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It turns out there is no way to adjust the collimation on the standard focuser on the Equinox 80. I decided to import the Moonlite version from the US, complete with a motorised focus motor. I also upgraded my 8″ newt at the same time as I had serious sagging issues with that buy the time the QHY8 and MPCC were hanging off it. The build quality on both focusers is top class, they take the full weight of the whole imaging train and don’t give way at all. I was also able to crack auto-focusing using Focusmax, although I did have to change from using a Lazyfocus to a Shoestring Astronomy FCUSB.

A cracking clear night gave me a chance to test out the new focuser. It was a full moon so back to Hydrogen-Alpha imaging. To prove the added bonus of a properly collimated scope with a flat field I decided to revisit the previous attempt at this popular Cygnus emission nebula. The results speak for themselves, the CCD inspector analysis was far better and I was able to get a much sharper result. It was such a good night I was able to squeeze in 3 targets, over 8 hours imaging in total, more in one night that I had previously managed in the whole of 2009!

Camera: QHY8 with Astronomik 6nm Ha Filter
Scope: Skywatcher Equinox 80 with Televue TRF-2008
Mount: EQ6 with EQMOD
Guiding: Orion ST80 with QHY5
Capture Software: CCD Commander, The Sky, Maxim DL
Processing Software: DSS, Photoshop
Exposures: (NGC7000 / IC5070): 14 x 600 secs (2 hours 20 mins)
Calibration: 100 x Bias, 50 x Flats

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