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Everything posted by doublevodka

  1. Yeah when you consider it is less than a hundred quid more than the skywatcher it really makes sense to upgrade, the included accessories would cost a lot more to add later
  2. For now I've peeled mine off and replaced it with sticky backed felt which seems ok, certainly no worse than it was but I do need to get round to using PTFE tape. You can just about see the cause in your 5th photo, the white plastic bearing surfaces have ridges in them that leave the marks behind, although they rubbed away fairly easily
  3. Looks good to me Tight enough so it doesn't wiggle around is usually fine and the replacement grease always makes a nice difference I just need to getting round to finding some suitable PTFE tape myself now to redo mine, if anyone ready has any recommendations I'm all ears It really niggles me the hard plastic used as bearing surfaces that leaves marks on the draw tube as it has on yours and mine
  4. May I suggest an alternative https://www.firstlightoptics.com/stellalyra-telescopes/stellalyra-8-f6-dobsonian.html It's has all the usual upgrades people would do to a Skywatcher, although I really really like the look of the goto 150 too
  5. Foam camping mats do seem to be the weapon of choice for this although they can be made from all sorts, I made one for my Nexstar 4SE from an old tin of SMA baby milk Dew heaters are also available for secondaries, for example https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dew-prevention/4tronix-secondary-mirror-heater-for-8-12-inch-newtonian-telescopes.html
  6. Yeah the PTFE does not need greasing, in my case I removed all the old sticky glue grease that the manufacturers like to use and then used some white lithium grease on the moving parts apart from the draw tube
  7. As Vlaiv rightly pointed it it's probably worth a strip and regrease anyway But in the majority of cheaper focusers (and probably more expensive too but I haven't taken any of them apart) there are some fairly easy adjustments you can do without a total strip down (although it's worth it if you are confident enough) Most focusers I've played with have three points of contact with the draw tube, two non adjustable ones at the bottom and one at the top that can be adjusted On the top edge of the focuser you will see the locking knob, in front and behind that (looking from the rear of the scope) you'll see two small holes, these are grub screws with a small allen head which adjust the angle and pressure of the top adjustable contact plate Firstly give the draw tube a little wiggle to give yourself a baseline as the idea is to improve on the amount of play and not make it worse Then start adjusting the grub screws a quarter turn at a time, wiggle the draw tube in between and make sure you can rack the focuser in and out If you have more play pushing down adjust the furthest away grub screw, more play up the closest one and rinse and repeat The important note here is with a standard focuser you are unlikely to remove all play from it completely as it'll be too tight to move the focuser at all, but don't worry if that happens, just gradually back off both grubscrews a bit at a time until it moves nicely again Hopefully the explanation helps, I'm a bit of a tinkerer and this is what worked for me
  8. https://phys.org/news/2021-11-simple-silicon-coating-long-standing-optical.html Interesting article and has the potential to make some improvements in telescope optics if the coating process can be replicated on a large scale.
  9. Since your price is in dollars I'm going to assume you are in the US? EQ5 will be slightly helpful, although different countries have different manufacturers who give the mounts different names just to make things confusing, although they are all pretty much made by the same chinese company. The Celestron CG-5 for example was the same as an EQ5 I'm sure someone will chime in with the right mount names for the US In regards to your aims for the scope, I'd suggest starting to look at ways to mount your old C8 tube via tube rings or similar, it's ideal for lunar and planetary, saves spending extra money and you could always add another scope later if you get the bug and want to do some wider field stuff
  10. So I fixed this on mine a while ago, but figured a thread would be handy for someone in future. A few months back my mount suddenly wouldn't power on, after much prodding and poking with a multimeter I found it was the power switch itself (apparently a common fault reading further later on). The good news is this can easily be repaired at home for free if you have a soldering iron and some solder. Simply bridge the two connections as marked below and it will make the mount effectively permanently on, hopefully this helps someone in future
  11. Lovely looking bit of kit you've put together there! I keep thinking about it but time and skill are lacking Love the old school black and decker workmate, many a nice thing was built on my grandad's, I will have to get my hands on one eventually... As you said mount heads only are limited, the only one I know of is https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/sky-watcher-eq8-r-astronomy-mount.html although I'd be confident your tripod could handle it, probably better off getting a full setup and just popping the existing tripod in the attic. Or you could make your own...
  12. No mention of budget so a little guesswork, but since you already are used to a reflector https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/sky-watcher-heritage-150p-flextube-dobsonian-telescope.html Packs up small, so portable and many many people love it and it's little brother the 130 Or if you want to go a little more electronic, there is also this version - https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/sky-watcher-heritage-150p-flextube-virtuoso-gti.html
  13. The out of the box AVX apparently has less accurate tracing than other similar priced mounts, but they can be improved with a bit of tuning, for example this one that is currently on Astro Buy and Sell - https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=180263 Honestly it's hard to make an accurate recommendation without a firm budget and scope in mind, but for longevity you want to be looking at EQ5 class mounts and above (EQ3-2 and smaller don't have proper bearings, unfortunately that's what I have), just sadly everything has increased in price a lot recently. Used market is worth a look, especially if you can get something that's already been belt modded or tuned, there are still some decent deals to be had. In the very short term, if he wants to start with lunar, you already have a dslr and some lenses, it's a bright target so if you already have a tripod too some shots will be possible that way, if the DSLR does video then even better as stacked images from the videos will give much better results.
  14. Lots of things are a hot topics "over there" with strong reactions, hence why I spend all my time on SGL instead There's some useful info kicking around on there but lots of strong opinions to put it politely, SGL is much nicer
  15. Collimation is almost certainly the main contributor here, along with seeing conditions no doubt. I'd suggest having a read of this lovely thread by @Alan64 which has info on collimation but also a full overhaul on this much maligned scope, hopefully some of it helps, if not it's a great read anyway
  16. It's a minefield out there! This page can be quite helpful though https://agenaastro.com/articles/guides/miscellaneous/astronomy-threads-explained.html The only "standard" in astronomy is that it will be cloudy when you buy new kit!
  17. Unless I misunderstood which is totally possible, you need to step up from 5v to 12v so there are option there that would work for you and with a 2.1 amp output on the powerbank you should be good, it's just finding one with the right connector. Although may be just as easy, and less cabling mess, to sell on the 12v ones and grab something like https://www.svbony.com/dew-heater-strip-for-lens/#W9132C I believe the 480mm one would work with your 5 inch, worth checking the measurements first though
  18. Depending on the power draw and output of the power bank of course - https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=usb+to+12v&_sacat=0 I use one like this to run a couple of Nexstar mounts successfully - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/373768829235?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item57065bb933:g:3JwAAOSwxalhd1fS&amdata=enc%3AAQAGAAACkPYe5NmHp%2B2JMhMi7yxGiTJkPrKr5t53CooMSQt2orsSafTQYbq3L7RBVAMi0K9cwzS6pIULyJzrftutdIDbQJDF5BBRMulwgw2TDYyrmryfEGyYRe8JAD%2Fn8MTn85rvCM9OWYU4L7F3LaBw5Pq3C877yoGvVJaqAw0HRunWRHR4Bx%2BWnV2X0X%2FDh9OaEovC6Dyi1IL04fZ8%2FBJR%2Bdm0Jw9qtNIFJcmgrL%2B%2FcR0Nnx9xi6X3wZEHE2U85rucR%2Bpsrzgiz%2F4%2FOy%2BV1%2FTlypPMvCyT1Koet6hAJz8wneKcjwBCmGnu2I5WsNJYodKT94uppns52U3XCJs7Me06C%2B2m7N0B96ftcgnwuycTMGlutxufjoXdC61F70Tz7rnv%2FTb8Lg%2F0oikYBeQUjDcwsLQ9ISUb5jMgj2YlxISd5gl5F2uMFWyKu%2BuAKhOyzshnGpmSG%2F8PyeVsDZhwyKgwDsG1oBSSqyzr1AU8yDBupVlSThuhZDfSQm1bb1e4q0oAS2KbgB2Tkq5p7oBWjTuuCmxyATofRwHBiPXvTs77wzuy0T8kMoCdqNTnlXwsJ5uIlff2u%2FHsX%2Bq9PUXwaUplvv%2BKbKyrDtmIczxnqZuxMkFiTApS4v0tDixCtBJL2%2F5IAebvumI6D4a7czThaNoUMKuo%2Fj%2Fi1%2Fa6DQyLt9ENjiZ6Bie0reVShTDekUfPgdww27gwI%2Fhhmrn%2FS4j%2FzBIAD4oFAV%2BK7zQcn79yn8kbIVGzeCHdYqWdqZDyXYtX1HFdVmeVulWazsow6mYV3PXdLXhA0WS9Uf744DJyYzlBYp8tFF9LSxMieLhbUPBku%2FrhvM2EI2DRK%2FKt5Z09oVcOKGLzDEYD91zeLLeSagEamZecITuI|clp%3A2334524|tkp%3ABFBMmK-F15xf
  19. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LQX0P8Q/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_FTXC7PEQMFRMTKYMYTND the Amazon one seems to be at a decent price currently
  20. The 8 would be great, if the price was right and smaller car etc. And you've hit the nail on the head, it is all very personal, that's why most astronomers end up with multiple scopes (I currently have 3 and looking at them all the time ) So, so many options out there, like if you have deep pockets and want collapsable https://www.obsessiontelescopes.com/
  21. Welcome to any astronomy forum Always more options If you really, really want to go for an 8 inch there is another option although slightly less portable - https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Watcher-8-Collapsible-Dobsonian-Telescope/dp/B004Q78OII?th=1 One thing I would say, check out the used market locally, there are still bargains to be had and you have some time
  22. Very well regarded scope that one, i've been tempted by it and it's goto version Also worth some minor mods, handy video below
  23. Since you're in the US, what about - https://shop.astronomerswithoutborders.org/collections/frontpage/products/awb-onesky-reflector-telescope ? Small, and portable enough to be carried, but a very well thought of scope. Being a science teacher I'm going to go out on a limb and say she's not going to have an issue learning collimation and already seems to like the 4 inch newt Paired with a set of 10x50 binos it will give her a solid start to the hobby
  24. Congratulations on the purchase From what I've read the Orion stuff is always well rated so it should be a cracker! A radius block is just a curved piece to fit the shape of the tube, have to admin £450 does sound steep If the flex concerns are just around the focuser area, maybe think about some additional tube rings and a couple of dovetails / bars to site either side, should add some rigidity? Hell if the budget allows, there's always the carbon fibre tube option...
  25. With my limited knowledge I'd say you already have enough optical kit to get you going the old C* would be a great scope for planets later down the line and the camera and lenses will get you going for now, see below for a video from @Chris giving an example of what's possible with a star tracker Budget it what will drive the next answers really, if you are happy imaging with a camera and lenses / small scopes then a tracker will be fine, but I suspect you'll be wanting some beefier kit soon enough and this is where the budget is key, get the biggest mount you can afford and move effectively, the sturdier and more accurate the mount, the better the end result will be, AVX is ok, but there are quite a few other options
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