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John P

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  1. I spent an hour under the stars tonight trying them out, and comparing them against my Celestron 15x70 bins, and can tell you the Apollo's won easily! Under my very light-polluted skies, I saw M13 for the first time, and the Andromeda Galaxy seemed (to my untrained eyes) more defined in the Apollo's. In my opinion, they are worth every penny. I see them as an investment as I can't see me parting with them anytime in the next 30 years or so
  2. Well, after what has seemed like an eternity, my new Helios Apollo 15x70 binoculars arrived yesterday. I have just unpacked them and first impressions are that they are excellent. They just ooze quality. All I need now are clear skies
  3. Another +1 for the Helios Fieldmaster, great value for money bins
  4. I have spoken to Ed at Harrison's, but they are out of stock At this rate I might have to find a different hobby, as I can't believe that whatever I choose, no one ever seems to have any stock!
  5. Thank you, that looks like it will do the job. just got to find a supplier who's got them in stock now...
  6. Thanks everyone for your advice, you have all confirmed what I originally thought. It is just so frustrating when you have the money burning a hole in your pocket but no one can supply you! Now, could anyone advise if it is possible to mount binoculars on my Skytee 2? Presumably I would need some sort of adapter that incorporates a dovetail? or am I clutching at straws and need to buy a separate tripod?
  7. I wanted to buy the 15x70's originally, but no one has any in stock and it's looking like it may be October before they are available, However, the Quantum 4 are available now. I've got a Manfrotto monopod with trigger grip ball head, but I'm not sure if this would handle the Quantum 4. If not, is there any sort of adapter available so I could mount them on my Skytee 2? Or should I wait for the 15x70's?
  8. Wonderful. Just wonderful. After struggling with an EQ5 (no matter how I tried, my brain just could not get to grips with it), I finally had control over my 'scope and could point it exactly where I wanted to within seconds. For purely visual observing, it is fantastic. Just plonk it down and away you go. I went outside and was observing less than two minutes later. It handles my Evostar 120 with ease, and is rock solid. I can see many years of pleasurable observing in my future now
  9. After several conversations with Ed, who I must have driven mad, I finally ordered my new SkyTee 2 mount on Wednesday evening. I received an email confirming it had been shipped on Thursday, and on Friday lunchtime Fedex delivered it. Excellent service, and great to find a retailer who will spend time talking to his customers.
  10. If Aston University was nearer to me, I would seriously consider joining to take advantage of the viewing platform as well. I would love to join a local group who were more interested in observing rather than just talking. Failing that, just meeting up with 2 or 3 other enthusiasts for observing sessions would be great. I've got a Skywatcher Evostar 120, will soon have a SkyTee 2 to put it on, but have lousy viewing conditions from my garden. I don't drive, but maybe there is someone out there who does have transport and better skies, but no 'scope, who would be interested in pooling our resources so we both benefit?
  11. I understand everything you are saying Capricorn. The point I was trying to make was that there was no provision at all for newbies. I would not expect any society to introduce wholesale changes to how it presents its meetings just for new members, but I would have thought they would try and encourage new people to swell their ranks. Also, as amateur astronomy is a practical hobby, i expected to pick up useful tips on observing. Let's face it, If you go to a chess club, you play chess
  12. I've got a mercury 707 - The scope is ok, the mount was pants ('was' as in it fell apart in next to no time)
  13. My nearest astronomical society is in Wolverhampton. I attended a few meetings last year, and on the surface everyone was friendly, but I stopped going in the end because quite frankly it was boring. Not once was there an observing session before the meetings began (despite their website stating there would be), and the talks I saw, although interesting up to a point, were VERY in-depth and biased towards facts and figures rather than practical observing tips. It was certainly not an enviroment that helped me advance as a visual observer of the night sky, in fact it nearly put me off completely! I know that it has been going for a good many years, and that the members probably really enjoy their meetings, but there was no emphasis placed on the practical side of observing, which is what I and several other newbies who I met there really wanted.
  14. Thanks for all the replies. i'm afraid DIY means Destroy It Yourself when tools come into contact with me , so I think the tube rings that Capricorn has found at TS might be the way to go. That said, I do like the look of those wooden mounts. I wonder if I could persuade my Brother-in Law to take on a new project...
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