Men – and equipment – can multitask

Something struck me recently while I was sitting at my computer – there I was writing, but at the same time I was checking the magazine’s Facebook page, had several astro related web sites open and was keeping an eye on my inbox for replies from suppliers and colleagues. And they say blokes can’t multitask!

But it’s not just the male of the species that is becoming more adept at doing more than one thing at once: there are now many examples of equipment that can ‘multitask’ in a variety of uses. Now this is an interesting development as it means there is more to justify the outlay on that nice expensive bit of kit, since it can do so many things. Well, that’s what I tell my wife as she tries to keep our – OK – my spending under control.

Mounts such as the new Meade LX80 are multi purpose and can be altaz, equatorial or can even accommodate dual OTAs, depending on how you want to set it up. CCD cameras and even the latest DSLRs also seem to have a variety of uses. For example, the latest QHY IMGOH CCD camera can be used for planetary or deep-sky imaging, or as a guide camera. Meanwhile some of the latest Canon DSLRs can also take good quality video – making it possible to do both deep sky imaging and planetary imaging with the same camera.

The multi-use trend is one that is apparent in the reviews section of our latest August 2012 issue. In it we review the Altair Astro MiniGuider System, which as well as being a compact guidescope is also a high-quality finder. We’re also looking at the Orion 10-inch f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph, which is not just a fast imaging system but can give great views as well, adding to its versatility. Also on test in the magazine is the Atik 428EX CCD, which gave great results when we tested it out imaging the deep sky.

It makes me wonder what multiple uses readers put their equipment to when observing or imaging. Why not drop us a line at contactus@skyatnightmagazine.com and let us know.

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