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WO RedCat 51: comments, observations, opinions and suggestions

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#26 LTZ

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:22 PM

Just got word that my pre-ordered Redcat has shipped from Woodland Hills. They just sent emails saying they’re in stock so it sounds like they got more than the orders they had in line.
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#27 Sarkikos

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:40 AM

If I get my RedCat before my birthday this summer I'll be satisfied.  I'll just tell my wife I ordered it for my birthday!  That always works well.

 

:grin:

Mike


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#28 GlenM

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:42 AM

I can see from your equipment list that you must have more birthdays than the rest of us wink.gif

 

Glen.


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#29 Sarkikos

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:51 AM

Well, I am 62!

 

:grin:

Mike



#30 ippiu

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:00 AM

Hi to everybody.

 

I have the beatiful gem RC51. And i'd like to investigate if it has the tilt and coma issues present in some previous models.

 

I took flat frame. I took a couple of quick images last week before the weather broke forever in .png (i forgot to change the file extension in .fit in Sharpcap).

i'm asking everyone a favor: could anybody take a look at my files and say if my RC51 is good? I would really appreciate if someone, more expert than me, could have a look at my pictures.

I'm not happy with my RC51 model.

 

I think to return it and ask for a complete refund.

 

https://drive.google...fcv9auwLiD48pRz

 

Thanks so much


Edited by ippiu, 15 May 2019 - 08:00 AM.


#31 AstroGabe

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 11:47 PM

I would like to update my findings w/ the Redcat.  

 

I went through some back and forth on whether I’m going to keep it or not.  I’m quite certain I’ll keep it for the time being.  I think the criticisms are somewhat nit-picky, and were likely founded by the fact that I realized later that I didn’t have the exact backspacing correct.  I was off by about 6mm, which is a pretty large error on my part!  bangbang.gif  Also, in speaking w/ my vendor and their contact at WO, it’s recommended to clamp down the locking ring after focus, that’ll keep tilt from the focus assembly to a minimum. 

 

I haven’t had time to work with it since the initial test.  I was hoping to get out tonight, but the clouds are ruining that thought.  I did get a new DSLR - a D850, which I hope to get some good family and astro use out of.  I think it’ll be a good test to pair that camera w/ the Redcat - the full frame will really test the performance.  It also has a smaller pitch than the KAF-16200 sensor I was initially intending to use - 4.35um vs. 6um.  I got the wider aperture Nikon adapter, so the back focus issues should be solved then.  I’ll post an update as soon as I get any results on that. 

 

I found focus to be very easy.  The Bahtinov mask they provide is a pretty good design - better than others I’ve used.  The cover itself is transparent, but there are etchings that appear to increase the diffraction, while letting more light through than a typical Bahtinov mask.  All that said - I’m a lazy imager - I like autofocus.  If I decide to keep it (95% sure I will), I’ll go with the autofocus solution that deepskydad has:
https://deepskydad.c...focuser2/redcat

 

I figure, the star shapes are better at 250mm than any other DSLR lens I’ve seen, so it’s worth keeping.  Is it Tak level? No. But, it’s a whole heck of a lot cheaper and therefore a good value in my opinion.

 

Gabe


Edited by AstroGabe, 15 May 2019 - 11:52 PM.

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#32 Sarkikos

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:14 AM

I won't be using the RedCat for AP, so if the image looks good to my eyes, that's good enough for me.

 

Mike


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#33 tazer

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 05:15 PM

Got my WhiteCat this morning as I was leaving to go birding at the lake near me. Literally, I was pulling out of the driveway and the mailman pulled in before I could leave! My M48-t-ring hadn't arrived yet so I scrambled to cobble something together. Fortunately I had a male-T2 to female-M48 adapter available and an extra E-Mount to T-Ring adapter handy.

 

First impressions? Very well put together. Fit and finish look great. Mine's white/gold so it looks a lot like a professional series camera lens.

 

It's heavy-ish but not nearly as dense as a comparable telephoto lens. The focusing mechanism works well but feels a little "dry" compared to a camera lens which has some sort of friction grease. Nonetheless it works very well and I didn't have any issues with it. The focusing tensioner came in handy when I wanted a little more resistance.

 

I started off with it on the right side of my mount (Induro aluminum tripod + StellarVue M2 mount) and found it really needed to be on the other side. This rotating focuser really made this process totally painless. I didn't go all out jiggling it, but I didn't find any apparent slop when I loosened it up. In fact, my tripod was a little off level and instead of re-leveling I found it easier to loosen the rotate tensioner knob, level my camera, and continue shooting.

 

No diagonal yet so I can't tell anything visually, but photographically it's very sharp. It sits very well on my carbon fiber tripod and can go along on hikes with minimal effort.

 

My existing birding rig is the Induro+StellarVue M2+WO GTF81. Once it's setup it's awesome, but it is heavy to lug around. Definitely not hike-able.

 

The only negative of the WC51 so far? Like others, the Vixen dovetail is too small. My SVM2 wouldn't grip it, so I had to find a small twig to wedge in when I had it mounted on that rig. This is a glaring oversight and will hopefully be corrected soon. No one in their right mind would do astrophotography using twigs (except cavemen.)

 

Results:

 

Great Blue Heron from approx 500ft:

https://www.inatural...1?size=original

https://www.inatural...2?size=original

 

Great Blue Heron from approx 150ft:

https://www.inatural...2?size=original

 

Double Crested Cormorant from approx 600ft:

https://www.inatural...2?size=original

 

Bald Eagle from approx 1800ft (had about 5s to slew, find him in the viewfinder, and then manually focus):

https://www.inatural...9?size=original


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#34 timmbottoni

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 05:21 PM

Just a male Cardinal taken with the RedCat 51 on an old Canon 60D - cropped, and adjusted, and compressed to allow for posting.  Hope you like it.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_9080_edited_2_small.jpg

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#35 Sarkikos

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:38 AM

My RedCat arrived yesterday, along with the WO diagonal and 10mm eyepiece.  I didn't expect the telescope for several weeks, so this was a very pleasant surprise.  Thank you, Agena Astro!

 

But as usual, the curse has arrived with the telescope.  Predictions are for cloudy nights for the next week.  Maybe I can poke the scope through a sucker hole.

 

grin.gif

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 22 May 2019 - 09:39 AM.


#36 ciraxis

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:09 AM

I'm still waiting for mine that I ordered in March, I may cancel though as this will be used for AP and I'm not overly impressed with the corners in photos that people post.   


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#37 Sarkikos

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:28 AM

Maybe mine was originally intended for another buyer who cancelled their order.

 

Mike



#38 sg6

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:54 AM

Not going to read all posts but in case not suggested go look at the allen key sets for a bicycle. They come often in a single open out thingy a bit like a penknife. Should find one with suffucent to do all bits and if lucky it may be one of the smaller units.

 

Think mine has 10 in it but some are big.



#39 weh

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:01 PM

Not going to read all posts but in case not suggested go look at the allen key sets for a bicycle. They come often in a single open out thingy a bit like a penknife. Should find one with suffucent to do all bits and if lucky it may be one of the smaller units.

 

Think mine has 10 in it but some are big.

I don't think anyone has addressed this since my original post. I have multiple Allen key sets in both metric and English sizes and figured it out fairly quickly. My point was that WO easily could have included a recommended tool list with sizes specified.


Edited by weh, 22 May 2019 - 06:02 PM.

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#40 Sarkikos

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:10 AM

My 51 RedCat included a little Allen key (hex key).  With this I removed a ring adapter at the rear of the scope.  I could then screw on the diagonal. 

 

The scope had the dew shield on backwards (as far as I'm concerned) so it could fit in the padded case.  For me to use the scope for visual, I need to turn the dew shield around and screw it onto the front and screw the diagonal onto the rear. 

 

Unfortunately it is not possible to fit the scope into the case with it prepped like this for visual use.  I'd rather it would fit in the case ready to be mounted for visual.  I wish the case had been a few inches wider.  So I might be looking for another case or padded equipment bag that fits the scope the way I want it to.

 

I'll probably mount the RedCat on a DwarfStar head on Bogen 055XB tripod.

 

Only visual astronomy for me.  No terrestrial.  No AP.  One of my first experiments with the RedCat will be to see which of my 1.25" eyepieces come to focus at infinity.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 23 May 2019 - 07:23 AM.

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#41 ciraxis

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:11 AM

Been looking around online and I have yet to find redcat shots that actually have a flat field undecided.gif

 

I'm going to be fairly ticked off if this arrives and the stars look like crap on the edges, because I doubt I'll be able to return it.  



#42 Sarkikos

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 11:22 AM

There is a block of foam padding in the RedCat case that can be removed.  When this block is removed, the RedCat will fit in the case with diagonal attached and the dew shield on backwards.  So not really a big deal.  It takes only about ten seconds to remove the dew shield and screw it on the right way.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 23 May 2019 - 11:22 AM.

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#43 weh

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 09:05 PM

My 51 RedCat included a little Allen key (hex key).

I still have all the original packing and I've rechecked carefully: no Allen key included.  :-(  I did fine one in my collection of odd keys that was the correct size.


Edited by weh, 23 May 2019 - 09:07 PM.

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#44 Crow Haven

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:50 AM

My 51 RedCat included a little Allen key (hex key).  With this I removed a ring adapter at the rear of the scope.  I could then screw on the diagonal. 

 

The scope had the dew shield on backwards (as far as I'm concerned) so it could fit in the padded case.  For me to use the scope for visual, I need to turn the dew shield around and screw it onto the front and screw the diagonal onto the rear. 

 

Unfortunately it is not possible to fit the scope into the case with it prepped like this for visual use.  I'd rather it would fit in the case ready to be mounted for visual.  I wish the case had been a few inches wider.  So I might be looking for another case or padded equipment bag that fits the scope the way I want it to.

 

I'll probably mount the RedCat on a DwarfStar head on Bogen 055XB tripod.

 

Only visual astronomy for me.  No terrestrial.  No AP.  One of my first experiments with the RedCat will be to see which of my 1.25" eyepieces come to focus at infinity.

 

Mike

Mine did come with the tiny hex key.  I'll be using the RedCat for visual most of the time, astronomy as well as terrestrial, with a little photography thrown in.  I think for taking the RedCat on trips and afield I'll look for a waterproof/extra durable case and use the kitty cat case for storage at home -- it's too cute to mess up. grin.gif  Since there's just rain and cloudy nights here lately I have to wait for the infinity focus tests, but for terrestrial I'm loving the views with the CatEye 10mm, some 20mm and even the 28mm RKE. waytogo.gif


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#45 LTZ

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 06:10 PM

My Redcat came in about a week ago from Woodland Hills, but I haven't had a chance to put it all together until this afternoon.  I'll be using it together with an iOptron Skyguider Pro tracking mount, William Optics wedge base, Astrotrac TH3010 counterweight assembly with Hejnar arca swiss clamp, Neewer leveling base, and QHY Polemaster mounted on an ADM Polemaster-DV adapter.  For now, I'll be imaging with a D5300, but eventually will replace that with a ZWO.

 

So far, so good on not attracting clouds over my position in Phoenix as I wait for the evening skies.  Until then, I've tried running around my backyard for some birding, but I just lack the manual focus skill to capture the little birds that live on our property.  So, I have no preliminary comments on the optics.  It's definitely a piece of eye candy though, especially with all the overpriced (and unnecessary) matching red accessories that I bought to use with it.  But, hopefully it'll deliver on the optics.  First test will be this evening.

 

Enjoy the eye candy for now...

 

IMG_9168.jpg

IMG_9169.jpg

IMG_9170.jpg


Edited by LTZ, 24 May 2019 - 06:14 PM.

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#46 LTZ

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 01:24 PM

I didn't have a chance to use the Redcat last night, but did take an opportunity this morning to capture a Gambel Quail that perches and calls out every morning in our backyard.  First shot is with the Redcat/D5300.  For comparison, the second shot is with a Nikon 500mm f/5.6 PF / D500 taken in March.  Obviously, this guy has had better mornings....

 

This is for sure an apples and tennis balls comparison that is meaningless for most people.  But, all the (PIA) manual focusing and cropping necessary to capture terrestrially with the Redcat/D5300 combination what I get easily with the autofocusing, VR-enabled 500PF/D500 combination does provide me with clarity on how I'll use the Redcat despite how it's touted for both astro and terrestrial use. Hoping to get it pointed upwards this evening....

 

aaDSC_0171_openWith.jpg

Redcat/D5300

 

aaDSC_1719_openWith.jpg

500PF/D500


Edited by LTZ, 25 May 2019 - 01:26 PM.

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#47 Astrodave

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:27 AM

How'd you get that wedge? Nobody has those things in stock anywhere. That looks like a really nice piece. I wonder how it compares to the ioptron and skywatcher models?



#48 weh

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 05:03 PM

How'd you get that wedge? Nobody has those things in stock anywhere. That looks like a really nice piece. I wonder how it compares to the ioptron and skywatcher models?

I have one. I emailed James (who handled the KickStarter campaign) and asked if I could include the wedge and counterweight extension with my RC51, eyepiece and prism orders. He sent me a separate PayPal invoice and both packages showed up the same day. Unfortunately, although ordered separately, invoiced separately, and packaged separately, WO shipped the two packages as 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 with a single customs invoice. As a result, the total was over the limit and triggered additional customs charges. Worse, UPS "lost" the link between the two packages but not the invoice which was associated with both and tried to collect the customs charges twice. It took a lot of fast talking and a very helpful UPS person to unscramble it all. I still had to pay the one customs charge.

 

BTW, it is very easy to adjust precisely -- much easier than the one that comes with the iOptron SkyGuider Pro. iOptron's wedge has a bit of backlash -- you need to overshoot a very tiny bit and then reverse adjust gingerly -- not so with the WO wedge. WO sells two versions for "low" and "high" latitudes; however, with minor disassembly, it would be very easy to convert from one to the other -- it is nothing more than engaging the proper notch for the range of latitudes desired.


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#49 LTZ

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 12:57 PM

How'd you get that wedge? Nobody has those things in stock anywhere. That looks like a really nice piece. I wonder how it compares to the ioptron and skywatcher models?

I ordered direct from William Optics, and it took about two weeks to arrive.



#50 MedicineMan4040

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 11:50 PM

The Astrotrac TH3010 counterweight assembly.

Can't find it anywhere. Discontinued :(




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