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Patbloke

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About Patbloke

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    Star Forming

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    Uk Birmingham South
  1. Every visit he kindly offers me temporary storage space for it in his shed....
  2. Twas indeed one of those great nights! Amazed how you remember the targets to write up the reports at 5 in the morning... It was definitely a night for Clusters... The EQ6Pro is a cracking addition to your armoury Nick! For everyone - Two things to remember when you plan observing sessions: One - that no matter how much you've spent on Gucci equipment you are totally at the mercy of the seeing Gods! Yes great equipment will maximise your opportunity to see wonderful objects when the seeing is good, but even the highest grade glass can't break through cloud or bad seeing (and we had some top of the range equipment in that session) Two - is just how quickly it can all change... Last night we had it bright, dark, warm, cold, dry, damp and windy (Yes very windy at times ) ? Trick is have great company with you for those moments of 'not so clear times' The 'social' is as important as the mission! Yes I will invest in a new head torch Nick.... The research begins yet again! It's finding that balance between being so dim as not to blind you on the observing throne, and being bright enough to actually see! The Winter is coming!!!!
  3. Nice one... I'll check that out ASAP Thanks
  4. I thought the title to the post was going to be 'Astronomy on Ice?' An idea for a new rival show to the The Sky at Night! a professional (amatuer) astronomer and a minor celebrity view the wonders of the universe whilst skating on a sheet of fake ice? (not that I'm calling myself a minor celebrity or indeed you an Amatuer Nick!) It was a great idea to have the two setups running side by side comparing the views (I got lucky in the ice free protected location) The views from the Cannon can be quite delightful and easy on the eye when splitting those tight doubles. Of course the Equinox is a dream to operate and view through but there's a price to pay, these things aren't cheap and from what I now see - seldom available! I think my AVX needs a reset, it was slewing way beyond the targets towards the end of the evening and taking some time to hone back in to where it should have pointed in the first place... Other than that I was quite happy I did get some objective dewing up despite having the dew band on! Next time I might have to leave it on full power? is there any risk in using a mini hair dryer on the objective.. and can you buy one with the old car cigar connector already fitted for the power pack? Before the Equinox I used to consider Orion a little bland as I've seen the nebula that many times... I am now amazed at the contrast shown using a variety of EP's... Dare I say IT'S something I could spend ages observing now! Beautiful! I have to say when sharing an observing session there can't be anything much more enjoyable than challenging splits... That little fist pump moment when the second observer confirms the split as the time on a clock face... I've got faint at 11 o'clock... Boom :-)) Love it..........
  5. Wait......................... The Vixen 10mm is this little Plossl... It's got some special name but it's not what you would expect!!!
  6. I think Sigma Orionis was definitely a Wow moment Stu... I've seen it before countless times... but the clarity and brightness caught me out and I found it hard to stop viewing it almost worth another EP case plaque!!
  7. This is a brilliant... All the points are 'bang on' but I particularly love the point about not feeling guilty about NOT observing on a clear night... There's been many a time that I've actually selfishly felt relief that the clouds have rolled in! especially if I have other commitments on the night. One further point I would like to add to this great post is - that sometimes a session can not go as well as expected! My advice is get over that feeling of 'I'm packing it in and I'm going to sell everything!! as quick as you can! Just put it down to experience and remember for sure you can guarantee that the next time out it will be the most amazing 'fist pumping' night ever ?
  8. I've just woken up after landing back home at 06:30... Great night as always Nick! I'm always amazed at what we see from your place and even more amazed that you remember to write it all up in a report after... I'm trying to think what were my highlights from the whole evening - As usual the amount of shared humour is something that should be an essential part of any Astro evening ? The early evening mortar bomb from the neighbour, your little local 'vampire' bat circling at dusk! (it's no fruit bat for sure) The visit from an old mate with his homemade 1950's scope.... great to see him again, although disappointed he never came in his boat. As far as what we saw over the session - the binaries are amazing and I really love the challenge of those splits... The joy in first saying I've got it, then you get you turn and compare the directions and colours both giving yourselves a mutual pat on the back if you 'concur' (private joke there) However, our old friend shouting 10 o'clock as soon as he got it kind of ruined the game for a bit. For me seeing Orion again and studying the wonders it holds was incredible, I've never seen the nebula as detailed as that before... and Sigma Orionis was crystal clear and tak sharp... delightful! The set up is amazing though... The 120 complimented by that diagonal and various EP's is quite something and I'm lucky to have it. Your mount with that belt drive mod is sooooooooo quiet and smooth! That little 10mm Vixen EP showed just how good it was compared to the fine array of EP's in our collections... a real gem and keeper!! The dew protection worked perfectly and even the use of the right angle finder on alignment proved the £40 well invested... Arghhhhhh that flipping Comet?? The records show it's there but we have to admit an epic fail on finding it! Nah a great night was had and I'll certainly re visit those targets throughout my future observing sessions... you know it's been a long productive night when on the way home you order something from the 'drive through' only to be told we are actually serving breakfast now Sir... and after that wonderful night that's just what I needed ? She's dried out... after working hard all night!!
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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? ?
  12. Actually the Optic star looks the same apart from colour and printing! Cheaper as well... and Black to match the scope ?
  13. 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!!!
  14. 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?
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