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Everything posted by Panzer

  1. I know this is a bit of a stupid question, but to those living local to the event, whats the likelihood of clear skies there in March? Is the weather there fairly reliable? A stab in the dark, I know. Just thought I'd ask! Also, whats the light pollution like in the area? Is it considered a "dark site"?
  2. Thanks mate, I'll definitely get one. Sorry if this sounds daft but it wont suffer from the sw130p focussing problem will it? How does the webcam actually fit to the scope?
  3. Thanks guys, I'll definitely look into that webcam. The camera I'd be using is a compact, weighs very little. Would that work ok? Its got a hd video recording mode which is what made me think of using it. My mount is the az goto synscan
  4. Hi everyone, I know of the problems the SW 130p has with attaching DSLRs, that it cannot focus correctly etc, but would it help at all if I piggybacked it with one of these or similar? Baader Planetarium Microstage II Clickstop Digital Camera Adapter I'd love to be able to get some astrophotography done, even mediocre by standards would suffice, and I refuse to be beaten by a single piece of glass!!!
  5. Its been woefully cloudy/rainy/windy for as long as I can remember in the Northwest. Its soul-destroying to think I might never see the SN based on current forecasts, and even thats in an area of bad light pollution :-( I cannot believe my bad luck sometimes!
  6. Heres a shout for the smartphone apps. I'd be lost without mine
  7. Do filters have much effect for general optical viewing or is it mostly just for astrophotography? I really struggle to see most DSOs in my area and would certainly fork out for one of these if it amplified the fainter stuff not visible with the standard eyepiece
  8. Wow, is that colour real or photoshopped?? I thought all colour had to be added later but if I can get that from my scope I'm splashing out asap on some AP kit! Regarding your tracking - I also have a Synscan, and also find it really temperemental. Sometimes it will track for a short while then stop for no reason. I think your problem will probably be the weight of the camera fighting against the motor, causing it to lag. Sounds daft but was there any wind? I find even the slightest breeze can cause the OTA to wobble, and thats without the added weight of a DSLR. Well done on those pics though, aside from the light pollution and slight blur they're great!
  9. Right, I think I'm there (maybe)! I still don't have a collicap, but this is my collimation without the use of one. Since I dont have a cap, I tried just using my naked eye. the centre dot was directly over my pupil and (what looked like) an equal distance from the clips. I suppose the only surefire is a startest tonight, but from these images, am I far off?
  10. Hi Astrobaby! Yes you're guide was my step-by-step, a very good one too! I've got the Skywatcher 130p. Ah, so a collicap is actually something completely different from a collimation tool? This could be where I'm going wrong. Basically I think everything looks right now apart from the clips issue. The crosshair and its reflection pretty much line up and the primarys centre spot sits in the centre. Am I far off from sucess? This is one of the hardest things I've had to do, all the help from you guys is really really appreciated. Can't imagine what this must be like on a massive scope!!!
  11. I have owned the Skywatcher 130p on a GOTO mount for about 3 months now as my second scope up from a cheapo refractor, and I'm beyond impressed with it. Its a few sreps down from the 200 you're looking at but will be half the price which might suit you better if you're just starting off. I've seen amazing views of Jupiter and its largest moons, Saturn and its rings, even deep space awesomeness like galaxies, star clusters and nebula, The 200 will offer even better views but for 250 quid, I'd recommend the 130p GOTO to anyone. The GOTO mount is handy at helping find the trickier objects too.
  12. OK. So I 've lined up the primarys centre spot in the crosshair, which has fixed the crescent shape issue, but no matter what I try, I cannot get all 3 clips in view. Am I still doing this wrong? At one point I could even see the edge of the secondary through the cheshire. Shall I post another pic?
  13. Thanks, but for which problem with the collimation? I think theres a few things wrong with the secondary but whatever I try, I cant seem to rectify it. Any chance someone could list everything wrong on the picture with a brief method of how to fix it? Cheers!
  14. Hi all, could someone please tell me if my scope is collimated? In the picture, the cheshires crosshair is slightly higher than the reflection of the spidervane. Is this normal? Do I need to adjust the vanes? There is also a very slight crescent shaped reflection of the tube in the primary mirror reflection (look just above the primary mirror reflection). How do I straighten this out? The secondary mirror, although it looks circular, has a flat edge at the top. Is this normal? Had a nightmare collimating this for the first time even with AstroBaby's guide. I think I moved the secondary when I shouldn't have....
  15. Ah thanks guys, really appreciating all the helpful replies. So if I buy the webcam Scarlet mentioned, will I still have the in-focus problems dslrs have? How would I rectify that to get clear images?
  16. Would the detail still be there on a 12 megapixel if I zoomed in on the actual photo taken? I've heard people say a lot of bad stuff about cheap webcams, bad pixelation etc
  17. I think I'll drop £30 or so toward FLO when payday comes on those adaptors. If I can't get wide field views of DSO's because I'm forced to Barlow it, Oh well. I would probably most like to photo that faraway stuff but I suppose you can't win 'em all! As long as the moon/planets look equal to what is seen through EPs, I'd be more than happy. Regarding expectations, yeah, I've heard a few people expected to see scenes from Star Wars (including sound effects) through starter scopes and then completely give up when they are met with nothing but humble, greyscale dots and smudges. I show people Andromeda, and an edge-on galaxy I found under/near Ursa Major (its NGC number I have forgotten, dammit!), they just turn back at me with a kind of "Is that it?" look on their faces. I try to explain its not what you can see, but what you can see that's impressive. A grey smear only visible out of the corner of your eye is possibly the furthest, most massive thing your eye has, and ever will see!
  18. Heres a story, Last summer me and a few mates were out having a few beers on a clear night at a mates house in Garforth. Its REALLY out in the sticks there, not a single light for about a 4-mile radius. Anyway, I was looking directly up in amazement at how many stars were visible, when my eyes honed in on 2 or 3 tiny dots that were moving quite fast. I thought they were satellites at first, when I noticed they were moving in irregular patterns, not orbit, through a postage stamp-sized area of the sky in very nimble turns and weaves. The only word to describe their movement was like a dogfight. I stared at them for some time trying to work out what they were, but was completely at a loss and determined to figure it out. It was such a small area of sky amidst so many stars that I couldn't point it out to my friends, they just couldn't see where I was looking accurately enough (if only I had my telescope then!!!) Now, I do not for one second believe it was aliens. I don't think we have ever been visited by another race and likely never will be (not to say they aren't out there somewhere though!). It couldn't have been planes, it was way, way too high altitude for them. It wasn't satellites, because they orbit. So what the hell was it?? Most people just note the fact I was drinking beers and write it off to drunkeness. I had only had a few regular size bottles at this point and was probably still under the legal limit to drive! Can anyone put my mind at rest? Its been baffling me ever since!
  19. Wow some quality replies there! Thanks all! Digz - thanks for posting those links, I wasn't quite sure exactly what was needed in order to get started, didnt know there was another adaptor needed to mount the t-ring to the scope! When I mentioned 'competition worthy', I was merely explaining that I know not to expect any kind of professional or jaw-dropping results with this scope/mount/camera, so presumably I will be less fussy with the final results than what a pro would be. Basically, as long as I can get clear photos of what I can see with my eyepiece, but hopefully improve the light gathering with the benefit of DSLR long exposures, I'd be more than happy!
  20. Cheers! Yeah Meade 4000s have been catching my eye quite a bit... What has tempted me most about the Revelation is the array of eps, filters and a barlow (which is presumably better than my bog-standard Skywatcher one!) all in a carry case. Would you recommend any specific apertures? I was thinking 5mm for high power, 35mm for low.In terms of planetary viewing, is it recommended to go for something like a 5mm? I've heard some people complain that its like looking through a pinhole and quite eye-straining, but I thought surely that magnification would give the best view of planets?
  21. Thanks for the replies. I have a synscan goto mount. Would this help with the problem of tracking dsos? Neil, so basically I can do astrophotography by just buying a t ring, but the images wont exactly be competition worthy? Im not that bothered if the images aren't as spectacular as one would hope, but if it looks equal/better to what is viewable through the eyepiece, I'd be happy. Is it worth buying a t ring or a webcam?
  22. In short, I have a SW Explorer 130p and a Nikon D60. If I get a T-ring, can I do astrophotography? I've heard a lot about people not getting focus, but some can with a barlow etc. Is there a clear and definite answer on this? Am I wasting my time pursuing astrophotgraphy with this scope? I'm not really into the idea of modifying it, but if it works only with a barlow, this isn't the end of the world! At least it works!
  23. I'm about to fork out on a new eyepiece (or two, if I'm feeling crazy). Question is, what are the recommended Eps for a SW Explorer 130p? I'd like a high power one to look at planets in as much detail as possible, and a low power for DSOs. Is there a particular brand/series that anyone would say performs well for under £100? Also, what is the Revelation EP set like? it looks quite a bargain at £130 having that many EPs, barlow, filters etc and a carry case! Any short reviews of this from any owners? Cheers!
  24. I have this exact problem with my Skywatcher Explorer 130p GOTO. Is yours a dovetail clamp with a single screw? this is where I find most of the wobble occurs. If so, I find screwing the dovetail REALLY tight helps slightly, but not completely. Also try not extending the tripod legs at all if possible, and dig its feet into the grass. Other than that, putting a brick on the accessory tray also adds slight stability. One last thing to try is cleaning the sticky grease stuff off the focusser rails. This makes the focusser move more fluidly. Hope that helps! Enjoy Saturn!
  25. Im just wondering if anyone would care to list the best dsos visible with the sw 130p? Ive been trying to find the ones on the 'guided tour' of my goto but I cant seem to find much :-( I live in quite light polluted skies, but can vaguely see andromeda galaxy and orion nebula. Need something new to look at! :-)
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