on how much you want to spend. You could get a shorter OTA such as one of the Skywatcher StarTravel range, however I think on the brighter planets and moon you'll get some colour fringing, you have to go towards the doublet or triplet to get away from that sort of artifacting. Another option are the offerings from AltairAstro, certainly this 70ED looks very handy for travel purposes; I have the 102 triplet refractor and I can say it's a very nice piece of equipment, a noticeable step up in quality and performance over equivalent packages from Celestron or Sk
  12. I certainly agree with the Dob concept as getting the most 'bang for your buck' from a reflector. Skywatcher tend to be the main brand who make a lot of the popular Dobsonian setups, there are two designs in general - Skywatcher's FlexTube, which is basically a collapsible tube that can save on space when not in use (not sure if there's much of a weight saving as the frame and fittings probably weight as much as what the tube would have) and what Skywatcher now call 'Classic' which is the straight tube. There are other brands that do decent Dobsonian mounted telescopes but Skywatcher is
  13. I discovered that a cheap mount can certainly cause annoyance for what otherwise would be a great experience, as for tightening I also found that if you over-tighten (because there just isn't enough friction due to cheap / poor design) then they tend to break. Given the current shortage of telescope equipment at the moment and the general cheapness of the mount, I would say you have an opportunity to improve it for yourself. If you're a cyclist then you may have heard of such a thing as 'carbon paste', it's a gritty paste that's designed to prevent carbon saddle stems from sticking i
  14. Once you get a mount sorted, consider a beginner's book such as Turn Left at Orion, with no Goto you'll need to learn how to star hop and know what there is to see, a few simple facts about the objects increase the enjoyment too. A Planisphere and red light torch are also good things to have.
  15. I use my 150P reflector on a CG4 EQ mount (with 1.75" steel tube tripod legs), works fine. A 130 OTA shouldn't tax an EQ3-2 mount at all IMO. EQ5 I feel is overkill, unless it comes down to the width of the fitted dovetail bar (probably could be replaced with one to fit an EQ3-2). Heck, even my 8" SCT fits the CG4 mount, it's seriously overloaded so I don't use it on there but the dovetail does fit. Makes me wonder what a 'CG5' dovetail actually is.
  16. CG5 would refer to a Celestron CG5 mount, however it's best if you measure the width of the mount 'bar' to give us a starting point. I have a CG4 mount and also an EQ5 so I can check what widths they will accommodate, I'm fairly certain the EQ5 / AZ5 should be fine, not 100% sure on the EQ3-2/CG4 without knowing more. The mount bar will be something like this (probably shorter). I would recommend looking at an EQ3-2 / CG4 (almost the same thing) or an Alt-Az such as the Sky-Watcher AZ5 Deluxe Alt-Azimuth, paying attention to the load capacity of the mount and tripod, both of these mount
  17. Seems to me a dob would be better for that kind of money, if you can stretch the budget a bit more. I have no experience with Bresser but I trust First Light Optics not to stock a turkey (even at Christmas).
  18. Hi, I'm collimating my Skywatcher 150p reflector and have got so far with aligning the secondary according to AstroBaby's guide, however I seem to be at a conflict with the positioning in the focuser tube. It looks to be aligned up/down the main tube, but not left/right (looking into the main tube from the open end) or up/down when looking down the focuser tube with a collimating cap on. i was told to align the secondary to the middle using the spider vane adjustments, but I can't see any other way to move the mirror than to adjust the spider vanes, which would result in the seconda
  19. Just throwing this one in here... if looking at the 4SE then consider the 6SE, it comes on the same mount as the 8SE (or at least it did when I bought my 8SE) so for the 6SE it's a reasonably steady mount, with the 8SE it's at the weight limit so not such a good mount for that. I have the 8SE and ended up selling the Goto mount it came with as I just couldn't get on with it, but I hear good things from 4SE and 6SE owners. 8SE realistically could sit on an EQ5, I have mine on an NEQ6 Pro but that is a heavy mount and not something you'd want to carry more than 20 feet or so at a time. Th
  20. I agree with Cosmic Geoff, right now and probably for the next few months a pair of binoculars will be an excellent choice to get you started, and you'll still use them if you buy a telescope later on. You could spend a long time trying to buy a scope, not find the ideal one for you, and by the time things come in stock it could be summer and light skies. Have a look at these Helios bins, I don't have experience of this particular pair but they tick the right boxes for astronomy. For a better pair with an apparently shorter restock time check these too.
  21. I don't have either, but have you looked at the circuit board inside? It might have small + and - next to the solder points for the battery.
  22. In lieu of a telescope once stock becomes available, how about a nice pair of astro-friendly binoculars, a planisphere, red light torch, and a guide book or two. There's a lot you can see with a simple and robust pair of binoculars such as these Helios 7x50 (which I hear is an excellent brand), mount them on a suitable camera tripod or monopod (perhaps with a ball head), sit back in a comfy recliner and enjoy the night sky! Some people mainly do binocular astronomy, it's a popular branch as it requires very little kit and almost no setup time.
  23. In case the views in any Lunt solar scope don't come near to showing surface detail or the bright patterns around a sunspot (I forget what it's called, spiculae?), the small blue glass filter (the one that can suffer from surface corrosion) is easily replaced. They are available to buy quite cheaply from Lunt's website and Lunt will send one free of charge if it's one of their own scopes that has this problem. It's a known problem with older blue glass filters, they are not a critical blocking filter. Corrosion will be easy to see on the blue glass if the diagonal is closely examined, what
  24. I had similar frustration with goto (made worse by power socket problems on the 8SE mount) and in the end threw the towel in, now Ra tracking is as sophisticated as it gets for me. I could probably use a goto if I wanted to, they're great if all setup and working, e.g. on a pier in a dome, it's getting to that point that I just found more difficult and time consuming than star hopping, especially as I have to carry the scope out to the garden each time and there's nowhere to put markings for the tripod feet. With the British weather being what it is, sometimes any delay can mean the differen
  25. I have the AstroZap tapes myself, but I found the controller not that great (one of the POTs actually failed, took quite a bit of effort to find a replacement part). I now use an HitechAstro four channel controller which has performed brilliantly. I have no experience of any other heater tapes but I bought a Lynx-Astro handset cable which was very good so would have no problem in buying that brand again from FLO.
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