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Everything posted by 4lefts

  1. oh, i didn't realise it was a standard dovetail! good to know.
  2. looks like a great product flo parts idea: making adaptor plates to get that wedge to fit the astrotrac/polarie, and suddenly it doesn't cost an extra £200-300 for a geared head to get one of those systems up and running...
  3. following this with great interest. i can't be of much help, but have you seen this page: http://www.indilib.org/support/tutorials/139-indi-library-on-raspberry-pi.html - it seems you can run the indi server on the pi for scope and camera control and run ekos on your laptop to actually control everything. there's even a virtual machine (ekosVM) that will run under virtualbox on a windows machine that might be worth a look?
  4. and, if you're local, flo are very good at letting you pop over and pick stuff up yourself.
  5. true, and the same applies with the x-cel lxs if you aren't wearing glasses. i found that i couldn't see the field stop of the bsts with the cup down wearing my specs, and i like to be able to.
  6. personally, i sold my bsts in favour of the x-cel lxs. they have longer eye releif, almost too long, which mean you can get black outs, but, i felt they were brighter and sharper than the bsts (though i'm no expert and i wasn't really thourough in my testing). you can use the x-cel lxs with glasses on really easily, and build quality is better. all that said though, there's very little in it, and the bsts are great.
  7. did you get to look at the f6 6-inchers he has? very specialised but sure look nice.
  8. for the moon, i love the neodymium. not so bothered with it for anything else, but great for the moon. it's good for imaging the moon too.
  9. andy - wow, looks nice. thanks for the info - were there any issues fitting the crawmach focuser to Sheldon Faworski's tube? i guess dan has made lots for these tubes and it's a standard size? thanks stephen
  10. love me the trivials too. pump me full of whatever scotch my brother has got that year (bruichladdich last year - i know jack about whisky but he seems to know what he's doing), ham and celebrations within easy reach, set up a game of girls vs boys, happy days.
  11. cheers peter - that's what i was hoping.
  12. in case this info is useful for anyone - i had a reply from william optics. the light path of their 1.25" diagonal is 80mm (and 110mm for the 2").
  13. where's that emoticon for eating popcorn? i love how everyone always "blames the schools". 'cos, yeah, it's everyone else's fault. god forbid someone could take responsibility for their own a stupidity.
  14. oh, and i meant to say - good on yer.
  15. +1 for the moon. if you can time it so that the moon is up, then they'll love looking at it. things need to be immediate - look, there's the moon, this is what it's like there, here's some activities we can do. usborne's kid's picture book "on the moon" is nice (£3.39 on amazon), and if the class has an interactive whiteboard the wechoosethemoon.org is a great resource (get it buffering before you start - it takes an age to load). small groups can work on doing craters (especially good if they've been able to look at craters through a scope) - like this: http://decoyyear1.primaryblogger.co.uk/2012/01/27/the-sun-and-the-moon/ - a big tray full of flour dusted with cocoa on top, drop pleistocene meteorites from a height into it to create craters. you can make quite nice ejecta and things this way. compare to real pictures from the LRO on the whiteboard. others could start making junk model rockets from boxes and things. be wary of time. 20 minutes is nothing with kids. it's a difficult amount of time - in some ways an hour is easier since you can really get stuck in a do and make things, whereas 20 minutes you can't, but it's too long for them to sit and listen. the star wheel is a good idea for older kids, but will take more than 20 minutes, and i'm not sure how much 5 year olds would get out of it. very few of them would be able to cut if out themselves, and very few of them can tell the time. the teacher/teaching assistant won't thank you for getting them to cut out 60 discs and join them up with split pins. a final word about scopes - bring the cheapest eyepiece you have. they WILL put their fingers in it, even as you ask them not to. also be aware that they will have a really hard time getting their eye in the right place to see anything at all, some will get it, others will be disappointed that they can't. a nicer way (if you have the equipment) is to use a webcam and a tracking mount and put the live view onto the whiteboard. (this is what i've done for solar viewing (way safer too).) you might need a usb extension cable for this - i got one for a couple of quid off ebay and it worked fine with my webcam. what year is your daughter in? 5 could be reception or year 1, and there's a pretty big difference. hope this helps. let me know if i can help any more.
  16. hi ronin - lots of really useful info there, thanks for your help. you're right, it was a poor choice of words. i meant that the diagonal consumes a certain amount of the light path, so i was just thinking out loud about how to calculate the length tube would need to be. the idea of using graph paper is a good one. it might even be feasible to draw it out full size and tape some sheets together. i wasn't going to make baffles, just because i can't for the life of me see how i would get them into such a narrow tube. i was hoping protostar flockboard would be enough? i know crawmach isn't the cheap option for the focuser, but my understanding is that the ts r&p ones are just that, i.e. cheap r&ps. the reviews i've seen suggest that the crawmach crayford is a much better product, and i thought, if i'm going to get a lens cell/counter cell made there, i might as well get a focuser too. the crawmach is what skylight use in their 60mm scopes. i think if i went to all the trouble of making a scope and didn't use the best parts i could, i'd always wonder whether i should have. you're right of course about the cost/taxes. still... cheaper than a moonlight like i say though, i'm really thinking out loud here. i haven't actually pulled the trigger on the materials yet, so it's all subject to change. thanks again for your help, guys
  17. thanks for the help, that makes sense. should have realised that obviously you can alway cut more off but you can't put it back. the diagonal i'm using is a 1.25" wo dialectric. i was hoping their site would say what the length of the light path through it was, but no. not to worry - i think it'll be a bit trial and error anyway... @gina. i'll keep this thread updates with progress. it might be slow going though.
  18. thanks, that's what i was thinking. i just don't want to cut the tube, then find out that the diagonal adds way more to length than i thought and i can't get it to focus.
  19. hello, i recently got a 60mm f16.7 carton lens from richard day at skylight telescopes, with the idea i am going to build a refractor. richard has been really helpful with questions, but frankly i have no idea what i'm doing, and kind of learning as i go. can anyone point me to any good resources for designing this sort of thing? for example, working out how long the tube should be? how can i work out how long to cut the tube so that, when the focuser is fitted, and the diagonal, it will be the right length? i'm guessing i need to know the length of the light path through my diagonal? my plan at the moment is to get dan at www.crawmach.com to make me a focuser and a lens cell (the lens came in a plastic one, and i hear they're not so hot). i need to source a tube (i'm pretty sure i'm going flock it with that protostar board stuff). can anyone recommend what kind of tube i'd need? this thread is really useful (tanks!), so i'm thinking of getting a meter of 2.75" aluminium tube from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Forward-Metals-Ltd? 16 swg? or is that too flimsy and i should get 10 swg? as you can probably guess, i've never done anything like this before. my plan is to research thoroughly and take my time, i'm not in any rush. any help is much appreciated. cheers. stephen btw - i forgot to mention, my dad can help me with any machining and stuff, he's an experienced model engineer and has a lathe and things.
  20. orion like everyone says. double cluster in perseus. don't think anyone has mentioned m36/37/38 - all nice open clusters in auriga. great in an 8" scope and nice for a compare and contrast. plus m35 as mentioned above. maybe try some doubles? castor in gemini is cool, as is sigma orionis.
  21. amazing. i'm the sort of contrary so and so who close his account over an accusation like that. i got called a liar by a saturday girl in HMV 7 years ago and haven't bought anything from there since. amazing m42 btw - love the work that's gone into not blowing out the trapezium.
  22. nicely done. can't you use phd with the webcam rather than doing it manually? i seem to remember seeing a shoestring astronomy cable that allowed you to send guiding info from phd over usb to the guide input on the mount? or can't you control the mount form eqmod without the handset and send guide signals through that connection?
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