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Everything posted by idlelimey

  1. The mount legs are steel - at least I'm pretty sure they are. I keep them short, despite me being quite tall I've never needed to extend them any. I think I'm going to give it a go anyway. If it doesn't work then the dovetail will still come in use later on. I don't have motor drives on my mount but will pay attention to the ease and smooth motion of the RA etc. £20 for a dovetail seems a bit steep for a lump of aluminium so I'll keep an eye out on Astroboot.
  2. LOL! Fair play, but I don't have a car and I couldn't imagine the sight of my rig on the back of my little Vespa! Although it would make a few of the locals giggle I'm sure
  3. The ETX looks good as it's an inexpensive route to GOTO (if buying on eBay). That said, I recently picked up 3 Meade RB70 scopes for £10 (OTAs only) for a hobby project - I want to build them up to something approaching reasonable and donate them to local schools, 2 of them anyway. I'm test driving one now. Portable enough but can't achieve good focus with a 6mm (yes, I went there ). 8mm was okay and I'm about to tap Saturn up. Okay, it's not a patch on my larger aperture newt but it could be quite portable with a flimsy mount. But, damn, those ETXs look the part!
  4. I would also recommend this book - and best off all it cost about £2 from my local 'The Works' - not sure if they're a national franchise but most towns have something similar. As previously mentioned, A Brief History of Time by Hawking - it's old but still relevant AFAIK.
  5. I have a SW Exp. 200P and I have to say I love it! Although I don't go in for imaging yet. At which point I'm looking at one of those ST80s to hit off with. Funny though, I am in the market for a small aperture ETX as I'd like a portable scope to go out with - and as much as I adore my newt I'm not carrying that anywhere.
  6. Watching Star Trek with my Dad as boy. From there a fascination with 'Space' as I referred to Astronomy and related sciences. My Dad really encouraged it which had to have been the difference between a passing interest and a life long curiosity. And I still watch Star Trek. Currently Voyager on Sky Atlantic (it started at episode 1 and will run all the way through - highlight of my day sometimes).
  7. Thanks pritc! Just finished weighing in - OTA 9.3kg (inc. rings, dovetail, finder). The counter weights are 10.5kg. Wishful thinking that I could use up to the total counter weight amount I suppose? The Meade RB70 weighs a fraction over 1kg. Could I damage the mount by loading up with what would amount to 10.5kg on either side? A shame as all I actually need for this is another dovetail. I've tried and the scope will Meade will mount to the SW using on dovetail. Downside would be no fine adjustment (as per a finder scope). The sensible solution would be a new mount but I'm tight and not very sensible.
  8. Old post but useful! Just weighed mine in at 9.3kg (SW Exp. 200p, late 2010 model if that makes a difference).
  9. Take a look? I'm never off it! I'm guessing I'd need adjustable rings (more like finder scope rings, with adjustment screws) than straight up clamps. However, everything hinges on this weight issue.
  10. SNS has a Sky Watcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO in the bargain zone for £315! Can't be bad. Ex-showroom. Bargain Zone - Scopes'n'skies
  11. UPDATE: Just finished looking in to Wayne's feedback and my EQ5 can handle 9kg apparently! I'll do a full weight check later on but the information I'm getting is that you shouldn't push it to that limit anyway. I must admit, I'm stunned - the mount is such a hefty unit I would have thought it take a bus and point it in the right direction
  12. That could be the coolest thing I've seen. What a rig! There was an ST80 on SnS earlier for ~£75 (OTA only I think). I was very tempted as a portable scope.
  13. Thanks for the advice Wayne. Given that the mount appears to be bomb-proof I would never have suspected any problem with extra weight. The RB70 weighs very little, would it really cause a problem for the mount? Appreciate your insight!
  14. Talk about using your initiative - that's fantastic. I could see a small market for these if they were collapsible and easily stored. Well done.
  15. Hi All, I recently bought 3 Meade RB70 refractors (tubes only) for a hobby project. I want to keep one of them and mount it on to my SW Explorer 200 newt. I've seen pictures of similar setups but I can't discern they method they've used. I think it involves another dovetail and and some more tube rings on to that. (borrowed from Observatory Dome Project - excellent page also) The idea is to line it up like the finder scope but to use a 25-32mm EP in there for a constant wide view without the need to keep switching EPs in the primary scope. Has anybody else done this? Any help on what equipment I'd need greatly appreciated. Best,
  16. I saw one a couple of weeks ago, I think it was identified as a russian satellite? Perhaps check at heavens-above to see if there were any orbiters going around at that time? I'd love to know for sure.
  17. Hi All, If, like me, you use RSS feeds to deliver your news then here's some sources you might like. If you're not using RSS feeds to get news then maybe you should try it. Rss feeds can be read in Outlook, Opera browser, Firefox, IE or dedicated RSS clients. Just Google it. Bad Astronomy Bad Astronomy Space.com SPACE.com SGL Blogs Stargazers Lounge - Blogs BAA Blog The BAA Blog Universe Today Universe Today Know of anymore? Please post. Enjoy.
  18. Hi neurostar, Later on in the year, in the early hours, you'll get to see Mars and Jupiter - both should be quite identifiable through your bins. If you're not using it already try 'Stellarium', a great piece of free software. This will help you out no end too - esspecially if you have a laptop you can take out with you. Also, try using a red torch as this won't affect your night vision so much. You don't need a telescope or powerful bins to enjoy the hobby as you've found out but I won't lie - it opens up whole new vistas. You're lucky you had clear skies - I've been waiting for what seems like ever for another night out. :( Best wishes for your next obs session :)
  19. Thanks for this Dan. I didn't even know this he had authored a new book. I've just finished 'How to Destroy the Universe: And 34 Other Really Interesting Uses of Physics' (link below) so I'm looking for my next read. I've read and enjoyed Hawkings other books so I'll pick this up at the weekend. Thanks again for the post and for bringing the book to my attention. How to Destroy the Universe: And 34 Other Really Interesting Uses of Physics: Amazon.co.uk: Dr. Paul Parsons: Books
  20. Thanks everyone, DS focuser for me then, I've been waiting for FLO to get them back in stock.
  21. Just to echo other comments, it went well beyond the warranty - what an amazing achievement for the engineers and all involved. Here's to Curiosity and all that will accomplish. Can it last as long? I hope so.
  22. Hi, Useful piece of kit <- Clicky. I once heard you could make a collimating EP out of an old 35mm camera film barrel. Having not seen one for a decade I suspect it might be easier and cheaper to buy the EP (link above).
  23. Thank you all, I think I'll go ahead and build one anyway (just for the laughs) and when the time comes that I get around to imaging I can buy one. Thanks for your help, everyone here is always so quick off the mark!
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