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Everything posted by Tiago

  1. Hi everyone, I'm not sure this is the right location for this post - if not, please move accordingly. A friend of mine has a Meade 4.5" newtonian (900 mm) on an EQ mount that suffered a small accident. Somehow, the optical tube had a rendezvous with the ground following a sudden acquaintance with Newton's Law of universal gravitation, which resulted in a broken limb in the secondary mirror spider vane. I fixed it the best I could, but it is still meh: works, somewhat stable, but it's a temporary fix at best, and won't hold for continued use. Does any of you fine gentlemen and ladies know where one can find such a replacement spider vane for that telescope? Replacing the whole thing is out of the question due to sentimental value. Thank you, - Tiago
  2. I think a reflector would such as the SW200 would complement the visual aspect nicely. However, you'll want another mount for it later on, when the ED80 is taking up the NEQ6. An alternative would be a mid-sized catadrioptic - you'd be able to toss one of those on a good alt-az mount to have fun with while the ED80 is imaging, and it would be a super compact setup.
  3. I've just sprung out on a couple of those BSTs, based on their high value for money and good reviews. I'd also advise you to take a look at your Barlow to see if it is performing adequately. My SW Barlow was pretty unremarkable - I've read that tightening up the lens element may help, if it is a bit loose. I ended up tossing the lens on mine and now use it as an extender for the webcam. I bought a used Celestron Omni and after giving it a good cleanup and check, it is performing very very well. Not bad for a £25 investment.
  4. Wohoo, 2 BST ED EPs on the way!!!

  5. Amazing. Makes you wonder what else is up there that you can't regularly see .
  6. Well, I only got 10 minutes worth of observing last night before clouds rolled in fast (7timer botched the prediction). However, int between the clouds the atmosphere was pretty stable. The moon was way up there, so no DSOs for me - I went straight to Jupiter. Very nicely defined equatorial belts, and the GRS too. By the time I was getting ready to image it, clouds rolled in (I was so absorbed I noticed the clouds screwing up the imaging first on the laptop rather than their presence in the sky, duh!)
  7. Misaki, try using Registax for stacking the videos from your captures - it will bring out detail you didn't even notice it was there - see this for an example, if slightly overprocessed. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/176237-really-low-budget-imaging-what-you-can-do-with-50-of-equipment/#entry1812343
  8. My spare change piggy bank has been whispering "get a new EP"...

  9. Well, the limiting factor for imaging is not the optics so much as the mount. Even though you can do *some* imaging on an alt-az mount, it's not in the same league as a proper setup, which requires a heavy, accurate EQ mount, plus autoguiding - this kind of mount and autoguider alone exceeds your total budget, and you'd still have the camera and optics to consider. DSO imaging requires specialized cameras or a DSLR. Apart from very bright DSOs and using a lot of image stacking / de-rotating by software, you'll need an EQ mount as above. However, do not let that discourage you - I've seen some lovely photos taken with affordable Alt-Az refractors (such as the Nexstar 102, which I considered buying) - they just require a lot more pictures, with shorter exposures. For moon imaging, pretty much any kind of mount, telescope and a DSLR will do, as exposures are quite short, so no tracking is needed. For planetary imaging, a specialized CCD as you mentioned is a possibility, or you can mod a £5 webcam and get some fairly decent results - see the imaging subforum for images people get with those. These will also do for moon imaging, but the resolution is far below a DSLR for that. Sorry if this is a bit more confusing than enlightening,,,
  10. Actually, you can buy them together. Just ask the guys to junk the prims and toss in a star diagonal, they'll do it for free. http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p3944_Skywatcher-Startravel-120-auf-AZ4---Gro-feldrefraktor-120-600mm.html The AZ4 mount copes very well with a ST120, no issues at all. Mine is the aluminum legged version and it's quite fine. The only things the ST120 will win on the 200 Dob is taking less space for carrying around on trips, and those wide field views. It will also cool down faster, which may or may not be a factor (it is for me).
  11. Well, regarding brands: be aware that many different brands have their telescopes made in the same factory, probably down to the same exact specification for the Optical tubes. Synta makes Skywatcher, Orion, and probably quite a few more. The difference will lie in the aesthetics and the support chain, apart from the price. As for refractors=planets, refletctors=DSOs, I learned that same mantra, then unlearned it after digging a bit deeper. Most DSO astrophotography is done on small refractors, so the best way to put it is = they're all good for a bit of everything, some are just more specialized than others. I have a 120 mm fast focal ration refractor on an alt-az mount. For its money, I could have bough a 10" dobsonian mounted, newtonian reflector. Mine weights about 6-7 kg, all included. The Dob would be far heavier. Best all rounder for visual observing is, without a shred of doubt, an 8" newtonian reflector on a dob mount. It's also the best value for money. Of course, if that's not what you are into, there are many other choices. I made mine... Collimation isn't that hard to do, you just need basic tools and a bit of time to do it.
  12. I'm all for ingenuity. One €1,99, 9 led small camping flashlight, and one €0,30 red celophane sheet (the rest will serve as a redscreen later), folded in 4 to dim down the LED brightness and taped with electrical tape. Not pretty, but very functional.
  13. I know, and I almost pulled the trigger on a 2nd hand, 10" dob. Then practicality entered into account, and the kind of terrain/garden/house I have, plus two over enthusiastic dogs, multiplied by my own innate clumsiness would probably not yeld a great result. I may still get one one day, who knows.
  14. Thanks Moonshane - I'm not that big on planetary, as I bought this scope for other purposes, but it would be nice to be able to see them decently. But money is better spent enhancing the strong points on this one, and probably wide FOV EPs and filters are better choices. Also, thanks for the tip on the focuser, I'll take a look (it is indeed a R&P). As for cooling down, it does take a few minutes to stabilize, then it is pretty good. The mount is awesome, very very easy to use, and decent enough for webcam at moderate powers (mostly because the objects move out of the FOV really fast). It might be stuck from being new, or stuck from being lubricated with mud, who knows... :/
  15. Thanks for the input. The 10mm is decent on it's own, but when barlowed it is pretty bad - it might be the EP or the Barlow, or both, who knows. Anyway, I'd rather spend €100 on an eyepiece I'll be keeping than on a polished [removed word], and hence the asking for advice.
  16. So, finally I had first light on my new Orion 120mm f/5 refractor. Astroshop dropped the ball epically on this one, sending me the telescope without star diagonal, eyepieces ad RDF. Even after promising me they'd send the parts the next day, it took them three days and a few phonecalls to ship them and then a further 5 for the parts to arrive to me. Despite getting two used eyepieces instead of new ones (some fringing on the rubber cups, and fingerprints everywhere), the quality is ok for the 10mm (to be expected) and actually pretty good for the 25mm, so I'm happy to have the scope together, to have confirmed the OTAs optic quality and to be done with them and their business. Anyway, a couple of hours outside with the little beast mounted on the AZ4 brought me some nice views of M81, M82, M51, M42, M45, NGC 884 & NGC 869, M103, M34 and M41, plus a couple of meteors while looking at them. The Pleiades and the Double Cluster were awesome sights, just what this scope is all about, and M42 showed some detail in averted vision, not just a large, fuzzy blob. If only it had arrived last week, I'd have pitch black skies - yesterday I had to deal with background light and some light pollution, but the good old Milky Way could still be seen with the naked eye, albeit just barely. The AZ4 is rock solid, even with the aluminum legs extended, and the scope balances nicely on it. So, to the issues I'm asking for advice on: Focuser: The 2" focuser is so stiff it seems to be suffering from a permanent case of rigor mortis. It's so stiff that while focusing, it gets objects away from the FOV at high magnifications. Webcam imaging was impossible in this condition. I assume it will become better with use, but will I see a decent enough improvement by removing that gunk they lubricate it with and replace it with a proper lubricant? The AZ4 Mount: Same thing, really. It's a bit to stiff to start moving, particularly in azimuth (it's not the tension, even when loose it offers some initial resistance), so that makes things a bit harder when trying to image with the webcam and a 2x Barlow. Again, I assume it will become better with use, as I really don't want to pry it open. The Barlow: Well, I now have two of those - a Celestron Omni I already had, and a Skywatcher 2x. Don't see much difference in them, and they do seem to lose a fair of detail when blowing up the image. Is it worth going for a good 3x Barlow and a better 10mm-ish EP to make my life easier with planets? I can see Saturn fine (a bit small at 120x but fine) however Jupiter is just too damn bright to see any detail on it - just a large, focused white blob of light with the moons going around it, also focused. Again, advice is appreciated in order to improve the experience. Also, the CA, while present, is nowhere near as bad as I was told it would be - it's noticeable on brighter stars (especially those whitish/blueish in color) such as Sirius and Rigel, apparently absent from Betelgeuse and Aldebaran, very slight on Saturn, and noticeably present but not intrusive on Jupiter at 120x. Stopping down the scope gets rid of it, but then again, it becomes a larger, heavier and more expensive 50-60 mm refractor, which kind of defeats its purpose. All in all - pretty satisfied, would really love to get rid of these minor annoyances - please chime in and share the wisdom
  17. I'll second the suggestion a 120mm f/5 refractor, owning one myself - brilliant widefield images of DSOs, decent but not great for planetary visual observing. Looking at open clusters through one of these is just awesome. And don't let the Chromatic Aberration freak you out - I found out it was way less intrusive that I was led to believe - it's perfectly fine for visual, at least for me.
  18. I have an ST120 (Orion brand, made by Synta, just like Skywatcher) on an aluminum-legged AZ4 - brilliant scope, absolutely brilliant. Mine has far less CA than I thought, and gives wonderful views of DSOs. Looking at clusters with it is just amazing. The only complaint I have is a very stiff focuser, but that will be sorted in due time. Also, took me about 30 seconds to get it out the door, extend the legs and to point it at a bright star for focusing. It's ready to observe almost immediately. - Tiago
  19. Just had first light on my Orion f/5 120mm scope. Despite some light pollution and skies nowhere near as dark as last week (thay you, friendly astronomy dealer, for screwing up putting my order together and delaying first light for 8 days), I had a 2 hour long blast before I decided it was best not to endure mild hypothermia on the first night out with the new scope. Awesome sights on a lot of objects
  20. First Light on the ST120, with the Milky way visible with eyeballs alone. Cold, but feeling all warm and fuzzy inside :)

  21. Finally have the NEW, missing diagonal and EP, and they are all smudged with fingerprints...

  22. Very [removed word] with delayed delivery of missing goods

    1. tingting44


      is it tracked?

      whats gone missing buddy? :(

  23. Mine has aluminum legs. Oddly enough, if I get another OTA it will likely be a Mak for planetary use - since I'm not thinking of dabbling with DSO AP, It would take turns on the AZ4 with the 120ST.
  24. And on the day I opened the box, clouds poured out, along with 55+ mph winds (really). All gone now, as the foul weather spirits must have noticed that without the missing finder, star diagonal or eyepieces I just have an expensive aluminum tube mounted on a tripod, and so must be lying in wait for the missing parts to arrive.
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