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George Gearless

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Everything posted by George Gearless

  1. With only 6X2.5 mins, I don't think you can ask for much more. With my equipment I'd be thrilled to get a picture like yours, even with many more subs. Thanks for sharing. And yeah, it's "OK" to post. With a picture like that, I'm pretty sure it's a law that you have to
  2. Wonderful if you've got it all sorted. However, if you're anything like me, you are likely to run into many more forehead-slapping mistakes in the future. Forgot to tighten clutch. Infuriated that the mount wouldn't track properly. Powercord not insertet properly in powertank, so it would occasionaly lose power but immediately come back on. Rage tantrums could be heard several blocks away. To name but a few. "Live and learn" is the creed by which many an amateur astronomer lives by.
  3. I can get around 3 mins with EQM-35 pro, which for all intents and purposes is a 'lesser' mount than yours. I use a Skywatcher AP 80 Evostar. If I am even a little bit careless in the polar alignment, I am lucky to get 1 min. With a lot of practice I am now able to polar align precisely enough for 2½ mins 'precision' within 6 or 7 mins. I usualy set up my polar alignment without counterweights or scope. But I always check when I have fitted the scope and counterweights, if I'm still good. Quite a few times I've had to re-adjust after adding weight to the mount.
  4. As others have said you do need a T2 ring. My scope is of a different build so I'm not sure the same applies to yours. But mine also has a direct T2 coupling directly onto the scope. But if I want different magnifications, I need the nose and distance piece to contain the different eyepieces. Yours may be the same. So without the nosepiece/distance piece you may only get 1x magnification. For planetary photos you will need magnification. I started with a Nikon DX40. I am not sure how different that is from the D40. If there's any difference at all. Mine cannot take video. The capability to take video is pretty much essential for planetary photography. Check if yours can. Your post doesn't say as to what mount you have. But for deepsky targets a motorized mount is pretty much essential. Just my to cents.
  5. I did consider your recommendation. You supplied me with a precise answer to the question. Alas, not the one I was hoping for . Here's my reasoning for going with the 180 afterall. An EQ6 would definately be more suitable for this telescope. Looking at the numbers on the datasheets, it's hard to disagree that I am juuuust hanging on with my fingernails. However, I am not fincancialy capable of buying both at the same time. In time I will be getting the EQ6. Some time in the future. But for now, I have to make a choice. Even if I am just scraping along, I feel confident that I will be getting a lot of useful viewing time out of it with my current mount. And here's the clinching argument: When I do get a better mount, I won't be 'stuck' with a 150 Mak and feel that I have compromized. I just know I will be kicking myself. If all goes well, I can probably afford a better mount in time for the next winter season to start. Worst case, it'll be next year. In the mean time I don't think my setup is completely useless. It's just not as good as it can be.
  6. This one I'm buying doesn't have tube rings. It has a dovetail. I think that's what makes the weight difference. Edit: I obviously can't speak from experience, but it seems to me that the u-tube reviews I've seen, people are not unanimously happy about the dovetail. Since I'm already used to this way of mounting, it doesn't make much difference to me. Perhaps it's a question of 'religion', which you prefer. But it does seem to grant a weight advantage.
  7. The datasheet sets the weight of the telescope at 7 kg. In itself, well within the 10kg limit the mount can handle. Add to that a DSLR (let's say 500g just be sure), a red dot finder or finderscope, diagonal mirror and eypiece, well, then I'm getting up there. The mount 'head' and the gears should be able to handle it for viewing. But it may be lacking in sturdiness with regards to AP. But if I take extra care to balance it perfectly, then I'm hoping to get off a shot or two. Granted, it's not ideal. But it's what I have.
  8. Thanks a lot for the photos in your previous post. I presume they're taken with the 180? I'll probably need to upgrade my mount before I can match those photos. But that is financially not in the cards for the imminent future. But I'll be sure to see what can be achieved with what I've got (EQM35). If it fails miserably, then we'll at least have learned that :).
  9. Yeah I know I am getting close to the limit. But I don't feel I'm pushing it. Will have to agree though that I do have to consider what I pile on top of it. However, I don't think it should be a problem putting on my DSLR. Not weight wise anyway. Whether or not I can get enough stability to take photographs, only time will tell. But I'll surely make the attempt.
  10. I'll definitely be absorbing all the hints I can get with regards to dew. So your tip is duly noted. Although I don't have an actual observatory, I do have a walled of section of my unheated garage that I use as a workshop. As I am writing this, I am envisioning how I will make room to store my new telescope there. So it'll always be whatever temperature it is outside. Btw, will storing it in subzero temperatures harm it in the long run?
  11. It's done. I've placed the order for the 180 at FLO. Hurry up guys!!
  12. Thanks for all the helpful replies. I started with the AZ GTI Wifi mount and the Mak 127 that I bought as a package deal. I still use it occasionally when I just want to 'hop around' a bit and see what's up there. Don't think I'll ever sell it. You can pretty much bring this setup with you everywhere. Then I got a Skywatcher EQM-35 Pro mount because I wanted to get into astrophotography. It supports a 10 kg payload. The 180 weighs around 7, so I should be ok. And for DSO I got the AP 80/600 Evostar And then I got into trouble with my girlfriend :). Anyway, the next logical step towards poverty seemed to be a bigger Mak. I was just trying to assess the difference in the two as experienced by people and not just salivate over the numbers on the datasheet. I'm leaning towards the 180 simply because I fear to regret it later on if I 'only' get the 150. But I have to admit that the good inputs about the SCT's got me thinking about the Maks being a 'one trick pony'. A good point for sure. It just seems to me that the SCT's are rather expensive. For instance, the 6" Celestron costs around the same as the 180 (7") Mak. Ugh...things just got more complicated.
  13. Hey guys. I am in the very fortunate positon to be able to 'burn' €670 that I received as a gift, and I want to upgrade my 127 Mak to either the Skywatcher 150 or the Skywatcher 180. If I go for the 150, I'll have money left over to spend on some extras. Maybe a dewshield, dewband, perhaps an eyepiece or whatever. If I go for the 180, I'll have to chip in another €80 of my own money and may need to postpone the purchase of any extras for a couple of months. So the question I'm hoping to get the answer to is this; is the 180 worth it? I mean, it's only 30 mm more. But will I be kicking myself in a couple of months for not going big when I had the chance? Is the 180 significantly better thant the 150 or only marginaly so? Does anyone here have hands on experience in comparing the two? And if not, I invite you to partake in my dilemma and offer a cent or two on the problem.
  14. I did use it for imaging. My very first nebula (Orion) was caught with a Skymax127 and the AZ GTI mount. I'll be honest with you; it is not ideal for deepsky. However, the moon and planets is where the maksutov truly shines and the GTI follows them quite nicely. Well enough for some realy good photos at least. Unfortunately I don't have any pics to show you of the moon or planets. My endevours has been drawn to deepsky the past couple of months. And for that purpose I have primarily used my new equatorial mount and Skywatcher 80 apo-chromatic refractor. If you already have a AZ Goto Synscan, opting for the AZ GTI is not much of an upgrade to be honest. You'll get the same 'precision' (or lack there of) as the one you already have. The only upgrade you'll experience, is that the App is intuitively much easier to use. Finding objects, reading info and such. Aligning is also a bit easier, because you can choose the stars from a dropdown menu, rather that stepping back and forth on your handset. So in that respect, it's an upgrade. But that's about it. The downside of using an App, is that when you adjust your telescope, be it while alignment or just regualar adjustment, you can't 'feel' the buttons on the App. So you'll have to remove your eye from the eyepiece to look at the App, then back to the eyepiece, etc etc. It is much easier to operate a handset where you can feel the keys. You may improve upon your mount (or the GTI) by getting a wedge for it. I did not get it to work properly before I got my equatorial mount, so I can't realy comment on its usefulness. You'll need to download a firmware update so that your mount operates in EQ mode (it's free to download). But you'll need to mount your telescope the other way round. And since it's a Mak, with fixed dovetail, your finderscope will be at the bottom of the telescope. Quite awkward position. I'd still recommend it to 'newbies' without blinking an eye. It is by far the easiest grab n go mount that I have seen. The App on the phone is intuitively much easier to operate (sets the time and location automaticaly) and is stabil enough to service a Mak127 quite well. Sure, you'll start getting in trouble at high magnification with a Barlow. But that'll happen on any mount at some point. My recommendation to you is to not buy it. Not because it is bad, but because what you have is just as good. PS: Sorry about the late reply. I've been away and without internet (gasp) since thursday
  15. Jeezus H Krajst those are some absolutely stunning photos! Agree with above poster that these or publishable photos. They definately deserve a wider audience than just the 'nerds' on this forum.
  16. I'd be very much interested to learn if there is any easy fix for this. I've got a big blob of a dustbunny at the very bottom of the field. Luckily it's in the bottom 1/10. So it's easy to crop out without losing to much of the total picture. But it annoys the hell out of me.
  17. Thanks to all for some great responses. I'll check out my archives and see what I want to try and lump together. I am still very much new in the realm of AP. But I am pretty sure that the pictures I have taken, with the equipment at my disposal, are as good as I am ever going to get them. It is in the processing that my skills are seriously underdeveloped. Oh, how I wish they'd invent a program for people like myself that has a big red button reading "click here to make it pretty". But where's the fun in that, right?
  18. Is it possible to stack photos from different sessions? Is it useful? I.e, does it make the photo better (more data)? If yes; is there a specific technique involved or do you just stack like you normaly would and hope DSS (or whatever stacker you use) handles the discrepancies?
  19. Hey newb, from a fellow newb.
  20. Great. Now we know who to bug when faced with an IT problem :). Welcome.
  21. Agree with the sentiments allready given. The second photo is obviously the most detailed of the intended target. And if the intention is to show the Black Eye Galaxy, then that would be the obvious favourite. But the composition of the first photo with the veil of dust across the whole frame, is realy something special. Very understandable that you chose to post them both. Impossible to choose.
  22. Hej Davhei. And welcome to SGL from a 'neighbour' in Denmark.
  23. Congrats on your new telescope. As it happens, I just recieved my exact same one from FLO the day before yesterday . (But different mount) I'm probably not the right person to ask what to expect, since it's also pretty new to me. But compared to my Mak 127mm it's a huge step up on the astrophotography scene (once those pesky clouds clear off). I can see no flaw in your setup of the mount. But once again, I defer to more experienced users. As to your question regarding the positioning of the counterweights, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Your photograph suggests that you are ready to go from that position. Basically you should be able to operate the wormgears wherever you point your scope at the sky. If you find yourself having to reach 'in front' of the telescope to operate the gear, just change it to the front fitting. The axle of the gear goes right through the mount to the others side and is easily interchangable for exactly that reason. Whichever is more convenient at the position you're in. One suggestion, if you haven't allready done so, is to balance the scope and counterweight as best you can. I'm sure you have. I just wanted to mention it, since with a Dob it has probably not been an issue you've had to deal with before. Also, I wanted to give the impression that I know what the hell I am talking about ?. I wish you clear skies and lots of great views with your new telescope.
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