Update April 11, 2022:

Sky-Watcher Explorer 130PDS

My latest setup, a Sky-Watcher Explorer 130PDS. Finally an upgrade after years of using my 400mm Canon lens 🙂

To be honest, my new setup was a “happy accident”. A few days ago I ordered a new guide scope with metal tube rings to replace the current one, which is mounted on a tall finder scope bracket. Unfortunately I received the wrong guide scope… The (currently unavailable) ordered version is black and has 180mm focal length, the delivered version is white and has 205mm focal length. Both are 50mm finder/guide scopes.

Happily I found the initially ordered guide scope in another store, so I ordered there… Surprisingly I received again the same wrong type as before from the other store… maybe they have the same supplier, which delivered a whole series of wrong labeled scopes…

Anyway, I almost sent them back, but after a few days of thinkabout it, I decided to keep them both 🙂

Namely to realize this setup:

The left guide scope it’s primarly for balance, but I’ll use it also visually (of course not during a photo session). The right tube will act as guide scope and carry the MGEN auto guiding camera.

The slightly heavier MGEN camera on the right scope (compared to the lightweight eyepiece used on the left guide scope) compensates the disbalance caused by the 90° rotated DSLR.

The dual parallel mount is stabilized by 2 screws on the main dove tail bar, as shown in the photo on the right:

For balance fine tuning I use M6 12mm or 18mm screws on the side dove tail bars. One 12mm screw weights around 4 to 5 grams.

Also I had to replace the DEC saddle screw in order to be able to attach this setup. Its the same screw type I used as replacement for the original tripod leg screws.

Guide Scope

TS-Optics Deluxe 50mm Guiding/Finder scope with micro focuser

Aperture: 50mm
Focal length: 205mm
Focal ratio: f/4.1
1.25″ Helical micro focuser / T2 thread
10mm T2 extension

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