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Everything posted by spaceboy

  1. There are ways to do it mate but it's whether I can get one within a budget. As with anything astronomy related it seems stuff costs the earth despite being what are relatively common components.
  2. Basically as the title suggests. I'm looking to run a synscan mount from either stellarium or sky safari plus on an android device, tablet or phone. I'm aware there is some skysafari dongle thing but it's a bit on the expensive side for the amount of use I would see out of it so I was wondering if any members are aware of a way to do this on the cheap. It needs not be wireless or anything fancy. The intension is to make life easier to find double stars more so than anything else. I have always found this is the one area that is lacking and not very user friendly when just using the synscan handset. Any suggestions welcomed.
  3. I've had three 127 Skymax. I don't know what it is about them but I want one then when I have one I no longer want it and sell it.....then end up wanting another I did a loose comparison review against an EVO120 and C100ED to which I found the ED to be the better scope. I always wondered why the larger MAK wasn't a clear winner but reading John's post maybe it's as he says and the MAK didn't actually have a full 27mm advantage over the 100ED as marketing would have us believe (wouldn't be the first time.) As for seeing M45 in all it's glory you'll fall ever so slightly short http://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/ Where I feel the SW MAK's surffer is a lack of ota rings and a dovetail but this can easily be fixed.
  4. IMHO by far the best planetary imaging scope has got to be hands down a C14 ! Some of the images I have seen coming from a C14 are comparable to some orbiters. I know they are insane money and I am merely pointing out that the king of planetary is an SCT. So you could purchase an SCT to budget be it an 8", 9.25" or 11". SCT are not as demanding on mounts as a newt of similar aperture would be so your mount choice could be more forgiving. DSO imaging requires a far more sturdy a mount for imaging due to the longer exposures but most planetary imaging use fast high frame rate CCD or CMOS cameras. These capture hundreds to thousands of frames which are then stacked to give you a final image. While good tracking is still to an advantage it is not as crucial as images are captured in a fraction of a second and most stacking software can compensate for a little drift. As far as I am aware MAK's are as well corrected as scopes come. This would suggest they are by far the best choice when it comes to planetary scopes but I rarely come across planetary images from MAK's?? It may be because affordable ones are limited to 7" where as SCT are not ?? My personal opinion is you'd be far better off with an 8" SCT over a 12" Newtonian. Yes sure the newt is going to resolve more detail but it has fast optics which are not going to be as forgiving. A serious image may be along shortly to explain the tech behind sensors and how you have to fill the pixel density blah blah blah. All over my head but understand the concept behind it. Basically from my limited knowledge you need to achieve so much magnification to make use of the sensor optimally. In a fast scope this is not as easily done as it is in a slower scope in other words. It can be done in a fast scope but you have to use barlows and it isn't always ideal. I hope this at lease gives food for thought.
  5. I almost bought a skywatcher MN190 but then heard how hard they are to collimate . I would make sure your 100% confident in what you are doing before you mess with anything.
  6. The ercole is a superb mount but it's not small. I think the mini-ercole has had some good feedback from members on here and should cope with the TAK ok.
  7. May sound counter intuitive but try tightening it not loosening it. Yes the movement is stiffer buy you have more control over the movement and no sticktion, which is the main culprit for over shooting and having to yoyo to your target. This works perfectly for me and I use the larger ST120 for solar and night observing on mine.
  8. Yes sorry for doubting you Olly. I think I read your post all wrong Just checked on http://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/ and even in a large dob those are some pretty short FL ep's (small exit pupils) to reach those kinds of magnifications. As you so rightly say too small an exit pupil if anything for deep sky.
  9. Given the OP no doubt has a selection of longer FL ep's for use in an SCT a valid point Olly but I suspect given the magnifications quoted in the opening post of x406-x600 the exit pupil will be small enough for even the mature observer ???
  10. I agree with Stu. You need to check collimation and allow a lifetime for the larger mirrors to cool. You also need to consider the SCT is a closed tube design so will often allow for a steadier view. Also consider that the smaller 8" is not going to magnify the atmosphere in the same way a larger scope is. What may come across as good seeing in the SCT may not necessarily in the larger 14" is what I mean. It is my understanding that the larger you go the more light the mirror gathers and the brighter the object appears to the eye. As Stu points out though the eye is always going to be the weak link regards SB. I know a lot of the dob mob prefer larger scopes for the larger image scale but personally this was the one thing that put me off owning a larger scope. Each to their own I guess. There is no denying that looking through a big dob is an experience. M15 through a 16" scope was almost blinding the globular was so bright, and M3 through a 20" looked like an open cluster it filled the view of a 100° eyepiece so much. I think we set ourselves up with expectations not just as beginners but as seasoned astronomers. We forget that most improvements are only going to be subtle and we have to take time and patience to absorb details.
  11. I'm sure the OP is open to all considerations but a T6 in an AstroMaster 114eq Having experience with scopes in the AstroMaster range I'd say a T6 is a little over kill IMHO and unlikely to see their monies worth out of such an expensive eyepiece. I agree with Dave that the celestron Omni would be a good choice for a rookie.
  12. Still glad I got my 3-6 zoom when it was 15% off. This was just after the brexit vote and I paid £278 so back in the 23 June 2016 they cost roughly £315. I know not long after the £ crashed other retailers like widescreen centre put their prices straight up, but even so I don't think the 3-6 zoom was more than £370 something?? I have nothing against TV as I did like the T5 & T6 Naglers I once had but I don't think they are worth what their new prices are these days.
  13. Yes I gathered it was in humour. Mine was the stupid question I meant.
  14. Stupid question! Who would want a scope like this? I'm not knocking it as l'd love it!! but in all practicality what advantages could be expected? I'm guessing it is more an imaging scope over visual ? I'm guessing though that visually this particular scope would be mind blowing if you had a set of ziess ortho to unleash the full potential. A lot of money for a used scope so I'd love to be bff with the person who bought it new ?
  15. Yep best star party I've been to. All went perfectly apart from the dew on the final night cutting my night short to then find the car had a flat battery so we couldn't set off home. Sure made me understand how unsympathetic and anal imagers can be at the thought I might request the AA out to give a jump start so we could go. Anyone would think AA hazard beacons were fireballs from hell to hear them speak. I wouldn't mind but I was dazzled several times by dog walkers coming past. Lesson learned and all that. In the end my boy was glad I didn't want to upset anyone and decided to stay till the morning. I think that was more because he knew he wouldn't have to go to school :D.
  16. My phone really don't like SGL interface. I've been meaning to ask you Shane, how did you find sglx for solar observing? I found every solar scope I looked through that weekend that people were achieving high magnification. I put it down to seeing at the time then wondered if it may have just been down to the location as when observing the solar eclipse at a huge car park near some BT exchange thing everyone seemed to be using average magnifications. This though could just have been for convenience to allow everyone at the event to use eyepieces with no concern of staying on target or struggle with eye relief ???? Did you notice this Stu as I remembered you attended the event also.
  17. A good point Shane. I never gave it much thought before you mentioned it but I guess with WL/Ha scopes often only ranging from only 35mm to 150mm it would be interesting to see what solar observers consider a high magnification. I suppose a lot has to do with where you live also as a hot summers day beating down on a grassy field isn't going to have the same disruptive effect on the local atmosphere as it is cooking tarmac and concrete. I have found my lunt60 often sits good at x40-x50 with better days allowing for x125 The PST mod averages x55-x66 with pockets of good seeing allowing up to x125 ..... although I often only have to hand the Baader 8-24 zoom so not sure how far I could push it. The Lunt wedge and ST120 happily sits at x50-120 with steady days allowing for x200+. I'm yet to try the wedge with the ED120 so my guess I could possibly get higher WL magnifications. My attempts using the wedge and EVO150 yielded little improvements over the ST120 and the hassle of setting up a large scope in between clouds outweighed the benefits IMO. I do though believe a 2" wedge would have been better suited to the 6" EVO. The five or six times I used my 200p with full aperture mask again was not overly impressive only allowing for x50 or so. Plenty of resolution just didn't allow me to use enough magnification to benefit from it.
  18. Funny you say that Stu I am also a fan of WL over Ha. Don't get me wrong the views can be breath taking in Ha but I find that there is so much to take in that unless there is a very active prom, flare or the seeing is above average, I'm rarely able to engage heavily in any single feature. Sunspots in WL really grab my attention as there are often fewer distractions and much more subtler details to be picked out with extended concentration.
  19. I have to agree there Charl. Other than the WL images I have seen took using monster fraks most day to day results are very similar to what can be achieved visually.
  20. In my eye's at least I feel a polarizer adds to the detail in the view. I cant use the SC by itself (with fixed ND3) and find it far too bright to comfortable pick out finer details. I went as far as trying a double stack SC but despite dimming the view (only slightly I might add) it never improved on an SC and polarizer combination. I will note though at SGLX I did take a look through a scope that used a contrast booster instead of SC and felt it improved the definition of faculae more so than an SC does. I have since then been keeping an eye out for a used CB filter to see if it would bring anything if used in conjunction with a SC filter. Again whether this would dim the view enough to comfortable see any improvement in details would remain to be seen.
  21. I do feel this is a big part of the problem. We all understand seeing, transparency, LP etc but it doesn't make it any easier to make kit based decisions for it. I have to admit for this same reason I find it ever so frustrating using the PST mod as I have tasted what good seeing can offer in terms of magnification and detail but I rarely get to use the full 4" potential and find myself reaching for the smaller 60mm lunt more times than not WL is somewhat more forgiving in this sense but as you say can mask the true potential of one wedge over another if the skies aren't playing ball.
  22. Thanks for the link Shane. Not a review as such but still gives some informative thoughts on the difference between the 1.25" & 2" wedges. As far as I could gather from the thread the only advantages are in imaging ?? I wonder if the HW design itself means there is no advantages / disadvantages between the .75" size increase. As mentioned before there are many night time observers who fly the flag in favour of the larger 2" diagonal despite only using their refractors for lunar / planetary observing with 1.25" 40° ep's.
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