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Moon Watcher

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  1. It’s a really great scope! Works well for wide field views of the Veil as well as close ups of Jupiter’s bands...
  2. Very nice report mate! In the US, where I live at the moment (Wisconsin) the skies have just been dreadful. Did you have to recollimate the lens cell once you removed and then replaced it?
  3. Hey all, If you're looking for a great 80mm triplet, I would go with the Orion ED80cf (http://www.telescope.com/mobileProduct/Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes/Refractor-Optical-Tube-Assemblies/Orion-ED80T-CF-Triplet-Apochromatic-Refractor-Telescope/pc/1/c/10/sc/346/101422.uts) The optical quality is astounding and there's a great review of it here: http://arksky.org/smf/index.php?topic=1930.0
  4. Hello Sunshine, the tuner should have some grease on it to make an air-tight seal. Only then will you be able to pressure tune your view. There should be a reasonable amount of resistance as you tune and the view should change from a detail-less red ball through to surface detail and then prominences and flares. Good luck!
  5. Hello Skipper Billy, I own one of these and like it a lot. I wrote a brief review of it last October: It's wide, beautiful, flat fields are amazing.
  6. Hello Cardigan Wearer - congrats on your new setup! I have wondered how well the AVX works with a C11 at higher power. What's the damp down time and is it all jitters while focusing? Or does the mount hold up ok? Congrats again!
  7. Hey Jonathan, thats great! Once collimated the scope is pretty amazing. You'll enjoy the views! cheers Avtar aka Moonwatcher
  8. Hey Jonathan, To move the secondary away from the primary, loosen the center bolt and then turn the 3 thumb screws clockwise. This should pull the secondary up the tube. Once you have it centered in the cheshire or collimation cap, tighten the main bolt down. The issue is that when the center bolt touches the secondary housing as you tighten, it slightly rotates the secondary clockwise. Then you have to rotate the entire secondary housing to re-center by loosening the assembly on the corrector plate. It sounds scarier than it is. I ended up disassembling the entire corrector plate and secondary just to figure out how to collimate. However, once it was clear that the center bolt doesn't move the secondary but just locks it in place after adjusting with the 3 thumb screws, it became obvious how to go about collimating the thing. And I agree that ES could do a lot better with their instruction manual! Good luck!
  9. Hey Chris and John, The ES Mak-Newt is pretty amazing - especially for the price. I compared it directly with my Teleskop-Systems Photoline 130mm f7 triplet which by itself is a beautiful scope. The triplet gives crystal sharp views with no false colour after equilibration and its views of Jupiter with ever finer and finer bands and festoons is just something to behold. However I have to say that the ES scope beats it in terms of details on planets and on deep sky objects, as you found in your comparison with the SW 120ED. I also got my neighbours to look through both to get an unbiased comparison and they all agreed that the ES won. When compared to the 11" SCT, the SCT shows such beautiful detail on solar system and deep sky objects that time stops while looking through the eyepiece. But the curved, restricted field of view fails the SCT on extended objects like the Veil, double cluster, M31, or coasting along the Milky Way. That's where the Mak-Newt really shines. The wide, flat, crisp view is the single reason I bought it and why it's going to remain part of my scope collection. Growing up with crappy Dixon store binoculars in... Luton of all places... I never thought that in years to come I would be looking through a carbon fibre 6" Maksutov-Newtonian scope for a few hundred dollars. Cheers all Avtar Ps attached a photo of the ES on my old Super Polaris Celestron mount (circa 1984-85, purchased with a 6" newtonian from Astro Systems Luton Beds for 600 pounds). The 2 work great together for ambling around the sky.
  10. This summer I organized a star gazing event at a location with virtually no light pollution on an island in Lake Michigan where 25-30 people turned up. The sky was just incredible with the Milky Way brightly painted across the summer sky. One of the scopes I used was the Explore Scientific 152mm Maksutov-Newtonian Comet Hunter. The scope pulled up objects like M57 and M13 so clearly and with such detail that people were lingering at the eyepiece commenting on how beautiful they were. I didn’t have to explain how that tiny fuzz ball was a star cluster, it was obvious that M13 was a ball of stars; this says a lot about the resolution and optics. Similarly, the double-double Epsilon Lyrae was obvious to laypeople with a TeleVue 20mm Type 5 and 2x Powermate. The colours of Albireo also got ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. When M31 rose, the scope, paired with an ES 30mm 82 degree AFOV (no slouch either!) with it’s wide flat field displayed the entire galaxy with its’ satellites and may be one of the best views I have ever had of Andromeda. Even at just 6 inches of aperture, the Veil Nebula under the pitch black skies was just lovely and people had fun placing the lumicon OIII filter back and forth in front of the 30mm eyepiece. They found the Veil blinking in and out of view fun. One young person called it magic! The highlight though, was a walk through the Sagittarius region of the Milky Way. I let people use the controller on the Celestron AVX mount to cruise around and they would ‘oooh’ and ‘aaagh’ for minutes at a time. The view of the Lagoon and the Trifid in the same field was just jaw dropping. Using a Lumicon OIII filter actually made them ‘glow’ from the inside. At higher power (TeleVue 5mm Type 6 82 degree AFOV), we had excellent detailed views of M51 where the arms were actually visible. The only negative is the collimation process. The 3 adjustment knobs should make the process easy and tool free. However, as someone who owns both Newtonians and SCTs that I routinely collimate, this scope was a bear. The reason is that the central bolt (that in other scopes adjusts the height of the secondary up and down the tube) isn’t actually screwed into the secondary housing; it merely abuts against the secondary to push against the 3 adjustment screws. In effect, the 3 adjusters are used to raise, lower and tilt the secondary and the central bolt then tightens down against the secondary to lock it in place. Once that was figured out, collimation was easy and rarely needed adjusting. In summary, the Explore Scientific 152mm Maksutov-Newtonian carbon fibre scope is great. Explore Scientific service is excellent; they immediately shipped a new focuser when I told them the original appeared to be damaged upon arrival. The fast (f4.8) scope with the ES 30mm eyepiece yields an absolutely flat 3.4 degree FOV with tack sharp stars to the edge and the wide field regimen is where it excels. High power views of planets and galaxies are at least as good as my 130mm f7 triplet apochromat. The scope is well constructed with a smooth heavy duty 2" focuser and the carbon fibre tube looks very handsome mounted to the AVX mount in the living room. I would highly recommend this scope to beginners and advanced amateurs alike.
  11. Hey Relpet, I now have a Baader 2" diagonal with clicklock and an Orion 2". Optically they seem on par with each other and both are very well made. However the clicklock is so very convenient that I use it by default.
  12. Hello Relpet, I bought one of those a couple years ago. I sold it on because it would not accept my Meade 2" UWA 20mm eyepiece; the eyepiece holder was just a bit too tight. My Meade 9mm XWA 2" eyepiece went in only after much fiddling. The views were excellent though and it is well machined -just not completely compatible with my eyepieces. Cheers
  13. Hey all, I have had my AVX for a few years and used it to carry a Celestron 8SE and TS 130mm f7 apochromat in tandem. It's an awesome mount that is light weight yet heavy duty. The controller software is great and allows for solar observing and tracking which is not the case for some other mounts. Two thumbs up in my book!
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