Greetings! Last night I was out with my 11" f4.5 dob and my PVS-7. It was an awesomely warm night in Iowa. I tried out a couple things and here are my thoughts.
1. Antares .7x 2" focal reducer- this effectively made my dob f3.15. The filter attachment that I use with my PVS-7 is the one from Scope Stuff that has a 2" filter attachment and a recessed 1 1/4" filter attachment. I was able to place my 1 1/4" 7nm Ha filter in the recessed portion and had enough space to completely screw in the 2" focal reducer without any contact between the filter and reducer that I could tell. My target was the Orion Nebula. Now I did not go into this with much hope since I had previously tried a 1 1/4" .5x reducer which had spectacularly bad results. What I found when using the 2" .7x reducer was a lack of noticeable coma. This was a pleasant surprise. I also found that I enjoyed the view of the Orion Nebula more with the reducer than without it. The view is much wider with the reducer since I was going from 46.6x to 32.6x. This really drove home the point of fast focal ratios and night vision being a happy marriage. When coupling the fast focal ratio with my 11" light gathering capacity, you get a winning combination. Kinda makes me want a 20" f3 scope now. So the Antares 2" .7x focal reducer is a keeper.
2. I got to try out my 32,000 step encoders. Are 32,000 step encoders overkill? Absolutely. Is my accuracy increased especially since it is a wood frame push-to dob? Likely not. Does it drain my DSC battery faster? Yup! Do I think it is cool that I can move my scope as fast as I want without skipping steps? Heck ya! Basically, I just cant stop myself from always tinkering and upgrading my scope. I just wanted to say these work awesome.
3. My other real treat was trying out for the first time my Nexus DSC. I wish I had gotten this sooner. It is awesome. I have used Sky Commander and Argo Navis and they are very good. But, I have not had a DSC nail it first try like this before. And connecting it to my Sky Safari synced so well with it. Being able to move the scope around from nebula to nebula by just looking at my phone to see where it is pointing was amazing!
My Ethos eyepieces have been sad and lonely for about 9 months now. I don't see that changing soon.