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  2. Elan Valley: https://www.elanvalley.org.uk/explore/dark-skies/where-go It's getting much busier on the estate these days, so remember to close /shield your eyes when cars are going by... Out of all the sites listed, Teifi pools is the most peaceful, with strong Milky Way structure visible. Craig Goch is a lovely site to set up in but the busiest with lots of photographers around. There is no/poor mobile signal although emergency available at elevation and you might pick up a 4g signal. It's dark everywhere on the Elan Estate. Don't know about the Brecon beacons. Hopefully someone else will provide good locations to set up. The county of Hereford is known to be the darkest in England so in addition, it's worth exploring the rural N Western county border to Wales/Shropshire.
  3. One advantage of Maxim / PinPoint it uses the downloaded GSC11 catalogue, pretty fast and no internet needed. Dave
  4. It's looking like the Takahashi FC100D F7.4 is just up your street. The DF version is better designed for imaging as it has a larger focuser than the DC. version, giving a larger image circle. There's no visible false colour in my DC on the limb of the Moon visually, but I tend to use only 1.25" 52° eyepieces rather than wide angles which add lateral colour. (All the FC100's can be used for imaging, its just your preference that matters). There's no reason I can think of why the SW Triplets can't be used for solar, as all the elements are at the front. The heat is concentrated at the focalmpoint and doesn't affect the lens. ( Quadruplets like the FSQ and NP101 can't be used for solar unless a full aperture filter is used, as it will damage the rear elements).
  5. I have been umming and ahhing over which direction to take, regarding a travel scope, since getting my 9.25 Evolution SCT: It is in no way ever going to be described as a backpack scope! At first I thought I was settled on a refractor, such as the 72 ED from Skywatcher, but gradually drifted away from that and thanks to various posts on this forum, decided to go for a C5, instead. Added to which there will be a cross over between the two SCTs, regarding accessories. Next I had to decide which version to go for, which was not as easy at it should have been really. I was going to get the version on the Celestron SLT mount, even though it is not yet available, but having asked questions here about that mount, I was put off. I had heard many good reports about the Skywatcher AZ GTI, but of course, even though the two companies are owned by the same parent company, you cannot get a package including: a C5 and a AZ GTI. I would think it is an obvious package, shame non of the sellers can arrange that! @FLO Anyway I decided to get the final mount separately later, intending to get the OTA and mount it on a Horizon tripod, which I already had, for the short term. The thing is that the OTA on its own is just short of £ 500, the same as the C6 OTA, oddly, but I soon saw that the Omni version was only a little dearer, so I thought it was a no brainer really... I got the Omni version and have yet to use the mount, not sure that I ever will, but it has potential, seems much better than the Skywatcher EQ3-2, which I also own, we shall see. However even though I had doubts about the Horizon tripod being up to the job, it is! I do have issues with balance, but feel I will soon sort that. I have now learned several things, not least that it attaches very easily and seems very secure! It has also showed me how lazy I have become since getting the Evolution mount, tracking is just so good! This is especially so when using higher magnification. I think moving forward the purchase of a new lightweight; tracking mount has to be a high priority. I first used my new 26mm ES 62 degree eyepiece and was very happy with the result, sharp across the entire view, maybe better that my 9.25, at least in some ways, which makes me wonder if I need to revisit the state of the collimation there... I was very impressed with the sate of collimation on this scope, ( thank you FLO, ) no attention needed there I would guess. Lots of good views, though it got quite hard to track with the higher magnification, as I said. I also tried the cheap Seben zoom eyepiece and the Baader barlow and found everything very satisfactory. I saw no problems with CA, unlike with my 102 ST, which means that may be on the way out soon too as I doubt it is going to get used much now. However this scope is going to get a lot of use, it is just so light, about a quarter of the weight of the 9.25 OTA, in fact just one hand, even with the tripod included. Which is a good point to include some weights here I think. The OTA alone weighs in at about 5.2 pounds, ( 2.36 KG, ) without a diagonal or eyepiece, which is less than the 6.5 pounds that FLO etc., quote. The Horizon tripod weighs in at about eight pounds, which surprised me, but still gives a very satisfactory total light weight of around 13.3 pounds, ( 6 KG. ) My weigh ins are of an unknown accuracy, but I think they are reasonably accurate. I can well imagine that a light weight tripod would be good here, but which one? This of course is why I have posted in this section, rather than just the review section, this is a journey towards perfection and I suspect I will need help. Which brings me to my next questions: Do I still go for the AZ GTI, or will the Skywatcher Star Adventurer be a better all round performer, they do after all seem to have similar specs. Or for that matter there are further options, such as the ioptron possibilities. I wonder how long this decision will take to make? I think I am close to a perfect travel scope here, not only very lightweight, but very compact and without any doubt a backpack scope. Lastly I have to admit to a little accident, when unpacking, all of the packaging was great, usual from FLO, but the end dustcap on the OTA is not the best, it was loose as I pulled out the OTA and dropped off towards the floor. No problem? Well, yes when my reflex made a grab for it before it hit the floor and caught the correcter plate with my greasy paw... Is there an after market improvement on the supplied dustcap available, because the supplied one is not very good? Not a disaster and it does not seem to affect the view, but I just know my mad head will forever see that grease every time I take the OTA out of its box. I know I shouldn't and probably will be able to resist, but it will be there accusing me! If there is interest in the thread, I will post updates as I go on my journey, if not I will not, obviously... Edit: One other thing, the tripod makes me think I dodged something bad here, with the Dob I might have got without tracking, I suspect my simple mind would not enjoy such...
  6. Are you referring to the SGP Framing and Mosaic Wizard not finding objects when you type in the name. It uses the online Simbad database to find object coordinates and online Sky survey for the images at your requested FOV, if they aren't in your local cache from previous searches. Sometimes it takes a while for Simbad and Sky survey to return the coordinates. Platesolving isn't used to find named objects, just to point the scope to the coordinates that are returned by querying Simbad or other databases. I've noticed Simbad doesn't recognize Caldwell designations but has no trouble with M, NGC or common object names. Alan
  7. Will have to have another look now, whizzed round the rim earlier and only spotted the big prom. Dave
  8. and don't make them too shallow, also if the steps are in darkness, paint some fluorescent edges...
  9. Has somebody cut a brassiere in half ??
  10. I hope you enjoy Mark. If you find collimation is off try rotating the focuser slightly. I could never get it set up correctly so the rotator could be used.
  11. Just don't cover both eyes at the same time!
  12. Does anyone know the correct mounting points for a motor focuser on an Esprit 150? Looking at the bottom of the focuser there are four slotted screwheads that seem to be set in concrete. Are these the best place? Also how do you get the focuser knobs off. The x10 knob comes off easily by undoing a screw, but there are no obvious screws for the large knobs. Again they appear to be set in concrete if you pull them. The focuser is a Pegasus cube on an L bracket.
  13. Very interesting. I'll give that a try. Thanks Ole. Olly
  14. I've heard from a very trustworthy source that the 72ED makes a terrific visual grab and go scope.
  15. All ok but where in phd2 do i adjust gain please
  16. Hi all, Does anyone have any recommendations for good sites for AP around Brecon or the Elan Valley.... or anywhere within about an hour from Hereford? Finally happy that I can run my rig reliably from a leisure battery and also power my laptop so want to go to a dark site . Rgds Aidan
  17. Hi, just got one of these for imaging, cant say about observing but have found it V good with a TS FR/ FF. for imaging with a ZWO 1600 pro. Nice little scope.
  18. Well if it is one of the corner stars on the box i will find it.
  19. Easy to find, difficult to splt being both close (1.3 arc seconds currently I think) and the componant stars being uneven in brightness. A real test of observer, seeing conditions and scope optics:
  20. Ahoy thar fellow astronomers! Nah all thin's 'ave t' be fancy 'n expensive. These ones prolly 'ave some o' th' best performance t' price ratio thar be.
  21. is this because these targets aren't in the SGPro database? If yes, then you could try other planetarium software that has telescope control - I use SkyMap Pro, but there are other capable programs such as Cartes du Ciel. I use Pinpoint Lite to plate solve (within MaxImDL) and this just does plate solving, no target selection/go-to, for this you go-to the target beforehand (I use MaxIm or SMP as detailed previously). For info, plate solving does fail sometimes, even PS2. In these rare cases I try to get a deeper image with a larger pixel scale resolution (just bin the image to give a coarser resolution) - this seems to help. HTH, Andy
  22. Well the objective diameter is just the aperture of your scope, and the limiting magnitude will be the faintest star you can see on a clear night. If you look at Ursa Minor, the faintest star is just under mag 5 so if you can see all seven then you NELM is about 5.
  23. Today
  24. I dont have a frying pan big enough
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