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Everything posted by astro_al

  1. I have been looking at the GPDX as there is one on UKABS at the moment. I would be right at the limit of its load capacity though.
  2. I currently have a 120mm refractor mounted on a Giro Ercole and a Berlebach UNI tripod. At higher magnifications I am getting a bit too much shaking when focussing, and having to frequently nudge the mount along is more distracting than I hoped it would be. The same sort of alt-az setup is perfect for my smaller refractor, but I am thinking about swapping out the larger set-up for a driven mount. Not too bothered about Goto, won’t be doing any astrophotography, and will have a maximum load of 10KG. Ideally should have or should support an upgrade to a Losmandy saddle. I was thinking about a Losmandy GM-8 with the digital drive option (top end of my budget), I also keep coming back to the Skywatcher AZ EQ5-GT as I like alt-az style observing plus it is cheaper and I keep telling myself that for visual observing I don’t need to go overboard on the mount i.e. keep some astro funds for new binoviewers or another scope. I have read a few negative comments on SGL about the GM-8, but that could be from an astrophotography perspective - not sure. Anyway, I would appreciate any input for those of you with either a GM-8 or an AZ EQ5-GT or if you have a 120mm ish refractor mounted on something else that you think is a good fit. @F15Rules already suggested a Takahashi EM-2 which looks awesome, but I think I would be lucky to find a non-goto Tak Mount like an EM-2 or EM-10. Although you never know what a wanted add might turn up! Thanks for your help. Al
  3. The WO unit I have has a T2 adapter so I have been able to use the Baader prism diagonal and the 2.6x glasspath. I agree that the Baader T2 accessories are a big draw.
  4. Thanks Dave. I will keep an eye out but I think I will be lucky to find something like an EM-2 or an EM-10. There is an EM-200 for sale at ENS optical which would give me a bit more capacity, however it is a lot of money and spending 2.5K on something that isn’t in mint condition would be hard for me to take. I think I may end up with a Losmandy GM-8, but that is a topic for another thread. Al
  5. Thanks for the info GavStar. Initially I couldn’t merge the image with my WO binoviewers either. When I opened them up I could see that a previous owner had removed the glue around one of the prisms meaning the set screws could be used to re-collimate. After adjusting them I have had no issues, but feel that now I am committed to the binoview path that buying a better pair would be a good investment.
  6. It is a TSA-120 so I would need a mount that would comfortably take 10KG. I am only really looking for tracking, not GoTo. Your EM-2 looks lovely, how much does your FS-128 weigh?
  7. Thanks Mark. I think waiting to see how the Maxbright ll turns out is probably the most sensible option. I also need a driven mount for my larger Tak as I am getting a bit jaded nudging the manual alt-az along, so a cheaper binoviewer would help fund that. Al
  8. Due to an issue with my right eye I have recently returned to using a binoviewer. I picked up a used WO model with a custom adapter that allows it to connect to a T2 diagonal. After fixing an initial collimation issue it now works really well and I am back to being able to stay at the eyepiece for extended periods of time. I can’t see me being without a binoviewer going forward, and with a birthday next month and an unexpected Christmas bonus I am considering pushing the boat out and investing in a Baader Mark V. My question for Mark V owners that upgraded from something else is “what did you gain?”. Clear aperture of the prisms is not a huge deal to me as I am focussed on high power views and the largest field stop I have currently is about 17mm. If the benefits of the Mark V are better mechanics and an improved view only on nights of great seeing then I may stick with what I have and keep an eye out for the Maxbright Mark ll. Thanks Al
  9. I was also up at 5:30 with my Tak! Beautiful morning but the seeing wasn’t as good as predicted so, along with the low altitude, I didn’t see much detail on Jupiter other than the NEB and the SEB. Still, nice to see it again and the positioning of the moons was interesting.
  10. From the EXIF data. I don't really want to turn it off on the device because it is useful information for my photo albums elsewhere. It is just not something I have seen on SGL before. I have recent photos using the same device that I uploaded to SGL and the Geo tag data wasn't used. I guess I am not clear if this is a new feature to SGL albums or a change to my device that I was unaware of - I am assuming the the former so was hoping I could turn it off for my SGL account. I will just need to remember to edit each photo after upload or use my old Canon DSLR. Thanks for all the replies.
  11. Is this a new feature for members albums? I just added three photos and noticed that there was a Google map showing my location. I turned it off for each image but was wondering if it can be turned off for the album? None of my other recent photos using the same camera phone showed the location? Any ideas? Thanks
  12. No, it doesn't come to focus at the edge, or near the edge. On axis it is very sharp though, but I have an undriven mount so I soon notice the loss of focus. I swapped in a 17.3 Delos which was perfect across the entire FOV. Different designs I know, but I wasn't expecting the level of curvature that the Plossl displayed.
  13. I was just marvelling at the fact that I received new kit today and the sky is clear! Should have known better. Bought a new Televue 25mm Plossl and it is horrible . In my F7.5 scope at 23x the moon turns into an egg as it moves off axis. Never had a problem with a Televue eyepiece before, but I suppose there is a first time for everything. I did notice that someone has put a cross on the label on the box, I wonder if that's because it has been identified as faulty before. Back in its box ready to be returned. Annoying.
  14. It does! I can now pursue my new-found interest in Delos eyepieces ?
  15. I don't have a problem with the clamp on my Castor mount, but I have loosened it instead of one of the alt-az knobs a couple of times. Scared myself with my own stupidity ?. I always make sure I have a bolt or something bigger in the dovetail above and below the clamp. Has been a good investment for me ?
  16. No problem, I appreciate the response. Knowing that the accuracy can be good is the main thing, otherwise I may as well just stick to star hopping.
  17. Hi Stu, I did contact FLO to get a price for the Ayo ll with encoders, but they said they didn't stock it. I didn't take it any further as I am pretty sure it will be more than I am willing to spend on this project. Astrograph stock the Technosky stuff so I may drop Rupert an email and ask a few questions. Thanks for the info on the accuracy - good to know. Al
  18. Evening all, I currently enjoy using an alt-az mount along with the Sky Safari app and am considering linking the two. This means looking for an alt-az mount with support for encoders so I can use something like the Nexus II as an interface between the mount and my iPad. I have seen the Ayo II mount, which looks amazing, but by the time I have imported it and bought the Nexus it is going to cost a lot. I have also found the Tecnosky eLLe v2 which could be a more cost effective option. Does anyone have either of these mounts, and if so what is the pointing accuracy like? Are there any other options out there, excluding a GOTO GEM (or alt-az for that matter as I am sold on the push-to option)? The refractor I use is under 3kg full loaded. Thanks for reading. Al
  19. It is also available from Astrograph http://astrograph.net/epages/www_astrograph_net.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/www_astrograph_net/Products/AGTECHP They have it listed as a 'dual thread' and I can confirm it works with my 3/8" mount.
  20. Thank you! Yes, it is a Berlebach Report 102. I purchased it direct from the Berlebach website, but have also purchased similar from Teleskop Express in the past. Both provided excellent customer service. For a while I thought I should have bought a more expensive Report version to give more height, but now I have the extension column I am happy with my purchase. The extension means that the scope can never hit the tripod, which I really like. One recommendation, if you buy the tray direct from Berlebach at the same time as the tripod then don't go for the option for them to fit the brackets. They fit them higher than I have shown in the picture meaning that the tripod head is lower than it needs to be when the tray is attached. I ended up re-positioning the brackets and filling the holes
  21. I will add my new(ish) arrival, although looking at Helen's collection it looks a bit lonely I sold all my astro gear about 6 years ago and I promised myself that if I got the opportunity to get back into the hobby that I would buy something in between the TSA-102 and the FS-60. I think the FC-76 will be a great match for my local seeing conditions and observing preferences, I just need these clouds to depart at some point soon so I can put it to work.
  22. Just to close out this topic, I found a UK supplier (Astrograph) of extension columns that use a 3/8" fitting - the Tecnosky Half Pier. Dimensions are H:180mm Dia:60mm. More expensive than a tin of beans and the extender bolts but it is a really well made, solid piece of kit http://astrograph.net/epages/www_astrograph_net.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/www_astrograph_net/Products/AGTECHP
  23. Thanks for posting the photos Stu. That looks just the job - and the carbon fibre wrapping is a nice touch!
  24. Thanks. Sounds like a good solution.
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