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About jcj380

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  1. Wondering what a realistic load capy. is for a Vixen APZ. My biggest scope is an ST120 refractor that weighs about 5.5 kg with 8x50 finder and eyepiece. I'm thinking of upgrading to a Crayford focuser which I believe will add another half kilo or so. I currently have a Twilight 1 which seems maxed out with the 120 and a SkyWatcher AZ5 which handles it a bit better, but it's also close to max load, I think. I have a Manfrotto 475B and a stock TW1 tripod. I'd prefer not to use a counterweight, but if it's a necessity, so be it. Thanks!
  2. There's an AZ5 mount which is identical to the Explore Scientific Twilight 1 (which I have) and also a Skywatcher AZ5 (which I also have). Both have slo-mo. The identical names were a bit confusing to me when I first started researching mounts. Just a note for any new folks. Question - How much load can a typical Giro-style mount handle before a counterweight is necessary? Thanks.
  3. Many nice objects in Orion, Canis Major, Monoceros, Gemini, and Auriga. Perseus and Cassiopeia also.
  4. As written, light pollution makes a huge difference when looking for "faint fuzzies", but atmospheric conditions and the altitude of the object can also make things more difficult. I live in a Bortle 7-8 light pollution zone and the faintest stars I can see by naked eye are about 3rd magnitude. At best, I can see the two stars at the end of the Little Dipper's bowl but no others aside from Polaris. I've learned that I really can't perceive any extended object like a galaxy here that's fainter than 8th magnitude and some of those are challenging with my current scopes and the altitude of
  5. Not as sophisticated as some online tools, but I find this one quite useful. Once I print out a list, I add it to a binder for field use. SAC
  6. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I don't see much mention of Bresser products in the US. I learned of the existence of Spezials here on SGL. I'm considering a pair of 15x70s myself.
  7. For me, it seems more a question of balance and geometry than anything else (assuming reasonable weight). I have the hardest time with a pair of very lightweight 8x32 Opticrons - maybe I drink too much coffee?
  8. For additional height, you could consider a length of PVC pipe. Slip the bottom of the monopod into it. Plus PVC is very inexpensive and is easily cut to length. Just a thought...
  9. Not sure if this helps, but I made a rectangular frame from PVC pipe and fittings and hang black nylon shower curtains on it. Mine sits on the ground or my deck, but it might be possible to rig up a hoist of some kind if it needs to be higher.
  10. Looks great! From what I've read, more people are using concrete block piers instead of pouring concrete. Certainly easier than mixing by hand or having concrete delivered IMO. Curious how the long-term stability turns out. OTOH, if it gets out of plumb or whatever, it should be relatively easy to reseat or replace. Good luck!
  11. Sorry for my delay. I have f5 80mm and 120mm refractors and a 90mm f12 (?) Maksutov. I would likely use the 80mm, definitely not the Mak. Camera is TBD, but likely a ZWO, probably mono.
  12. Curious what you used for the front surface mirror and where you obtained it. Tnx!
  13. I could see how far off my Celestron 15x70s SkyMasters were off by alternating views of Orion's belt when it was pretty much vertical in the sky. It was centered in one side, but well off center in the other. I'm told the two sides needn't match perfectly, but this was well beyond an acceptable offset. Unfortunately, I was never able to collimate them very well, so I got rid of them rather than struggle.
  14. I've read some things about people doing live stacking with manual unguided alt-az mounts. Anybody here have experience doing or at least trying that? I realize exposures / depth will be limited, but I'm curious about results. Thanks.
  15. I'm in a similar position. Light pollution at home limits naked eye magnitude to around +3, maybe +3.5. I have darker sites available but the nearest is at least a 45 minute drive plus the time to pack, unpack, set up, etc., so I'm starting to research EAA. From what I've read, decent results on faint objects with stacked unguided short exposures using relatively inexpensive cameras are quite achievable. I've read good reviews of both ASILive (ZWO) and SharpCap live stacking. I'm considering a monochrome ZWO just to dip my toe in the water.
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