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Taurus T400 Dobson F4.5 FL1800mm


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2 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

Taurus should only need to strip the coating and recoat it so the turn around time shouldn't be too long.    🙂

.....and they should loan you a 20" as a "courtesy scope"! 😆

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28 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

Taurus should only need to strip the coating and recoat it so the turn around time shouldn't be too long.    🙂

Yeah the expected turn around is two weeks. I think a recoat would be most sensible anyway. So, with shipping times I hope no more than an month. I really want to have this for spring galaxy season. 

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26 minutes ago, cajen2 said:

.....and they should loan you a 20" as a "courtesy scope"! 😆

Now there is an idea and I was really considering the T500. I think I will forward your suggestion on to them 🤣

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46 minutes ago, Simon128D said:

I set the scope up last night to do a dry test of the DSC system and also to find an assembly and disassemblely routine. 

I am so impressed with the build quality. The action of movement in RA is incredible, smoothness like no other. The scope feels like it was balanced for the heaviest of eyepieces. Even with a 31mm Nag in the focuser balance is excellent, yet the base allows for three different setups so the primary mirror acts as a counter weight and yet you can buy a full counter weight system for these scopes. Maybe its needed in the smaller apertures but certainly not here. 

I took some photos when I got all set up, it was an impressively imposing beast, making my living room seem very cramped lol. 

Thrilled to say the DSC appeared to be working perfectly, I couldn't get it to connect to Bluetooth but I think that is more to do with my S21 Ultra security not liking it. It worked fine over the WiFi connection. 
I was hoping Stellarium Plus would have worked but sadly it seems that app only supports NextStar and LX200 scopes, so I went and bought Sky Safari Plus and that worked just fine. Not a fan of the latter app as I think Stellarium has a much cleaner and professional look with a nicer UI to work with but that's just a personal preference. 

Some good news regards the mirror. I am having a box sent over so I can return the mirror, either for repair or replacement. From my own personal experience with cleaning several mirrors, it looks like permanent damage to me. 

Here's a few more photos of the setup. 

Still hoping I can get a cheeky first light before the mirror gets sent back. Looking possible for a good clear spell tonight but with strong winds and as damp as a shower rooms sponge, so not sure on that. 

My android phone won't connect via bluetooth either, however works like a dream via wifi.  I have had odd occasions where wifi disconnects then reconnects, this isn't a problem. Seemingly the SS6+ app recognises the slight time lapse and corrects for it.

Regarding SS6+, disable the  compass in settings. Otherwise it auto activates when you turn your phone a certain way, something easily done and it is very annoying trying to switch the damn thing off and get it back to where you want it every few minutes.

If you have a bedtime mode on your phone, deactivate that too otherwise your screen turns from red to B&W when it activates.

Finally subscribe to Livesky, it is worth every penny. It allows you to build viewing lists on your pc/laptop because if you try typing an objects name into PP6+ search out in the field, even with night mode activated on the app the letters are all red but the numbers are white light (on my phone anyway). Much easier to simply hit observe tab, then lists, then the dso you want.  The good thing is you can build as many lists as you want too. 

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On 04/02/2022 at 12:29, bomberbaz said:

My android phone won't connect via bluetooth either, however works like a dream via wifi.  I have had odd occasions where wifi disconnects then reconnects, this isn't a problem. Seemingly the SS6+ app recognises the slight time lapse and corrects for it.

Regarding SS6+, disable the  compass in settings. Otherwise it auto activates when you turn your phone a certain way, something easily done and it is very annoying trying to switch the damn thing off and get it back to where you want it every few minutes.

If you have a bedtime mode on your phone, deactivate that too otherwise your screen turns from red to B&W when it activates.

Finally subscribe to Livesky, it is worth every penny. It allows you to build viewing lists on your pc/laptop because if you try typing an objects name into PP6+ search out in the field, even with night mode activated on the app the letters are all red but the numbers are white light (on my phone anyway). Much easier to simply hit observe tab, then lists, then the dso you want.  The good thing is you can build as many lists as you want too. 

Thanks for the tips. very useful. 

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  • 1 month later...

To add an update to this. 

I sent the mirror back to Taurus about three weeks ago and is already on its way back to me with tacking stating it will be delivered this coming Wednesday. Really hoping it comes back pristine clean with no contamination from the return packaging. 

 

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The mirror arrived back today and I am upset to the point where I don't want to talk or say anything
The mirror looks clean and nice, under all the filth! It's obvious this dirt got onto the mirror while packaging it up shipping, as the mirror had a protective cover placed over and wrapped up in a large and thick see through bag, so no matter how badly the box may have been knocked about debris should not have gotten onto the mirror. 
The other thing I noticed a while later is the central ring was not replaced. You can see through the ring out the bottom of the glass, that is not professional to my senses at all. 

I made this video to keep myself safe should there be further problems and so glad I did now as I have to AGAIN contact Taurus about it. I am happy to share it will you but it's not that entertaining to watch. 

I have already emailed Taurus about it, with photos. At this point I just want them to take it all back and get a refund. Why is it so hard to buy new products and not get flaws and defects. I've owned several Skywatchers and have the 14" 350P for over 10 years now and when I got delivery of that scope the mirror was perfectly clean and brilliantly wrapped to prevent any chance of contamination. 

Yes I could, very easily, wash the mirror and that be that but I spent just over £4000 on a brand NEW scope and I expect to have mirrors that are good quality but also CLEAN! 

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I feel your frustration. I ordered a high-spec mirror from a certain well-known uk mirror maker and it arrived with a couple of deep scratches, in response to which they directed me to the small print. Grrr.

I also received a bigger mirror from a much better-reputation uk mirror maker and yes it did have a bit of packaging/insulation dust on it. But after a sloosh of water all that dust disappeared and it is pristine.

if I were you, I’d rinse your mirror and hopefully all will be good.

Magnus

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That's poor.

My 15" mirror was shipped from OMI in Iowa, USA to Ireland, and it was pristine.  The packaging was impressive, and I've kept in case I need to ship for re-coat.

As Magnus says, a rinse with is worth a shot, and see if the views are sharp with low scatter.  If so, maybe worth trying to forget this disappointment- but you're right, the company should do better.

On my mirror, within minutes I could see the odd bit of dust / fibre settling on the surface!  They never stay pristine long... especially after one night under the stars.

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39 minutes ago, niallk said:

That's poor.

My 15" mirror was shipped from OMI in Iowa, USA to Ireland, and it was pristine.  The packaging was impressive, and I've kept in case I need to ship for re-coat.

As Magnus says, a rinse with is worth a shot, and see if the views are sharp with low scatter.  If so, maybe worth trying to forget this disappointment- but you're right, the company should do better.

On my mirror, within minutes I could see the odd bit of dust / fibre settling on the surface!  They never stay pristine long... especially after one night under the stars.



Agreed the primary mirror should be pristine and the packaging should be sealed so no contamination present. Under the circumstances I’d also be disappointed.

Having said that, I’ve looked through big Dobs (owned by others) with VERY dirty mirrors and the views were great!   If it were me, I’d contact the company with pictures, therefore lodging a complaint. Perhaps after you carefully wash the mirror it will be pristine.

Whatever, my best wishes for a satisfactory outcome.

 

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Thanks for the replies folks. 

After a night of sleep to get over it and also a few emails back and forth with Taurus it has come to light that the plastic protective lid that is placed on top of the mirror will crumble and flake if squeezed and or crushed and the evidence is clear in my own video that the box went through some rough times to get to me. 

I have been sent photos of the mirror after it was cleaned by Taurus and it looked fantastic so I've decided to wash the mirror today and if it is just the plastic dust it should rinse off. Any particles that are statically charged may be a little stubborn but my cold water tap has ridiculous pressure and I also have RO water for the final rinses. 

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Fingers crossed the views will be as good as that scope looks 😎🤞

If it performs well, it does look like a beautiful scope with a great design for portability.

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2 hours ago, Simon128D said:

it has come to light that the plastic protective lid that is placed on top of the mirror will crumble and flake if squeezed

Then they are using the wrong item to protect it. They need to get that right!

Hopefully it will clean ok and you'll have a great mirror.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, niallk said:

Fingers crossed the views will be as good as that scope looks 😎🤞

If it performs well, it does look like a beautiful scope with a great design for portability.

I did get a sneaky first light with it before I sent the mirror back and the views blew me away and it was an average night for seeing and transparency. I was not expecting much of a difference over my 14" dob but it was vast, I was not expecting it at all. 

The design is outstanding and makes for an excellent portable scope setup. It is 15KG lighter than my 14". 

Edited by Simon128D
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Posted (edited)

I was able to get all the work done and get the mirror back into its cell and cell box. I will do a setup this evening to get the mirror collimated. 
For now I would like to share some before and after photos. 

Before

Before.thumb.jpg.c99abf336c2ffeae8f73235d1f553873.jpg

 

Wash 

Wash.jpg.aa955cffe0ef91546e8ebc0b8636f28c.jpg

 

Dry

Dry.thumb.jpg.ac295a165d7bed3d3cc108e57e675283.jpg

 

After

After.thumb.jpg.759cca9848100273d6b0829290066285.jpg

 

It could be partly clear for me tonight, all be it a bit windy and the pain in the behind, that is the moon, but it should be good enough to verify collimation and do a star test, or two, or three, a few doubles just to be sure oh and a hand full of planetary nebula since I am out and at it. What's that, it's 2am already...

Edited by Simon128D
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  • 2 weeks later...

Over the past weekend (of the 26th of March) I had the pleasure of planning a night of observing under Bortle 2 skies in Donegal - Ireland. 
I booked a B&B with the intent of taking a short drive to an observing site I had picked out but the B&B itself was so ideal and well situated that I asked permission to observe from there and the host was more than happy to have me. 

The conditions weren't the best to be honest. There was still a lot of the Sahara dust in the atmosphere but my hope was that a bad night here would be the equivalent to a good night at home. 
Aside from that the weather was amazing. A perfect spring day with not a cloud to be seen and being high up and beside Mount Errigal it was BIG sky all around. 

This was my observing spot for the night. 

Errigal1.thumb.jpg.401c89a299e1efa8bb6affc036341988.jpg

 

Errigal2.thumb.jpg.318b3b4879c09e4d5f4d2e48a49830de.jpg

This was my view directly to the south, with the landscape being "The Poisoned Glenn". Breath taking views with no light pollution of any kind. 

Errigal3.thumb.jpg.a708f198c0aa05f858d2b7f0a524e55e.jpg

I was observing by 21:00 and right away the views were tremendous. I had a very long list made and I observed a lot but I will just mention some of the highlights below. 
The winner of the night went to M101, I've observed this galaxy hundreds of times and have had great views of it -most being poor and the rest not to be seen at all - in a 10 and 14" scope and thought I had the best view I would ever see a couple of years ago but this blew it all away. 
Using a 13mm Ethos the galaxy filled the FOV beautifully, what jumped into my retina the moment my eye reached the eyepiece was how bright the core was and a moment later the glory of the spiral arms just melted my vision and I was gasping from awe and excitement. After a few moments more of absorbing the view I realised I was seeing star clusters or nebulous regions and that's when the hair on my neck and arms raised.
I switched over to the 31mm Nag and took in all I could. I had no idea what clusters or nebula I was seeing at the time so I looked and looked to let the moment and image burn into my memory.
The next morning I looked at my maps and could confirm what I was seeing. NGC 5462 and 5547 were very bright and were the two clusters that caught my eye first. With prolonged averted vison 5453 and 5458 were revealed. 
I've never had an observation like it with a face on galaxy, it's the kind of observation you dream about and expect to never happen.
Then, the icing on the cake! when that area of sky was approaching zenith I was just star gazing for a while and in a moment of disbelief, there it was M101, naked eye!!

This diagram from my star maps is an excellent reference to what I was seeing visually, the diagram is better of course but the image at the eyepiece was very close to this. 

M101.jpg.c210d2f99d53e663511c0cc7b18ddc34.jpg

 

M57 was like looking at a greyscale photo.
M82 I've looked at thousands of times but this was the best view I ever had too. The star burst region of the galaxy core was intense with a V shaped dark nebula structure going northward or from the core and disk. The disk self was super rich with detail, bubbling and knotted features, it was almost three dimensional to look at. 

I could go on and on about other observations I had but I've gushed enough. What a first light to have with this stunning instrument. The performance and quality of this scope has exceeded my expectations and I am excited to get to know it better and discover what new pleasures of the night sky await me. 


 

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Fantastic report @Simon128D. Do keep posting up your observations, no one minds you gushing! It’s great to read 👍👍

So pleased the mirror situation is sorted and the scope is exceeding your expectations 👍

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Great all round, Simon:

- you've now got the scope the way you wanted it 

- you've observed from a dark sky in a beautiful part of the world 

-the views are even more spectacular than you anticipated 

It doesn't get any better than this! 👍🥳

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@Simon128D great report - fantastic sounding session!!

Glad to hear the scope is delivering superb views.  It looks class too 😎

Sounds like a great location... you've made me itch to get a road trip with my dob in soon 😉

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I mean, what a brilliant report that was! I was sat here reading this feeling like I had a 16" dob in front of me, mouth watering stuff 😁. Just imagine the views under  ideal conditions 😳

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Don't we all just love a story with a happy ending?

Smart move to video the unboxing of the mirror to protect yourself, but it's pretty heartbreaking to watch. Made reading the observing report all the better!

Congratulations on an awesome scope- looking forward to hearing more if your adventures with it.

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