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Found 39 results

  1. For sale is a Celestron Nexstar 5se telescope with Go to mount kept in immaculate condition. This mount comes with a 25mm Plossal lens (non celestron). Only thing I haven't done is clean it since it was bought as never felt the need to but new buyer might want to make it all shiny and give it a thorough clean. There is no power cable included with mount as it doesn't come with one but it takes 8 AA sized batteries which are enough to power it on and make it the perfect grab and go scope for planetary and many Deep space objects. Price: £549 Available for collection only from Manchester, England. Open to offers This telescope sells for RRP £800 so grab yourself a bargain!
  2. I bought this at the start of the year with some xmas cash i had, and its been great, but recently ive had back issues from the gym, and my neighbour has installed a load of lights in their garden, meaning i now need something a bit lighter and more portable so i can go elsewhere to observe. It is a used scope obviously but as far as i know its in good condition, all the GoTo system works, ive never messed with any screws for collimation etc as i dont know how to do it lol, the previous owner assured me the mirror has never been cleaned or touched, and its been kept in my garage under a telescope cover, the middle cover, the EP cover, and the elasticated end cover are all with it. The previous owner has fitted wheels to the base which does make it moveable, but i thought that by pushing it up the street it might affect collimation so ive only ever pushed it a few feet and then lifted it out of my garage. Also fitted is a counterweight, I found this really helps. It will also come with a light shroud, pretty sure its the Astrozap one, and the original EP's. As far as im aware it was the previous owner who added the GoTo handset to this scope, im pretty sure it didnt come with it from new, it had a smaller controller with no display which will also come with it, it all works fine ive never had a problem with it, the only small issues ive had were all user error as this is my first scope, wrong date and time etc Being reasonably new to astronomy im not quite sure what to price this at, and it would be collection only im afraid, from St Helens, Merseyside. I still have the original boxes if required but obviously the base is built up so wouldnt go back in the box. Pics to follow soon Looking on eBay i can see two 250 dobs priced at £400+, neither are the flextube or have GoTo Price reduced to £500 as id like a quick sale, ive bought a new scope now and need to the money for a few bits for that before i go away on holiday
  3. Hi everyone, Im currently having some issues with my goto mount, Im going through all the correct procedures and choosing 2 star Align for the allignment process, starting with Vega as its the easiest and brightest star for me to see at the moment. When it comes to the second part, the mount aligning itself with the second star ( I have been choosing Alkaid) the mount slews off in the compmetely oppossite direction. I have tried this with a few different stars and always have the same results. Any thoughts please guys maybe im doing something wrong. Thanks for your help!
  4. Saturn in 12'' dob

    Hi all, I want to share with you my so far best image of Saturn, taken using: 305/1500 goto dob Skywatcher QHY-5 mono IR-UV block filter Baader barlow 2.25 Registax, stack of 40 images, postprocessing
  5. Hello, Bought and received my Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro mount yesterday along with a Skywatcher 12v 17ah power supply. This is my first goto mount (had a non computerised EQ5 previously). We've updated the firmware, balanced the scope and tried playing around with the slewing on the hand controller. The mount will only slew in certain directions and not in others dependant on the starting orientation of the telescope. Declination seems to be the biggest culprit. Also is it supposed to sound so loud when it slews/doesn't slew? Any advice would be appreciated, we are out of ideas about how to get it to work or what we could try. Thank you! Simona
  6. Just a quick report on tonight's observation . Got an AZ GOTO mount on Monday and have the 130p mounted on it ... to be honest , I was worried about getting it set up right , but after a look around SGL found the information on coordinates that were needed and it works 100% . 3 new Messier and NGC targets were found tonight , well , 4 if you add NGC7000 , but it was too faint to count as a catch - it looked like a very faint cluster . The big catches tonight were in the Ursa Major region : Bode's Galaxy M81 and the Cigar Galaxy M82 . Both were well defined and bright , even in the 5 inch reflector and I was very happy to see them for the first time . Up to now M57 was my favourite DSO , now it's joint favourite with Bode's Galaxy . NGC7635 Bubble Nebula was also a first and added to the list tonight . Several other targets , e.g. Pinwheel Galaxy , in Ursa Major region were attempted tonight but with no luck - maybe darker Winter skies will give better results with these .
  7. Hello all, I have been researching for the past two months what equipment I will need to buy to photograph the upcoming solar eclipse, I have everything under control except the goto mount. Because I am new to this, forgive me if I have made any false assumptions or have any misunderstandings. So after going back and forth with my short-term goals, long-term goals, and budget, I have decided I want an equatorial mount since I have read that alt-az mounts are not well-suited for 30~60 second exposures, due to image rotation. Although the price is a little higher, I figure it is worth it since I want to be able to use the mount for non-eclipse photography in the future, like star clusters, planets, the moon, etc. . So I have my eyes squarely set on the EXOS-2GT, for its capabilities and its price point -- I really can't go higher than this price at this time. But I have struggled to answer some basic questions about this mount that I'm hoping you all may be able to tell me: Can the mount be aligned during the day? Can I use the sun for alignment? Other clever ways to align during the day that don't involve aligning before sunrise? Is the tripod interchangeble? Is there any reason why I may not want to use a shorter tripod than the one supplied with the mount? (this is purely for travel convinience, and reuse with other equipment) Is there any other eq tracking mount within this price range that you think is better for my needs? Is there any reason you would not recommend this mount for my needs? And lastly, can it be controlled from a laptop? (this is not for the eclipse, but in general, if I can re-use the mount to do precisely panned video, or panning time lapse video, it would be a big plus) (I'm assuming this mount does not have a shutter release port, is that correct?) (on this note, I am aware of cheaper alt-az mounts that do have this capability, but as mentioned above, i would rather go with an eq) Thank you so much, and do clue me in on anything else you think I should know.
  8. I tried to use the GoTo function on the Nexstar SLT 130 for the first time last night. I got through all the steps to set in date, time, place etc. But When I have to find 3 objects in the night sky, I have to use the direction buttons on the handset, whenever I press one of those 4 buttons, the handset just dies out. The screen becomes green, it says nothing on it, until 1-2 minutes later, it says something about error 16 or 17. Keep in mind that the whole handset works up until the point I have to use it to align. What this means is that my scope does not move up or down, nor right or left, since it just shuts down. What I've tried: - Change batteries (AA's) - Try to use a power supply - Updated the firmware in the handset to the latest version What could be the problem? - Mehtevas
  9. Hi once again... After spending a year with the mount i built i managed to gather some info about go to systems. I am in my final year of mechanical engineering and will be displaying the mount as my project....but will b dding a go to system to it. I will b getting help from the information technology team to programme the mount. What i learnt is that you can control the telescope motion through stellarium using a raspberry pi microprocessor, a bluetooth dongle and potentiometers for motion sensing. I seen this video on youtube and will share tge link...if someone could rell me if this same setup would work on an equitorial mount??? For example...can the alt and az co ordinates be swapd with tge co ordinates of RA abd DEC...??? You can find the video on youtube...by searching Telescope + raspberry pi + stellarium =itelescope
  10. Hi Guys, I have an old C8-N with drives and a handset with an ST4 port. I'm using an Arduino to do small jobs around my setup like exposure control, electronic focusing, guiding and small GOTOs through the handset (large ones take too long). The first three work nicely, by my GOTO is all over the place and I've just realised that whether I'm looking toward the Eastern horizon or the Western one must mean that I need to invert my Dec movements. Is this the case? Is this the only effect of the meridian flip? The RA axis keeps on chugging (and I don't mean collecting for charity) in the same old direction, but Dec needs be inverted. Is there a proper name for these two modes, like "Western mode" and "Eastern mode", or before and after midnight? What else should I look out for? Thanks Steve.
  11. Hi, Does anyone have any experience converting a Skyliner 200p dobsonian (Non Go To) into a Go To telescope? Can this be done? Any help is appreciated. L
  12. Hi all, I bought a Astromaster 130EQ two years ago and bought separately a celestron xcell barlow 2x and a Xcell LX 25mm. I now use my iphone to take photo's with a adapter. However, I have trouble finding and specially tracking objects. Will an Goto system make this much easier? The next question is, should i stay with my astromaster 130 mm newt. telescope and invest in a goto mount like the skywatcher eq5 with synscan or can i better take an Nexstar 5SE? I am open for other suggestions I want to make planetary pictures with my cannon camera (moon / mars / jupiter) if possible deep sky. However there is severe light pollution in my area. Thanks in advance
  13. Hello. I was hoping someone might be able to help me??? This is my first post, so first off I just want to say a big "hello" to everyone here at Stargazers Lounge. My equipment is: Skywatcher ED 80 + FF/HEQ5/V2.04 Skyscan handcontroller/Tracer 12v battery/Canon 6D, I am not guiding or using a PC. My issue is......I can't get the GOTO function to work perfectly. My HEQ5 GOTO keeps on missing its target everywhere when I do a 2 star alignment. The target is just outside the field of view using a ED80 and 28mm eyepiece. When I do a 1 star alignment I seem to get much better GOTO results but start missing targets when I move further away from the star 1 used for alignment. I have done all the basics...I have callibrated the polar scope, levelled mount, entered correct info into the controller (date in US/Co-ordinates in hrs+mins) Polar aligned ok, tightened Dec and RA bolts and made sure HEQ5 is in home position before turning on the power, tried to centre the star when aligning etc. A few things I noticed over 3 nights of using my HEQ5 were: Night 1) Tried a few two star alignments with Alkaid and Betelgeuse but i found that the Goto was off on Jupiter and the moon in the East. I could see the light of the moon through the telescope but had to the center using the handset. Same issue with Jupiter.Tried again from scratch 3 times but always the same result. I used the same alignment stars because I'm not so sure on others yet apart from the obvious and some of those were not on the list the skyscan controller gave me.I gave up on the goto in the end and just looked at Jupiter and the moon for a few hours....they were superb, I was amazed at how far I could push Jupiter with the ED80, almost better than my 200p in ways.I can see why people like refractors! Night 2)Set the mount up. Tried the same 2 stars and got the same result.However this time I tried some targets to the West in Auriga without thinking about it and the Goto seemed more accurate????Is this because I aligned with Alcaid near the North and Betelgeuse in the West, therefore it tracks better in the Western side of the Meridian? Night 3) I then tried out a 1 star alignment just to see what the difference would be (I used Alkaid) I can get M51 and M101 bang in the centre of my Canon 6D but M81/82 start to appear to the top left corner and not in the centre....the tracking seems to be going off the further I move away from my alignment star.I then chose M44 in Cancer because it is to the South and it was off in the frame to the left, like the 2 star alignment was giving me......I assumed though that maybe this is the case with one star alignment, it can cope in an area near the alignment star but as you move further away it gets worse???? Using the 1 star alignment gave me a chance to do a bit of imaging for the first time so I stuck with that. I have not tried 3 star alignment yet and I know that this helps compensate for cone error...I will be trying this next anyway to see what I get. Is there a way to get the Goto to work on targets all over the Sky? Do most imagers just choose a star near the area of sky they want to image in and use the 1 star alignment?? For visual I thought the 2 star alignment should work but to be honest the 1 star was better!! I would really like to get the GOTO to work on any target i choose wherever it is in the sky. Anyway I've just started so I have a lot to try and experiment with but I thought I would try some suggestions here because I might be missing something obvious? Any help would be fantastic Thank you and clear skies to all. PS.I have included 3 pics to show how the first 2 targets are central but the third is starting to go amiss.They are also my first ever Images so thought I would share. If anyone knows what those black marks are on my images any advice to get rid of them would be really usefull...looks like something on the sensor...or from deep outer space..lol.
  14. The struggles of a beginner learning how to use the equipment. :-) Pointed mount North and Levelled EQ6 pro mount 8:30 pm Attached wireless release, 2" nose and UHC filter to Nikon DSLR Attached scope and camera, balanced scope for camera use Collimated the telescope -took 40 minutes of messing around Waited until dark. Took the dogs for a walk around the field to pass the time Polar aligned using the mobile app and sighting against Ursa major. Rebalanced DEC for eyepiece rather than camera 3 star alignment. 1st star was way off and took ages to get it in the eyepiece Restarted 3 star alignment. - Selected a star behind a house. Restarted 3 star alignment -complete. Checked collimation using a bright star - perfect (should bloody be after 40 minutes!) Tried to fine adjust polar alignment using a method discovered online (not drift- I don't think I have the patience.) Didn't work. Restarted 3 star alignment then used the polar alignment on SynScan Took a look at Jupiter was great to look at but not what I set out to do, I want DS images... Attached camera Used live view (LV) to try to focus stars Pointed the scope at M3 and took a 2 minute exposure Tried again with a 4 minute exposure SD card failed. Lost some family pics, grrr Now I have to explain to my partner that it wasn't because of Astronomy, these things just happen. Replaced SD card Took some cautious 1 minute exposures of M90 expecting the camera to explode Pictures were faint so moved to 4 minute with a little more confidence telling myself SD card failures can just happen. Noticed star trails Located a bright star Decided to give PEC training a try. Couldn't do it with an eyepiece. Tried with the camera in LV but noticed some gradual movement in the DEC axis. Hoped PEC training would sort this. Moved onto the Spiral Galaxy Took some 2 minute exposures of the whirlpool galaxy. Wireless timer worked flawlessly. Still a little faint so up'd the ISO and took some more. More detail but more noise. Took some darks with the same settings. Packed away while the camera did its thing. Viewed the pics briefly on laptop. There was star trails (DEC axis again and blurring) Went to bed 1:30 am Summary: So what have I learned? Well DEC error was probably due to the balance of the scope being off. I never did re-balance for the camera. I've also learnt today that I should bias the balance slightly East so the gears engage better. PEC training is a waste of time without an illuminated reticule which I don't have the desire to buy. I'd rather save for a guide scope and guide camera. I've learned I can refine the polar alignment after the 3 start alignment process. I've also read on forums that perhaps I should manually move the scope to the first alignment start then continue with the usual process. I've also seen that two star may be the way forward for EQ6. So perhaps next time I'll start with a 2 star, polar align using the SynScan handset then back to 3 star with the first manual adjustment. I should also purchase a few SD cards that are dedicated for Astrophotography and upload them ASAP after the session. The Astronomik UHC Deep Sky Filter worked wonders with the images for where I live. I can now take longer exposures. Assuming I sort out DEC errors and invest in guiding rig.
  15. After collecting my new Celestron Nexstar 6/8SE Goto mount off Parallaxerr last Tuesday, I got a brief chance tonight earlier on to give it a brief first light. So, here is a brief summary of how things went. The scope I used on the mount was my Celestron 4SE Maksutov; Setting up. Compared to my other Goto mount (Skywatcher Stardiscover AZ Goto mount), getting the mount levelled and set up was much easier. Trying to do this with the other Goto mount can take some time, especially when trying to fit the top Goto part to the mount itself in the dark, which requires a torch and some patience to get the securing screws located correctly. On the Celestron mount you can do this very easily, with notches in the top of the mount to allow easy alignment with the securing screws. Alignment. As there were quite a few clouds in the sky, I went for the quickest alignment that the Celestron mount offers; one star alignment. Not expecting much after the initial alignment on Sirius, I was pleasantly surprised. After taking the tour option to look at some double stars, planetary nebula etc, all objects appeared in my 20mm EP fov. I then used the Constellation tour, and looked at objects in Auriga. M36, 37 & 38 fell nicely in the fov also. Looking forward to doing a three star alignment as soon as weather permits, so I will do a more detailed report when possible. From just a brief hour session using just one star alignment if this mount can get most things in view doing just that then it should perform even better when a three star alignment is performed.
  16. Hi, this is probably a daft question, i've searched and can't find an answer. With the Goto scopes (like the Skywatcher 127 Mak AZ Goto), do they automatically zoom correctly as well as point at the object you choose ?
  17. I am wondering if I have knackered the drive mechanism on my Sky-Watcher Skyliner 400p Flextube Synscan Go-To Dobsonian ? WHAT I DID: I did a quick collimation in daylight, and needing to swing the tube from vertical to horizontal I stupidly slackened the fixing hand nut on the wrong side, NOT slackening the drive release wheel on the correct side. Then I forcibly swung the scope from vertical to horizontal with the drive mechanism still engaged. WHAT HAPPENS NOW: The scope is fine optically of course, and both drive mechanisms (the 'compass' movement, and the vertical) appear to work fine, they sound normal and the scope moves at the normal speeds as far as I can tell. BUT, I cannot get it to align, for the GOTO system. When I do a two star alignment – I line up the first star, no problem. When the scope moves to suggested second star, it gets very close on the horizontal, but not close on the vertical – the axis which I forced the mechanism on. Previously, once aligned on the first star, the scope would move automatically to within a degree or so of the second, and only need minor readjustment. Of course I can move to align with the second star using the drives, but nevertheless, the alignment remains way off, 10 – 20 degrees off, which big errors particularly in the vertical axis, when I move to any other objects. I suspect I have damaged the drive / encoders. Does anyone know if a moderately practical amateur can repair these – or indeed replace them? Meantime I am learning how to find objects without the Go-To, which I find difficult – but rewarding. Thanks in anticipation for any advice. Jon
  18. Hi all, my first post post here and thought I'd dive right in, sorry if this is done to death as there are a few very similar posts but figure my prime requirement is slightly different. xmas present from the wife is a telescope, she's been scouring eBay etc with a budget of 200-250. She's identified the sky watcher 127 synscan as a good option. im completely new to observing. Don't really know what I want out of it. We do a fair bit of camping with the kids and always enjoy looking at the sky at night. So that's what this is for main requirements portability - needs to fit in the car with our camping gear. If it's massive or really heavy we'll probably not take it out as much. auto setup - as automatic as humanly possible please and I like my gadgets lol something like the goto system which can take you on a tour or point/track specific objects optionally: terrestrial use camera/webcam/Ccd for pictures- not sure if I'll really need that but great if it's possible. so far it looks like the sky watcher 127 goto and the celestron equivalent are front runners. I've also found the celestron 4se which seems to tick the boxes. The 5se would be lovely but out of budget from what I can see. Are any of these bad choices? They are all mak setups(?) which we thought gave us the benifit of a more compact unit. anything else we should be thinking about/considering? - I'll probably be powering it direct from the 12v on the Landrover so will need a suitable cable. cheers!
  19. Hello I need your expert advise and opinions please. I currently have a Sky-watcher 114 telescope which has served me well for the few years I've had it, but I've always had trouble with balancing, aligning and generally finding the more difficult things in the night sky. So I feel now is the time to upgrade to a goto telescope as I am keen to take up astrophotography and image and share what I'm seeing. My theory is that if I have a computerised / goto telescope and mount, I would spend less time setting up and more time enjoying the night sky. I have between £400 - £650 to spend I've done some research and I have come up with a few options but also welcome any suggestions you all come up with which I haven't thought of already. Celestron Nexstar 5 SE Computerised Telescope https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-NexStar-SE-Computerised-Telescope/dp/B000GUHOYE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1479455548&sr=8-5&keywords=celestron+nexstar Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 SynScan Goto Telescope https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sky-Watcher-Skymax-127-SynScan-AZ-Telescope/product-reviews/B00A784RBS Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT MaK Telescope https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-NexStar-127-Mak-Telescope/dp/B0038LX8XE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479455805&sr=8-1&keywords=celestron+nexstar+127 Meade ETX 90 Observer https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01E53GQ78/ref=pd_sbs_421_40?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4PMZKN1FJBKW0Y2KBV8S Ive chosen various Maksutov-Cassegrain Style scopes as I'm a bit of a short-Bottom and found that when I tried out this type of telescope, it was easier to use rather than what I currently have. I await your wisdom
  20. More double stars!

    I saw a comment that there were a lot more double stars in the sky than listed in Norton's or in a GOTO scope database. I found my way to the Deep Sky database (http://www.virtualcolony.com/sac/) and a list "Double Stars With a Constallation" (http://www.virtualcolony.com/sac/star_search.html) which gives a list sorted for minimum brightness, magnitude difference and separation. I generated some lists with parameters that would not overtax my 127mm Mak, and was gobsmacked at the result. For Lyra, I got a list of 27 doubles down to mag.10 Armed with the printed list, I set about finding them in the sky. Equipment: 127mm Celestron Mak on Nexstar Goto mount, 8mm Celestron X-Cel eyepiece & 25mm Celestron stock eyepiece. Out of 18 doubles I looked for, I was able to find and resolve about 13 in a little over one hour. Sky conditions: Urban, full moon. None of them were as pretty as the bright and well-known doubles, but it was an eye-opener to discover how many were out there. I would submit that this exercise would have been impossible (or at best very frustrating and time-consuming) without a Goto mounting. All I had to do was key in the RA and Dec, and since I had used Vega as an alignment star I did not even have to swap out the high-power eyepiece between stars. I wonder if it's possible to import these databases into a format suitable for remote control of a Nexstar?
  21. Hi all have picked out a scope and mount I'm interested in buying. The scope is the skywatcher ed80 pro and I will be using it with my canon 5d mark 1 for astrophotography. It's the mount that I'm having trouble deciding on. Have been reading loads on the net but when I find something I think will be ok I search for reviews of it and looks and behold for everyone who says this is a great choice there is someone else who says don't buy this. Anyway I liked the skywatcher heq5 mount so does anyone on here think this would be a good choice also if I bought a goto mount would this also track or would I need a motorized mount. Also does anyone have a smaller or different mouth sergestion as to what mount I should get, obviously it will have to be tracking. Cheers in advance for your reply so. Russell.
  22. Cats eye with goto mount

    Just a quick report on some observations to test out the Skywatcher Discovery AZ Goto mount I got off Dobbie on SGL a week ago. Although I've tested it briefly before for a few hours on a couple of nights, tonight as it was getting dark looked promising, even with a few high clouds still floating around. From around 8:30pm the sky was nice and clear, and pretty steady too, although there was a small breeze blowing. After first setting the mount up, leveling it, and doing a 2 star align I got down to some testing. For this I used initially a Celestron 4SE which I'd got from Chris on here on Monday just gone. After aligning with both Vega, and then Polaris, I settled on the first Messier that was well placed up in Lyra to view, M57. The mount slewed to it and placed it in approximately in the 7 o'clock position near the edge of the view with a 32mm Celestron plossl EP. It was very easy to pick out still, even though not centred. Using the PAE option on the mount to centre M57 to fine tune the positioning, I then went across to M13. This got close again, but used the PAE again to centre it to fine tune it. As the sky was darkening well, and the seeing was pretty good M13 was a beautiful sight even at the low magnification with the 32mm EP. I then used my 14mm Baader Morpheus EP to get a closer look. After soaking up M13 for a few more minutes, I then slewed across back to M57 to look at that in the 14mm EP. I didn't use any filter at all on M57, and could quite easily see the ring structure pretty well. I then wanted to test the double double not far away in Lyra in the Celestron 4SE, so skewed across to that. Using the magnification with 10mm, 6mm & 5mm EPs with the 4SE I couldn't get a good enough focus with the scope, although this could have been down to the scope still cooling down perhaps. I then decided to try my new Altair Astro Starwave 102mm f11 frac on the stand, which was probably close to the max 5kg weigh on the mount, but was curious as to how it might do none the less. After carefully fixing it in position, I once again zoomed in on epsilon Lyrae. This fared better with the higher mags, but with the breeze blowing on the longer tube of the f11 frac this caused the view in the EP to wobble a little during gusts. Going back to M13 to see if the positioning was still OK, M13 honed into view very nicely. As the sky was looking the best it has been for a few weeks, I then decided to try for M81 & M82 in Ursa Major. These stood out extremely well in the 14mm Morpheus on the Starwave , and could just keep both galaxies within the same field of view with the Morpheus. I then went across to look at M27 in Vulpecula, which once again showed extremely nicely in the 14mm Morpheus EP. During this time a next door neighbour was having a party, as there were quite a few young teens walking around in the street behind my garden, so I decided to start calling it a night before too much alcohol was drunk, and nosey kids started noticing the large scope pointing up at the dark sky, but before I went in I decided to look for the Cats eye nebula in Draco (NGC6543) which I'd looked for before, but never found, so was hoping with the Goto it should be quite easy to find. After keying in to the keypad the NGC number, it slewed off and settled in what seemed like the correct area of Draco according to SkySafari. Looking through the Morpheus 14mm EP I could see straight away the Cats eye glowing away just off centre. Popping in the 10mm EP to make sure it wasn't just my imagination, it became obvious even more. I now know why it's called the cats eye nebula as it really does glow well for just over an 8th magnitude brightness. As the party was cranking up even more outside, I packed away all my gear, but even though I could have stayed out for another few hours at least, I was extremely happy to have notched up a new object to see in the Cats eye nebula. With clear skies, and the darker nights approaching even more, I'm hoping to notch up some more Astro candy for my eyes to feast on. Hoping that tomorrow night if the skies are clear I can get out once again if the skies are clear, with no boom box beating away in the background! The Goto mount is working very well, and seems to able to handle all my scopes, right up to the Starwave, although this does suffer with a little wobble if breezy. All in all a very nice night, if much shorter than I would have liked due to the party going on next door!
  23. I have had my EQ5 out a couple of times now twice I have had caution previous NPE applied not a clue what this is, but i have set up as per instructed leveled the mount,Polar aligned added weights and ota checked polar alignment, I am having problems the other night went out M13,M92 bang in middle NGC6210 middle M16 not sure It was early may have been too light but next two M10,M12 were over to the right of eyepiece, last was M57 and it was nowhere swapped eyepiece to 25mm and no sign of the ring, can anyone give me an idea as to what I`m doing wrong please. The picture is how I aligned Polaris.
  24. Would the NEQ6 Pro be adequate enough to support a Meade 12" SCT and also a guidescope? If not a guidescope, would anyone recommend a good OAG for 5+ minutes exposures? If not the EQ6, which other mount? EQ8? Any other brand? G11?
  25. I threw an opinion into the mix in the beginners forum the other night and decided I should expand on my reasoning here. Even somewhere as benign as SGL, you still have to remember this IS the internet. That means opinions repeated enough by people with large post counts, gain credence as fact among the rest of the forum. It does not hurt to challenge that, if only to get people thinking, as long as you do it in a reasoned way. So..... What got me thinking was the humble 8" Dob. For instance, I've noticed that the most recommended scope for a beginner is an 8" Dob; 10" if there's a sniff of the OP having a bit more to spend. The thing is, a rake of this recommendation appears straight off the bat, without further quizzing of the OP, but for most newbies, I think it is wrong. True, a great many people started there and went on to bigger (some might say better) things, but a lot do not. You don't have to be Poirot to notice it's also the most sold scope on Ebay, along with the EPs it came with; reasons (excuses) of needing the space, etc, being given. The ratio of 8" Dobs for sale on Ebay is greater than on here. A lot of people don't stick with it long enough to achieve the fifty posts required for access to the classifieds. Why? Because if you don't know your way around the skies, you'll find it really hard to find stuff and you'll break your back grovelling around doing so. It is also a scope that will likely be way off the mark in collimation out of the box and be harsh on the rather basic EPs* it came with. When I started, my Explorer 200p only showed half the primary when looking down the focuser. They really can arrive that far out of whack and dealers these days are driven by price, so they are extremely unlikely to have seen more than the outside of the box you've been shipped. Few would actually check the scope and if they did, most people would whine they're too expensive. Service costs. So, if you do find something on your first light with your new scope and then pop in the 10mm MA it came with, it will look rubbish. De-collimate your scope with a half decent EP and have a crack at Jupiter. It's not impressive and that's as easy as it gets. For a n00b, it's confusion time. In other words, it's not the most intuitive scope, it has a built in steep learning curve just to get it to work and requires immediate upgrades just to get near what this, admittedly capable scope in the right hands, can deliver. The 8" Dob is best suited to someone who has at least used binos, or a friend's scope. That way, they'll have advice on hand. So my contention is that, in this push button, battery driven age, the ideal beginners scope is a 127mm AZ GOTO Mak. I can hear the hackles rising, so let me justify this. I'm not interested in the cries of 'It needs to be level, it needs to be pointed North!'. That involves a bubble level and the one star everybody knows. People who get the date format wrong should RTFM! Anyway, if this is tricky, how are they going to get along with a Planisphere? No, the learning curve is minimal and when the crisp little optics and it's long FL, which is easy on cheap EPs hits a target, it's going to be a sharp view. If it doesn't hit the target first time, the erstwhile n00b will slew around a bit and unless they're complete attention deficient, will hit the target. This is my point. Getting the first few targets a newcomer sees to be clear, is the hook that keeps them engaged. Jupiter will look good in a Mak. Saturn at any size when sharp is unforgettable. The moon will look amazing and M42, M57, globs, etc, will be good enough to show people there's a universe out there they hadn't even considered. I know an 8" Dob will do these subjects better, but it's not exactly Wow! territory. There are plenty of atmospheric UK nights and particularly from suburban locations, where a 5" Mak might actually do these subjects better. Now I know that hardly anybody reading this will still have their first scope, but if one of these had been, it would still be a great little grab 'n' go, plus a handy mount for an 80mm ED/Apo for the same purpose, plus white light solar, etc, etc. Nobody who starts in the hobby with an 8" Dob stays there. In the long run, rationally, the humble 5" Mak GOTO is a very handy little weapon on a number of levels and one that has uses further down the line. Russell * One of the scopes I bought at a time when my collimation learning curve had long since flattened off, came with the usual 10 & 25mm MAs. For a laugh, I thought I'd give them a go. You know what? In a 300mm F4.9 Dob, they weren't that bad. The deficiency I recalled, was in fact, mostly mine in terms of collimation - It was far easier to blame the EPs and post yet another 'What EP for a n00b' thread....
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