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Posts posted by ZZraynj

  1. It's a trade off for me. I too have to get up early, but I console myself by enjoying the garden until twilight. I suspect the stars (et al) will still be there, waiting come darker evenings. Actually, I'm looking forward to Jupiter coming out to play again, so it keeps up the long term interest (for me, anyway).

  2. Well, what an odd turnout of events.

    As I posted, I was finding my goto hugely frustrating. So I did two things. First I bought a lazer collimator and seconf, put a bit on a 12" Dob on ebay. Both came up on the same day, though the collimator slightly earlier. So as I'd read a huge amount about collimation, I was heatened by the dialogue and commentary in this forum. So decided to give it a go. The thing wasn't working anyway. It so happens that the primary was 'out' by some magnitude (but alas, once armed with this enthusiastic news) clouds meant I was not entirely sure that I'd 'done it'. Then, my bid came up on the 12" Dob and I got it (with a whole bunch of eyepieces 2" & 1.25").

    So I managed to sneak the Revelation home and place it strategically in the garage. Then, the clouds parted (I know, it's aqll falling into place), so I took the goto out and, blow me, it works.

    I've had a couple of decent clear nights (by clear, I'll explain in a bit) and am absolutely loving the sky. Why did I not notice it for the last 50 years, you might have thought at some time in your life (after a few beers) lying on your back, looking up and thing b*gger me, where did they come from ?. It's just great, I love 'em.

    Anyway, back to the Dob. Yeah, I know I'm going to see a lot more through that than my 4.5 inch skywatcher, but I sort of figure, I want to get all I can from that before I discar it and move onto the big boy. Beside, I'm nowhere near au fait with the universe yet and the goto is really helping me to identify (and commit to permanent memory) all my new friends up there.

    Is that wierd or just silly romantic, hey I don't know.

    Anyway, back to the sky. At the moment, all I can reallt 'get into' is a SW 45 degree arc before either my house, the houses around me or the d4mned street lights either dilute or obstruct stuff. So, I've been driving around Cannock Chase looking for a perfect spot (now found) and pretty soon, when I'm a bit more confident, I'll be going up there for jet black skies (though I am concerned about the thought of presenting myself with two telecopes into a ..... let's say "canine activity" area... if you get my drift. But hopefully they'll be too busy to wotrry about me looking heavens bound.

    So to sum up, the GOTO is my friend and no longer my enemy and the future is bright (or let's hope the opposite) with the 12" to look forward to (if dear wifey doesn't discover it first).

    Just a shame this all came into ascencion , just as Jupiter has dipped below the horizon. Going to load up Stelarium now to she when she's back in my (limited) field of view.

    And finally, thanks all for your wonderful warm welcome messages.

    This is a GREAT place to be (philosophically and metaphorically).

  3. Thanks Jim,

    It's such a shame that such a wonderful innovation like the synscan is let down by such poor documentation and that it is left to early adopters and pioneers like youself you to inform the rest of us.

    I didn't know about park and will give it a bash before the next session.

    Many thanks for that.

  4. Hi all,

    It’s time I bit the bullet and stopped lurking around as a ‘vacuum’.

    Dear wifey bought me a Skywatcher 1145p Goto for Christmas. Apart from the initial frustrations of never ending clouds, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few evenings.

    But alas, the frustrations of cloud formations fall into insignificance compared to my seemingly endless ineptitude to get a simple motorised apparatus to do anything worthwhile.

    I have to say I chuckled heartily at petuplink’s story of the aperture cover as I myself had only been using the small opening until I saw the youtube video by the astronomy-and-nature-centre (very informative) and realised you could take the whole thing off.:(

    So with renewed vigour and more light available, I felt I could take on the whole universe. Sadly, I fell short at the alignment stage and couldn’t get it to align to anything meaningful. So, I’m a positive guy, surely I can just do it manually, I thought.

    Well, a month later, I’ve finally managed to locate the moon. Don’t get me wrong, I love the moon, taken some pics of it, very proud of myself and my moon, but I can’t help but think it’s an easy target and nothing really to be proud of.

    I’m wondering whether or not to ditch the goto and get a more ‘manual’ type tripod/mount as I think this is probably more my style and in some ways more tactile (I hope you know what I mean), I guess it’s possible to strap some rings on the tube and stick it on a different mounting/tripod.

    But I’m also wondering if it’s worth, forgetting that and going for a bigger Dobsonian type, I’m not particularly worried about tracking and stuff, I quite like the idea of looking through something someone did a few hundred years ago. I mean after all, if I want fancy photos etc (and honestly, I’m not disrespecting all the good work others do and bring pleasure to themselves as well as others), there’s a plethora of imagery already out there already. Which sort of, in a way, brings me back to the just gazing part of it with no strings attached, just a pleasant evening looking up, instead of down at this sysncan, solely designed to bring me to distraction.

    One benefit, though, I’ve spent a lot more time recently just looking up and learning the stars (the easy ones) where they are in the firmament and perhaps where I am in the firmament too.

    By the time my little grandson is able to stand up and look through an eyepiece, I just might be able to tell him what stars we are looking at together.

    I hope that doesn’t come too soon (don’t want to wish his childhood away), and I hope it’s not light years away either.

    Bet you wish I’d stayed in my vacuum now :)

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