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Mak the Night

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About Mak the Night

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  1. You're welcome. It took me a while to sort out a decent alt az mount/tripod combo. The AZ3's main problem seems to be a flawed lock washer, which induces very noticeable altitude drift, effectively making it unusable. The Vixen SXG Hal-130 tripod totally transforms the Vixen Porta II mount and it can easily handle a 127mm Mak or a short tube refractor up to 102mm with 2" accessories. The Sky-Watcher AZ5 is similar to the Porta II in capability although I found that it struggled with an ST80 and a 2" diagonal and eyepiece. As such I only use 2" accessories with the Porta II/Hal-130 combo now. The AZ5 tripod is much better than the stock Synta pressed aluminium tripods. It is stronger and the quality of workmanship is better. I like it because it is quite light and easy for me to carry with my disability. It will just about hold a 127mm Mak or an ST102 but I wouldn't trust it with 2" accessories. I only use the modified ST102 on the Porta II/Hal-130. Picture above shows the ST102 on the AZ5.
  2. I find that the Sky-Watcher AZ5 Deluxe Alt-Azimuth Mount works well with a modified ST80, but the tripod is too light for 2" accessories. This mount/tripod combination is also supplied with the 127mm SkyMax and the ST102. Although I personally think it's too light for those scopes. It does handle a 102mm SkyMax (Maksutov) well though. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html The Vixen Porta II with the SXG Hal 130 tripod handles the 127mm SkyMax, ST102 well and will enable a modified ST80 to be used with 2" accessories. The supplied tripod with the Porta isn't any better than the included standard Synta EQ2 & AZ3 tripods. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/vixen-mounts/vixen-porta-ii-mount.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/vixen-mounts/vixen-sxg-hal-130-tripod-sx-gp.html IMHO the AZ3 is a waste of time and about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
  3. Session ruined by Microsoft updates.

    If you want to get a bit tinfoil hat about it there is a theory that MS deliberately borked the Win 7 update cycle. This supposedly would encourage people to upgrade their OS to 8.1 or 10. With the longevity and success of Win 7, the pig's ear of Win 8 and the unpopular telemetry situation in Win 10 (where's Win 9? lol) updating has become a bit Russian roulette. After making a lot of people redundant it's suspected that quality control and checking update signatures at Redmond has suffered. All this encouraged me to upgrade my OS ... to Ubuntu and Chrome OS.
  4. Session ruined by Microsoft updates.

    I have two laptops, neither of them run MS. On my Win 7 desktop I have auto-updating turned off. It's the last MS software I'll ever run. MS updating cycles are past a joke and probably responsible for hosing more machines than malware and false positives combined.
  5. 9mm WO SWAN Disassembly

    Yes, I assumed these were Erfles as everyone told me they were. It seems two convex elements combined with a third multiple element seems to be a bit of a trend. The field lens appearing to all intents and purposes to be a doublet, yet showing evidence of being a triplet, has been found in two EP's I've autopsied lol. This is most mysterious.
  6. 9mm WO SWAN Disassembly

    Yes, it stands a good chance. I have the 5.5mm, 9mm, 14mm and a pair of 20mm. TH used to have the 5.5mm in stock, I'm pretty sure they had a 40mm as well.
  7. First Light with new BST EPs

    I only have the 3.2mm and 25mm but I am impressed with both of them.
  8. 9mm WO SWAN Disassembly

    Yes, I wondered the same thing. Here's one I prepared earlier lol: They're better than the 9mm SWAN's but I was never really super impressed with them. I replaced them with a couple of these. https://www.telescopehouse.com/eyepieces/bresser-eyepieces/bresser-60-plossls/bresser-pl-20mm-60-1-25-inch.html I lose six degrees of FOV, and I have no idea what these Bresser EP's really are, but they are sharp and bright in use.
  9. WO 1.25" erecting prism diagonal.

    Yes, that's what I've done at RVO in the past. I've even asked Adam to measure things for me, or check the item in question is what I specifically want. They'll replace anything flawed as well with no qualms.
  10. WO 1.25" erecting prism diagonal.

    When they say generally in stock I doubt they have more than two of these in at any time. The times I've enquired they've been waiting for these to come in. I always email them first or sometimes even phone.
  11. WO 1.25" erecting prism diagonal.

    I find RVO very good, but I've learnt from experience to check first to see if they have what I want in stock.
  12. 9mm WO SWAN Disassembly

    Yeah, their disposable nature is appealing. I don't know about their long term availability though. It would be interesting to know who the OEM is, as SvBony is a distributor name. I know Solomark either source from Yuyao Qihang Optical Instrument Co., Ltd, or that's their own trading name, like Sky-Watcher is for Synta. I suspect SvBony and Solomark source from the same OEM's.
  13. It begins, the LVW, Panoptic, Plossl comparison.

    I think it's slightly heavier than the T5 Nagler but it does the job on a modified ST80 on an AZ5 mount. Either way the ES 14, the T5 Nagler and the 19mm Panoptic are all small enough not to cause balance issues on the light AZ5 and an ST80.
  14. It begins, the LVW, Panoptic, Plossl comparison.

    I bought the 14mm ES predominantly because it was small and light (for my ST80/AZ5 grab'n'go). The 13mm LVW looks really nice but it's about 400g. It would be ideal for my 102mm refractor on a Vixen mount though. Oh no, I want a 13mm LVW now lol.
  15. 9mm WO SWAN Disassembly

    I have no idea who the OEM of the aspherics is. Chinese no doubt. I think there are top end eyepieces with polymer lenses. I don't know how they'd fare after cleaning. The SvBony's are exceptional for the money though.