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Modifying the Skywatcher Pier Extension

The 20cm Skywatcher NEQ6/AZ-EQ6 pier extension is a great way to gain the extra height needed to prevent long focal length OTA’s from colliding with the tripod legs. The extension is attached to the tripod using the standard central bolt. Even if the central bolt is tightened as much as possible, it doesn’t take much force to rotate the pier. This can be very annoying if you have carefully polar aligned the mount and it accidentally rotates while you are loosening or tightening the clutches on the AZ-EQ6.

This problem is easy to fix. Luckily the pier base plate is made of aluminium and is very easy to drill. The solution is to drill a 4mm hole very close to edge of the plate and tap it out to 5mm. You can then use an M5 socket head bolt to provide a locking post. The head of the bolt fits nicely into the original post hole on the tripod plate.

Pier plate with M5 tapped hole
Pier plate with M5 tapped hole
Pier plate with post bolt
Pier plate with post bolt
Pier plate with post bolt
Pier plate with post bolt
Pier Extension
Modified Pier Extension
Pier Extension
Pier Extension attached to tripod

With the central bolt tightened it is now impossible for the pier to accidentally rotate.

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Star Stuff II Sponsored by Sidereal Trading

Star Stuff II

Sidereal Trading are really excited to be sponsoring Star Stuff II. After the sell-out success of the inaugural “Star Stuff – Festival of the Cosmos” last year, organiser Dylan O’Donnell has confirmed the space and science themed weekend will be returning to Byron Bay in July 2018.

If you’ve added a Personal Observatory to your list of Must-Have astronomy equipment then this is a great opportunity see and touch a NexDome. Sidereal Trading will have a fully functional NexDome Personal Observatory operating in the Star Stuff Vendor Pavilion. Speak to the Sidereal Trading staff, ask questions and learn how easy it is to build your observatory.

At the same time you can enjoy the amazing line-up of Key Note Speakers, enjoy the beautiful 5-Star Elements of Byron resort and relax under the dark skies of Byron Bay.

For more information and to book tickets visit www.starstuff.com.au

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saxon AZ-EQ6 Pro Mount with Steel Tripod

saxon have release the AZ-EQ6 Pro Mount with Steel Tripod.  If you have ever wanted to purchase an AZ-EQ6 Pro then now is the time. For a limited time only Sideral Trading are offering $200.00 off the regular retail price. Pay only $2399.00 for the best version of the popular EQ6 Series mounts. (Discount Vouchers can not be used with sale items)

The saxon AZ-EQ6 Pro Mount with Steel Tripod provides the precision and stability needed for serious observing and astro-imaging

This AZEQ6 Pro mount includes a built-in illuminated polar scope for both Southern and Northern Hemisphere, a latitude adjuster with micrometer scale, an azimuth polar-alignment adjuster, aluminium setting circles, large manual slow-motion tracking controls, bubble level and steel tubular tripod legs

The saxon AZ-EQ6 Pro Mount with Steel Tripod features and includes the following:

  • A user friendly Synscan hand controller
  • 2x 5.1Kg counter weight
  • Wall-to-wall large accessory tray
  • An extension 150mm counterweight shaft
  • 2” stainless steel tripod legs
  • Retractable counterweight shaft
  • Accept narrow (V-style) or wider (D-style) dovetail mounting plates
  • Smooth and quiet belt driven
  • Motor resolution at 0.14arc sec (or 9.216,000 steps/rev.)
  • Slew speeds from 1.25x, 1.75x, 2x, 8x, 16x, 32x, 64x, 400x, 500x, 600x, and up to 3.4°/sec (800X)
  • Sidereal, Solar and Lunar tracking rates
  • One, Two and Three star alignment options
  • Auto guider interface for astrophotography
  • Guiding speed from 0.125x, 0.25x, 0.50x, 0.75x, or 1x
  • Minimal vibration for steady long-exposure astrophotography
  • Payload Capacity 20Kg
  • Containing over 42,900 objects with complete Messier, NGC and IC Catalogues.
  • Positioning accuracy up to 5 arc minute.
  • Permanent Periodic error correction (PPEC)
  • Firmware upgradeable via internet download
  • PC Compatibility
  • Car power supply adapter included

For more information or to purchase click saxon AZ-EQ6 Pro Mount with Steel Tripod 

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saxon Apochromatic FCD100 Air-Spaced ED Triplet Refractor Telescopes

saxon FCD100 Series

Sidereal Trading are happy to announce the release of the saxon FCD100 Air-Spaced ED Triplet Refractor Series. These telescopes feature Japanese Hoya FCD100 optics. Relying on technological innovation, Hoya have successfully launched the high-performance optical glass at the apex of the FCD family.  Hoya FCD100 is considered the best glass ever produced by Hoya.

Featuring an air-spaced triplet optical design that virtually eliminates chromatic aberrations, these telescopes generate brilliant high-contrast images by combining genuine HOYA FCD100 extra-low dispersion (ED) glass and proprietary EMD enhanced multi-layer deposition on all optical surfaces.

The saxon FCD100 Triplet Series is available with 80mm aperture 480mm focal length F6 optics, 102mm aperture 714mm focal length F7 optics and 127mm aperture 952mm focal length F7.5 optics.

In addition, these amazing Telescopes include a dual speed (10:1) 2.5″ Hexagonal focuser featuring a very rigid design with strong support. Up to 4.5kgs of camera gear can be loaded onto these focusers.

Having a true diffraction-limited optical design and sized to encourage spontaneous stargazing sessions, these high-quality telescopes are a perfect grab-and-go instrument for exploring the skies.

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The NexDome Modular Observatory System

NexDome on Compatible Walls

The NexDome 2.2M Observatory Dome is compatible with other popular Dome Walls. Unlike half-dome designs, NexDome is a classic observatory dome with more than 100 degrees of shutter opening, allowing you to point your telescope to the zenith while remaining shielded from stray light and wind.

The great thing about NexDome is that its a modular system. You can purchase just the components you need to build an observatory or a complete solution.  If you have already built a DIY shed and require an automated dome then purchase just the NexDome 2.2m Dome and Ring. If you have an existing observatory with 2.2m diameter walls and rollers then upgrade to a fully automated NexDome solution with the NexDome 2.2m Dome only.