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About Patbloke

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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    Uk Birmingham South
  1. Patbloke

    SW polar alignment

    I just bought a Neewer camera 90 degree angle finder and a clever amazingly precise attachment of an auction site from a fellow in France... It's a perfect fit!!! I'm delighted and looking forward for clear skies to try it in the field total cost £40 ish... it'll be money well spent according to my glass knee Eek forgot to say thanks to Nicko for finding the attachment on the well known auction site...
  2. Patbloke

    HEQ5 PRO SynScan

    I have a Celestron AVX and thought that wasn't too bad noise wise... Until I recently heard my mates belt modified HEQ5 / 6 mount.... Super quiet!! very impressed, that belt mod is superb...
  3. Patbloke

    Diagonal Decisions

    Fellow SGL contributors... I have BREAKING NEWS!!!! I have finally broken my 'Diagonal Dilema' and made a purchase!! After all the advice and agonising over the Williams Optics and the Altair Astro.... I've found myself a pre used Baader 2" Maxbright Ceramic mirror diagonal... At just less than a third of the advertised online price, and after seeing several photos showing at least the outside condition... I've taken the plunge! I don't know whether it'll be that good and what's the worst that can happen? I've been assured by it's former owner it's great quality... So there you go, not sure if anyone mentioned ceramic mirrors? I also had the option of a Baader prism diagonal but it would have worked out much more in price adding a nose piece and adapter... I'll report back after I've used it and who knows might even be able to do a direct comparison with the Williams Durabright next time out with Nick? But for now just feel my relief.... NOW what's next on the shopping list?
  4. Patbloke

    Diagonal Decisions

    Actually the Optic star looks the same apart from colour and printing! Cheaper as well... and Black to match the scope
  5. Patbloke

    Diagonal Decisions

    Superb responses thank you... I forgot to select 'notify' for replies so I've just have the pleasure of reading these in one go! Quartz JohninDerby??? Noooooo Are quartz any better what does that mean? It's great to see it's not just me with the old diagonal dilema... I still haven't decided but I like the Altair... looks solid and says it's the old 99% reflectivity. I'm going to have to look at these quartz fellas now!!!
  6. Patbloke

    Diagonal Decisions

    I have never been 'totally stuck' on making an astronomy equipment purchase before! I will admit to procrastinating and sometimes taking an age to get there, but get there in the end I do! I once owned a lovely used Revelation 2" dielectric coated diagonal which I now regret selling when I sold my Helios150... So I'm back in the market for a 2"! I've put both the 2" Altair Astro lightwave premium £99 (Red) and the Williams Optics Dura bright £135 in the shopping basket on several occasions but I really cannot decide which to buy... Luckily cost is not an issue as I've recently acquired funds from some Astro sales so the decision is to be made purely on standard and performance. There are quite a few posts on here about the subject... But it's really driving my bonkers! I reckon the Altair will be a great diagonal but the WO is more expensive and has good write ups.... Heeeeeeeeelp! Plus it's cloudy out there and I've just finished my Balti for 1 and need an Astro chat fix.... So how about a Poll?
  7. Patbloke

    Equinox 120 gripped , sorted !

    Wow!!!! That's nice... Thanks for digging those out so quickly (very impressed) I love a good set up pic Is that still capable of focuser rotation? I've never seen one in action
  8. Patbloke

    Equinox 120 gripped , sorted !

    Steve, I was advised to upgrade my focuser to a feathertouch when I had sufficient funding... although the Crayford is beautifully smooth... It would be great to see that feather touch set up if you have any pics?
  9. Patbloke

    Equinox 120 gripped , sorted !

    Nick it was wonderful to give the new scope a good test with a man of knowledge... I've used the Equinox a few times already and have been delighted with the pin sharpness and colour of the views. Last night was fascinating picking out those binaries so clearly! I don't think I've ever seen such a super sharp and complete view of the double cluster - that was indeed a special moment! sometimes the obvious targets are ones to spend just a little more time on... As you say we certainly used the whole shopping trolley full of EP's collected for the session... and I can't remember a bad view. using any of em.. Yes, the skies were strange in that from 11 to midnight the stars almost disappeared for a wash of lightness... Your possible moisture analysis was more than likely a good explanation! Don't forget the couple of 'shooters' which joined us early on! Have to say your mount was really smooth and quiet... Made my AVX sound like a coffee grinder comparatively! However, I must say I do love the AVX for ease of set up and portability... I'm chuffed to bits my investment in that Equinox has paid off... It can be a gamble investing in equipment without at first seeing it in action... and then you have to trust you get a good one! Owning what I think is one of the best 102 scopes on the market the Altair Starwave (value for money, clarity and colour wise) I was a bit nervous with buying just another 18mm of aperture at such a high price... However the scope certainly lives up to it's reviews I am pleased to say, and look forward to getting her out under the stars as soon as clouds permit. It's good glass as you kept saying!! Thanks again for your expertise... Great to hear the many many 'Oh Wow' comments from you as you focused in on some of your favorite targets...
  10. Patbloke

    Pushing 200mm.

    I set up Black Beauty (120 Equinox Pro) on the AVX getting ready to rock and roll - Yep! the clouds rolled in, felt like rain almost it was that dark... Packed away then went in for a bit, came outside to clear skies, lovely!!! Got the Apollos out on the monopod absolutely beautiful views of the areas and targets surrounding Cassiopeia (No comet though) I must use those bins more often it's a fabulous way to tour the skies... Then within minutes of being outside my daughter whatsapp video calls from Oz... I go inside take the call my hilarious Grandchild showing me the car (again) I bought last time there in March... Great call! we are all getting ready to go Thursday then onto Bali for the other daughters wedding (state wedding as we had the legal on last week in London) Yes I'm filled with the usual excitement hopefully get those Apollos on those incredible southern skies!! Ok whatsapp call over back outside whereupon I was greeted by complete cloud cover! Ya gotta laugh... According to my extremeley crazy weather app there's a clear sky here from 22:00 - tonight until 01:00 tomorrow. So Apollos & monopod are on standby, and maybe, just maybe - Black Beauty will get her third outing!!!
  11. Oooooo that's a nasty injury... Had one when some muppet took me off my bike at a roundabout! The tenderness of the shoulder is seriously painful. Good luck with the repair and it's a great feeling when you are able to use the shoulder as before. Keep the Faith
  12. Could do with that on my laptop as well.... I know for that I could buy a red clear sheet I suppose. Good luck with the phone thing! Interesting to see although most of the Astro apps have a night mode...
  13. Patbloke

    Well, That Was Fun!

    Brilliant stuff... That southern hemisphere stuff is so lovely, the stars always seem so colourful. Ha ha get a beer crate to stand on, plenty down there
  14. Patbloke

    Equinox Pro 120 f/7.5

    Arghhhhhhhhhhhh... Ok I've just purchased a beautiful 'used but mint' Skywatcher Equinox 120 Pro Apo F/7.5.... Great you say! Well during some double star splitting last night (testing her out) Saturn appeared between the trees... I wasn't going to bother but I hastily fetched my new ZWO ASI120 MC and my trusty Toshiba Satellite Laptop out to see if I could capture some film for processing this morning as I have a few hours spare... I have not long acquired the ZWO and have used it a couple of times to capture some images of Jupiter which I enjoyed doing and was pleased with my first efforts. Ok so I focused my perfectly aligned AVX with the Equinox on at Saturn using a 6.5 mm EP... Then inserted the ZWO into the diagonal (only because that's the way I managed with Jupiter) and - Mmmmm black screen, lot's of black screen, focus in focus out, barlow in barlow out, focus in focus out... I spent the whole time trying to 1. find Saturn and 2. Focus... I tried upping my exposure and gain, I tried lowering it, I tried Sharpcam I tried ASICAP... I know I like to take short cuts and usually can get by without the detail, but my efforts last night were pathetic I feel! I've got every photon counts, I'm half way through it... Can someone be so kind as to help this fast failing amatuer (well, just amatuer) and describe their set up procedure when they are looking to image the wonderful Saturn please By the way - That Black Beauty Equinox Pro is some star watcher... pin sharp and wonderful colour! I might post about it separately...
  15. Not quite sure I can find you that, although I do know of a project very soon to be up and running from Spain with some amazing scopes at a dark site you will be able to book the use of remotely... but I'm afraid it will cost! I'm guessing there will be more and more of these popping up in the future as investment opportunities But they've got some pretty expensive gear going in there and they ain't a charity... In the meantime I use Slooh.com loads... You can join free but that won't allow you to book time slots to use the scopes which are in the Canaries and Chile... It will allow you to watch other peoples sessions though and you can take your own snapshots during them (not ideal but interesting) I took this snap of the lunar eclipse which is awesome (I know nothing like seeing and taking it yourself in the garden) They also have Canary5 which is a solar cam which I often run live and mirror it onto my TV in the lounge... Now that really warms the room up I can tell you!! I'm lucky now as I have moved in with my long time girlfriend who has a garden and secure brick built outbuilding (telescope manshed) What a girl for the last 8 years I've been living in a first floor flat with no garden and 24 hour daylight courtesy of the retail/leisure park I'm next to... So I've really appreciated the online remote stuff.

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