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  1. Convenience - a dark site does no good if you can't / won't use it regularly. My closest is only a 45-minute drive and even that can be difficult. Safety / security - Risking life and limb (or kit) tends to make observing less than enjoyable. Even just the perception of danger - real or imagined - can detract from a session.
  2. About 24 inches including the diagonal IIRC and 11 pounds with an 8x50 finder.
  3. I have an encoder equipped TW-1 that I run my ST120 on (about 11 pounds with finder, etc.). I'd say that is about the practical load limit for the scope. And my f5 120 is short compared to f7s and such. Vibrations take a couple seconds to die down when I rap the tube or change focus with the stock R&P focuser. Many people advocate putting a wooden plate on the arm to help damp vibrations. I did and I'm not convinced it helped all that much. I like slo-mo, but I don't care for dangling cable slo-mo controls that seem to fall off at random and that's partly why I use my SkyWatcher AZ5 much more often than my TW-1 - the SW has slo-mo knobs on it. There is at least one person who runs a C-8 on a TW-1 apparently successfully. He wrapped bungie cords around the arm to help stiffen it instead of adding a plate. I tried putting my old C-8 on the TW and it was a near disaster although I didn't try bungee cords. YMMV.
  4. Interesting. I have an f7 102ED on order and I've been wondering how my AZ5 will do with it. Guess I could sell a few things to finance a SkyTee.
  5. Plus the architecture plus the palm trees plus the blue sky. I must have lived somewhere in North Africa in a previous life.
  6. I'm allowed to keep one scope / tripod in the main room, but it stays behind a large-ish wingback chair so it's not that visible.
  7. Late comment: I use my ST120 with a 50mm finder on my SW AZ5 and it's very close to maxed out IMO. My 120 rig weighs about 5kg. FWIW.
  8. I've always considered my binos to be the ultimate grab-n-go kit - pick them up, step outside, and I'm observing. Recently I bought a pair of IF 15x70s. I like the size / FOV, but they're not optimal for handheld observing due to weight, so I normally use a lightweight tripod and fluid mount. I have some limited mobility when looking above 60 degrees so I'm considering a p-gram mount, but I wonder about the "grab-n-go-ability" of them. If I have to drag a bunch of kit outside, I might as well pull out a g-n-g refractor. Observing while reclining sort of works now, but it's not that steady when tilting my tripod back and the tripod legs have a tendency to slip. Thoughts / experiences / suggestions? Thanks!
  9. Point taken, but some forums... ahem, Cloudy Nights, ahem... often contain more chaff than wheat or endless debates that would likely turn off a newcomer. Cynical sidenote: Somebody once wrote, "Integrity don't pay the rent." Probably a local politician here.
  10. Wow, that's pretty good. How did you track it to get 80 4-second captures, just nudge the mount every few seconds?
  11. Someone on another forum posts timelapse meteor shots that he takes under pretty dark skies - rather impressive. I've been considering getting a Wyze to experiment with as an all-sky cam although I am in heavy light pollution; this thread is very useful. With my luck though, I'd wind up with shots of some creepy neighbor checking out the camera. Or Sasquatch.
  12. I'm looking to buy an ED refractor in the 90-100mm range as a probable replacement for my three other scopes. Might be time to rationalize the collection. If that doesn't work out, the back-up plan is to get a Canon T7 and try some wide angle constellation photography. Maybe acquire a camera tracker as well. I'll continue to play with some remote scope photography, although I doubt I'll progress much past the "snapshot" level. I'm reasonably sure I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of AP post-processing. I want to get out to my club's dark sites at least once a month - this year has been very difficult with work, weather, and moon phase. And I'd like to explore some of relatively nearby campsites that are under darker skies. One is closer time-wise than my nearest club site and it's only $15 per night to camp - worth the price even if I get clouded out and only sit around a campfire. Galaxies are pretty much out of the question at home, so I'll keep targeting open clusters, observing objects close to the galactic plane, and try to do more lunar observing. I'm also going to try more double star observing since it's probably tolerable under my home light pollution.
  13. I believe the BAA photo info listed it currently at around m=14.4.
  14. A little levity, although I do empathize with her feelings: Dr. Becky watches the launch
  15. Wait, there's desirable equipment in stock somewhere? Where is this mythical land of which you speak? (In all fairness to FLO and others, I know it's not the vendors' fault and there is some nice kit out there. For me though, everything I'm currently interested in is out of stock, on backorder, coming soon, more on the way, or delivery unknown.)
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