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George Gearless

150 Mak vs 180Mak. Decisions decisions...

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Posted (edited)

Cold temps won’t harm the scope but I think it’s a good idea to keep it in a dry house.normally and would  leave it in the garage only for the short term when you think it might be used. A damp garage isn’t the best place for long term storage.

OK to store the mount in the garage though.

Also with that mount it will be near the limit weightwise so best suited for visual. Would keep the weight of accessories down as well in view of the weight limit of the mount.

Edited by johninderby
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Posted (edited)

Yeah I know I am getting close to the limit. But I don't feel I'm pushing it.

Will have to agree though that I do have to consider what I pile on top of it. However, I don't think it should be a problem putting on my DSLR. Not weight wise anyway. Whether or not I can get enough stability to take photographs, only time will tell. But I'll surely make the attempt.

Edited by George Gearless

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It will be interesting to see how that mount fares with the mak-cass 180 on board. Although the physical tube length is not too long the focal length is 2.7 metres which might prove challenging for what is basically an EQ3-2 mount I believe. The last 180 MC that I had was on an HEQ5 which did a good job with it except when there was wind around.

 

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Will be pushing it for imaging. Will have to be balanced perfectly and shielded from the wind. I use mine on an AZ-EQ5 GT which is rated at 15kg for imaging. The HEQ5 is rated at 11kg for imaging. 

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My comments were purely for visual. The 180 mak-cass can handle 300x plus if the conditions are good but that does require a solid mount as well.

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2 hours ago, George Gearless said:

Btw, will storing it in subzero temperatures harm it in the long run? 

From experience, a garage surrounded by a climate controlled house is preferable to a detached shed or garage.  It tends to collect less moisture which leads to mildew growing on things stored inside.  However, climate controlled conditions are best.  My Dob's 20 year old mirror coatings still look terrific having been stored between uses in a heated and air conditioned house.  My bike, which has been stored in a shed for 10 years getting little use, has nasty mold growing on the frame and all the cables and chains are rusting.

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I've owned (and miss) my little 127Mak, really nice scopes. The cool down time for that scope is fine (1 hour 30 ish).

I have  used a 150mm version and to be fair the cool down has got to be near 2.5 hours!. I really did see the difference in the image with a full cool down. Fair to say I was located in the middle of the New Forrest at the time, and not in a time or City with an ambient temperature. Once cooled the views of Saturn were stunning!

So I would definitely discount the 180 on the basis of cool down (certainly for me with a 2.5 hour cool down required) unless storing in a shed/out house. Besides the 150mm seemed such a great performer, and the additional money could as you say go towards the much needed dew shield etc.

I also think if I owned 150 or 180. I'd have to mod the scope by adding rear vents to help.

Rob

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, John said:

[EQ35-M] ... is basically an EQ3-2 mount I believe...

It certainly looks almost identical. But the EQ3-2 is rated at 5kg, whereas the 35-M is at 10kg. I wonder where the extra capacity comes from. I'm interested as I have just taken delivery of an EQ35-M, to support my 105-650 LZOS for a more or less grab&go set-up, albeit with a Berlebach Uni tripod in place of the SW one.

 

BTW I have both the Skymax 127 and the 180. I like them both.

Edited by Captain Magenta

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Captain Magenta said:

It certainly looks almost identical. But the EQ3-2 is rated at 5kg, whereas the 35-M is at 10kg. I wonder where the extra capacity comes from. I'm interested as I have just taken delivery of an EQ35-M, to support my 105-650 LZOS for a more or less grab&go set-up, albeit with a Berlebach Uni tripod in place of the SW one.

 

BTW I have both the Skymax 127 and the 180. I like them both.

Found this chart that gives a bit of info.

BC26BB9E-A57C-47A0-BECD-EC26DBDA95DC.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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Hi,  sorry for jumping in on the back of this thread,  I hope it is ok.

What upgrades would you recommend for the 180?

I have seen a video where they mention swapping that 90 degree view finder out for a better one ( sorry can't think of the correct name for it right now )

And also another option was to swap out the eyepiece holder for a fine tune adjustment version ( again can't think if what they are called )

Would appreciate any replies on what people think is worth upgrading or just leave as it is.

What mount would you recommend for it also if used for both visual and imaging EQ6 ?

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks.

 

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Posted (edited)

Most prefer a right angle errect image finder instead of the standard straight finder.  More convenient  to use is the main reason.

You can fit a two spoed focuser to the rear port of the scope for better fine focusing but this does add weight. I fitted one then took it off because It made the scope back heavy. Of more use for imaging.

I use a 2” SCT diagonal that simply screws onto the rear port which besides being more robust and better quality than the stock diagonal lets me  use 2” eyepieces if I want.

One of the most useful upgrades has been fitting tube rings and a carry handle. So much easier to fit the OTA to the mount when you can hold the OTA with one hand and tighten the saddle clamp with the other.

I use mine on an AZ-EQ5 GT mount as i can use it in EQ or ALT-AZ mode. Easier to set up in Alt-Az which is ideal for visual.. You could get the AZ-EQ6 version of the mount but that is extra weight to carry around and not really needed for the 180. The AZ-EQ5 will handle one 15kg scope in EQ and two 15kg scopes in Alt-Az.

Edited by johninderby
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Oh, what did you do or as you say "What you have done"? i hate my 180mm ............ Because it couldn't match C14 or 1 meter scopes 😂😂😂🤣

Congratulations, you will enjoy it a lot i am sure

For you

01-29-37-lapl6-ap89-25.jpg

23-52-45-lapl3-ap109.jpg

22-20-28-lapl6-ap15-conv-a.jpg

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I am using my 180mm Mak with AZ-EQ6 as it is my only mount, and just recently say yesterday i replaced the focuser on the Mak, i mean i added a focuser as i don't like its stock knob, hopefully i can test it as soon as possible maybe today or tomorrow if the weather is stays nice and clear sky.

 

 

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1 hour ago, TareqPhoto said:

I am using my 180mm Mak with AZ-EQ6 as it is my only mount, and just recently say yesterday i replaced the focuser on the Mak, i mean i added a focuser as i don't like its stock knob, hopefully i can test it as soon as possible maybe today or tomorrow if the weather is stays nice and clear sky.

 

 

Thanks a lot for the photos in your previous post. I presume they're taken with the 180?

I'll probably need to upgrade my mount before I can match those photos. But that is financially not in the cards for the imminent future.

But I'll be sure to see what can be achieved with what I've got (EQM35). If it fails miserably, then we'll at least have learned that :).

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2 minutes ago, George Gearless said:

Thanks a lot for the photos in your previous post. I presume they're taken with the 180?

I'll probably need to upgrade my mount before I can match those photos. But that is financially not in the cards for the imminent future.

But I'll be sure to see what can be achieved with what I've got (EQM35). If it fails miserably, then we'll at least have learned that :).

For planetary or the moon it may be fine although not ideal mount, as long you keep it with minimum load as much you can, so just the scope and camera, check out what is the capacity load of the mount and then check out what is the weight of this Mak 180, if you are within the capacity then great, if you still have room then adding a camera won't harm, if it is beyond the capacity then most likely you are having issues but not too much, because people can do even with AZ/ALT mount, so with limited EQ you can have like about %50 better than AZ anyway, just remember you won't use any Barlow and also you won't shoot with smaller ROI.

Yes, all above are from my 180mm Mak and i have more.

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11 hours ago, TareqPhoto said:

For planetary or the moon it may be fine although not ideal mount, as long you keep it with minimum load as much you can, so just the scope and camera, check out what is the capacity load of the mount and then check out what is the weight of this Mak 180, if you are within the capacity then great, if you still have room then adding a camera won't harm, if it is beyond the capacity then most likely you are having issues but not too much, because people can do even with AZ/ALT mount, so with limited EQ you can have like about %50 better than AZ anyway, just remember you won't use any Barlow and also you won't shoot with smaller ROI.

Yes, all above are from my 180mm Mak and i have more.

The datasheet sets the weight of the telescope at 7 kg. In itself, well within the 10kg limit the mount can handle. Add to that a DSLR (let's say 500g just be sure), a red dot finder or finderscope, diagonal mirror and eypiece, well, then I'm getting up there. The mount 'head' and the gears should be able to handle it for viewing. But it may be lacking in sturdiness with regards to AP. But if I take extra care to balance it perfectly, then I'm hoping to get off a shot or two. Granted, it's not ideal. But it's what I have. :(

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My 180 comes in a dead on 10kg with dewshield, 2” diagonal, finder and tube rings and handle. The tube rings and handle probably add nearly a kg to the weight thpugh. The 7kg weight given is for the bare OTA without any acessories fitted.

Using a finder such as a Rigel  Quikfinder which weighs just 75g compared to the standard stright through finder which weighs 350g will help.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, johninderby said:

My 180 comes in a dead on 10kg with dewshield, 2” diagonal, finder and tube rings and handle. The tube rings and handle probably add nearly a kg to the weight thpugh. The 7kg weight given is for the bare OTA without any acessories fitted.

Using a finder such as a Rigel  Quikfinder which weighs just 75g compared to the standard stright through finder which weighs 350g will help.

This one I'm buying doesn't have tube rings. It has a dovetail. I think that's what makes the weight difference.

Edit: I obviously can't speak from experience, but it seems to me that the u-tube reviews I've seen, people are not unanimously happy about the dovetail. Since I'm already used to this way of mounting, it doesn't make much difference to me. Perhaps it's a question of 'religion', which you prefer. But it does seem to grant a weight advantage.

Edited by George Gearless

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I have found a combination RDF (Rigel) and a RACI fairly indispensable, and in fact I often use my ED80 on the same mount (SkyTee2) co-aligned as well as an extra finder to see fainter objects. To cut the weight of an add-on focuser (which I agree is very helpful) I use a Baader helical focuser - very light, relatively cheap and doesn't extend the fl too much.

Comments about storage: I store mine outside mostly in a large B&Q storage box which has a seal around the top, with 3 or 4 silica gel sachets so that the scope is kept dry. That way, the air inside the scope is dry too (important). If you store it inside (humid, warm air) you risk internal fogging (bad for optics) when you take it out into the cold night air.

Chris

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My weather centre that gives both inside and outside humidity usualy shows a much higher humidity outside than inside so it will be much damper in a garage than in a house. 78% outside and 43% inside at the moment.

Using a desicant filter such as this helps keep the inside of the scope dry.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/flo-125-2-inch-desiccant-cap.html

 

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2 minutes ago, johninderby said:

My weather centre that gives both inside and outside humidity usualy shows a much higher humidity outside than inside so it will be much damper in a garage than in a house. 78% outside and 43% inside at the moment.

 

 

In a case with desiccant sachets the humidity is very low!

Chris

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, chiltonstar said:

In a case with desiccant sachets the humidity is very low!

Chris

Can’t be bothered with a case outside when it’s not needed if kept inside although if you have to store the scope outside a case with desicant is a good idea.

Edited by johninderby

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Personally I feel the mount is not up to this scope and especially for any hope of doing imaging DSO's I had this scope on a HEQ5 Pro and it was nice, 2700mm is a lot of F/L which is why I suggested the smaller tube.

Alan

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54 minutes ago, alan potts said:

Personally I feel the mount is not up to this scope and especially for any hope of doing imaging DSO's I had this scope on a HEQ5 Pro and it was nice, 2700mm is a lot of F/L which is why I suggested the smaller tube.

Alan

I did consider your recommendation. You supplied me with a precise answer to the question. Alas, not the one I was hoping for 😀.

Here's my reasoning for going with the 180 afterall.

An EQ6 would definately be more suitable for this telescope. Looking at the numbers on the datasheets, it's hard to disagree that I am juuuust hanging on with my fingernails. However, I am not fincancialy capable of buying both at the same time. In time I will be getting the EQ6. Some time in the future. But for now, I have to make a choice. Even if I am just scraping along, I feel confident that I will be getting a lot of useful viewing time out of it with my current mount. And here's the clinching argument: When I do get a better mount, I won't be 'stuck' with a 150 Mak and feel that I have compromized. I just know I will be kicking myself.

If all goes well, I can probably afford a better mount in time for the next winter season to start. Worst case, it'll be next year. In the mean time I don't think my setup is completely useless. It's just not as good as it can be.

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The important thing is that you are aware of the limitations of your mount before hand and it will only be a temporary problem until you get the mount you want. I think they call it short term pain for long term gain or something like that.

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