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Posts posted by Stu1smartcookie

  1. 3 minutes ago, badhex said:

    So I am a brand-new-as-of-this-week Skytee owner... and I have to give a plus one for it. I don't have a frac that long but can see that the sturdiness of this mount would be great for the scope you are suggesting.

    Just one problem , costs outweigh desire ... I am sure you are right about the mount but it means buying the mount,tripod and the scope. Not something which was in my plans . Can't believe I'm being so sensible for once.  Thanks for the input though . Really appreciate it :)





    • Like 1
  2. Thanks guys , really good advice on here,  as always ... although not what i wanted to read lol ... might have to rethink my whole strategy here which won't please the seller of the scope :( . I have a budget ( like most ) to work with and the scope and mounts suggested put me over that line . Got to be practical and realistic . 


  3. Hi 

    I am about to buy a long 100mm refractor, F11,  which i will use on a manual mount . I have two choices in mind , an AZ5 or an AZ4 . 

    I have to say that i already have a steel tripod ,3/8" Skywatcher , so the AZ5 mount head will be placed on this ,giving extra stability ( apparently with this tripod the AZ5 can accept upto 9kgs ..,the scope i am getting is around 4kgs )

    Or i can buy the AZ4 with steel/aluminium tripod ( with the included steel tripod the mount can take up to 8kgs ) 

    The only other  differences i see are that the AZ4 has no slow motion controls , but has useful degree markings on the mount head . oh and i can alter the fitment angle on the AZ5 to help with longer scopes 

    So , i am leaning towards an AZ5 , but does anyone else know of any other reason one way or the other . 

    Please note that i am set on either of these two mounts .




  4. Agree with above comments ... but , to answer your question about the recessed head of the mount , i bought a long 3/8" threaded bolt and it worked fine ( bolt was sawn down to a usable size ) i then was able to attach a weight to the bolt which gives added stability . It might help you until you get a stronger tripod 


    • Like 1
  5. 5 hours ago, Louis D said:

    I bought an ST80 back in 2000 when they first came out.  After having used 8" and 15" Dobs for a few years before it, it was a huge let down.  All sorts of chromatic and spherical aberrations vastly limited contrast and ability to magnify the image.  It didn't even make a decent spotting scope.  Everything looked hazy.  It has sat at the bottom back of the closet unused for the majority of the past 20 years.

    13 years later, I thought I'd give small fracs a second try with a 72ED and fell in love with it.  Sharp and color free at low to mid powers, high contrast, and the ability to use 2" eyepieces to get down to binocular level fields of view.  It's a great scope to complement a larger reflector.  However, I would never get a small frac of any quality level first.  Views of planets, planetary nebula, and globular clusters are just so lacking in resolution compared to a decently sized reflector.  The small frac excels at large open clusters and large nebula under dark skies that are out of reach of most large reflectors.  However, are they alone enough to keep a beginner interested?  Yes, you can make out Jupiter's moons and possibly some banding along with Saturn's rings, but not much more.

    You can also view the moon and the sun (with a solar filter) fairly well with a small frac.  However, picking out Mercury during the most recent transit was a real challenge with the ST80 compared to the 8" Dob.  I couldn't get off work that day, so I had to bring a scope to work and use it in the parking lot on breaks.  I wasn't comfortable bringing my better gear to work because I work near a high crime area, so the ST80 was my choice for the day since it was stowed in the car between uses.

    Basically, I skew heavily toward decently sized reflectors for beginners because they're more likely to keep them hooked on the hobby, but YMMV.

    Agree with the ST80 ... to a point .. but , as you said you were using 8" and 15" dobs before it ... Quelle Surprise ?  I also have a 72ED and i find the views of the planets more than good , when using the right magnification . 


    I find the whole "getting into astronomy "a confused mess , i will tell you why . Experienced people quite rightly have their own views that are sort after by complete beginners , nothing wrong with that . But the Scope suppliers aim certain scopes at beginners . Most beginners scopes tend to be at the cheaper end of the scale and , lets face it , there are some real dogs out there! i had the misfortune to briefly use a few . Not only were they cheaply constructed , the actual quality of image was poor . If those scopes are intended to enthuse beginners and draw them into the hobby , it won't work ! 

    To be honest , Ed Ting has it right ... he ALWAYS suggests either a 150mm or a 200mm Dob as a great starter scope ... and as most of us have found , those scopes tend to stick around under our ownership or get bought again and again ( in my case ) as i realise they truly are scopes for everyone ( unless you live on the 8th floor of an apartment block) 

    So , i , on refelection ( no pun intended ) would go along with your reflector selection . 

    Now , i wonder what dobs are in stock ... i can see another dent in that credit card coming :)


    • Like 4
  6. 5 minutes ago, johninderby said:

    Just so long as they don’t open a McDonalds on Mars someday. 🤬🤬🤬

    Other Fast Food outlets are available !  ... although catching cows on mars as they take advantage of minimal gravity would make burgers more expensive ... come to think of it god only knows what they would graze on up there . 


  7. 49 minutes ago, DaveS said:

    And remember, not so long ago emigrating to the antipodes was pretty much regarded as a one-way trip

    Agree ... what was an impossible trip or reverse trip is now regarded as normal .. ( regarding other long haul destinations ) . Human nature to explore and create and , yes , to destroy makes the impossible , possible . Only the restraints of finance make things seem unlikely where solar system travel is concerned ... oh and cleaning up the space junk that is circling the planet like a galactic waste paper bin . Maybe we can organise a waste collection , ... every other week of course ! 

  8. 14 minutes ago, Ags said:

    We don't need megawatt mobile phones,

    We don't need powerful cars or balistic missiles or bananas or telescopes that are shipped half way round the world ! 

    Its a bit rich commenting on what we don't need when , without " what we don't need" ie space telescopes and rockets that have actually enhanced technology in development of science and life saving tech in hospitals . i'm sorry but this "clean energy " thing is a complete non starter imo . The wind "didn't blow enough" in the UK last month .. we would all have been in a blackout if we were reliant on wind .  

    Sorry , on my soap box ... honestly nothing personal :) 


  9. 22 minutes ago, Louis D said:

    It's a matter of ignorance is bliss.  I literally had no idea what I was missing in clarity of view with poorly corrected eyepieces until I looked through premium eyepieces at star parties.  Same thing with coma correctors and field flatteners.  Once you've identified what eyepiece (and optical chain) flaws look like, you can't unsee them.

    It's similar to cars.  Until you've driven a high performance sedan or sports car, you really have no idea what you're missing driving an econobox.  That visceral experience is intoxicating and addictive, just like viewing through high end eyepieces and telescopes.

    hmmm not sure i like the analogy with cars ... my last 5 have been 3 x BMW and 2X Nissan ... i think the nissans take it for comfort 🤣

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