I picked up a very good condition light blue SkyWatcher Startravel 150 F/5 for NV use a few weeks ago from CN classifieds (Thanks John!) and finally got to test it out. It has the stock focuser but upgraded 2” clamp ring on the focuser.
I was worried about being able to use a reducer with the stock focuser and the single speed, but in the configuration I used, it was fairly spectacular viewing.
I setup my Baader afocal adapter with a Meade 56mm plossl and used my NVD Micro with envis objective. I had enough room to spare to use both without reducer and with reducer and my 2” 3nm Ha filter. Some interesting results on edge performance. Without the reducer on the end of the Meade 56mm, stars were fairly seagulled. Maybe 15% of the edge like this. I then screwed the .5x, 2” Antares reducer on the end of the Meade with 3nm screwed in the reducer and it actually cleaned up the edge a great deal.
I did not expect this at all and in fact expected the opposite effect. Pleasantly surprised at the views and how easy focusing was. Drawtube on the stock focuser was out about 2” with reducer on the Meade. Definitely brightened up the view vs no reducer. Still very bright with no reducer.
Anyway, it was a worthwhile first light for the 6” F/5
I observed the following in Bortle 7 skies:
Crescent - could just make out some of the fainter lines inside the Crescent
Gamma Cygni - very bright and good definition on dark edges
North American - the brighter “tail” of this was showing some dark lumps too. Very nice
Veil - both Eastern and Western showed fairly bright
Dumbell - this was pretty small in the view but very bright
Cats Paw - I love this nebula. Also very bright and good detail
War and Peace - fainter than Cats Paw, but nebulosity extends more
Lagoon - Stunning! The nebulosity just extends out wider than the bright main area.
Triffid - Dark lanes very defined
Swan - this was the brightest and some great detail on it. Fainter regions also extending pretty far
Eagle - yes! Reached my goal to just make out Pillars better than my 6” F/5.9
Saw some I couldn’t identify easily and Milky Way hydrogen clouds were pretty bright for my skies but had to pack it in at 4:45 am. I was out about two hours.
Will sell my AT152 F/5.9 - it’s 25lbs vs early SW 150 model at 13 lbs for bare OTA. The lighter weight was exactly what I needed. So much easier to move around and mount.
My mount is still a beast though. T-Rex on T-pod 130. Well worth the price tag for it though. I used the slo mo handles quite a bit this morning. The shorter scope is better height off the ground near zenith with my adjustable chair too. No more lowest rung.
Well, that’s about it for now. Tomorrow morning I’ll be out early from about 2am, but I think I’m going to bring out the mak 150 and catch some Jupiter and Saturn views besides just nebula.
Going to try the Meade/NV afocal on the mak too.
I don’t do pics, so just a read will have to be enough. Sorry, but no motor driven tracking to make pics worthwhile and I don’t really like futzing with it anyway.
Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 14 April 2019 - 01:04 AM.