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Messages - olexecin

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Very nice Questar setup! I'll bet bino viewing with it is a real joy.

Until Celestron separates their electronics from the head, they're lump o' coals in my book. When the electronics fail, you end of shipping the whole head back to Torrance (bad and cheap design this way IMO). And I won't mentionthe rusty counterweights... cheers, DJ

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Cone Error procedure order?
« on: February 03, 2018, 11:01:52 AM »

Put Polaris exactly at the center of your polar scope. Then if your scope is free of cone error Polaris should be at the center of your eyepiece. Perhaps not the most comprehensive way to check but a quick way to do so.

I'm going to try exactly this - THANKS!
Make sure your Polar Alignment Scope is aligned with mount's RA axis first. Aim the PAS at Polaris and then rotate the mount in RA - the PAS reticle should stay centred on Polaris as you rotate the mount in RA, and if not you have to adjust the PAS alignment screws until it does.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Pros and cons of mass produced 16”
« on: February 02, 2018, 11:02:57 PM »
Thanks Gene, Scott.

The premium scopes are certainly at a premium here, and anything from overseas is burdened by import duty, etc, which is fine when money is no object, but even more limiting when budget is limited.

I'l keep an eye on the local market, but it's also limited as good scopes exchange hands by word of mouth rather than open market, so that's why I'm trying to get a feel for what I could expect from a mass produced scope that is more readily available...although I appreciate it's going to be a gamble.

If the planetary results are going to be a wash, then I might well defer the experience.

If you did plug the DEC motor cable in the wrong way, it is very likely that you fried the encoder. The motor itself is okay since it runs. The runaway slew occurs because the control board is not receiving encoder data. If you want to test before ordering any parts, you can swap the RA and DEC motors. If the runaway problem follows the original DEC motor it is probably the encoder. If the problem stays with the DEC axis, could be a loose cable connection or the motor control board.

Al in AVL

I will try that now, but I am pretty sure that I fried the encoder. This is the connector that I put on backwards once.

Beginners Forum / Re: Orion Sky Scanner 100 Telescope?
« on: February 02, 2018, 07:06:03 PM »

<p class="citation">QuoteI'm thinking seriously about getting a Porta 2 or a Twilight 1 and putting my 114mm Mini Lightbridge OTA on it. My intention was to get my kids a refractor on an Alt Az mount with a Telrad, but I already have a decent OTA in the 114mm so why dont I do that...The Twilight 1 with the Legs folded all the way in would probably make a nice viewing angle for a child

I have both the twilight 1 and a Port amount. The Portamount is the better mount of the two, I think the Twilight 1 is actually heavier but the Portamount is the more stable of the two, fewer vibration issues.


What, with the Vixen having aluminum legs, and just like those of Orion's SpaceProbe 130ST?


It's on sale even, with free shipping, and can be motorised for automatic hands-free tracking of any object.

So, as it turns out, you object only to the mount-head of the SpaceProbe being an equatorial instead of an alt-azimuth, and I for one certainly can't blame you, as I think it should be an alt-azimuth, too.

Please don't try to put words on my mouth. When you have spent some time with the SpaceProbe 130ST and have some real experience then we can discuss the pros and cons.

Until then, consider that all extruded aluminum legs are not identical.

Jon Isaacs

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Eyepiece Recommendation Request
« on: February 02, 2018, 02:55:07 PM »
Lot's of recommendations for the ES 82 - 30mm. If you wear glassed and require long eye relief, you may want to try one first. I purchased one and returned it because despite having an advertised eye relief of 22mmm, the eye lens is recessed below the top of the eyepiece by a good 8 - 10mm. So you wind up with 12 - 14mm of useable eye relief. Also, the top of the eyepiece is a rougher finish than the smooth finish I am used to with my TV eyepieces. Despite the eyepiece having a fold down rubber eye guard, it does not cover the metal top of the eyepiece and I found it possible to scratch my glasses on the exposed metal surface.

Beginners Forum / Re: Solar telescope vs. Solar filter for a telescope
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:00:32 PM »
I just purchased the Daystar Combo Quarkand haven't gotten it yet. In Solar Imaging and Observing section, you'll see the thread from the past week.

There is the grand divide: white light on your personal refractor (Baader film, Thousand Oaks, Herschel Wedge). These are usually the lowest cost options.

H-alpha is the other way to go. For most of the people here, that means dedicated solar scopes.  But there is a "great divide" in H-alpha too: the systems that use dedicated scopes, and the systems that let you use your own.


For four inch apertures and below, you can put on a daystar. The UVIR filter goes on the diagonal, that's what keeps the heat from zinging through the entire system. After that, you put on your preferred combination of Barlow/powermate and choose your preferred eyepieces. With a 2" adapter, you can even use 2" eyepieces.

For about the cost of a Coronado 50mm I should be able to use the Daystar combo on both my 81mm and my 102mm refractors.

If you have larger refractors (or oil spaced) you need to use an Energy Rejection Filter on the front aperture. When you look at the details, Daystar's offerings for larger instruments are limited to 100 mm or less (using aperture masks).  You do need to supply 1.5 amps of power but then again that's not likely to be an issue if you're using tracking. But you can go to 8 inches and even 11! Here:

This is a new player in town, looks interesting, but not cheap.

There is a lot of controversy among the solar system people about which systems are better and I'm afraid I can't offer an informed opinion. I just figured I would see what this instrument could do.

Greg N

I had always been under the impression that the extra resolving power of increased aperture only manifests once you start increasing magnification, but the other night I was comparing the 3rd quarter moon in my 8" SCT with my 12" dob, and even at the same magnification, the 12" dob was showing enormous amounts of detail and texture that was just invisible in the 8" (despite better optics in the 8"). In neither case was I pushing magnification to either scope's limits. Seeing was good, but not great.

Is that normal or were my eyes just playing tricks on me?

Having the encoders independent of the gears is nice. Speeds up finding alignment stars since you don't have to deal with the hand pad. Also, in AZ mode, this mount is a cord twister since it doesn't respect a home position. So being able to release the clutch to unwind the cords is a convenience.

Overall I'm very happy with it, and it's unbelievably quiet!


Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: New Skywatcher AZ GTi goto wifi mount
« on: January 31, 2018, 10:41:39 AM »
can the saddle be replaced with a different 3rd party one?

Maybe raising the 10" on a pad of blankets will get it above the armrests and gain several inches.
If you are near Cincinnati I have a Z10 ......

I setup my 22 inch by myself. I consider my 16 inch to be an easy (for me) setup. I am 69 years old but still reasonably healthy and basically your 6 ft 220 lb linebacker build.

My 12.5 inch nests with a 19" x 20" foot print that's 28 inches tall.


Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: New Brandons
« on: January 31, 2018, 06:37:31 AM »
On a side note:

One thing I found interesting regarding the Brandon eyepieces was that most of the eyepieces in the series have an AFoV between 42 and 45 degrees except for the 24 mm which has an AFoV of 52 degrees. In my 6” F/8 the 24 mm was a mess off axis, so on a long shot I contacted Liz, one of the new owners, and she found an old 17.7 mm field stop that fitted my 24mm. The new field stop brought the AFoV down to 42 degrees more in line with the rest of the series. By masking off the outer 10 degrees of the AFoV, to my eye, allows the 24mm to perform more like a true orthoscopic eyepiece. When I compared the modified Brandon to my 25mm Takahashi Abbe Orthoscopic, the AFoV appeared about the same in both eyepieces, on axis the Brandon seemed to perform slightly better, and at off axis both eyepieces perform about the same.

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Top Ten for Observing
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:06:45 AM »
All of the Messier's
All of the Caldwell's
All of the NGC's
All of the Barnard's
All of the IC's
All of the Abell's
All of the Arp's
All of the UGC's
All of the PGC's
All of the "Ain't gonna see's"

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