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This is not a detailed write up of my session last night, but got to see the two planets that have been on my astronomy bucket list since starting this hobby at the start of the year. Didn’t hold out much hope for last night as the weather & clear skies apps both predicted cloud cover by midnight. I had put my Mak127 in the garage to cool at 8pm & kept my fingers crossed! Some clouds started to roll in at 10pm, so was not hopeful. By 11pm there was a clear spot, so setup the tripod & scope & took a look at the moon. Even with a moon filter it was extremely bright, showing good crater detail on it’s shadowy edge. Jupiter had also risen & took a look for the 1st time. I was amazed, a bright disc & 4 moons visible. 1st views were with my 8mm BST star guider at 187x. Placed in my 15mm BST to give me 100x & the view was bettered due to the conditions & height of the planet. Tried several different filters (green, yellow, red, etc) & finally got the best views with a light pollution filter showing 2 bands on Jupiter. With the sky holding out I decided to wait for Saturn to rise as wouldn’t be to far behind. At 12.30 a small bright light rose above the distant tree line in the SE. Moved the scope & to my amazement my 1st every view of Saturn! I could clearly make out the planet & its discs. At 1am I am lucky the the street lights turn off in the north of the Isle of Man, turning my Bortle 4 into a 1 or 2. But the brightness of the moon lit the sky. Had to drag my self to bed at 2am. Great night trying out my new equipment ( Mak127, dielectric diagonal & Giaz mount ) which performed brilliant & seeing Saturn & Jupiter topped it off. Hopefully many more clear skies as there hasn’t been many lately!
I had bought this in the hope that i will do astro trips more often. Hasn't happened and i use my avx at home. So this is not finding much use.
An extremely portable setup, the mount with weight and tripod leg spreader fits in a shoe box. The stock nuts have been replaced by winged nuts for easy grip in the dark.
One of the tripod's legs suffered a slight damage, but I've taped it well and does not affect its performance.
I will include the computer connecting cable as well as polemaster adapter.
You can read its review here:
Will prefer pickup from London as the postage may be tricky due to the tripod
If you ever come to Sweden there is an interesting model of our solar system here, it covers the whole country. They started to build this model in late 1990s and my teacher in astronomy prof Gösta Gahm was one of them who started this project.
In May 2019 I was invited by Gösta to participate of the installation of Jupiter version 2 at Sky City in Stockholm. I took som photos and did a report from that event. If you find it interesting to read you find it here:
There are of course a lot of other interesting things to visit and see in Sweden!
I have used my Star Adventurer for a while now and is very satisfaid with it. But it could be improved and I have installed an angled viewfinder to the polar telescope, rebuilt the wedge, etc.
But there is also the tripod, the one I have now is stable but very big, nothing that I could take with me when traveling. All photagraphy tripods I have looked at that is maximum 0.5 meter long folded look a bit weak or are very expensive. Now I have bought an used Manfrotto model 144, very stable but too long folded. This weekend I cut off the legs to make it shorter. I don't need very high tripod now when using the angled viewfinder.
Here is my tripod project:
I've made a serial connection with my pc and my Virtuoso and i'm trying to send commands to my mount via Matlab without passing trough a Synscan controller but I'm not sure if it is do-able. I found the communication protocol of the Synscan (attached). Can I use it to send the same commands on a serial port directly connected to my mount ?
SkyWatcher instruction user Manual SynScan Serial Communication Protocol.pdf