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About rodhull

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  1. Hi Geoff, Difficult to answer with 100% confidence without having tried it! Certainly at long focal lengths/eyepieces there is a degree of wobble under high-mag which dampens down within a completely acceptable time for visual use. I could try with my Canon 1100D/T-ring on the ST80 on this mount and let you know - I suspect with this combo and a remote release it would be pretty stable for lunar only. When I'll get round to trying myself I really don't know though - I barely get any time for visual use nowadays let alone the extra effort for AP but I'll endeavour to have a go at some poin
  2. But there is a friction control, by way of the main ball-head adjust knob. You can tighten/loosen it to varying degrees and it will create friction accordingly. If you want it rock-right with zero movement, then tighten it all the way, if you want it flapping loose, loosen all the way, if you want a degree of friction but still allowing free movement, partially tighten it until the desired level is achieved. As long as you have the scope balanced correctly on the head by positioning the clamp at the right place along the rail, you can indeed have it partially tightened to allow free movement w
  3. Well, it's not really "slow motion" levels of control, but "nudging" and gentle pushing is fine! I find having one hand lightly on the lower extension rail of the scope near the front-most opening and the other towards the rear of the tube itself allows me to move it pretty smoothly - again, it's all about the balance! Once set you shouldn't have to unscrew/screw the tripod's tension control unless you dramatically alter the position of the scope or swap out radically different weighted eyepieces I wouldn't have thought. I put the ST80 straight onto the tripod head's quick-release p
  4. Movement is extremely fluid, yes - it takes a little experimentation with the tripod head's tension control and of course choosing where along the rail you clamp the scope to achieve the best balance with your chosen eyepieces/accessories is paramount. Once you have that down however, you can nudge it very easily in a similar way to when using the dob base (you have to experiment with balancing/tension on that too of course). What's lacking i suppose is the rock-solid low-centre-of-gravity stability of the mini-dob base. Expect slight vibrations at high mags, but honestly, they never get in th
  5. Many thanks for the Zomei recommendation. I bought the aluminium alloy version of the Z888 (I think the newer variant of the Z818) and succesfully mount both an ST80 and more importantly a Heritage 130P Flextube! I wrote about my experiences looking for a suitable mount and then the Z888/130P combo here!
  6. So, after a few weeks of trying different things I think I have a solution! I tried the Celestron tripod and whilst very stable for the Heritage 130P and my ST80, it is much too large for airline travel. I couldn't even get it in my suitcase even when fully folded! I'd recommend it as a good alt-az for a lightweight scope though if you're not bothered about size. It moves smoothly and has minimal vibration due to the heavy duty head and sturdy legs. Instead I started looking for something else and came back to photo tripods. I came across a recent question about a suitable photographic t
  7. Found another pic of the same mount/tripod used with an even heavier scope (~1Kg more than the 130P) - a C6: I notice that the legs only extend to bring the mount up to ~41" high which would mean a bit of crouching with the 130P depending on the angle but I don't see why it wouldn't work as a travel option if pushed for space (like when flying). I'd also like to look at standalone tripods with a separate head but I simply don't know where to start - any recommended combos (that won't break the bank!) - the mini giros seem to be super pricey (more than the scope itself without
  8. Thanks for the advice so far! How about the Celestron Astromaster Tripod? Here's a picture I found on another forum of a Bushnell Ares 5 (an equivalent of the 130p available in the US): It looks to be mounted directly via the dovetail bar (the tripod looks like it might have the right sized clamp already?) It's mounted on the opposite side to when it's on its mini-dob mount, hence the RDF is in a slightly odd position, but this could be a cheap solution. Has anyone used one of these cheap Celestron tripods?
  9. I want to take my 130P Flextube away on holiday (travelling by plane) - I can easily take the OTA in hand luggage but whilst the mini-dob base is lovely to use, it's just too cumbersome to pack. I thought it was possible to dismantle it to flat-pack in a suitcase, and on the face of it it ought to be (once the circular base's halves are separated, the 3 screws that hold the upright are exposed), but when beginning to un-screw one, the stress/pressure of releasing seemed to begin to split/fracture the outer lacquer/chipboard on the underside and I didn't dare take the screw out any more th
  10. Thanks - Martin at FLO wasn't sure when I asked the question. I can always return or hack it somehow. It's not particularly a deal-breaker anyway! It would only be for airline travel which is something I do infrequently...
  11. Bit of a bump - thinking about getting a Heritage 130P to add to my collection, and was wondering if anyone knows if the latest revision's upright can still be unscrewed from the base (after unscrewing the bottom-most base)? I know they've altered the design very slightly from the original release version (adding a small light shield/baffle etc.) so wondered if anyone has ordered one in the last few months (from FLO specifically since that's where I'll likely purchase, so their stock may be different to another seller's) and can confirm that the base can still (theoretically at least) be flat-
  12. Thanks! Used my Skyliner 200P Dob with a small slip-on solar housing designed for my ST80 made from Baader film just taped over the 55mm off-axis hole in the dust cap. This effectively turns the scope into an f/22 tube. The camera is a Canon 1100D attached at prime focus with a T-ring, took 170 frames but selected 26 using PIPP. Ran them through then (in order) AS!2, Registax 6 and finally Gimp.
  13. Just to add my meagre efforts to the fray of beautiful recent images of our amazing star. The continuous moving cloud, breezy conditions and general seeing was poor but I managed to get 26 useful frames to stack. https://www.flickr.com/gp/richhutch/E5q6P5 https://www.flickr.com/gp/richhutch/RSf2F1
  14. Thanks guys! Still quite new to imaging - I presume the blurriness at the extremes of the disc are caused by stacking anomalies?
  15. Canon 1100D at prime focus w/ T-ring on a Skyliner 200P. ISO200, 1/2000 sec. - 170 frames. Used PIPP to auto-crop and centre and selected the best 93 frames (all >90%), aligned and stacked in AS!2, then some histogram and contrast tweaks, 3 layers of wavelets, de-ringing and de-noising etc. in Registax, and some final tweaks to curves and colour and a final light unsharp mask in Gimp. Certainly made up for being on the wrong side of the world for the eclipse...
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