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Found 360 results

  1. Hi guys, having fallen in love with my 130pds, and seeing that I'm not the only one recently, I was thinking it would be nice if we posted our images made with a 130pds here. It gives a nice reference point as well, as to what could be achievable (with better guiding, better camera, better weather...). Well, here goes:
  2. Bought this mount for a cheap price and I found out that there is something missing...maybe a gear??? I need your expertise on where to get parts for my mount or anyone who can 3D print the parts?
  3. I know it may be a bit of a long shot but I'm looking to buy a HEQ5 Pro mount or an NEQ6 Pro or something similar. Preferably belt driven but not necessary as can happily modify it. Please let me know if you have anything! Thanks.
  4. After trying and failing some time ago to find a video tutorial on how to strip-down my Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro mount, clean all the bearings and gears, re-grease them, and put it all back together again, I eventually learned how to do this from various other online resources and have now created my own video tutorial. For those of you with a Skywatcher HEQ5 or HEQ5 Pro mount, or indeed an Orion Sirius EQ-G mount (which is the same mechanically), this video can help you to keep you mount running smoothly through regular DIY servicing (~every 2 years). I hope you find it useful. Here is the link...
  5. Hi folks, I just upgraded my main imaging scope to a Sky-Watcher Esprit 100Ed. I'm currently looking for ideas to attach my 60mm guide scope and mini-PC with Pegasus Powerbox on top of the main scope. Probably an additional plate might help help? Anyone mind sharing some pictures as a reference? Many thanks in advance. Jairo
  6. Hi I have a Skywatcher Newtonian telescope ( D:200, f:1000) The other day I noticed that the 'O' ring which was attached to the finder scope had broken. After a bit of digging around, I obtained what I believe is the correct size replacement ( 1.5 mm thickness, 52mm internal diameter). However, I can't see how it attaches to the finder scope ! Can anyone offer some guidance ? Many thanks in advance. Andrew
  7. Hi everyone. I have recently purchased Skywatcher Esprit ED100 and the first time when I used the telescope I found that the scope tends to slide. I tried to fix this issue by tightening the screws. I couldnt find any luck so far. the scope keeps on sliding. Can any one help me with this issue. Did anyone encounter the same issue?
  8. Hi, I have a Skywatcher 8inch Flexi/collapsible Auto tracking Dob of 10 years vintage and recently 'upgraded' it with the Skywatcher Wifi plug in module in place of the mini handset and now it is a Goto. This is not an officially approved upgrade - but it works. My question is to anyone out there who did the same upgrade - perhaps by plugging a Goto handset which some did about 9 years back and if they ever tried to update the motor control firmware and with what results. The MC version on my Dob shows as version 2.12.90 but a newer version on Skywatcher site is available but I'm afraid to risk it without asking around. Optional read - some background and why I ask the question above : Been away from the hobby a long time for various reasons so decided to wake up my 8" Auto Dob from years of storage. This was bought about 10 years ago and was just about a year prior to the release of a Goto version. Some folk around here found that using a goto handset (from the Skywatcher range) were able to make their Auto in a Goto by merely replacing the mini handset that came with the Auto Dob. Not wanting to risk the then £150 or more a handset that may or may not work I forgot the matter - that was 9 years ago. There was a lot of discussion back then that the Auto version was really meant to be a Goto but that the motors were not accurate enough or the software was too buggy and Skywatcher got cold feet and dropped the Goto functionality and sold it as a tracking Dob and great scope it is. Returning now I took a gamble on plugging one of their wifi modules (in place of the mini handset) and hey presto it works! Fantastic! Trying it out indoors (what choice with our weather) and just going on an digital inclinometer ( the Azm looks good) it was getting on most 'targets' to within 1 degree and often spot on. Outdoors on the only 2 occasions I had in the last month it was a little disappointing in that it was often missing by 5 or 10 degree both in Alt and Azm. I've done all the leveling, alignments, adjusting the clutch and balancing of the OTA from old posts here on the topic and it did help. A few days ago I read that disabling the auxiliary encoders can really help in getting better and more consistent gotos. My understanding is that they come into play for allowing for manual movements or it the tube gets knocked accidentally in use . The Synscan App has this option but it is not selectable for me maybe because of the old MC firmware I have. This newest version of the on the Skywatcher site states "Firmware: Skyliner Series Dobsonian GO-TO Mounts, Version 2.09 -For 8" to 16" Dobsonian GOTO mounts. Support turning off auxiliary encoders". So I loaded the windows software to flash the MC firmware and got the new version mentioned above but I chickened out on pressing the 'update' button! I'd hate to brick the electronics as this scope was never originally designed as a Goto anyway and it old electronically speaking, so I may be pushing my luck too far as it may not like being flashed over. I am happy with what I have so why risk it - but the temptation is killing me to be more happier! Sorry for rambling on a bit.
  9. Decided to take the plunge and replace my (very) old Fullerscopes 8.5" f6 Newtonian by a 12" Quattro (which at f4 has much the same focal length as the Fullerscopes). Turns out that I can't get anything much bigger in the observatory, so although an f5 12" would have been easier on coma etc, it would probably have hit the walls! It arrived in two parts - one box for the OTA (large enough to hide a person in) with secondary attached and one smaller one for the primary mirror (in its cell) and a pack of springs and screws. Seems I got the last one in OVL's warehouse, and it went 'missing' for a few days, so for a while it wasn't clear if there were any at all in the warehouse! Turned out someone had 'put it aside' then promptly forgotten about it. Anyway it turned up only a few days late in the end. Strangely there were no instructions in either box, so attaching the mirror to the OTA required a bit of guesswork - turns out you need to unscrew the white 'collar' at the end of the OTA and attach this to the back of the mirror support, then man-handle the whole lot back into the OTA. The assembled beast is not exactly light, but it can be carried by one person, although attaching to my EQ8 was a bit of a struggle. Did a quick collimation with a laser, which showed the secondary was surprising well-aligned to the centre spot on the primary, which is just as well so far I have not been able to loosen either the centre screw on the secondary, or any of the three adjusting hex screws! No idea how Skywatcher have managed to get these so tight. Another slight issue is that I was planning to buy a Skywatcher Aplanatic coma corrector, but due to production difficulties none are expected in the country until the end of October. Anyway, in the meantime, here is the first light image of Albireo (28secs, ISO1600, Canon 1000D), cropped to hide the coma! NigelM
  10. Hi, I’m thinking about getting the skywatcher 72ED for my first scope. I’ll only be using it for astrophotography. I plan to photograph nebulae planets and galaxies. Can someone please give me some advice on what extras I’ll need to buy so I can take pictures. My camera is Nikon D3500. Thanks in advance.
  11. I have a Skywatcher 200p Dobsonian and wanted to use my 600D to get some better shots of the moon and planets than I can with my long lens. I have bought the T and SLR Ring which I have then plugged straight into the 1.25inch in place of the eyepiece. However, I can't focus on any objects in the sky, Jupiter and Saturn just looked like fuzzy doughnuts last night. Perfectly circular which is a start but still completely out of focus. This afternoon I thought I'd have another go in daylight and pointed at some trees approx 100-120ft away and the leaves were in focus with the focusser wound all the way in. With it all the way out I could focus on leaves on a shrub about 60ft away. I assume therefore that I need to get the camera closer to the tube but how? And how much? The tube that is screwed into the part that fits into the 2inch eyepiece holder is about 1.25 inches long but can I replace this? Does anyone have any ideas please? I can focus using normal eyepieces so don't want to resort to moving primary mirrors which was mentioned in another thread. As this is primarily being used for viewing not photography. Thanks very much for your help in this matter. Steve
  12. Hi, I'm matt from the UK, essex to be more accurate. I had a skywatcher 150p around 8 years ago and had some amazing moments with it, Jupiter being one of the highlights despite the 150p's declination towards DSO's. Unfortunately due to some financial problems at the time I had to sell it. Astronomy was a hobby I locked away to a quiet corner of my brain until my very wise other half helped me realise how much I missed it. We have just bought a skywatcher 150pds as i want to focus on astrophotography this time. Its currently on a eq3 pro mount with synscan. Not the ideal mount, i plan to upgrade to the heq5 as soon as possible, but its perfect for me to learn and practise on. We bought the scope and mount second hand in an amazing deal, coming with the coma corrector, all 3 sky panorama uwa lenses, the canon t ring adaptors and a clubman flight case for £700. Everything in perfect condition, although the mount has some stickiness and i think maybe some binding in the gears, so I plan to strip it down, de and regrease and reassemble as soon as possible. Have only had the opportunity for a couple of hours viewing so far, during which I very unsuccessfully attempted to polar align and then 2 star align the mount, but loved seeing it slew. I did get some amazing manual visual observation on the moon, but was surprised that despite my previous experience with a very similar scope just how much I don't know. Am very eager to learn as much as I can and am very excited to be back in the hobby, as you can probably tell from my extracted and probably boring welcome message. Anyone with any experience of this scope or mount with any tips or little known tweaks I would be exceptionally grateful for any advice. Or any tips in regards to polar aligning and star aligning, especially in a class 6 bortle or similar. One problem I struggled with was gaining any focus on any lens I have while using the barlow lens. Am sure it is either my error or cheap equipment but I gained a very nice focus with the 28mm supplied lens and the panorama range but struggled gaining focus with the barlow and said lenses. After looking into this though I'm wondering if it was due to me not accounting for eye relief? I look forward to meeting like minded people on this forum. Many regards Matt
  13. Hello, Is anyone on here signed up for the SkySafari and SynScan beta testing to natively support IOS? If so how has it been going? https://support.simulationcurriculum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360043282514-Beta-Testing-SkySafari-6-iOS-Only-SynScan-WiFi-Read-This-To-Participate-?page=2#community_comment_360012192693 Its 2020.
  14. Hey everyone I have a Celestron Starsense Explorer DX 102AZ on the way. https://www.celestron.com/products/starsense-explorer-dx-102az 660mm F6.5 I was wondering if someone could please recommend which size EP to buy for viewing planets and the moon? https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-eyepieces/skywatcher-uwa-planetary-eyepieces.html#faq Sky watcher ULA Planetary (my budget is £40) I've read on another thread that sometimes 9mm can outperform a 4mm with a fast telescope as more magnification can make the viewing duller? I was hoping for the best magnification that is also crisp. Thank you for your help.
  15. Hi all - looking for some advice on eyepieces. I have seen beautiful views of Jupiter with its moons and Saturn and of course the moon. I have two extra 32mm and 10mm plossls but am looking for better lenses for planets which will show more detail? Which ones would you suggest? Many thanks in advance!
  16. I got one this week, great piece of kit, good focuser and very good quality overall. There are a lot of screws on this finder, some are a bit in the way wen rotating the focuser. One thing i miss is that they should have put a photo-threaded hole on the bottom of the finderdovetail for easy mounting on a tripod for travel use, as the advertise it as finder/small travelscope. As it is now you have to MacGiver a solution yourself I also tried some different eyepieces and configurations with the stuff i have, the only thing that seems to work is using the standard 10 and 25mm Plossl witch are frequently supplied with telescopes (only tried the 25) with the provided spacer ring. I also attached a Baader Hyperion 5 and 13 mm but the field stop seems to be inadequate, it looks a bit weird to i might ad. Like they said, using a diagonal doesn't work, no focus. Great combo with the ED80, i do wonder how well it will balance... I didn't use it outside yet, as many of you now the box was off course supplied with bad weather, but i'm confident it won't disappoint . Clear skies !
  17. Hello community, Does anyone know if I can use a Skywatcher Explorer 130pds with a Sony alpha a7iii? I'm quite new to AP... I know that I need a T-Adapter but I'm a little concerned about the potential vignetting I could get... Thanks a lot for the help! Cédric
  18. I thought the recent email exchange between Skywatcher support and myself might be of interest, as there appears little information available on this feature. =========================================== Hi Gavin, Regarding "Alignment Sharing", please see the description below. ## Alignment Sharing Alignment data is stored in each individual app instance. This means if you performed alignment using one app instance, only it will have the newly created alignment data. If another app instance connects to the same mount, it will not have access to the new alignment data. The alignment sharing feature (**Utility > Alignment Sharing**) allows one app instance to send a copy of alignment data to another app instance. For it to work, the devices running the app instances must be on the same local area network (eg connect to the same Wi-Fi network). The sending instance turns on **Share my alignment**, while the receiving instance turns off this option. The receiving instance should then see the shared alignment data appear in a list. Loading alignment data overwrites the previous alignment data. You can use the Alignment Sharing to transfer the alignment data to another device after completing a Star Alignment. For example, you have done and successfully complete 2-Star alignment with your smartphone and then you can use the Alignment Sharing function to share the alignment data to the SynScan Pro App Windows program which is running on your PC. Then you don't have to do the alignment again to control the same AZ GOTO mount with the Windows SynScan App because it has the same alignment result as your smartphone has. If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know. Thank you. SynScan App Team On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 1:22 AM Gavin Cox wrote: Hello, I have just seen you have updated the Synscan app firmware to 1.19. I have this installed on a Win PC and Android phone and use it to control a AZ GOTO mount running the latest firmware using the Synscan Wifi Dongle. There looks to be some new functionality under the utility menu called 'alignment sharing', but I can't find any documentation in the help files on this? Please can you detail how it can be used? If both my phone and PC are connected to the SynScan WiFi hotspot and I perform an alignment on my phone will the app on the PC recognise this too (or vice versa)? Thank you, Gavin
  19. Found various threads on here and other forums about flocking dobsonians/newtonians but couldn't find specific images of disassembly of the very popular SkyWatcher Heritage 130p flextube and flocking of the OTA. So having ordered some DC-Fix black velour sticky back material (can be got from various places including FLO) I thought i'd share some photos of the process from start to finish as it may help someone else in the future... Images below with notes... 1. Focuser and shield flocking This was the easy bit. A strip stuck inside the focuser, and just unscrew the shield, draw round it, cut the material and align and smooth down. In the last image above you can already see the significant improvement on reducing reflections comparing the flocked shield to the unflocked tube... Notice my version of Bob's Knobs on the secondary mirror which are just black steel M4 25mm knurled thumbscrews bought off ebay for about £7 - along with the thumbscrews already on the 130P primary mirror this makes any fine collimation easy and completely tool free! For full stealth mode I've also painted the edge and rear of the secondary mirror, and any exposed screw heads with blackboard paint to reduce reflections. 2. OTA disassembly and tube before Note the cutout in the lower primary housing and the top ring. This aligns with the ridge of the tube seam, and means there is only one way to reassemble the telescope tube and mirror and one place for the handful of screws (4 at the bottom, 3 at the top). You'll also need an allen key to remove the 3 bolts for the dovetail mount. Simple! Now you're ready to Flock 'N' Roll! 3. Flocking the tube You'll need approx. 50cmx29cm of the material to do the tube in one go, starting along the seam. As others have described just take your time here, peel off about an inch of the backing and get the edge aligned with the tube seam stick down firmly and smooth out any air bubbles. Then slowly keep peeling more backing (rip and remove if the excess gets in the way) and smooth down as you go, turning the tube and affixing the velour material. 4. Finished flocking and close up during application so you can see contrast/reflection comparison of before and after. All in all only took around an hour so not a hard job as long as you prepare and concentrate! I ordered one sheet of 45cm x 1m material which was plenty, however if your not as confident you'll get it right first time then order 2m so you have more to spare if you need to start again. Looks great, so as always I now just need clear skies to go play and see the difference it makes!
  20. Hello everyone, I looking for first time buyer advice... I have been a landscape photographer for over 15 years and have been obsessed with night time photography. However, I would like to follow a childhood dream of owning a telescope and photographing the wonders the universe holds. My dilemma is, do I go for maximum light capabilities, or focus control? I have reduced my choices to the Skywatcher 200P, or the Skywatcher 150P-DS, both with a EQ5-PRO. My past experience tells me I should be going for maximum light input of the 200P to reduce chance of noise, but the 150P-DS has a duel speed 10:1 ratio focuser. Any advice would be greatly received. All the best Richard Shore
  21. 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
  22. In my own journey while learning this process and seeing similar areas of confusion among others, I decided to compile this FAQ. This FAQ has been put together using a combination of information from SkyWatcher manuals, my own experience and suggestions by various contributors on the forums. As most of the confusion is around the newer reticle, this FAQ deals with this in detail. Q: What is Polar alignment and why is it needed? A: Polar alignment refers to the act of aligning the Polar axis of an Equatorial mount telescope, so that it is parallel with the axis that the Earth revolves around. It makes the job of following objects across the sky much easier. Its of minor benefit to the visual astronomer but a necessity to the astrophotographer who is trying to take images of the night sky. Once a telescope is polar aligned and an object centred in the eyepiece, then assuming an RA motor is attached to the telescope, the object will stay centred. The better the polar alignment, the longer it will stay there. If no motor is attached then simply nudging the telescope around one axis will bring the object back to the centre of the eyepiece again. Q: Do I need to accurately do a Polar alignment? A: If you are a visual astronomer then its not that critical and you should be able to manage just doing a simple polar alignment by positioning the mount so that Polaris is in the centre of the reticle. But if you are doing astrophotography with long exposures then accurate polar alignment becomes critical to improve the quality of the images. Q: My reticle looks different to what is shown in the manual. A: There are 2 versions of this – the older one which has a bubble showing the location of Polaris Fig.1 and the newer one which has a clock face Fig.2. Figure 1 Figure 2 Q: How do I Polar align with the new Reticle? A: As Polaris is not located exactly at the North Celestial Pole (NCP), we can see it orbit the North Celestial Pole in a polar scope. The large circle seen in the centre of the pattern in Fig.2 is a representation of the Polaris’ orbit around the North Celestial Pole. When performing the polar alignment process, it is necessary to determine the orientation of the Polaris on the circle. The reticle is marked like a clock face with 0 at the top. Imagine this is the 12 position in a traditional clock. At the end of the initialization of the SynScan hand control, after entering the proper local longitude, latitude, date, time, and daylight-saving time, the SynScan hand controller will display the message: “Polaris Position in P.Scope=HH:MM”. Imagine the larger circle in Fig.2 as a clock’s face with 12:00 at the top, with the current time pointing to the “HH:MM”. The orientation of the hour hand of the clock represents the orientation of Polaris in the polar scope. Put the Polaris to the same orientation on the large circle to finish the polar alignment. In case you don’t use the Synscan hand controller, there are several apps available on Android and IOS which give you the position of Polaris on the clock face (such as SynscanInit for Android and Polar Scope Align for IOS). Skwatcher has their own app as well called Synscan Pro which shows the position of Polaris in the new reticle. The Polaris position also changes as time passes. The reticle displays 3 circles to represent Polaris’s orbit in the year 2012, 2020 and 2028. It also gives sub-dials at 0, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock position for year 2016, 2024 and 2032. An engraving labeled with the above years is also displayed on the right of the FOV for memo purpose. When doing polar alignment in the Northern hemisphere, the user should put Polaris on the correct circle corresponding to the present year for better alignment precision. This reticle is also covered in the SW EQ6-R manual. Q: When I position my mount in the Home position with the counterweight at its lowest point, the 0 mark on the reticle is not at the top. Is this a fault and how can I fix it? A: There is nothing wrong with your mount You just need to rotate the mount in the RA axis till the 0 is at its highest position. Now lock the RA axis and continue with the alignment process. Q: How can I ensure that the 0 is accurately positioned at the very top? A: 1) Firstly, level the mount and set it up pointing north as if making it ready for polar alignment. 2) Next use the Alt and Az bolts to centre Polaris in the reticle - i.e. put Polaris right in the centre of the cross-hairs, not on any circle. Be as accurate as you can. 3) Now using ONLY the Alt bolts, move Polaris vertically upward in the reticle from its central position until it reaches any of the circles. 4) Because you started with Polaris dead centre and moved it only vertically, Polaris is now exactly in the zero (12 o’clock) position on the circle. Now rotate the RA axis to put the reticle zero mark in exactly the same position as Polaris. Again, be as accurate as you can. 5) Lock the RA axis in this position and using a marker pen put alignment marks on the mount housing so that you can find this position again without the need to use Polaris. [Courtesy Jif001 on SGL] Q: How do I Polar align with the older reticle? A: Here is a good article http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/help/polar-aligning-the-skywatcher-heq5orion-sirius-mount/ Q: How can I check if my polarscope reticle is aligned with the RA axis of the mount? A: Before using the polar scope for polar alignment, the polar scope itself must be calibrated to ensure the pattern in the polar scope is aligned to the mount’s R.A. axis. The following steps will outline how to calibrate the polar scope: This process is best done during daytime. Choose a fixed object (eg. a faraway object such as the tip of a TV antenna). Centre the reticle on the object by adjusting the two azimuth adjustment knobs and the two elevation adjustment bolts. Rotate the mount in R.A. axis for half a turn (180 degrees). Tighten the R.A. clutch after the rotation. If the object remains at the centre of the reticle in the polar scope after the rotation, then it means the polar scope has been aligned to the R.A. axis and no calibration is needed. If its not aligned, read this article which explains how to recalibrate https://www.myastroscience.com/polarscopecalibration There are also videos on YouTube that explain this process. Hope this helps. Do let me know if you have other questions (and answers) and I can add to this.
  23. Hi! I'm very new to astronomy and have ordered a SkyWatcher StarQuest 130p as my first telescope, which arrives soon. As I understand it the tripod is the biggest weak link in the setup. Is it possible for me to buy a replacement, better tripod to improve my viewing experience overall? Apart from the tripod what would you recommend upgrading? Thanks!
  24. 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
  25. Hi! I really want to get into watching the night sky. After a looking at the scopes that are available in my country, I chose to buy a SW Explorer 200P (haven't yet) and build a homemade dobsonian base. I really like the aesthetics of the Orion Sky-quest dobsonian bases, so I draw a really similar design to fit the SW scope I want to buy. But while drawing it, I had tons of questions and I hope you can help me. First of all, I just could get some aproximate measures of the parts of the scope out of the internet. If any of you has one of these SW reflectors, I would really appreciate if you can take some measurements for me to make the design more precise. Specially I really need the thickness and size of the holes of the rings. About the bearing surfaces, I can't get anywhere the Teflon pads you usually use. What can I use to replace them? Also, what about the radius of the altitude bearings, Is it important? Finally, which should be the height of a dobsonian mount? I don't want to be bent over to be able to see comfortably, nor I want it to be too tall. Is it supposed to be used on a stool or something? I will really appreciate any other tip you can give me. I have never had a telescope, neither have I seen a dob mount. So I can be making a big mistake trying to convert this OTA to use with a dobsonian mount. Anyway thank you very much. Cheers from Argentina Almost forgot to add some pics of the 3D design I made!
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