What a very neat setup, nice work.
I can't tell from the image how you are preventing movement along the axis of the OTA, but it might be better to remove the diagonal (and maybe the VB) when you put the OTA in the case. The diagonal may not stand up well if the case is dropped. If nothing else the prism might shift.
Again a very neat solution. I like that dew shield.
I just got the case and everything in it is loose for now until I figure out all the arrangements.
Thanks. One of the things I've disliked about SCT's was dealing with the dew shield. Because my OTA is mounted using rings instead of the stock dovetail rail directly on the OTA, I have clearance around the OTA to allow for the dew shield to stay on the OTA, but further back. It's something I've thought about since I had a hard retractable dew shield on my ETX105 (where the OTA is mounted far back in dual forks).
Sorry if I'm getting this subject "off track." Since you mentioned having the ETX 105, what was your opinion of the optics and mount? I ask because I'm debating (see my recent post) getting either the 6" SE or maybe the Meade 125 ETX Mak. Does the dual fork provide better stability than the single arm of the SE? Have you had a chance to look thru the 125? And what made you decide on the 6" SE rather than the 125 ETX? Sorry for all these "hijacked" questions. But would very much like to know your opinions and reasons for your choice.
Hey Rod. No problem at all. I've used an ETX125 but owned an ETX105. The optics on the ETX Maks are excellent. The mounts on the ETX's are, hmmm...well, kind of cheaply made. Lots of plastic for one. Secondly, I find the NexStar 6/8SE mounts to be very solid and stable. I think the single fork arm of the NexStar to be better than the dual forks of the ETX, and most certainly the drives/gears are better on the NexStar. The ETX line is notorious for slippage. I'm not referring to backlash (as both can exhibit this) but the ETX line of mounts, the clutches sometimes actually slip, or don't hold well under heavier accessories. The ETX line is also very nose-heavy without any ability to counterbalance them without taping some weights on the back. It can be dealt with, but why bother when the NexStar is better anyway?
On that point also be aware that the visual back on the ETX mounts are plastic and under the weight of something like a camera have actually broken off! The NexStar SE scopes use a traditional metal visual back and diagonal capable of holding a camera or binoviewers and I would NEVER trust the ETX scopes to handle that weight.
The 6SE uses the exact same mount as the 8SE, but the 6SE is smaller and lighter and therefore the mount handles the 6SE even better.
The NexStar mounts use a dovetail saddle which means you can remove the OTA and put any OTA (including small refractors if you like) that has a dovetail rail on it, onto the SE mounts. The ETX's are permanently mounted. Whatever ETX scope you have is what you are stuck with. The ETX scope also (being permanently mounted) only allow you to store them with most of the scope sticking far out of the fork mounts in storage because the ETX OTA will hit the mount base the other direction.
In addition, while I enjoyed using the Meade Autostar, the Celestron NexStar handcontroller is much easier to navigate and use, and I also now use a Wi-Fi module on my NexStar which means I don't even use the handcontroller...I use SkySafari on my phone to control the scope wireless. I don't know if Meade ETX's have an equivalent.
The best part of the NexStar mount is I don't ever have to go through the laborious "polar" alignment procedure. Going wireless and using the Wi-Fi, the mount uses my phone's GPS and date/time, so I don't have to enter anything into the mount HC and I can pick out any bright stars (without even knowing what they are) and the NexStar will calculate where the scope is pointing.
I'm not knocking the ETX line at all. I loved using my ETX105...the views were very sharp. It's the mount that is really the knock on them (and the visual back if that is used). But I think the 6SE is the best compromise between portability, aperture and ease of use. At 150mm it is a larger aperture than the ETX125, with a smaller package that stores easier, and gives you more options.
Based on my experience between the two, I'd choose the NexStar 6SE every time. Now, if it is just a matter of the scope OTA's themselves, well, the 6SE is an SCT with a larger obstruction whereas the ETX125 is a Mak. The ETX125 might give slightly sharper views, but IMO for the 1" loss in aperture, I think you'd have to be pretty OCD to notice a signficant difference. But we're also not talking about just the scopes, but the mounts as well.
If you did prefer the view of the ETX125 and you could find just the OTA removed from the ETX forks, used, and also a used NexStar 6/8SE mount, well then you could mount the ETX125 onto the NexStar SE.
Just my opinion.
Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 11 January 2018 - 01:03 PM.