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Everything posted by Stu1smartcookie

  1. Stu , didn't get to see M32 + M110.. sorry to say … I cannot wait for September when the skies darken at around 8pm . hoping for longer session at the weekend , especially as the skies are looking good . I am going to try a bit of imaging but , I really want to "know" the sky more .
  2. Hi everyone … So , last night I had my best ever night of observing . I set up my mount about an hour before use … levelled and balanced the scope (130pds ) … I successfully Polar aligned ( all these things are getting easier and faster to do ) . The air was still and fairly mild and every target I set on my GOTO was found without problems . This really was a bit of a triumph for me as I've always had issues in polar alignment and I was getting a bit disillusioned, if I'm completely honest . I was like a child in a sweet shop as I busily scanned the skies for any visible planet (Jupiter and Saturn ) and double stars and galaxies (I love you Andromeda ) I could see in the short viewing time I had . Getting up at 5am has many drawbacks , one being having to sleep before midnight ! I only used low power EPs last night but the sheer thrill of what I saw last night was enough in itself. So , apart from the obvious , why am I writing this …well , I suppose the reason is the one thing I am rapidly learning with this amazing hobby is to be patient . I sometimes look at glossy pictures from the likes of the Hubble and to be honest , I would rather actually see a grey fuzzy patch and tease extra detail from my light polluted back garden . Sorry if this is preaching to the converted , but , I just wanted to share my glory . Clear skies to all !
  3. Well done, Kirk … I've yet to produce my first image but if its as good as yours then I will be more than happy .
  4. Thank you , Just need the rings for my z61 to give it a go . I am a bit cautious ( that's why I asked the question) , but that's one for and one against lol . As I say , I can't test it yet .
  5. I hadn't even thought about the bearings side of it … plus of course my z61 has a field flattener etc adding extra weight … also never even considered a side by side . I must admit , I did expect this answer although I was rather hoping it wouldn't be the case . But at least I haven't had any extra expense , so thank you for the advice , Steppenwolf . Since I bought the mount , I have not had a clear night !! But of course that's the way it goes when you purchase new astronomy stuff zzz
  6. Hi all … I would like to ask if the following is feasible . I have a SW 130pds mounted on a SW EQ3 Pro Goto . I also have a lovely small WO ZS61 . My question is , these two scopes weigh about 6.5 kgs … would I be able to piggy back the Z61 onto the 130 and still use the mount . I am looking to upgrade the tripod to a steel one , as the aluminium one supplied feels thinner than a supermodel on hunger strike . This should give extra weight and stability , but I think I may be pushing it beyond its limits. I am not able to try this , at present as I do not have any rings to fix the z61 to the 130 yet, hence the question .
  7. I agree … sky watcher actually do not endorse the firmware upgrade themselves , which is a little strange as they offer it on their site .. but as you rightly say , the mount isn't really designed for astrophotography . The trouble with me is that I don't really know what I want from this hobby lol … its costing me a lot of money to find the right combination of scope and mount. I really do like the az-gti. Though a steel tripod is certainly the way to go with it as it wobbles like a jelly on the aluminium one .
  8. Not sure I can be of much help but , last night I took off the wedge and reverted back to the original firmware for the AZ-GTi… apart from having to rearrange the dovetail bar to accommodate fitting the scope on the left of the mount instead of the right , the whole system worked so much better . I had excellent views of Jupiter , considering its elevation, with my 130pds and even saw what looked like one of the moons transiting the planet . At least using the AZ-Gti in its original form worked for me . I never had much success with the wedge and using the updated firmware . I think the tripod is too lightweight for the mount and a couple of times the scope would "drop" and my heart would stop beating for a second .
  9. Lol I will use that line , maybe once ! … I have decided that I am going to get an eq3 pro goto mount … I feel that it will cope if only a bit better with additional weight such as a camera . I suppose I am not alone in changing my set up … especially trying to find the "sweet spot" of equipment owned . I could have bought part of the Hubble with the money ive spent so far.
  10. I would prefer to use a handset ….but … that's another £100 spent if I do ! … I think I'm getting into "my wife will kill me territory " as it is lol
  11. Hi Space ... the 130 pds is quite a light scope though and ive seen many reports of people using it on this mount ... i too have a counter weight , its a really good set up ...when it works .I will be upgrading the tripod ..The current one really isnt up to holding everything steady . i'm also conscious that the total money spent on this mount is actually nearing the cost of a Skywatcher Eq3 goto mount or an ioptron Smart EQ ...Which are both fairly portable mounts and have similar payload abilities . And they have the avantage of the synscan handset . i actually prefer that to using a mobile to connect to the az-gti .
  12. Thanks to all of you for your help... one more question ... i have a wedge which i now use as the firmware is updated ti use in EQ mode ... when setting up ,should i set up just as i would a normal EQ mount , ie udjust the latitude, 51 degrees in my case , and literally point the scope towards polaris ? i will have the scope level and balanced of course . I am also using this mount at present with batteries .. i think they could be causing an issue as when they are running down the power is probably not consistent , therefore maybe its affecting the slewing to the desired location . Maybe i am wrong here , it was just a thought .
  13. Just ordered mine ... i too am dismayed at the flimsy nsture of the SW tripod... hsving said that i am attaching a sw 130pds with counter weight and wedge to the mount so its not surprising that its on the top heavy side . Also the original tripod is still good for cameras , i kind of like iit ... but of course with the extension pillar thst came with the mount it makes everything that little bit more unstable . Actually it brings up another question ... when using the steel tripod is there a risk of the scope catching on the tripod ? At least the extension pillar allowed my 130pds to clear the tripod .
  14. I have exactly the opposite ... my mount tracks but basically goes where it wants !! i'm obviously doing something wrong .. but i cant think what .. Frustrated !!
  15. Many thanks Cornelius for the confirmation .
  16. Thank you Ricochet... so , i suppose a cheshire is my next purchase . Surely the laser if not collimated properly will give a false reading on the primary , wouldn't it ? sorry if that question is dumb , but it just seemed a bit logical to me . When i used the laser to collimate both mirrors i got the red spot in the doughnut of the secondry and the primary was almost as easy . Of course now i know that the laser was lying to me which makes me so wary of those collimaters
  17. Having decided small refractors and a light weight small refector is my way forward in astronomy i have some questions about the az-gti mount . 1; i cannot get the mount to accurately "goto" its intended target .. The instructions for this mount are incredibly lite and give no real indication of setting up and alignment. Its an alt azimuth mount primarily so can anyone give me any tips here... Should the scope be mounted so it faces front on the right side of the mount or faces front on the left side ( sorry if this doesn't make sense ..i know what i'm trying to ask but its not easy to write it lol) 2: i upgraded the firmware from the skywatcher website and i started to use the az-gti as an EQ mount ( i bought a skywatcher wedge ).. i found this set up to be a bit "sloppy " so , am i right in thinking that i can reverse the firmware upgrade by downloading the original firmware onto the mount ? The mount seemed ok with everything tightened but in reality i think its a bit lightweight for my 130pds , although ideal for my wo zs61... any thoughts would be most welcome .
  18. First of all , many thanks for the answers . And Astro you have completely se my mind at rest with your explanation . Now , another problem ( i do seem to create problems for myself ) . i bought a laser collimater and i thought is was collimated ..but it turns out that its far from collimated and , of course , i "uncollimated " my scope . To the point where ive adjusted just about every conceivable screw available !! I think ive got it back to somewhere like normal , but only night will tell. Ive looked at getting a cheshire collimator now as i dont think i will EVER trust one of these laser collimaters again . Is using a cheshire the best way forward here?
  19. Hi everyone , I've just bought a Skywatcher 130 pds .. i have an az-gti mount which ive upgraded the alluminium tripod for a steel one for stability . I've also added a skywatcher wedge and upgraded the firmware of the mount to take advantage of using the set up in EQ mode . So far So good ...but , when i set up this scope for the first time i used the accompanying 28mm (2") eye piece which achieved focus but i have an image of the small black ring (which sits in the middle of the primary mirror and is used for collimation) I don't get this problem when i use my 1 1/4" eyepieces . Its really annoying as it interferes with the view. Maybe someone can advise nme what i have got wrong here . I had to collimate the telescope when i first set it up ...( i collimated my laser collimater first ) . The scope was quite a way off collimation but im sure its good now as ive had good views of jupiter ( albeit rather small of course ) .
  20. In awe of all the images on here … I am just getting started with astrophotograhy and still don't understand the finer points … and also having trouble with focussing issues , but seeing images like this inspires me so much . Just got my 130pds (17/7/2019 ) and waiting for a clear night . I already own a small refractor but I chose the 130pds for visual use as well as imaging . What I particularly like about this scope is its weight .
  21. I'm late to this thread but I just wanted to say , Portability is something to consider when choosing the right scope , especially if its to be used for terrestrial as well as night time use . I had a 180mm mak which is a brilliant scope but notice I wrote the word "had". It sat in my wardrobe with my EQ5 for many weeks as setting up and transporting it became a real chore from my light polluted garden . Now I have a very small WO z61 which I use for both visual and Photography ( not that I've had too much success with the latter yet). The point is , I love those short tube refractors that you can just pick up and go. Don't get me wrong , I would also love an observatory in my garden and a permanently mounted giant reflector but that's not an option , so , I choose to have the best scope set up for my needs . And as we all know , the best scopes are the ones we use !
  22. Hi William , did you get everything sorted ? I have just bought a WO Z61 + Flattener and even with the flat installed I still have to extend it 5mm or so to achieve focus . Not a hardship , but it was a bit puzzling why this is the case . Still , its all good now .
  23. Wow , I've just got my Z61 and I will be imaging (hopefully ) for the first time tonight . I looked at the SW 72ED and was almost swayed but I fell in love with the compactness of the WO Z61 , and visually it gives fantastic views. We are truly blessed to have these small refractors to choose from and whatever you chose I'm sure you are delighted . I will use the AZ GTI as recommended by Heliumstar … after all these scopes are designed to be ultra portable and a clunky mount really serves no purpose in this case . By the way , Hennyvenom , that image alone is worth buying the scope for . Hope I can produce a photo as cool as that !
  24. Had the option of getting a Redcat 51 or a Z61 … I chose the 61 only because I intend to do some visual with it and I thought the extra aperture would come in handy .. but , coupling the price of the dedicated Flattener for the z61 , which I had to buy lol , I'm in two minds whether I did the right thing . I love the Redcat because of its size . I cant wait to see some images. I am just getting into(astro) photography and know nothing about it , other than what I have read on this site and seen on you tube, but that's half the fun , learning and making mistakes, as well as the pure joy of producing your own work .
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