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  1. My 'scope/mount needs to travel approx 50 feet from the Living Room to the Backyard when the skies clear enough to hold a decent observing or imaging session. Am stepping up to the Celestron AVX after several years of a great Manfrotto camera mount. Total current weight of "refractor + manual mount + inline Nikon 300s + site" = 8 pounds. Add in the 30 pounds for the AVX Mount and wonder if this is too heavy to slosh around without damaging the tracking, SO, would probably take the rig off, as well as the weight....true danger of blowing up the new AVX mount? Comments? Thx! Marc
  2. ...am running an Astrotech 72ED Doublet refractor on a quality camera tripod. I want to up my game relating to observing planets and maybe a few Messiers like M 81. Stars/nebulae not a priority. And, take a few pics as well...happy to take comparatively short exposures. I have a penchant for equatorial refractors (simplicity and sharpness). Could do a go-to this time, but I have a half-way decent knowledge of the sky and can usu find what I want via Stellarium (iPad or cell). So, I went to the local sky-shop that is well-stocked and very well regarded. Great guy (owner of the shop) offered many different combos of scope/mount/tripods in the Celestron and Meade lines. Am not a Takahashi player.....more like a Sky-Watcher 100 APO or an Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST which seems to get some good press.......anyhow, finally just said as in the title: "Ok....I just want to see Saturn bigger, and stop the darned shaking when I make adjustments....." Thoughts on the perfect combo of scope/mount/tripod, or just buy a Celestron 6E for $699 (SCT....hmmmm) and go out and enjoy looking at the sky with it? Thx, Marc
  3. Great stuff......thx. Will validate their math on the very first open sky.....been cloudy/milky/soupy skies here for the last two weeks with record rain. Looking for a " refractor that is relatively compact, but "no go"..... Marc
  4. Gadzooks!!! (or, perhaps "cor" or "blimey" in Newmarket?).....thanks for accelerating me up the learning curve..... 1. did hit the 'scope store yesterday, and learned more about the 2" vs 1.25 question. Decided will stay with the 1.25 for my first attempts at Nikon stills and vid. I can run in the 12mm and 5mm within the adaptor and see what turns up on the sensor. Of course, on the 5mm, Saturn will race across the lens, and honestly, be photo-worthy in the center area. 2. thanks for the schooling via images......what the heck is that which produced them? Cool that it apparently allows variance analysis based upon equipment options! Marc
  5. the 5mm eyepiece greatly helps scope-wise. does not translate to the sensor?
  6. Dave- Same experience with purchasing a football jersey as a present to my son-in-law.....contacted the seller (China firm) before hitting the Enter Button on eBay to confirm it will be there not later than X-date. X-date came and went, flurry of mails, they assured it was shipped......I pushed "promised" card really, really hard....they advised they would send another free-of-charge with no ask to return the 2nd one (whichever arrived last). I got 3....1 a week past the guaranteed date but on the date I really needed it, and two 3 days later in separate mailings. One look at the number of stamps and seals hitting the envelopes and I cannot imagine how these guys can establish any solid date. Sent a note asking for return instructions on the 2 I now did not order or pay for, and they said to keep with their compliments. So, a n honest co. in a complex postal/shipping infrastructure. Marc
  7. Steve- So, as you mention it, an "Ah hah!" moment.... I now get the notion that, let's say, when Saturn transits the eyepiece, it takes about 40 seconds. So, during that time, the camera sensor could care less about whether it is a larger transit or a smaller one, as long as it is in the clear for a few hundred frames or so........do I have it right? Marc
  8. thx....store offered a refund of the diffrence or swap at my option....will have to hit the optical sites to read up on why "more would not be more" when the light reaches the senor level, but good news it does not. Further good news is the 1.25 accepts my 1.25 eyepieces, so away we go. Now....if we just have a decent piece of sky to peer at!!!! Last couple of weeks has been clouds/t'stroms and ground fog. C'mon, October!!! :-) Thx Marc
  9. Purchased a 2" camera adapter for my refractor to use for straight-through planetary shooting with a DSLR (Nikon D300s), but a 1.25 was accidentally placed in the bag. Got home, noticed and called the 'scope store. Rep says, "No real difference unless you use a full-size sensor (I don't). Not an answer I would have expected as it is counter-intuitive to the thinking that a bigger light pallet would provide larger and perhaps richer light at various stops. So, the big question: will it make a difference? Thx! Marc
  10. Saturn: when observed early on, it shows the avocation is filled with such promise of continued fascination.......and how nice a good alt/az mount can be when gazing with a 25mm eyepiece! Love the pics...... Marc
  11. Checked the boards internally and the web, but no good ideas to provide an "astronomer's mode" for the above mobile devices. I use Stellarium and Google Sky Maps when in the field and like their "red" feature, which works great....it is getting to that screen from the On Button that makes the devices seem like they are part of the Heathrow or Kennedy Landing Light Systems!!!! Of course, I pre-load the app before it gets dark, and switch to "red", but it is when the devices power down for battery-saving that is the killer....easy to recover the cell but the iPad is a night vision killer...(.even when in the cockpit). Looking for a better solution than calling out for everyone in the field to close their eyes, turn around, and count to 10!!!! Any ideas? Am sure this has been solved by someone here... Regards, Marc
  12. Was dodging an 80% occluded sky last night, and caught Saturn open for a few mins.....dropped in the 5mm eyepiece and saw something I have nevr seen before while Saturn was transiting across the lens: Saturn, and esp the rings appeared metallic, like shiny aluminum with shimmering sparkles of what must have been refracted light. Pollution? Atmospheric residue from a recently passed electrical storm? Thoughts? Thx, Marc
  13. There is something so pleasing in the simplicity of your set-up.....all the right tools, packaged in manner that is easy to deploy........exactly what I am attempting. I do like the idea of the catalogue case.....have one in the closet. Will be perfect for the airport! Thx, Marc
  14. Steve- Thx for the comment...indeed, ain't turning loose the Celestron 25x100's, mounted on either a tripod or a monopod, each with a ball-head. Definately within reach at each observing session, and used. Can't beat the portability. Yucatan beckons in October, and these will be in my backpack as we hit the airport. Psyched about the prospect of clean skies, and very, very little light pollution. Marc
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