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About neilmack

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  1. Trutek seem to have disappeared from the web. Does anyone know if this is a temporary thing, or are they gone for good? Many thanks Neil
  2. Is it because I have been out of the market for a while, or is there really a shortage of stuff on the shelves with the major dealers? And, if so, is that because more folk are pursuing the hobby during lockdown, or because the Bat 'Flu has disrupted supplies? I'm struggling to find things to squander money on!
  3. Brilliant! That's just what I needed. I feel a purchase coming on ........
  4. Can anyone describe the underside of the mount? I am curious about fitting the head to a better and taller tripod. Does it resemble the Vixen SP/GP? Many thanks.
  5. Given a straight choice, and ignoring the price differential, which to choose, and why? Emphasis is on portability, reliability and accuracy of Goto system. Not into astrophotography.
  6. I should like a lightweight goto mount to carry a 60mm shortish refractor (Takahashi FS60Q). The object is to have a compact, lightweight instrument that's very portable, and, importantly, quick to set up. It's for visual use only. The short list - Celestron Nextstar SLT iOptron Cube Pro iOptron SmartEQ Pro+ Skywatcher Allview Multifunction These are all in the same price range. The first two look the most interesting, but I haven't had the chance to examine any of them (I'm out in the wilds!) If I have read the reviews and specs correctly the supplied tripods ar
  7. " I'm sorry, Sir, but the cheese is now all offshore" (or maybe next to Eigg and Rhum?)
  8. There's no perfect telescope, or mount. On planets or double stars, at high power, you would most definitely prefer an equatorial, but a dob mount is quite usable on most other targets. The EQ3-2 mount is fairly lightweight, and won't have a great margin of stability with a six inch reflector, and would be unsuitable for anything bigger. If you decide to go the equatorial route, stretch if possible to the more robust EQ5 - they come up very cheaply in the used market. The optimal choice depends on what sort of observing you major on : but since, as you say, you haven't owned a scope before t
  9. Celestron has an alternative, and more expensive, "Edge HD" range, which tackles the same issues as the ACF design. In principle a flatter coma-free field is desirable, but the price premium on the Edge HD is substantial, and once an SCT stops being 'a lot of aperture for the buck' it's given away its key advantage in the market place. An expensive flat field SCT would struggle to justify its existence against a good Maksutov-Cassegrain, especially for visual use. Good luck with your project, Neil
  10. Carl one other thought : have you ruled out a Newtonian? Aperture for aperture a good one will comfortably see off an SCT. The only downside is bulk and weight, which may be an issue for you transporting to a dark sky site.
  11. Hi Carl The demands made of the mount are considerably less with visual use. The CGEM is a well specified mount. My only concern would be that it's quite heavy for its carrying capacity. It would certainly be a viable platform for astrophotography. Recommendations on the choice between Celestron and Meade are the stuff of which wars are made. Sufficient to say that the C9.25 has design features that have made it a consistent favourite over the years, and Meade doesn't have an equivalent. One other manufacturer to consider is Vixen. Their range (and availability) are more limited than Meade a
  12. Welcome to the group. You will need to draw your requirements more tightly. Visual observation of what? Photography of the solar system, or widefield long exposure imaging of the deep sky? Have you any experience of other equipment, or of astrophotography? What are your expectations of your equipment? If you are looking for an all-rounder, I doubt you will find one. For instance a fork mount SCT could be be a prime choice for planetary photography, and pretty hopeless for any wide-field application. If it is ultimate flexibility that you want, since your budget is substantial, you might wan
  13. A 100mm telescope is decidedly easier to handle and mount, but apart from that the advantage lies with the 120mm. They both seem to be the same focal length according to the FLO website, and at 900mm are short for planetary imaging. For observing the moon and planets the 120mm scope looks the more interesting; if your main focus is on imaging then stick with the SCT. Have a look at the planetary images of Damian Peach Welcome to Views of the Solar System! and Christopher Go Saturn and see what can be achieved when imaging with SCTs only a bit bigger than your C9.25. Any five inch refractor, e
  14. According to the Telescope-Service website the Skywatcher EQ5 single-axis motor is suitable for the Vixen GP series of mounts. Does anyone have practical experience of using an SW motor on a Vixen GP or GP2? I'm only aiming to motorize the RA drive. Any advice gratefully received. It would save me several weeks on bread'n'drippin' if I could use the budget motor! Many thanks Neil
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