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Stargazer McCabe

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Posts posted by Stargazer McCabe

  1. 31 minutes ago, bond19 said:

    You just missed out 'let me be clear' in your political ramblings 🤥

    But seriously, thanks McCabe. Some really useful info here. Currently I have a light(ish) pair of WO Binos with 1.25" eyepieces so that seems within limits if I was to get the balance was spot on. I've been speaking with Beat also. He suggested the Vamo would be adequate but the AYO II would be much more suitable. I'm trying to keep this as 'grab & go' as possible so I feel the Vamo would be my best fit. 

    Thanks so much for taking time to reply.


    If you may want to use the mount as a travel mount, the "traveveller" is obviously the only option.

    If, however, packing the mount into hand luggage isn't a requirement (and having both isn't an option) I'd always go for the AYO II. I've used that with my 8" EdgeHD one side and a large refractor the other. "Reassuringly sturdy" !!

    Encoders are also a wonderful addition to them both...

    Enjoy whichever you opt for...

    • Like 1

  2. 6 hours ago, bond19 said:

    Hi McCabe,

    Just resurrecting an older thread. I'm considering the Vamo Traveler by Beat for my Tele Vue 102 (4" / f8.6 frac). I'm strictly a visual observer and fully loaded with binoviewer my scope weighs in at 6.8kg. Is this too near the limit of the Vamo for smooth operation?


    Without wishing to sound like a politician hedging his bets; "That depends"...

    Weight and smoothness wouldn't be a problem I don't think. I have used it with my Tak with a 2" diagonal and 100* eyepieces on occasions and it acquitted itself well. 

    If the Binoviewers are heavy, like the Leica or Maxbrights, and you're loading them with heavy eyepieces, you may find yourself having to work out the balance carefully, but then again that would be the same with most mounts. The only difference being that if I get balance and clutches wrong on my AYO II, it merely swings down (I use a pillar) missing anything to damage the scope or eyepieces depending on which end is heaviest. 

    If you're confident of getting balance and clutches right the Traveller is a great mount. Particularly with the encoders Serge can provide... 

  3. I really can't keep up with all this buying, selling, swapping and upgrading... It's not 'which day of the week is it ?' it's 'what hour of the day is it !!!' 🤣🤣🤣 

    Can you use one of the cells Teleskop Express sell and use your own mirror ?

  4. 14 minutes ago, Neil P said:

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the advice, I think I will reach out to Denis to see if he still does repairs and recollimation, there was a post on CN that said he might have stopped because he got some complaints.

    Thanks again


    No, if you ask nicely he will still help you. His wife was poorly a while back and he thought about stopping because of that. But didn't if you contacted him and he had the time / inclination...

  5. 5 hours ago, Neil P said:

    Hi All,

    I was wondering if anyone knows of anywhere that can repair and re-collimate binoviewers?  Last night was a disaster, I dropped my Baader Mark Vs to the ground. At first I though I had got off lucky as there was only a scratch on them but when I re-seated them the images will no longer merge. I am too scared to try and work on them myself and was wondering if anyone knew of anyone who can collimate binoviewers.



    I have used Denis and have sent Leica and WO Binoviewers to him for service. I have his email address if you want it. PM me if it's a route you want to explore and I'll send you his email privately if you haven't found it from elsewhere

    • Like 1

  6. I bought mine after having a cuppa with a friend of mine, Es Reid. One afternoon we were discussing planetary observing (before lockdown brought a stop to our regular face to face natters) and he asked whether I used one. When I confessed that I didn't he explained what a considerable difference he felt his had made to his observing through a number of telescopes and from a number of locations. Given his eminently more qualified eyes and his opinion that he wouldn't  observe the planets without it now, I bought my own and can also appreciate the difference they make... 

    • Like 1

  7. Vamo works wonderfully when travelling. Packs down nicely and handles the Tak FC-100 DF easily. At home I prefer the AYO II we have as I use a 2" diagonal and eyepieces at home and often an 8" EdgeHD SCT on the other side.

    it's not really a review, but here's how we travel...


  8. 1 hour ago, JOC said:

    I've got a reflector, but I am not confident enough of it's construction materials to want to whack concentrated sunlight about inside it.  At least when you cover the end of an OTA with Baader solar film you know you got it all locked out the correct side of your optics

    To be clear, there's no other option for Reflector users with a scope like yours to observe the sun other than using the solar film. The way you are going about it is your only option...

    Don't change anything. It will do as you predict to your scope and worse to your eyes...

    The wedge being described here is for refractors.

    • Like 1

  9. The silence of an encoded push to counts for a lot... As does having a visual display of the sky on the connected phone or tablet. The number of objects we have stopped and observed after seeing it on the display while "pushing" from one object to another is considerable... 

    We no longer use our AVX because of the above two reasons. All our scopes now sit on push to encoder equipped mounts, even when we're travelling...

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1

  10. 13 minutes ago, Stu said:

    Thanks Simon, very interesting. That would have been great to see. Unfortunately this one looks like it was trailing GRS whereas the area I saw was leading it by a similar amount. When I first saw it I thought you had found the answer!

    Stu, Heidi refers to “another”. Could you have witnessed the after effects of one of the earlier “others” ?

  11. Morning @Stu 

    Having read your thread earlier this week I noticed this on my Twitter feed today. Could the two be related as Heidi does refer to “another” ?

    The link to the animation is below the photo and looks a similar place to your narrative although I think the date doesn’t tally ?


    • Like 1

  12. 13 minutes ago, JOC said:

    Novice alert - with an EP such as this, do you need any other filter on a telescope to protect from the sun?  i.e. Could I use it on the Skywatcher 200P Dob that I have without needing the additional protection of my home-made filter?  NB.  Wondering if it would be a safer alternative for my proposed solar roadshow in a few weeks.

    NNB.  Is there any reason why the Dob would melt if I didn't have the big filter across the whole tube at the front?

    No. It cannot make a conventional telescope a "solar scope" on its own.

    Lunt Solar is the Manufacturer. It is a zoom Lunt brought out that they say is optimised for the focal lengths of their solar scopes. Although it doesn't have to be solely deployed on Lunt equipment. However, this is like a conventional eyepiece and would need to be used with a Solar Filter, be that white light or hydrogen alpha or the like...

  13. 1 hour ago, Grumpy Martian said:

    But the Tak FC 100mm or similar had grabbed my attention. But it has a rear element.

    The FC100 DC or DF is a Steinheil design doublet. When there is a reference to "rear" it refers to the Flourite Element which is now the second (or internal) element. The Flourite Element used to be on the front (outside) element I believe...

    It is not a Petzval design. There is no lens at the "focuser end of the tube"... 

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1

  14. Martin,

    I had one. Capable mount, but I really didn't get on with it. I sold it. And the guy that bought mine sold it too...

    And it wasn't because the mount in question was suspect... It wasn't smooth when moving it manually and when using it in automated mode it was nowhere near as pleasant to use as other mounts. 

    It does a job. Reasonably well. But it's functional rather than a pleasure to use...

    • Thanks 1
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