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About davyludo

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  1. Hi GKA - I've not fitted the AZ5 head to an AZ3 tripod... but it should be possible. It's been a little while since I've done it, but I did take my AZ3 to bits in order to clean it up and regrease it. From what I can remember the top of the tripod (once hear is removed) is just a flat black plate with a hole in the middle. I would imagine that a 3/8" x 1" bolt/screw and some washers would allow the AZ5 to be fitted to an AZ3 tripod. I'm not sure if the extension tube bottom can come off - I'll try and remember to have a look when I get home. I currently have my AZ5 head attached to an AZ4 steel leg tripod - but this required the alignment peg to be chopped off. I don't think this would be needed for the AZ3.
  2. My lovely lady bought me the Voyager manual as a gift. I've not finished reading it yet, but I really enjoy the mix of text information, along with interesting diagrams and pictures. I'll be keeping an eye out for Apollo 13 and Saturn V ones....*adds to Amazon wish list*
  3. I've had my Mak127 at 300x mag (on the moon) with the AZ5 and 1.75" steel tripod - obviously a bit of wobble as you're constantly adjusting the controls, but perfectly usable in my opinion. Not sure how the Berlebach Report compares, but the head is capable of high mag. Normally I would tend to stay under 200x - with this head/tripod combination, vibrations damp down in around 1 second. So I have plenty of time where the view is stable for me to watch whatever I'm observing drift across my field of view.
  4. No, pushing it manually doesn't cause the gears/teeth to turn, so the controls don't move. The outer section of the mount just swivels over the internal workings. I actually tend to loosen the wee clutch screw when moving manually... Really to stop any stress on internal components (after reading about Mike's squeaking one).
  5. I've got an AZ5 and use it as my main mount, although I have it on a 1.75" steel legged tripod for stability (don't really like the lightweight tripod it came with). I've probably had it for just under a year and absolutely love it, it is perfect for what I use it for. Mine has a little bit of play in the Az when you reverse direction, but I've got used to it and it's not really an issue now (hardly notice it). Doesn't have any squeaks and it is both smooth and stable with both of my scopes. I would agree that the position of the controls probably isn't the best for longer OTAs - however it is fine with my ST102 and the Mak127. If I had a longer OTA, something maybe 650mm an upwards, I would probably use the AZ4 instead. I had stiction and balance problems with the ST102 and the AZ4, however I don't seem to suffer from this with the AZ5. I did sell my AZ4, but then ended up buying another one again (this time with an aluminium tripod). The AZ4 rarely gets used and is really just for the few occasions when I want to set up both scopes next to each other. If I had to keep only one, it would be the AZ5 on the steel tripod....but only if I was going to continue using shorter scopes.
  6. That's the tripod I used (But from my AZ4). I had to cut the alignment peg off and then buy a 3/8th bolt. In my opinion, it's a MASSIVE improvement over the standard AZ5 tripod and totally worth the effort of modifying the steel leg tripod. As Craig mentioned, there in an adaptor. But I think it's around £50. At the time I couldn't justify the extra money - but it's probably a better solution because you can still use the leg spreader with the adaptor.... where as I can't :-(
  7. Personally I would wait, or just buy the head and get a separate tripod.
  8. When I was first looking at the ST range, I couldn't quite decide what to go for (80,102 or 120). In the end I opted for the ST102, which I felt gave me a balance of portability and aperture. However....since getting my Mak 127, my ST doesn't get as much use as it used to (although I do still use it....when the weather is nice to me). I can't help but think that an ST80 would have been a better idea, as I could chuck it (and a lightweight tripod) in a bag and take it away on walks into the hills
  9. I managed to catch Jupiter last night with my mak. It went from being a featureless blob one minute, to having incredible band detail the next. I needed to wait until 1ish to be able to see the best detail. Circle with black dot is normal for out of focus mak. Turn the focus knob in the direction that makes the circle smaller and smaller, if it starts to get bigger again, then you've gone too far, so start going the other way. Are you using one of these apps where you hold your phone/tablet up to the sky and it tells you what you're looking at? I've never had much accuracy with this method. If what you're looking at goes to a point when you think it's in focus, then it's not Jupiter (it's a star). Jupiter looks like a disc when you're focused on it. Again, as others have mentioned, use the 4 moons to obtain focus (get them as small as possible) then observe Jupiter for a while.
  10. Amazing little scope, really impressed at the performance. I was actually just thinking about how good Saturn may look! Can't wait for planets to be positioned higher in the sky. I also find the mak great for tighter open clusters and globs. Tonight is meant to be clear for a few hours.... can I do it to myself?
  11. Well, I managed to see Jupiter! I love Jupiter and have seen it many times through my other scopes... but with the mak, it was something else. The clarity of the bands and their colour was just incredible. It certainly wasn't the best night for observing, lots of shimmering and sometimes the bands were completely washed out. But then the air would settle and I'd just get the most detailed views I've ever seen of Jupiter. I think I must have spent about an hour and a half just tracking the giant across the sky. Got some views at 200x which I was surprised about. One day I'll get the GRS, that's the next mission. Managed some open and globular clusters as well. Split a couple of doubles. And of course a wee cursory gander at the moon - would be rude not to! I think that was my longest session since November. Amazing how one session can totally reignite your excitement for the hobby. Although... I'm suffering from a bit of a sore head and groggy eyes this morning. Coffee is required!
  12. I got a mak 127 at the end of last year and still haven't had the chance to view Jupiter through it.... ridiculous! Weather and timing just haven't worked out for me so far this year. I managed to catch Jupiter (first time this year) last weekend with my ST102, but seeing wasn't great and I couldn't make out any banding. I was up visiting family and didn't have the mak with me... NOOOOOOO! School boy error. However, I have the mak this weekend and your post has given me inspiration to take advantage of the clear night tonight. Please please please, whatever deity controls weather in Scotland, be good to me tonight!
  13. When you get it close to being in focus, adjust the focuser slowly and by small amounts. It could be that you're adjusting too much either side and going through the "sweet spot" where you should get more detail. Try observing it for a minute or 2 once you think it's in focus, detail may come and go as atmosphere settles. I first saw Jupiter a few years ago when it was well positioned and could make out main bands easily with my ST102 (which is not really a planetary scope). However when I tried last weekend, I couldn't get any banding with the same scope and eye pieces. It might just be a bad night for seeing as Jupiter is quite low just now. I bought a 127 mak specifically for planets.... right in time to realise they're not well positioned (i.e. low in sky from UK) for next few years. Should have done more research! Give it a shot during the day, or on the moon. I've seen some ridiculously sharp and amazing views of the moon with the mak. Don't give up yet!
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