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Cosmic Geoff

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About Cosmic Geoff

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  1. You cannot upgrade the SLT style tripod without having the engineering facilities to make an adaptor to fit between the mount head and the new tripod. I bought a spare "cup" from Astroboot and made a set of (more rigid) wooden legs for it. It took ages to make but the tripod is now permanently sited in my garden. It is more rigid then the original and saves setup time.
  2. You should not worry about it too much as the setting circles are essentially ornamental. Even if you could use them expertly, they are only adequate for aiming a very low powered widefield telescope. In the days before GoTo, workable setting circles were at least six inches in diameter, and I have seen circles of two feet diameter in Victorian observatories.
  3. Search and you will find that there are kits from ADM (etc) for attaching a second dovetail to various sizes of SCT using screw positions already provided in the end castings. Then you clamp your choice of rings to the second dovetail. The second bar also makes a great handle for manhandling the OTA.
  4. Does it work as a low powered telescope? What you show in your photos looks like only half a telescope - the back end (when compared with the telescopes in my collection).
  5. The C8 is a good choice, as it has a relatively large aperture but is light enough to be portable, and has a large focusing range (useful for attaching various accessories.) You still have to choose a mount for it, and the bundled options vary greatly in convenience, cost, portability and weight. No doubt you will receive advice recommending all sorts of telescopes at all sorts of prices. It is not possible to buy one telescope which does everything well, which is why there are 57 varieties of telescope on the market. Occasionally new designs appear, hence we have apochromats, SCTs, GoTo mounts, and very recently 'classical Cassegrains' which were not available to Victorian astronomers.
  6. I have several genuine Ross London telescopes and so have taken an interest in the serial numbers. I have never found a definitive guide to the serial numbers, but the lower the number, the earlier the date of manufacture. 49994 could be of the order of 100 years old. But what is it? It looks like it could be an exchangeable eyepiece for a spotting scope.
  7. I second that. It's an accessory well worth having.
  8. I have an 84.48 WH LiFePo4 power tank, which I bought because they are lighter and supposedly more durable than lead-acid. I am happy with it so far, and (wrapped in a clear plastic bag) it was great for working under my car. Also looks like a great emergency light for power cuts. I also have a car starter, acquired with a telescope, which powers the scope and also can inflate my car tyres. I also have a 7AH sealed lead-acid battery which I bought several years ago which now seems to have lost capacity.
  9. I had a similar problem when one of the plastic mouldings forming the extender clamp of a SE6/8 mount leg cracked across. I stuck it back with Araldite and cut a piece of metal tube to sleeve over the repair, securing it with the Araldite. Even without paint, the repair is not noticeable unless one crouches down to look. Note that you do NOT have to do up the clamps too tightly to stop the leg retracting under load.
  10. If you replace the 200PDS with an 8" SCT you will find it is much lighter and easier to handle, and it is much easier to attach sundry devices such as cameras, flip mirrors and filters because of the large focal range.
  11. 1: Skysafari etc will not make the GoTo redundant. You still have to use the GoTo setup though you may be able to dispense with the GoTo handset. 2: You do not need to polar align a GoTo mount unless it is the equatorial variety. You do not need three stars to align - you can align on 1 or 2 stars or 1 planet though this is less accurate. 3: No. 4: I don't know what you mean. For visual use, equatorial GoTo is an unnecessary encumbrance compared with alt-azimuth. 5: No idea. 6: A GoTo mount always needs a finder for initial setup. Often a cheap red dot finder will suffice, as you will not be using it during the viewing session. Guide scope? Are you talking astrophotography? That is a totally different ballgame. 7: No idea. Most vendors supply one eyepiece with an OTA (bare telescope), then you have to buy a set of eyepieces yourself.
  12. If you fitted the motor focuser because of vibration, you can probably ditch it if you are using the EQ3-2. I found that the AZ-4 and EQ-5 mounts were like solid scaffolding when compared with the lightweight GoTo mount & tripod that came with my 127mm Mak. They were orders of magnitude less wobbly.
  13. Why are you using a motor focuser at all? I do not have one for my 127mm Mak. In my experience, the more solid the mount, the less one thinks about remote focusing devices. If I look through the meniscus of my Celestron 127mm Mak, at the positions of the dovetail screws I can just see two screw ends, as though they are screwed through a threaded hole in the tube wall. Further enquiry might be wise. I wouldn't take it off if it was mine. And I don't think this is necessary (see above). Note also that you can swivel the diagonal to any angle you like without having to rotate the main tube in rings. I have put my 127mm Mak (intended for alt-azimuth mount) on an EQ-5 a few times without feeling I was having a particular problem.
  14. Depends on what degree of rigidity you find acceptable. The SE 6/8 GoTo mount commonly bundled with the C8 is probably more stable than the AZ5, but still not great. It is stable enough to operate as a portable visual mount but that's it. The SE 6/8 mount has 1.5" stainless steel legs. Being a narrow field f10 instrument, the C8 is better suited to rigid mounts with powered tracking etc.
  15. I've seen Mercury with the naked eye in earlier apparitions. It is easier to spot if you know exactly where to look. As for Pluto, mentioned above, this minor planet will be nearly impossible to see visually. It is very faint, requiring a large telescope, and at that magnitude there are hundreds of brighter stars in the field. After several attempts, I managed to log Pluto using a 4" refractor, camera, platesolving and star charts.
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