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I want to see your telescope setup (please)!

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Finally got me my dream field scope

A big thanks to Gary Beal (NZ) who sold me his beloved Tak FS102 and Lars Hansen, who personally brought the scope back from Gary on a recent trip to NZ for me as hand luggage. Thanks heaps fellas.

I've just received it - and wow, it's a beast for a 4" scope. I've attached the rings to two Losmandy dovetails (universal on bottom and D-series up top) such that my existing FS60-C can sit in its Losmandy guide rings. A very solid setup indeed. Should be a great comprmise for field work. The FS102 is ideal because it's still very portable, but gives fantastic widefield-ish views and photography. This will travel along with my G11.

I'm thrilled that there are no special tricks involved with the 2" visual back, allowing me to mount both a DSLR and a 2" dielectric diagonal and get perfect focus on both. Normally you need to delve into Takahashi "accessory city" to achieve this by buying all sorts of extenders and tubes that are totally proprietary. One 35mm 2" extension tube and 'm away.

Please excuse the finder, I have a proper Tak 7x50 coming up from Takaya in Canberra over the next couple of days. I'll then try illuminating the reticle with an Orion illuminator off my 12mm ill. reticle EP...if it fits. If not, I'll have to get a genuine Tak unit. Anyone tried this before?

Hopefully I'll get time to put one of my heater strips together tomorrow, so that it can be tried on Saturday evening, weather permitting!

Next - a field flattener and/or field flattener/focal reducer, and a camera angle adjuster as per the one on the FS60-C, which is absolutely fantastic.

So - form the Tak guys, what accessories do you most use in typical imaging (SLR) situations? The Tak accessory sheet is a killer to follow unless you know EXACTLY what you need. King-size PITA.

Anyhoo - more imaging, here I come!

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^^ that is a really cool setup! :bow:

Here's my 12" dob. Got the scope + 32mm TV plossl + Telrad + 50mm finder + 3x TV barlow + a couple of filters + Sky Atlas 2000 + Nortons 2000 book for $600. It has hand figured optics and she really does pull in those faint fuzzies. After a recent session, I have glimpsed a mag 15.95 star (if the database I pulled the mag from is to be believed)! I've also picked up a couple of PGC galaxies in Abell S 805 these being my first PGC objects - exciting :woot:

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Wow, I work hard for one week, come back, and everyone seems to have posted their kit on this thread, including their pets, lol.:biggrin:

You guys have got some nice toys happening, and Gordon your security system is awesome!

Ray

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Hi everyone, here are my 'family'

Skywatcher 10" Dob

Dob2sm.jpg

Skywatcher 10" on EQ6Pro

Newteq6sm.jpg

Skywatcher ED80 onEQ6Pro

ED80_EQ6sm.jpg

Celestron 8" SCT on EQ6Pro

C8_EQ6sm.jpg

Meade 16" Lightbridge

Lightbridge.jpg

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Very nice toys you got there mate. How does the EQ6 manage with the ten inch? I imagine it's moves it around quite well. Does the celestron do hyperstar?

Ray

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Hi Ray,

The EQ6 has no problems with the 10", apart from windy conditions I find it bery steady. Only problem I have with it is the awkward postions you have to get into depending on the object position. Rotating rings would be good but the decent set I look at were $700 USD.

No the C8 isn't Faststar (Hyperstar) compatible.

Cheers

Garin

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Hi Ray,

The EQ6 has no problems with the 10", apart from windy conditions I find it bery steady. Only problem I have with it is the awkward postions you have to get into depending on the object position. Rotating rings would be good but the decent set I look at were $700 USD.

No the C8 isn't Faststar (Hyperstar) compatible.

Cheers

Garin

See my post (Roll off Shed) I made teflon straps with QL fasteners so I could rotate my 10" on an EQ6 If you want more detailed photos of how it was done I can post some

(I lost a lot of my photos when I had hard drive do a wobbly) but I can take some more

Dave

PS I just gone thru the Archives and I did a post on the subject. Incidently the cradle was a home brew job I modified. the teflon was a free offcut and the fasteners were "free" samples from the UK Total cost free. better than $700 :)

http://www.myastrospace.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1314

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Dave,

Great bit of work, it's given me some ideas. I'd like to see if I can come up with something that I don't have to drill the tube.

Thanks for taking the time to post your solution.

Regards

Garin

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Teflon adheres very well using a quality brand contact glue. But I was not particularly worried about drilling a few holes. I was left with 4 holes when I took the Dob mount plates off. (I must get some little rubber plugs for those !)

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My feeble dust-collectors

Wow, 9 pages and I haven't posted pics of my stuff yet?? I must be slipping in my old age. Well, here's a shot of my scopes: Meade 12" LX200R and William Optics Megrez 110ED, along with all ADM equipment top and bottom. Gotta love that ADM stuff. Also seen is the 7" LCD monitor on the fork. I have an eyepiece tray that goes on the other fork, but it wasn't in this pic.

IMG_0529.jpg

I haven't had them out since we moved, but sooner or later I'll get them under the skies again. I'm still trying to figure out what kind of housing they'll get in the back yard, but it's tough deciding what to do.

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Very nice setup. Is the scope trolley home made? Do you use the LCD for DSLR work?

I'ver never really looked into ADM stuff before. Looks pretty good.

Ray

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Radar, so far the LCD has only been used with a Meade Electronic Eyepiece. I'm still debating on which camera to get to use with it. It puts out a great picture, but so far the electronic eyepiece hasn't put out a decent view with it. I can't seem to get the right balance of brightness/contrast and sharpness. But, with a dedicated video camera it'll be a lot different. I've been thinking about using my Sony video camera, but it's kinda heavy and I'd hate to put that kind of weight on the scopes. I haven't tried my Fuji DSLR yet, but I'm sure it might work out pretty good.

The trolley is a JMI Large Universal Wheely Bar, I added the 4" wheels to it. I originally bought it with the standard small wheels, but they wore out pretty quick, and I needed something that rolled a lot smoother. I went to the local Home Depot and picked up the three blue wheels, and they've been perfect so far. They even roll on the grass. But, the house we bought has no access from the garage to the back yard, except for rolling it around the house, but I'd need the 10" tires for that type of route. I've been racking my brains to try and figure out the best thing to keep the scopes in and leave them in the back yard, but so far I haven't decided what I want to do. I was thinking of using the existing tool shed, since the only thing in there is an electric lawn mower (no gas fumes to ruin the optics). The only drawback there is that it's not insulated, and it does get pretty hot inside. I'm assuming that it'll get pretty dang cold in the winter too, so I'm a little worried about leaving the scopes in there. I've also noticed that there is a ton of dew in this area, and it's obvious since when I get up in the morning the outside walls of the houses are covered like it was raining. I'd hate to leave the scopes outside, even in a shed, with that kind of wetness lurking around.

I'm sure I'll figure out what to do, since there's got to be plenty of solutions for the dew and the temperatures. I just haven't settled on anything yet.

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LCD monitor

I went into the garage and tested the monitor with my Fuji DSLR. Works like a charm. I don't know how dim of an object I will be able to see with it, but it will be awesome for planets and the Moon.

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At the end of the day, you can't go past an observatory. But an obs depends on your backgarden. Sometimes it's better to have a scope that can be moved around due to trees and roof lines etc.

I think that tool shed would be perfect for your scope, but with some simple changes. A cheap solar powered fan (or two) attached to the roof for hot days could keep the scope at a temperature that is not dangerous to the optics. You could knock ten to twenty degrees (celcius) off the inside of that tool shed with this system.

With the cold weather, I'd simply cover the scope in a blanket and then with some kind of water proof plastic sheet over the top of that, tied at the bottom. I used this sytem for years. I had my Meade LX50 SCT on a pier outside in the elements. When I wasn't using it I had a large beach towel over it, then a waterproof plastic cover over the towel. This was tied up at the bottom to hold it on and stop dampness from rising up into it. The scope was outside through rain, hail, and snow (I don't actually get snow in Australia). Your scope would be in a tool shed, even better protected, so I think you could easily get away with it.

That LCD sounds interesting. I like the fact that you can view like that. I want one!

Ray

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Observatories and LCD screen

Yup, my thoughts exactly on the observatory. I still haven't quite convinced the wife of that, though. I'm thinking the tool shed is good enough. I might just use it to store the scopes, and put them together whenever I want to use them. You'd be surprised, but that whole LX200R/WO Megrez setup only takes me about 5-10 minutes to put together. I think I'll leave everything in the cases until I want to use them. I'm just worried about moisture more than anything else. It seems to get pretty wet out here overnight.

The LCD screen...here ya go... Trinity LCD Screens

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My stuff is tame by comparison to some of the kit on here. 8" Skywatcher dob, I added the laser next to the finder scope. I have a Coronado PST, too, but it just looks like every other Coronado out there!

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hi astrohil, nice looking scope. Do you ever observe by simply opening those curtains. I read somewhere that a guy found a comet by simply observing through his window.

Brett

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Behind those curtains are double doors which open onto my front porch, so yes, I can and do observe simply by opening the curtains (and the doors, too!). It's better if I lift the scope out onto the porch, but sometimes I don't bother. At the moment I have two new puddy tats that I can't let outside yet, so the doors haven't been opened for a couple of weeks. I have to say with the nice nights we've been having, I'm getting to the point where I don't care if the cats escape! It's a pain trying to get the gear (simple setup as it is) into the front yard through the front door with cats underfoot.

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My daughters studying architecture at the moment and I'll be commissioning her to design an observatory for me when I retire. Hopefully by then she'll be rich enough to pay for it as well

:bow:

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My stuff is tame by comparison to some of the kit on here. 8" Skywatcher dob' date=' I added the laser next to the finder scope. I have a Coronado PST, too, but it just looks like every other Coronado out there![/quote']

How do you find the Skywatcher? I've been thinking about the 6" for a travel scope, f/8 :biggrin:

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