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Everything posted by Stu

  1. I had a pair of WO binoviewers as my first set and struggled with merging the images. I didn’t get on with the original Maxbrights either, found the eyepiece alignment too fiddly and difficult to keep aligned. I’ve had several pairs of the OVL type clones, TS and Antares and I really like the self centring eyepiece holders. They are much easier to use. I have found that there is some wiggle in the diopter adjustment though so tend to keep this screwed right down tight so everything stays aligned. My eyepieces have diopter adjustment on them so that helps. The exception to the ‘single set screw’ rule from my perspective are my Baader Zeiss Mark IVs. The tolerance on the eyepiece holders is so tight that some eyepieces just don’t fit! That said, my Zeiss orthos do, very snuggly and are held in perfect alignment by the set screws. I must say the new Baader Maxbrights look VERY nice, I would be very tempted by a pair of those.
  2. It’s a U.K. based site but with members from around the world. CloudyNights is more US centric so may give you some better answers in this particular case. I would agree with comments that premium kit can bend the normal ‘60 to 70% of new’ price, particularly if rare or on a long lead time.
  3. Or a Gitzo GT5542LS
  4. I reckon that would be fine. I use both an FC100DC and a Genesis on mine quite happily. The tripod obviously makes a difference so make sure you have a good one.
  5. Well, I managed to lock my car keys in the boot along with all my kit, if that’s what you mean!
  6. With a good setup, white light observing can be amazing, often plenty of granulation detail to be seen even with comparatively few spots visible.
  7. Another possibility is one of the Lyra Optics 102mm f11 clines; there is a lovely red one on ABS currently for £300. These are nicely corrected scopes, lacking the widefield potential but great for planets, moon and doubles. Quite long so would need a decent mount, and more importantly tripod.
  8. The Bresser is quite a lump (7.7kg) and a fast achro so I don’t think it is what you are looking for. I would go for as it will be harder to mount and will show plenty of CA on planets and the Moon. I would either go for a smaller apo refractor or perhaps a Mak. The refractor will be faster to setup as they need little in the way of cool down, and with a shorter focal length will complement you 10” by providing wider field views too. Perhaps something like an 80ED on an AZ5 would be worth looking at. This would give you widefield options and good views of the Moon but would be a little limited on planets although still fun. You could also look at the Skywatcher SkyMax 127 or the better Bresser MC-127 Mak which would be great on planets and the Moon, but would not have the widefield potential of the refractor. In similar vein you could also consider the new StellarLyra 6” Classical Cassegrain but mounting that would perhaps be a slight challenge within budget. Not sure an AZ5 would handle it but someone can probably advise.
  9. Hi @Elio_C The Heritage 150p is a great scope; I have one myself and it performs very well. The focuser is the weak point of the scope really. It does a perfectly adequate job with eyepieces, but my personal view is that it probably isn’t up to holding and eyepiece, phone holder and phone. It does have some flex in it and I’m just not sure this would work very well. Stu
  10. It took me years, and I think three or four pairs of binoviewers to get used to them to a stage where I get the best out of them (I’m now on my sixth and seventh pair I think!) For some it is easy, but for others I think a lot of brain retraining is needed. My eyes are quite different and it took me quite a while. I primarily use them for solar and lunar observing in my 4” scopes. At high powers/small exit pupils I suffer from floaters and whilst binoviewing doesn’t get rid of them entirely it makes them much more manageable. I do use them for planetary viewing at times, but sometimes still prefer mono despite the floaters. I’m increasing moving towards my 6” and 8” scopes for planetary for that reason. I use longer focal length eyepieces and barlow them, at times to crazy degrees to get to high powers. In my PST mod I use 32mm and 40mm eyepieces with a x2 barlow. As Rusted mentioned, eye positioning due to long eye relief can be a problem here, as well as glare and reflections caused by your eye being further from the exit lens. I use home made foam eye guards to give me a physical cue to where to keep my eye, and to cut out the glare. For the Moon and Planets I use 25mm ex microscope eyepieces, with a x1.7 GPC, x2 barlow and often extension tubes as well to get up to x200 ish (although I’m never quite sure of the Mag!) I find this preferable to using shorter focal length eyepieces, and I just add or remove extension tubes to change the mag. A couple of critical things make a big difference. First is setting the inter pupillary distance correctly so you make sure you get a fully illuminated field in each eye. The second is to ensure you balance the focus correctly to get a sharp image in each eye. This really helps with image merging and ensuring you see the maximum detail. To date I prefer mono viewing for double stars and deep sky objects, somehow I just prefer the feel of the view. Hopefully you will take to them like a duck to water, if not, do keep experimenting as they do have real benefits. Sorry for the long post!
  11. Nice shot! The strange blue object is the planetary nebula NGC1501. Great catch!
  12. That is a shame. I didn’t use it very often but when I did I found it very useful. It has now shutdown
  13. Excellent sketches Victor, glad the scope is performing well. Under those skies on a very good night, but definitely under Bortle 4, you should be able to see the separation in the tail of the Broomstick (Western Veil). There are also the two ‘hooks’ on the Eastern Veil which I enjoy viewing. I’ve seen these in both my Tak FC100DC and Genesis under decent skies (around Mag 21 if I recall correctly). I use a Lumicon OIII filter which is very effective. I used to think the Veil was all but invisible from home, Bortle 7, but I reckon the skies have improved considerably since lockdown and the reduction in flights and I had good views of it from home in my Heritage 150p recently. With repeated viewings you will likely see more and more detail. Excellent transparency really helps the detail pop out. Looking forward to more reports with your lovely refractor!
  14. Yes, I guess the framing element of a very widefield helps here. The eye detects contrast, and if the object is filling the whole field you don’t see it at all!
  15. For sheer flexibility and ruggedness I don’t think you can beat a small apo refractor. Jeremy’s suggestion is wonderful if budget is no issue; I had a Tak FC76DC for a while and optically they are superb, really lovely scopes. Another option might be something like the TS72mm or similar available from different brands. These are FPL-53 glass and although not in Tak Fluorite territory still excellent scopes. The beauty of these scopes is, as I said at the beginning, their flexibility. They can provide widefield views from a dark site beautifully; showing objects like the Veil and North America Nebula with an OIII filter. They will also do surprisingly well on planets and double stars, nice crisp images and lovely star shapes. As an added bonus you can stick a Herschel wedge in for solar viewing or a 45 degree erecting prism to turn it into a very capable spotting scope.
  16. Looking forward to it Calvin
  17. I sold that too! At one point I had a GP, GP-DX with Skysensor 2000PC controller and the Sphinx. All excellent mounts, I did enjoy the Sphinx but ultimately decided that I didn’t need a Goto EQ Mount. I use the GP also solely for planetary, lunar and solar observing where I just need tracking, and don’t need a huge load capacity so the GP is ideal for that. My one is particularly well fettled, very smooth. The Sphinx is a very compact and comparatively lightweight mount vs the GP-DX, and needs less counterweights game due to the design which effect my uses the electronics to help offset the scope weight.
  18. Great thread Vin, just been reading it all through. Sounds like you’ve got a great scope there; achros they may be, but the figuring on Vixen optics is excellent as you have been finding out. The SP is also an excellent mount; I had one recently with an original single axis drive which I used with my Vixen FL102S, really nice setup. I sold the SP only because I also have a GP with dual axis motors. I still have the original single speed focuser for my Vixen, but have replaced it with a Moonlite. Whilst that could be deemed to be somewhat sacrilegious, I find dual speed to greatly add to my enjoyment of the scope and a real boon for nailing focus. The fact that it is also rotatable and takes 2” eyepieces is another bonus. I look forward to reading more about your future sessions with your lovely scope.
  19. Cheapest way is probably to bolt a Vixen dovetail to the bottom of the Losmandy dowetail. It would probably require drilling of the Losmandy dovetail to match the holes on the Vixen, but that should be straightforward. If the scope is very heavy then I would make sure to use a solid Vixen dovetail such as an ADM and ensure it has three or four bolts holding it on.
  20. I agree with John! A lot depends on budget of course, but an f7 ish 4” apo is an excellent complement to a larger dob.
  21. Really beautiful scope Baz! I’ve not heard of them either but I’m sure it will be amazing. Shame about the damage, but rather the poles than the mirror I guess!
  22. Yep, if you get the scope up reasonably high, with an adjustable seat it can be very comfortable.
  23. I’m really not sure how I missed this thread! Have just read through the whole thing and watched your video; excellent and enjoyable writing Victor, and the video was very well put together and interesting. I’m not familiar with the TechnoSky brand but it looks just as nice as the TS equivalents which I do have experience of, so I’m sure you will continue to be delighted with it. Get yourself a Herschel Wedge soon and you will have some fabulous solar views through it too! I think every astronomer should have a 4” apo!
  24. I think that might be the most sensible option John. The DL is not really a widefield scope, you would use the Vixen for that I assume? Somehow I think the T2 prism suits the DL better too. 2.3 degrees isn’t bad either though is it? The other point to make is that up to a degree vignetting is not that obvious visually. I’ve used 2” eyepieces in an OMC140 Mak which would have been quite heavily vignetted by the baffle tube aperture but the results were actually quite acceptable to me.
  25. Optical path length will change, but not focal length. That’s only the case with SCTs.
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