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About AtmosFearIC

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  • Interests
    Astrophysics, Photography, SCUBA Diving, Reading (Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi)
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  1. My 15 year old Linseed Oil probably isn't up to the task, might be a little dry!
  2. I've had a Berlebach Planet for about 6 months now I suppose, no issues to report BUT does anyone maintain the wood in anyway? Back in my cricketing days we'd rub Linseed oil into the bat to keep it from splitting. I've googled but not found anything, does anyone do any real maintenance on their wooden Berlebach tripods?
  3. What did you find you didn't like with the 80mm F/4.4? I had been considering one as a wide field setup. I believe three made it Down Under. Two of them met last April and should be meeting again this April No one knows where the third one is hiding though, it's gone to ground!
  4. A Tak FC100-DL on old HEQ5 and a 130mm Sky Rover F/5 Sextuplet on ASA DDM60 One is the perfect kinda grab and go while the other is a great imaging scope. A few nights ago I grabbed this with a hour of Ha. Has one of my favourite regions, the Finger of God The Sky Rover might be Chinese but they're making them pretty good these days. Much like the SW 100ED, fantastic for their price... not quite a DL though
  5. I tried to find Superlube in Australia not long enough but couldn't find it. I ended up using Ultralube which is just a multipurpose Lithium Grease. It seems to be working really well so far, I guess only time will tell.
  6. Having recently redone my EQ6 (I am assuming that it'll be a near identical procedure), it can be time consuming to get everything meshing together nicely but it is worth it. You really do need to do an entire 360° rotation on both axis to make sure that there is no issues at any part of the rotation. You can have it running perfectly fine on one side of the gear but binding on the other side, or even intermittently. If you hear anything not normal, make an adjustment and start another 360° rotation.
  7. Wel I just got confirmation a couple of hours ago that the DDM60R has been postponed until Q2 2017 so this is off the cards for me. My plan has been to have everything organised and possibly in my hands by the middle of this year. Thanks for all of the input everyone, guess now the real decision is whether having absolute encoders (the GM1000) is worth the extra $2,000 to remove the need for homing (current DDM60). Hmmmm.
  8. If ASA wasn't bringing out a new mount I'd probably have bought the GM1000 a while ago because it does have more usability in many aspects, the new mount does address that however. Or at least, from the limited specs that have been released so far, it should. The DDM60R isn't really a new design though, it's more like an upgrade of phones, going from one generation to the next. I have been keeping in contact with the Australian dealer and he mentioned to me this morning that he may be getting a price in a fortnight. What the price ends up being is a big factor in choice. As it stands, being fully kitted out and ready to go, the GM1000 is ~$2,000 more expensive than the current DDM60 in Australia. The GM1000 is a tad more than what I had originally set out to spend but willing to if push comes to shove. As the DDM60R is likely to be a full replacement for the current DDM60 they may not price it too differently to what it currently is, or they may price it closer to the DDM85 because of all the other things that come with it. Who knows It really is such a difficult decision to make and I totally agree with one of your comments, trying to find user information on the ASA mounts is night impossible! From hours and hours of exhaustive research I have a review on Cloudy Nights from four years ago and a dozen or so brief mentions of people saying (many in observatories) that they're more difficult to learn but worth it if you do. Cannot remember if I mentioned it earlier (or just said it in my head) but ASA comes across as a company that has spent many years working with private organisations building equipment for remote observatories, which they have, but have only more recently started down the amateur market (how they come across to me). 10 Micron from what I have seen a people people, they're far more active in their community and this plays such a huge role in customer satisfaction. Software Bisque and Astro-Physics is possibly close to leading the pack in their regard and this is why they are two of the most successful companies in the amateur market. Good publicity sells I do agree with you, the DDM60R isn't much more than a few upgrades and changes to the DDM60 Pro. After having read through a vast majority of the ASA forums, most of these changes appear to have been largely community driven. Absolute encoders instead of homing (main reason I would have gone 10 Micron if ASA wasn't updating) and an on board computer system if wanted (the other reason to go 10 Micron ). Just to reiterate, I think that ASA have been in the professional field for too long (where organisations know what they want and ASA build exactly to those specifications) and are only really starting to become more consumer based.
  9. Thanks for clearing that up Sara, I just assumed that you may have been one of the ASA testers hehe Of all the mounts I am looking at, the only one that isn't suited for remote work is the Mesu. I cannot quite remember about the Mach1, whether it has homing sensors or anything like that. The current DDM60 is not one that I would consider remoteable because it had to be manually homed (manually placed near home) to be able to find itself. The new one has absolute encoders so it will always know where it is pointing, like the GM1000. I think so far I have read virtually everything I can find on the DDM60 (current) and GM1000. One thing of note with the ASA mounts is that they do have a learning curve and I think this is one thing that has put some people out. They also had some issues when they first came out but I have a feeling that they were largely resolved a few years ago (2012?). Largely what I am finding a bit difficult to decide is whether spending more is really going to be worth it. There are a lot of good reviews on the net for the GM1000 but not so much on the DDM60. With the DDM60 I don't mean that there aren't good reviews, there just aren't many reviews in general! It seems to be that those that stick with them and learn to use them love it, those that don't want to put in the effort complain and change mounts. As for ASA, I wholeheartedly believe that they NEED to be more responsive on their forums but largely hear that if you email them directly you do get a quick response. I get a feeling that they are a company that has been dealing with larger professional installations for quite some time and have only recently moved into the amateur market. To me they feel like a well run company that has not yet learned the benefit of customer service to some degree
  10. Thanks for the heads up Sara. As far as equatorial mounts go I have only ever owned a HEQ6 & HEQ5 (both pre Synscan and still own the latter) and an EQ6 Pro (8ish years old now, being the fourth owner). Been in astronomy for near a decade doing mostly visual with dobsonians (what can go wrong here :P) and two Meade LX200 which have been tried and tested. My point being, I am inexperienced in the ways of new Astro equipment. i did hear a few weeks back that there was a set back with the current version which delayed the production of the DDM60R by a few months, I assume this is what you may be referring to, having more insight though. I have also heard that ASA tend to use their first batch as like a large beta test for the mount, not that they intentionally do it, more that people feel they do. It is always difficult to differentiate between the few loud dissatisfied customers and genuine issues because the complainers have the loudest voice
  11. I have not heard much in the way of bad wrap on the GM1000 at all. There have been some hardware issues is GPS sync timing and things like that but nothing that hasn't been fixable by an online update Right now it is mostly between the DDM60 and the GM1000 and the ultimate decision between these two will mostly come down to price, how much the DDM60 changes when the new one is released. You are right, there is a gear At the gear ratio that it operates at though it becomes near zero and on the verge of completely undetectable. To my limited understanding anyway. Going down this path would mostly be because of the price, $9,000ish landed in Australia vs $15.5-18,000 for the ASA or 10Micron. I am kinda expecting that ASA will release several different versions, especially considering that there are a lot of people that do want to put a DDM60 in a permanent observatory. They're the people that don't care about a tripod with inbuilt battery, don't care about having a handset and definitely don't want an inbuilt camera for a one time polar alignment Due gear ratio, although it has a reported PE of 4" peak to peak, it SHOULD be a very smooth error. I would much rather have an impeccably smooth 150" PE that can very easily be guided out with 1s exposures than an incredibly jittery 15" peak to peak... Like my EQ6
  12. I have heard a lot of good things about the Mesu mount, not sure how many people use them in the field though, considering that they have a loading capacity much higher than the average person can lift It is a wise choice to do that, I think it is the first time that I have been logged out of a forum while writing a post though. Not sure what happened there. I did go back, saw the text and tried to copy it but the page reloaded before I had a chance and deleted it forever I have never heard anyone not mention ASA and Steep Learning Curve in the same sentence so I understand what I would be in for. The DDM60 at the moment is at the top of my list but it does really depend on how the Revolution mount stacks up in price for me against the others. At the moment the price is good in comparison (cheaper than the GM1000 but more expensive than the others), who knows with the new one though. The Mesu doesn't have any backlash because it doesn't have any gears, also not sure if I would call what it has PE either for the same reason. The DDM series being direct drive has the pointing accuracy it does because of the absolute encoders. Put those same encoders on a Mesu and I imagine it would perform close to the same. I do sometimes do this as well, although probably not as often as I should haha
  13. Okay, second attempt at writing this. Frustrated that the forum just deleted my last entry and half an hour of my life (logged me out so now I have the write the whole thing again!!!!!). Needless to say it is not going to be as detailed as the first So….. here we go again (blumming technology!)…. I am looking at making my next and hopefully last big investment in a mount. I currently have a belt modded EQ6 that has an EQ6 Wedge upgrade as well to make altitude adjustments MUCH easier. Like many others before me, and likely to come after, I am looking to get a mount that isn’t so frustrating to use and doesn’t come with a complementary gremlin. My equipment is going to be (upgrading in 4-6 weeks when the new telescope arrives) a 130mm F/5 sextuplet refractor which I may or may not use an Astro-Physics 0.75x Telecompressor, haven’t yet decided upon this yet. I am currently using a QHY9, planning on changing to an ICX694 or ICX814 depending on whether I choose to use the 0.75x reducer or not. Ultimately I am planning on imaging at ~1.4”/pixel but drizzling that down further as most nights allow this. The QHY9 has been a good work horse but I do want to get a better read noise than 8.5e-, currently this requires 2 hour subs in Ha to get the noise floor. Although I am going to be using this mount portably for the next two or so years, I am eventually planning on putting it into an observatory. In two years time I am planning on buying/building a house, I already own a dark site to which I travel to on moonless nights. Observatory may be in backyard, may be remote. Decision is still a LONG way off. I am planning on using the mount mostly for imaging but I am not adverse to using it on some clear full moon nights for some moon and planet watching. May even use it from time to time on moonless nights for some general sky surfing Having a hand controller would be nice but it is by no means clenching. My current mount short list is as follows: ASA DDM60 10 Micron GM1000 Mesu 200 Paramount MyT AP Mach1 The DDM60 and GM1000 are in the same price and capability bracket. There is a new DDM60 being released in the coming months, no price and new definite specs have been released as yet so I cannot truly compare these two mounts until that happens. As it stands, the GM1000 is a still more expensive, a lot more PE (DDM60 to my understanding has higher resolution encoders) and I do like the idea of direct drive. From what I can see the Mach 1 and MyT have very similar specs. MyT integrates fully with TheSkyX of which I have a bit of experience (use it for polar alignment and slewing with my EQ6). The Mach1 has their own software I think but will also work with TSX for the most part (about as much as my EQ6 does). The Mesu 200 is the cheapest of the lot, has no backlash and minimal PE. A loading capacity far exceeding anything I am ever going to buy, short of winning the lotto to which I have never entered. My next scope purchase is most likely going to be in the 80mm range and I may in the future venture to a 10” newt… Maybe. Looking at making a long term decision on a mount that I can easily set up night after night, make easy altitude adjustments when moving from my house to dark site and can eventually be throw in an observatory. Currently the Mesu is the only one that isn’t optimised for being remote due to lack of homing sensors. If in a backyard observatory though, this isn’t a big issue… Being a 10m walk. Thoughts, comments, suggestions, criticisms?
  14. 2007 - Sky Watcher 254/1200 Newt + HEQ6 (non Synscan) 2008 - Meade LX200 10" GPS ACF 2008 - Meade P.S.T 2009- Sky Watcher 100ED F/9 + HEQ5 (non Synscan) 2010 - Meade Lightbridge 16" 2010 - Meade LX200 8" GPS ACF 2015 - 130mm F/7 Triplet Refractor 2016 - Orion XX12GT Dobsonian 2016 - 130mm F/5 Sextuplet (in about 6 weeks from now).
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