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Essential extras for a C9.25 SCT?


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I'm waiting to hear from FLO about my new C9.25 coming in and was wondering what extras would be good to go with the scope? I am mainly interested in planets with a view to imaging them in the near fu

Yep - an heated dew shield is a must - you could choose different focal length EP's if you plan on getting a Barlow - if you barlow the 18mm - this will give you a 9mm EP with a lot better eye relief,

That happened to me the first time I went out with my C9.25, Martin. I had a dewshield, but no heater. Within an hour or so the scope was unusable as the front had fogged up. Once I had got a heaterta

Doing a bit of random lunch time web surfing, as you do, I came across this:

wo-ddgsct.jpg

Its a William Optics Focuser with a 'digital readout'. It looks a 'sexy' bit of kit if I can say that! :icon_redface:

Are these any good?

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I struggle to see what use I would make of one unless I was changing focus regularly throughout the course of a single evening's imaging.

James

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I would definately second a dew shield. I used a separate dew shield and heater strap around the corrector plate on my old C8. A red dot sight is useful. Also fitted Bob's Knobs for easy collimation adjustment, and check out the Duncan collimation mask to help adjustment. A Bahtinov mask helps focussing. I also changed my focusser to a microtouch and added a SW autofocusser. I didn't see the need for a Crayford SCT focusser since the image did move a bit during focussing, but then settled down after releasing the focusser. The addition of the motor focusser made it even smoother since I didn't have to touch the scope. Once you start imaging a 0.63 focal reducer for DSLR/CCD gives you a flat field and a faster scope, and try to stick to 2" optics to avoid vignetting in the camera. For planetary imaging with a webcam/DMK a powermate sounds good, but I never got good results with any mag above x2, although I only had a x2 and x3 TV barlow. Below are some of my setups.

IMG_3534.jpg

CanonOAG106mm.jpg

IMG_3606.jpg

Duncan SCT collimation mask.pdf

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Yowser! That's one heck of a setup you have there. Your motor focuser looks very neat - simple but effective. Do you have any further information on how you went about it?? Once I've got to grips with the scope and the imaging bug has bitten Its something I would like to have a go at. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as my old dad used to tell me.  :smiley:

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The motor focuser does indeed look neat.  It looks as though the motor is mounted on an L bracket that has been bent to fit the curve of the focuser body and secured to it with zip-ties.  The motor is a standard Skywatcher motor focuser by the looks of it.  Motionco or Technobots could probably supply the pulley and drive belt.

As chance would have it, the final bits for my secondary focuser motor conversion arrived today, so hopefully in the next couple of days I shall the focuser on my C9.25 motorised.

James

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@BlueAstra - Interested to hear about your thoughts on the Duncan mask. I got one to use on the C9.25 to aid with collimation. To say that I found it worse than useless was an understatement.

With the camera on the magnification was too great to see anything other than big blobs that didn't show anything as you focused and in the eye piece the view was so small I couldn't see anything (that was with a 17mm EP)

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Yowser! That's one heck of a setup you have there. Your motor focuser looks very neat - simple but effective. Do you have any further information on how you went about it?? Once I've got to grips with the scope and the imaging bug has bitten Its something I would like to have a go at. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as my old dad used to tell me.  :smiley:

Once I had installed the microfocusser I just made a T shaped piece of Aluminium and bent it around a tube to match the barrel of the focusser. I then bent back the end and drilled two holes for the SW unit to attach it. The bracket was then stuck on with double sided foam pads and then tie-wrapped for security. I got the pulley and belt from here after measuring up. I then used a Shoestring USB focusser control from here to control it from my PC, although you can also use the battery control box that comes with the SW focusser. The good thing about the pully belt is that its tight enough for motor control but also loose enough to allow manual focussing. I found the SW controller box a bit fast even on its slowest setting, so I modified it to run slower. I've a thread somewhere on SGL explaining the mod.

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@BlueAstra - Interested to hear about your thoughts on the Duncan mask. I got one to use on the C9.25 to aid with collimation. To say that I found it worse than useless was an understatement.

With the camera on the magnification was too great to see anything other than big blobs that didn't show anything as you focused and in the eye piece the view was so small I couldn't see anything (that was with a 17mm EP)

Yes, I tend to agree with you, but it is an interesting method and takes some of the guesswork out of it. I didn't use it with the camera, and it just about worked with a high mag eyepiece.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm waiting to hear from FLO about my new C9.25 coming in and was wondering what extras would be good to go with the scope? I am mainly interested in planets with a view to imaging them in the near future. I have a HEQ6 mount, so that part is taken care of. I also have a SPC900 which I want to try out.

My thoughts are:

Heated dew shield and controller

Desiccant Cap

9 and 18mm Celestron X-cell LX eyepieces

I wondered about a barlow. Are they useful on a SCT?

Looks like you're on a parallel path to me - I have a 9.25" SCT on a AVX mount and am trying to work out what I need and to date it's been trial and error mixed with talking to people and reading things here. Then I want to do imaging, having always been into photography.

So how are you getting on? What's proved to be a good idea and what was less so?

I've found my zoom eyepiece has helped me learn and get less frustrated. I'm about to get a non-mains power supply - probably a Tracer lithium polymer. As yet I haven't got a dewshield but know I should do - whether it needs to be heated is a question still in my mind.

Probably the single most useful thing I've invested in is the Telrad finderscope - now I know I'm pointing at what I intended to point at during setup - something I was failing with using the supplied finderscope (I suspect). So if you're struggling being sure you're set up correctly, and GoTo isn't working quite right, I'd certainly consider the Telrad!

Hope that helps you and hope you can help me! Cheers!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I now have  a Tracer LiPo power supply and it is great for this setup - or has been so far - 14Ah version, still showing 75-100% after four nights out.

Also got a Astrozap dewshield for it but as yet haven't used it - i should have done a couple of nights ago but somehow forgot (whoops).

But adding the Polar finderscope was really worthwhile in helping ensure I'm aligned correctly, making tracking and GoTo work properly, and adding the Telrad was the best thing I've done.

Now trying to decide about barlows for (mostly) use on the 9.25" OTA on the Advanced VX mount - Revelation 2.5x barlow (cheaper option) or Celestron XCel 3x being the two most in the running, plus an accompanying camera - looking at the NexImage5, QHY5L-II and ZWO ASI120MC as frontrunners at the moment.

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Also still considering upgrading the diagonal to the Baader clicklock and wondering about a Crayford focuser - but can't buy everything!

I'm also still ensure about eyepieces - I like my Opticstar XL zoom (really useful) but struggling with the Hyperion 10mm (probably my eyes!).

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Hi Astral, congrats on the purchases - looks like your getting a very nice set up together - I have the Hyperions and find them to be really nice EP's for the price, the 10mm will give you around x 235 - so for that size of scope it should be quite nice ( I thik the eyes should be ok) - dependent on the seeing is the main reason for the eyepieces "letting us down".  I think the Planets, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn are really well past their best now - I've not been out for a while, tried a little imaging on Mars just before opposition - well down on declination, the seeing was terrrible.

With the scope having a long focal length, the low to mid ranged price EP's will perform very well - a lot of people are really unsure about the quality of EP's to go for, this makes for very interesting reading on the forums, I've been using the WO 20mm EP's that came with my Binoviewers, around opposition time of Jupiter (around March time) I spent a few nights on Jupiter watch and found the EP's to perform very well - good contrast and depth of colour and a real pleasure to use for extended periods - a nice addition and found the 20mm EP's with the 1.6 Barlow just about the right mag at x 222 for some wonderful views that I hadn't had for a very long time - and I've been at this for a very long time, I even tried a x2 "shorty" Barlow to see if an increase would hold - but found this to be just too much mag at around x 280.

Paul.

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