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Hi everyone.  I just took delivery of a skymax 127 supatrak.  So far it looks very nice. I haven't been out after dark with it but set it uo and aligned the finderscope and tested a few eyepieces to see what works better or worse.  As soon as I touch the focusser the thing vibrates A LOT.  This is going to make focusing a bit tricky!  If I collapse the legs down that improves things a bit but then I'm on my knees looking through the finder........I have another old tripod with I think sturdier chunky holllow aluminium legs and they seem to attach to the mount in the same way, basically can I remove the legs and swop them over or will I be getting myself into all sorts of trouble, or is there an easier way to steady it a bit.....hanging a sandbag under it or something like that?  I hope someone on here can advise.  The last thing I want to do is make things worse by meddling........Thanks everyone.

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If you are careful it should not be a problem as you can always put them back if you don’t like the result. Worth a try in my opinion.

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You can try it.  Adding weights may help a bit.

Other possibilities - replace the whole mount if it's just a Supatrak.  An EQ-5 will be an order of magnitude more solid at least.

Make your own legs from timber - I did this for a permanent garden mount for SLT mount heads, but it was a lot of work.

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Hi Dave, I had a similar problem after buying a 130 newt on an eq 2 mount. Now I am not going to complain too much but I had the same focus wobbles as you are experiencing.

As a beginner I saw things (with wobble) that I didn’t think possible. Shared with friends, The moon, Jupiter with moons and equatorial weather bands, Saturn, with practice the Cassini division.

I am sure that stabilising will be an improvement, but appreciate what you can see from your kit now.

If you, like me, said ‘I need to see more’ then buy a much more substantial mount.

No true’er word spoken. No mount no scope. I bought an NEQ5 go to and my 130 Orion was transformed. I cannot believe how much I see with a small scope on a good mount.

M

 

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Just thought I would add a clarification. My EQ2 supplied with my scope had those alu extendable legs. In my opinion they are the main problem.

I up graded to a Skywatcher eq 5 pro with stainless legs and the wobbles are a thing of the past.

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I used to be in the same boat, though I had the 127 Mak on an EQ3-2.  I used to keep the legs on the tripod as short as I could handle -- a low chair may make life easier there.  I also put some weight in the tripod tray -- either a big stone or an old weight from a long-case clock that I found buried somewhere.

As for focusing, eventually I made up my own motor-driven focuser so I didn't have to touch the OTA to focus, but prior to that I put a spring clothes peg on the focuser knob.  As long as the focus was reasonably close to start with, I could then do the final bit just by pushing the peg back and forth with a finger which does get rid of a lot of the vibration.  Some people modify a plastic jar lid (a Marmite jar or something like that) to fit snugly over the focuser knob which I believe helps in a similar way, though as I won't allow Marmite to cross the boundaries of my property I've never tried that.

James

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I also have the skymax 127 and supatrak. I know what you mean but have got used to it actually, I now don’t find focusing a problem. I’ve tried the clothes-peg and it does help.

I’ve also used a MUCH heavier scope on the mount than it’s designed for, 9kg, and it’s handled it fine too.

M

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Update:  I bought 8xAA batteries and plugged in the powerpack.  I know that it's best to buy the 12v powertank and the battery pack is said to be rubbish, but all I get is a very quiet ticking sound and no movement happens at all.  I'm pretty sure I put the thing together properly (it came with absolutely no instructions in the box).  Could I have done something wrong in assembling it?  Bit annoyed as theres a lovely clear sky predicted and a great Moon for me to get practicing on 

Cheers,

Dave.

 

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With 'kit' complete scope packages, the tripod is often best regarded as something to demonstrate the scope. Not get the best out of it.
Suggestions above on new legs and weights are all valid.

You have nice scope. Why not think about whether you can fit a pier, permanent or semi permanent, in your observing location?
Or look around for a used big and heavy tripod. You might have to do a bit of fettling to make the SW127 fit on top. But no rocket science.

On AA battery power. Not the best choice. Apologies if you already know the details.
The performance of AA primary (non rechargeable) cells varies considerably.
First the chemistry. Ensure you are using alkaline. Not zinc carbon. This gives you better current delivery.
Second. Buy a reputable make of battery. The 'chinese super power battery company' products may sound good and be cheap, but have you ever heard of them?
For example with Duracell, etc you may be paying for the TV adverts, but they are known to perform well.

The best advice on power is to get a power bank or mains supply, unless you have the skills to (safely and effectively) construct your own.

Hope this helps,

David.

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