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About AdeKing

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Poole, Dorset
  1. Thanks to the tireless work of a great many people I've just heard than the Cranborne Chase AONB has been awarded dark sky reserve status, https://www.darksky.org/cranborne-chase-uk-designated-as-international-dark-sky-reserve/ I believe that it is the first AONB to be awarded the dark sky reserve status. Amongst others, much work has been done by members of Wessex Astronomical Society and Fordingbridge Astronomers as well as tireless campaigning by Bob Mizon of CfDS. Well done everybody. Right on our doorstep too.
  2. I know there answer is probably no, but is there any chance that someone attending this year might be bringing a scope fitted with an Astro Devices Nexus II DSC setup? Following some responses on a thread I've posted questions on recently, I'm interested whether my horrible Huawei P20 phone is capable of reliably connecting to one and driving it via SkySafari, something I've had significant issues with when using either a Skyfi iii or just the SynScan App. Any help would be much appreciated and gratitude could be expressed in beer tokens
  3. Yes, sadly I think that it is just my choice of phone. My old work iPhone did work fine, but the battery is shot and I'm reluctant to shell out on a dodgy high street/ebay replacement battery. I know @Stu successfully uses SS with a Samsung Galaxy S9 (I think) which is the same basic version of Android as my Huawei, but without the Huawei jiggery pokery going on, and my wife's phone, also a Samsung is also fine. Even my old samsung phone works OK, but the screen is pretty damaged and the battery knackered so its not very useable even though it works. I really do think that it is something to do with the way Huawei aggressively throttles everything back to get the best battery life, even though I've tried to override the defaults to keep apps connected to the WiFi. Lets just say lesson learned and needless to say I won't be buying another Huawei. However, as the old adage goes, once bitten, twice shy. Hence my aversion to stuff without a handset/head unit. Anyway, thanks agin, I'll put up a post when I get everything sorted out.
  4. Thanks for the recommendation @Scoot, if I was buying a solution for the Dob only then that's the way I might go because its a lot cheaper and seems an ideal solution but I'm reluctant to not have a standalone head unit. However, I'm considering the new AZ100 mount with the DSC, then getting encoders for the Dob so I can use the Nexus DSC head unit with both mounts. The Nexus DSC also works with SkySafari that way and so the head unit gives a backup for when the phone batteries fail. My issue is that I seem to have lots of problems with using SkySafari wirelessly with my Huawei P20 so I'm a bit reluctant to go all in with a unit that requires my phone or a computer to function, unless I've misunderstood the Nexus ii capabilities. I had issues with SS and the SynScan app and now I'm having similar issues with my ioptron AZ Pro and SkySafari. It seems that Huawei have done something clever in the OS which actually causes me issues. I thought I'd solved it by preventing SS from going to sleep and disconnecting the WiFi but the issues are still there intermittently. Still mulling things over at this stage but the Az100 and Nexus DSC is looking positive subject to it being able to hold my f/11 Frac comfortably, which I think it will.
  5. Thanks @Scoot, that's very helpful. I'm just waiting on John's and Stu's feedback about the AZ100 in addition to seeing it in the flesh as SGLSP19 in a few weeks time before I make a decision. If I go that way, it'll be a while before I can afford it so will be looking at mid to late next year for the Dob encoder upgrade. I may need to get the official OO UK rings and base fittings rather than my hacked approach using SW rings and washers as shims to make it fit properly but the doc you provided will give me an idea of whether I can make it work. Thanks again, Ade
  6. I'm hoping to dual mount the LS60 and ST102 with wedge onto the new AZ Pro. Hopefully I'll have received the replacement mini-pier in time, otherwise its an expensive mount that I can't fit to anything.
  7. Thanks for this post, I'm contemplating getting one of the new Rowan AZ100 mounts with the Nexus DSC and was just contemplating how you might attach encoders to an OO UK Dob Mount, so I did a search and your post popped up. The fact that you can fit encoders to an OO UK Dob makes the AZ100 look even more appealing if I could get encoders for the dob and swap the Nexus DSC between the two. Needless to say, I've bookmarked this post. Thanks.
  8. I've taken the day off work for this transit. The Venus transit in 2012 passed me by as it happened before I got back into astronomy, and there won't be another in my lifetime, so I want to observe as many Mercury transits as I can. I'm fed up of missing things due to local weather so my reasoning is that I'm going to drive to wherever (within reason) has a clear sky forecast so that I can see it. Could well be a very early start for me. Ade
  9. The issue I had with the Baader was that when I wanted to fit one to an original Starwave 102 f/11 that Baader didn't offer the correct fitting off the shelf and required measurements from me to make up a specific one. I think I had the same issue when I wanted to fit one to my WO ZS66SD as well. I was happy measuring the diameter, but wasn't confident measuring the thread pitch. I wasn't confident that my measurements would be accurate enough for it to fit properly, so I gave up and approached Moonlite who told me which of their flanges would fit, then I ordered from FLO. Its a long wait (6 weeks so far) but I am confident that it will fit when I receive it. I have an original Steeltrack fitted to my Lunt LS60 and its superb I just wish they offered a wider range of fittings for it off the shelf. Its simple if its the standard Synta three bolt fitting.
  10. Nice clear morning here. Hoping the clouds stay away so I get a chance to look at lunchtime due to work Fingers crossed
  11. This is unfortunately a sad fact with the hobby. The basic alt az mounts supplied with entry level OTAs are just about adequate for the OTA they are supplied with if you don't push their abilities too much. However, on a more positive note, once you have found a mount that works for you and your chosen setup it may well out last several OTA upgrades. The Skytee that John mentions above definitely falls into that category, it is certainly capable of handling larger OTAs than you are looking at. I had one for a long time and only sold it on because I decided that I wanted something motorised with goto.....a decision I later regretted. With regards to costs, if you look on the used market you can frequently pick up bargains if you're willing to wait. I now have both a used ED100 and a used ED120 for less than the cost of a new ED120 which I could not justify new. Astronomers tend to look after their equipment very well. Ade
  12. I used to have the second mount you've linked to in the form of an Astro-Tech Voyager and used it quite happily with a 102/500 refractor OTA or a 150/750 Newtonian OTA, but I sold it a while ago I'm afraid. I really liked the mount a lot but ultimately I wanted something a bit more compact and travel friendly so opted for a Tele-Optik Ercole Mini which is a very capable little mount but again does not have the slow mo controls that you are looking for. @JohnSadlerAstro purchased my A-T Voyager and was using it with a 90mm/800 OTA for a while I believe so something a bit closer to the 100ED in dimensions but a bit lighter I suspect. Hopefully John see the ping above and be along shortly to give his thoughts on that combo.
  13. I have only used an AZ3 with a Coronado PST which is tiny, but based on my experience of it I would think that it would struggle with the f/9 100ED, based on a combination of the OTA weight and the tube length. You could give it a go to see how it worked for you, but personally I would think that something more like an AZ4 would be more suitable. However, the AZ4 does not have the slow motion controls that the AZ3 has. I have used both the AZ3 mount and the OTA but never together so I am just basing the above on my gut feeling.
  14. That must be a record, I saw the Ad, was about to alert someone via PM, then it was gone. Very nice and I hope the permacloud clears so you can use it soon.
  15. Yes, @Alan White is correct, I have an 8" Skywatcher dob OTA which I use on an OOUK 8" Dob Mount which I was fortunate to pick up used from @DRT a while ago. If you contact OO they will make you rings and blocks to fit, but I found their price quite high so I used the Skywatcher rings for an 8" OTA, and then used washers as shims on the bolts keeping the base together to get the clearances right and ensure nothing rubbed when rotating the OTA on the bearings. Using the washers as shims on the base allowed me to add a few mm to the width of the base and allow the bearings to sit flush with the sides if the base as intended. If I remember correctly I might have also needed to put a washer or two between the side bearings and the tube rings as I seem to remember the squared off part of the SW tube ring fouling on the mount somewhere. It was a bit of a fiddle and took a few attempts to get it right but I got there eventually. The OO solution also provides slightly larger blocks which provide the threads that the side panels fit to. My solution isn't as tidy but does the same thing but for just the cost of some longer bolts and a few washers and most importantly no DIY skills, which I sadly lack. The Dob is buried at the back of the summerhouse at the moment but if I can get to it without too much trouble I'll post some photos or maybe draw a diagram in a bit if the above is unclear.
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