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What equipment has revolutionised your observing?


RobertI
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2 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

Lots of things of course, but the Skytee II alt-az mount  must be near the top of the list. 

Heavy duty saddles on the sides, and a smaller one on top.  Fits on the AZ4 tripod.  Easy and smooth to use - slow-mo cables are good, although I just tend to push it on the azimuth axis.

Easy to remove any slack that creeps in, re-grease, replace worn grubscrews.

It takes all my 'scopes (except the Dob), even two at a time if I fancy that.

Great piece of kit!

Doug.

 

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What is the mechanism on the left hand side Doug?
I presume it is to allign both scopes, but to assume or presume often gets you in trouble after all.

 

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For me it has to be setting up a tracking EQ mount on a semi-permanent pillar so I could just add an OTA, power up and go.

Since then the EQ mount has morphed into a semi-permanently mounted AZ100 with nexus DSC on an iOptron Tri-Pier which is super stable and will take any OTA, that I'm ever likely to be able to afford, with ease.

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1 hour ago, Alan White said:

What is the mechanism on the left hand side Doug?
I presume it is to allign both scopes, but to assume or presume often gets you in trouble after all.

 

Fear not Alan, you're not in trouble!  😉

It's an ADM Guidescope Saddle or aiming device - an alternative to guidescope rings.  

Doug.

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Unsurprisingly it’s my night vision monoculars - saying they have revolutionised my observing is rather an understatement. 
Last week I was involved in the filming of a short segment on urban astronomy for the forthcoming January episode of “Sky at Night” discussing how my nv monoculars allow me to see the invisible 😉

This photo was taken from the top of BBC Television Centre - definitely an urban location! 🤣

5B4D7841-57AA-4FBC-B96C-CB7A418882AF.jpeg

Edited by GavStar
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My Avalon T-Pod tripod, means I can carry my mount and scope into the garden in two trips. Makes the setup grab and go, setup 5 minutes. Without this I would not go out on nights that could go either way with regards to cloud cover or seeing:

 

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OK, I’ve been thinking about this for 24 hours. I’m still not really sure, tho.

I might go my my Tak FC 76DCU as it is so convenient for travel in that it splits into two so I can carry in a backpack. Consequently it’s traveled all round the world with me, allowing me superb views from unusual locations when I might not otherwise have had them. That’s the revolutionary part. For example it accompanied me to India last year when I was on a work assignment for 3 months.

That’s my visual answer.

For my other obsession, CCD photometry of variable stars, it has to be my C11 which has enabled me study many dwarf novae, some of which are pretty faint, down to 18th magnitude. In this case it’s light gathering that is revolutionary.

Edited by JeremyS
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1 hour ago, GavStar said:

Unsurprisingly it’s my night vision monoculars - saying they have revolutionised my observing is rather an understatement. 
Last week I was involved in the filming of a short segment on urban astronomy for the forthcoming January episode of “Sky at Night” discussing how my nv monoculars allow me to see the invisible 😉

This photo was taken from the top of BBC Television Centre - definitely an urban location! 🤣

5B4D7841-57AA-4FBC-B96C-CB7A418882AF.jpeg

Congratulations Gav, fame at last! I'll keep a look out for that, should be an interesting watch. Hopefully it will encourage lots more people to get in NV. 👍

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5 hours ago, RobertI said:

So it seems that in an ideal world, we all need a 4” refractor fitted with a RACI finder and binoviewers, mounted on a lightweight but heavy duty altaz mount, with a comfy chair to sit on, complemented by a 12” dob with Nexus push-to. 
 

Well I’m half way there, just need the dob and Nexus. 🙂

I laughed  when I read your post, but I honestly think that its not far from the truth for many of us. 

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6 hours ago, RobertI said:

So it seems that in an ideal world, we all need a 4” refractor fitted with a RACI finder and binoviewers, mounted on a lightweight but heavy duty altaz mount, with a comfy chair to sit on, complemented by a 12” dob with Nexus push-to. 
 

 

Yep, I could live with those scopes, and without the Nexus as well :biggrin:

Not sure about the "comfy chair" though :shocked:

CreeSims — I love the torture chairs. One is properly...

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7 hours ago, RobertI said:

So it seems that in an ideal world, we all need a 4” refractor fitted with a RACI finder and binoviewers, mounted on a lightweight but heavy duty altaz mount, with a comfy chair to sit on, complemented by a 12” dob with Nexus push-to. 
 

Well I’m half way there, just need the dob and Nexus. 🙂

Very true Robert, and I’ve often though that if I only had one scope, a decent 4” would be it. So versatile and easy to take a yea here you like, yet still very capable.

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I thought about this because I have used an enjoyed so many scopes and accessories.

I think buying a 10" flex Dob made me enjoy seeking out DSOs which was improved by a 80mm finderscope.

Then getting the Uranometria star atlas which allowed me to find so many DSOs

Finally being involved with SGL and getting to meet so many other members and picking up so much information.

 

 

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For me it has to be the changing of my postie...my goodies no longer come very early in the morning when my wife's in, but now comes late afternoon when she's not 🤭

That's revolutionised my viewing 🤣

Seriously though...I love my EQ platform for planetary viewing :thumbsup:

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Like @Stu  mentioned earlier I would also list SGL, in fact I'd put it first on the list because this is where I gained the knowledge of everything that followed so way to go SGL forum.   Second would be a permeant setup/obsy, then my PoleMaster (just a brilliant piece of kit) and while I have really yet to use it I'm looking forward to my ASIAIR Pro to the list - it looks promising and I note others have commented on how good it is.

 

Jim 

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3 hours ago, Mr Spock said:

Hopefully someone will get the reference :tongue2:

Frell, it's been a while!

6 hours ago, GavStar said:

This photo was taken from the top of BBC Television Centre - definitely an urban location! 🤣

I used to work across the road in BBC Research & Development's offices - no doubt that it's urban! Be amazed if you can see a thing from there. Lovely old building, or at least it was before the renovations, I've not been since as I changed jobs...

The thing that completely revolutionised my observing was a big aperture scope. But largely in the sense that I realised that it doesn't magically fix everything and you still need good eyepieces, observing skills, knowledge of how to find things and how to observe them, etc.

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21 minutes ago, saac said:

Like @Stu  mentioned earlier I would also list SGL, in fact I'd put it first on the list because this is where I gained the knowledge of everything that followed so way to go SGL forum.   Second would be a permeant setup/obsy, then my PoleMaster (just a brilliant piece of kit) and while I have really yet to use it I'm looking forward to my ASIAIR Pro to the list - it looks promising and I note others have commented on how good it is.

 

Jim 

I feel the same. Although one wouldn't generally class people as 'equipment', interacting with other amateur astronomers has had a huge impact (especially on the wallet...). The encouragement and knowledge gained on SGL has led to BAA and recently Liverpool Astronomical Society membership. Other people have definitely revolutionised my observing!

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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14 minutes ago, discardedastro said:

I used to work across the road in BBC Research & Development's offices - no doubt that it's urban! Be amazed if you can see a thing from there. Lovely old building, or at least it was before the renovations, I've not been since as I changed jobs...

Many years ago, I used to work at BBC Monitoring Service, Caversham Park.
I spent a few nights with my Prinz Astral 500 observing there on the sports field.

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11 minutes ago, Mr Spock said:

Warm clothing. Gone are the years of being frozen stiff. I like to be warm! I've been out tonight in my North Face Nuptse and apart from my hands being cold I wouldn't have known it was 6°. Must put some gloves on :tongue2:

Agreed .   The SAS have an unofficial moto "any fool can be uncomfortable"  , I think it's quite apt for astronomy as well :) 

JIm 

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An observatory. The first was a roll-off 'sentry box' which is still going strong,18 years later, over a visual-only scope.

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Observatories seem to be good breeders because there are now six of them, though not all mine. To walk out, roll off a roof and get going  jusslikethat  is a totally different experience.

Other favourites are Telards, Mesu mounts and, certainly, SGL. It's the best astrosoc in the world.

Olly

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