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John P

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Posts posted by John P

  1. Have you had the chance to try them out yet. I'm thinking about these so I'm getting as much info on them and reading up before I part with a lot of money.

    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 :grin:

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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 :grin:

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. John P: What you say makes unfoirtunately some sense. They are talks, not teaching meetings or courses.

    From a club point of view covering basic observing will interest just those that have started, the remainder of the club will either already know or not be interested.

    From that aspect what you want would interest possibly 5 members only. Then the rest (majority) of the club have a reason for complaint. More likely they just would not attend those evenings and the clubs would lose income.

    Sorry but the club does not exist for beginners only and as a club it is therefore having to consider the majority at the expense of the minority.

    Did you consider the option of asking if someone would run a beginners observing "course" say 3 or 4 nights where people pay say £3-5 a night. That way you get what you want, they get some extra income. This assumes that the other beginners think it worthwhile and pay also for the nights.

    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 :grin:

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  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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 :embarrassed:

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. OK but please note that the ED120 is technically right on the the recommended max load for the AZ-4 with the steel tubed tripod. It's useable but there are compromises as I've mentioned in my posts above. Just don't want you to be dissapointed :D

    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? :)

  15. 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...

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