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  1. Just to say I agree with everything Davesellars says above. I think for visual I coma is subjective and somthing you have to experience yourself to know whether it bothers you enough to worry about. For me in my scopes and visually, try as I might, I don’t notice it so it’s not an issue. in the 200p it’s immediately apparent in photography but easily corrected. You’ll be very pleased with the 8” but given the choice go for the 10”.
  2. Hi Steve, I charge the battery connecting directly to the trolling motor posts (the outside ring terminals). I didn't see a problem and the instructions don't mention it one way or the other. Been very pleased with it so far and for the cost, after a little DIY, I think it's hard to beat. The twin USB with the volt meter from amazon is handy. Gives you continuous battery health and is reasonably accurate +/- 0.1A Very Best Steve
  3. This is music to my ears. I’ve had smaller newts on EQ mounts all my life and listening to dob fans you’d think I was mad wanting to put my OO VX12L on an EQ6. I can’t get over how many think it’s an effort to rotate the OTA in the rings when moving positions. The best things in life come with a little effort.
  4. That’s got to be very frustrating given it’s during a sequence of shots. Rules out my thoughts I think. I don’t have a timer on my old DSLR so fire the remote for each shot. Hope you get to the bottom of it, I’m sure if it’s equipment related someone on here will know.
  5. This might be a bit random, but I had the same issues. Totally different set up but same problem, two stars (and other random patterns) on about two thirds of all images. I set up on my driveway just outside my workshop. Perfect level tripod, perfect polar alignment on what looked like a solid concrete surface. Taking long exposures I get bored so use my dob whilst doing so. It’s located a few metres away. Shorter exposures I stayed still at the imaging scope. This means I move about. I found the problem was that one section of my concrete drive (the one the tripod was on) had become slightly loose where my truck wheel parked on a edge of it over time. The exposure would start with me at the tripod then about half way through I’ve moved to the dob and the concrete has now tilted ever so slightly. Now I’ve got two stars. If I moved around a lot I ended up with blurring, zig zag star patterns and all sorts of funny shapes. But on the occasions I stayed still at the tripod I’d get good results. Are your patio slaps perfectly fixed or are you treading on the corner of a loose one mid exposure? The movement might be imperceptible to you but the image will record it. Steve
  6. Hi, can recommend these if interested: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DO27DE6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I used a small off cut of 18mm ply I had left over from a job. Moves my VX12 around very easily and once locked are stable on a concrete drive. Almost useless on grass or gravel though. Steve
  7. Hi, Its true that many feel a reflector on an EQ mount requires a little effort but I find the eye piece can be readily arranged to present in a comfortable position and bang for buck a reflector is pretty good value and I think very versatile. I’ve a 200 on an manual EQ5 and am very pleased with it. I also have a 300 fitted to a dob mount purely because of cost. I’m really not a fan of nudging. An EQ negates this and once polar aligned tracking at high magnification is a pleasure whether manual or motorised. Once I can afford an EQ6 Pro or find one second hand I’ll be trying the 300 on that. On and off I’ve had a Newtonian of various sizes on EQ mounts since I was 16, almost 40years now and have really enjoyed them. The effort of rotating the OTA in its rings, to me, is no effort at all and there are measures you can take to assist like adding a third upper supporting ‘slip’ ring. Cant think of another description for it but it helps prevent the OTA sliding down through the primary ones when they are loosened to rotate the tube. I’d seriously reconsider the second hand option though. There are tremendous savings to be had and I’ve seen a few 200 bargains lately. At least that way if you find the scope is not to your liking you can sell it on again without loosing money through depreciation. Steve
  8. How about this: https://www.wilko.com/wilko-13amp-8m-4-socket-weatherproof-extension-lead/p/0479506?gclid=CjwKCAiArbv_BRA8EiwAYGs23D_1NIoOkSv8WxDG5xOHqiZ5vvzHJxb6CA4s6ROxyh2gnfqqn5h0uBoCJMwQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds Just need a separate rcd. Any transformers will then fit in the box with the 4 gang socket well away from moisture. I use one of these for Christmas lights and it stays outside for about 4 weeks at a time in all weathers.
  9. This will do the job, I already had one. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009A83P1E/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  10. I’m surprised the battery box is out of stock. A few weeks ago they had 154 in stock at fishingmad and plenty elsewhere on other sites as well. I just went with them as they were the most cost effective. I'm really pleased with it. Unlikely, but if I ever need a new battery it’s a doddle to change. And yes, it’ll power the house, as long as it’s led lighting . Heavy though, about 25kg.
  11. Hi, This was discussed a few weeks ago in another thread, after spending sometime debating what to use I went for this in the end: https://www.fishingmad.co.uk/31508-bison-battery-box-carrier-with-usb-charger-led-meter-breaker-and-12v-socket-.html and https://www.batterymegastore.co.uk/product/hankook-xv27-leisure-battery/ You don’t need to but I added two extra fused 12V ports, switches and a natty little USB 3A double with volt meter from Amazon. Then I took the inverter from the truck and tacked it on the side. 90AH, 240V at 600W, three 12V sockets, one at 20A, two at 5A and three USB. I recon that’s enough power for any night. Since building this though the weather has been pants so not used yet for it’s intended but it’s come in handy for a few site jobs for work already. Steve ps. Total cost, less the inverter was under £150.00
  12. Happy New Year. I’ve had some surprisingly good (although early days yet) results with my 200p on an EQ5 with an old DSLR. I’ve got two EQ5 mounts, one with the 200p and the other with a 150 SkyMax and fitted both with just the single RA motor drive. I did this initially just for visual tracking convenience but then discovered they seem accurate enough for quite long exposures to have a go at photography. I left Jupiter centred in a 7mm eyepiece one night. Went inside for an hour or so forgetting to turn the motor off and came back to find it still visually bang on centred. On a perfectly still night the mount copes OK but to be honest it takes some patience if the wind is even a little gentle using the 200p. Honestly it’s a lot of fun for very little expense. Frankly I wasn’t sold on the dual motor concept and wouldn’t bother motorising beyond the RA. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-mount-accessories/single-axis-dc-motor-drive-for-eq5.html Both my EQ5s came with a polar scope fitted, calibrating these and setting up the alignment is essential. Overall, as much as I lust after an EQ6 Pro it’s going to be sometime before I justify upgrading. There is so much else to learn that will improve my results first. Good luck and enjoy. Steve Ps Having just seen fozzybear’s reply above I’d take him up on the offer of the dual motor if it’s available. I think both the single and dual motor drives are in short supply at the moment with long waits for replacement stocks.
  13. There are many collimating guides across the web, this one is a good start: https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/advice/diy/how-to-collimate-a-newtonian-telescope/ And this one goes into a little more detail: http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/help/collimation-guide-newtonian-reflector/
  14. One other thing I meant to say, 8” is plenty aperture, I’d not worry about a 10”. Comparing my 12” to the 8” there are obvious differences but if I had to have just one scope for everything on a budget I’d go with an 8” reflector. I dreamed of one for years. And sorry to you guys who love your dobs, and I do love mine, but it would most likely be on an EQ mount . Everything in life demands a little effort and rotating the scope in its rings to reposition the eyepiece when moving between objects is, for me, no real hassle given in my mind the overall flexibility. Especially if one of the posts main points of keeping the family engaged on a budget is at stake. I can even do a little astrophotography with mine as an added bonus. Most scopes come with an adaptor these days and Ive been very pleasantly surprised at the results I get with an old SLR and the cheap RA motor drive. Astrophotography need not be expensive but as I understand it (and please anyone correct me if I’m wrong) it is not so easy with a dob. Although I’m not sure about if it’s got goto fitted. If you can have only one scope setup then photography might be an evolutionary dead end with a dob. I survived for decades with a 4” newt on an eq mount until I could afford to upgrade and it maintained my interest on and off for over 30yrs. I’ve still got it. I hope one day one of the grandchildren will want it as their first scope. Dobs are great, very budget friendly but in my opinion not family friendly (read young child, casual observer) without tracking and these days that means the expense of goto. If the family were not an issue, the scope was just for me, I was on a budget and wanted aperture then first choice would be an 8” dob no question. You’ll get excellent planetary views, good DSO performance and it’ll keep you engaged for decades. Unfortunately life is not so simple and in my experience a dob is hard work with family. Steve
  15. Hi, A great hobby to get into and it’s your comment about the family that brought me to share my experiences with mine. I am lucky to have a 12” dob and a Skywatcher 200p on EQ5 mount and what I want to do is compare the mounts here, not the scopes. If it’s just me then it’s the dob for visual nine times out of ten. It’s on wheels, the aperture is awesome, there’s no alignment and I don’t mind nudging. What’s not to like? But, if it’s me and the family it’s the 200p/EQ5 every time unless they are already deeply enthusiastic. Even with the extra aperture the dob is far to frustrating for those more casual to the hobby or those you want to get engaged as they find nudging the scope to keep tracking the object very challenging. The object is often lost before being seen due to over nudging and the view to brief if I have to keep doing it for them. Those waiting get bored and wander off and the others make matters worse by loosing the object whilst refocusing to suit their eyes. The EQ5 is a cost effective (though relatively cumbersome to a dob) mount. Fitting a RA motor to keep the object centred is cheap and straight forward and frankly for visual, polar alignment need not be perfect. I often grab the 200P (fully assembled from the garage) and set it up guessing at an approx polar alignment and still for visual it’s good enough to keep objects centred for a very useful period of time. A manual EQ5 is a lot cheaper than a Goto option and very family friendly but familiarise yourself with it before they have a go. The RA motor drive also improves on this considerably. With this approach some of the family will actively come round to take a look when I’m observing. Not so easy this year though. Very best with your purchase, whatever you choose I hope you find it very enjoyable. Steve
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