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Everything posted by Simms

  1. I've been out of the Astro game for a couple of years but have finally dusted down the HEQ5 and getting to enjoy all things Astro again. However, one of the things I have forgotten is a feature of Synscan that allows you to slew to an object (e.g. Jupiter) but if it is a little bit out you can manually slew to center the object then program the adjustment in.. I recall it being a single key press but for the life of me I cannot remember what it was... Any ideas? Thanks!
  2. To be honest using zero pressure caused no issues at all - i've checked it from all angles and it is pristine. Back when I used to "astro" all the time I always thought people were a bit too precious when it came to cleaning mirrors - sure if you are cleaning a mirror on the JWST then I can imagine the smallest blemish could be costly - but cleaned my mirror numerous times and as far as I can tell it's still as good as new..
  3. Hello Gary, how's it going? Last night was a bit of an eye opener - made me realise how much I have forgotten about astronomy. Took me awhile to get it collimated, cleaned, setup & aligned. Managed to get some good views of Jupiter last night, but this time of year from my garden doesn't yield much else. However it has reminded me that it's good to go in with an observing plan so one stays more focused. So today I have dusted off the laptop and might have a go at tracking this evening - not ready to dive into imaging again just yet but it might be on the cards. You still get out much?
  4. Well it's been about two years since my scope has seen the light of day, erm, black of night.. But finally got her down today, cleaned her off and set her up.. Looking forward to sun down. My mirror was rather dusty, still, a microfibre cloth with zero pressure soon took care of that. (see before and after pics) How is everyone? Missed me?
  5. Evening Essex brethren - for those in the know I today received another key for Area51 for the next 12 months. I am in the way of thinking that it should get more use this year!! I am looking at having a few all nighters out there - with permission I am thinking Telescopes, BBQ, beer until the sun comes up - any takers?
  6. I have been popping in occasionally but as more of a lurker than contributer - it will all change though - just a few more bits to sort out in Real-Life© and I'll probably be back on it soon after that! xx
  7. MattJenko - wow they are some cracking images mate! I feel I will be picking your brain a lot over the next few months!
  8. Hey hey hey!!! How's it going everyone - been a bad boy and neglecting my astronomy recently, but been a very busy year so hopefully I can be excused... BUT, and I like big buts, I am making an effort this year, a big effort, to get out a lot more often and that means Dengie!! Hopefully we can get our little group going again. Would love to hook up with Gary, Craig, Bamus and friends again and hopefully some new faces - so lets make it happen! I am subscribing to Dengie for another year so if everyone is willing then maybe we can get together once a month when the moon is new and the weather is fair so we can all meet up in a dark field in Essex and check out each others equipment!! Seriously though, the bug is slowly coming back, its sometimes good to have a bit of a break in a hobby, and I intend to get out a lot more often, maybe we could even pull a few all nighters - beers and a BBQ in Dengie? It would certainly be fun! Anyway, I will be popping in a lot more as I slowly get back into the swing of things - and hello to all the new members I don't know! Chat soon xxx
  9. I think ECC timed this wrong - they should of looked at turning them off in June/July when we have short evenings and it doesnt get "full dark" - I think from a psychological point of view it would of won more people over.
  10. I work in Chelmsford and go out there sometimes and have indeed been on the streets after 12 - very dark indeed!
  11. Originally we was supposed to be Oct 31st 2013 I actually hope that ECC do their normal trick of running rough-shod over what the voter actually want and just do it anyway like everything else!
  12. Well it seems Essex County Council have backed down a fair bit regarding Basildon - it seems a number of the "problem" estates are having their lighting left on - thankfully my estate is part of the switch off but the estate to the east of me is having it left on.. Hopefully there will still be a reduction of that horrible orange glow but it will not be as good as it could of been - still, look on the brightside - all those pensioners who complained about it being switched off can now walk the streets after midnight in safety....
  13. I went to Iceland back in March and it was a pretty life changing experience for me - considering going back next year but worried it wont live upto the first trip.. we saw aurora on 4 nights out of 8 and the second night was a full on auroral storm.. amazing experience coupled with sleeping in a 4x4 in -27c temperature in the far north of the country.. Lovely photos - I take it these were in the south of the Country near the galcial lake?
  14. Might be preaching to the converted, but found this tonight - absolutely brilliant - best (free) startrails software out there.. Really is pretty incredible - and multi platform! http://www.markus-enzweiler.de/StarStaX/StarStaX.html The comet mode is great!!
  15. OK, well it seems Chelmsford are already switching off at 12am!! I was driving through the other night late and was heading along New London Road - this is a main road in and out, and the lights were off and the difference was incredible!! There were still a few security lights on here and there but the sky was dark! It was a bit murky up there so no Milkyway as of yet, but there was none of that horrible orange glow on the base of the clouds.. Quite spooky to be honest - absolutely brilliant! It bodes well for November!
  16. Ugley is OK, but you do need permission at the site I found - but that was a few years ago and havent been back that often.. If you are coming from SW London surely you would be better placed to get down towards Salisbury or somthing? Its maybe a little bit further but you wouldnt have to deal with the nightmarish Friday night M25, then drive around looking for a good spot to park up. Or even head South towards the New Forest?
  17. I have the HEQ5 Pro and its not that heavy at all - although I would seriously consider going heavier and more stable - if your budget stretches to the NEQ6 then I' say go for it. The HEQ5 is sturdy, but the advertised weights it can handle really are at the top end of the scale and don't factor in a slight breeze - I use a SW 8" newt and thats fine, but add a DSLR and a few bits and pieces and you are pretty close to the comfort zone the mount can handle. In terms of weight, I can move the HEQ5 with tripod & scope around relatively easily, I reckon a 25meter lift is easily doable and as Knobby says, to transport it you would break it down to its component parts anyway - I daresay the NEQ6 comes in a little heftier, but certainly not that bad for a fit young fella like yourself. Basically - MTFU
  18. Basildon goes dark on November 1st - praying for clear weather - Nov 3rd there is a new moon!!!! COME ON!!!! This will be so interesting - will get some Midnight photos in October then some comparisons with same settings in November.. Basildon will be the new Dengie!
  19. I'm going to give it a few more weeks before venturing out - lets them dark nights pull in a bit - but I am sure we hook up somewhere.
  20. The one in Ugley is good - you have a certain amount of traffic going past but I found that slows to less than a car an hour after 10pm - it's no dartmoor by any means but it does the trick - prior `one off` permission from the farmer is required, but once you have that you can turn up whenever you want. I'll post some subs later to show you the LP at the site.
  21. and another -- you need to try harder mate. https://www.google.co.uk/maps?q=Great+Bardfield&hl=en&ll=51.966737,0.33688&spn=0.00142,0.004128&sll=51.574109,0.462394&sspn=0.091218,0.264187&oq=great+bardfiel&hnear=Great+Bardfield,+Essex,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=19
  22. Or this one - looks like a quieter road - come 10pm I doubt you'd get much at all.. https://www.google.co.uk/maps?q=Great+Bardfield&hl=en&ll=51.960447,0.418489&spn=0.00142,0.004128&sll=51.574109,0.462394&sspn=0.091218,0.264187&oq=great+bardfiel&hnear=Great+Bardfield,+Essex,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=19
  23. Or even this one - this looks perfect - sure you will get the odd car going along, but just close your eyes as they pass to preserve your night vision. Its got to be better than nothing! https://www.google.co.uk/maps?q=Great+Bardfield&hl=en&ll=51.956957,0.441791&spn=0.00071,0.002064&sll=51.574109,0.462394&sspn=0.091218,0.264187&oq=great+bardfiel&hnear=Great+Bardfield,+Essex,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=20
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