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Old 16-11-2012, 10:41 PM
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AG Hybrid (Adrian)
A Friendly Nyctophiliac

AG Hybrid is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Toongabbie, NSW
Posts: 1,494

I got the scope from Optcorp. Don't think anyone sells it in AUS. The pier I got from Opt as well. The eq3 was from my first telescope I bought from Lee Andrews up the road from me.

Its actually an eq5 pier. Pretty easy setup to use once the EQ3 had gone through its modification into alt-azmuth. The original slow motion hand controls are conveniently placed just left of the focuser. It originally had a 6" f6.8 newt on it, so the tripod legs didn't need to be extended. But I wanted a better viewing position with the AR102. Extending the flimsy tripod caused 3-4 seconds of wobbling when using the focuser and tracking. Not really acceptable since I am hand tracking objects. I couldn't buy a set of EQ5 legs, or at least I couldn't find it.

Some research gave the alternative of keep the legs short to reduce the settle down time and use a pier to raise the height. It was unclear if the current piers on the market would fit the eq3. But, a post in an English Astro forum said it would...and it does. Beautifully. Others suggested filling the hollow tripod legs with something to add weight and rigidity. Some use buckshot, or weights. Someone mentioned dirt and sand. Didn't want to put straight dirt into my scope setup, so I got some river sand which is quite fine and strained out any extras like twigs. Works well. Also made my own tripod leg dampeners which aren't in the picture with soft dense packing foam.

Its point and squirt easy to use. The hand controls make tracking effortless too.

On a further note. The optics of the AR102 is superb. Easily 1/4 wave, maybe better. Very sharp, pinpoint stars. I suppose the Pentax eyepiece helps too.
There is false color of course. But it doesn't really bother me. All the interesting objects are dimmer then mag 3 and there is almost no CA on objects mag 3.5 and beyond.

Most importantly the modifications to the mount meant I didn't need to spring cash for a new mount. Means I can spend more cash on eyepieces.
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