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Patrice Lanteigne

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Everything posted by Patrice Lanteigne

  1. My SW 80mm came with a system to bolt directly to the mount as in the attached photo. I attached a vixen clamp to the scope which mounts onto the vixen dovetail on top of the SCT. The clamp is a short ADM style removed from a Duo-T mount upgraded to dual ADM DV clamps.
  2. Better introduce your missus to all your other toys just so she knows what not to throw away.
  3. As shown in the photo, mounted on an 8" SCT, the length is 440 mm from the end of the diagonal to the end of the dew shield. The outside diameter of the dew shield is 100 mm.
  4. The spreader does stiffen the setup. They can be bought on line or a DIY done easy enough. Somewhat circular piece of plywood with a hole in the middle and some notches cut out to line up with the legs.
  5. I got this one, works fine, the price is right and the quality is good. https://www.astronomics.com/astro-tech-24mm-illuminated-centering-eyepiece_p18407.aspx
  6. You didn't say what size scope you are wanting the dew shield for. I had a 6" SCT and used some black craft foam and velcro from a big box store, at a length of twice the diameter it worked very well. However I tried the same approach for an 8" SCT and at a length of twice the diameter it was just a bit too floppy and would collapse so I had to make one of stiffer but still light weight material. I used 3/16 inch plywood.
  7. When i had a 6SE I observed with it down to -20C without any problems. Just don't trust AA batteries to work that well in the cold, better get an external 12 volt car booster type battery for it.
  8. Celestron 6SE: light weight, compact, very easy set up and align, easy goto, great optics, can be interfaced with Sky Safari via either the SkyWire or SkyFi. Get a 10mm EP to supplement the 25mm it comes with. Add a foam diy dew shield and an inexpensive 12 volt external battery. Good for planets, the moon, the sun with appropriate filter, doubles, clusters, and some nebulae. This is one of the best sub $1000 visual goto scope and mount buy there is. My daughter got hooked on astronomy when she was 6 years old with this scope and mount. Within four or five sessions she was aligning and observing all by herself. I still had to carry it out and stuff but she knew what had to be done.
  9. Explore Scientific sell an add on absolute encoder type device which they call the "Telescope Drive Master" for the right ascension axis of some popular mounts such as the EQ6. The graph on their website shows tracking errors in the sub second range for an EQ6, a result normally only available in mounts costing several times the price of an EQ6.
  10. My 200mm SW reflector came with one of those as well as one for the smaller eyepieces. It's a nice feature since I can reach focus with my DSLR when I remove this spacer and attach the camera directly to the focus tube with the correct camera adapter.
  11. I second the EQ6 suggestion. Nice mount for the money with a good history and tons of online support. Lots of payload to handle imaging gear and can easily be auto-guided either by itself or through some good free computer based applications. It might not be the most refined looking piece of kit but it does work. IMHO the next best buy is the EQ8.
  12. You can usually save a bit of money if you don't go for the latest doodads. The Skywatcher Synscan handset alignment routines might not be the latest and greatest but they are real easy to use and are often updated.
  13. Now those are really high tech! Couple of wraps of electrical tape.
  14. Here is a dew shield for my SCT cobbled from a leftover piece of veneered 3/16 ply. Flocked inside and exterior will get a coat or two of spar varnish. Has the required DIY attributes of being functional and inexpensive.
  15. Nothing staves off aperture fever other than lack of funds. That disease is easily caught simply by looking into any scope of larger aperture than the one you own, then you are doomed. Stay away from star parties at dark sites! PS: enjoy your 8SE, it's a nice scope.
  16. I have the Duo-T (Canadian Telescope - same as SkyTee II) and it does just fine holding my heavy AR152 and accessories. I replaced the saddle with an ADM DV saddle. Skywatcher weights fit when the plastic bushings are removed.
  17. +1 on the ADM wide saddle and wide dovetail. Next you could change the rings to Parallax rings which have a wider foot to attach to the dovetail. Then you could stiffen the tripod, Telescope Performance Improvements make a lower tripod spreader for that mount's tripod. Further improvements can be made by changing the tripod itself to a beefier one. Start with the saddle/dovetail upgrade and go from there. Depending on where you observe you could build a windbreak against the predominant winds.
  18. Hi folks, I now have this replacement for the defunct SE6, a Meade 8" SCT ACF optical tube. This was acquired thanks to Stacy, a CN member. I picked up the scope from the post office late Monday afternoon. The box was a bit beat up but thanks to good packaging all was well inside. Lots of bubble pack kept things in good order. The scope is in pristine condition, there are no scratches or smudges to be found anywhere on it. If the previous owner ever used this telescope it does not show it. On Tuesday I found some means of mounting it on an EQ6 using a vixen dovetail and inexpensive rings from an 8" newtonian and had a 'first light' with it last night. I made a dew shield from black craft foam from WalMart. First off, the scope is perfectly collimated, again thanks to the previous owner. Second, the cheap rings and small dovetail are not the best mounting choice, this is a somewhat heavier instrument than my 6SE and so I ordered an ADM wide dovetail for the bottom and an ADM narrow one for the top. I did this as soon as getting back inside on Tuesday night. Tuesday was unseasonably warm here with high winds, thus the atmosphere was somewhat 'muddy' and unsettled but that didn't stop me from getting the scope out along with my box of eyepieces. I did not have any specific observing goals other than to see what sort of horse I had bought. I first looked at whatever galaxy might be visible - very nice thank you. I then looked at some open clusters - this was a treat. The view was very bright and well resolved despite the slight atmospheric haze. I then went for some of my favourite targets, globulars - now I know why I wanted a bigger SCT. These were more resolved than anytime through my AR152. Next up were a tour around looking at doubles - here is where things went south a bit. Difficult splits were not any easier than in the refractor, but to be fair the seeing was not the greatest, a lot of flickering in and out of focus. I'll try these again when seeing is better. The moon did not rise before I called it a night so I can't comment on contrast and crater detail at higher magnifications. I put a 2" SCT diagonal on the back of the scope and had a go with all my eyepieces. ES68-34, ES68-28, ES82-18, 9 Nagler, 5 Radian and Hyperion MK IV 8-24 zoom. The scope produced pin point stars to the very edge of the field of view of my eyepieces. I tried Saturn with the Nagler and the Radian but the seeing was not up to the magnification those eyepieces provided. That's for another time. I tried the scope with the zoom, nothing adverse happening there but I preferred the wider and brighter views through the primes. The increased aperture enabled finer resolution and deeper views than with the 6SE and the AR152. My favourites for the night were the ES68-28 and the ES82-18. I think I'll be looking to get a 13 or 14 mm eyepiece sometime just to get a bit more out of the scope. There is a very slight bit of image shift when focussing but nothing to worry about, otherwise focusing is smooth and predictable. This OTA does not have a mirror lock option. I wanted a CAT a little bigger than my 6SE for planetary, lunar and globulars. I think I'm going to be happy with this one. It's not so big as to be a problem lifting it and mounting it and my EQ6 is quite happy with it on board. The fit and finish is first class and it's a 'pretty' thing (my wife's comment). This might just be the instrument that will push me towards a set of binoviewers! Next opportunity I'll put it on a Duo-T paired with a short tube 80 just for giggles. Finally, thanks to Stacy at CN for letting me to acquire this very nice telescope!
  19. If all your missing is the top plastic part of the 'bolt' then you could try and remove the remainder of the plastic and epoxy on a piece of wood.
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