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Small Can Be Beautiful ... Honest !


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5 hours ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

Circumstance has dictated your kit and you have made the most of it. You're blessed with a talent for astrophotography. Going from 0-60 quickly judging by the results using very light weight kit.

It can take a while and lots of swapping, buying and selling to get a feel for what suits. Apparently Stusmartcookie's owned 57 telescopes in two years & John took 43 years to find his balance. 😄

 

Lol , I nearly made it 58 the other day !! I’m so glad  that people are” fronting up with using small scopes” .. it’s almost as though people had to whisper it before lol . To be honest I only view and image  from my garden but if I want to go to a darker site then it’s no problem.The portability , the time setting up , especially an alt az mount . The fact that you can be viewing when there is only a short window of clear sky forecast . It’s a win win for us all .

Stu1smartcookie... liberated lol

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I do like small scopes but there is a case for both, a large scope is never going to give low magnification or wide field views which is what I prefer... give me a 40-50mm objective any day.

Alan 

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12 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Lol , I nearly made it 58 the other day !! I’m so glad  that people are” fronting up with using small scopes” .. it’s almost as though people had to whisper it before lol . To be honest I only view and image  from my garden but if I want to go to a darker site then it’s no problem.The portability , the time setting up , especially an alt az mount . The fact that you can be viewing when there is only a short window of clear sky forecast . It’s a win win for us all .

An old adage is that size is not important, it's what you do with it that counts.

One of my favourite images (https://britastro.org/observations/observation.php?id=20191209_191900_36b00eba365581f4) was taken with a 0.0022m f/1.8 refractor.

Yes, that really is a 2.,2mm aperture. I didn't take it myself but thought it deserved a wider audience.

 

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5 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

I do like small scopes but there is a case for both, a large scope is never going to give low magnification or wide field views which is what I prefer... give me a 40-50mm objective any day.

Alan 

Absolutely a case for both , Alan .. but I think smaller apertures were kind of looked down on . I think we would all settle for a 20”dob or an 8” frac if our sky conditions , busy lives , light pollution and we all lived in bottle 1,2 or 3 areas allowed . Smaller aperture scopes can show so much . Small scopes make you work but also give so much satisfaction. Most of the comments on here are from people who have used large scopes but have found their “sweet spot” .   :)

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20 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

I do like small scopes but there is a case for both

Completely agree. 100% chance of me eventually getting a c9.25 to go on my EQ6-R pro in 5-10 years 🙂

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My problem is that there is no realy decent 40-60mm scopes on the market with short focal lengths with field flatteners that can handle a correct image 2 in diagonal.

Alan

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2 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Absolutely a case for both , Alan .. but I think smaller apertures were kind of looked down on . I think we would all settle for a 20”dob or an 8” frac if our sky conditions , busy lives , light pollution and we all lived in bottle 1,2 or 3 areas allowed . Smaller aperture scopes can show so much . Small scopes make you work but also give so much satisfaction. Most of the comments on here are from people who have used large scopes but have found their “sweet spot” .   :)

I’ve been an advocate of small scopes for a long time, and try to encourage people to get the best out of them. I’ve used big scopes before and fully appreciate what they can do. I just get far more use (and therefore pleasure/reward) from smaller, more convenient scopes which are able to show me plenty. I do have a 12” truss dob ‘project’ which will get completed one day I hope!

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2 hours ago, Stu said:

I do have a 12” truss dob ‘project’ which will get completed one day I hope!

I have a half-ground 10“ mirror the same! 

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Posted (edited)

My 50mm aperture Lunt solar scope is small and very, very beautiful to me ;)

 

(But its 60mm bigger brother would be even nicer 😂)

Edited by niallk
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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure yet if it's accurate but it's possible the lead time on the TS Optics 70ED I'm awaiting the arrival of has just increased by 6 weeks 😭

Edited by badhex
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I landed this 50mm f/12 achromat, and off of eBay for only $25...

achromat9.jpg.fc8fdbfb5ba0f344f2916bae36a2b855.jpg

I've seen globular-clusters through it, sparkling.  They don't seem to sparkle otherwise.

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8 hours ago, Alan64 said:

I've seen globular-clusters through it, sparkling.  They don't seem to sparkle otherwise.

I'm imagining Rutger Hauer saying this in Bladerunner! Perhaps in yet another hitherto unseen cut of the film 🙂

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9 hours ago, badhex said:

I'm not sure yet if it's accurate but it's possible the lead time on the TS Optics 70ED I'm awaiting the arrival of has just increased by 6 weeks 😭

Is that just down to that item , Joe? ...I placed an order with them yesterday ... delivery expected this Thursday ! which i think is incredibly fast under the circumstances . 

Stu 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Is that just down to that item , Joe?

I believe so Stu. They are normally pretty quick, I'm in Germany too so it's domestic delivery. 

I ordered in the first week of April and the original estimated delivery listed on the website was 15.05, then it changed to 30.05 last week, and yesterday it changed to 15.07! 😭

Not sure if this is the date for new orders, and existing orders will be fulfilled sooner or what.  Waiting for an update from them to confirm, fingers crossed its just for new orders and not mine 🤞

Edited by badhex
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1 hour ago, badhex said:

I believe so Stu. They are normally pretty quick, I'm in Germany too so it's domestic delivery. 

I ordered in the first week of April and the original estimated delivery listed on the website was 15.05, then it changed to 30.05 last week, and yesterday it changed to 15.07! 😭

Not sure if this is the date for new orders, and existing orders will be fulfilled sooner or what.  Waiting for an update from them to confirm, fingers crossed its just for new orders and not mine 🤞

Yes i hope so mate , its the first time i've ordered from them , but (so far ) their service has been impeccable . I like their little traffic light system on their stock .

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On 16/05/2021 at 07:49, badhex said:

Sure. It works pretty well. It's hard to get it to balance as the dovetail is miniscule so it's usually back-heavy, but the total weight of everything, including a decent diagonal and heavy EP is still reasonably low so the AZ-GTi can take it. If you're confident making adjustments you could unscrew the three screws holding the focuser to the main tube, and replace the dovetail with something longer to allow better adjustment. If I weren't replacing the scope I would definitely do this.

Screenshot_20210516-144719_Photos.thumb.jpg.6b37714b509efd874e767118e2a69c5b.jpg

 

So Mr. Badhex, I’ve now got a very similar setup to this one in the photo and I took it out last night for the first time to try and understand what I am doing.

I am having trouble with some things…if I have some random star centered in my scope, can the SynScan app tell me what that star is or is that not a thing? I suppose I could use one of those Night Sky apps for that but maybe I’m wrong.

Also, the app gives me some pre-selected stars during the alignment process but what if I find some random star in the sky I want to align to? Can I point to that and have the mount begin alignment on that?

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14 minutes ago, Maideneer said:

So Mr. Badhex, I’ve now got a very similar setup to this one in the photo and I took it out last night for the first time to try and understand what I am doing.

I am having trouble with some things…if I have some random star centered in my scope, can the SynScan app tell me what that star is or is that not a thing? I suppose I could use one of those Night Sky apps for that but maybe I’m wrong.

Also, the app gives me some pre-selected stars during the alignment process but what if I find some random star in the sky I want to align to? Can I point to that and have the mount begin alignment on that?

in the case of the synscan app you tell it where to go and hopefully it finds it . But thats all down to alignment . This doesn't work like the celestron nexstar mounts which just ask you to point at three objects not having to know what they are .

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Maideneer said:

I am having trouble with some things…if I have some random star centered in my scope, can the SynScan app tell me what that star is or is that not a thing? I suppose I could use one of those Night Sky apps for that but maybe I’m wrong.

Also, the app gives me some pre-selected stars during the alignment process but what if I find some random star in the sky I want to align to? Can I point to that and have the mount begin alignment on that?

So in order:

  1.  I have never used it but the Utility > Identify function will let you point to a random area of the sky and it will tell you what is nearby but you must do alignment properly first and there are a couple of other things to consider, see below
  2. The pre-selected stars are usually the brightest i.e. easiest to find/identify stars in your region, but you can technically choose whatever you want to align to. I have found the north-level alignment to be really good, because broadly speaking once the app knows the time, your location and which way north is, it will usually be pretty close to whatever stars you choose for alignment and only need minor adjustment. To do a north-level alignment:
    • Make sure the app can find your location (lat/long) properly using the GPS feature of your phone - on android you may have to manually allow the permission as it doesn't seem to prompt you to enable it first time you open the app
    • With the mount ALT clutch disengaged, level out the scope to be horizontal, then re-engage the clutch
    • Disengage the AZ clutch, then point your scope as close to north as you can manage, then re-engage the clutch
    • Select north level alignment in the app and follow the prompts - you will be asked to level and point to north which you've done already, then pick two stars from the list to align to
    • IIRC the list is in order of apparent magnitude (i.e. brightness), so the first few on the list should be easiest to find
    • It will tell you the compass direction, azimuth and altitude of the stars; not sure if it makes much difference but I try to pick two in different areas of the sky as I assume it will be a bit more accurately aligned
    • After slewing to a star, it will ask you to manually centre (i.e. using the directional keys in the app); try to be as accurate as possible - turn down the manual slewing speed if needed
  3. Once you've completed alignment, if you want to be able to point the telescope manually at any point by disengaging the clutches, there's a setting in the app you should enable
    • This will enable a sensor in the mount which allows it to know the position of the axes, so it can understand where in the sky it is pointing and maintain alignment
    • Turn on under Settings > Advanced > Enable Auxiliary Encoder
    • Be aware that this slightly lowers the accuracy of the mount pointing for that session/while enabled, so you might need to do a touch more adjustment when slewing to a new object
       

Hope this helps!

Edited by badhex
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2 hours ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

in the case of the synscan app you tell it where to go and hopefully it finds it . But thats all down to alignment . This doesn't work like the celestron nexstar mounts which just ask you to point at three objects not having to know what they are .

Thanks for that.  I don't yet have a Nexstar/CGEM/VX whatever that assists in those things.  Once I learn and get good on my starter kit I will take the plunge into something better I decided, so for now SynScan is my friend and I will have to get good at that.  It doesn't help that it's been cloudy and raining these last 2 weeks 😞

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  • 2 weeks later...

I gave up on the unpredictable delivery of the TS Optics 70ED and cancelled my order - not their fault of course but I have a trip to Bortle 4/5 skies coming up, so needs must. 

Instead, I plumped for a WO Zenithstar 73 which arrived today. Pictures of it set up later! 

20210604_080532.thumb.jpg.f65c049bbbea5b49ddd00819964dce58.jpg20210604_082205.thumb.jpg.1b94abcc666fe0cbdd581a9a722d7d77.jpg

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3 minutes ago, badhex said:

I gave up on the unpredictable delivery of the TS Optics 70ED and cancelled my order - not their fault of course but I have a trip to Bortle 4/5 skies coming up, so needs must. 

Instead, I plumped for a WO Zenithstar 73 which arrived today. Pictures of it set up later! 

20210604_080532.thumb.jpg.f65c049bbbea5b49ddd00819964dce58.jpg20210604_082205.thumb.jpg.1b94abcc666fe0cbdd581a9a722d7d77.jpg

A lovely scope , Joe . LoL although i sold mine to another member on here as i don't have the patience,and time  for serious astrophotography . Quality gear from Williams optics . ( i'm sure i will buy another one in the future ;) ) 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

A lovely scope , Joe . LoL although i sold mine to another member on here as i don't have the patience,and time  for serious astrophotography . Quality gear from Williams optics . ( i'm sure i will buy another one in the future ;) ) 

Thanks Stu. I'm looking forward to using it. I'm sure the TS one would have been fine, but the WO stuff is pretty much universally rated as excellent, so I see it as an investment. As mentioned before, I've been sort of re-finding my path back to stargazing over the last 9 months and the key lesson so far has been that portability and easy setup are crucial. I strongly suspect this will be the scope I use the most. I don't do AP either, but perhaps in the future!

Edited by badhex
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2 hours ago, scotty38 said:

Nice, I have a GT81 and love it. I don't have a "high-end" scope to compare but the fit and finish of mine oozes quality

Great. I've rarely read about a WO scope owner who isn't happy. Really looking forward to using it.

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