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spaceboy

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About spaceboy

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  1. I am well aware of the benefits of a well collimated scope (over one that people are to worried about aligning) but I'm also aware that there are so many different factors that come in to play like OTA sag, thumbscrews pushing eyepieces, adapters or diagonals, temperature, thermals inside and outside of the OTA. You also have to consider are all the optical elements perfectly square along the optical path, including eyepieces etc. A collimator will after all only tell you that the path is straight not if there are any other variables. The seeing conditions and general observing location also play a bigger part in the quality of views over any other factor. I agree that the more effort you put in to collimation the more your probably going to gain from it by knowing you did all you could to make sure your getting the best from your kit, but I would still beg the question would an OCD collimated scope show a significantly noticeable improvement over a slapped together and collimated scope under the same perfect skies ?? Is the human eye really going to pick up on any imperfections when all you really want to do is just enjoy the views, or are you not bothered about the colourful nebula sitting in the field of view and your only interest is in looking to picking faults so you can improve on them ? Even if our eye's were the perfect device for observing the night sky it seems no matter what you spend on kit there are always going to be limits to manufacturing optics that inevitably introduce one aberration or another. I asked this question a while back because I felt I was moving away from enjoying astronomy and the night sky to making it all about the kit I was using to look at the stars. OK I know actual astronomy doesn't really happen all that often due to cloud, poor skies and the summer months, so we probably spend more time looking at our kit that actually through it and so a lot of the time we end up buying and selling kit or looking for mods or improvements in a quest to keep our hands in the hobby during down time. I think it's worth collimating scopes and indeed improving on kit but I think there is a point where your going risk taking the fun out of the hobby.
  2. Agree with above
  3. I won't lie, I did like the slow mo controls on my AZ3 because you never have to physically handle the scope which can sometimes be advantageous but you also have to understand that GIRO mounts are well made and when properly balanced are very smooth which because of that I can't say I've ever been at a loss for not having slow mo controls. I have never owned a skytee but I hear the slow mo suffer with backlash and only one of the slow mo controls rotates with the scope so the other depending where your pointing can end up out of reach and redundant anyway. Attaching slow motion cables doesn't help and can cause an obstruction for the same reason. It is worth noting that there are plenty of members who have been more than happy with their skytee mounts despite any shortcomings. If you have even the slightest doubt which way to go your best bet is to try before you buy. See if there are any local clubs or members with AZ4, Skytee or GIRO. There are usually spring star parties which you could pop along to and get a better feel for what's, what. I think astrofest is not far off so you could pop along and look at kit with the benefit of leaving with a purchase. It always pays to see kit in person as things can look totally different on a PC screen compared to it being in front of you.
  4. Same as John, I've used a 150PDS on a SS AZ4 no problems. OK you have to readjust the ota when pointing towards zenith to avoid hitting the tripod legs but this can happen with most mounts and it's so quick and easy to adjust the relatively small 150P that it's hardly worth the extra expense of an extension. That said though I am a big fan of over mounting scopes so if your considering a skytee II anyway you may as well go with that. Personally though I would recommend a GIRO II or III over the skytee. I'm not sure they are still available new ?? but can with some patience be picked up used (head only) for similar money to a used skytee (head only) but IMHO the GIRO are a far better mount.
  5. 150PDS 1kg more than the 150P ???? I'd love to know where these quotes and figures come from I really would . I don't think the whole Chinese, English translations helps any. I'm also dubious that the 150PDS OTA is shorter than the original P version but welcome anyone to prove me wrong. You could easily use a 200P on a skytee II so the 150PDS at half the dimensional size of the 8" will work no problem at all. As has already been said though you would need a SS tripod to cope with the larger skytee and scope combined weight.
  6. A f/5 150p will sit fine on a skytee2 but in truth an f/5 150p sits fine on a steel leg AZ4 also. The skytee will be far more heavier and larger and carry two scopes if so desired which the AZ4 can't. So in answer to your question, yes it will hold an f/5 150p. If we are talking about an f/8 150p then the skytee would be the better choice over an AZ4 due to the longer OTA. So to recap, if we are talking a f/8 150pl then go for the skytee but bear in mind you may need a small extension to avoid the OTA clashing with the tripod legs when pointing 70° and above. If instead we are talking about a 150p dobsonian which you intend to mount on AZ and tripod I would say save your money and invest in a tracking platform instead but that's just my opinion.
  7. That's a cracking collection you got there but I can't help but beg the question why ?? For the best part there is only 20 mm aperture difference between most the fraks and the OTA sizes are very similar also
  8. There yours if you want them Paul but they weigh in at roughly 7kg unpackaged and I'm not even sure I have a box that the bottom won't fall out of at that weight ??
  9. As I said before you have a great set up now Jules. The CG5 has the advantage of extending rather high so ideal for a refractor. You may OR may not need a small extension just to keep the focuser clear of the tripod legs ?? I know my ED sits rather high up in the ota rings so you may well get away with not using an extension?? Once you get used to it you will really enjoy using the giro but always keep an eye on it between EP changes to start with as I have had a couple ota's go south on me because I forgot to button up the clutch. Thankfully both times the scope was on my pier so there was nothing for the scope to clash in to. I did though have EP's with a great deal difference in weight which didn't help.
  10. Glad to hear you got the mount sorted mate. I'm guessing you had John's after his Ercole upgrade so you already know it's a guaranteed match for the ED120. I admit they can take a little getting used to as they lack the resistance slow motion mounts inherently have but you soon get the hang of nipping up the top clutch between ep changes. The only thing you need to be aware of is they perform well when balanced but can in my opinion somtimes come across as under mounted if it's slightly off. I am though overly fussy about vibrations when focusing so your experience may differ. What I do know is you won't be disappointed and you now have a set up most lunar fans would dream of owning.
  11. The scope should sit on an EQ5 nicely but you'd be surprised how much room you need to maneuver around an EQ mount and having a refractor doesn't help as your often bent down on your hands and knees trying to look through the finder. This means your going to want the tripod at full extension which is going to increase the size of the foot print. I would say if your stuck with using such a small balcony is to give it a miss. Maybe you could try something like the hertige 130p. Still plenty of aperture and extremely compact.https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html
  12. I have 30 or so sky@night / Astronomy now magazines free for any beginners in the Birmingham area willing to collect.
  13. Recently giving up my EQ6 I have found myself going over old ground as far as finders go. Telrads never appealed to me due to the size but I get on well with my Rigel finder. Basically the same as the telrad all but missing a reticle ring and 1/4 the foot print of a telrad which makes it ideal for fraks. I have recently picked up another 9x50 raci finder which I am yet too get out with. I say another as I'd had one years ago but really struggled with it compared to a straight through finder. I so like having one eye on the sky while the other explores the x9 view. Sadly I'm not getting any younger and my neck really don't like looking through a standard finder for long so a choice had to be made. I have though over the year become far more efficient at finding things with maps and the Rigel so fingers crossed round two is a better success with the raci finder
  14. Gumtree is excellent for picking up camera bargains. My Ex picked up a 500D with 18-55, 70-300 lens, tripod with bag, lowepro fastpack and toploader camera bag, flash, UV and circular filters all for only £200. I also purchased a 500d body to convert to IR which was only £100. What ever you go for I'd try and pick up one with live view as it really does help out no end.
  15. I went with a piece of insulation tape fashioned on the original dimmer decals.