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Cosmic Geoff

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About Cosmic Geoff

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  1. I had RA drive only on my EQ-5 before I upgraded it to a Synscan GoTo. I found it irritating to have the RA and Dec fine controls in different places, and when mounting a long refractor, the Dec slow motion was out of reach unless I used a long rigid extension made from 6mm aluminum tube. I think two powered controls on the same box would have been better.
  2. The internal batteries are a joke - you have to use a premium brand e.g. Duracell for it to work, and the option is only provided to make your scope purchase look cheaper, and get you going. You need a +12v external sypply, not 18v! and not 24v!! There are lots of battery options for this, which members here have used with success, and they need not cost much, ranging from a +12v 7Ah sealed lead acid battery, to a multifunction car engine starter, to a branded astro power tank, to a LiFePo power tank. On the AC power side, you can use an adequately rated +12v regulated DC output power supply (at least two amps) and again there are types intended for astro use (outdoors, wide temperature range) It makes little difference whether you leave the internal batteries in place or not. But if you forget they are there, they could leak and corrode the battery contacts. You will lose time & date (but not location) every time you switch off. That's normal.
  3. We could help more with some input from you about what style of telescope you'd prefer. Your budget of $400 is a bit low for a telescope on a GoTo mount, which in any case might not suit your inclinations. If you have really no idea where to start, you could get a pair of binoculars (which could be re-purposed for daytime use) or a basic but useful telescope in the form of a 130mm aperture table-top Dobsonian newtonian reflector. I append a link to a UK-market model. You should be able to find the equivalent from North American suppliers. http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/astronomical_telescopes-sky-watcher-dobsonians/skyliner_flextube_dobsonian.html If the bug bites, you can progress to a more advanced instrument that suits your developing interest.
  4. The secondary mirror housing should not be rotating in the plate, and the three collimation screws should slacken off. I hope that somebody who has worked on one of these will come along and advise. Seems that you will need to dismantle the front end, sort it and reassemble it. Not that I'd want to try it myself except as a last resort.
  5. You get what you pay for. You have not said what you want it for: if visual, then the SE would be 'best buy'. If planetary or deep-sky imaging, then you want the AVX mount or (for planetary imaging) the Evolution mount or (for deep space imaging) some different outfit altogether, but not cheap. If you get the 6 SLT, you may be looking for a mount upgrade before long, unless you don't mind wobbly mounts.
  6. I really don't see the point of using 2" attachments on a small Mak with a 18mm hole in the backplate. I would expect the vignetting to be severe. I don't use any 2" kit even with my 127mm Mak and 203mm SCT. 2" eyepieces come with a premium price tag. What 1.25" diagonal do you have already? According to reports, more expensive diagonals give an improvement in build quality, coating life etc rather than any improvement visible through the eyepiece.
  7. The Nikon would be suitable for deep space imaging in that you get a lot of sensor for your money compared with dedicated astro cameras. For planetary imaging you should get a dedicated planetary video camera as it will have a faster frame rate than the Nikon. Serious planetary imagers use a planetary video camera. With a solid mount like the EQ6 you should be able to manage without a focus motor. I do not know anything about the Orion zoom eyepiece. A lot of these eyepieces are clones of each other (and look the same in sales photos). Of the cheaper models, some work fine and some are awful. Be aware that a common feature is that at the longer focal length of the zoom, the field of view is restricted compared with a standard eyepiece, while at short focal length the apparent field is much wider. A RACI or right-angle finder would be less of a pain in the neck than the straight-thru finder. Same applies to the 90 deg polar scope adapter if you feel inclined to buy one.
  8. IIRC a few weeks ago another member was trying to fit a dovetail bar to an old de-forked C8 SCT. If you can use the wider Losmandy bar, that might make it easier to find a set of 2+1 holes that line up with the bar.
  9. I have had a look at my more modern C8 SE. The dovetail bar screw holes may not line up in the way you think - mine has two screws at one end of the bar, (spaced around the cast rim) and one at the other. Looking from the back, the focus knob is at the bottom and the dovetail bar on the left. At the other end, it does look as though the front casting could be unscrewed and put back at 120 deg rotation. Opinions differ on the effect of rotating the secondary mirror or correcting plate, suggesting also that it may or may not matter depending on how old the SCT is. The collimation though is something you can check with a star test.
  10. The chances of getting individual parts of a focuser are very small. Unless you can find another 'dead' scope to dismantle for spares, your only other option is to bite the bullet and buy a complete focuser assembly. (This might be an opportunity to upgrade to a better focuser).
  11. Why do you want a wedge? And why do you want the option of turning the mount into an equatorial? If you need an equatorial, it would be better to buy a German equatorial GoTo at the outset. SCTs have thousands of happy owners - they work just fine. No doubt somebody will point out a difference in performance between a C5 and a 5" Mak, but I don't think it will be major. The C5 should cool down quicker than some other scope types, quicker than the 127 Mak for instance. Maks are not renowned for quick cooling - they have thick corrector plates.
  12. These outfits are new variants. The OTA will be the same as the 5SE and 6 SE, and the SLT mount is the same as used on the 127 Mak and 130 Newtonian, so far as I am aware. The SLT mount, as used with the 127mm Mak, which has weight similar to that of the C6 OTA, is on the wobbly side. If you put these comments together, you should be able to find adequate reviews of the components. The C6 SE has the same mount as the C8 SE, so it will be an adequate (visual) mount for the C6.
  13. The result from the 80mm is remarkably good. I have had consistently disappointing results when unsing a x2 Barlow with a 203mm aperture C8, compared with the same scope withut Barlow..
  14. Looks like a de-bayering issue to me too. Next time, save the file in .ser format and you will not have to de-bayer it.
  15. Another Mars image ... in this one I have managed to record Olympus Mons which did not show in earlier images I made of the same longitude. The seeing seemed good, but the sky was hazy and cloud-free as I set up. By the time I was ready to image, some cloud had come over, and instead of clearing it developed into 100% cover and an unexpected heavy shower. As I was dismantling the now very wet telescope the sky cleared again offering a tempting view of Mars so I put all the bits back, aligned on Mars and took a series of videos. Kit: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC. 20% of 5000 fromes, processed in Registax6. I also tried a x2 Barlow but those images did not turn out well - looked out of focus.
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