4.5", 6", and 10" Newtonian astrographs.
2 ST80s; ED80; 3 CCD cameras; 5 EQ mounts: all polished, tuned, and modified.
The rule of telescope features: aperture; equatorial tracking; or low cost. Pick any two.
Quote:Have you considered getting a 50mm finder/guider? At 1000mm focal length (primary imaging scope) it should work and is very light.
Stellarvue SV70ED, UA DwarfStar, Oberwerk / AstroTech AT80EDT, AT Voyager / Celestron C6XLT, AT Voyager / Meade 8" LightBridge / Vixen VMC 110L (Baader Solar Film), Porta II / Celestron Nexstar 102GT, ES Twilight I / Oberwerk 20x80 DIII, Orion 10x50 Resolux
Zhumell Z10 on homebuilt base (leveling feet, degree circle, Wixy alt, lights, eyepiece case, wine cellar) and custom hand cart WO 80 mm ZenithStar, C102ED, Coronado PST, C8, ES127ED iOpton SmartEq, CG-4 mount, AT Voyager mount, iOptron ZEQ25, iOptron iEQ45 mount Eyepieces - yes 10 x 50 Pentax PCF WPII binos iPad with Skysafari & SkyWire Samsung SDC-435, Canon T3i (Gary Honis Baader mod), Canon SX-40, ASI120MC
Quote:50mm finders are some of the best guiders you can get. Lightweight, all threaded connections, very fine focusing and the focus stays fixed forever.
Modern Astronomy sell adapters for the finders. Stellarvue sells some of the best finder rings. Either the starshoot autoguider or the qhy5 is good. ASI 120mm is good too.
Black Creek Observatory C11 EdgeHD C8 AT6RC Eon80mmED
Quote:I can't see why there would be any reason that you can't fit a dovetail base onto it. There are many options.http://www.optcorp.com/os-vfs-vixen-style-dovetail-finder-shoe.htmlhttp://www.telescope.com/Orion-Dovetail-Base-for-Finder-Scope/p/7214.utshttp://www.scopestuff.com/ss_rdpq.htmAnd the stellarvue finder brackets pretty much work on vixen/synta style finder dovetail base. Get the R50D.http://www.stellarvue.com/f50.html
Quote:I have a refractor with a single hole Vixen style base. It hold fine as the OTAs curve locks it in place. Not sure about large guide scopes though. For that I would only use scope rings mounted to a dovetail bar which in turn was mounted to the top of the main scopes rings.
Quote:There's no comparison between diy and the orion package. Unfortunately all the parts in the orion package is of a lower grade and you will eventually want to replace all of them.The finder rings is spring loaded and has only 3 points, expect it to move around. The guider camera is of a yesterday sensor, the newer ASI-120MM and qhy5-II has a better and more sensitive sensor. The focusing mechanism is the same as other finders. But the rear end of the scope is a standard 1.25" attachment with 2 set screws. Set screws can never hold as well as T-Threads. And to reach focus, you will have to slide the barrel of the guider out by a little. There is a tendency to dismantle after every session. Time wasted in refocusing, readjustment of the finder bracket could be better spend on getting more starlight. For all purpose, threaded adapters to use existing finders are significantly more robust. And there's a likelihood that there's already a 50mm finder somewhere in your drybox.
Quote:I use a Takahashi 7x50 finderscope (which is better optically than many bigger scopes!), married to the guidecam back from an Orion miniguider, plus a Lodestar. I have NEVER had an issue finding a guide star, the image is superb (I can easily see most nebulae and galaxies in the guider image, so I KNOW I am on target).I currently have it mounted in an old Vixen 6 point finder bracket (hammertone green - shows how old it is) - I replaced the 3 "set screws" with another 3 adjustable screws from ANOTHER ixen bracket, and so it is 6 points holding it, FULLY adjustable, but ROCK solid (never showed even a skerick of flexure). I have had 2 aluminium rings of I.D 53mm, O.D 60mm made up so it can fit a set of small Borg tube rings I have, and will then mount it on a dovetail on the top. I do NOT need it to move (it will be aligned with the main tube), because as I said, ALWAYS can find a guidestar with the Tak and Lodestar.The Orion miniguider is... well... useful for parts. The finder itself is rubbish (really poor optically, and I could NEVER get a decent star image with it), and the guidecam itself may as well be a calculator. Finding guidestars with that SSAG was like trying to find an old corroded needle in a wet haystack. It all works... JUST. I needed a good 2 inch extension with it when I replaced the SSAG for the Lodestar, but I was still not happy and finally found a used Tak finder at a good price. No extension piece, and it is a marriage made in heaven.I have tried a lot of the guidescopes on the market, and disliked every one of them - either too bulky or optically poor. The Orion short tube guidescope needed a 4 inch extension tube for anything to come to focus with it - of course, optional extra.