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The weekend that just passed we went to my girlfriend's parents. The skies in that rural area are pretty much as good as you can get. I don't have an SQM reader, but Clear Outside estimates 21.91.
I didn't take the EQ6R with me, I still consider it a big lump of iron, and the AZ-EQ5 should be on its way back this week as a Stellar mount. So I used the EQ5 which was left in the car for a while. While the tracking/guiding on the RA axis is quite good, the DEC control jumps a lot after multiple consecutive guiding commands, I blame the "enhanced" handset.
So with all the drawbacks, I tried to do align the mount as good as I could and I put the 72ED with the ASI1600 on it and a finder-guider.
Perhaps also focus could have been done a bit better, FWHM in the subs was 3.x.
Below is a quick process from last night, no deconvolution yet and a purple area at the bottom that I have to fix. 58x120s lum, 30x120s each RGB.
After a couple of weeks of testing and visual play here is the very first image taken through my SW Evostar ED150. As you may imagine the visual experience is marvellous. The image was taken in the early hours of the 1st October along the terminator. The field of view ranges from the North polar area as far south as crater Eratosthenes. The second image is just me doing a crop because I prefer the framing of Mare Imbrium and crater Plato in the North. I need to experiment with the camera settings somewhat but I am very happy with the performance of both scope and camera.
Thanks to @FLO for the M56 Baader Click-Lock to test.
Camera: ASI290MM at f/8. Captured with OAcapture by @JamesF
The new SW Evostar ED150 is really getting some use here after my initial tests. We are having a good run of clear skies. This morning I got up at 3:30 am to do a lunar imaging run (see elsewhere). After that I quickly set up on M42 as it was near the local meridian. Using my ES 4.7mm 82' EP (255x) I concentrated on the Trapezium first. I was staggered by the view not only because of the detail under the Moon but because all 6 stars (A to F) were clearly visible immediately and pin sharp sitting in a greenish mist. Here is my really quite poor chalk sketch of the approximate view hastily drawn on my obsy blackboard wall (ignore the screws in the ply):
Checking with the detailed Whitepeak Observatory graphic the stars I believe in clockwise order are from the top right: B, D, F, C, A, E. I have often tried to view the 6 stars before with my SCT 9.25" but this scope revealed them with ease.
Star C (Theta-1 C Orionis) is described in the same graphic as an Extreme star: 40 Solar Masses; Surface temp 40,000K, the hottest known <6mag star; 210,000x sun's luminosity and an O6 spectral type.
I then swapped to my 2" 24mm ES 82' EP to view M42 but that view was swamped somewhat by moonlight so I will have to wait a while to try that.
Rather than add this test to my original thread regarding the scope findings I started a new thread here to describe my findings and measurements using a Baader M56 Click-Lock. Unlike other SW ED Pro offerings, the focuser unit that is supplied with the new SW ED 150 has no provision for rotation during use. In addition, I noticed that despite there being a total of 142mm of travel in the draw tube, the majority of my EPs focus at the near end of travel and I was concerned there may be a lack of in-focus provision.
I contacted @FLO and asked them for technical details of the Baader M56 Click-Lock particularly the loss of in-focus during use. (I have previously owned a similar device for use with a 9.25" SCT which adds ease of use, a rotation facility and superb security to all attachments). FLO very kindly reciprocated and provided one for testing. Here I present some results of that test.
Essentially, use of the Click-Lock with EPs (+/- a TV Powermate) results in a loss of 12.5mm of in-focus. For the EPs tested here that was not an issue. The stock SW focuser comes with a 2"adapter with two grip screws and a locking ring. Please note that removal of the locking ring when using the Click-Lock does not assist with reducing loss of in-focus since the Click-Lock internal flange sets before reaching the locking ring.
You can see that my ES 14mm EP inserted into the 2X Powermate was the only combination that did not reach focus (it almost did but not quite). The 2X is a 2" Powermate and I had to use the 1.25" insert which adds about 8mm of depth. the Powermate also does not seat fully in my WO diagonal.
I also tested two planetary cameras (+/- 2" TV Powermate) which focused well within the full range of the draw tube extension maximum which is 142mm. Use of the Click-Lock provides a very secure and flexible adaptation to the standard SW focuser adapter and most importantly allows easy rotation of diagonal and camera. For me, this is a must have accessory for this scope. Its easy to use with gloves too!
Standard SW set up:
Click-Lock set up:
Addition of a 2.5X Powermate:
Planetary camera and 2x Powermate set up:
In addition I used the locking screw whilst observing the live star image of Alpheratz on screen through the Bhatinov mask. There was absolutely no change in the focus position as I tightened/loosened the locking screw. This last set up I also tested at near vertical (Deneb) and there was no slip at all in the focuser control. Action was firm and smooth throughout the length of the draw tube.
For the original scope test go here:
As you can probably tell I’m brand new to the community. While I’ve been passionate about space related topics for my whole life, I’ve finally taken the leap and I’m about buy a simple astrophotography rig. Ive done a fair bit of research and, like many, I’ve decided that the William Optics Zenithstar 61 APO refractor is best suited for my situation. I plan to use my canon 600D/T3i as the main imaging camera and I also plan to use the Skywatcher Star Adventurer as a tracking mount for this scope. However I have a few questions:
1: I seem to be confused about how I should connect my DSLR to the Z61. As far as I’m aware, all I need is a T-ring and the WO Flat 61 Field flattener and I should be good to go. Is that correct?
2: will I need a dovetail bar to mount the Z61 to the star adventurer? Or can I directly mount the z61 to the base of the star adventurer? (This was demonstrated by Trevor Jones from astrobackyard with his Z61 and the ioptron Skyguider Pro.)
Sorry for such a long thread; I’d just hate to finally get all my gear together and find out that some gear is incompatible.
Thanks for the help!