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Topics - engoecircming

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I've been looking for a good zoom eyepiece on a budget for some time and this little gem popped up. Yep, thats a real Nikon 7-21mm zoom eyepiece for the same cost, or less, of a cheap no name zoom. Plus it'sfrom a brick and mortarauthorized Nikon dealer. While it's not as desirable as the MCII, it's a quality zoom with a 40-60 FOV that originally sold for £130 back in 2006(search for "15-45X" in the linked official Nikon price list from 2006). I personally tested it and found it far better than any of the budget Plossls (Gosky, Sbvony, etc) I have laying around and should give the Meade and Celestron zooms a run for their money.

I will say you will need to find/make a 1.25" adapter but there's a couple threads on how to do that on CN and elsewhere. Even with making an adapter, you still end up with a very nice zoom for less than used Celestron or Meade zoom.
It's cousin as reviewed by Cloudy Nightsand detailed images of the EP that's being sold.

Clear skies and good gear on a pocket change budget.Disclaimer
I'm in no way associated with the seller or receiving any thing for posting this. While I was thinking about picking up a second EP for later when I could afford it, I figured the community would be better served by letting everybody know about it.

Well, I have almost narrowed this choice down to these 2 telescopes (the one that comes with the AVX and the OMNI XLT 150).

If you only look at the OTA, I have hard time deciding which way to go:

The AVX telescope has a smaller secondary mirror, 1.25" focuser, and interesting hex-screws in the back for collimation.
The OMNI XLT has a larger secondary mirror, 2" focuser, traditional colliation screws and XLT coatings.

Why should I pick one over the other for primarily visual - only looking at the OTA?

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / "Nicholas Astro Systems" - Any Experience
« on: January 01, 2018, 11:33:11 PM »
A while ago I saw an interesting ad posted in the Classified:


It's for a truss dob from "Nicholas Astro Systems". However, I've tried to contact them via message, email and phone and there's no response.

Beyond the good price, I really like the look of the design, and I've not found anything like it from other makers. It's a full mirror box with sides, as opposed to say Dobstuff's designs, but it's not as tall and "boxy" as Teeter or New Moon. I like the low profile rocker box and the over sized crescents, and I like the mirror cover and the lower truss tube connections - it looks more solid than typical ultracompacts, but smaller and less boxy or awkward than Teeter, New Moon or Telekit, and it looks like well placed handles.

Just a question that came to me. Thanks for any answers!

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Pointing at flat panel with CEM60
« on: December 29, 2017, 01:28:27 AM »
I’ve got a large LED light panel mounted to my house that I’d like to use for automated flat generation.
The only way I’ve been able to figure out to point the scope at a fixed location is to set a park location then park the scope. That doesn’t work well for taking flats mid-session.
Any bright ideas on how to automate flats shooting at a fixed location between lights?

I was impressed with the layered foam Celestron and Research Scientific usage as OEM packaging.  I reached out to Celestron to determine where you buy some and they said it is produced by Fastcap and it is named Kaizen foam.  I found it locally at Woodcraft!

It is really easy to use.  I got that the 57mm thick (2.25") and it works well.  It is available in a 2' X 4' sheet therefore I have enough for a couple more instances.

It is easier to work with than the selection and pluck and it is also more dense and secure.  I'd noticed that my heavier eyepieces were sagging with the pick and pluck foam.

I used a box cutter to cut the foam.  Tracing and pulling the layers is easy.


In this thread I'm soliciting opinions and experiences about which are needed and adequate levels of quality to secondary mirrors, particularly for high magnification viewing of planets.

The potential job at hand is something I have had at the back of my mind for more than a year, and was brought to the forefront with a current thread by manhood sawacs on a similar potential job entitled "12.5" Truss Modification or New Upper Build" I had rather never hijack that thread with requests for input my specific circumstance, and on one specific aspect of the design of my project.

The present situation is that I have a homemade 10" f/4.7dob I adore for observing DSO's with.  To this end I have fitted it with a generously sized GSO secondary, a altered Magnetic curved vane spider, Paracorr two, and now a few fine 82 degree eyepieces.  The spider assembly is mounted on one of four hexagonal pine bands which pack to the brushed scope and slide to the panels of the OTA if It's constructed as shown:
The job I'm thinking about is creating a new spider assembly using a smaller (maybe 1.83" or 2.14") secondary of higher quality mounted into a spare hexagonal ring I have for a quick-change alternative for planetary viewing using a very little fully ventilated fieldfor those bewitching steady transparent nights which do occur sometimes in my region.  I have a spare such bamboo ring because I left an extra (in case of garbage) during the first scope construction.  It was actually my installation piece for each surgery which made it through each step unscathed.  I'm very likely to create a cable spider attached to a few cantilevered members attached to this particular ring, and stabilized by the interior walls of the tube.  It would be a bit like a mini interior UTA inside the fold tube.This optional "cage" could be saved in its container and swapped out on occasion with the typical secondary and spider.  As you can see from the photo, changeover would be a matter of seconds, and collimation presumably a matter of a couple of minutes.

So... getting into my query: How much is it worth investing a secondary to still achieve noticeable improvements in quality, or instead, is the jump from 1/14th tide to 1/20th or 1/30th wavefront mistake worth the extra two or three times the price? For high magnification observing I would believe mirror smoothness is as much of a standard for a decision as wavefront error.

Recommendations on particular suppliers are also welcome.  Right now Antares is my most likely option.

Yes, I understand how to calculate the general Strehl ration of a system and how far the quality of a system is the product of its component Strehl ratios.  I adore the quality of the images I get with my 10" mirror, though I'm skeptical of this Strehl claim of 0.98 it was sold with.  I don't have any idea what the quality level of this GSO secondary I have either, but the system indicates no astigmatism I can discover on star tests at very large power--just the exact tiniest sign of a flipped edge, and I do mean tiny.

I'm searching for personal experiences here.  Matters along the line of "I couldn't believe how much of a gap an Antares 1/30th wave secondary created!  It had been as if I had switched to Televue's best eyepieces!"  Or "Frankly, I have tried a lot of secondary mirrors of different quality levels and can not find any improvement for wavefront errors lower than approximately 1/15th.  Save your cash towards a premium main".

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