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SW 200PDS upgrade options

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Posted (edited)

Evening all. I have a WO66 as a widefield OTA and a SW 200PDS (f4.5) on an HEQ5 Pro (groan). The mount copes as long as there is no wind, but an EQ6 R Pro will arrive at some point along with a mono astrocam. Imaging with a modded DSLR. Currently producing images that please me (not good). I want to improve my long fl images (I like galaxies). As far as I can see any new OTA at a similar 908mm and as fast (I am in Bortle 8 so I need lots of light to produce images) is going to be £1500 or more - refractors are going to be mega bucks to get the speed and fl, something like an SCT would be my best bet, a Celestron Edge HD for instance, for the future. Am I correct or have I missed some unknown OTAs?

Bearing this in mind I am thinking of improving the 200PDS. I have figured out the light leaks (currently tinfoil, but upgrading to light proof material), it will be flocked and any shiny bits painted, a dew/light shield (not for windy nights!), I am going to get a Cheshire collimator as my laser collimator rocks around hopelessly in the OTA. Then comes the expensive bit, a Moonlight or some other focuser - this allegedly gets rid of the ugly offcentre diffraction spikes and solves focus slippage - which I don't appear to suffer from. All this lot is going to come in at around £400 and some hours of messing around. Will this be lost money when I do finally upgrade i.e I wont be able to sell it for any more, or is there some alternative OTA that will be noticeably better at £500 - 1000?

Answers on a postcard to....OK, on the forum, and I have attached one of my better results (I have quite a few data sets I don't seem to be able to get anything decent out of but that's another story), M63, 7hrs of 120sec subs.


M63 7hr.png

Edited by philhilo

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