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Found 168 results

  1. Hi all, Got bored during lockdown and purchased a telescope. It's a Bresser Refractor Telescope AR-102/600 EQ-3 with mount and tripod from Amazon for about £280. I've been enjoying it and added a Bresser Full HD Deep-Sky Camera to it so I could share some images. Not really sure what I wanted to look at and feel I may have bought the wrong things, but hey I'm having fun. I've been looking to get the mount motorised (RA) and spent much time looking at all the options. As a beginner I'm now thinking why not just jump in and get a computerised mount with all the features built in by experts. I found the Explore Scientific EXOS-2 PMC-Eight GOTO Mount on BresserUK for about £600, twice what I paid for my entire setup so far. But thinking the mount is very important, no matter how good the scope is a bad mount is going to make things hard. Working from the ground up so to speak. I'd like to get into stacking some images of the planets, moon, maybe some general stary shots and even something nebula like. Would you say this is a good purchase considering the scope and camera I have? A good starting point for building a better setup over time? And if I changed my mind later on, it would have a good resale value? Cheers
  2. Hi, Sorry if this has already been asked ( I think it would have been, there are posts similar but can't see the the answer I'm looking for) I have a celestron C8-N scope that came with a Cg5 mount, it's at least 10 years old and although it had a lot of use to start with it's been gathering dust the last few years. So I would like to fit a motorised goto mount to it and was considering a synscan pro3 for an Eq5 mount. Can someone tell me are these 2 mounts the same and if so will the synscan be OK for my Cg5 mount. If not are there any others I should look at? Thanks
  3. 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
  4. Hello, I was wondering if any of you guys know a place to buy a HEQ5 mount for a cheap price about £600. Thanks Lucas
  5. So, that Mesu-Mount (http://www.mesu-optics.nl/mesu200_en.html) looks nice doesn't it? It would probably be great for my Skywatcher 300P tube... except it's quite expensive. Could I cobble together something from second hand eBay bits, scraps I have in the garage, and a few other cheap components? The first job was to make some bushes (from 35mm steel) that will hold the main friction wheel: They bolt onto a 20mm diameter steel rod: A 150mm diameter, 10mm thick, steel disc was drilled to allow the bushes to be mounted: Then the center of the disc was bored out: ...and fitted to the 20mm rod, along with a couple of bearings: To finish the outside of the friction wheel, the rod was mounted in a collet, to ensure the wheel is machined true to the rod: Just under 0.04mm (about 1.5 thou) out of round. I'm pushing the limits of my little lathe (and my non-existent metalwork experience), but I hope that'll be OK: I sourced a used 1:100 harmonic drive from eBay, and turned a sleeve that will form the driver for the friction wheel: In order to mount the harmonic drive (and the stepper motor that will power it) I'll need something to hold them. Time to chuck some 6mm scrap MDF on the CNC: It's not exactly pretty, but it will support the stepper and harmonic drive (hinged on the smooth rod on the curved side of the MDF sheets). Hopefully it will allow the driven wheel to be pressed against the friction wheel without undue stress on the harmonic drive output shaft: Using the very highest quality "scrap bits of chipboard", carefully sourced from IKEA's skip, the wheel and rod are mounted, along with a lever that will push the harmonic drive output into the friction wheel: With the rod screwed down (into a threaded insert in the chunk of pine) the bearing on the lever raises up: Here you can see how the bearing on the lever will engage with the harmonic drive output - pushing it into the wheel. This part of the mechanism will give a 10:1 ratio: The carefully cut (read: hacked to fit) sheet of plywood (glued together from two parts of a jig I no longer needed), supports the lever, rod, and the about-to-be-installed harmonic drive/stepper motor cradle: Like this: I have some (almost) working code running on an Arduino to control the stepper, but for the moment I removed the stepper and spun the wave generator in the back of the harmonic drive by hand. It was OK lifting a 5lb (2.3kg) weight, on a beam that is 33.3cm (rod-to-string-hole distance). I make that 2.3kg x 9.81m/s^2 = 22.56N, at 0.33m => 7.4Nm of torque: Attempts to get it to lift 10lb (4.6kg) were not successful; the friction wheel slips. I could tell there was a lot of flex in the lever as it had bottomed out against the pine block. I hacked a bit off to allow it to move further (i.e. bend more), and not surprisingly it failed. It did get close to lifting the 4.6kg though, so I might have got away with 3kg (which would be nearly 10Nm of torque): The lever was designed to be the same dimensions as some standard metal stock (I wasn't expecting 6mm MDF to survive), so once I take delivery of that stock I'll make a new lever. How/if the rest of this will actually work I don't know, but the above is "only" about 3 months of occasional work (which includes a previous all-wooden prototype to test the theory), so it may be a while before there's much progress to report.
  6. Hi guys, new to SG lounge and new to the hobby. I have just bought my first EQ Mount (Used 2018 model HEQ5 pro, belt modded). I hate to be the newbie to ask questions about polar alignment, but I have what I hope to be a relatively simple question to answer, yet have had no luck with the search bar. When my mount is in the home position (counterweight bar down) and tripod north my polar scope reticle is orientated as per the attached photograph (photo 1). When I was reading prior to getting the mount I had simply assumed that the reticle would be oriented with 0 being directly at the top and 6 at the bottom when in home position. As this is not the case, my question regards what I do during the process of polar alignment. Do I rotate the R.A. so that 0 is at the top and 6 is at the bottom and then place Polaris in the relevant position as per my iOS polar alignment app (photo 2) or do I need to somehow rotate the reticle within the polar scope such that the reticle is orientated vertically in the home position? Are the date and time dials on the mount itself obsolete now that we have the privilege of apps that do the work for us? Apologies if this is a basic question that has been covered before.
  7. I`m looking to upgrade my mount. looking for a goto mount with a payload capacity of 5.5kg upwards. EQ5 HEQ5 mount with goto. I`m in the yorkshire area but willing to travel 100 miles of leeds to collect
  8. Hello I was wondering if it would be Worth buying a motorised mount but sińce it is mosty cloudy through out the year where I live i was wondering if i should buy the mount or not. Thanks Lucas
  9. Hi, I have a Meade LX85 6" Mak. The OTA weighs about 13lbs without accessories. I'm getting the hang of the GEM mount, but I find it a hassle to get right and miss the ease and speed of the Alt-Az GoTo I had with my previous 5" Mak. I'm primarily a lunar observer and have no real interest as yet in astrophotography. In consequence, I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive GoTo Alt-Az mount (and legs) to carry the Mak. I will be keeping the GEM. Advice much appreciated.
  10. So I had this problem where if I put my finder scope on my OTA, and the finder scope is around 135 degrees from the mounting part of the scope. This made my DEC axis always stay leveled but never stay in any position I put it in (if I turned my RA axis to the balancing position, then the DEC axis to balancing position and moved the DEC axis anywhere, it would go back to horizontal or balancing position). Any help would be nice Emlis
  11. Hi, I've been out for a few night now with my HEQ-5 Pro skywatcher mount. The problem is, when polar aligning, Polaris is clearly out of focus. How do I focus the polarscope? Emilis
  12. Hi All, i am looking for my first astrophotography rig and i have limited it down to the two trackers. I know these can only take a limited payload and are there not good value for money in terms of upgrading to a bigger telescope later. But, i really want something portable, quick, and easy to get started. I currently have a 12 inch dob so i really want at least something other than my binoculars that is much easier to get outside quickly when the clouds break. I will also be buying the z61 william optics telescope (yet to buy) as i feel this is a good scope for these type of mounts from what i have read. Therefore, here is my question. Which moint should i get? I know they essentially do the same thing but there is some differences including price. I believe the skyguider pro is much more exspensive given from what i hear the vixen wedge would also be needes at a much greater cost that what is provided. Also, the star adventurer does not have a built in battery but instead uses AA's or i hear sometimes people use a power pack. As a result, it appears that the sky guider pro works out much more exspensive when all is said and done. However, is the skyguider pro worth the extra money with the wedge or is the star adventurer the better option? Any tips, advice, or first hand experience welcome kind Regards Gary
  13. Thanks everyone... from £2.700 down to £2.500.. Let me know you thoughts: The only one like that Italian Red with clear alum bits Avalon M-Zero, with StarGo with Bluetooth to go with SkySafari Link to wideacreen-centre: www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/avalon-m-zero-fast-reverse-mount.html Zero backslash, no jiggles, no maintenance at all, no grease or liquids. Full set of thin shield SFX bearings. Really looked after... The previous owner used only for visual - it was stored in his living room Include with this mount some extra adds: - StarGo with BlueTooth - 300mm vixen William optics Vien dovetail (usual fastening scratches) - Avalon X-Guider with GP Dovetail Clamp and Flat Base, - Baader charger, - USB to laptop cable - T-Pod 90 Tripod - Polar scope with Avalon designated bracket, - Polmaster Avalon adaptor, - 2 Avalon counterweights, - upgrade to knobs and bolts, - Avalon carry bags Delivery cost and method to be agreed. Paypal transfer. More pictures on request. You can add the StarGo controller underside of one of the arms : see this picture:
  14. Its a Altair Astro pier plate im not buying another pier for a 10 Micron GM2000 HPS II mount i have the pier plate adapter
  15. Was looking for a simple and sturdy 3-legged stand or table to raise the height slightly of the Heritage 130p when viewing on the lawn away from my garden table and so my 7yr old daughter can stand and observe easily. Suddenly came across this thread on Reddit which seemed to have the perfect solution from our Swedish friends at Ikea... https://www.reddit.com/r/telescopes/comments/doi3n5/skywatcher_heritage_130_or_awb_onesky_ikea_kyrre/ (see pictures below) and also discovered some more customisation ideas for the same stool in this thread from across the pond...https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/?p=9734431 The UK Ikea store sells the stool in plain solid birch (£10) or stained black/blue (£12) and delivery is just £3.95...have a black one on order (wont arrive until 5 June though) and will report back when I, have it... https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/kyrre-stool-black-70434976/ Anyone else used one or made something similar for this fab little scope?
  16. Hi all, About a year ago, I got the idea of making a portable mount without need for any counterweights. The main design is (almost) an English Mount with two tripods supporting a rotating bar pointing towards NCP. This is very stable, but one of the 6 legs must just barely touch the ground - otherwise it is not. A slider on a M6 threaded bar is pulling a braided fishing line that is connected to a "windshield wiper" type arm, which is anti-backlashed with a adjustable torsion spring. The lower tripod can easily be replaced with some kind of base kit that fits on a sturdy table or even a balcony fence. Some components : omron encoder E6B2-CWZ6C 2000P/R 0.5M stepper mcu RoboRemo app I can control the whole thing with the small IR remote and / or via Bluetooth LE and the RoboRemo app. The Arduino sketch does PID speed regulation and dslr intervalometer & dew heater controller are also included. Polar alignment is pretty easy with the laser pointer. After careful speed tuning I have approx 75 % success rate (no wind present) with my dslr and TS ImagingsStar71 APO (350mm / F5). I also tried it out with an extra dslr (135mm lens) so approx 5 kg total payload without any noticeable negative impact. This is 350 mm FL @60 seconds with APS-C Nikon D7000. And this is 87 x 60 seconds stacked and processed: And what about the snail label in the pictures ? This project started with the idea of having a snail powered mount, as they seem to go slow enough and need no batteries ! But I settled with an artificial snail - it can run a whole night on 4 x 18650 batteries without draining them. Ragnar
  17. Hello Stargazers, aren't the skies wonderfully clear now the Moon has bugged out? My Explore Scientific Twilight 1 mount is driving me mad. All I'm trying to do is remove the mount from the tripod. I can't unwind the centre shaft / column.. I must be missing something... maybe it just needs a tap ? (reason is I want to tighten the bolt inside the mount that controls Azimuth, which is a bit wobbly.. even when I lock the axis.) Thx. The person who helps me will surely deserve clear black skies for the rest of their life !!
  18. I am going to buy Skywatcher EQ5 Pro Go-To mount. But, unfortunately, I am low on budget. So, does someone know where can I buy the cheapest EQ5 pro mount? Yesterday there was a low price for it (350 €), but they changed it. Thank you for your time!
  19. Hello everyone, I'm not sure this is the right forum to post this but I can't see where else to post it so here it goes (quite long but given the awful weather)... I used to do a lot of astro-imaging in the past, years ago. As such I had a number of mounts collected in 20 years of activity. Be it because of intense use, be it because they used to sit outside in all (foul and otherwise) over the years the started to show sign of aging and some started to act up more times than not. As I retired from the astro-turf, so to speak, for the past few years (let's say I left the stacked away in the shed. Last year I decided to pick up astronomy once again, just to feel if I still got the bug. One the mount that I tended to use most often for small instrument and for forays to dark locations was my trusty Vixen GP-DX. Over nearly 20 years of service it became increasingly difficult to operate (for a number of reasons too boring to enumerate here). Bottom line is that either I got myself a new portable mount capable of proper guiding and good enough for imaging at 1.5"/px with a lightweight imaging kit or I tried to resurrect the trusty GP-DX. Not trusting myself enough with the DIY required I enquired (googled) if anyone would service the mount and stumbled upon the DarkFrame website that offered what seemed to what I was looking for; on the 14th of August 2019 I sent an email to the owner enquiring if they offered that king of service for my Vixen and asking for a quote. After a little while I got a replay In the positive and a quote suitably followed. I find the price a bit steep (£350 plus shipping) but hey, either that of at least 3x times for another mount of similar capabilities. Besides, I really liked the GP-DX. I decided to go for it and duly paid the £195 deposit (on the 29th of August) and waited for the shipping box to arrive. Few days later it did appear at the door. To say I was unimpressed by the box would be an understatement as I was expecting a proper heavy-duty shipping BOX rather than some sort of recycled crisp cardboard box with a lot of odds and ends as fillers to be used as packaging material. Yet I had the proper return label and the mount plus controller were light enough anyway. Bit disappointed but the money was already gone so I might as well bite the bullet and risk leaving it to the tender mercies of the courier. Nagging doubts notwithstanding, the 4th of September I was advised by the customer manager that the mount arrived at destination on good order. I was lead to believe, by the conversations with the DarkFrame owner, that the lead time was in the order of 4 weeks, so I was properly impressed when one month later I was advised by the customer manager that the mount was in the final testing phase after being repaired and to pay up the outstanding dues, which I duly did (via Paypal) the day after. I was also expecting to receive the results of the stripping, repairing and fixing but that didn't happen. Enquiring about it with them I was told that the mount was running over the weekend as per the following quote from them: "We photograph every stage of a mount rebuild (especially on older mounts), so as promised will be sending some before and after shots. I’m letting her run in over the weekend, then will take an RA track test on our rig. I’ve also started on the Starbook so that should be much better too." So I was in my right to expect to receive something for all the money I paid, but, alas nothing was forthcoming. Nearly 3 weeks after being told that my mount was "about" to be shipped I email them to ask about my mount status re shipment and such and received exactly no answer. After few other days I called them directly and the customer manager (or whatever) told me that someone or other was on holiday (nearly 1 month after they said the mount was ready to be shipped! ) but the mount was to go out at the end of that same week or next Monday at latest (that would have been Monday the 28th of October). The 4th of November I send another email asking what the heck was going on. No replay. No answer to my calls either. I got better things to do in my life than chasing after some xxxxxxxx. As the Paypal buyers' protection was due to elapse the 25th of November I decided to pull the plug on them and initiated a claim procedure (on the 20th) that was duly ruled in my favour. By the 25th of November, as they were forced by Paypal to refund, non unexpectedly they chose to contact me by email offer a reduction of costs (waiving the shipping back cost) as long as I paid the monies! As I had not trust left I counter-offered to pay it all upon receipt of confirmed shipment. Nothing was ever heard of them nor of my mount to this date, 4 months after the facts. I could write it off as lost cause or simply as a lost mount and consider myself lucky I didn't send my way more expensive mount to them to be "retuned". They are too far away from me to drive to their place, assuming that it still exists and besides, with current lock-down not something I can do anyway. In all my dealings (going back 20 years+) with dealers in the "astro" business I was never let down so badly so much. As they say: buyers beware! Andrea Tasselli
  20. I have a nexstar 6se and I love it. I've only had it about a year and it's my first proper telescope. Every opportunity I'm out in the garden both looking through it and attaching my dslr to the back for fainter objects. I'm noticing I'm getting movement in the longer exposure photos and after a bit of googling I think it's the mount. So I'm looking to upgrade. I'm thinking something a little future proof but I'm not made of money so decent, reliable, cheaper end but good enough for astrophotography and with the possibility I might continue to add bits and pieces. What do I need and how much am I looking? Help thanks in advance.
  21. Hi everyone, I'm looking to get a reasonably portable astrophotography set-up, using a 60-100mm refractor, with a suitable goto mount. I spotted the Explore Scientifice exos2-gt with pmc-eight goto system, which looks like quite an elegant solution, and wondered if anybody in the forum owns this mount, and what they think of it's performance & usability?
  22. Hi guys, this is my first post and i apologise in advance if this topic has been discussed before. I am having some issues with my explore scientific iexos 100 mount, i cannot seem to get it to line up with whatever star or other object i am looking for. For example I sent it to look at the moon last night, being December 29th, when it had finished slewing to what the mount thought was the correct coordinates for the moon, the mount was facing far away from it, so i tried to do 3 star alignment and every star i sent it to, it was facing nowhere near where it was meant to be facing. Does anybody use this mount or has used it before, could you please help me out with this issue please. Thanks.
  23. I want to get a GOTO mount for my newtonian scope. Originally I looked at a bigger Sky-Watcher EQ6 mount but I'm now thinking something smaller would be best. Otherwise it may be a bit too heavy to take out into the garden for me, so I'm looking at the EQ5 series and the HEQ5 Pro looks to be very good. I've compared it to the Celestron Advance VX which is priced about the same and like the specs for the Sky-Watcher. Some questions, before I buy a new HEQ5 Pro in the UK - I think the spec has changed very slightly as changes get rolled out: 1. Is the supplied SynScan HC a V4 e.g. star base of 40,000+ objects e.g. used by all the other Sky-Watcher mounts, it has been described as 13,000+ which may be a typo in the on-line literature? For me a few 100 would be OK... 2. Is the polar alignment scope built in (included) and does it have red (adjustable) illumination of the reticle controlled by the HC? 3. Is there a D Type connector or is it now USB e.g. to control/update HC? 4. For visual use, is a 10kg scope within it's workable capacity? 5. Is there a supplied Vixen (green) dove bar included in the box? It comes with 4 bolts to attach a scopes rings? I'm assuming it's not possible to use a Losmandy (wide) dovetail saddle e.g. only a (narrow) Vixen mount e.g. it doesn't allow for both types? 6. Discussion about a PSU suggests Halfords 17A car charger @ £50 is a good way to remotely power it? 7. Can it also be used for "casual" astrophotography as well as visual e.g. reasonable tracking? 8. Is there anything not to like about it or that you should be aware of before buying? Thanks Simon
  24. I had a plan, very simply my HEQ5 was at it's payload limit so needed to upgrade. Part of the upgrade would naturally mean parting with the HEQ5 to regain some much needed cash (Bought this as my Christmas Present now Boiler playing up and really needs replacing not repairing yet again). I received my CEM60 with Tri-Pier from FLO as usual within just over 24 hours and had a play with it and love it. So time came today to dismantle my old friend and put it up for sale in the usual places. BUT, I cannot believe how sad I felt when dismantling it . I feel such a silly so and so but I feel sort of some attachment to this inanimate object. Only had it just over 2 years but have replaced all the bearings (even though when I striped it down I do not think they were required), added the Rowan Belt modification, spent ages tweaking the backlash out of it the best I could, and when I needed a Losmandy saddle upgraded the original saddle to a dual load saddle. Now although sense tells me to sell it as planned I am now wondering whether to keep it in case I ever start to do some imaging other than on my patio. It seems to make no senseas I will probably not use very often but I am a bit of a hoarder anyway and really struggle to part with anything I think will be useful one day (my garage is testimony to this fact ). I guess the sensible thing is at some stage getting a more light-weight tripod for the CEM60 as the weight difference is not that much to make the HEQ5 any better then the CEM60 for travelling and keeping two setups on APT for each mount may lead to mistakes being made. Steve
  25. Setting up my new HEQ5. The same issues are present (by design) on RA setting circles on the other mounts? Instructions missing for RA setting circle thumbscrew Can the RA setting circle actually be used as a normal setting circle - it seems just "cosmetic". It's either locked or slips when free to rotate. Simon
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