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Posts posted by lrt75914

  1. 4 hours ago, Davey-T said:

    How's the balance ? if you run it unguided and rest a finger on the weight bar you can push gently one way and the other to see if you can hold the RA more on track if so try altering the balance to mimic it.


    I did fiddle about with balance but usually keep it east heavy. Never checked the balance by pushing on the weight bar with my finger, though so I might as well give that a try. Thanks for the tip🙂

    3 hours ago, Clarkey said:

    As Dave has said the guiding does not look that bad once settled and I am not sure it would be bad enough to cause obvious egg shaped stars. Looking at the trend there is clearly some oscillation in the guiding, which does suggest a mechanical issue with the mount. Is there any obvious play in the RA axis? My AZ EQ6 regularly needs tweaking to stop too much backlash....

    The mount was rebuild last month and both axis should be as tight as I can possibly get them without running into binding issues. I was thinking about readjusting the worm gear tension/engagement and belt tension while tracking a star but I'm not sure if that is advisable.

    3 hours ago, Clarkey said:


    The other point to consider is whether it is definitely the guiding giving poorly shaped stars? Is the camera completely perpendicular to the scope? A little movement could give wonky stars.

    There is no obvious play in the image train and I'm fairly certain that the camera is perpendicular to the scope. However I did notice that there is some play in my guide scope focuser. At least I can see some movement if I push on the guide camera itself. Is there a way I can check if any of these problems affect my guiding?

    43 minutes ago, Ibbo! said:

    I think your choice of star is too bright and saturating.

    i run my old EQ6 without PEC as it seems to work better.

    Apart from that and rechecking the fitment of things nothing comes to mind striaght away.

    The weather this weekend seems to be fairly consistent so I'll try and see if a different guide star will do the trick

  2. Thanks for the quick responses guys!

    7 hours ago, Davey-T said:

    Have you actually tried imaging with it, have you followed recommendations ? particularly exposure times, one second is too short.

    Guiding doesn't look that bad once it settles.


    6 hours ago, Ibbo! said:

    As Dave says try increasing expousre time and actually see what an image looks like.

    What is the f/l of the guider.

    I did apply all the recommendations and took a couple of images of Regulus to test my guiding performance. With an
    integration time of 2 minutes most images showed elongated stars. I did try to increase the exposure time in a pre-
    vious run but I did not see any major improvement that couldn't have been down to a difference in seeing.
    Guiding parameters were set to default prior to the guiding runs that I posted to make sure that the issues did not
    stem from my phd2 setup.

    I followed the following steps to record the PEC curve:

    1.  Polar Align
    2. Point South near celestial equator
    3. Calibrate guide camera in PHD2
    4. Run guiding assistant for >5mins and apply reccomendations
    5. Run auto-guiding

    6. Initiate AutoPEC for 9 cycles
    7. Switch to sidereal + PEC once finished and turn off auto-guiding
    8. Record PPEC
    9. Once finished turn off PEC

    The gear I used is:

    Telescope: Skywatcher Esprit 100
    Camera: ZWO ASI 1600 MM Cool

    Guide Scope: Borg Guide Scope (250 mm)
    Guide Camera: ZWO ASI 178MM


    (Batman is not part of the setup)


    4 hours ago, bottletopburly said:

    What do you have pulse guide settings at ,default in Eqmod are 0.10 up them to 0.60 for both Dec and Ra 

    RA and Dec Rates are set to 0.5



  3. Hey guys,

    I had hoped to circumnavigate my ever-present guiding issues by buying an expensive mount. Corona made short work of
    that pipe dream and now I'm stuck with ye olde AZ-EQ 6.

    I decided to strip down that old hunk of junk again to make sure that everything was lubed up and ready to go once the
    clouds buggered off. Tonight was the night and as always I didn't take any pictures. Instead I was futzing about trying
    to find the source of all my woes.

    Polar alignment was done using polarmaster and the guiding parameters were set according to the recommandations
    of the guiding assistant. I used AutoPec to rerecord a PEC curve and recorded both the guided and unguided performance
    pre and post PEC.

    Here are the results:

    Unguided without PEC:


    Guided without PEC :

    RA:   1.12"  (0.54 px)
    Dec:  0.60" (0.19 px)


    (Un)guided with PEC:

    RA:   1.06"  (0.54 px)
    Dec:  0.35" (0.19 px)



    Guiding Assist Output pre PEC:


    Guiding Assist output post PEC:





    Can anyone help me? What am I doing wrong?

  4. 4 hours ago, AngryDonkey said:

    A real shame that you had such trouble with your two Avalon Fast Linears as it is a great mount (when working as it should). Do you think that the problems with the second mount were down to the seller or Avalon (or did you buy direct)? ...

    I have had a number of problems with Telescope Service over the years, so I will probably never order anything from them again.
    However, they assured me that the mounts had never been opened before they were sent to me. Don't know if I should believe
    them so I cannot really tell you who is at fault here. The issue with ordering another one is that Teleskop Service are the only
    dealers that sell these mounts in Germany so I would have to order one directly from Avalon Instruments. With the issues I experienced
    I'm not sure if I want to take that chance. I would have to pay for return shipment to Italy in case anything is wrong with the thing.

    4 hours ago, AngryDonkey said:

    ... What problems did you have with SGP? I've never had any issues with SGP (with the StarGo version of the linear). Maybe third time lucky?

    I have had a number of problems with SGP, but since so many people have used it successfully in conjunction with their Avalon mounts,
    this may have been a simple case of Pebkac. Connecting the mount to my PC was really hit or miss. I tried different USB cables,
    different PCS and reinstalling the USB drivers, but could never get a stable connection. When the mount did connect to my PC the RA and
    DEC positions were not properly synced between the StarGo App and SGP. I tried to slew to a specific target but the mount would only move
    a couple of decrees before aborting the operation with neither StarGo or SGP being 'on target'. However slewing back to the home position
    worked as expected. At this point I was so fed up with the whole experience that I sent the mount back to the seller and requested my
    money back.

    3 hours ago, Froeng said:

    I can only say my past experience With Vixen equipment has been excellent. Why not try the AXJ? It seems like a very well designed piece if engineering. The quality should be excellent...

    I totally forgot about Vixen. I will look into it but first I need to check with my boss and see if there is anything I can do to keep my job.

  5. 5 hours ago, Neil27 said:

    Hi, yes I have followed the same thread on cloudy night. I believe the user bought a new saddle from another supplier. Regarding the RA motors, they have since been repaired by Andras, with the user now fully endorsing the mount as one he would recommend. One of the selling points for me is the 5 year warranty on the Gemini mount, which in this hobby is quite generous, bearing in mind the frequency we sometimes use our equipment.

    Just to put the issues with the Gemini mount into context, in a previous life I owned a Paramount ME mount and the solidity, engineering quality and ease of use was sublime. Possibly 2 years into the ownership, I had 2 failed motherboards that I had to pay for and get shipped at my own cost from US to UK. I admit after the second failure I had a serious chat with the Bisque brothers and managed to negotiate a reduction in costs. However the conversations were always responded to very quickly and offers of video calls and phone calls was very welcome. I had my mount working within 2 weeks, so bravo SB.
    My point is there are ‘teething issues’ with many products, I find it’s how the manufacturer or supplier deal with those issues and then respond.

    I would certainly have no issue buying or recommending a Paramount, and hopefully the same can be validated for a Gemini mount as the feedback and quality of both products and customer service from either appears to be very good. IMHO of course 😊

    Have you considered the MyT mount or perhaps the Mach 2, both very capable portable mounts. The MyT was on my list before the EFric popped into view.

    Clear skies.


    The problem for me is that I no longer have the patience to deal with any teething issues. I understand that new products will always have kinks that need to be ironed out. But two dead motherboards within the first two years seems like a bit more than a kink to me - especially considering the price of the mount. I've spent the last 4 years trying to get the tracking on my Skywatcher AZ-EQ 6 up to an acceptable level - without success. I just need a mount that works right out of the box and that I don't have to keep tinkering with. There is also the somewhat more personal problem that I have incredible bad luck with everything I buy. I must have run over an old witch while driving home from work one night.

    I have considered both the MyT and the Mach 2, but they are outrageously expensive. It's a purchase I can't really justify since I'll probably be laid off at the end of the year. At the end of the day, I may have to sell my astronomy equipment and just give up.

  6. 2 hours ago, Neil27 said:

    I’m curious to know what the issues are with the EFric mount, as this is a mount I am very interested in and would appreciate you sharing them. After speaking to several owners myself they comment on amazing guiding / tracking and often used as a portable set up? The mount is ‘quirky’ to look at and uses non proprietary controllers so may not be to everyone’s tastes. 

    The Mesu mount often venerated on this forum as the ‘one to buy’ in the 50kg capacity range, has had its fair share of problems and teething issues.

    I hope you find something suitable for your needs.

    Clear skies.

    Apparently, longer telescopes can potentially hit the RA drive housing, preventing you from imaging parts of the sky. The guy had to install longer risers under the saddle himself to alleviate this problem. The saddle clamps also don't have enough travel to accommodate dovetail bars that may not perfectly follow the losmandy design specification. Apart from all of that, there were a lot of problems with the tracking behaviour in the RA axis that were dismissed by GTD as user/software errors. However, it turned out that the RA motorization was faulty and the whole mount had to be sent back to Italy for quite a lot of money.

    I know a lot of people swear by the mesu mounts and I have seen a lot of people produce stunning images with it. I just can't get past those brushed motors. I know that they don't go through a lot of revolutions during their expected lifetime but still...


  7. I did talk to someone at CN who just took delivery of an E.Fric mount and had his share
    of troubles with the thing and I heard plenty of worrying stories about losmandy mounts.
    So, after quite a lot of soul searching, I finally decided to go with a linear fast reverse mount
    from Avalon Instruments. I placed my order for a matt black version with telescope service
    last November and finally received my first premium mount in the first week of December.

    However, things didn't quite turn out the way I hoped or planned. I was rather smitten with the
    mount the first time I opened the box. I did notice quite a few very visible imperfections in the
    black finish that did not meet my expectations for such an expensive piece of kit. Since this is
    a telescope mount and not a showroom piece I didn't pay those small details to much attention
    and assembled my newest acquisition in my living room. Predictably the weather didn't allow
    for any actual testing but I wanted to see how well the mount would work with my imaging setup.

    Yet, while trying to balance my esprit 100 on the mount, I ran into my first big problem.
    The telescope could be rotated around the declination axis as long as the counterweight shaft pointed
    to the east.  Point the cws to the west, however, and the declination axis would completely freeze up.
    Avalon Instruments did suggest that I disassemble the clutch for the declination axis and file it down
    until this problem would go away. Since this is a new mount and the problem itself, at least from my
    point of view, didn't seem to be related to tight tolerances in the clutch assembly, I decided to
    return the mount and try my luck with the standard edition. But the standard edition that I got
    was completely dusty, the polar scope was dirty, the clutch in the dec axis was already somewhat
    loose and the mount would not work with sgp at all.

    I am really deflated after this experience. The other two options that I have at my disposal are a
    mesu or astro physics mount. The mesu mount uses brushed motors which I am not really
    fond of and an astro physics mount costs more than I make in a year. I know that there's always
    the option of buying a used mount but there aren't any used mounts that I could find close to where
    I live.


  8. On 22/09/2020 at 19:08, andrew s said:

    Sorry I have no experience with them. I have had Paramount ME and MEII both of which were/are excellent. 

    Regards Andrew 

    They do look nice but

    On 22/09/2020 at 19:54, pete_l said:


    I understand you are concerned about reliability. Though personally I do not think that one bad experience should rule-out half the world's telescope mounts. :) On the internet, everyone publicises the problems they have and repeats third-hand stories no matter how old they are. But nobody ever posts to say that their equipment simply works as it should. So if you believed even a small amount of the stuff that is posted, you'd never buy anything.


    The internet really is a wonderful place for a pessimist like me. 😁 The reason why I'm a bit skeptical towards the Losmandy mounts is that their worm gears are not belt driven and the spring loading mechanism is only fitted to the dec axis - at least for the G11-T. They may work well if maintained and adjusted properly. However, I don't have the time to constantly fiddle around with my mount. I just want a setup that's portable and easy to maintain.

    On 22/09/2020 at 20:35, AngryDonkey said:

    I have an Avalon LFR and it has been superb.

    I currently use it with my mobile dual scope imaging setup which weighs around 18kg and it doesn't seem to cause it any issues. It has been reliable and tracking is good, it needs to be guided though (due to its design). I would definitely call it portable in size and weight. The only slight negative I have noticed is that it is susceptible to wind.

    Hope this helps!

    How pronounced is that issue? Does a breeze already affect the tracking performance or is only a strong wind noticeable? Would a tent observatory alleviate this problem?

    On 22/09/2020 at 21:24, Whirlwind said:

    Have you had a look at the Panther TTS160 mount as an alternative, based on your preferences?  An alternative would be to see if there are any second hand Mach1GTO.  The initial views of the E.fric mount also seem to be favourable.

    The disadvantage of US mounts is that repairs will generally mean a return which can be daunting given the amount of paperwork needed.  Staying within the EU has advantages in that any repair in the internal market should be relatively straightforward.

    I have not heard of either of those mounts -  The Panther and E.fric mount that is. Might have to do a little digging and see whats what.

    On 22/09/2020 at 21:40, jambouk said:

    The new EQ8 is lovely but I wouldn’t describe it as portable. It is portable, but the mount alone weights 80mg (tripod, mount and counter weights).

    I have seen a video of someone tearing down an EQ8 on youtube. That and the shoddy build quality of my AZ-EQ 6 does not give me any confidence
    in those high end skywatcher mounts.

    On 23/09/2020 at 22:10, Deadlake said:

    They is quite a lot of noise around the G11 on CN, a lot of it around the service received from owners. As usual do we get the full story?
    I do not have an AXJ, but the model below the SXP2, which is a smaller version, same head part, belt drive, but different motors. Build is superb and very quite in use compared to over belt modified mounts so I do not get sent to the end of the garden. I chose it over the G11 as a lot lighter, while only giving up a little payload. Vixen are conservative with their payload estimates. The star book is handy, and the moon map useful as well, not found an app that mimics its functionality. Cannot tell you about the service offered by Vixen as I’ve not had to use it.
    I did look at the Avalon, however didn’t  need to the extra weight capacity. At the same time the lack of having to perform a meridian flip is attractive.

    I don't know how useful the starbook would be fore me since I usually use a dedicated PC to control my mount/telescope. What telescope are you using with your vixen mount?

    23 hours ago, Neil27 said:

    Have you considered this mount, someone on this forum is using it as a portable set up.


    I haven't heard of it until today but it does look very intriguing. Kind of like a portable Mesu 200. Do you know who that person is?

  9. I'm toying with the idea of buying a new mount in the 4k€ to 5k€.  I am looking for a mount that is
    still portable enough for me to schlepp it to a dark site. Maintenance should be as easy as possible, setup
    straight forward and guiding as easy as it possibly can be. I have had major issues with a Chinese made
    mount so I'm trying to stick to western manufactures for now.  After some research I have narrowed the list
    down to the following three mounts:

    Vixen AXJ
    Losmandy G-11t
    Avalon LFR

    Of the three choices I am most impressed by the G11 - I like the modular design and the imaging capacity is
    good enough to even support an EdgeHD 11. However, I've come across a number of bad reviews for the
    G11 'family'. Apparently they have problems with excessive backlash and costumer support seems
    to be spotty at best. There are people on CN that praise Losmandy as second only to AP, 10Micron and the
    like. However the bad experiences I've found are numerous enough to give me pause.

    What do you guys think? Is the G-11t the best option out of the bunch? Would you chose a different mount?
    Is captain Picard the best Star Trek captain? Help me my friends!

  10. On 08/01/2020 at 23:30, wimvb said:

    Combined with a longer fl, your guide camera is ok. I use the cooled version as my main imaging camera, but also a 1000 mm scope. To get a better match between guide camera and imaging camera, the pixel scales shouldn't differ much more than a factor of 2. With 1.2"/pixel for your imaging camera, a pixel scale of about 2.4"/px would be better for your guide camera.

    If you use an oag, the match between guide camera and imaging camera will be much better. Oags are not that difficult to set up, and since you already have ZWO imaging and guide cameras, there won't be a distance problem. The ZWO oag is a match to your cameras.

    In general, you can't expect better than a few tenths of a pixel guide RMS. At 4.8"/px, 0.2 pixels is almost 1". That's why I think your guiding is good. Also consider that guiding quality is determined by other factors than the mount, eg seeing, balance, etc. With my AZ-EQ6, I get guiding RMS from 0.6 - 1", mainly depending on sky quality (seeing, transparency).

    I wasn't sure if I could set up a OAG in a timely manner, so I got my hands on a ZWO ASI 178 MM instead - just to check if a better match between my guiding/imaging setup would do the trick. Pixel scale was 1.42" and 1.98" for the imaging and guiding rig respectively. I guess this is as close as I can possibly get the two without buying a different guide scope.

    Unfortunately the results aren't all that encouraging. GuidingAssist.thumb.png.3ce7503d5333a373a7c3e77ae73b0716.pngGuidePerformAssist.thumb.png.b68e60f0fc390bdd1850fcd9631b0926.pngPPEC.thumb.png.af03692dca9bddcddb00d54d523acc23.png

    I used the standard parameters as well as the suggestions from the guiding assistant. I also gave the PPEC algorithm a go but I still have trailing stars in my images. I tried aggressive east bias balancing, fiddled about with all sorts of parameters available to me, but the results remain unsatisfying. I'm starting to wonder if I'm to stupid for this hobby.

    I*m seriously considering selling my gear and turning my back on astronomy. I only have a handful of nights each year that are good enough
    for imaging and all I'm doing is dicking around trying to fix mechanical and electrical issues that keep popping up.

    P.S.: Seeing and transparency were good tonight.

  11. 2 hours ago, wimvb said:

    Just to rule this out: was making corrections turned on? The plot should show phd2 trying to make corrections, and the checkbox to show corrections is ticked.

    I only saved an image of the graph once the corrections were turned off. Having unearthed the production mishap
    in the R.A. axis I was starting to get worried that the gears themselves were bend. I figured that the best way to
    visualize any worm gear problems would be to record an unguided graph. I have to be honest though, half the
    time I don't know what I'm doing^^.

    2 hours ago, wimvb said:

    Just looked at the log: you turned off guiding at 22.52 to run guiding assistant, before that guiding was actually very good. What you see during GA is the mount's periodic error in RA and some DEC drift due to polar misalignment (only 1 '). This seems to be guided out very well.

    Excluding the GA period, your RMS error is 1.38" or 0.29 px, about 1.1" in RA and 0.76" in DEC.  MinMo is 1.1" in RA, and 0.86" in DEC (0.24 px and 0.18 px). As long as tracking deviation is smaller than MinMo, PHD won't apply any corrections. I don't think you can expect a guide RMS smaller than the MinMo settings.

    To improve the periodic error, you would have to hypertune the mount. You could try PPEC, but since most PE is guided out, I'm not sure you'll see much improvement from that.

    With your camera and scope (3.8 um pixels and 550 mm fl) you get an imaging pixel scale of 1.2"/px, assuming the 0.85x FR. Your guiding pixel scale is 4.8 or four times as much. You could try to reduce that by using a longer fl guide scope or a different camera (ASI120?) With the ASI174 as guide camera you could also consider using an oag.

    I had lowered the MinMo values without much difference to the guiding performance. I did not, however, consider the different pixel scales between the imaging and
    guiding scope. I guess that's what you get for buying a guiding camera that could possibly double as a planetary camera in the future.

    The stars in my pictures are a bit elongated due to the R.A. guiding error (see horse head picture), so I have to reduce this error somehow. Would switching to another guide
    camera (e.g. ZWO ASI 178 MM) be sufficient to achieve round stars or is it impossible to tell in advance?




    Thank you very much for your help so far!



  12. Hi guys,

    I've been having a lot of issues with the R.A. guiding of my Skywatcher AZ-EQ 6 mount and I can't
    seem to isolate the source of the problem. This PHD2 (unguided) graph and guiding assistent was
    last week while I was experimenting with my mount. I have also uploaded the PHD 2 log file in case
    anyone is interested.




    And here is the equipment I am using:


    Skywatcher Esprit 100
    ZWO ASI 1600 MM C (imaging)
    ZWO EFW Mini
    Starizona Microtouch Focuser
    Borg 50mm f/5 guide scope (incl borg helical focuser)
    ZWO ASI 174 MM (guiding)
    Skywatcher AZ-EQ 6


    Sequence Generator Pro
    PHD 2

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-29 at 16.16.08.jpeg


    I have already tried several measures to improve the guiding performance. The R.A. and Dec axis were striped down and regreased to reduce friction. While doing so I found that
    a seized grub screw, securing the R.A. axis in the aluminium block, had been haphazardly sanded down - I'm guessing that the worm gear had been hammered into its socked to
    clear the grub screw. Said screw was properly screwed down.


    I have also tried adjusting the worm gear play, east heavy balancing, changing PHD2 settings  - both for the hysteresis and ppec algorithm, using the PHD2 guiding assistent and its reccomendations etc.
    Since nothing has helped so far, I'm starting to wonder if the R.A. worm gear itself is damaged and needs replacing. Another issue I've found is that the helical focuser on my Borg Guide has
    a lot of play. However, I'm not sure if this is the root cause of the problem since the guiding issue is only in the R.A. axis.


    I was wondering if anybody here can give me any pointers and tell me why my R.A. guiding is this bad.


    Thank you.



  13. Is there any news on the Astrotrac 360? A lot of vendors here in Germany switched the
    delivery time from '1 - 2 weeks' to 'unknown'. Seems to me that they missed their delivery date.

    • Confused 1
  14. Hi guys,

    Sorry for not checking back on my thread a bit sooner - work has been keeping me busy these last couple of days.

    On 04/09/2019 at 20:24, Victor Boesen said:

    I'd personally say that the king of travelscopes on here is @DirkSteele. I believe another member on here has posted about the Baader travel companion, but I can't remember his name....

    EDIT: Found him :) @GavStar

    Thanks for putting me in touch with @DirkSteele. I really appreciate it :).

    On 05/09/2019 at 00:21, DirkSteele said:

    My ears are burning. 😉

    Gavin can opine on the Baader Travel Companion but he did tell me he was very impressed. However, I do believe they are quite hard to come by.


    Given imaging is the focus, have you considered the Takahashi FSQ-85? Focal length is a bit shorter than the Baader but it is somewhat legendary as an imaging machine.


    Assume you might prefer the superior colour correction of a triplet rather than a doublet? The APM LZOS 105/650 is airline portable (I own it) and is a fab scope but quite heavy at c7kg so need to consider your travel mount and tripod solution though it is short and stubby so turning moment is not too bad. You probably need to look second hand to keep in budget though.


    Will have a think if any other scopes come to mind.



    I have been looking at the Baby-Q and I have read a lot of good things about Takahashi in general. The guys on cloudy nights also

    suggested the Epsilon 130 as the most aperture one can get when looking at airplane portable telescopes. I have, however, heard

    from a vendor here in Germany that the quality control from Takahashi has been lacking in the last couple of years. It's the only time

    I've heard of any problems with that brand, but I generally trust his opinions so I'm not quite sure what to think.


    The APM scope looks interesting albeit a bit heavy. I was thinking of getting an Avalon M-Zero as a travel mount. A lot of people seem

    to think that  suggested maximum load capacity of 8kg is on the conservative side. I'm just not sure if that mount can accommodate

    all the necessary imaging accessories when the telescope itself is already that heavy. Do you use the APM scope for astro imaging and if so,

    is there any mount that you could recommend to go with it?


    I know astrotrac is going to release its 360 mount with a supposed imaging instrument capacity of 10 kg. But I'm not going to trust

    any marketing numbers unless they have been substantiated by independent reviews. If there is a travel mount that could carry a

    7kg telescope the APM LZOS 105/650 would  be a likely candidate. Otherwise I'm going to have to look at the Takahashi as an alternative.


    On 06/09/2019 at 10:27, nicoscy said:

    Making life easy on the road is very important. So, I will throw my weight behind the FSQ-85. Flat field, no messing around with spacing, proven performer.

    What are your thoughts on mount and tripod though? You still have to lug those around ;)

    I'll recommend the Gitzo Series 5 systematic 3 section tripod which is lightweight and very stiff in case you need a tripod recommendation.

    As to mounting, what are your plans (mostly irrespective of the scope since you set a top limit of slightly under 100mm)?


    Slightly different direction: You could even go for a smaller scope and thus lighter mount and tripod. The WO RedCat perhaps or even one of the TS offerings from SharpStar?

    If you go "light" enough, you can use the Skywatcher AZ-GTi in EQ mode - quite a compact option...

    I have not thought of a tripod as of today. I'm still looking at all the portable mounting options that are available. Since the Astrotrac 360 is

    just around the corner I was thinking of waiting on a couple of reviews before I make a decision on that. The Avalon M-Zero, however, is a

    strong contender. Do you think the Gitzo tripod would mesh well with the Avalon M-Zero mount?


    I think weight is more of a limiting factor for me than weight. That's what drew me to the Baader Travel Companion. Fairly large aperture in

    a small and light package. In the end, though, any large aperture will do as long as I can still find a mount for it.


    I have a Skywatcher StarAdventurer in my arsenal and had been looking at the RedCat as well. Some of the posts here on stargazerslounge.com

    seem to suggest that that scope suffers from misshapen stars, though. It is certainly worth a thought, but right now I just wanted to now what the

    ultimate travel rig would look like and how much it would cost (within a certain limit).

    On 06/09/2019 at 10:53, DirkSteele said:

    + 1 for the Gitzi tripod.  I use that model.  Great torsional rigidity, light weight, and crucially for travel, collapsed length is quite short so fits in a suitcase for example.  I reviewed it many years ago on my website.



    Thanks for the link and thank all of you for taking the time and answering my questions.

  15. Hi everyone,


    The weather in my area has been pretty poor in the last couple

    of months/years and I'm getting really frustrated with the limited imaging time I can

    squeeze out of the local skies throughout the year. For a long time I've been thinking

    about putting together a portal astrophotography setup and my last trip to the nevada

    dessert finally settled it for me - I need a imaging kit that I can take on the plane with me.


    Since I already own a Sony Alpha 7, the obvious choice would be to get a quality lens.

    However, I'm not much of a daytime photographer and I really don't see a reason to

    spent all that man on a camera lens that I'm not going to fully utilize.


    I've been scouring the internet for a travelscope that could fit in a carry on bag and so

    far, the best glass I've found is the Baader APO 95/560 CaF2 Travel Companion.

    I was wandering if anybody here has any experience with the Travel Companion or if

    there are better alternatives out there within that still fit my budget?





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