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Everything posted by davyludo

  1. Interesting...I've been trying to think about a tiny setup to take wild camping with me. This might be worth looking at!
  2. Thanks all for your input. Just a wee update with where I decided to position the Rigel. Only had a couple of chances to try it (typical Scottish weather). But it's A LOT easier to navigate around the sky now.
  3. I got one from Santa - absolutely love it. I was out observing the moon last night with it in my mak 127 and had a fantastic time. It took me ages to decide if it was right for me, or whether I should go for one of the cheaper svbony ones (which have decent reviews). As I was going to be using it in a mak, fov was important to me. The Baader had more fov at the 24mm than the cheaper ones. I've actually not used any other eyepieces in the mak since I got the zoom. Really glad I decided to give it a try.
  4. Hi Adam, You are more than welcome. Glad you're happy with it and that it's suitable. Congrats on sparking the interest of another budding young astronomer! Hope you both get to enjoy the experience together. I've started using the SkySafari 6 app which has an observation notebook. So far I've found it quite useful and easy to use. Cheers, Davy
  5. It's the Baader Hyperion zoom I went for - purely because it has a larger FOV compared to the cheaper ones. If I was looking for someone cheaper, then I'd probably look at the SVBONY 8-24mm one. I have a BST 2x Barlow, and it does still get used in the mak - can push mag up past 200 if splitting tight doubles (focus gets a bit difficult though) and exit pupil is small. But fine for a quick view.
  6. I'm yet to be lucky enough to use something like a 12" dob, but here's my thoughts. I know zooms aren't for everyone, and I believe the extra glass in them can impact views of DSOs. I recently got one though (the Baader Hyperion) and I really really like it. My fixed eyepieces aren't particularly expensive (compared to what is available), so I can't compare it to views through them. But it's been a real joy to use, and it's also been useful in helping me understand what fixed lengths would be useful. You can play about with the zoom on different targets, see what works best and note down what focal length has been useful. For me, never thought about getting a 12mm fixed. But from using the zoom I can now see a 12mm fixed would be a great addition to my kit.
  7. I've got a 30mm RACI on mine, which suits me perfectly...I do wonder how much better a 50mm would be though. The only issue I have found with a RACI over the red dot finder, is that it's quite difficult to get your first star lined up. I've actually just fitted a Rigel Quickfind as well as the RACI. I use the Rigel to get my first star, then move to the RACI to do any hoping I need. The combination works really well. From what I've read the 25mm that comes with skywatcher scopes is ok, but the 10 isn't great. Might be worth getting something in the 7.5-10mm range (which would sit in the 150-200x magnification range). I have both a 25mm and 9mm x-cel that work well in the mak. Also have a 15mm vixen SLV whish I really like - quite often Barlow that and use it instead of 9mm x-cel or if I'm looking for a bit more magnification. Santa brought me a zoom eyepiece for Christmas. I'm a massive fan as it's both fun an convenient for my style of "grab a quick view while I can" observing. I've not really used the other eyepieces much since I got the zoom. I've also found from using it, that a 12mm would be nice. The zoom is good to be able to quickly try different focal lengths on the same target.
  8. +1 for sky safari. Think I got the plus version for around £5. Roughly the cost of a pint. Easily worth it to me considering what it can do.
  9. I've found the following book quite good: www.amazon.co.uk/Illustrated-Guide-Astronomical-Wonders-Observer/dp/0596526857
  10. I can see a gap for a 4th and maybe a 5th finder! I think towards the read it the OTA makes more sense, but I was just concerned that I'd constantly be headbutting the Rigel because my 127 is obviously dinkier than your beast
  11. Interesting, I'd seen that adaptor, but didn't know if it would result in the finder being pusher further towards the eyepiece. I already clip my head on the tip of the RACI sometimes when peering down the eyepiece.
  12. Just what I need.... Another hobby. Think my wife might batter me if I take up anything else! Found a design on thingiverse for a focus knob for the mak. That's 2 things potentially worth printing (building up evidence for my case)
  13. My current setup is a mak 127 on an AZ5. I use a 6x30 RACI finder which allows me to combat the narrow FOV of the mak and hop about the sky. However I'm finding it hard sometimes to get my starting star in the RACI. Was thinking about getting a Rigel, and using that to get me in the area, the then move to the RACI to hop when the maks fov is too small. My question is: those who have a Rigel on a mak, where do you mount it? Towards the front end of the OTA, or towards the back? Pictures would be helpful.
  14. In the mak, my Vixen SLV 15mm. Can't quite put my finger on it, something about it that is just really pleasing to my eye. In the ST102, has to be the Aero 30mm. Just because you feel totally immersed in the view. Whispers: "I've just got a shiny new baader zoom and am slowly falling in love, but shhhhh. I don't want to get shouted at."
  15. This is the adaptor: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/astro-essentials-3-8-photo-adapter-for-eq6-tripod.html
  16. No messing about here! Cracking out the big guns
  17. I'm a bit late to the party with this one. But I have the AZ5 attached to the steel leg version of tripod you've shown. I use it for a Startravel 102 and Skymax 127. I had to take a hacksaw to the north alignment peg (although you can buy an adaptor plate for around £40 for a more professional look). I also had to get a new bolt as the one in my tripod was an M10. The AZ5 is a 3/8th so you should be fine.
  18. Found the post of originally seen: https://support.simulationcurriculum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360045066774-When-Will-SkySafari-7-Be-Released-Answer-ETA-End-Of-Year-
  19. I'm maybe just being overly cautious - I bought v5 and within a few months v6 was out. Just want want to be behind the times again! I did a quick google and could only find 1 or 2 mentions of v7 potentially being a work-in-progress. Might just bite the bullet and get 6 plus just now while it is on sale... if a new version comes out, then I'll just pretend it doesn't exist
  20. I finally have time to get back out with the telescope - obviously there's been nothing but clouds since I dragged it out from behind my tools in the cupboard! Anyway, I currently have Sky Safari 5 Plus on my phone, which seems to crash fairly regularly since newer versions of Android have been released (not sure if v5 is being updated anymore). I was going to move up to Sky Safari 6 Plus (it's around £6.50 on Google Play just now) but... I've noticed it's a few years old now and I'm wondering if v7 is due to be released. I'm just wondering if anyone knows whether there's going to be a v7 anytime soon, or is it safe to get v6 just now? Cheers, Davy
  21. I've also got a 127 Mak (which has been sat in a cupboard for about a year while we were renovating). Lockdown has finally got to me and I've decided to drag it all out from behind my tools and start spending some time out in the garden with my scope again. I was out on Saturday - for about 30 mins between the clouds. Currently have fixed f/l eyepieces (couple of Celestron X-cel and a 15mm Vixen SLV). Started off with the 25mm X-cel for a wee scan about, then went down to the 9mm X-cel on Mars. Views were ok, could make out some darker patches on the surface, but was struggling a bit to get focus spot on. Then I popped in my 15mm Vixen with a 2x barlow and BAM beautiful, clear, crisp view. Easy to get good focus - almost like it just pops into focus, rather than having to go forwards and backwards, sweeping through the sweet spot. Don't remember noticing this much of a difference between the X-cels and SLVs before, but certainly noticed in the other night. Getting back into using my scopes comes hand in hand with new toys! Turns out I'm also thinking about getting a Zoom eyepiece to use during quick sessions on the moon and planets. Also quite fancy trying some doubles, and like the idea of being able to zoom in and out to see the stars actually split. My current shopping list is: 1) Baader Hyperion Mark IV 8-24mm zoom - although I'm now paralyzed by indecision after seeing the much cheaper Hyperflex zoom. 2) 80A filter for use on planets 3) Either a Baader Neutral Density Moon filter, or a Baader neodymium moon & skyglow filter (still want to spend some time doing research into which one I want though). When I first for my mak, the first thing I replaced was the diagonal (bought a 2nd hand one from here). Then I replaced the finder with a 6x30 RACI. Also chucked the 10mm that comes "free" with the scope and got a 9mm X-cel.
  22. 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.
  23. 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*
  24. 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.
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