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John P

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Everything posted by John P

  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...
  15. Back in October of last year my wife bought me a Skywatcher Mercury 707 refractor. At the time I would rather (ungratefully) have had the cash to put towards a SkyTee 2 for my Evostar 120, but after trying the 707 out I was pleasantly surprised at how good the views were and have used it as a 'grab and go' 'scope. Unfortunately, the mount that it came with is pants, and has now dropped to bits (thankfully I was holding the tube at the time). I am left with a set of flimsy tripod legs, and nothing to attach the tube to. I've almost saved enough to buy a SkyTee 2 mount now, but was just wondering if anyone had any ideas on a cheap way to make this a working grab'n go scope again (eg. would I be able to fit tube rings and a dovetail to it), or is it only fit for the dustbin now?
  16. I'd be happy to find any site that isn't my back garden! Believe me, living right on top of a dual-carraigeway which wipes out the southern skies is no fun at all. However, not being able to drive limits where I can go, as an Evostar 120 + mount are not easy to manage on a bus
  17. It would be great if we could find a half-decent dark site that isn't miles and miles away. I live right by a dual carraigeway, and my southern skies are obscured by several streetlights so other than planetary viewing I don't get to see a lot!
  18. Evening all. Just thought I'd pop in and say hello. Good to see there is now a proper group set up for the West Mids.
  19. I'm just wondering if there is anything else out there that can handle an Evostar 120. I'm currently using an EQ5 mount, but I really just want an alt-az mount that I can just plonk down and start observing straight away. I have no intention of getting involved in astrophotography, and will only ever want to mount one telescope at a time. If a Skytee 2 is the only alt-az mount capable of handling the 120 then so be it, but if anyone can suggest an alternative I would appreciate it.
  20. I recently bought a second-hand Evostar 120 refractor, but just my luck, no second-hand mounts have come up for sale! So, while I save up for a brand new SkyTee 2, I thought I would be limited to my 15x70 bins. But no. What was in the big box delivered by courier yesterday morning? Only a Skywatcher Mercury 707 refractor (70mm aperture), complete with mount and eyepieces! The wife had got fed up of me sulking and thought she'd surprise me. It only took a few minutes to set it up, and about 9.00pm I picked it up and plonked it down in the back garden. It may only be very basic, but the advantage of that is that you can be at the eyepiece virtually straight away. After spending an hour just slowly sweeping the sky and getting used to it, Jupiter had come into view. I was only using the 25mm eyepiece, but could easily make out two bands across the planets surface, and all four moons. I was that enthralled I forgot to try either the 10mm or the barlow. I spent an hour just tracking Jupiter, amazed that such a small telescope could show such detail from my very light-polluted garden. Obviously, I am looking forward to getting the Evostar 120 up and running, but this little gem has eased the pain of having to wait. For anyone just starting out on a really tight budget, why not try one of these? It cost £84.99 inc. delivery.
  21. Decisions, decisions... Going off on a tangent now, but I think I'm correct in assuming a Skywatcher Startravel is more suited to DSO's. If this is so, I might think of getting the AZ4 for now, then at a later date upgrading to something like a SkyTee for the Evostar, and use the AZ4 for a Startravel 102 or 120. That's assuming I don't win the lottery this weekend
  22. Mmmm, you've got me thinking again now John... It would be a shame to have all that aperture and not be able to exploit it fully. OK, here's another silly question: If I get an EQ5 instead, how easy are they to set up? Bearing in mind my technical skills are virtually zero (no exaggeration! Hence the interest initially in an Alt Az mount), is polar alignment difficult, and do you have to keep adjusting the counterweights while observing?
  23. Thanks to everyone for contributing, I really appreciate it John, I would love the Skytee, but at the moment I can barely afford the AZ4. I didn't plan on getting a 'scope this big yet, but I've been offered one second-hand and the thought of all that aperture is just too tempting! Now I know the AZ4 can handle it and there'll be no problems with the finder, I think FLO will be getting an order soon...
  24. I have looked at the Skywatcher AZ4, the only thing that I can't get my head around is that the OTA would need to be side mounted. Now I know I'm a bit thick, and this is my first 'proper' telescope, so where would the finderscope go?
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