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davyludo

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About davyludo

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Location
    Edinburgh
  1. Jupiter 18th April

    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!
  2. 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!
  3. BST Starguider 3.2mm

    I'm selling my BST Starguider 3.2mm eyepiece - bought new from FLO last August. Was bought for my ST102 to give me something around 150x mag. But I acquired a mak 127 shortly after that, so now I tend to only use the ST102 for low mag, wide field views. Therefore it's just taking up space in my case and it could do with a new, loving home! It's only been used a couple of times and is in almost new condition (other than a couple of bits of dust on the outside). Comes with both end caps and box. Looking for £35 which includes UK delivery (via Hermes). Payment via bank transfer or PayPal. Would potentially discuss a swap for an 8 or 12mm BST (would need to be in very good condition). Any questions, please just ask. Also advertised on ABS. Thanks for looking, Davy
  4. Hi from Dundee, Scotland

    Hello from Edinburgh. From what I've read, that's a cracking first scope that should last a long time and show you some amazing things. This forum is a brilliant place to learn and ask questions. The lovely people here have helped me a lot since I joined. Enjoy getting into the hobby and good luck!
  5. Buying 2nd hand eyepieces

    I was cautious about buying second hand at first as well....but now a lot of my kit is second hand (including one of my telescopes). I've bought on both SGL and ABS and never had any problems. Had some very nice and encouraging conversations with more experienced SGL members when buying kit from them. If you keep an eye on the sales section then you'll get an idea of what prices various bits go for. I wouldn't worry too much about seeing things sitting for a while - sometimes it's just a time where others are skint or are using incredible self control to not buy more stuff! I've been in that position myself where I've seen something I REALLY want and it's a good price, but I just can't justify the spend at that time.
  6. Skywatcher AZ5 mount head

    So not sticky friction then...slightly embarrassed now It's one of those things, you know it when you feel it/experience it. But personally, I stuggle to find the words to explain what it is.
  7. Skywatcher AZ5 mount head

    I believe the AZ5 states a load weight of 5kg with the standard tripod. However, I think the manual mentions that the "heavy duty" variant (which looks like it has a steel legged tripod) has a load weight of 9kg. https://teleskop-austria.at/information/pdf/AZ5_AZ-5.pdf
  8. Skywatcher AZ5 mount head

    Hi Phil, Glad my comments were of some use to you. Stiction.....don't actually know where the term comes from. I imagine it's something like "sticky friction". Anyway, when using the AZ4 you sometimes find that to get it to start initially moving, you need to apply a bit more force than is required once it is already moving. So what happens is you push a bit harder, which means you over shoot your target. This is what spaceboy was getting at when talking about having the clutch done a bit tighter - if you can balance the force needed to initially overcome the friction between the surfaces, with the force required to move once already in motion, then it's all happy days. Google has given me the following definition: the friction which tends to prevent stationary surfaces from being set in motion. Hope this makes sense. I am in no way saying the AZ4 is a bad mount, it's a great piece of kit. But when using a short frac (like an ST102 or ST120) stiction can be a bit more noticeable due to not being able to easily obtain perfect balance. Yeah it's the same 1.75" tripod that is used on the EQ5/HEQ5 and AZ4 (I believe). I had to take a hacksaw to the little alignment peg and then buy a 3/8" bolt (fully threaded). I have some pictures somewhere that I could put up if that would help? Cheers, Davy
  9. Skywatcher AZ5 mount head

    Totally agree with this - I regreased my AZ4 and it did make a massive difference (especially with the Mak). But still had issues with the ST102 - like you say spaceboy more down to balance. You can find a sweet spot, but it does take some playing and adjusting. The AZ5 is a bit less sensitive to incorrect balance (well, in my opinion anyway). I think FLO did mention that they'd head that there was a "heavy duty" version of the AZ5. I think the AZ5 user manual may mention it as well....although I don't have it to hand, and wouldn't stand up in court to say that....
  10. Skywatcher AZ5 mount head

    I have both the AZ5 (with tripod) and the AZ4 (steel tripod). I love the AZ4 for stability, although when I moved to the 127 Mak, I found the stiction a bit of an issue at higher mags (just took some of the enjoyment out of it for me). I got the AZ5 and love the head, but hate the tripod - it really isn't that great, especially when extended. I did an experiment with damping times using the AZ5 with various tripod setups. Using the standard tripod, fully extended, damping time was something ridiculous like 7-8 seconds. With the legs collapsed it's something like 3 seconds to dampen down from a tap/knock/refocus. However....stick the AZ5 head on the 1.75" steel tripod and vibrations start to vanish within 1 or 2 seconds, with both my ST102 and Mak 127. I don't think the AZ5 would have any issues carrying an ST120. The movement of the AZ5 head is very smooth and is less prone to balancing and stiction issues than the AZ4. I find that my ST102 on the AZ4 can be annoying to use sometimes - the short tube doesn't get a decent balance point (without modifying the dovetail or adding weight to the front end): this means that the alt clutch has to be done quite tight to stop slippage....and then I find stiction is more of an issue. Takes some time to find the sweet spot. I don't feel I have either of these issues with the AZ5. The AZ5 with the steel 1.75" legs is a perfect combo for me - still light enough to move around fairly easily, quick to setup, solid and smooth movement. I'm really not a fan of the standard tripod that came with the AZ5 - I do still have it and it does get used sometimes when I'm wanting something light to carry for a short distance, however the legs never get extended and I have to sit on the ground or use a tiny stool. My AZ3 has sat in a corner, gathering dust since I got the AZ5....along with the standard AZ5 tripod. I've now picked up a set of aluminium legs for the AZ4, purely so I can have the ST102 and Mak 127 setup side by side. But if just using one scope....the AZ5 and steel legs are my first choice. In my personal opinion (with limited experience with other equiment/brands) the problem with the AZ5 is purely the choice of tripod that Skywatcher have chosen to pair it with. The mount head is very capable (expecially for shorter scopes) but the tripod really lets it down. If you're prepared to use either the 1.75" steel tripod, or even the aluminium one that comes with an AZ4/EQ3-2 then I would think you'll have a much better experience with the AZ5. If I could go back....I would just buy the AZ5 head and pick my own tripod....save myself some money. Good luck!
  11. No problem at all Ed. I was thinking about it for a couple of months and couldn't quite decide what to do - then a Skywatcher 127 showed up on Astroboot and I decided to go for it (after speaking to some very helpful people on here). I was already using a different scope, so I wasn't in a mad rush to get on in order to get started. If you can afford to wait, then it's worth keeping an eye on Astroboot because you can get some fantastic deals. However, I completely understand that you may not want to wait.... I very nearly bought one brand new, but I just got lucky when a "like new" one showed up second hand. From what I've heard/read the 102 is still an excellent scope and will still show you a lot...it's just the 127 will pull out a little more detail. I went for the 127 for two reasons: 1) I didn't want to get the 102 and then 6 months later, wish I'd gone bigger 2) ... a second hand 127 was available first!
  12. Hi Ed, I currently have the Skymax 127 mak - I have used it on both AZ4 and AZ5 alt-az mounts. If you're looking for a light setup and want to steer clear of an EQ, then I would recommend getting an alt-az mount with Slow motion controls. The mak is much easier to use on the AZ5 than it is on the AZ4. The tipod on the AZ5 isn't great, so if you were thinking about it I would suggest getting the head only and getting a more heavy duty tripod for it. A Vixen Porta 2 would be a good alternative. Personally I don't find narrow field of view, or tracking an issue when using the mak on an AZ5. I got my mak second hand from astroboot (European version: http://www.astroboot.eu/AstroBoot) which cost me ~£170 inc delivery (what ever that is in Euros). It arrived and basically looked brand new - I think it was meant to be an ex-display model. I asked the question of 102mm vs 127mm a while ago as well - have a wee read of this, hopefully it helps you:
  13. Skywatcher AZ5 mount head

    I must admit, for low power scanning... I prefer the AZ4. Purely because it has a handle for moving the scope. The AZ5 does have a nice smooth movement and less stiction than the AZ4. But stiction isn't a massive issue for low power. Having said that, the ST102 on the AZ5 isn't so bad. But as the mak is short, you end up having to steer using the ota when not using the slow motion controls. Scanning at low power, I use AZ4 (which I sold and the bought again). For high power and manual tracking, I use AZ5.
  14. Skywatcher AZ5 mount head

    Thanks Ian. I absolutely love the mak - and the st102 is still different enough that I use both scope for different things. Well.... when the weather allows me to have fun of course :-p
  15. Skywatcher AZ5 mount head

    Hi Jules, I bought an AZ5 and use it with my mak 127 and my st102. I ended up using the AZ4 steel tripod...because the one that comes with the AZ5 isn't great. Personally I think it's great for the mak 127, slow motion really makes a difference with narrow fov and high magnification. Movement is really smooth with the mak on it, quite easy to get a good balance.
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