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About davyludo

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  1. After some pondering....I'm thinking about potentially getting the AZ5+tripod package to use for grab and go viewing/camping trips (seeing as it sounds pretty light compared to AZ4). Then buying the adaptor so that I can use the AZ5 head on the AZ4 steel tripod for home viewing. The AZ4 head might end up just gathering dust! Think I'll hold off until John has had the chance to review the AZ5 and Pronto mounts. Plus wait for FLO to get the Berlebach adaptors in and just order it all in one go.
  2. Hi Helen, Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I'm getting closer and closer to sticking an AZ5 on the credit card.... Cheers, Davy
  3. I wonder how difficult it would be fashion a little converter plate so that the AZ5 head can be attached to the AZ4 tripod.....and if there will be enough demand that someone might start producing these. I would like the AZ5, but don't have the available funds right now. Might hold out for some reviews to appear before I decide to purchase. Plus....I don't think I've seen anything but clouds for months This is a good point. I'd be interested to see someones comparison with the same head and different tripods. I hadn't thought of this, but was surprised by the 5kg. The skywatcher AZ4 manual states the same load capacity for both steel and aluminium leg versions:
  4. Yay!!!! Out of interest - do you know if the head will mount to the existing steel legged tripod for the AZ4? Thanks, Davy
  5. Guess my lunch break will consist of me refreshing my browser then
  6. Just thought I would throw in my views as well.... I purchased an ST102 at the start of the year and decided to mount it on an AZ4 (steel leg version that I purchased second hand). I have tried the ST102 on an AZ3 mount - it is usable, but the AZ4 is certainly easier and provides a more enjoyable experience (especially for longer sessions)...for me at least. I did replace the diagonal with a right angle one, as I found the 45 was awkward for night time viewing. I also added a 6x30 RACI finder which I've found to be useful. My first scope (a little 76mm Newtonian) would probably be classed as a "department store" scope by the more experienced members, but it was enough to make me realise that I found great peace and enjoyment when just scanning about the sky and that I wanted to be able to have a peek at everything. I was going to go for Mak but in the end decided to opt for a refractor as I thought the wider field of view would be easier for me to learn the sky and find things using an Alt-Az mount (amongst other reasons). From my fairly light polluted viewing location on the outskirts of Edinburgh, I have been able to see more than I could have thought possible. I've spent a few nights with no real plan, just scanning about the sky with a low powered eyepiece...AMAZING! I've also spent some time working on more planned sessions where I've manged to track down galaxies to about 9 mag (personally I struggle on things fainter. 2 out of the 3 leo triplet galaxies only just show themselves) as well as open clusters (beehive, double cluster, pleiades). Personally I've used the ST102 for everything, including looking at Jupiter and the moon at 200x. I know this is pushing what this scope should really be used for and is probably too much mag, but I enjoyed experimenting with different magnifications and trying to track with the AZ4! I've tried splitting some doubles at higher mags and I've found that proper focus starts to get difficult (this is where the AZ4 is a better mount as things move about less when adjusting the focus by small amounts). Having not tried a Mak yet, I can't comment....however, I can see what people mean by a washed out image and CA. It is certainly there when viewing brighter objects, but I feel that I can live with it for what I use it for. You do get the impression that all those lovely photons aren't quite getting focused in the right place (for example, from looking at pictures people have taken with Maks, I imagine they would provide sharper bands and more defined colours when viewing Jupiter). I certainly don't regret my decision - when the weather permits, I have had a great time using this scope and feel it was a fantastic choice. However...once money, weather and time all align...I will probably end up getting a Mak as well for use one planets and the moon. I will then use them both for different things - ST102 for low power views, and then the Mak for high power planet and lunar viewing. From what I've learnt from the wealth of knowledge on SGL...there is no telescope that will do everything, each type has it's own strengths and weaknesses. I admit that my little ST102 is not the best scope for planet or lunar viewing, but I have used it....just like it's not really meant to be used for higher mag....but I've played with that as well. I love my ST102 and it has been a fantastic purchase. I look forward to many more hours using it, both on it's own and in the future when I use it side by side with a Mak. Hope this helps :-) Cheers, Davy
  7. Hi Ian, I originally used general purpose lithium grease that I had lying around (which made quite a difference compared to the original stuff that was on there). However after speaking to some people on SGL I was advised to use teflon grease so bought a tube of superlube. Again, this made a difference over the lithium (only slightly though). After reading the link posted by happy-kat, I think I may have applied too much grease....because I put grease on EVERY surface I could (including the teflon surfaces). I did notice that I needed to have everything done up tighter after applying the superlube as the mount was more prone to drooping (which I assume is because my scope wasn't properly balanced). I think I might remove some of the grease and try keeping the alt a bit tighter (rather than setting it so that it's only just holding the scope in place). I'd like to point out that the mount is in no way unusable...the grease has made a massive improvement over how it originally felt. I'm being really pernickety here and really just looking for minor ways to improve things - I understand that there will probably always be some amount of stiction to overcome (without spending a fortune on a fancy mount). At the moment I'm not getting the telescope out tinkering with things is keeping me out of trouble!! Cheers, Davy
  8. Thanks for the response John. The heads of the bolts that are on my dovetail stick out a bit, so unfortunately that limits the amount of travel I have It certainly feels like I could do with weight being a bit further forward thought. It's not a massive issue...just feel that stiction would be less noticable if I could get the weight a bit further forward and have things better balanced. The AZ4 is a great mount and I love the ease and freedom of using an alt-az. I bought a cheap 2nd hand AZ3 really just to try to slow motion controls - I've had the ST102 on this a couple of times, it's not great but it's fine for a quick look between gaps in the clouds. I did have to replace the alt nyloc nut as it kept coming lose and causing me issues. Works fine with my wee 76mm newt which weighs nothing. Holding out for more information on the AZ5 for now!
  9. I also use an AZ4 with my ST102 at the moment. Similar to yourself, I found alt stiction to be a bit annoying (especially at higher magnification when nudging more often). I stripped the head down and regreased which did help a bit....but I think my issue is that I don't seem to have the scope very well balanced. Found it a bit difficult with the short tube length - once I have Revelation diagonal and X-cel eyepiece in it's difficult to keep the tension right as I increase alt. Maybe I'm being stupid and missing something though! Out of interest, have you done anything special (weights, etc) to help balance the ST102? Cheers :-)
  10. I originally used some cheap multi purpose lithium grease (lying around from car tinkering days) on my AZ4 mount. It seemed to work fine but I then read some people going on about how you should use PTFE grease and ended up getting a tube of Super Lube (which took weeks to arrive because it was shipped from across the Atlantic....totally my fault for not reading the small print). Anyway, I found that the Super Lube was quite a bit smoother...however I also found that it was so "buttery smooth" that I needed to tighten everything up a bit more to stop altitude axis drooping (short tube refractor, so right balance is difficult as I can't move rings). This meant that I found there was a bit more stiction when the axis had been sitting for a few minutes. This resulted in me overshooting when trying to make small adjustments. Once things are moving, the Super Lube is definitely "smoother". However I think I might have personally preferred the multipurpose grease because I didn't need things as tight and so found that stiction was less on an issue when making minor adjustments. Just my opinion...
  11. Hi Natty, welcome to SGL. I've only been here for a small amount of time, but the people here are very friendly and very helpful. I hope you enjoy using your new telescope and this fantastic hobby :-)
  12. Just in case this helps anyone in the future. AZ3 alt nut size is - M12, 1.75mm pitch, Type T Replaced mine and it's made a big difference.
  13. I couldn't believe how easy it was when I did it. It went from "I'll just unscrew this grey disc and see what happens..." to a completely dismantled head in about 30 seconds. There really isn't much to the AZ4. I found a can of degreaser I had from car tinkering days in my tool shed so used a combination of that and a bucket of hot soapy (fairy liquid) water. The degreaser said it was safe for plastics...hopefully nothing will disintegrate over time!
  14. I still need to make the effort to take a trip out there one night. It's not too far from me (maybe about 20-30 minutes). I've been on google maps and seen that there is a car park next to the Fishery - do people just park up there and set their kit up?