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Cosmic Geoff

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About Cosmic Geoff

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    Proto Star

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    Bucks, United Kingdom
  1. On second thoughts, mention of 'backpack' causes me to think that you want an 'ultraportable' rather than a 'portable' telescope. Once you add a tripod and mount, the C6 and C8 are in the class of 'portable with vehicle assistance', i.e. you drive to the dark site and then carry the components a short distance. Perhaps you could share your thoughts on what exactly you want to observe? SCTs are fine instruments, but best suited to looking at small objects in conjunction with a driven equatorial or GoTo mount. Mention of a focal reducer (primarily used for photography AFAIK) makes me wonder if you are contemplating buying a premium priced design of instrument and then spending more money to turn it into something it isn't -a widefield scope. Before spending money, it might be prudent to load up your backpack with some house bricks to the weight of your prospective purchase, and then see how far you can walk before it ceases to be any fun.
  2. It will be interesting to see what the retailers have to say. I anticipate they will ask if customers want to pay for the time and labour required to compile this information.
  3. Strengthening a tripod

    Don't forget to consider leaving the legs retracted. That works well to reduce the amount of flexing. You might then need a stool to sit on.
  4. I don't really understand how that wedge works, but if you are at 60 deg N you only have to tilt the mount by 30 deg, and at the north pole 90 deg N not at all. You can tilt the tripod itself a bit if that helps - it will have the same effect as adjusting the wedge. I'm sure you will figure it out once you take it outdoors on a clear night. I anticipate that you WILL have to roughly polar align the mount to make it track.
  5. Do you use a Zoom and if so, why?

    I have the budget Starguider 8-24mm. I don't use it much. While the optical performance is good - not notably inferior to fixed eyepieces, there are a couple of practical snags. First, the zoom action is quite stiff so in practice to change the zoom I have to remove it, peer at the scale in a dim red light and twist firmly in both hands. I might as well be changing to another fixed eyepiece. Second, the field of view at 24mm is small, so I don't use it at this setting.
  6. I have the C8 SE, which is the C8 with an alt-azimuth GoTo mount. Note that the C6 SE has the same mount (the 6/8 SE). Either makes a relatively lightweight and portable package, much lighter and more portable than an equatorial mounted package with counterweights, for instance, I routinely pick up the whole C8 OTA/mount/tripod package (weighting about 12Kg) and carry it outdoors through a standard doorway. So I would recommend either as a portable package. You can of course buy these scopes as an OTA or as a package with other mounts. Unless you hate GoTo, I would not recommend a manual alt-azimuth mount. The field of view of these SCTs is modest and it is really an advantage to have GoTo for finding objects and tracking. The saving in cost over the GoTo package if you buy an OTA and manual mount separately may be modest, and you should avoid buying a mount that is too flimsy. I don't know anything about the mount you cite. Also be aware that it is difficult (and risky) to handle a fat OTA without a grab handle, but the makers intend that you leave the C6 or C8 permanently attached to the SE mount head in a safe to handle combo. Be aware that the C8 offer you cite is the SE OTA and does NOT have a grab handle. The OTA is awkward to handle and the way I fitted it to the mount was to stand the mount head on a carpet and proceed with great care.
  7. There seem to be plenty eyepieces in the picture, and a C5 does not need fancy eyepieces so you may not need to buy more. For guidance, a new C5 OTA costs around 500 euros and a C5 SE GoTo around 800 euros. If the asking price is 150 Euros, even if the mount is no good this looks like a steal.
  8. Thoughts On This Telescope?

    A 6" or 8" Dob would be good for deep space objects and is also relatively cheap. What some people don't want to mention is that without GoTo (which would roughly triple the price) or Intelliscope it will be difficult to locate any faint objects unless you are extremely familiar with the night sky.
  9. Buy it if the price is right; there seem to be plenty of accessories. Make sure that the mount drives are actually working. If they are not, you may be faced with a large expense to replace the mount with a more modern one. You may need to collimate the telescope, which needs a clear head and a steady hand but is something you can do yourself. When I bought my used C8 the collimation was totally out.
  10. Skywatcher 150 PL

    If you have never focused a telescope before, the easiest way to do it is to point it at a distant object (at least several hundred yards away) in daylight. A high contrast object like tree branches or a TV aerial against the sky works best. Put the 25mm eyepiece in, put your eye close against the eyepiece, and twiddle the focus knob to and fro till you get focus. If you don't get a result, check that some part of the focuser moves in and out as you twiddle. If it doesn't, try to figure why not from the instructions, or ask us (with photo). If the best focus appears to be at further than the focuser wants to go, then either you are looking at an object that's too close, or you need to remove or insert some piece of tube to get the eyepiece in the right position (check the instructions or ask us, with photos). At night, it is easier to focus on a very bright star or planet. Out of focus it will appear as a bright disk with a dark hole in the middle. Twiddle the focuser in the direction that makes it smaller. Simple! Focusing on an out of focus Moon is not so easy. I recommend checking out the various Youtube videos for newbie telescope users. In some of these, the demonstrators show you how a telescope like yours is supposed to work. A picture is worth 1000 words, it is said.
  11. I could not see the Crab nebula with my 203mm Helios, or (so far as I remember) with my C8, even thought I am sure I was looking in the right place. I was observing from an urban area.
  12. M81 & M82?

    If it's any consolation, I never managed to find M81 or M82 with my manual 8" reflector. With the GoTo scopes it's as easy as poking a few buttons. They are generally visible even in murky urban skies with my 127mm and 203mm.
  13. Once bitten twice shy

    Quite right. The altitude range on these mounts is restricted. They should really have a 90 deg gear sector and worm gear to adjust the altitude. It wouldn't kill the manufacturers to do the job properly.
  14. The same slop occurs with an AZ-4 head. I just tighten the large securing knob. Or you could try Loctite.
  15. The eyepiece does not rotate.