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Found 18 results

  1. Hey guys. After many years of waiting, I've decided to finally go for my first telescope. Yet, today find myself stuck between two excellent entry-level options, so I'm looking for some help. Before I get straight to my questions, I'd like to share some information about what I'm expecting to do with the equipment (among other stuff). - Objectives: Deep Sky, and some planetary observation. No interest in astrophotography, GoTo, or any other device (maybe/eventually in the future). - Budget: Given complementary I'll be getting a 2x Barlow (SkyWatcher; achromatic), and a starguider laser collimator (1.25-2), these are my two best available options to fit on its range. - Light pollution: Low-Med. Being that said, here are my questions: - Mount: After days of heavy research, so far hardly found a review about it; What do you guys think about the AZEQ AVANT type of mount?; Could it beat Dobsonians?; Would it be a better option in my case? and if so, why? - Conventional Tube vs Heritage's Compact Flex Tube: What are the differences (pros-cons) I can expect from one and the other? (despite no difference between mirrors and diameter). - Explorer 130P AZEQ AVANT (newbie question): Would it be possible to transport the whole structure armed from one spot to the other in my yard? Any help/opinion welcomed. Happy 2019!
  2. Hi there, wondering if someone can help me with stiction problems I'm currently experiencing with my new Sabre mount. First light for the mount on Friday night proved most frustrating, almost impossible to accurately frame an object in the field of view. I believe that I've got the setup as balanced as it is ever going to be until I can improve the fluidity of the motions. Pic of setup attached. All up weight for the SCT with dew shield, Nagler 22mm, Baader Steeltrack Focuser, Baader click stop diagonal, laser pointer and finder is about 9.5kg. The counter weight is 3.7kg.
  3. Hi I am looking to purchase a second hand AYO Digital II with integrated encoders as a grabngo alternative to my goto GEM setup.
  4. Hello! So I have been an amateur astronomer since last few years and now I see that so many people have asking me about general telescope suggestions. (Guess the next step will be helping to set up small observatories...Ah dreams!) We don't have many telescope brands available. The major brands that are available here are Meade, orion, celestron and skywatcher. The confusion starts to rise when the other party is interested in little larger scopes like 8 inch sct or 12 inch reflector with eq mount or dobsonian mount. Would like to know overall experience that you guys have had with these brands like optical tubes, mount, eyepiece etc. Sort of like "this is good, this is not so good" type. For e.g. I have used celestron 6 inch sct, 12 inch (sort of) sct and 102mm short tube refractor. Although I love their optics, I haven't had good experience with their mounts. Meade : Used their 8 inch sct with fork mount (and liked it). Used their 90 mm refractor and didn't like it much. Skywatcher has given balanced performance overall. Decent mount, decent optics, decent supplied eyepiece etc. Also, on the same topic, I am quite confused with how much importance does having a good telescope dealer has. As in we do have many dealers here, but many times I have experienced things like overpriced scopes, no decent guidance etc. If I suggest just one dealer with whom I hadam good experience then it looks like biased opinion.
  5. I have several parts, motors, and an arduino based AstroEQ controller that I don't use and maybe they could be useful to someone else. Btw I currently live in Turkey and I will ship everything with registered post from here. It should take approximately 2-3 weeks to reach to UK or other parts of Europe. I can accept payments from Paypal and also UK bank transfer. First, I have the arduino based controller. I have put it in a plastic project box. Pretty much everything is connected by jumper cables and the stepper drivers are on a breadbox. So it would be possible to change the casing or the individual parts rather easily. The DRV8825 stepper drivers are fast decay modded so they won't jump steps with lower voltage motors. I have installed the latest firmware that Tom has put on the website. If you want I can also adjust the voltage on the drivers before shipping depending on your setup. I'm asking £20 for it and £7 for shipping. Next I have two nema17 0.9 degree 6V 0.8A steppers. I have attached RJ11 female jacks for connectivity. £15 each and £7 for shipping. Both of them are sold. I also have a Nema14 1.8 degree 4.6V 0.8A stepper. Again I have put a RJ11 female jack. Price £10 and £5 for shipping. I've two handmade motor brackets for EQ5 (or equivalent) mounts. One for Nema 14 motors and the other for nema17. I have used the nema17 for RA and Nema14 for DEC. I'm asking £7 each and £5 for shipping. I have GT2 pulleys and belts. Two 40teeth and two 16teeth. 40s are bored to 6mm and 16s are 5mm, so they will fit the EQ5 worm and the stepper motor shafts. That would make a gear ratio of 2.5. I've included two GT2 140mm belts, which worked with my setup by adjusting the space a bit. I'm not willing to split this as the shipping cost would be more than the parts. As a whole I'm asking for £15 and £5 for shipping. Sold Finally, I two 2 meter cables with RJ11 jacks. From my experience when the standard thin phone cables are too long sometimes the motors don't function properly. Hence, I've used ticker cables with these connectors. £10 for total of two cables. £5 for shipping. If I ship multiple items together it will be cheaper. I'm also open to offers. And please ask me if you need more info.
  6. My interest is in astrophotography and I am narrowing down my search of a mount between Celestron CGX-EQ (EQ only, 55 lb payload) and the Celestron CGEM II (AZ/EQ, 40 lb payload). Is there an advantage to having the AZ/EQ if my primary use is astrophotography? The CGEM II is only rated for 40 lbs and I thought the recommendation is to only go half that (20 lbs) for astrophotography. It would be pretty easy to exceed 20 lbs at some point in the future as my telescope collection grows. Any thoughts on the tradeoffs between these two fine mounts? Lloyd Linnell
  7. Hi there Everyone, I experienced an issue with my Sphinx SXW Mount this past weekend at a dark skies event I was attending. When I came to set up the mount I noted that the declination axis rotation was obstructed, basically you could rotate about 90 degrees and then it would suddenly come to hard stop, knowing this was just not right, I immediately halted my setup and packed the mount away, with a plan to carry out some diagnostics today once I got home. Once home, I set the mount up, and discovered the following 1/. The declination axis was now freed up..., most puzzling. With the RA clamp disengaged I rotated the mount in RA, and thought I heard something rattling inside the central housing. Further movement through 360 in both directions confirmed this. 2/. I then decided to see if the mount electronics would still engage, so connected up the power and Starbook controller. Everything seemed to operate as normal. Carried out a couple of Gotos and manual slews successfully and tracking seems to be fine, though unable to confirm due to cloud filled skies at the moment. However I did notice that the declination clamp, although in theory engaged, seemed loose. A little more experimentation showed that although engaged, the clamp moved independently by a couple of millimetres in either direction, it seemed that all that was keeping the clamp from moving was the shaft of the declination clamp itself. I can’t be sure, but I seem to remember in previous use, that the entire unit was locked when the clamp was engaged. I have attached a couple of videos showing the behaviour detailed above. Hopefully somebody can provide some insight into these issues, and if necessary a way forward to resolution. I was unable to replicate the behaviour described at the dark site. Paul J. BC647DD2-9F6F-403C-BA7E-C8ECCD573327.MOV 9806B180-9E50-4594-B8F6-96695B30FE72.MOV
  8. Hello all , due to moving house, it is with deep sadness that I need to sell my gear. Most items I would prefer not to post and would be collection only , any smaller items that can be, postage will have to be covered by the buyer. If you are interested in any of the items please send a P.M and we can discuss it , So here goes Skywatcher Esprit 80 ED pro triplet in alu flight case this has not been used £750.00 SOLD to Kaliska Field Flattener for the above scope , this has not been used £ 80.00 SOLD to Kaliska Skywatcher evostar 80ed ds pro + mask , used in G.C £220.00 Sold .85 R/FF for the above scope , used £100.00 Sold Baader 2" click lock M56 for the evostar £35.00 SOLD to (Adeking) 9x50 finder , used £25.00 Sold AZ EQ6 GT GEQ & ALT -AZ , used twice £900.00 SOLD to jbro1985 QHY Polemaster, used twice £170.00 SOLD to Kaliska Baader Neodymium 2" filter £ 30.00 SOLD Stargazer McCabe Baader H-Alpha 7nm ccd filter £ 100.00 SOLD to Handy_Andy As far as I know all the literature will be included as from new and in all their original boxes , all the above are like brand new and have been loved and cared for . I would love for someone to buy job lot at a price of £3500.00 , which would include many items I have not listed , power supply , many adapters, leads ect ect If you have any questions please feel free to ask Thanks for looking
  9. Well, received my latest toy today, the Sabre V2 from Altair Astro. Everything the advertisement claimed it would be, at least out of the box. Proof of the pudding will be when it gets first light. Azimuth and altitude motions silky smooth, alt is slightly top heavy at the moment, but I believe that once the star diagonal and my 22mm Nagler are in situ it won't be far off the mark. Looking forward to some 'freestyle', GEM and electronics free observing. Now where are those damned clear skies...?
  10. I recently stripped and reset the RA axis worm of my HEQ5-PRO mount. Asfter a fall in 2014 it has developed a lot of backlash and it was only recently i referred astro-baby's tutorial and reset the worm. The shake is gone now, but the RA axis is so tight even hen the clutch is loosened that I am unable to balance the scope well. Any advice in this regard will be appreciated.
  11. Hi there I currently control my Sphinx SXW from SkySafari, and in general the user interface from SS is much more intuitive than the Starbook controller, however one aspect that I haven't quite mastered is slew control when zeroing in on an object either close to, or in the field of view. With the Starbook controller the slew speed is contolled by the zoom level in effect at the time. On SS the same principle applies, however I've found that it doesn't seem to provide the same granularity of fine control as that of the Starbook, even after adjusting the speed using the slider in SS. Would be interested in hearing from fellow Sphinx owners who have introduced SS into their observing platform. Is your experience the same as mine, or am I missing something fundamental in my approach? All contributions welcomed :-) Kind Regards Paul J.
  12. Can anyone advise me if it's possible to remove the AZ4 mount from the steel legged tripod and replace it with an EQ5 mount that I could later add motors to or is it simpler and easier just to buy the EQ5 straight away. I am trying to get a tracking mount for my Mak 150 but may want to upgrade again in the future for a11 inch SCT. Thanks for reading
  13. It looks as though the Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT and Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G are identical mounts (except color) but the Skywatcher is $2,500 and the Orion is $1,900. Are they really identical mounts sold under different brands at different prices?
  14. Hi there, in an effort to simplify the setup procedure of my field observatory I spent a couple of hours yesterday researching solutions for a Power and Comms distribution box. I eventually settled on a very simple solution based around a cheap IP54 rated outdoor enclosure sourced from a local DIY store (UK readers will recognise the name B&Q). My power in the field is supplied by two 10ah Tracer LiPo batteries, which have served me well now for the past two years. In addition to the batteries the solution needed to accommodate a dinky little TPLink router, which provides me with WIFI control of my SXW mount via SkySafari from my iPhone. I'm pretty pleased with the net result. Had some concerns initially that the proximity of the batteries to the router in the enclosure might cause some interference with the comms, but completely unfounded, it all works like a charm. IMG_0215.MOV
  15. Well, after a year of starting out and viewing/photographing everything I can see from my light polluted haven, it's time to upgrade. I have learned a lot, mostly from reading all the posts here and Cloudy Nights, practicing with SharpCap, PHD, DSS etc. and basically learning everything I can with my CG4 and motor drives, iOptron Skyguider Pro kit and 6" Newtonian and DSLR gear. No GOTO as yet, but that is what this post is about. I just ordered a new Astro Tech 72mm Version II scope for my adventures in astrophotography, along with a ZWO 174MM-C but I might end up getting a cooled camera later next year if it doesn't work out. Now, what I would like is some advice on the mount. I know there are lots of opinions and varied views but essentially it's boiling down to Celestron or Skywatcher. CGEM II or EQ6-R maybe. I've used the Atlas, although it was troublesome at times, likely due to the 10" Newtonian it was carrying. Anyway, I've saved all my beer money for a new mount, and was wondering if I could get some constructive advice, outright criticism, friendly pointers and some polite suggestions as to what I should buy specifically for astrophotography and guiding. I'm picking up a 60mm guidescope and either a ZWO 120MM or QHY for guiding, not much difference between the two I hear, except maybe a small price difference. I have all my DSLR gear plus other bits and pieces needed, computers etc. Just the big one, the mount, is needed to move forward. Fire away......
  16. I was discussing with a fellow stargazer, during a cloud induced intermission over a few drams the other evening, the merits of the QHY Polemaster and an interesting question popped up. Would it be in QHY's interest to collaborate with a mount vendor and package their Polemaster product with that vendor's mounts? Their is a key argument against such a move that being that QHY could probably make more selling individual units to the market than via such a collaborative effort. Would be interested to hear fellow forum members views on this topic. Kind Regards Paul.
  17. Hi there everyone, I’m interested in getting peoples take on where they think mount control technology will go in the years to come. I currently control my Sphinx SXW remotely and almost entirely from SS on my iOS devices. Although this works a treat, it still employs a technique that is a mish-mash of separate components rather than an integrated wireless solution, along the lines for example of TV wireless integration. As far as I am aware none of the major players in the amateur astro mount market have yet addressed this in the form of a complete integrated solution, I may however be wrong? Using current technology, I can see a future product whereby the mount hardware arrives via conventional delivery, you receive as part of the package a code for pre-paid access to an app from an online App Store, which you can then download and install on your remote control device, be this Apple or Android. You then power up the mount which will hook into an available wireless network. At this point the mount just sits and waits for connectivity from the control application. You start up the control app, connect to the mount then have complete control of the mount from the remote app. All contributions appreciated, let’s innovate?? Paul.
  18. Hi I am looking to purchase a second hand Altair Astro Sabre II With Vixen clamps as a grabngo alternative to my goto GEM setup. In the end decided to buy new direct from Altair Astro.
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