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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Astronomy & Celestial 
Thread started 01 Oct 2008 (Wednesday) 10:18
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dpastern
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Feb 18, 2009 01:55 |  #106
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How does the AP900 compare to the AP1200 (if you have any experience)? Remember, the AP/Paramount mounts are far more expensive than the Celestron/Losmandy, which aren't cheap either. I'll probably end up imaging with a Deepsky Instruments 10" corrected RC within 2 or 3 years (probably sooner knowing me). I can't justify the cost of a RCOS setup, which I personally think are deliberately overinflated price wise. The RC market has had almost no competition for several years now, and I suspect that there's some serious illegal market collusion in play with price fixing the result. The best thing for the RC market is GSO's RC and Deepsky instruments imho (with the latter being far better optically I suspect).

I was planning on guiding with the Equinox 100 that I now have, but I might keep that for visual use and grab something like a WO Megrez 80 or 90. Again, I can't justify the expense of something like a tak or televue setup, especially for what would be a guide scope.

These are long term astro imaging goals for me, so depending on where I decide to go, will mean how much it'll cost me, and how long it'll take to get the funds together etc.

Dave


http://www.macro-images.com/ (external link)

  
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PM01
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Feb 18, 2009 09:49 as a reply to  @ dpastern's post |  #107

The only real difference between the 900 and the 1200 is the loadout capacity. Both systems are excellent.

Cost is relative. With Celestron, I've had more than my fair share of gray hairs and headaches. Losmandy is quite "hit or miss". So you may still get gray hairs from them. AP - they work out of the box like they should.

When you're imaging on a very cold night or very hot one, you'll quickly appreciate the thought that went into the AP. Or a Tak. The only other mount that has worked well for me, lightweight loadout, are the Vixen SPDX or the Vixen GPDX.

AP does all of their quality control IN HOUSE so you don't have to. Often times, with other mounts of lesser price, YOU are the one ending up doing the quality control. IE..Celestron/Meade.




  
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ebann
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Feb 18, 2009 17:46 |  #108

PM01 wrote in post #7351819 (external link)
[Snip]

AP does all of their quality control IN HOUSE so you don't have to. Often times, with other mounts of lesser price, YOU are the one ending up doing the quality control. IE..Celestron/Meade.

Whew... good thing you didn't mention Orion! ;)


Ellery Bann
Fuji X100
6D | Rokinon 14 2.8 | 50 1.4
1D Mk IV | 24-70 2.8L | 70-200 2.8L IS | 135 2L | 400 5.6L

  
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PM01
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Feb 18, 2009 22:18 as a reply to  @ ebann's post |  #109

Orion is usually pretty darn good. They're certainly not Celestron or Meade, thank goodness. You would be surprised at how much Celestron and Meade equipment we have rejected over the years. CI700, C14 (JUNK - probably THE worst optics I've ever seen), etc.

If you're going to equip an observatory, it's worth the added expense to do it RIGHT the FIRST time. Simple bolt ons for the CI700/G11, such as the Gemini GOTO system didn't cut it with us either. The Skywalker system is GOD AWFUL. And the company didn't help us out any with a overload light that was supposedly HEAT generated. We mentioned to the company that the light came on whether it was -10F or 90F. They still can't help. Poor service.

The observatory that I'm at (am director for) routinely sees several thousand people in a years time. Everything is battle tested. If it doesn't hold up, it gets rejected. Or if it doesn't provide good views, it's also rejected.

Here's a short list of things torture tested that have LASTED...
Astro Physics (any gear)
Takahashi (any gear)
Feathertouch (amazingly tough)
Losmandy PLATES (not mounts or GOTO systems)
Robin Cassady plates (OUTSTANDING)
Vixen mounts - VERY good.
Televue Eyepieces

And here's a list of things that could be improved if the company wasn't sitting on their laurels...
SBIG. ANY camera.

You could throw pretty much any other name out there and more than likely we've tried it out, with the public, and it's been either shelved or rejected.




  
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dpastern
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Feb 19, 2009 06:24 |  #110
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Thanks for the advice PM01, much appreciated.

Dave


http://www.macro-images.com/ (external link)

  
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ebann
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Feb 19, 2009 07:44 |  #111

PM01 wrote in post #7356623 (external link)
Orion is usually pretty darn good. They're certainly not Celestron or Meade, thank goodness.

[Snip]

Here's a short list of things torture tested that have LASTED...
Astro Physics (any gear)
Takahashi (any gear)
Feathertouch (amazingly tough)
Losmandy PLATES (not mounts or GOTO systems)
Robin Cassady plates (OUTSTANDING)
Vixen mounts - VERY good.
Televue Eyepieces

[Snip]

You were mentioning mounts... is that to say that Orion's Astroview mount is good? From what I've read, there are mounts with different names but is the same and one... I.e. Orion Astroview, Celestron CG-4, and Skywatcher EQ3-2.

Perhaps you were thinking optics?

Anyways, I was very much surprised when I called TeleVue for help to collimate my Ranger (which they say is factory collimated and cannot be done by the user *that* I refused to believe!) and talked to none other than Al Nagler!!! Now that is customer service. He promptly told me where the hidden screws were located (covered with black epoxy) and everything worked out fine!

I always have this big smile when I know I did the right thing selling my ETX-90C and Celestron 6" Newtonian *BUT* keeping my nice semi-APO Ranger!


Ellery Bann
Fuji X100
6D | Rokinon 14 2.8 | 50 1.4
1D Mk IV | 24-70 2.8L | 70-200 2.8L IS | 135 2L | 400 5.6L

  
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troypiggo
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Mar 05, 2009 05:46 |  #112

Went to a dark site on the weekend. In all the excitement of setting up, meeting new people, and taking images I forgot to get a shot of my rig. Fortunately for me, someone else did without me knowing. That's me on the right. Handsome devil, aren't I...

You can see the gold Skywatcher ED80 Pro with 30D (unmodified) for imaging, Skywatcher Short Tube 80 with Meade DSI II Pro on top for guiding, HEQ5 Pro mount. The small table has a black plastic box that I put my laptop in to try to keep dew off it. I put the lid on when I can.

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4146/5016769516_4ebaf06318.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://decluttr.com/50​16769516/  (external link)

"Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic." - Sheldon
Flickr (external link) | Gear List | Macro Rig | Astro Rig | Astro Software Post

  
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A.S.I.G.N. ­ Observatory
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Mar 05, 2009 06:04 as a reply to  @ troypiggo's post |  #113

How did your car battery perform and for how long mate? Did you use the one battery to power everything?

Baz.


Builds By Baz website http://www.buildsbybaz​.com (external link)

  
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troypiggo
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Mar 05, 2009 14:12 |  #114

It easily lasted until the dew set in around 2-3am, then I packed up. I only run the mount and laptop off it. The laptop is only one of those Acer Aspire One netbooks and doesn't use much power. The DSI II guide cam uses USB port power from the netbook.

I have some DIY dew heaters that I'll use next time now, and I have ordered a 30D AC power supply so I can run the SLR off it too. First battery in that went flat and I don't trust my backup camera battery - it's an ebay cheapy.

One weekend I plan to really flog the thing and see how long it lasts.


"Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic." - Sheldon
Flickr (external link) | Gear List | Macro Rig | Astro Rig | Astro Software Post

  
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dpastern
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Mar 05, 2009 14:22 |  #115
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Looks a great site Troy, and a good rig to boot.

Dave


http://www.macro-images.com/ (external link)

  
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MidnightSun
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Mar 05, 2009 15:15 |  #116

troypiggo wrote in post #7461554 (external link)
It easily lasted until the dew set in around 2-3am, then I packed up. I only run the mount and laptop off it. The laptop is only one of those Acer Aspire One netbooks and doesn't use much power. The DSI II guide cam uses USB port power from the netbook.

I have some DIY dew heaters that I'll use next time now, and I have ordered a 30D AC power supply so I can run the SLR off it too. First battery in that went flat and I don't trust my backup camera battery - it's an ebay cheapy.

One weekend I plan to really flog the thing and see how long it lasts.

Nice setup there...:D I also used a car battery this past Sept. for a weekend trip, and with a daytime charge it worked great both nights.


Dave
Canon 350D, AE-1, Orion 8" Newt. f/4.9; EQ6 w/ modified motor drive; Orion 70mm f/10 Refractor Guide Scope; Celestron NexImage CCD Imager; Starshoot Autoguider. Orion Electronic Focusers.
Astro Setup / Midnight Sun Astrophotography (external link)

  
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MidnightSun
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Mar 05, 2009 16:33 as a reply to  @ MidnightSun's post |  #117

Here is my setup waiting for sunset.


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Dave
Canon 350D, AE-1, Orion 8" Newt. f/4.9; EQ6 w/ modified motor drive; Orion 70mm f/10 Refractor Guide Scope; Celestron NexImage CCD Imager; Starshoot Autoguider. Orion Electronic Focusers.
Astro Setup / Midnight Sun Astrophotography (external link)

  
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troypiggo
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Mar 05, 2009 17:07 |  #118

Very nice. I take it this was shot in Virginia, not Thailand? ;)
Beer bottles? - I like your style.

I like the idea of right angle viewfinder. I must get one of those. Pain in the "you know what" lying on ground trying to focus/compose prime focus on refractor.


"Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic." - Sheldon
Flickr (external link) | Gear List | Macro Rig | Astro Rig | Astro Software Post

  
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MidnightSun
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Mar 05, 2009 17:14 |  #119

troypiggo wrote in post #7462718 (external link)
Very nice. I take it this was shot in Virginia, not Thailand? ;)
Beer bottles? - I like your style.

I like the idea of right angle viewfinder. I must get one of those. Pain in the "you know what" lying on ground trying to focus/compose prime focus on refractor.

LOL...Thx, yea, we're in Va right now. :( The angle finder helps alot for hitting the focus w/o having to take a bunch of "practice" shots, it is also a 2X magnifier, which was the main reason I bought it.


Dave
Canon 350D, AE-1, Orion 8" Newt. f/4.9; EQ6 w/ modified motor drive; Orion 70mm f/10 Refractor Guide Scope; Celestron NexImage CCD Imager; Starshoot Autoguider. Orion Electronic Focusers.
Astro Setup / Midnight Sun Astrophotography (external link)

  
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Celestron
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Mar 05, 2009 17:21 |  #120

WOW ! Nice rigs everyone !!




  
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