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About Hiddenpalm

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  1. So the Celestron f/6.3 focal reducer finally came in. It looks pristine and brand new. Lesson here, if you're shopping for a Focal Reducer on Amazon, stay away from Meade, Astromania and Alstar and just get the Celestron. Or else you have a pretty good chance at getting a really sloppy job of a refurbished product even though they're claiming it's new. Oh yeah ... and Celestron won this contest and even beat some surprise opponents, Street Fighter style. ?
  2. I'm a total noob, but that does sound weird, being that the rings should allow you to make adjustments. Maybe your mak 127 needs to be collimated? Newbie Alert, I love your toys. That's the "Ferrari" WO ZS 66mm right? I love that old look. I'm not too fond of their latest ones with white tubes. Mine is in Celestron orange. The older ones are heavier though, but they're so hot.
  3. DRT was right, the 90mm rings are too small for the dew shield of the WO ZS 66mm, so I went for the100mm ring. I couldn't help myself and got the orange bar. But all for naught. The dealer just got back to me (days later) and informed me the nexstar 8SE mount is already at over capacity with the 8SE scope. And that adding anything to it would be bad for the motor not allowing it to track properly, which is the first time I'm hearing this. Most complaints are about its lack of steadiness. Granted, I'm not too serious about doing AP yet, I'm just checking things and slowly learning about everything, so I was willing to struggle with the shakiness as long as I learn something. I've been planning to update the mount and get a real camera next year meanwhile learning the ropes with what I got it. I was going to get the wedge to turn the mount into an equatorial one, figuring the extra weight would help with the steadiness, but it still wouldn't fix the issue about too much weight on the motor. So maybe sometime next year I'll get a cool new mount like the cgem (40lbs / 18.14kg capacity) with orange nobs and orange screws. ?
  4. Right? I'm getting the feeling that some manufacturer bought or took all of Celestron's defects and then refurbished them and then resold them to Meade, Astromania and Alstar. They do all look alike. But who really knows. I think we can safely conclude, Celestron won this one. Oh by the way, Celestron sneaks a $10 tax at the end, so on Amazon, the Celestron f/6.3 is actually selling for $122.
  5. Yeah definitely returning. Already set up the refund through Amazon. I'm getting the Celestron version for $112. This is Astromania's F/6.3 focal reducer, right out of the box, labeled "new". The lens looks ok, it might work, maybe. But I'm not accepting this for $90. You can see the glue, a mystery substance and what appears to be a metal tool scratch on the threading. It looks like it's been refurbished by a guy who really hates his job. Is that mystery white substance even safe for humans? It was also seen in the Meade version, but on the actual lens. What confidence should a customer have in a company selling a product like this at such a high price? ? Someone call Ralph Nader!
  6. I just wanted to update folks. Pay the extra money for the Celestron f/6.3. People haven't complained about it. I was trying to save some money which is why I found the Meade price appealing, but the customer reviews with pictures showed it to be cheaply made. So I went for the Astromania f/6.3 for $90. It just arrived. Besides the delivery service being atrocious with an actual bootprint on the package .... it looks cheap. There was no glue on the lens (thank the Gods), but you can still see a bit of the glue on the inner side. The threading looks cheap too. It attached well, the lens looks fine but I haven't field tested it yet. The Alstar is probably the same too. If you look at both them on Amazon, they have the same exact pictures, with the logos photoshopped on them. That right there should of been my alarm. I'm just starting out, and I want to do this right. I'm not really happy adding a cheap looking item to my baby. I'm hoping it works fine. It should. I learned a valuable lesson here. If something is priced cheap, it's probably for an undesirable reason. In a world where it all feels overpriced, you still can't cut corners. Anyways, thank you everyone for contributing to this thread. I really like it here. You guys are cool.
  7. Ahhhhhh man, so true. Ideally I would want to set up before the sun goes down, giving the ladies plenty of time to know where the fun will be when it is dark. So I want to look good. But yeah, at the end of the day, you're absolutely correct. I was thinking the same, which is why I looked at the 90mm, which claims to adjust for "60mm – 80mm" and slightly lighter than a 100mm. Lightbucket's ring was 76mm designed for a 70mm refracter. Are you suggesting the 90mm might be too small as well?
  8. First of all, THANK YOU! This is information that should of been explained at ADM. It's been very helpful. I love the Lounge. Regarding the rings Lightbucket posted, it does have thumb screws for adjustments. "By loosening the thumbscrews, the telescope can be easily balanced and rotated." Whether that is less or more adjustable than standard ones, I'm not sure. It is a very good price compared to others, by far. But weighs a bit more than others, 0.80kg (1.76lbs). I'm thinking, It also might not be as steady because only one screw connects it to the dovetail. DRT, I can see the usefulness for the MDS as they are lighter. But I am torn if I should go for the V series orange dovetail at 0.56kg or the MDS you posted for 0.34kg. The problem is I am not sure how much more weight the 8SE can take and the orange bar might be the kicker for me. The WO ZS 66mm is already at 1.58kg (3.5lbs). And I still want to add a green laser to it. I wrote the dealer, Highpoint Scientific, about it but still haven't gotten a reply yet. Here are the builds I'm looking at. ----------------------------------------------------------- [DRT's recommendation] MDS-C8- MDS Series Dovetail Bar for Celestron 8″ SCT Telescope - 12oz (0.75lbs) (0.34kg) MDS-R100- MDS Series dovetail Ring Set. 100mm Adjustable Rings - - 18oz (1.12lbs) Total 30oz (1.87lbs) (0.84kg) 1.87 + 3.5(WO ZS 66mm) = 5.37lbs (2.43kg) ------------------------------------------------------- [DRT's recommendation with a 90mm ring, since Lightbucket suggested the 100mm is too big] MDS-C8- MDS Series Dovetail Bar for Celestron 8″ SCT Telescope - 12oz (0.75lbs) (0.34kg) MDS-R90- MDS Series dovetail Ring Set. 90mm Adjustable Rings - 16oz (1 pound) Total 28oz (1.75lbs) (0.79kg) 3.5(WO ZS 66mm) + 1.75 = 5.25lbs (2.38kg) ------------------------------------------------------ This is the one I'm leaning towards since it has an orange bar, even though it weighs slightly more than the MDS. VR90- V Series Dovetail Ring Set. 90mm Adjustable Rings - 20oz (1.25lbs) (0.56kg) VC8- V Series Dovetail Bar for Celestron 8″ SCT Telescope. Orange Anodized - 14oz (0.87lbs) (0.34kg) Total 34oz (2.12lbs) (0.96kg) 2.12 + 3.5(WO ZS 66mm) = 5.62lbs (2.54kg) ------------------------------------------------------------ So what do you guys think? Can my 8SE handle 2.54kg (5.62lbs)? Would it work? I still want to add a green laser pointer. I haven't seen a MDS orange dovetail bar. I really want an orange bar. Please don't judge me, lol
  9. I've been looking for a dovetail and rings in various places online but I don't know what exactly to look for. For example at ADM they have everything divided in V, D, DV, and MDS series. I don't know what they all stand for. When I look at rings I'm not exactly sure what to get. I'm trying to piggy back a 1.5kg (3.5 pound) William Optics Zenithstar 66mm scope on a Nexstar 8SE to use the 66mm as a guiding scope and for comparison views. They also look really great together, since they're the same color. I've seen pictures of someone who did the same thing, except it was on a 6SE. The WO ZS 66mm has a tube diameter of 75mm (2.95") and a tube length of 360mm (14.2") when fully extended. The PDF manual for the ZS shows 100mm rings under recommended products. Should I look for "100mm" rings when shopping for them? Or is there more to it? Any advice on what I should look for when shopping for a dovetail and rings to attach the Zenithstar on the 8SE would be greatly appreciated. A simple primer on what to know and what to do would be appreciated even more.
  10. Thanks for the clarification, CJDawson. For now Im stuck with a phone that can take images at 4128x3096 (12mp) resolution and long exposure resolution at 1920x1080 (2.1mp) using FV-5 for android. Sadly it cant record in raw format, only jpeg or png. I hope to upgrade my mount and to a professional camera maybe within a year. Please follow me, so you can contribute your expertise when I post a thread on what to look for when choosing mobile photo applications for AP. I know Apple has a pretty good one, I forget the name. Anyways, I'll leave all that for another thread. Thank you for your insight. Seriously appreciated. ?
  11. Yeah it would be nice to see a test done with images and videos. But it doesn't seem like Celestron8g8 and his boy took any pictures of the differences back in 2004.
  12. JeremyS, I'm a new guy, so I don't really have any evidence, except consumer reviews on Amazon. Go to this link Meade f/6.3 Focal Reducer and scroll down to the customer reviews and click on "see all customer images". Read all the one star and two star reviews and even the 3 star reviews. It's pretty bad. People say Meade makes quality products, yet they are currently selling an item that is defective half the time for $80 which really makes the entire company's reputation pretty questionable. Some of the bad reviews are very recent. A responsible company is supposed to make a recall and pull the item off the shelves. One of the reviews suspects Meade is selling returned items that are defective. Is it true? I am not sure. But I do know, it's not cool. $80 may not seem allot in the world of Astronomy, but it is allot. Most people don't just throw $80 out there to gamble. And when people do gamble, they know they are gambling for the chance to win something rather than to get what is being marketed. Allot of people who have been doing astronomy for decades see Meade as a trusted company. But then there is this going on. In the end I went for the $90 Astromania f/6.3. Even though the Meade is selling for $80, they charge a $7 tax, so its actually $87. Yet the other companies (Celestron, AlStar, Astromania) selling the same product aren't charging a tax. Another peculiar business practice from Meade that makes you go hmmmm. Keep in mind, I am a new guy, who just looked at his very first Meade product online and saw a significant amount of bad reviews as my first impression. What are the odds?
  13. Sort of. The only photo experience I have really is messing with photoshop to make images for websites. So I wouldnt know what it means to have "less noise" (besides it being a filter on PS) or what it means to have less "mv", let alone what "mv" means. But for me it's good enough to know that "G Sensitivity/Dynamic Range/SN Ratio" has to do with image quality and not the quality of autoguiding. So your input does help, since my initial question is about its autoguiding quality. I was curious if "G Sensitivity/Dynamic Range/SN Ratio" had anything to do with auto guiding and you answered that. Thanks allot, highly appreciated. On another note, as I learn more about this, I am a bit shocked why so many of these autoguide cameras have lower megapixel power than the average smartphone yet are more expensive than average smartphones. But I think, I'll make a new thread on that or see what people have already posted on that here. I'm sure people have asked before. It is rather odd.
  14. The Alstar and the Astromania f/6.3 are both going for $90. They both appear to be exactly the same, except for the logo. I guess this what MarsG76 was talking about the same manufactures. No one is complaining about low quality production in the reviews either. I might go with one of these unless Celestron has the better quality product. Not sure yet. They have the same sample pictures on their amazon pages too .... just with different logos. Hmmmmmm .....
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