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Found 67 results

  1. Long storey short : the OTA slips dramtecly when vewing an object to 0 altitude. Details: So I bought the Skywatcher GoTo flextube 10 inch a year ago. It was nothing but great, until yesterday when I was just starting the session to level up the scope on the mount for alignment. I Went to get some equipment and when back noticed the scope has declined to a minus reading on the altitude! With no attachments on the OTA. I re-leveled it to the horizon and it held itself, put on the nothing but stock attachments as usual. Switched on the GoTo and started aligning, when alignment is successful, I chose an object and notice the object is far off. I check the battery voltage and it's 12.5 volts, which indicates it's not a battery issue. I turn it off to re-align again, this time when I press the up arrow to align to an object I notice the GoTo gears struggle to move the OTA upwards, but eventually the speed increase to normal and manage to points upwards to the object. I pick a second object which happens to be near the zenith and the GoTo goes out of control straight to zenith and carrying on above 90+ degrees on the altitude bearing. I try to stop the scope with the handset before the base of telescope hits the wood in the base, only to notice the handset is not showing light or responding. I turn the GoTo off. Start to align for the third time, this time aligns but still off target. I ignore and start viewing Jupiter which happens to be 40+ in altitude , after few minutes of viewing, the scope drops slowly to zero altitude with no hand or handset movement! Handset is still showing that the viewed object is still Jupiter! Note: I did notice weird sounds of the gears when trying to increase altitude. Not the common sound. Has anyone faced this issue and fixed it, should I return under guarantee? Is this a gear slippage? Or clutches not engaged? Your help will be much appreciated!
  2. Hi, I'm relatively new to the whole telescope thing but have done my research and was fixed on getting the Orion skyquest XT8i or XT10i. By spending that much money, I didn't like the idea of purchasing it online from their website without seeing it in person (and not having the reassurance of being able to take it back) and looked for stores in the UK that would supply them. After plenty of research, it seems like they don't exist anymore and they are only in the US? Is this right or could anyone help me? (I've looked at the Sky-watcher 250PX/200PX flextube skyscan goto but it is significantly heavier and the noise of the goto mechanism sounds like a table saw so that's put me off of it...) Any help would be much appreciated, Thanks
  3. Hi guys, I've literally just signed up so I'm totally new here and excited to learn from all you professional astromaster... I'm not sure if this is the right place to post so I do apologise if not... I'm after a skywatcher eq3 pro goto mount for my celestron astromaster 130eq every website i go on they are out of stock and not available for a couple of months does anybody know a stockist that has these in stock? I've only been in the astrophotography hobby 4 weeks so I've got lots to learn... Thank you for your help
  4. Hi - I'm a relative newcomer to telescopes with goto - still trying to figure them out. I have a problem with Goto on the 8SE. Alignment usually works (Not always, but usually) I believe my set up is correct - time and date, DST and UTC (It's currently BST in the UK) I usually use 2-star alignment (Currently, most convenient for me are Sirius and Procyon) Alignment usually succeeds, but goto just doesn't. The scope slews away, sometimes even to a completely different part of the sky from the selected object (I'm familiar enough with the sky to be able to identify several bright stars without assistance) Bizarrely, this happens even if the goto object is one of the alignment stars - how could it possibly not be able to find a star when you've explicitly told it where it is? I've read that goto sometimes doesn't work well on battery power, so I've aquired a mains adapter. No change. I haven't yet updated the handset firmware (I'm waiting for a serial-usb adapter.) Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  5. I've just about got used to operating my EQ3-2 by its flexible manual control knobs but I'm increasingly aware of the wobble I introduce each time I adjust them them. So I would seem to be a natural candidate for a set of SW motors. However I don't want to spend £90+ for some 6 volt motors which have a reputation for blowing up hand controls and eating up batteries. I have read the AstroEQ (excellent piece of work by Tom Carpenter!) thread in this DIY section which offers a very attractive pathway towards full control and go-to tracking of the mount. I am therefore particularly interested in avoiding the SW motor drives and making use of some stepper motors with home constructed brackets as a first stage modification. But is there any way I could do this and control the motors in a semi-manual way without needing always to use a laptop running EQMOD etc? In other words, for instance, could a version of AstroEQ be interfaced with a manual control box (especially IR linked) driving stepper motors and offering simple object tracking? I started this as a new topic because I have some difficulty navigating within the AstroEQ 20+ page thread and don't want to distract.
  6. Dear colleagues, I am new in astronomy and got my SkyWatcher Star Discovery 150Pi WiFi AZ GoTo, however I am experiencing one big problem. When I try to align my telescope using SynScan Pro app on laptop or smartphone the telescope always points wrong direction. I do not have hand controller. I set telescope north using compass, enter latitude and longitude, but when try to align 1 star or 2 stars, telescope spins way, way off. When the star is in the South East it shows north east, or sometimes points absolutely wrong direction. When it is set on the north and object is 98 degrees east it goes some 30 degrees. It also points lower or higher. I am totally lost. I use 8 AA batteries. What I do wrong? How to fix this? Thank you.
  7. Hello all, this is my first post at SGL, and it will be quite long. I am not native a English speaker, so please excuse any mistake. I have quite some plan with my telescope mount and its goto control, and I am looking for some feedback and comments. If somebody else did a similar project, please let me know. And please feel free and encouraged to make suggestions, ideas, critics, etc. The story in a few buzzwords: Raspberry Pi Zero → direct control of TMC2209 stepper drivers via the Pi's Uart serial interface to drive my telescope mount. I am writing a software (optionally: open source?) to control the mount. The language will NOT be C, as typically used for Microcontrollers (I know for instance OneStep) I am using Kotlin, which is a more advanced JVM language. I think this should be enough information to filter the readers who are interested in reading the rest of my post. Now the long and detailed story: My professional background: I am a physicist, and did a PhD in EE (Power Electronics). Later, I became software engineer. Besides being fascinated by Astronomy, I am a tinkerer (Reprap 3D printer, electronics, …). I did grind my first mirror (a 6'' Schiefspiegler) when I was 15 years old, and I built the cookbook CCD cameras in the 90's. After many years without a telescope (study time, relationship, ... ), I settled down with my family, and I started to get back to Astronomy. Recently, I did by a quite a massive second hand mount: the “Vixen New Atlux” from another other stargazer in Switzerland. My opinion is that the New Atlux' mechanical design is superb. It has (had...) internal wiring, the counterweight bar can be hidden in the mount for transport, good polar alignment screws, it has an excellent polar finder with a dimmable LED. But on the other hand the electronics: two weak servo motors in combination with the incredible Starbook 5.... Seigh... the starbook...(!) it is, well... the mount is just superb, and no more comments about the starbook game boy, which shall rest in peace at the garbage dump. I removed the servos and all electronics, and I put 2 stepper motors into the mount, which are coupled to the gear with a timed belt. My original plan was to put an Arduino into the mount in order to control the steppers. I have an old goto Celestron cg-5 with Starsense, and it would have been quite easy to mimic - with the Arduino as interface – the servos of the old cg-5 and translate the Starsense control signals to my New Atlux. I can write C, and there is even an open source project called OneStep, which uses a Microcontroller in a similar way as I do. But I don't like to write C code anymore. In the 3D printer community, people need to use real time electronics to control the printer steppers. Due to the real time requirement, C with a real time microcontroler (Arduino & similar) are the only option for 3D printers. Do we need real time for our telescope? No. We don't need to control a lot of Motor accelerations and high speed control. For the telescope, we need to set the Motors speed precisely, and we need to drive to any position in an accurate and controllable and slow way. Then, there are new stepper motor drivers available with as much as 256 microsteps. The TMC2209 stepper driver , which is very well know in the 3D printer community, is not vibrating at all. It runs just smoothly, also at very low speeds. I do drive my motor with 0.25 rpm (sideral speed). In case of a slew, I can accelerate to 1500x sideral speed, which also would allow me easily to track the ISS. Wonderful. The current status of my project is: The mount is equipped with the two new motors The TMC2209 drivers are connected to the Raspberry pi GPIO Interface, and I can control them via Software. Theoretically, I could attach up to 4 motors with a single Uart interface (1 wire protocol). For instance, a focuser or a filter wheel could be attached. I selected Kotlin as language. Java also would have been possible, but I think for a new project, Kotlin will lead to a much more readable code. The TMC drivers can be driven via a chip-internal clock signal. Different to what the 3D printer community is doing (they use the step / dir pins, and create every single microstep with the microcontoller), I can send a “speed” signal from the Raspi via UART to the 2209 chip, and it will execute this speed for me without any further action. The only time critical issue was that I need to precisely count the steps that the 2209 stepper drivers executed. This is done via a GPIO pin, receiving its index signal (a pulse for every 2209 fullstep). Here comes the pain with Linux (non real-time) and the Pi: For user programs, it is impossible to guarantee that every pulse from the stepper drivers will be registered. But I cannot afford to have a step count drift over time. The solution was that I wrote a Linux kernel module in C. I wrote that I don't want to write any C code. Well, a few lines for the kernel module were indeed necessary. I can live with that, having in mind that the rest will be written in Kotlin. The only task of the Kernel module is to count every registered step at the Pi's GPIO input pins. This kernel module output is then mapped to a character device file in /dev/ for every stepper. In Kernel space, it is possible to register and count interrupts without missing even any one of them. From a hardware point of view, this is indeed everything we I need. The project cost so far: 2x10€ for the stepper drivers, 2x10€ for the motors, 2x20€ for the tooth belts and pulley, 10€ Pi Zero plus some peripheral expenses: Micro SD card, USB charger, and 1200 € for the used Vixen new Atlux mount. And a lot of time. I have so many ideas on how to extend the ecosystem of my software, but these ideas are for the longer term (maybe years from now on): Multi-star alignment. The alignment should be able to be updated continuously during an observation night. With a set of stars, it should be possible to calculate the quality of the aligment points, and e.g. drop them if they are errorneous. PEC correction (should be easy on the Pi) End-Stop support The polar alignment routines of today's goto scopes are quite good. But what I would like to have is some audio-feedback when I move the alignment screws into the right direction. Possibility to pre-plan an observation night (e.g. the mount could tell you that the Jupiter moon shadow will be on Jupiter in a few minutes). Record the telescope movements during the night in order to be able to tag any picture. The TMC drivers have much more capability than what I am using currently. For instance, they could be current controlled for slews in order to set the stepper current exactly to the value that it needs without stalling. This saves a lot of energy. The TMC drivers have a feature called “Stall Guard”. This could be used instead of endstop switches (for 3D-printers, this is done frequently). Advanced options for tracking: siderial, solar, moon speed, ISS speed. Tracking in both axis (e.g. to compensate polar misalignments of atmospheric refraction) or just in right ascension. Commercial mounts do not allow much customization here. With slow slew speeds, 5V input via a USB-C cable is sufficient for the Pi + Motors. Usb-C and newer usb battery packs allow to output a higher voltage via USB. With an “USB-trigger”, the input voltage can be selected to my needs. Higher voltage allows higher slew speeds, but consumes more power. Autoguider support, or even better: simply connect a webcam via the Pi's USB connector and do the guiding on the Pi The Raspberry Pi touch screen could be used for telescope controlls Advanced German mount limits and meridian flip control (e.g. a warning about a necessary flip when driving to a specific goto target). An Android App, connected via WiFi to the Pi could be used as display alternative Language control (have a look at Mycroft, an open-source artificial intelligence). "Hey mount, please slew to the whirlpool galaxy!" Control the mount via SkySafari and Stellarium The Pi has a built in camera interface. How about an open source auto align? The Pi could look at the stars to align itself, which makes a lot of sense. I did already order a long focal length lens and monochrome camera from Arducam in order to do some experiments (the standard Pi camera has 3.5 mm focal length and is not really usable, although star imagining is possible). My first observation site is my balcony. And there, the real Starsense does not work at all. It always spin-loops on 2 alignment positions where the sky is covered by the roof – how silly is that?. This can be done better. Further, Starsense is doing only a initial alignment. It should update its position and accuracy over the time! I think I could do this better. Besides all my ideas, the first and most important focus of the software will be: Readability (therefore my choice of Kotlin), extensibility and open source. I like to have the Maths of the internal mount model clearly visible and understandable in the software. The calculations that are done within all our goto mounts are no rocket science. I admit, I am the nerd guy who wants to go the hard way and implement this from scratch. I am looking for a good project name, do you have any suggestions? How about QuickStep? this is possibly too close to OneStep and would offend the creators of OneStep? Does anyone of you have interest in joining my plan? Doing such a project in a small group would be more encouraging then just doing it for myself. And of course later on, I would appreciate if other stargazers would update their old mounts with my software. Any comments on my project plan are welcome! Clear Skies! Andy
  8. Newbie , bought a skywatcher Capricorn ( around £100) but still unopened as I have some unexpected money and wonder what to do . options I see are ; Use the Capricorn and get to know the sky and how to align the eq mount. Move on if I get the bug , maybe get a couple of better eyepieces. Return for refund and choose one of; Use my approx £350 budget to get a 90+ aperture scope . Blow the budget on an entry level GOTO scope , don’t bother learning stuff but just observe. What would you do ? To be honest I think the learning thing is part of the fun but GOTO scopes seem to be the ‘in’ thong
  9. Hi, do you think it's a good idea to swap my EQ3-2 GoTo Alu for iEXOS-100? Will there be some kind of improvement? Thanks!
  10. Hey, I've been looking for a mount for my 8 inch skywatcher reflector for a while now and can't decide what mount to buy. The requirements i am looking for are the following: Goto system or synscan 10+ kg weight capacity Tripod My budget is around £500. I was wondering if anyone could suggest some good mounts or point me into the right direction. My goal is to get better at astrophotography, my previous mount was a dobson mount ( which came with the scope ) but does not have any features to track objects which doesn't help when doing astrophotography. Tnanks
  11. Hi, I have Bresser EXOS II EQ5 mount with dual motor drive. Want to upgrade to GOTO + guiding support. Read many negative reviews about GOTO Upgrade kit given by Bresser. So wanted to know are there really such issues like incorrect GOTO, loud noise while slewing etc. If yes, then as an alternative can we use Sky-watcher Synscan GOTO upgrade kit with Bresser EXOS II EQ5 mount? Will it work? Thanks! - Abhijit Juvekar
  12. Well, the day has finally arrived. My new dream scope has landed at my door. After many weeks of contemplation of what i wanted to upgrade to i have finally settled on the Orion 12" goto dob. Love the look of this scope along with the quality build finish. I was originally going to go for the GSO Revelation 12" and build my own EQ mount but i have always had a soft spot for Orion and just thought, sod it So, here it is boxed up with the Tracer battery i got along with the Orion mains adapter. Think i may need to buy a 12v jack plug for the battery however as there isnt one in the box, only a strange female tube like connector. Only thing left on back order is the Orion light shroud due any time soon. Big shout out to Kerin at Telescope House for all his help and amazing deal he has done me. Thanks pal. So, the big unbox is due tomorrow, plenty more pics to follow for this thread.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Hi, As my GoTo is successfully finished (some cosmetic issues remain) I shoud focus my attention on planets' positions. I have proper source of information: fantastic book "Astronomical Algorithms" by Jean Meeus, thus I will sort the planets soon. But planets are not a challenge for me at this moment, they are just something obvious to do in my list. I have another idea and ambitious plan for next project within the year: locating and tracking the ISS to be able to make a video of its fly, not only transition. Similarly to other objects, I need some equations. I'm pretty sure they are available somewhere, because plenty websites or apps offer showing current position of the ISS. I will use this topic for sharing a progress ot the project.
  19. Hi all. I'm buying a revelation 16-inch f/4.5 m-crf truss dobsonian and wanted to know can you/ has anyone fitted a go to drive on this scope? ArgoNavis or ServoCat or the like? Thanks!
  20. I recently acquired a used CPC800 SCT. I thought a 'First Light' report might be of interest. First impressions: the tripod is a heavy duty affair with thick legs, a folding lower spreader and a big cast alloy eyepiece tray/steady. The OTA/fork assembly (not separable) is very heavy (21Kg/44lbs) but has a couple of grab handles. You need to be fit to handle this. ? (I was seriously tempted not to go ahead with the purchase after trying the weight.) With the legs retracted it is just possible to pass the tripod through a standard doorway, but it is just as easy to pull up the lower spreader and carry it folded. It is much heavier than a C8SE tripod but more comparable with a EQ5 tripod in weight. Once in position, I checked the level with the handy built-in bubble level and left it. I forgot to screw up the eyepiece tray/upper spreader but I don't think this made any difference. Scope stored on a table with faceplate down and rear handle uppermost. Took the weight with my left arm, elbow fully bent, forearm vertical. Got it on the tripod which took the weight till I got the base to drop over the centre pin, spun it till something clicked into place and then did up the three thumbscrews. I would not try this with an equatorial wedge unless I had a helper. Celestron also sell a CPC 9.25 and CPC1100 - if I had one of those I'd need a sheerlegs or a brawny assistant.? Fitted the visual back (same as C8 SE), prism diagonal (same as C8 SE), straight-thru 50mm finder, handset (Nexstar+) and handset bracket which holds it facing rearwards (a handy feature not implemented on the C8 SE). Fitted a 25mm X-Cel LX that came as an extra. Connected my new lithium powertank and its DC cable, and powered up. It comes ready (CPC Ready) very quickly. Selected 2-star auto align - it whizzed past a time display showing the time ahead of my watch by 1 hour - more on this later. Aimed at Arcturus and afjusted the finder aim. Selected Capella - it nearly got there and then blackout! The cable had snagged and pulled on the plug. I ran the cable through the side handle on the fork and tried again. (It appears that the CPC's supplied cable has a locking ring and the other end has a cigarette lighter style plug.) Capella ... Arcturus .. aligned. Told it to find Mizar (named star menu). It did. Also found M48, the Ghost of Jupiter planetary, Gamma Leo (split ), 54 leo, 88 Leo, 90Leo. The scope appears to be collimated and resolution OK. GoTo is just accurate enough to drop doubles into the bottom of 9mm X-Cel Lx field. Even at 200x and a gusty night the view is rock steady. A pier mount could hardly be stiffer than this! And no obvious backlash in use (unlike C8 SE). Fiddled with the menu, found the GPS is obviously working, and the time set for daylight saving. Corrected it to standard time. GoTo still works. Teardown: tube horizontal, power off, tube cap on, diagonal off, handset and bracket off, left visual back on and capped it, loosened clutch to point tube straight down. Got OTA/fork assembly off and back indoors on table, twirled it into position. Folded up tripod and carried it indoors. I would not try carrying the tripod and scope together. Verdict: Very solid mount should be good for planetary imaging. Some nice features not on C8 SE, otherwise same optical performance. Alarming weight.
  21. I am considering purchasing the https://www.celestron.com/products/nexstar-130slt-computerized-telescope for my son for XMAS. I want the Go To functionality and I have looked into software and know I will want TheStarX software to point to objects in the sky. My question is what do I need to get this to work? How do I connect the telescope to my network so my computer can talk to it?
  22. Hi, I have a Sky-Watcher Skyliner 300P FlexTube GOTO which I am enjoying however after a period of no use the base has become very stiff. My fault, as it became wet not realising that the cover I had bought for it was not waterproof. Looking through the threads in here I found one which I followed to try to strip down the base however I have become stuck at the point of trying to remove the motor housing from the base after removing the 4 machine screws. I suspect that it is a combination of corrosion and the base material swelling which is preventing me from removing the motor from the base. When I release the worm gear from the static gear using the release lever the motor turns easily which is what is fuelling my suspicion. Any advice or suggestions would be useful as I've come to a halt in my investigation for the moment. It looks to me like I'm going to need a new base which may be a better bet anyway as the original supplied is heavy and definitely not good in the damp. Dom
  23. I have recently acquired an AZ-EQ6 mount but am struggling to get decent GOTO accuracy so need some help/advice. On the plus side the mount is tracking fantastically - I have taken 4 minute unguided exposures with my DSLR and the stars are nice and round. I am using a refractor which has 1000mm focal length and I'm just using the hand controller with the skywatcher GPS attachment that sets the date and time. i.e. no PC software involved. I have disabled the auxiliary encoders as I don't need them and have heard they can be a source of problems. I polar align using the polarscope which I find plenty good enough to get good tracking accuracy. When I turn the unit on the GPS sets the date and time and I select daylight savings on and I have the unit in the home position so weights down and scope pointing parallel up towards the north pole (I've used the spirit level to set the setting circles so I can get the home position more accurate). I've tried 1, 2 and 3 star alignments but always have the same issue - it succeeds but then when I slew to another star (even a close one) it is a long way off (i.e. nowhere near being in view even in 30mm eyepiece). The oddest thing is that after centering the star and completing the alignment if I slew away to another star and then back to the alignment star it still points way off! In my mind I at least expected that to work - I thought it would just have some offset map between the calculated astronomical coordinates and where you've told it is really pointing so I don't understand at all how this can happen. Late last night for example I did a 1 star align on Vega and then told it to go to Deneb and had to move with the hand controller the end of the scope up a good foot to find it! It's like its completely ignoring the alignment adjustment I have to make each time to find the star so any initial error never gets corrected. Any ideas?
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