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About BGazing

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    Proto Star

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  1. Once you figure out which Tak you want let us spend your money on accessories.
  2. What's the budget? Borgs are ultraportable and break down, if you can track a 90FL second hand you will have a winner. They are f 5.6 so not as stellar on high magnification like Taks. You cannot go wrong with a Tak, if you can afford it, that is. 100DF is awesome, and transportable in a car on vacation (did it several times) but not really for airplane. Tak has a 76mm scope which you can break down in pieces for airline transport. I am NEVER too tired to take a peek through my 100mm and I am never tired to lug my Borg 71 through airport hassle. YMMV.
  3. Okay, managed two first lights, not at my dark place, but reasonable 20.61 SQM backyard, just to get a hang of the scope. 0 degrees C tests one's patience, and humid conditions are good for figuring out how it will behave under stress. First, I've contacted Michael re wood chip, he was kind enough to offer to ship it all back so he can make the new cradle (he needed all the parts) but I'll just repair it. He'll ship some novelty of his, truss pole stabilizers. Will post a photo once I receive them. In the meantime, I was stupid enough to mess with collimating triangle and managed to attach it wrongly. Then peeled it off, attached a new one. Some glue around the triangle and the triangle is again a tiny bit off, perhaps by less than a milimeter vis-a-vis center spot. Gotta say triangle is of immense help when collimating and adjusting in the dark. Not sure how much of a problem that slight off-centering is. I am going to let it be for now, but tips on how to remove it without to having to wash the mirror and whatnot are appreciated. Secondary attachment is so far my biggest peeve because it needs twisting around before starting to hit laser near the center of the primary. On the second night I managed to leave fingerprints on the edge of the secondary. So tips on cleaning secondary are also appreciated. My second biggest peeve is secondary ring attaching. I feel like I am always fighting it a bit, and RDF in the way is not making me like it more. RDF is under review, will see whether it is possible to mount some quick-release shoe and slot in Baader Skysurfer III because RDF needs adjustment after every collimation and doing it in the dark with the Allen key is not really fun. Also Baader has more clearance. Scope is smooth and works the biz. It is not super stable, so needs to be handled gently. It tracks well and is buttery but if you swing it quickly (as I did) it might jerk and lose collimation. On the second night I had the feeling that it lost collimation once without me being able to pinpoint why. Also, as you might expect, if you collimate at 60 degrees it will not be the same story at 20 degrees and the laser will show it...but that is, again, not surprising. Here, any tips from the owners are appreciated, but I guess those are the limits of the design. Fans are silent (three of them, unlike GuLinuxes) and one can observe while running them (no vibration and low to medium powers). Seeing was not that great the second night, so I tried some low power targets (M42, duh, M48, Beehive, Pleiades, Double Cluster, M38, Thor's Helmet). Given that I do my DSO observing normally under much darker skies I cannot easily compare (e.g. Thor's Helmet with OIII is MUCH better in SCT8 at 21.40 than in a 12 incher under 20.60 sky). Of course all of the above are nice in a 12 inch scope. There's some coma, I am still learning to discern coma, collimation, heat plumes and astigmatism of the eye. Work in progress, but not too different from SCT (except for upside down effects of the heat plumes). It was fun, cannot wait to test it at my favorite site, although I feel the biggest problem there will be finding some proper flat piece of ground.
  4. There are currently two threads on Alkaid 12, the other is mostly about various mods (here), so I will chime in in this one. My Alkaid 12 has just arrived. F5, Quartz mirror. So some impressions...after just one assembly in my study. No first light yet, sorry, weather is terrible. It really is compact, unbelievably compact and clever. Perfect portable little godzilla. Assembling it, I feel, will be snappy once I get a hang of it, disassembling is unbelievably fast. Its stable and smooth. Compared to what? Compared to SW flextube 12s (two of them) which I perused, it feels actually solid with considerably less flexion. Not to mention the wonderful Moonlite focuser. I inserted laser, roughly centered it on the primary, moved it around...nothing, nothing moves. Perhaps I am doing something wrong :). Paragon 40 causes no balance problems. Will revisit this matter once Paracorr arives. Truss tubes feel like you have to 'find' the proper pairing. Some combinations look not so straight. I could be wrong...but the are sufficiently rigid, I feel. Unlike the photos on the website, there are actually three primary cooling fans. Neat. Mounting secondary ring is my biggest peeve, feels like RDF is too close to one of the 'slots'. 'Its not a bug, it's a feature', I guess. But I do not like it. Secondary heater and its packing is really neat. Secondary mounting takes some time to figure out, but once you do it, it is okay. Packing secondary (exposed) gives me jitters, my cassegrain heart fears for exposed mirror surfaces. One of the pins which holds secondary ring when packing was, it seems, drilled too close to the edge and the wood is chipping, pic attached. Was told by my friends that I should not panic because wood looks durable. The thing is, once the pin falls out packing it would be much tougher. As @GuLinux mentioned, packing has to be seen to be believed, lots of small styrofoam flakes that float around and attach to pretty much everything. Had to vacuum them to cover my crime before my wife arrives. (You see, I have not bought a new scope, it is just a little wooden suitcase).
  5. Thank you, Bill, for this extensive review. Excellent read. Very encouraging to hear that it is handling 2kg of binoviewers with EPs without seeming to lose colimation. Don't know how heavy is that Argo Navis but I guess when velcroed to the carrying handle it acts as a sort of counterweight, too. Can't wait to receive mine, hopefully the galaxy season won't be a complete washout.
  6. Would it also have to do something with bino light rays coming out polarized?
  7. Your scopes are somewhat limited at how far you want to push their magnification. Achromat will show color and those little newts with spherical primaries peter out over 150x. I'd reccomend something around 4mm at most. Those scopes are not taking high magnification that well, IMO.
  8. I did just that...127 Mak to C8 and it makes sense, really. C8 is jack of all trades and will give you a lot of good views under dark skies.
  9. Well, this hobby makes you learn more about weather than about astronomy. Basically no weather is good for us, its either too cold or too hot or there is wind or no wind and high humidity. If by any chance it all comes together and it's perfect turns out I cannot go because of the commitments. But hey, this year I bagged 4 new moons at the dark site and I consider that a massive success before snows cut it off from our reach. Just came back today...we went for two days and the forecast was okayish for the first night and meh for the second night. One guy cancelled because he was rational. The irrational part of the group went and enjoyed two clear nights. The second one was high humidity, but still. I guess this makes it even for the night when I went and the forecast was clear...and we ended up under 100 percent overcast sky.
  10. 6mm would be very useful in your scope. 5mm T6 is my favourite Jupiter EP in 7.4 100mm Tak, and 4mm is probably the most comfortable on the Moon. If the seeing allows I would go to 3.5mm or even 3mm on the Moon, but Jupiter gets washed out. So, based on my experience, 6mm would be great for your 8.8. One more thing. With planets so low here (and especially for you up there), I consider ZWO ADC indispensable in my Tak for planetary. Cleans it up very well and you get to enjoy the views instead of some rainbow boil near the horizon. The trick is, you would have to use some barlow before the ADC to make your f longer (I use 2.5 PM) so you get to use longer fl eyepiece as your planetary. Eg. my 13mm T6 becomes 'Jupiter EP'. So...in your scope I would have both 5mm and 6mm and the ADC. But that's me. My EPs are multiplying like rabbits.
  11. Skiing pants are fine. Wool layer underneath. Basically, when you dress for prolonged sitting, you dress as if it were 15 degrees C colder than it actually is.
  12. Congrats on your new scope, I have only now stumbled upon this thread. Seems like we caught the dob fever in succession. It also looks like you held off Paracorr, which makes sense given the f/6 mirror. Just don't borrow one, you might like the look, I was told. I see that you are observing planets, and they happen to be quite low at the moment. I found dispersion to be objectionable to the point that I could not enjoy the views with planets so low without the ZWO ADC. Effects of dispersion get progressively worse with aperture, it is always present, at 100mm at my latitude the views with or without are night and day, SCT 8 the difference is astonishing. I compared C8 with ADC with 12 inch dob without and it was a no-contest. I would say that even a 100mm refractor with ADC would show more than a big dob under effects of massive dispersion. ADC even makes seeing look better because it cleans up the smear. So to enjoy planets in the coming years to the best extent, Jove and Saturn in particular, I suggest getting ZWO ADC. Its use is a bit more tricky with a dob (see online tutorial on lining up with the horizon), and you would have to use a 2.5 powermate to bring your f number higher and avoid astigmatism. But trust me, you need it for such massive aperture with planets so low. Just make sure to have 1.25 eyepiece in 2.5x more focal length than you would otherwise have...(e.g. in my Tak DF I use PM 2.5, ADC then 13mm instead of the usual 5mm for Jupiter). You may use it for your Tak as well, although you might need to buy additional EP or two...
  13. Does anyone have any ideas where TS sources its quartz mirrors? GSO quartz mirrors (one, to be precise) did really well in a double-pass test of Tommy Nawratil and Wolfgang Rohr.
  14. How different is that combo from say...this https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p754_Baader-Justierlaser-fuer-Newton-Teleskope-fuer-genaue-Justage.html
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