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I went this weekend to my girlfriend's parents and I took my Skywatcher 72ED with me and the smaller AZ-EQ5. Fortunately, the skies are dark there.
So, on 11/12 August I put all the stuff on the mount and took 130+ 60s subs with the Canon 550D. The result is a crop, towards the edges the stars are not perfect yet, but they're a bit better than in the past. I put some additional spacers to the universal flattener and increased the backfocus distance. The comet doesn't fill the frame anyway.
Unfortunately, the animation doesn't really play ball, I will upload it somehow else later. Neither on the processed image I did the best job, I need to improve somehow in removing the artifacts on the comet-only image.
However, this is what I got:
After re-entering this hobby about four years ago, I've successfully acquired more gear than I have sold on whilst I worked out what I liked.
I've now worked out that my Fracs get used most often and so I have a couple of Newts and a Mak to get rid of.
1) - Skywatcher 150P / 750mm - £90 + P&P
In good condition, some minor scratching to the external paintwork which was on it when I got it used, and normal marks to the dovetail but nothing that affects the views. Optically the mirrors are excellent and the primary was cleaned and centre spotted with a CatsEye reflective Hotspot to make collimation easier last year. OTA and focuser draw tube have been fully flocked and the secondary mirror adjusters have been replaced with thumbscrews to make adjustment easier.
Comes complete with tube rings, vixen dovetail, 1.25" and 2" adaptors for the focuser.
2) - Skywatcher 130PDS - £90 + P&P - SALE PENDING
Got this with the intention of trying to image, but later decided that I don't have the patience and prefer sketching. Have used it twice in the last 18 months, so it really needs to go to a loving home where it will be used for what it was designed to do.
There is some scratching and an associated dent to the OTA where it looks like the tube has been rotated without fully loosening the tube ring. This was on the OTA when I received it, but again doesn't affect the views.
Mirrors are free from scratches, though may be slightly dusty due to lack of use. Tube has a few marks to the paintwork but nothing significant.
Sale includes OTA, tube rings, vixen dovetail, 1.25" eyepiece adaptor and 6x30mm finderscope.
3) Skywatcher Heritage Virtuoso 90mm Maksutov - £100 + P&P
This setup is actually brand new as my original one was replaced by WEX under warranty when the original mount developed a fault. However, after sending it off I moved onto a larger OTA and have only opened the box and used the scope half a dozen times since.
Excellent condition and includes all accessories in the original retail package including RDF, 10mm and 25mm eyepieces, 90 degree diagonal, SNAP cables, L-bracket, instructions and the Virtuoso tabletop AltAz mount. The mount tracks as default but can be converted to full goto with a Synscan Handset and Synscan AZ cable (not included). I've tested it with the the SynScan WiFi Dongle, and the SynScan app identifies the mount and it responds to a goto command and the slewing keys so it looks like GoTo can be achieved through the app and dongle, though I haven't thoroughly tested this.
Some marks to the dovetail through the half dozen or so uses that it has had when I've used it to decide whether or not I wanted to keep it and some scratching to the underside of the mount where it has been attached to a Manfrotto Tripod.
The Heritage Virtuoso setup is is still in the double boxed packaging that it arrived in and is well packed with the original bubble wrap.
I need to get some packaging together as I don't have the original packaging for the 150P or the 130PDS but they can be securely packed for sending via courier, or alternatively can be collected from Poole in Dorset.
P&P will be £15 for Parcelforce 48hr or £20 via Parcelforce 24hr.
Payment via PayPal Friends or add 4% to normal PayPal to cover fees please.
Photos of the items below. I've tried to upload these in the same order as above. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
PM me if you are interested.
Thanks to FLO for my new ED150 DS Pro received on Wednesday. I was aware @John was down to test one so I delayed posting for a bit plus the delivery brought the clouds. I will post my initial findings and thoughts and top up as I go. I own or have owned an ED80 and an ED 120 but I no longer have the latter to do an objective comparison.
The first feedback applies to the outer packaging. As discovered by others it is inadequate for the item. In my case the outer packaging was ruptured at the pressure points under the narrow white plastic wrap bands. I imagine the bands are used along the supply chain to manoeuvre the package. The gross weight is 26kg so it’s difficult to manhandle for an individual. Fortunately, the flight case was in perfect condition and hopefully has protected the contents. SW could learn from Lunt and double box their items.
The flight case itself is typical SW and has considerable strength and weight. There is a lot of unused space though, with cut outs ready for a significant number of accessories which I can only assume is for another market. My version has the OTA, an M48 Canon EOS adapter (why?) and a threaded adaptor to allow connection to the draw tube. that’s it, no diagonal, EP, finder etc like other Pro offerings.
The OTA weighs just over 9kg which is the same as my SCT 9.25 but unlike the latter is much easier to handle as it’s a lot narrower. So attaching it to my AZ EQ 6 is a doddle. I have to be sure to carry it level because like every other SW I have owned the objective end cap is loose so tilt the OTA and it falls off. I usually add a bit more felt to solve the issue.
i was lucky to have about an hour of clear dark sky last night so was keen to do a star test for obvious reasons if you have read @John ‘s thread. The eagle eyed among you will have seen that the focuser is essentially fixed and has no provision for easy rotation during a session so one needs to rely on rotating the diagonal. My Moonlite which can be switched between the 80 and 120 does not fit the 150 so I eagerly await the adaptor 😉.
I used my ES 82’ 4.7mm EP on Altair to run an initial star test. The CA profile has been well covered by @John and my experience is almost identical including the slight hexagonal appearance in some situations. In my case the in focus and in and out focus transitions revealed absolutely perfect collimation. A big sigh of relief there. Interestingly I had placed the scope outside for about an hour at roughly 21 degrees but the initial star test was too unsteady but 20 minutes later it was very steady.
Using in addition to the 4.7 my ES 14 and 20mm eps i moved on to look quickly at some targets such As Iota Cass which was clearly defined as a triple with distinctive colour ranges, M27 which had a typical grainy appearance very similar to the view in the SCT and M81 and M82. Considering it was not astronomical darkness the dark centre of M82 was very well defined. The best view though was of M57. The detail in the ring was dramatic and high mag was easily tolerated. I must have stared at it for 15 minutes. I tried the Blinking PN in Cygnus and although a small target even with the 4.7 the brightness was remarkable and the structures defined.
By now I was tired but tonight and tomorrow look good so I will try and post more findings from a visual perspective. Just to say that the mount had no trouble at all in swinging this beast around and I didn’t even need to do a new alignment from the last session with all targets centred in the EP when using the Synscan database.
i must say I’m quite chuffed and a big thanks to FLO for excellent communication on this item.
I have a Sky-Watcher Skyliner 300P FlexTube GOTO which I am enjoying however after a period of no use the base has become very stiff. My fault, as it became wet not realising that the cover I had bought for it was not waterproof.
Looking through the threads in here I found one which I followed to try to strip down the base however I have become stuck at the point of trying to remove the motor housing from the base after removing the 4 machine screws. I suspect that it is a combination of corrosion and the base material swelling which is preventing me from removing the motor from the base. When I release the worm gear from the static gear using the release lever the motor turns easily which is what is fuelling my suspicion.
Any advice or suggestions would be useful as I've come to a halt in my investigation for the moment. It looks to me like I'm going to need a new base which may be a better bet anyway as the original supplied is heavy and definitely not good in the damp.
The Cat's Paw Nebula ( NGC 6334 ) in Scorpius
updated ( slight tweak to colour balance, a little brighter and tad more contrast )
( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper - a full size image can be seen here )
( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper - a full size image can be seen here )
Also known as the Bear Claw Nebula, NGC 6334 is an emission nebula near the scorpion's tail in the Scorpius constellation.
Image centre ...... RA: 17 20 08.185 Dec: -35 52 30.91
Field of view ..... 57' 37.8" x 38' 51.8"
Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( North is up )
Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px
Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ).
Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x.
Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7
Mount: Skywatcher EQ8
Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2
Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels)
Blue Mountains, Australia
Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map )
Capture ( July 2018 )
6 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at ISO 250.
168 x 4 min frames plus ~10 frames each for the shorter exposures
Calibration: bias, dark and flat
Integration in 8 sets
Pixinsight July 2018