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Captain Magenta

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Everything posted by Captain Magenta

  1. Although I have occasionally stuck a camera on a mount and taken the odd picture, I'm no imager, so can't comment on that. All I can say is that the EQM-35 is specifically aimed at imagers. Which begs the question, why did I get it? The answer is that it's small enough to be reasonably portable from living room to patio, and has a 10kg payload capacity. Uni vs Planet. Uni, with its 60kg ability, is an appropriate match to the EQM-35. But the Planet. It's a monster. I knew it was going to be big, but I wasn't prepared for just how big. If you're going to upgrade to an EQ6-series mount, then the Planet will cope, but it's way over the top for just an EQM-35. Herewith my Planet "in the field" with an AZ-EQ6, my mak180 and my 12" newt...
  2. I'll add some before too long ... I'll also recount my attempt to replace the highly unusual finder-shoe with something more universal.
  3. Removing the backlash proved rather easy in the end. Each drive worm housing has 3 allen-key recesses on it, one tiny grubscrew in between two larger adjustment bolts. The technical term for what I did is, I think, "fiddling around". I loosened the grubscrew, wound in the two outer bolts a very small amount, re-tightened the grub and the backlash was gone. I read around a bit too to see how people had adjusted their EQ3-series mounts, to get a feel for how it all works. Collimating the polar scope involved adjusting the position of the reticule until its centre-point stayed in the same place while I rotated the mount around the RA axis. The three tiny allen-grub screws for moving the reticule position are accessible even when the polar scope is screwed in. There's no end of advice on this and other forums showing how to do the adjustments. The only thing I would re-iterate is to make the adjustment allen-key turns in very small increments. The Berlebach tripod is there as much for its looks as its function. Functionally, it's much less awkward to micro-adjust for levelling than the SW tripod. Also, it turns a scope on its mount into a thing of beauty, sufficient to pass the acceptable-to-my-wife test, free-standing in the living room. I find the standard steel-tube Skywatcher tripods rather ugly, and question the design of screwing the spreader plate against its stops very close to the hinges, introducing more and more energy into a quite springy system. The Berlebach has a spread-stopper, as opposed to a spreader. When ordering a Berlebach, one of the options is to specify what head you want, and the one I got was an EQ5-style head, which is compatible with EQ3 series mounts. I also have an AZ-EQ6 mount, and that sits on a Berlebach Planet, again beautiful. Good luck with your Mount and your renewed interest; I hope you get to use it before too long! Cheers, Magnus
  4. For Sale my TS Optics 2" Monorail 2-speed focuser with SCT thread. It's in pristine condition in its original box. It retails currently for €199 / £178, I'm looking for £105 including postage to UK. Heavy duty to support a lot of weight, though I've only ever used it on my mak 180 for quite light duty: diagonal and eyepieces only. Rotatable, detachable SCT thread ring at one end and brass compression 2" aperture at the other, with an additional 2" to 1.25" adapter (also brass compression). 50mm range. For comprehensive details, it's this one: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p3947_TS-Optics-2--MONORAIL-Dual-Speed-Focuser-for-SC-Telescopes.html Thanks for looking, Magnus.
  5. Baader and Stellarvue as well, by the looks, having spent some time researching this...
  6. It seems TS have upgraded their finders since the one I have was made. The one I have is more or less indistinguishable from the OEM Skywatcher ones, including the "drinking straw" eyepiece, except it has TS Optics printed on the side. To get the eyepiece to achieve focus on the reticule, I've had to unscrew it to such an extent that I need spacers and electrical tape to hold it together. Their current offerings on their site look rather better: very similar to the APS ones, in look and price.
  7. Once upon a time, I had just one scope, 1500mm focal length, and three eyepieces, 35, 18.2 and 10mm, giving me what I thought was a reasonable range of magnifications. I had a case for them, all neat and tidy. Now I have 4 scopes, ranging in FLs from 2700mm to 650mm, and have added a 55mm and a 6mm to the eyepiece and accessory collection, along with collimation tools and a couple of reticule eyepieces. I plan to add a 3.5mm before too long. So my case now looks like a complete dog's breakfast. I think I need a case-upgrade... Cheers, Magnus
  8. Like many of us I suspect, I have accumulated a selection of finders, mostly that came with various scopes. In ascending quality-order: a SW 6x30 straight-through (never used); a SW 9x50 straight-through (never used) that came with my 300p newt I bought around a year ago; a right-angle SW 8x50 (never used) and an old-style TS-Optic 50mm RACI which I bought off a fellow SGL-ite. This last I have used mainly because it's RACI. But they're all, even the TS-Optic, obviously very cheaply made and a bit, well, nasty. So I caved in and ordered an APM 50mm erect-image finder, and I have to say the difference in quality between it and the others is immense, not least the fact that it'll take any 1.25" eyepieces...
  9. Received and happy - please move into the completed section Thanks, Magnus
  10. looks like a Moire effect you get when photographing a PC screen at critical focus
  11. Thanks Bilbo - I'll take it. PM with excehnage of details on the way...
  12. Having spent the last couple of weekends setting up my new mount (removing parallax from polarscope, collimating it to the mount’s RA axis, removing backlash from the RA axis, finding and marking Home Position and polarscope reticule clockface-position), Saturday night’s forecast was looking good to give it first light with my APM-LZOS 105/650. As it turned out, clouds persisted the whole night, but there were enough moving gaps to make it worthwhile. This was my first time using a mount in Equatorial mode, so I took my time over polar alignment and 3-star alignment. I used my new £1.99 app as well: Polar Scope Align Pro. Two or three weeks ago I tried to finish off a night with Mizar on my previous alt-az mount, but I couldn’t: it was too close to zenith. So this time I started with Mizar and admired it, its “B”, Alcor and Ludwig’s star. Unusually for me for this location, I could see Alcor quite easily with my naked eye, cloud-gaps permitting. I tried next for M51, which I just about managed to detect with averted vision. The wisps of cloud moving across weren’t helping. I moved quickly on to M13, which was in a clear patch and much more gratifying: actually the best I’ve seen it from here, definite stars towards the edges rather than the dim lurking smudge I saw before. I moved on to one of my favourite London targets, the Double-Double. My shortest eyepiece, the 6mm Delos gives me 108x on this scope, with which both doubles were easily split. I spent a few minutes on this, before deciding to shift a bit to Struve 2470 & 2474, the so-called “Double Double’s Double”, also in Lyra, and which I’ve only just found out about and never seen before. I needed to nip inside the house to check the SAO numbers (SAO67867 SAO67870 apparently). When I came back out, having found out what to tell the Synscan to point at, guess what? The clouds had come to stay! Bah! I hung around for 15 minutes or so to no avail and packed up. Still, I’m getting the measure of the new mount, it’s a good mate for the APM-LZOS, bring on more clear nights… Cheers, Magnus
  13. A few months ago I bought a bog-standard SW plastic RDF off a fellow SGLer, but left it in Ireland by mistake. I miss it, and want one for here, SW of London. Anyone have one of the standard-issue SW RDFs you’d be willing to part with for a few pounds? M
  14. Oooooo Aaaaaaa Hmmmmmm. OK I'm tempted and resistance is futile. PM on its way... M
  15. I'm pretty sure selling you secondhand children breaks a few laws here in the UK, though I'm surprised you haven't had any offers yet!
  16. They do, at least for the manual that came with my v5 handset...
  17. Still for sale: not enough payload capacity for FZ1's needs. (Stated payload of this mount: 3.5-4kg) Magnus
  18. For Sale my Skywatcher Supatrak AZ Mount, which came with my Skymax 127 scope. It’s all in perfect condition and working order and I’ve had it from new in Dec 2017. I’m not selling the scope (yet). Included are the tripod, accessory tray, mount head, Synscan handset (V4 with latest firmware), Serial-to-mount-jack lead (for firmware updates), 10xAA battery holder and a couple of home-made power supply leads. As per the picture but without the actual telescope. It’s given me sterling service with the Skymax 127 OTA, but I’ve recently acquired a larger small mount to accommodate my heavier refractor. I’m asking £115 (the handset alone costs £145 new). I’d prefer it to be collected from Sunbury-on-Thames, TW16, otherwise please add £20 for postage within the UK. Thanks for looking Cheers, Magnus
  19. It certainly looks almost identical. But the EQ3-2 is rated at 5kg, whereas the 35-M is at 10kg. I wonder where the extra capacity comes from. I'm interested as I have just taken delivery of an EQ35-M, to support my 105-650 LZOS for a more or less grab&go set-up, albeit with a Berlebach Uni tripod in place of the SW one. BTW I have both the Skymax 127 and the 180. I like them both.
  20. I do point out what I think might be interesting if anyone is nearby, mostly actually when birding rather than planet-watching. The only planet I've ever done it for was Mercury this last Feb/March, when cycling through Richmond Park. I was catching someone up, and when I came alongside I pointed out "that bright dot", and that although featureless and unremarkable, it was rare to see it as it's generally close to the Sun and therefore always low when visible. He was impressed and grateful. I also often get people asking what I'm looking at. People's reactions can be amusing. On one occasion, and I was staring at a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in Richmond Park, a woman with her child asked, and I explained and handed her my binoculars to have a closer look. She seemed to slightly panic, she had no idea how to use them. Also, if it's a young couple, often the woman will ask what I'm looking at and the man will look slightly irritated.
  21. I also have the skymax 127 and supatrak. I know what you mean but have got used to it actually, I now don’t find focusing a problem. I’ve tried the clothes-peg and it does help. I’ve also used a MUCH heavier scope on the mount than it’s designed for, 9kg, and it’s handled it fine too. M
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