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Everything posted by parallaxerr

  1. Thanks. Yep, that's the exact one I've ordered, it's out for delivery now For anyone else considering this, be aware that the Wixey Type 2 inclinometer has a permanent green backlight, so this, the type 1 which isn't backlit is more suitable imo. Other brands are available And, this is the phone holder I have, though I can't remember where I got it from now! It was a UK supplier, but there's loads of other options anyway.
  2. I use the PC version too, it's very good. I'm using the free Andoid version, don't think it's pro in any way. Currently v1.29.8.
  3. I'm pleased to say that last nights observing session went very well with the new system. I nailed every target in the FoV of my 32mm plossl, first time and it also allowed me to leave the UHC filter fitted as I didn't have to rely on star hopping. Only point to note was that leaving Stellarium running on the phone murdered the battery, despite running on a note9 which has a 4000+mAh battery! I will have to connect my usb power tank for longer sessions.
  4. Actually, I already had the phone holder but it was attached to a synta style finder dovetail. I removed the dovetail and made the small black bracket that goes between the mount and the phone holder. It's a strip of 3mm aluminium, drilled to accept the bolts either end and slightly twisted to tilt the phone back to a better viewing angle. Gave it a lick of paint and job done. Yes, I have this on my bike which is very sturdy, I may make another bracket and experiment with it. They are available in all sorts of colours including a nice green similar to the new skywatcher trim. The benefit of the one I made yesterday though, is that it is very small when no phone is fitted, only sticks out about an inch and collapses down to about 2" high.
  5. After an unsuccessful bid to find a larger frac (at the right price) on the used market for DSO hunting, I decided I should try harder with my current 4" ED. One of the problems I have though is star hopping to the faint fuzzies with my RDF. So I did some little mount mods to the AZ4 to help me along... OK, this is not a new idea by a long stretch - I added a digital inclinometer to the Alt axis (actually this one is borrowed from work, I have a Wixey coming tomorrow) and flipped the AZ setting circle for use in the Northern hemisphere and added a new pointer made from white electrical tape in a more convenient position than the original. Most people probably don't use the setting circles on their AZ4's so won't have noticed they're configured for the Southern hemisphere I also made a little bracket to mount my mobile phone in a position similar to where the nav computers are seen on some push-to mounts. This allows me to run Stellarium and read off target AltAz cords without rooting through my pockets for the phone every 2mins and the screen can be left on constantly in red mode to prevent having to unlock the phone, which temporarily throws up a bright white keypad - not good for night vision. Got it all set up and in broad daylight thought I'd take a punt at finding Jupiter, so I dialled in the specified 16 degrees alt on the inclinometer and scanned roughly whre I knew its Az location to be and... BANG, alt was right on target. Set the AZ circle to match the reading in Stellarium and that's me calibrated for the night. Soooooo easy and accurate (so far). I'm super chuffed with this as it should save a lot of random scanning in the general area of faint DSO's. I have also ordered an 8x50 RACI finder to replace the red dot which should further aid locating the fuzzies.
  6. FYI for anyone else facing the same predicament and not having the offer of a freebee from a friendly fellow lounger, I find "wixroyd" to be the boys for this kind of thing. Far superior hardware to the stuff fitted to Chinese mounts imo... https://www.wixroyd.com/en/catalog/wixroyd/b Just so happens I'm in the process of upgrading my AZ4 legs clamps with these...
  7. Haha, I know. FLO have price matched a new one at a very tempting price......but I must resist.
  8. Yes, I must exercise more patience. It's just typical that there are normally several on the market but now I'm looking, it's slim pickings!
  9. I've been trying my darndest for weeks to find a used one at a reasonable price, or one for sale at all for that matter. I think this price hike just put a nail in the coffin of the whole idea tbh as it will obviously bump the used prices up.
  10. Lottery win required....

  11. Well blow me. A significant Skywatcher price hike just landed and they're even more expensive now, £537 for an ST150 at FLO. Too rich for me
  12. I guess the ability to counterbalance helps in this example John, something that's not an option with the AZ4. A lack of counter weights is actually one of the reasons I like the AZ4, though it does limit the mount to a degree. I can cope with a little bit of under-mounting when observing low power but it's horrible when ramping up the mag.
  13. Hi Alan, yes I came across your comments in my searches......and realised you went back to a frac
  14. Funny how opinions vary, a user on CN said this was "useable" at low power. AR152 on AZ4....
  15. Wow, that's just the sort of picture that's needed, really illustrates the size difference. I can imagine it now having seen plenty of 130/150p on AZ4 pics, thanks.
  16. I noticed that about the OOUK scopes John, then I noticed the prices Never mind, I thought it was a long shot and I'd rather a frac anyway. I wonder if the AZ4 would cope with one of the 152mm f5.9 variants? Probably not, I think they're closer to 11kg!
  17. Yes I have thanks Ade and I've been in touch. I think I'll hold out for something a little cheaper, I've seen them go for closer to £200 but there are no others on the market at the moment that I can find. This particular one plus postage is getting expensive imo, they're down to £479 new now.
  18. Thanks Russ, makes sense, that's a lot of weight on the alt axis. I found the CA bearable on my ST120 and a non-issue on DSO, which is what this scope will be used for exclusively. Need to find one cheap somewhere, I just missed out on a Phenix 150mm F5 frac on UKABS the other day for £90!!!!! Gutted.
  19. If I were to drop to 150mm aperture @russ, I think I'd just hang out for the frac at the right price given that I love the refractor presentation. What was the big no no with the 200pds, physical size, weight, vibration? Did you attempt any observing with it on the AZ4?
  20. I agree Paz, the AZ4 is a solid performer, I wish I'd discovered it earlier to be honest. Also wish I still had my ST120 for DSO but the 4" ED is far more capable on planets and I dare say doubles etc.
  21. I know, I know, bear with me on this one.... Earlier this year I downsized to one scope, a 4" ED refractor which I have mounted on an AZ4. I have been thoroughly impressed with the combination over the last few months viewing Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon. I can tell there's a lot more planetary potential in the scope when they eventually rise above the murk. The mount is performing flawlessly. I have it semi-permanently set up under a cover in the garden with a ground anchor set in the grass attached to a ratchet strap pulling down on the tripod spreader. The whole affair is rock steady and vibration is a non-issue with the frac which weighs in at circa 5kg with accessories... However, with the return of a little astronomical darkness in the early hours, I recently tried a bit of DSO hunting. It comes as no surprise that I've been left a little underwhelmed having been used to viewing DSO's with my old frac, a SW ST120. Unfortunately I can't agree with the common conception that better optics make up for a lack of aperture, the ST120 went much deeper than the 4" ED apparently can, no question in my mind. So, I have recently been searching for a used Skywatcher ST150 refractor. A fellow SGL'er tells me that for low power, he found the AZ4/ST150 combo OK. Now he was using the aluminium tripod and pier extension, I'd wager my arrangement is much sturdier. The ST150 does not look out of place on the AZ4 by any means.... But, there are few used ST150's available and prices are high so I got thinking about a reflector. Now, I'm completely new to Newts and don't relish the prospect of collimation, though I accept the common advice that it's no big deal. I certainly had no problems collimating an SCT in the past, which daunted me at first. The thing is, I read that due to central obstruction, a newt is often comparable only to a larger refractor, leading me to think bigger than 150mm/6in....next stop 200mm/8in. I've seen a C8 (203mm) on an AZ4 in this thread and that didn't look too bad either, zenith was not quite achievable, but I rarely observe above about 70° anyway. This isn't an option though, prices are higher than the frac. I must also add that a dob is out of the question due to the layout of my garden which consists of many tiers, steps and sloping lawns, which a tripod can obviously be adjusted to deal with. I have no aspirations to go down the big mount route again, it killed the hobby for me when my mount became a burden to set up, AZ4 it is. So, all I want is a light bucket that will sit on an AZ4, simples right? Anyone tried a 200p on one, even better, anyone got any pics of said combo? No amount of image searching yields a result, probably for good reason!! I'm quietly confident that this could work bearing in mind it will be solely for low power use and given that the mount is currently so stable, we're talking just under double the OTA weight. The issue I ponder is one of physical compatibility. What do you think? I'm now sat down in my holiday home, beer in hand awaiting your thoughts. Go easy won't ya!?!?! Cheers, Jon
  22. Thanks, aware of this one and have contacted seller, but still looking at other options.
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