As the night skies in Blighty seemed to have turned a dark white for the duration, I thought I would show you what I intend to use once the black stuff re-appears. It would also be really good to see the equipment that others are - or will be using, so please add to this.
All my combinations are mounted onto a SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan with extended counterbalance shaft. Because of carrying restrictions I'm a bit stuck with the HEQ5, so sometimes it is pushed a little over its recommended load!!!
My imaging camera is an Atik 314L+ with a Brightstar Quantum Electronic Filterwheel controlled by Nebulosity V3 on a laptop. My guiding is currently done with a QHY5 using PHD on a netbook. On three of the four combos a SkyWatcher StarTravel 80mm Achro is used as the guide 'scope.
1: For those dinky little far away dealies I have this arrangement:
A Meade LX90 8" F10 guided with the SW ST 80 and this does push the weight but at least it is short and seems to behave itself. I use this with and without a Meade f6.3 focal reducer
2: For small nebula, galaxies and detail an Altair Astro 'scope:
Altair Wave Series 115 F7 ED Triplet APO F7 and this does have issues in any slight breeze!!! But as a 'scope I'm really pleased with it. For viewing it is really very nice and has re-awakened my interest in just gawping at the sky instead of trying to image it all the time.
3: For slightly larger objects this was the first refractor I bought not really knowing anything very much at all about this imaging business:
A William Optics Zenithstar 80mm II ED APO Doublet F6.8 and this is used without a Focal reducer or with a .8 Ikharos FR or .5 TS FR giving quite a flexible range of FOV. Blue can be a little tricky, but in general the colour control is good for a doublet.
4: And finally with a FOV across the diagonal of the 314L+ of 3.1 Arc Minutes using a .5 TS FR, this should just manage most of M31 and most of The Plieades - at least, that is the plan!!!
A TS INED 70mm ED APO Doublet F6 piggy-backed onto the ZS80 which is then used as the guidescope. I bought this at the end of December and it still has not seen first light!!!!!! Should I have paid the extra £200 and bought a triplet - time will tell!!!
The little ST80 gives some idea of the scale of the top three images. It looks so small on the Meade compared to being a similar size to the ZenithStar.
So there we have my curious little armory - I should be really interested to see what others are using
Yours aye - Cap'n