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Lichfield Observing Report and Widefield Shoot-out


TakMan
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Couldn't decide where to place this as it covers a multitude of topics...

My observing buddy and I always try and do a report for our astro group on what we've been up to in the previous month - a good way of showing newcomers what you can expect to see in binoculars or a scope.

We also managed to do a review on the 31mm Nagler and 30mm Moonfish - with and without the TV Paracorr, and also a piece on our homemade image intensifiers...

Home - A WebsiteBuilder Website

Attached is a single page (so you know what you're downloading!) and the PDF is our 5 page newsletter in PDF format.

What I should have done earlier is a review of the William Optics EZTouch mount purchased from Steve/FLO just before New Year (and before the VAT increase!)

This Alt/Az mount (as you'll see implied in the report), has been one of my best astro purchases - at last I've started to use the Tak TSA102 which I purchased just over a year ago (2nd hand) for the amazing price of £1000 (including 2 clamshells, BT Tech dovetail and camera angle rotator). The only problem was that when it was clear (and I had time), I wanted to set the EM400 mount up and learn how to image. So the poor TSA wasn't getting any real use - criminal ;)

Now, with such a short set-up time, I can be out in 20 minutes (although the scope needs 45-60 minutes to cool if it's not been in the garage beforehand).

I can even take it around to Andy's place so we can compare it to his 12" and 16" Meade Lightbridges and have the best of both worlds - a cracking 4" scope for planetary/lunar observing and his for all the faint stuff!

I have it on my own Manfrotto tripod (purchased earlier from 'Skye at Night'), and this is a great combination (better on grass than the patio mind). We can easily track Mars at high magnifications and to make it even better we're going to add some counterweights and a handle - not too much mind as I don't want to extend set-up times too much.

A spare BT Tech saddle plate is used on one side of the EZTouch mount (screwed in with M8 bolts Steve!) and the other side has a Vixen style clamp. I purchased some cheapish Vixen dovetails at AstroFest - one is already glued to the image intensifier so that it can be added to the mount alongside the Tak with a mirror lens attached. This can be removed (M42 thread) and with a 2" eyepiece adapter slotted into the Televue Everbright 2" diagonal for quick comparisons with eyepieces....

You should all have a cheap image intensifier to try out - it's been amazing on certain targets (and that's half the fun trying out different things).... a pity then that when I posted details on how to make one so cheaply at Christmas, most members on here were more interested in how to save £5 on magazine subscriptions.... ;)

Clear skies and thanks for looking!

Damian

Lichfield Observing and Widefield Shoot-out.pdf

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