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About Alkaid

  • Rank
    Proto Star

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    City based Lunar & Planetary observing, with an interest in the Messier objects when on trips to darker skies.
  • Location
    Leeds, West Yorkshire
  1. I'm attracted to the idea of the small scope for UK travel. The scope must also be suitable for terrestrial use too. I like the idea of the AZ GTI mount coupled with a suitable OTA, but not sure which one.... I think the ED72 would be very nice but as I'm currently using a 6" F5 newt on my trips, I'm not sure I could take such a hit in aperture. What can 72mm really do?? Then there are two 100mm options that wouldn't tax the mount - the little 102 Mak and the 100mm Startravel F5 short tube. Both very different characteristics, I think that the Mak would just be too long in the gears for sweeping star fields. And whilst the Startravel would be perfect for that, the blue / purple tinging of stars would irritate me slightly. How noticeable is the colour at low power, is it present? I suppose I'm just thinking out loud and getting my thoughts into words....any thoughts from you out there with these OTA's??
  2. Alkaid

    TAL-1 4.3" Reflector Review

    I've got a TAL100RS now...I like that too....
  3. Alkaid

    Lunar Tonight

    Stu, that's superb. Thanks! I'm liking the lunar imaging challenge, it's great fun. Just need a decent barlow or telextender to really bring up the power a bit now.
  4. Alkaid

    Lunar Tonight

    Overall I am pleased with the sharpness of the image, but do you think over-exposed? I had DSLR on auto settings.... Pleased with this achromat though - I can't really see any CA (very slight touch of blue at top right of image), but hardly noticeable do you think?
  5. Alkaid

    The Moon in 3 lights and close ups 29-11-17

    Nice work! Great seeing last night, I had a good session too.
  6. Alkaid

    Lunar Tonight

    Had a decent outing tonight, managed visual of a couple of things I have struggled to see previously with poor seeing.......saw Timocharis central crater, plus craterlet 'A' in Plato. Great session, followed by a shot through DSLR at prime focus. OTA was TAL100RS.
  7. Hey domstar, no worries. If the lens on my refractor was already dewed up when outside, I would still bring it inside to a cold room and leave the caps off at both ends overnight. My house has a cellar that is typically just a few degrees warmer than outside; so if the scope is not already dewed up, it won't dew up like a bathroom window upon bringing inside......and if it is dewed up beforehand, the slightly warmer temp will evaporate the existing dew without allowing any more condensate to form. It's all about temperature differentials and keeping them to a minimum. Warm the scope up slowly after use= no water inside. But if dewing does happen on the lens during use- never cap a wet scope and leave it. I did that once with an old scope thinking I would deal with in the morning and when I did the moisture had passed to the inside surfaces of the two doublet lenses....it evaporated but left very unsightly dew spots that could not be removed without lens disassembly....and no way was I wanting to do that.... And if you do the overnight thing and leave the scope uncapped at the lens end, make sure the other end is also uncapped so that each side of the lens might warm up at the same(ish) rate. Perhaps I'm going a bit far really....but I do not like dew / water on my optics Thank god I don't own a Mak (yet) LOL
  8. Good to hear! Looked like dried dew to me, or condensation from being brought back into the warm house straight from a cold night. I learnt that lesson with a cheaper refractor - always bring it back up to temp slowly....ED100 has a case (hopefully you got one with it??) so if you take the case outside with you so that it becomes cold, bringing the cased scope back inside with you at the end of the session will allow the inside of the case to warm up very slowly - result is no mist or condensation issues on the lens. With my TAL (no case) I take it straight into a cool cellar when coming in and leave it there for a while....otherwise the lens would look like it had been in the shower :-)
  9. Alkaid

    Pictures of your set up

    I wish I had taken these pics outside, but hey ho... TAL100RS with fetching dewcap from Screwfix, good for transportation and reduces scope length to around 900mm. All mounted: With baader finder shoe and dual finder attachment from FLO, works really well... 4" of well figured humble achromatic glass:
  10. What you will find is that 'bundled packages' (scope, mount, eyepieces) at the lower price brackets for all of the manufacturers you have listed will normally result in a good telescope, poor (wobbly) mount and 'useable' eyepieces. So ok for the beginner, but the mount is usually the problem. When looking at the higher price brackets, you can get a good telescope, good mount - but again bundled with 'ok' eyepieces. Many more experienced observers will buy everything separately. Not unusual to see a Skywatcher mount, with a Celestron Schmitt Cassegrain telescope (SCT) being used with Televue eyepieces. We can mix and match to get the best for our personal requirements. I currently use a Skywatcher mount with a Celestron newtonian for deep sky and then change for a Russian refractor on the same mount for observing the moon. I use Celestron XCel eyepieces which are not Televiews, but they are much better than the bundled eyepieces. Generally speaking, I think all manufacturers mentioned are very good.
  11. Alkaid

    Skywatcher ED120, some musings

    Sorry to re-open the thread after such time, but well said. It's very important to have other hobbies and interests, otherwise one can loose a bit of enthusiasm. I think that by taking time out from a hobby, two things happen. 1) You stop worrying about all the crap that comes with that particular hobby (e.g. poor weather and clouds). And 2) when you do re-visit after a couple of months, you sort of re-kindle the hobby with double the enthusiasm. In Jules defence, I think that if he was to take a break (won't happen LOL!) - he'd be very happy with whatever scope was in the current line up. It's simply brilliant to look through any telescope when you haven't done it for a while. Brilliant. PS - Jules, I quite like the fact that you are constantly changing scopes for evaluation - please don't let anyone stop you!
  12. Been mentioned a couple of times in the thread, here's mine - taken on a phone and the pics could be better (should've used the DSLR)... For transport....with a fetching orange cap from Screwfix(!) which reduces the length to around 900mm... When up and running... I used a Baader finder shoe and a dual finder attachment from FLO....simple red dot to get me in the area, RA finder to hone in...simples! Stock TAL finder is very nice, but I can't get on with straight finders myself. I've kept the TAL finder and shoe in a box for safe keeping. Humble 4" achromatic glass. Very well figured though! It's a great scope. Perhaps one day they'll make them again...
  13. Alkaid

    Anyone observed at Sutton Bank?

    Hear hear! I've experienced some mild annoyances during observing away from home, but no actual intimidation or threat of having my kit nicked. It would seem that the only nutters out in the hills at 2am in freezing conditions are astronomers ;-)

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