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Old 15-06-2011, 01:05 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
Lost in Space ....

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Just bought ...

A SkyWatcher 80 f5 (400mm) short tube refractor.
Been an imaging/guidescope for another astronomer down south now it will do the similar job for me. Also makes a handy wee grab and go.
Been looking for something like this for a while. Saw it. liked it, price was good, bought it.

And the clouds were already here anyway so .... what the heck ....
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Old 15-06-2011, 04:36 PM
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oosh (Jason)
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Congrats! Sounds like fun. I was about to rip into you about the clouds.. but if you say there were already here.. well, I got no argument
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Old 20-06-2011, 12:45 PM
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Suzy
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Woohooo, congratulations Brent!

I'm actually looking at doing something similar. I was going to go for a little table top Orion mini dob in a 4" for a grab 'n' go, but now I'm thinking a little scope as a decent finder as what you did might make more sense regarding multi using and getting a nice large finder to boot.
I think I now want to hold off on my purchase until I give this some serious thought.

I have a 10" dob too and I was wondering about the weight and balance issues?
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Old 21-06-2011, 11:27 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Hi Suzy.
Mine will go onto the 10" Serrurier Truss rebuild of my Dob. It will be attached to the centre OTA cage on the EQ6 mount axis. I don't think weight will be to much of an issue in my case.
It hasn't arrived yet, slight delay while the old owner shifts house but I can't wait to see it,.... or see through it more likely. Not APO or anything clever but should be good for some wide feild pix I hope. This thing is going to multitask like you would not beleive. I'll do a weight check for you when it arrives if you like.
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Old 22-06-2011, 08:40 AM
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Hi Brent,

I did some research yesterday since reading your post and spoke with Bintel. For my 10" dob, the lightest little tube that would suit it would be an Orion Shorty 80mm refractor ($279) recommended by the man at Bintel. But even that sits at 2kg apparently - and it's supposed to be the lightest.
Nope, my dob wouldn't handle that, I'd be playing see-saw games the whole night. Oh well, never mind. I just really would have preferred to be able multi task as you are doing. With your EQ6 mount whoa you won't have any problems for sure.

Really looking forward to seeing some pics from you when it's all set up.
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Old 22-06-2011, 10:47 AM
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renormalised (Carl)
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Nothing a few large sinkers wouldn't fix, Suzy
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Old 22-06-2011, 10:52 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Blimey Suzy, I'm hoping mine won't weigh 2 kg when it gets here, (still impatiently waiting !! ). The EQ6 can swing about 25 kg supposedly but better to keep it well within that. Serrurier target is less than 10kg because it will also need to carry photogear, DSLR and eventually a guide scope.
Sky was clear when I got home last night so I set up with the 114 and DSLR but by the tme it got dark it also got cloudy. Lugged it all back in again about 10 . Geez that thing weighs a bit !! I'm looking at a more permanent setup, astrohutch or something. I have the space and location, just need the $$$.
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Old 24-06-2011, 05:11 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
Lost in Space ....

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And it's here !

Waiting for me when I got home last night. All wrapped up nice and snug in it's own foam padded alum case. Glass is pristine. I think I have just switched over to the dark side, refractors !!

(No, too late, already there trying to do astropix .... )

Compared to my 60x700 cheapo refractor this is a definite upgrade. Probably DOES weigh about 2 kg Suzy, just FYI. Has a camera mount screw on top for the DSLR andthe little dovetail has camera mount threads underneath so I can chuck it onto an AZ tripod for a grab and go. Two nice clean EPs, both 10mm but one is wideview and the focusser handles 2". And it's own decent finder scope with proper mount slide.
I think I'm in love ....
Here it is attached to the EQ6. Hopefully get some first light over the weekend.
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Old 26-06-2011, 07:54 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
Lost in Space ....

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First Light Report on my new toy:
Weather has not been kind since it arrived and I'm full of head cold but Sunday night the southerlies came up cold and blew the clouds away.
I've mounted the scope on a sturdy old camera mount I've got. The wedge it is mounted on has three cammera threaded holes beneath as well !!

First surprise, the finder is a good wee 6 x 30 doublet beastie, gives amazingly clear views compared to the 1 lens wonders I had experienced before. Also has an excellent springloaded adjustment system which is a breeze to use and an 45 degree erecting prism for the scope itself.
It arrived with 2 x 10 mm EPs, one is an Antares 52 degree FMC and is a good addition to my range. The other is a unbranded 10 mm plossl but still in good condition.

Seeing was not good, very windy and quite unstable up high and down at ground level. started with the 10mm Antares and went up for Mimosa and Cru cluster, not bad. Across to Eta Carina and could just pick out the dust clouds, pretty ok for an 80 I thought. Round to Saturn and rings visible albeit a small image. 2 x Barlow pushed it way too far for the conditions on the 10mm. So pulled out my 20mm GSO SuperView and what a stunning picture that was ! Plenty of sharp stars well out to the edge and a nice vista to see. Butterfly, Omega Cen, Wishing Well, Eta Carina, Sthn Pleiades and a host of others in that region. Switched to the 15mm GSO SuperView and again a stunning view with a bit more detail and contrast. Dust clouds quite visble in ECar. Had a another look at Saturn and barlowed the 15 but too unstable so no detail or moons confirmed. One big plus was with the 20mm and the wide view I picked up and tracked three satellites quite easily and even an aircraft going overhead.

Verdict : I am more than pleased with my buy. I'll make up a balance arm/weight to make it easier to manage on the AZ mount and get a right angle mirror for the EPs but with the 15 SV in it is an excellent grab and go and under the conditions on the night when it got too cold and blustery I just picked it up and carried it inside to strip and pack away. Very convenient. Any trips away I do it will defintely be in the back of the car and I'd fly this if the circumstances were right.

I will make another side bracket and sling it beside the 114mm on the EQ6 with a CCD in it if the weather cooperates. The Serrurier Truss build is progressing well and eventually it will be part of that project as a guide/visual scope. As my first real refractor I am very happy with it.

The gentleman I bought it off is selling the gear for a friends widow. He has more coming that might be of interest to me so is sending up a list in a few weeks time to give me first choice. I'd better start saving !!
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