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About this blog

My journey from wanting a scope to looking at the heavens

Entries in this blog

Andrew W

So it's happened!

I've got a scope.

My initial intentions of getting a small refractor were well and truly side-swiped by RobH on here doing me a corking deal on his ST120.

Having thrown in some extras including the dovetail and scope rings, a basic electronic focuser, an old EQ3 mount and a couple of eye pieces within the price I came away a very happy bunny.

Obviously the ST120 is is a BIT bigger than the ST80 size I was intending and certainly not what I consider suitable to go in hand luggage but it was too good a deal to pass up and gets me started.

So I put the scope on my new EQ3 mount and was ready to rock.

Obviously as a result it was cloudy that night. :rolleyes:

There was no chance to try proper polar alignment as there were almost no stars visible due to the cloud.

I pointed the tripod leg North as indicated and pretty much winged it.

I christened the loss of my telescope 'virginity' with a quick look see at the moon.

It's bright isn't it!

Someone has obviously turbo charged it in the past as it fairly rocked out of view in my eye-piece.

Between the cloud banks I was kept happily entertained for about an hour.

The need to get up stupid early for work on Saturday morning closed play early but the latest obsession begins.

Bamus on here has just accepted some beer tokens for a 2" T-adaptor.

I just need a DSLR and camera ring now and I can confuse myself even more.

Andrew W

Info overload!

The internet is a wonderful resource.

There's almost no subject on which you can't find a plethora of information and opinion.

For every possible argument there's a counter and several tangential debates.

In my on going hunt for the right starter scope I'm finding that every time I make a decision I'm overwhelmed with opposing or differing views.

Every thread opens up some new possibilities and closes others.

24 hours later I read other stuff and make a U turn.

My budget veers hourly between £80 and £800 as I convince myself of the merit of one end of the scale and then change my mind with the merits of the other.

Suffice to say it's all very good fun but means making a decision is almost impossible.

Back when I was young and had hair there was generally (if you were lucky) one magazine that covered your chosen hobby.

They dispensed wisdom which you were expected to slavishly follow and much derision and name calling would ensue if you didn't follow the herd!

My how times have changed.

I'm pretty sure I've decided to go for a small refractor around 80mm for a number of reasons and whilst it won't do everything it'll do most of what I want to start with but if you check back in an hour it'll be a 16" Dob :grin:

Andrew W

and the answer is 'not to see'

having had my interest fired I'm keen to get some time out with my cheapie bino's and the planisphere.

I'm keen to practice working my way around the night sky manually with no electronic trickery to help me.

I was working last night and due to finish at 3am.

There's a nice hill about a mile from my house with few trees and no houses or street lamps so I thought I was all set.

I had the car rather than my pushbike so I'd have been set by about 03:20.

and.........

you guessed it Clouds AND Fog.

sigh

Andrew W

Starting out.

Where to start?

I went into my local library and a chap was there doing a display for the local astronomy club.

He had a massive scope and fantastic photographs taken with said equipment.

I had a quick chat having not realised we even had a local astronomy club and a quick peruse of the photo's.

If I'm honest there may possibly have been a touch of 'geek' about said chap but I've come to realise over the years that there's a touch of 'geek' in me aswell. :grin: (If said chap ever gets to see this SORRY!)

I nearly had a heart attack when he told me how much the kit had cost but a little switch must have clicked at the back of my head without me realising it.

I was with the wife and wasn't able to spend too long chatting with the chap so we got on our way.

Over the next couple of weeks I kept thinking about the photo's and thinking I'd like to know a bit more and have a bit of a look up there myself.

I was also aware that having a mortgage, several other hobbies and the usual day to day expenses that we all have I certainly couldn't justify thousands of pounds of equipment on a hobby I haven't even tried yet!

That brings me to here. Whilst trawling the internet and you tube getting some 'expectation re-alignment' I stumbled across SGL.

I figured I'd start the blog as my own record of what's happening and where I'm at.

If anybody else is interested all the better but this is my record of my journey.

Let the heavens open and the wallet start to empty :rolleyes:

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