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  1. This very useful upgrade kit will give you full Goto when added to an EQ5 or Vixen GP type mount. This is an extract from the instructions: The GoToNova® dual axis GOTO upgrading kit is available for the EQ5-like mounts (144 teeth). The kit is compatible with the following mounts: EQ5, Vixen Great Polaris (GP), Orion SkyView Pro, Celestron CG-5, Meade LDX55/LDX75 and Astro-5. The kit may also be used on the older Vixen Super Polaris (SP) with some more modification to the housing. I am selling it because I now have an AZEQ5 so do not need it any more. It is in good condition, fully functional and works very well. It is easy to fit to a Vixen GP mount (I have done this), and should be similar on an EQ5. The others I have no experience of. The hand controller has a nice clear display showing good detail of what is going on and making it easy to use. It will connect to SkyFi type systems to allow control from a smartphone/iPad via SkySafari for instance. Full instructions here: https://www.altairastro.com/public/ioptron/GoToNovaKitV20.pdf Looking for £200 Plus postage via PayPal fees paid or bank transfer. Photos at the weekend! Cheers, Stu NB Now also on ABS. Will resort to eBay at some point too!
  2. A few thoughts on the kit I used and my session last night, the first reasonable one I've had with the C925. This C925 was a problem child, which I am currently fostering and am hoping for full adoption when funds allow. When received, the main problem with it was that the secondary support was loose, but also jammed so that it could not be removed to sort it. The corrector plate was also in quite a mess, with dewspots and multiple snail trails (I think they had been using it as a race track!) I had to remove the corrector plate, and after multiple attempts, finally managed to remove the secondary support by using a hairdryer and a pair of rubber gloves to grip it! The corrector took alot of work. Washing in warm soapy water, Baader Wonderfluid, all tried with multiple applications and would not shift the snail trails. Finally, I resorted to good old fashioned saliva. My apologies if you find this gross (it was!) but plentiful applications of said cleaner and the corrector was transformed. There are still minor traces, but basically it looks pretty good now. Some cleaning up of the threads on the secondary support and this then screwed tightly onto the corrector and all was well. I re-assembled it making sure the corrector was aligned with the marks. Collimation took a while. I started by using an artificial star down at the end of the garden. This got me close, but I needed a proper star test on Polaris to get it better. I'm still not totally happy with it, and will spend some more time on it soon. I've left the screws in rather than switching to bob's knobs as I feel it is more likely to keep collimation with the original screws. Mount wise, I have my Vixen GP mount, which I advertised and withdrew as I realised I really like it! Fitted with iOptron Goto kit, it works very well, syncs with SkySafari via SkyFi and has a pretty fast slew rate. The only issue is that it is quite noisy. I've mounted it on an EQ6 Tripod, with a 16" and 8" pillar bolted together to get me height without the tripod legs getting in the way too much. Height is needed to give me reasonable views over the hedge and fencing surrounding my observing site. I would say the GP copes but is getting towards it's limits. It helps that I have a Meade autofocuser fitted so for fine focusing I do not need to touch the scope. I also have a heated AstroZap dewshield which I did not use last night (no dew), but certainly will in future. In the C925 last night, I used a WO Diagonal fitted with a PowerSwitch and a filter slide made by Earthwin. This allowed me to use a Barlow or Reducer, plus gave me the ability to switch in UHC or OIII filters as required. The beauty of the SCT is that there is plenty of back focus for this kit. I'm not convinced by the quality of the diagonal itself, so at some point will convert this to work with T2 fittings so I can use my Zeiss Prism or BBHS Sitall mirror diagonal. In the spirit of @iPeace in terms of DIY projects, I used my 80mm Megafinder/TelRad combo, which generally worked well. It is awkward when the TeRad ends up underneath the finder, but still workable. Not sure I can justify fitting two TelRads, so might pop a Rigel on the other side to make the ultimate finder system So, that's the kit. Last night I did not align the mount very well, so the Goto wasn't particularly accurate, but I was always able to find things with the TelRad and then the finder. As a finder eyepiece in the C925, I used a 40mm TMB Paragon, giving x59, 1.1 degrees fov and a 4mm exit pupil. It worked surprisingly well under my rubbish skies which were around mag 4.5 NELM last night. The Veil revealed itself quite nicely with the OIII filter, probably my best view of it from home. The part of the Witch's Broom running through 52 Cygni was clear, extending significantly with averted vision, although the broom itself faded out even with AV. Panning a surprisingly long way across to the Eastern Veil, I was pleased to see the two 'hooks' at the bottom of the arc, something I've only seen from dark sites before. I was however troubled by an annoying reflection which I need to identify and fix though. with 52 cygni just outside the field, two arcs of light showed across the whole fov. as the star was brought into the fov, they tightened then disappeared. I guess I can try either the dew shield, or flocking the interior to remove this? I need to check whether it is related to using the filters or not. M13 was nicely resolved, but actually crying out for some darker sky; the resolution was there, but it just wasn't punching through the LP. I could really see that at higher power it will be a tremendous sight under a good sky. The propeller was not visible as such, but I could certainly see signs of it in terms of a couple of visible lanes. M92 looked surprisingly bright, and I also caught NGC 6229, a new one for me. Just a tour of regulars from then on to test things out. M57, nicer with UHC, and better still with the OIII which blackened the sky and gave lovely contrast. With an 18mm BGO in the scope, the Ring was beautifully defined. M27 likewise. Vega showed cleanly as you would expect, with the tiny secondary clearly visible. The Double Double resolved at x130 with the 18mm BGO. I STILL prefer the view through my Tak, star shapes just so much cleaner, but the benefits of the C925 lie elsewhere and I can see those coming through. Between the Double Double, I could see two additional stars which @chiltonstar picked out in his Mak 180 at mag 11.94 and 12.68, but could not see the two fainter ones at mag 13.52 or 13.93. That must presumably be down to sky brightness and conditions. M31 was its usual large grey blob, just larger and brighter than with the Tak. M32 clear but M110 elusive, due to its much lower surface brightness. Finally I tried for NGC457, my old favourite and it did not disappoint. Nicely framed in the 40mm. One thing I am noticing now, unfortunately, is the astigmatism in my eyes. It's not something which has troubled me before, but with longer focal length eyepieces it is certainly visible now unfortunately so it may be something I need to find a solution to quite soon. Contacts may be the answer as i really don't want to have to start wearing glasses to observe. So, that's it. Just a little bedding in session really. I hope to get this scope to SGL12, along with one other addition I have planned. The C925 I intend to mod quite heavily. I will certainly flock it, but will also look at a cooling mod to see whether I can improve the star shapes further. Not totally convinced by my 16+8" pillar, I might drop it back to just the 16" for better stability. I'm presently in two minds about the C925. It is potentially a lovely scope, and surprisingly compact for the aperture, but the C8 Edge I had was much more compact, lighter and not so far behind in terms of DSO performance. My intended use for the 925 would be portable aperture, so it remains to be seen if it fills this requirement in a way which means it actually gets lots of use, vs being just that bit too big. Time will tell, but I hope it fits in just fine I shall post some pictures when I get the chance to take some.
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