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WO Binoviewers


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I feel a bit of a fraud here as I have encouraged others to persevere with Binoviewers when they have had trouble merging the images!

I went out tonight with my WO Binoviewers attached to the Tak 100DC with the intention of just looking at the Orion Nebula and M35, 36, 37 and 38 and just spending a good bit of time on each.

Well after 15 minutest of playing with rotating everything that could rotate on the WO I couldn't get the images anywhere near merged! I was on the verge of giving up when it all came together! No idea what I did! But as always, when they work, they are a joy to use.

But this led me to wonder would upgrading to Maxbrights make any difference to the ease of merging? Or would one have to go higher quality again?

I appreciate this is rather subjective as what works for some does not for others, but does anyone have direct experience of WO vs Maxbright (or other) specifically with respect to the ease of merging the images?

Thanks,

Malcolm

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I avoided the WO BVs because they don't use self-centering collets.  I went with the Arcturus branding instead.  Even with those SC collets, I have to be careful with eyepiece undercuts causing eyepiece tipping.  Also, the images won't merge if I spin either diopter adjuster, so I have to keep them both all the way down.  As long as I pay attention to these details, I don't have image merger issues with them.

Edited by Louis D
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  • 2 weeks later...

"No idea what I did!" -It could be that your eyes finally got the image merged.
To a certain degree the eyes will automatically merge an offset, but that will usually cause eye-strain and fatigue after a while.

Regarding the merging in general; it has little to do with the binoviewer brand, source, price etc.
Sure enough, some binoviewers can be bought in excellent collimation, but just like a telescope, a binoviewer can require
re-collimating (even due to the transport to your house).

The William Optics binoviewer, afaik, provides no collimation means though, so upgrading to Maxbright might be a good idea.
The MBII was tested against far more expensive binoviewers and the differences were minimal, if at all there.

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I really like the Maxbright II. On axis views won’t be noticeably (if any) better than your current pair. But you’ll get clicklock eyepiece holders (which retail for £60-£70 each on their own), a wider field of view, and T2 connections - together with the option to use Baader’s excellent GPCs, which minimise the light path, and makes sure you can reach focus with practically any set up.
But all of that doesn’t guarantee that merging will be easier - only if you can determine that the eyepieces are misaligned with your WO pair. Was it high power eyepieces you were using?

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Short focal length eyepieces to reach high power, rather than long focal length eyepieces with a corrector, will surely be much more demanding on collimation.

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@spartinix, I think you are correct, the WO cannot be collimated. Possibly my eyes just finally got the merge as you say; I was using the WO again last night with Tak 28mm Erfle, 20mm WO stock eyepieces and Tak 10mm LE. No trouble merging!

@Highburymark, no I was not using high power, I think it was the 28mm Erfles as I was trying to get as much of M42 in as possible. I like the look of the Maxbright II but interesting (and fully accept) that it will not guarantee easier merging. It's probably just as well there is a very long lead time with them :) I'll keep going with the WO pair for now.

@Louis D I have a couple of TV eyepieces but none are doubled up for binoviewing so undercutting not a problem for me :) 

Thanks all for your replies.

Malcolm

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It's also possible that your eyes are not sufficiently parallel.
A lot of people have a mild case of this condition.

In such a scenario, a binoviewer which allows internal alignment and/or external collimation can be adjusted to compensate your eyesight.
The binoviewer would then be conditionally aligned to your IPD only though (+/- a few degrees).

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  • 4 weeks later...

An update ... I have fairly consistently been able to merge 20mm and 10mm eyepieces with the WO Binoviewers. I had bought a second Tak LE 7.5 a while ago thinking naively it would provide good high power for steady seeing.

However, I have never been able to merge the images and was on the verge of putting one of them up for sale/swap on this site.

Thought I'd give it one more go tonight as seeing was good and there was lots of contrast on the moon tonight. And ... it worked! I managed to merge the images with the 7.5's. Ridiculously high power but the view was stunning. I spent half an hour soaking up Hyginus Rille, Ariadaeus Rille and the Straight Wall. Couldn't get Hadley Rille but I'm not sure the illumination was suitable.

The trick was not tightening the compression ring on one of the eyepieces and basically fiddling with both of them until the images snapped together! I've come to the conclusion that it's a bit of a black art!

I also spent a good while using the stock WO 20mm eyepieces and although the power was obviously much less, the view was equally fascinating in a different way!

When the Binoviewers work I've got to say the views really are breathtaking!

Malcolm

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Strangely enough I also got my WO binoviewers to work tonight, I was beginning to think they were broken. It took a lot of fiddling around but then it all seem to come together and the views of the moon were stunning :) 

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