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About Franklin

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  1. I second the Evostar120 as an all rounder over the Startravel120 having owned both. AZ4 would carry it but no slo-motions. Put it on an EQ5 which you can get used for about the same as an AZ4. If you have to have an Alt-az the Skytee would be better. More money but it would be capable of handling more scopes in the future, which you might get if you catch the astro bug proper.
  2. Back in the 80's, as a teenager, I bought a secondhand Vixen 4" refractor. It was an excellent scope and I regretted selling it on ever since. However, it was not the 102M. It was called the Vixen Sensor102 and had a shorter focal length of 900mm. The tube had four lugs, two on each side, which sat in a cradle attached to a large yoke/fork style altazimuth mount with slow motion controls. All on a lovely tall Vixen wooden tripod with white trim. Since it went I have neither seen nor heard of another like it. There is a line drawing picture of the Sensor102 in an old Vixen catalogue from the 70
  3. Looking for one of these 2" eyepieces if there's any available. Must be in good, clean condition. Thanks.
  4. Well done Dave! I'm glad you managed to do something with the Vixen after all. Looks great on the old GP and wooden tripod. So glad it went to someone who knows what they're doing, I wouldn't have dared mess with the lens. Nice one. Did you manage to clean up those LV's? I was going to bin those! Lol.
  5. Thanks for the reply and for putting my mind at rest. I just want to be able to set my latitude on the mount, point the thing North and get observing. Nice one thanks.
  6. The central laser indicates that the focuser is square on but the cheshire and your drawing seem to suggest that the objective is tilted. Not sure if the TAL 100RS has a colimatable cell but if not you can try loosening the lens retaining ring and gently tapping around the cell whilst ota is in an upright postion. This can help settle the lens back into the correct postion. I had an Evo150 without the collimatable cell and this tube slapping technique actually worked well. Before, the cheshire revealed two overlapping reflections, almost a figure of eight but after doing the above the collimat
  7. Hi all, looking for advice from HEQ5 owners please. I am visual only and presently have a Vixen GP2 with a synta RA drive and DEC slow-mo which is used for centering and tracking only. I am very pleased with this set up. However, having suffered from aperture fever for some time I have found myself with a scope which really needs a heavier duty mount and am looking at the HEQ5 as a beefier alternative. In the past these where available as a non-goto set up which would have been ideal. My question is, can the present goto version of the HEQ5 be used simply for centering and tracking, bypas
  8. BTW, great article "Planetary Filter Shootout". Bought a Baader CB filter based on your findings and do not regret it. Best MV filter in my opinion, especially in the 6" f8 synta.
  9. For once a bargain. That's definitely a keeper then.
  10. The Vixen Lanthanum 8-24 zoom works very well in my grab n go F6 refractor, especially for solar with the Lunt wedge. Giving mags of x20 - x60 in the F6 scope. Double them up with a 2x Barlow for higher power if seeing permits. Not sure if they still make them but they come up used from time to time. I think I paid around £65 for mine. Very good quality optics but a small field of view. 40 degrees at x20 up to 60 degrees at x60. At first I did not like the smaller AFOV, being spoilt with super wide angle eyepieces, but through use I have realised that at these low powers it doesn't really matt
  11. Thanks for the reply. Yes, mine seems to cope ok without the weight but it seems it would be better with, just like you say. I'm going to get the EQ6 extension bar which has the M12 fitting and I can use it with the weights I already have.
  12. I've got an 80mm f6 refractor which weighs just over 3kg with all the kit on. I got it for a grab n go set up. Mounting it has been a nightmare. I've settled on a TS Optics AZT6 portable alt-az mount on a beefy photo tripod. Will I need the counterweight and bar kit to use this set up? The specs say 4kg without and 6kg with. If anyone has already tried using this or similar set up, advice appreciated.
  13. Hi, I'm posting to see if anyone out there has any experience or advice on stripping down, cleaning and re-greasing a Vixen Mini porta alt-az mount. I picked one up 2nd hand and although it comes supplied with a toy tripod it will be fine to use with my PST. The slo-mo's are nice and smooth but there is an unacceptable amount of wobble on both axis and the azimuth makes a grinding sound as well. I fear a previous owner has attempted to improve the mount and has not re-assembled it correctly. There are a number of clear nylon washers/shims that have become worn and distorted and also the nyloc
  14. Hi, I have a Vixen GP2 which had no polar scope or setting circles and the upgrade kits are unavailable. I salvaged the setting circles of an old EQ5 and the polar scope came from a Vixen SP mount I owned decades ago. They all fit and work correctly, not that I use the setting circles! The Skywatcher EQ5 polar scope should fit straight in.
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