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PaulM

First proper session with Skywatcher 300p Flex Tube SynScan GOTO

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Thought I would put up a quick report of my observation sessions last night, first proper one with my Skywatcher 300P Flex Tube SynScan GOTO Dobsonian using the SynScan connected to a tablet\Sky Safari via bluetooth as well as using the ASI120MC-S camera for the first time properly

Firstly I ensured the base was nice and level and checked and tweaked the collimation

SynScan Setup

This was a doddle, entered the N\E co-ordinates, date and time into the handset

2 star alignment

Next was the 2 star alignment using Mizar in Ursa Major and Altair in Aquila. Once lined up with Mizar the scope scanned to where it thought Altair was and was pretty accurate and using the handset I centered on Altair and confirmed everything, the handset then told me Alignment Successful

Checking the alignment

Knowing where the Ring Nebula (M57) and Hercules Great Cluster (M13) are in the sky I entered these into the handset and the scope promptly navigated to where they were and through the newly acquired Meade 24mm SWA EP they were pretty central. The M13 looked nice through this EP. I observed the full moon last before I packed up through this EP and I could get he complete moon in view so nice wide FOV which was what I wanted. 

Tablet\Sky Safari and bluetooth

One reason I bought this 300P was that is was already bluetooth enabled so got my android tablet out which has Sky Safari Pro installed and via the settings quickly connected up to the SynScan, very easy which was nice - modern technology actually working for a change. Once connected it shows where the scope was pointing which was correct. Using Sky Safari I could move the scope around and adjust the rate of movement just as you would from the SynScan handset.

Navigating around various objects was a breeze, view it in Sky Safari click on it and then click on the Align button, I was consciously making a note of where the objects were in the sky for my own knowledge 

SynScan tracking

I also noticed that the SynScan was tracking the objects I had navigated to well even in the higher magnifications 8mm EP

Camera : ASI120MC-S 

Once I was navigating around with the SynScan\tablet I decided now was an opportunity to try out the ASI120MC-S camera. Unfortunately no planets were viewable (too low behind neighbors trees) so pointed the camera at the moon and realised the current setup of tubes in the focuser wouldn't get the moon into focus, almost but not quite. Thankfully the 300P came with a 2" tube, once I connected this to the focuser and the camera to the end I was able to get the moon into focus. Using SharpCap I played around with exposure and gain mostly to obtain some images of the full bright moon. Next, I thought, as there were no planets to view I would see what the camera could do elsewhere. So went to Vega and managed to get an image up on the laptop and with Vega being in some level of focus I headed over to the Ring Nebula (M57). After adjusting the exposure\gain I was able to see some faint stars appear and then after more adjustment I could see the faint circular shape of M57. I couldn't obtain a clear image and I assume this camera has a small FOV as the ring was quite large. I could see the central faint star which I cannot through visual observation. After some more tweaking of settings I got things as best I could and took 30 frames. After processing through Deep Sky Stacker the results were dire haha which I wasn't surprised about. 

Overall

SynScan will enable me to observe much more than I would with my 8" manual Dobsonian but due to this I will need to plan my observation sessions more beforehand so I'm making the best of the time observing while the clouds are away and the moon isn't around. 

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Edited by PaulM
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Good stuff Paul. I have the identical set up (minus the photo gear) and use mine with the Wi-Fi dongle gadget which works a treat.

Have you considered mounting your scope on a dolly board with castors to move it around without disassembling it? It's a heavy beast and no mistake!

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2 minutes ago, Geoff Barnes said:

Good stuff Paul. I have the identical set up (minus the photo gear) and use mine with the Wi-Fi dongle gadget which works a treat.

Have you considered mounting your scope on a dolly board with castors to move it around without disassembling it? It's a heavy beast and no mistake!

Its on a dolly already, I just take it off once in position and yep is a heavy beast indeed

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That's a hefty, chunky looking scope!!!   Bet the views are grand, and of course the moon is in the way at the moment.  Wishing you many more happy trails across the sky :) 

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Also have a 300p Flextube, great scope. I leave it permanently on a dolly with braked rubber casters and levelling bolts.

Added a computer fan attached behind the mirror to speed up cooling down and a Lacerta 10:1 focus adapter to the SW Crawford. Also fitted a Telrad but without the extender, which is needed as it is difficult to turn the very small centring knobs on the Telrad do it the low height.

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8 minutes ago, Ceramus said:

Also have a 300p Flextube, great scope. I leave it permanently on a dolly with braked rubber casters and levelling bolts.

Added a computer fan attached behind the mirror to speed up cooling down and a Lacerta 10:1 focus adapter to the SW Crawford. Also fitted a Telrad but without the extender, which is needed as it is difficult to turn the very small centring knobs on the Telrad do it the low height.

Thanks for the tip regarding the Lacerta10:1 focus adapter 

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