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Has anyone fitted a ZWO electronic focuser to an Altair Astro 115 wave series apo with the rack and pinion mounting? I'm thinking of buying one and would like to be sure it will fit first. Many thanks.
Hello, I have been lurking in the background for the last few months, reading the great posts from many very knowledgable members, I’m now after some personal equipment advice and thought it was time I asked the pros! I’ve been interested in the stargazing for a long time and have been enjoying casual scanning with tripod mounted binoculars for the past year. Up until now, due to work commitments, I’ve been unable to dedicate much time to my interest. However, I recently changed jobs and now have a lot more free time and the opportunity to really get started. I’m in Yorkshire, fairly rural and not too much light pollution. I’ll be setup primarily from the garden but I’m only five minutes drive from remote moorland for any local out-of-home viewing. My aim initially is visual viewing and studying with a good quality scope. I worked as a photographer a long time ago so further down the line I’d like to try AP and add a second scope specifically for imaging. I’m thinking long term overall but would like to jump in with a solid core setup I can add to over time. My budget can be up to £2,500. After much research I’m considering the Sky Watcher AZ-EQ5 or AZ-EQ6 mount - both these seem highly regarded and adaptable to future needs, I believe the EQ6 may be better considering future imaging use? For the OTA I’ve been looking at the Celestron 9.25? It seems to deliver well for planets and lunar but I would welcome personal recommendations of other ideal scopes within budget. I’ve also briefly looked into accessories such as the Baader Hyperion Zoom Eyepiece and William Optics / Baader diagonals but one area I need to know more about is eyepieces. Thanks for your time, I’d really welcome advice from you all on what I should consider for my aims and budget. Cheers
Hi there SGL It is very long winded so sorry... I am a complete newbie/beginner of astronomy. So you probably can all point out why I am wrong that I cannot see. So: Backstory: My wife bought me a Celestron nexstar 4se for Christmas that kick stared me on my long dormant interest in astronomy and the night sky. I like the OTA and the simplicity of use but I found that I get more enjoyment of learning about the sky rather than just looking at something in the eyepiece that the magic fairy of GOTO bring up for me. Also I found I learned more from finding alignment stars than using the GOTO function. I am interested in taking photos of the objects with my M4/3 DSLR through the telescope, not to take the visually most pleasing images but to utilize the sensitivity of the sensor where my eyes fail me. (Hopefully training my eye will improve on that) So more like EAA without the live aspect. I really don't mind waiting for 30-60 seconds for a photograph to expose and then loon at the details my eyes cannot record. So that brings me to the question: My funds are so limited that I need to make the changes from the price my 4se mount (ideally I would like to keep using the OTA after all it is a present...) I found on eBay (I know now I am asking for it) an 8" Newtonian f4.5 (900mm) ON a manual Bresser exos-2 mount. For under £200 My primary interest is in the mount I know I will not be able to track for photography with it until a RA motor drive been fitted but I think I could learn the ropes with a manual then Mod the mount later (when funds allow it) maybe going for a full Onstep mod in the distant future. What I read about this mount is that payload is 13 for visual and 7 for photography that is more than an eq5 so I can future proof myself a little. Also tracking meant to be good on this. Neq5, eq6, advanced vx, atlas are all out of the question as they are too expensive. Is this mount suitable for my needs? Secondly: The 8" Newtonian is a noname "Astronomical Telescope" see below. What my detective work points to is that this scope most likely is this: https://www.barride-optics.com/html/Astronomical-Telescope_Reflector-Telescope_1547.html It is parabolic and I cannot see anything fundamentally wrong with it. I am hoping that this is a pre branded OK (not great) OTA that I can sell to cover some of the subsequent costs. So should I buy this is this a good option? sorry for the long winded post And thank you
So, I'm thinking about having a stab at imagaing, again. I say again as I have previously done a bit of Alt/Az imaging and got some really quite satisfying results using a Nexstar SE mount and a WO 66mm frac & DSLR. However, the mount and scope were sold on so I could fund my current visual set up, which consists of a C8 Evo & ST120 on an Altair Sabre mount atop a CG5 tripod. I really enjoy this setup so I'm not looking to sell any of it to fund an imaging rig. Given that I basically don't have any equipment suitable for imaging (I've considered hyperstar with the C8 but think I'll give it a miss), I'm thinking of a completely new setup and wanted to run it by you knowledgable folk for your approval. I have been guilty in the past for buying equipment that I like the look of, despite it not being the best for the job. For example, I prefer black equipment over white, so may have been swayed by a Celestron mount over a Sky-Watcher. But, this time I want to do it properly and am prepared to take my time to purchase the gear over time, obviously I would like to get started sooner rather than later though. I am not aiming to be the best imager out there and unfortunately do not have unlimited funds avaialble, so to that end I have come up with the following approach.... Mount: "Mount comes first", I've read it so many times that this time I will comply I do like the Celestron software but there's no doubt that SW mounts seem to have the biggest AP following (of the two brands). I have weighed up AVX vs HEQ5 but given the AVX's lack of DEC bearing and the upgradeability of the HEQ5 & it's compatibilty with more software, I have decided HEQ5 is the way to go. I may very well start off un-guided so have also considered the Dark Frame Optics Stellardrive mod which consists of the Rowan belt mod and hypertuning. Yes, the cost of those two could buy a bigger mount but I do have to consider the 25 steps to the top of the garden and the modded HEQ5 should provide an accurate tracker to start with. There's also the option of fitting the HEQ5 to my CG5 2" tripod for a bit more stability. Scope: ST120....just to start with! I've imaged with it before and yes, it's colourful but it will only be a stepping stone to a better frac and will allow me to learn the EQ imaging ropes. With a Baader MPCC I got a nice flat field (to my eye) with round stars right to the edges/corners from the ST. I have also seen some stunning narrowband images taken with the ST120, which may be an option later on. Now, my ST also has a rather lovely moonlite focuser which fits the SW ED80, so that seems like the obvious upgrade option when further funds become available. Guiding: Initially unguided short sub stuff, much like I did with Alt/Az, but using the opportunity to become proficient at polar alignment. I discovered the DARV drift alignment method when I briefly tried my Alt/Az mount on a wedge and found it really quite easy to get good alignment in 5-10 minutes (unfortunatley the mount was not smooth enough to make the best of the alignment). Moving on...the next step would be the introduction of the trusty ST80 for a guidescope and a SkyWatcher SynGuider. This may draw some mixed comments, however, having read all the user reviews, everywhere, the SynGuider looks to work well if you accept it's limitations. A guidescope/laptop setup, however, can come in time but the appeal of the SynGuider is the cost and lack of laptop requirement. Imaging camera: My current Nikon DSLR that I've already imaged with. I have a very good wireless intervalometer to go with it and several batteries. Again the appeal of the DSLR is being laptop free, but if the bug gets me then a dedicated imaging camera may come in time. So what do you think. Does this seem an acceptable, evolutionary approach? Is there anything glaringly obvious that I've missed? Cheers all
So I'm looking for the best grab and go planetary viewing (and maybe some DSOs) telescope that is relatively cheap (below 500$) that will also support some Astrophotography. I know the SkyMax 127 is a Maksutov and therefore has a high F number, but I'm okay with that because I'll just pop on a 0.5x focal reducer to bring it down to F/6 (still a bit high though.) With said Grab and Go I'm interested in viewing Saturn and Jupiter with high detail. What do you recommend? Clear skies, Leon. Edit: I need one that'll fit into the Sky Watcher EQ5.
Hi, I have recently bought the celestron AM 130 EQ. when setting up , I wrongly assembled the counter weight first rather than adjusting the lattitude knob both at the front and rear side. That made the counter weight pull towards the floor and now the lattitude adjustment knob is jammed, I cant move it counter clockwise. The pin at lattitude is showing 0 degree. What to do. Please help.