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Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation

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  • Michael Vander Vorst
    Would using CCDware s CCD Inspector make the job of collimation easier? ... collimation ... way to go. ... I let ... worked ... sure ... both the ... get the
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 2, 2007
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      Would using CCDware's CCD Inspector make the job of collimation easier?


      --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@...> wrote:
      >
      > Michael,
      >
      > Unfortunately I know several other E180 owners who have similar
      collimation
      > issues. The good news is that the issue isn't terribly severe, but it's
      > there.
      >
      > I think waiting to see/hear more about the ASA astrographs is the
      way to go.
      >
      > You are dead on the money re: CCDCommander, it's a real time saver.
      I let
      > it run my whole system all night out at TDS two weekends ago and it
      worked
      > like a charm. The only issue I'm having is that it doesn't seem to like
      > doing a meridian flip. . .it kept sitting there "waiting. . .". Not
      sure
      > why!
      >
      > -Jeff
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
      > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
      > Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:53 AM
      > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation
      >
      > Thanks for sharing your experience Jeff. I am a little disheartened
      > by your collimation woes but at least it seems to hold collimation
      > once you set it. I saw one of the ASA astrographs at OPT. It looks
      > nice, but it costs way more than the E180. I checked ASA's website
      > and they are going to release an 8 inch f3 with a hyperbolic mirror
      > latter this year. I think that I will hold off a purchase of any more
      > toys until people have a little experience with the ASA. I do have my
      > trusty FSQ. I was just lusting after more speed.
      >
      > I have a robofocus on the FSQ and just started using CCD Commander to
      > automate refocusing between each filter change. It does make a
      > difference, but I haven't yet quantified it. Anyway, CCD commander is
      > really a time saver. I can script a complete session, including
      > centering with plate solves and centering, moving to a new location
      > for focusing, temperature control. I'm going to buy it.
      >
      > Thanks,
      >
      > Michael
      >
      > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Michael,
      > >
      > > I've been using my E180 with my STL11K for some time, and I recently
      > > installed a RoboFocus unit as well, which makes focusing much much
      > easier :)
      > > The installation was trivial and autofocusing is a snap.
      > >
      > > Overall I like the scope. It holds collimation very well once you
      > dial it
      > > in. . .I've only touched mine twice in 2 years.
      > >
      > > Collimating it is not particularly easy though. Takahashi made some
      > > unfortunate design decisions with the primary adjustments and the
      > push/pull
      > > system makes for coarse adjustments that requires you to adjust
      both the
      > > push/pull screw to effect a small change. It took me a while to
      get the
      > > hang of it. Be sure to get the collimation tool, and the STL
      > spacer, which
      > > is required to attach your STL to the E180.
      > >
      > > If you don't intend to buy the RoboFocus right away be SURE to get
      > the 10:1
      > > focuser. . .I can't fathom manually focusing this system without it.
      > > Needless to say at F2.8 the critical focus zone is ridiculously small.
      > >
      > > Another issue to realize is that at F2.8 your filters will all require
      > > different focus points, even the Astrodon filters that are
      advertised as
      > > parafocal. . .and they are for most systems. . .but not at F2.8.
      > That's one
      > > of the reasons I bought the Robofocus, it lets me refocus quickly and
      > > easily.
      > >
      > > Anyways, that are just the price of such a fast system and are
      > unavoidable.
      > > The light the scope pulls in is really impressive though. . .30
      > seconds will
      > > show basically any nebula in the sky.
      > >
      > > Overall I like it. . .that said there are a few problems:
      > >
      > > 1) I've never been able to get my collimation really dialed in.
      > It's always
      > > slightly off, even though the tool shows that it's perfectly dialed
      > in. I
      > > think that the weight of the camera is dragging the scope out of
      > alignment
      > > slightly and/or the collimation markings aren't exactly right. I
      > suspect
      > > the latter since the error is consistent regardless of the side of the
      > > meridian I'm imaging on.
      > >
      > > 2) The instrument rotator can cause problems with collimation. I've
      > heard
      > > if you are careful this isn't an issue, but I simply don't rotate my
      > camera
      > > because it absolutely hoses up my collimation.
      > >
      > > 3) While the scope kicks out a 40mm image circle, it is *extremely*
      > unevenly
      > > illuminated. You need to have excellent flat frames, I usually use
      > 10-15
      > > combined with Sigma combine, and that works well.
      > >
      > > Anyways, overall it's a great scope. If I were buying today,
      > however, I'd
      > > take a hard look at the ASA series of astrographs. . .
      > >
      > > -Jeff
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
      > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
      > > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:10 PM
      > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Epsilon 180ED Collimation
      > >
      > > I'm considering buying a Takahashi Epsilon 180ED to use with my
      > > STL-11000. I would appreciate any opinions on collimation and
      > > electric focusing, load carrying or whatever.
      > >
      > > In particular, how well does it hold collimation and how long does it
      > > take to collimate.
      > >
      > > Thanks for your help.
      > >
      > > Michael
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
    • Jeff Lunglhofer
      Michael, I ve found that CCD Inspector does an excellent job showing the state of collimation on the Epsilon, but I m not so sure that it would be a good idea
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 3, 2007
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        Michael,

        I've found that CCD Inspector does an excellent job showing the state of
        collimation on the Epsilon, but I'm not so sure that it would be a good idea
        to try and use it to do "real time" collimation. It's an extremely delicate
        operation that's difficult with the clear visual indicators, I can't imaging
        doing it with a color map on a screen.

        Have you ever used it that way? Maybe it's worth a try, but I'd definitely
        be a little nervous :)

        -Jeff

        -----Original Message-----
        From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
        Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 9:34 PM
        To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation

        Would using CCDware's CCD Inspector make the job of collimation easier?


        --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@...> wrote:
        >
        > Michael,
        >
        > Unfortunately I know several other E180 owners who have similar
        collimation
        > issues. The good news is that the issue isn't terribly severe, but it's
        > there.
        >
        > I think waiting to see/hear more about the ASA astrographs is the
        way to go.
        >
        > You are dead on the money re: CCDCommander, it's a real time saver.
        I let
        > it run my whole system all night out at TDS two weekends ago and it
        worked
        > like a charm. The only issue I'm having is that it doesn't seem to like
        > doing a meridian flip. . .it kept sitting there "waiting. . .". Not
        sure
        > why!
        >
        > -Jeff
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
        > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
        > Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:53 AM
        > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation
        >
        > Thanks for sharing your experience Jeff. I am a little disheartened
        > by your collimation woes but at least it seems to hold collimation
        > once you set it. I saw one of the ASA astrographs at OPT. It looks
        > nice, but it costs way more than the E180. I checked ASA's website
        > and they are going to release an 8 inch f3 with a hyperbolic mirror
        > latter this year. I think that I will hold off a purchase of any more
        > toys until people have a little experience with the ASA. I do have my
        > trusty FSQ. I was just lusting after more speed.
        >
        > I have a robofocus on the FSQ and just started using CCD Commander to
        > automate refocusing between each filter change. It does make a
        > difference, but I haven't yet quantified it. Anyway, CCD commander is
        > really a time saver. I can script a complete session, including
        > centering with plate solves and centering, moving to a new location
        > for focusing, temperature control. I'm going to buy it.
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        > Michael
        >
        > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi Michael,
        > >
        > > I've been using my E180 with my STL11K for some time, and I recently
        > > installed a RoboFocus unit as well, which makes focusing much much
        > easier :)
        > > The installation was trivial and autofocusing is a snap.
        > >
        > > Overall I like the scope. It holds collimation very well once you
        > dial it
        > > in. . .I've only touched mine twice in 2 years.
        > >
        > > Collimating it is not particularly easy though. Takahashi made some
        > > unfortunate design decisions with the primary adjustments and the
        > push/pull
        > > system makes for coarse adjustments that requires you to adjust
        both the
        > > push/pull screw to effect a small change. It took me a while to
        get the
        > > hang of it. Be sure to get the collimation tool, and the STL
        > spacer, which
        > > is required to attach your STL to the E180.
        > >
        > > If you don't intend to buy the RoboFocus right away be SURE to get
        > the 10:1
        > > focuser. . .I can't fathom manually focusing this system without it.
        > > Needless to say at F2.8 the critical focus zone is ridiculously small.
        > >
        > > Another issue to realize is that at F2.8 your filters will all require
        > > different focus points, even the Astrodon filters that are
        advertised as
        > > parafocal. . .and they are for most systems. . .but not at F2.8.
        > That's one
        > > of the reasons I bought the Robofocus, it lets me refocus quickly and
        > > easily.
        > >
        > > Anyways, that are just the price of such a fast system and are
        > unavoidable.
        > > The light the scope pulls in is really impressive though. . .30
        > seconds will
        > > show basically any nebula in the sky.
        > >
        > > Overall I like it. . .that said there are a few problems:
        > >
        > > 1) I've never been able to get my collimation really dialed in.
        > It's always
        > > slightly off, even though the tool shows that it's perfectly dialed
        > in. I
        > > think that the weight of the camera is dragging the scope out of
        > alignment
        > > slightly and/or the collimation markings aren't exactly right. I
        > suspect
        > > the latter since the error is consistent regardless of the side of the
        > > meridian I'm imaging on.
        > >
        > > 2) The instrument rotator can cause problems with collimation. I've
        > heard
        > > if you are careful this isn't an issue, but I simply don't rotate my
        > camera
        > > because it absolutely hoses up my collimation.
        > >
        > > 3) While the scope kicks out a 40mm image circle, it is *extremely*
        > unevenly
        > > illuminated. You need to have excellent flat frames, I usually use
        > 10-15
        > > combined with Sigma combine, and that works well.
        > >
        > > Anyways, overall it's a great scope. If I were buying today,
        > however, I'd
        > > take a hard look at the ASA series of astrographs. . .
        > >
        > > -Jeff
        > >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
        > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
        > > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:10 PM
        > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Epsilon 180ED Collimation
        > >
        > > I'm considering buying a Takahashi Epsilon 180ED to use with my
        > > STL-11000. I would appreciate any opinions on collimation and
        > > electric focusing, load carrying or whatever.
        > >
        > > In particular, how well does it hold collimation and how long does it
        > > take to collimate.
        > >
        > > Thanks for your help.
        > >
        > > Michael
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >





        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • Vincent Bert
        I agree with Jeff on CCDI. I ve tried to use it to collimate a couple of scopes and its pretty much an exercise in futility IMO. I I would collimate with the
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 3, 2007
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          I agree with Jeff on CCDI. I've tried to use it to collimate a
          couple of scopes and its pretty much an exercise in futility IMO. I
          I would collimate with the tools, then check your work with CCDI.

          Also when using CCDI make sure you have at least 300 or more stars in
          the exposure. The instructions say at least 100 stars or something
          like that, but from what I have seen having less than around 300
          stars yields inconsistent results.


          --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@...> wrote:
          >
          > Michael,
          >
          > I've found that CCD Inspector does an excellent job showing the
          state of
          > collimation on the Epsilon, but I'm not so sure that it would be a
          good idea
          > to try and use it to do "real time" collimation. It's an extremely
          delicate
          > operation that's difficult with the clear visual indicators, I
          can't imaging
          > doing it with a color map on a screen.
          >
          > Have you ever used it that way? Maybe it's worth a try, but I'd
          definitely
          > be a little nervous :)
          >
          > -Jeff
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
          > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
          > Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 9:34 PM
          > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation
          >
          > Would using CCDware's CCD Inspector make the job of collimation
          easier?
          >
          >
          > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Michael,
          > >
          > > Unfortunately I know several other E180 owners who have similar
          > collimation
          > > issues. The good news is that the issue isn't terribly severe,
          but it's
          > > there.
          > >
          > > I think waiting to see/hear more about the ASA astrographs is the
          > way to go.
          > >
          > > You are dead on the money re: CCDCommander, it's a real time
          saver.
          > I let
          > > it run my whole system all night out at TDS two weekends ago and
          it
          > worked
          > > like a charm. The only issue I'm having is that it doesn't seem
          to like
          > > doing a meridian flip. . .it kept sitting there "waiting. . .".
          Not
          > sure
          > > why!
          > >
          > > -Jeff
          > >
          > >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
          > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
          > > Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:53 AM
          > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
          > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation
          > >
          > > Thanks for sharing your experience Jeff. I am a little
          disheartened
          > > by your collimation woes but at least it seems to hold collimation
          > > once you set it. I saw one of the ASA astrographs at OPT. It
          looks
          > > nice, but it costs way more than the E180. I checked ASA's
          website
          > > and they are going to release an 8 inch f3 with a hyperbolic
          mirror
          > > latter this year. I think that I will hold off a purchase of any
          more
          > > toys until people have a little experience with the ASA. I do
          have my
          > > trusty FSQ. I was just lusting after more speed.
          > >
          > > I have a robofocus on the FSQ and just started using CCD
          Commander to
          > > automate refocusing between each filter change. It does make a
          > > difference, but I haven't yet quantified it. Anyway, CCD
          commander is
          > > really a time saver. I can script a complete session, including
          > > centering with plate solves and centering, moving to a new
          location
          > > for focusing, temperature control. I'm going to buy it.
          > >
          > > Thanks,
          > >
          > > Michael
          > >
          > > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@>
          wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Hi Michael,
          > > >
          > > > I've been using my E180 with my STL11K for some time, and I
          recently
          > > > installed a RoboFocus unit as well, which makes focusing much
          much
          > > easier :)
          > > > The installation was trivial and autofocusing is a snap.
          > > >
          > > > Overall I like the scope. It holds collimation very well once
          you
          > > dial it
          > > > in. . .I've only touched mine twice in 2 years.
          > > >
          > > > Collimating it is not particularly easy though. Takahashi made
          some
          > > > unfortunate design decisions with the primary adjustments and
          the
          > > push/pull
          > > > system makes for coarse adjustments that requires you to adjust
          > both the
          > > > push/pull screw to effect a small change. It took me a while to
          > get the
          > > > hang of it. Be sure to get the collimation tool, and the STL
          > > spacer, which
          > > > is required to attach your STL to the E180.
          > > >
          > > > If you don't intend to buy the RoboFocus right away be SURE to
          get
          > > the 10:1
          > > > focuser. . .I can't fathom manually focusing this system
          without it.
          > > > Needless to say at F2.8 the critical focus zone is ridiculously
          small.
          > > >
          > > > Another issue to realize is that at F2.8 your filters will all
          require
          > > > different focus points, even the Astrodon filters that are
          > advertised as
          > > > parafocal. . .and they are for most systems. . .but not at
          F2.8.
          > > That's one
          > > > of the reasons I bought the Robofocus, it lets me refocus
          quickly and
          > > > easily.
          > > >
          > > > Anyways, that are just the price of such a fast system and are
          > > unavoidable.
          > > > The light the scope pulls in is really impressive though. . .30
          > > seconds will
          > > > show basically any nebula in the sky.
          > > >
          > > > Overall I like it. . .that said there are a few problems:
          > > >
          > > > 1) I've never been able to get my collimation really dialed in.
          > > It's always
          > > > slightly off, even though the tool shows that it's perfectly
          dialed
          > > in. I
          > > > think that the weight of the camera is dragging the scope out of
          > > alignment
          > > > slightly and/or the collimation markings aren't exactly right.
          I
          > > suspect
          > > > the latter since the error is consistent regardless of the side
          of the
          > > > meridian I'm imaging on.
          > > >
          > > > 2) The instrument rotator can cause problems with collimation.
          I've
          > > heard
          > > > if you are careful this isn't an issue, but I simply don't
          rotate my
          > > camera
          > > > because it absolutely hoses up my collimation.
          > > >
          > > > 3) While the scope kicks out a 40mm image circle, it is
          *extremely*
          > > unevenly
          > > > illuminated. You need to have excellent flat frames, I usually
          use
          > > 10-15
          > > > combined with Sigma combine, and that works well.
          > > >
          > > > Anyways, overall it's a great scope. If I were buying today,
          > > however, I'd
          > > > take a hard look at the ASA series of astrographs. . .
          > > >
          > > > -Jeff
          > > >
          > > > -----Original Message-----
          > > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
          > [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
          > > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
          > > > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:10 PM
          > > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
          > > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Epsilon 180ED Collimation
          > > >
          > > > I'm considering buying a Takahashi Epsilon 180ED to use with my
          > > > STL-11000. I would appreciate any opinions on collimation and
          > > > electric focusing, load carrying or whatever.
          > > >
          > > > In particular, how well does it hold collimation and how long
          does it
          > > > take to collimate.
          > > >
          > > > Thanks for your help.
          > > >
          > > > Michael
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
        • Michael Vander Vorst
          Jeff, On your meridian flip issue. If you are using a Temma mount, I think you need to have the ASCOM drivers, not The Sky ones. I saw something in the Tak
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 4, 2007
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            Jeff,

            On your meridian flip issue. If you are using a Temma mount, I think
            you need to have the ASCOM drivers, not The Sky ones. I saw something
            in the Tak group on this.

            I'm afraid of doing an unattended flip anyway with all of the cabling.

            Michael


            --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@...> wrote:
            >
            > Michael,
            >
            > Unfortunately I know several other E180 owners who have similar
            collimation
            > issues. The good news is that the issue isn't terribly severe, but it's
            > there.
            >
            > I think waiting to see/hear more about the ASA astrographs is the
            way to go.
            >
            > You are dead on the money re: CCDCommander, it's a real time saver.
            I let
            > it run my whole system all night out at TDS two weekends ago and it
            worked
            > like a charm. The only issue I'm having is that it doesn't seem to like
            > doing a meridian flip. . .it kept sitting there "waiting. . .". Not
            sure
            > why!
            >
            > -Jeff
            >
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
            > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
            > Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:53 AM
            > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation
            >
            > Thanks for sharing your experience Jeff. I am a little disheartened
            > by your collimation woes but at least it seems to hold collimation
            > once you set it. I saw one of the ASA astrographs at OPT. It looks
            > nice, but it costs way more than the E180. I checked ASA's website
            > and they are going to release an 8 inch f3 with a hyperbolic mirror
            > latter this year. I think that I will hold off a purchase of any more
            > toys until people have a little experience with the ASA. I do have my
            > trusty FSQ. I was just lusting after more speed.
            >
            > I have a robofocus on the FSQ and just started using CCD Commander to
            > automate refocusing between each filter change. It does make a
            > difference, but I haven't yet quantified it. Anyway, CCD commander is
            > really a time saver. I can script a complete session, including
            > centering with plate solves and centering, moving to a new location
            > for focusing, temperature control. I'm going to buy it.
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > Michael
            >
            > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi Michael,
            > >
            > > I've been using my E180 with my STL11K for some time, and I recently
            > > installed a RoboFocus unit as well, which makes focusing much much
            > easier :)
            > > The installation was trivial and autofocusing is a snap.
            > >
            > > Overall I like the scope. It holds collimation very well once you
            > dial it
            > > in. . .I've only touched mine twice in 2 years.
            > >
            > > Collimating it is not particularly easy though. Takahashi made some
            > > unfortunate design decisions with the primary adjustments and the
            > push/pull
            > > system makes for coarse adjustments that requires you to adjust
            both the
            > > push/pull screw to effect a small change. It took me a while to
            get the
            > > hang of it. Be sure to get the collimation tool, and the STL
            > spacer, which
            > > is required to attach your STL to the E180.
            > >
            > > If you don't intend to buy the RoboFocus right away be SURE to get
            > the 10:1
            > > focuser. . .I can't fathom manually focusing this system without it.
            > > Needless to say at F2.8 the critical focus zone is ridiculously small.
            > >
            > > Another issue to realize is that at F2.8 your filters will all require
            > > different focus points, even the Astrodon filters that are
            advertised as
            > > parafocal. . .and they are for most systems. . .but not at F2.8.
            > That's one
            > > of the reasons I bought the Robofocus, it lets me refocus quickly and
            > > easily.
            > >
            > > Anyways, that are just the price of such a fast system and are
            > unavoidable.
            > > The light the scope pulls in is really impressive though. . .30
            > seconds will
            > > show basically any nebula in the sky.
            > >
            > > Overall I like it. . .that said there are a few problems:
            > >
            > > 1) I've never been able to get my collimation really dialed in.
            > It's always
            > > slightly off, even though the tool shows that it's perfectly dialed
            > in. I
            > > think that the weight of the camera is dragging the scope out of
            > alignment
            > > slightly and/or the collimation markings aren't exactly right. I
            > suspect
            > > the latter since the error is consistent regardless of the side of the
            > > meridian I'm imaging on.
            > >
            > > 2) The instrument rotator can cause problems with collimation. I've
            > heard
            > > if you are careful this isn't an issue, but I simply don't rotate my
            > camera
            > > because it absolutely hoses up my collimation.
            > >
            > > 3) While the scope kicks out a 40mm image circle, it is *extremely*
            > unevenly
            > > illuminated. You need to have excellent flat frames, I usually use
            > 10-15
            > > combined with Sigma combine, and that works well.
            > >
            > > Anyways, overall it's a great scope. If I were buying today,
            > however, I'd
            > > take a hard look at the ASA series of astrographs. . .
            > >
            > > -Jeff
            > >
            > > -----Original Message-----
            > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
            > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
            > > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:10 PM
            > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
            > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Epsilon 180ED Collimation
            > >
            > > I'm considering buying a Takahashi Epsilon 180ED to use with my
            > > STL-11000. I would appreciate any opinions on collimation and
            > > electric focusing, load carrying or whatever.
            > >
            > > In particular, how well does it hold collimation and how long does it
            > > take to collimate.
            > >
            > > Thanks for your help.
            > >
            > > Michael
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
          • Vincent Bert
            There could be various reasons why it was waiting to flip. First check your set up page/mount parameters/eastern and western limit. Another thing to think
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 5, 2007
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              There could be various reasons why it was waiting to flip. First
              check your set up page/mount parameters/eastern and western limit.
              Another thing to think about. Let say your exposure times were 20
              minutes and you had your eastern limit set a +2 min, and your scope
              was currently 17 minutes from the meridian. CCDC will not start the
              exposure. In that case it will show "waiting to flip" until the
              object crosses to whatever you had set in your western limit.

              Make sense?


              --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Vander Vorst"
              <mvvccd@...> wrote:
              >
              > Jeff,
              >
              > On your meridian flip issue. If you are using a Temma mount, I think
              > you need to have the ASCOM drivers, not The Sky ones. I saw
              something
              > in the Tak group on this.
              >
              > I'm afraid of doing an unattended flip anyway with all of the
              cabling.
              >
              > Michael
              >
              >
              > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Michael,
              > >
              > > Unfortunately I know several other E180 owners who have similar
              > collimation
              > > issues. The good news is that the issue isn't terribly severe,
              but it's
              > > there.
              > >
              > > I think waiting to see/hear more about the ASA astrographs is the
              > way to go.
              > >
              > > You are dead on the money re: CCDCommander, it's a real time
              saver.
              > I let
              > > it run my whole system all night out at TDS two weekends ago and
              it
              > worked
              > > like a charm. The only issue I'm having is that it doesn't seem
              to like
              > > doing a meridian flip. . .it kept sitting there "waiting. . .".
              Not
              > sure
              > > why!
              > >
              > > -Jeff
              > >
              > >
              > > -----Original Message-----
              > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
              > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
              > > Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:53 AM
              > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
              > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation
              > >
              > > Thanks for sharing your experience Jeff. I am a little
              disheartened
              > > by your collimation woes but at least it seems to hold collimation
              > > once you set it. I saw one of the ASA astrographs at OPT. It
              looks
              > > nice, but it costs way more than the E180. I checked ASA's
              website
              > > and they are going to release an 8 inch f3 with a hyperbolic
              mirror
              > > latter this year. I think that I will hold off a purchase of any
              more
              > > toys until people have a little experience with the ASA. I do
              have my
              > > trusty FSQ. I was just lusting after more speed.
              > >
              > > I have a robofocus on the FSQ and just started using CCD
              Commander to
              > > automate refocusing between each filter change. It does make a
              > > difference, but I haven't yet quantified it. Anyway, CCD
              commander is
              > > really a time saver. I can script a complete session, including
              > > centering with plate solves and centering, moving to a new
              location
              > > for focusing, temperature control. I'm going to buy it.
              > >
              > > Thanks,
              > >
              > > Michael
              > >
              > > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@>
              wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hi Michael,
              > > >
              > > > I've been using my E180 with my STL11K for some time, and I
              recently
              > > > installed a RoboFocus unit as well, which makes focusing much
              much
              > > easier :)
              > > > The installation was trivial and autofocusing is a snap.
              > > >
              > > > Overall I like the scope. It holds collimation very well once
              you
              > > dial it
              > > > in. . .I've only touched mine twice in 2 years.
              > > >
              > > > Collimating it is not particularly easy though. Takahashi made
              some
              > > > unfortunate design decisions with the primary adjustments and
              the
              > > push/pull
              > > > system makes for coarse adjustments that requires you to adjust
              > both the
              > > > push/pull screw to effect a small change. It took me a while to
              > get the
              > > > hang of it. Be sure to get the collimation tool, and the STL
              > > spacer, which
              > > > is required to attach your STL to the E180.
              > > >
              > > > If you don't intend to buy the RoboFocus right away be SURE to
              get
              > > the 10:1
              > > > focuser. . .I can't fathom manually focusing this system
              without it.
              > > > Needless to say at F2.8 the critical focus zone is ridiculously
              small.
              > > >
              > > > Another issue to realize is that at F2.8 your filters will all
              require
              > > > different focus points, even the Astrodon filters that are
              > advertised as
              > > > parafocal. . .and they are for most systems. . .but not at
              F2.8.
              > > That's one
              > > > of the reasons I bought the Robofocus, it lets me refocus
              quickly and
              > > > easily.
              > > >
              > > > Anyways, that are just the price of such a fast system and are
              > > unavoidable.
              > > > The light the scope pulls in is really impressive though. . .30
              > > seconds will
              > > > show basically any nebula in the sky.
              > > >
              > > > Overall I like it. . .that said there are a few problems:
              > > >
              > > > 1) I've never been able to get my collimation really dialed in.
              > > It's always
              > > > slightly off, even though the tool shows that it's perfectly
              dialed
              > > in. I
              > > > think that the weight of the camera is dragging the scope out of
              > > alignment
              > > > slightly and/or the collimation markings aren't exactly right.
              I
              > > suspect
              > > > the latter since the error is consistent regardless of the side
              of the
              > > > meridian I'm imaging on.
              > > >
              > > > 2) The instrument rotator can cause problems with collimation.
              I've
              > > heard
              > > > if you are careful this isn't an issue, but I simply don't
              rotate my
              > > camera
              > > > because it absolutely hoses up my collimation.
              > > >
              > > > 3) While the scope kicks out a 40mm image circle, it is
              *extremely*
              > > unevenly
              > > > illuminated. You need to have excellent flat frames, I usually
              use
              > > 10-15
              > > > combined with Sigma combine, and that works well.
              > > >
              > > > Anyways, overall it's a great scope. If I were buying today,
              > > however, I'd
              > > > take a hard look at the ASA series of astrographs. . .
              > > >
              > > > -Jeff
              > > >
              > > > -----Original Message-----
              > > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
              > > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
              > > > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:10 PM
              > > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
              > > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Epsilon 180ED Collimation
              > > >
              > > > I'm considering buying a Takahashi Epsilon 180ED to use with my
              > > > STL-11000. I would appreciate any opinions on collimation and
              > > > electric focusing, load carrying or whatever.
              > > >
              > > > In particular, how well does it hold collimation and how long
              does it
              > > > take to collimate.
              > > >
              > > > Thanks for your help.
              > > >
              > > > Michael
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              >
            • Jeff Lunglhofer
              Actually yea. . .that s probably what I was seeing. . .I was shooting 20 minute subs. . . -J ... From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 6, 2007
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              • 0 Attachment
                Actually yea. . .that's probably what I was seeing. . .I was shooting 20
                minute subs. . .

                -J

                -----Original Message-----
                From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of Vincent Bert
                Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 5:11 PM
                To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation - Meridian Flip

                There could be various reasons why it was waiting to flip. First
                check your set up page/mount parameters/eastern and western limit.
                Another thing to think about. Let say your exposure times were 20
                minutes and you had your eastern limit set a +2 min, and your scope
                was currently 17 minutes from the meridian. CCDC will not start the
                exposure. In that case it will show "waiting to flip" until the
                object crosses to whatever you had set in your western limit.

                Make sense?


                --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Vander Vorst"
                <mvvccd@...> wrote:
                >
                > Jeff,
                >
                > On your meridian flip issue. If you are using a Temma mount, I think
                > you need to have the ASCOM drivers, not The Sky ones. I saw
                something
                > in the Tak group on this.
                >
                > I'm afraid of doing an unattended flip anyway with all of the
                cabling.
                >
                > Michael
                >
                >
                > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Michael,
                > >
                > > Unfortunately I know several other E180 owners who have similar
                > collimation
                > > issues. The good news is that the issue isn't terribly severe,
                but it's
                > > there.
                > >
                > > I think waiting to see/hear more about the ASA astrographs is the
                > way to go.
                > >
                > > You are dead on the money re: CCDCommander, it's a real time
                saver.
                > I let
                > > it run my whole system all night out at TDS two weekends ago and
                it
                > worked
                > > like a charm. The only issue I'm having is that it doesn't seem
                to like
                > > doing a meridian flip. . .it kept sitting there "waiting. . .".
                Not
                > sure
                > > why!
                > >
                > > -Jeff
                > >
                > >
                > > -----Original Message-----
                > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
                > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
                > > Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:53 AM
                > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
                > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Re: Epsilon 180ED Collimation
                > >
                > > Thanks for sharing your experience Jeff. I am a little
                disheartened
                > > by your collimation woes but at least it seems to hold collimation
                > > once you set it. I saw one of the ASA astrographs at OPT. It
                looks
                > > nice, but it costs way more than the E180. I checked ASA's
                website
                > > and they are going to release an 8 inch f3 with a hyperbolic
                mirror
                > > latter this year. I think that I will hold off a purchase of any
                more
                > > toys until people have a little experience with the ASA. I do
                have my
                > > trusty FSQ. I was just lusting after more speed.
                > >
                > > I have a robofocus on the FSQ and just started using CCD
                Commander to
                > > automate refocusing between each filter change. It does make a
                > > difference, but I haven't yet quantified it. Anyway, CCD
                commander is
                > > really a time saver. I can script a complete session, including
                > > centering with plate solves and centering, moving to a new
                location
                > > for focusing, temperature control. I'm going to buy it.
                > >
                > > Thanks,
                > >
                > > Michael
                > >
                > > --- In SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Lunglhofer" <Jeff@>
                wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Hi Michael,
                > > >
                > > > I've been using my E180 with my STL11K for some time, and I
                recently
                > > > installed a RoboFocus unit as well, which makes focusing much
                much
                > > easier :)
                > > > The installation was trivial and autofocusing is a snap.
                > > >
                > > > Overall I like the scope. It holds collimation very well once
                you
                > > dial it
                > > > in. . .I've only touched mine twice in 2 years.
                > > >
                > > > Collimating it is not particularly easy though. Takahashi made
                some
                > > > unfortunate design decisions with the primary adjustments and
                the
                > > push/pull
                > > > system makes for coarse adjustments that requires you to adjust
                > both the
                > > > push/pull screw to effect a small change. It took me a while to
                > get the
                > > > hang of it. Be sure to get the collimation tool, and the STL
                > > spacer, which
                > > > is required to attach your STL to the E180.
                > > >
                > > > If you don't intend to buy the RoboFocus right away be SURE to
                get
                > > the 10:1
                > > > focuser. . .I can't fathom manually focusing this system
                without it.
                > > > Needless to say at F2.8 the critical focus zone is ridiculously
                small.
                > > >
                > > > Another issue to realize is that at F2.8 your filters will all
                require
                > > > different focus points, even the Astrodon filters that are
                > advertised as
                > > > parafocal. . .and they are for most systems. . .but not at
                F2.8.
                > > That's one
                > > > of the reasons I bought the Robofocus, it lets me refocus
                quickly and
                > > > easily.
                > > >
                > > > Anyways, that are just the price of such a fast system and are
                > > unavoidable.
                > > > The light the scope pulls in is really impressive though. . .30
                > > seconds will
                > > > show basically any nebula in the sky.
                > > >
                > > > Overall I like it. . .that said there are a few problems:
                > > >
                > > > 1) I've never been able to get my collimation really dialed in.
                > > It's always
                > > > slightly off, even though the tool shows that it's perfectly
                dialed
                > > in. I
                > > > think that the weight of the camera is dragging the scope out of
                > > alignment
                > > > slightly and/or the collimation markings aren't exactly right.
                I
                > > suspect
                > > > the latter since the error is consistent regardless of the side
                of the
                > > > meridian I'm imaging on.
                > > >
                > > > 2) The instrument rotator can cause problems with collimation.
                I've
                > > heard
                > > > if you are careful this isn't an issue, but I simply don't
                rotate my
                > > camera
                > > > because it absolutely hoses up my collimation.
                > > >
                > > > 3) While the scope kicks out a 40mm image circle, it is
                *extremely*
                > > unevenly
                > > > illuminated. You need to have excellent flat frames, I usually
                use
                > > 10-15
                > > > combined with Sigma combine, and that works well.
                > > >
                > > > Anyways, overall it's a great scope. If I were buying today,
                > > however, I'd
                > > > take a hard look at the ASA series of astrographs. . .
                > > >
                > > > -Jeff
                > > >
                > > > -----Original Message-----
                > > > From: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
                > [mailto:SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com] On
                > > > Behalf Of Michael Vander Vorst
                > > > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:10 PM
                > > > To: SDAA_AISIG@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Subject: [SDAA_AISIG] Epsilon 180ED Collimation
                > > >
                > > > I'm considering buying a Takahashi Epsilon 180ED to use with my
                > > > STL-11000. I would appreciate any opinions on collimation and
                > > > electric focusing, load carrying or whatever.
                > > >
                > > > In particular, how well does it hold collimation and how long
                does it
                > > > take to collimate.
                > > >
                > > > Thanks for your help.
                > > >
                > > > Michael
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                >





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