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ALPO Comet News

ALPO Comet News for April 2024

Apr 03 2024 12:49 AM


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  • EQM35 Pro - getting it working right

    Mar 01 2024 09:25 AM by Gianluca67

    The EQM35 Pro is a good grab&go mount to go to your favourite dark site with a measured photographic payload of about 7 kgs. It can track the sky very well but it needs some tweaking to get it work right. Adjusting the engagement between worm and worm gears on both axis as well as releasing a bit the central nuts of both axis are operations of vital importance to get good guiding. It will never perform like an Astrophysics but overall it can be a good mount if you want a lightweight, portable mount to use with scopes up to 6” under dark skies.

  • Review of a discarded 2003 National Geographic Society 50mm Refractor

    Feb 25 2024 12:10 PM by timmywampus

    The scope, as tested for this review, would be one that I would be willing to give to a person that I did not like, but even then, I like astronomy too much to spite someone away from the hobby. For free, this telescope was worth picking up and providing a day’s worth of entertainment, but I would rather spend $27.99 on other equipment. Conclusion: Do not buy, whether in “Classic” or “Modern Era” trim.

  • Daystar Filters’ SR-127 ‘QT’ Dedicated Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope (Chromosphere Model)

    Jan 31 2024 01:33 PM by RHannahoe

    In the end, all of my friend’s and my work testing the telescope and documenting in detail its deficiencies against its stated specifications were a waste of time and energy, and ultimately changed nothing. Daystar would not stand behind its product. At this point, I would never purchase another telescope from them.


Cloudy Nights Announcements

On New Year’s Eve…

01 Jan 2024
...the moderator and administrator staff here at Cloudy Nights would like to wish you a Happy New Year.  And here’s to clear skies and good health for all throughout 2024! Full topic ›

On Christmas Eve…

24 Dec 2023
...the moderator and administrator staff here at Cloudy Nights would like to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a wonderful holiday season.  And here’s to clear skies and good health for all throughout the rest of 2023 and on int... Full topic ›

User Reviews

  • Review of a discarded 2003 National Geographic Society 50mm Refractor

    Feb 25 2024 12:10 PM by timmywampus

    The scope, as tested for this review, would be one that I would be willing to give to a person that I did not like, but even then, I like astronomy too much to spite someone away from the hobby. For free, this telescope was worth picking up and providing a day’s worth of entertainment, but I would rather spend $27.99 on other equipment. Conclusion: Do not buy, whether in “Classic” or “Modern Era” trim.

  • Daystar Filters’ SR-127 ‘QT’ Dedicated Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope (Chromosphere Model)

    Jan 31 2024 01:33 PM by RHannahoe

    In the end, all of my friend’s and my work testing the telescope and documenting in detail its deficiencies against its stated specifications were a waste of time and energy, and ultimately changed nothing. Daystar would not stand behind its product. At this point, I would never purchase another telescope from them.

  • Software Bisque Paramount MyT 10 Year Review

    Jan 29 2024 08:16 AM by cchinckley

    While a long time ago, I was educated as a physicist and was a power engineer until I migrated to other areas of the power industry. Mine is a useful perspective to bring to a review of the electro-mechanical equipment used in astrophotography, and I am reviewing my Paramount MyT mount after about 10 years of use. Here is the punch line: while there is serial defect and a series of lessons learned, I love this mount and the Software Bisque company, and their support of this product is flawless. I have experience with other mid-size mounts as well.

  • Unitron Model 114 - a quick look

    Jan 28 2024 03:49 PM by bmwscopeguy

    If today’s entry level scopes could offer this combination of optical performance and smooth/rigid mounts – the manufacturers wouldn’t be bedeviled by constant negative reviews.

  • Review of the 20” f/3.4 Reginato Supermaser

    Nov 30 2023 01:10 PM by davidefg

    It is difficult to find downsides for such a telescope. There are certainly some aspects that can be improved, as I pointed out in the review, but overall it is a jewel. The best proof is that since I have it I used the Takahashi four times: twice to compare it to the Supermaser and twice for observations with friends (one of them broke his leg and couldn’t reach the eyepiece with the Supermaser).

  • Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ

    Oct 30 2023 11:27 AM by bmwscopeguy

    Bottom line: They’re worthless – don’t buy one. If someone gives you one, put it in the garbage and cut them out of your will. They put out so much good astro gear. I can only think that this scope and other bargain basement scopes must fall under a different division. But I suppose as long as Walmart, Costco and the rest of the retailers can sell them to an unsuspecting public – it will continue. Celestron should be embarrassed to sell this scope. I can only wonder how many budding astronomists have been turned off by scopes like these?

  • North Star Equatorial Platform

    Oct 30 2023 11:11 AM by Feidb

    If you’ve got a light scope and don’t mind the gross lack of precision, this might be the platform for you, but I wouldn’t use anything larger than a 12, and that’s pushing it, if you can even get it undamaged right out of the box. I’ve heard other stories of it working fine especially if tweaked, but in my experience it was an expensive failed lesson.

  • OGMA AP26CC Review

    Sep 30 2023 12:52 PM by WhooptieDo

    Overall, I am very happy with my OGMA. It's much more reliable than my QHY has ever been. Juan has been super receptive to my communications, and I have no doubt that if something did go wrong, he'd be 100% behind his product. I am still tweaking some settings, and will likely start running 180 second exposures as well. If you’re an astrophotographer living in the US, I think this one should be a no-brainer.

  • iOptron HAZ-46 Alt Azi Mount Review

    Sep 30 2023 12:16 PM by urright4me

    I would recommend the HAZ46 mount to anyone that wants a rock solid, portable, easy to use mount with excellent GoTo, tracking, and sharp star tracking (for up to 30s exposures as tested). It is an expensive mount and does not fit every pocket book, so price is one negative aspect especially for imaging aficionados who may not want to pay a lot for a simple alt-azi mount. I cannot comment on long term astrophotography, however, after shooting about 15-20, 30 second exposures with my dslr’s I am very pleased with how tight the stars appear. I am happy to say that the HAZ46 strain wave gear/motor control system is a vast improvement over the older MiniTower2, etc. which I have used for many years. The HAZ46 Mount is a keeper and will be fielded at both of the upcoming eclipses for solar imaging and viewing.

  • Brandon Vernonscope 94mmF7 APO first impressions.

    Aug 30 2023 03:31 PM by bmwscopeguy

    I am fascinated by the scope. It is simple, elegant, well made and performs well (in limited testing) – and it has a history, which I always consider important. (will your Uber Chinese APO still be around in 50 years with a story to tell…?)

  • A quick review of the iStar Phantom FCL 140-6.5

    Jun 27 2023 09:15 AM by Stonemeister

    I think Ales went the extra mile to make a telescope that can please many amateur astronomers. Affordable, excellent glass, and a well thought out ring, plate, and handle system. Mine came fully assembled and ready to go from Starizona.

  • Explore Scientific, 16 inch / F 4.5 Truss tube Dobsonian

    Jun 27 2023 07:40 PM by Mariner13

    Yes, it is huge and yes it is heavy but it is exactly as advertised. It is absolutely portable. I could dismantle and stow the whole rig, the wife and 1 and a half kids into my hatchback and drive a 100 Kms without too much discomfort. The next time would be a Bortle class 2 sky some 190 Kms away. I suppose we will take breaks more often along the way to stretch our legs. The mirror box is heavy but nothing that an able backed person couldn’t handle. Anyone interested in this one has my whole hearted endorsement.




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