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About John

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    Perfectly Normal Beast
  • Birthday 21/02/60

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    North Somerset, United Kingdom
  1. Supernova 2017hcc at mag 13.6

    Just got to work out which the host galaxy is now ! Is suspect this will be one where the host will be very hard to see unless you have a very large scope but the SN will be a little easier.
  2. Supernova 2017hcc at mag 13.6

    Oooh good - I've not viewed an SN for ages ! Thanks Michael
  3. I think it gets to the point where you have tried many of the really good designs out there when you say to yourself that you could keep the "merry go round" of trying this and comparing x to Y going indefinitely but it does get to the point when you are going round in circles rather than making any meaningful advances. It can even be a distraction from viewing if your sessions under a clear sky are dominated by equipment comparisons rather than pursuing and enjoying observing targets. I'm trying to step back now and go over what I've learned from all the eyepieces that have come and gone from my boxes over the past 3 years or so. I'm thinking about which ones get used all the time and which, though very good, spend more time in the eyepiece case than in a scope. An eyepiece set such as the one that Shane now has covers virtually all the options that are needed and are of sufficient quality to operate really well in practically any telescope. The differences in the quality of the views that variable seeing conditions will cause far outweigh any changes that other eyepiece choices will make when you get to this level of optical quality. Ergonomically Shane obviously likes these designs and is comfortable and confident using them. Job done !
  4. Loads of items for sale

    These are Vixen NPL plossls: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/vixen-eyepieces/vixen-npl-eyepieces.html The one you have advertised (it's the one next to the Fullerscopes 20mm ?) is an earlier Japanese made Vixen second generation "silvertop" plossl - optically they have a very good reputation as well
  5. I think Jimmy's and Stu's suggestion on of the Heritage 130P is a good one. They take up little more room than the Heritage 100P and won't be such a drop in performance. Your current 200mm scope collects 4x as much light as a 100mm can so thats going to have quite an impact on deep sky objects. The 130 will be less of a drop and the difference on higher resolution targets such as the moon and planets might be quite close to what the 200 can achieve. The Heritage 130 is pretty compact when in it's "collapsed" position for transport and storage:
  6. Berlebach Tripods Uni series

    I managed to find a UNI 28 on the Astroboot website for £200 delivered. Superb piece of kit. The N peg is removeable on mine - it's basically just a metal post that bolts into place. I use mine with either an HEQ5 or a Skytee II to hold my TMB/LZOS 130 F/9.2 triplet refractor.
  7. While I've not been able to see the Horsehead from my back yard I can see the Flame with my 12" dob on a good, dark night. It's not particularly well defined but theres no doubt that it's there and I too find that "filterless" gives the best views of it. Last time I observed it I seem to recall that the 21mm Ethos did a reasoably good job so thats 76x. The apparent magnitude of the Flame nebula is often quoted as 2 but this is totally misleading if used as a guide as to how visible it will be - it's surface brightness is much lower than that and the bright glow of the nearby star Al-nitak hampers spotting this target as well.
  8. Another great report Tim - your enthusiasm is just infectious I've only experienced a few short sessions with really large apertures but the memories of those linger so having your own massive "light bucket" to play with must be really good fun !
  9. My 12" F/5.3 (FL 1590mm) Orion Optics tube assembly has a 63mm minor axis secondary which seems to fully illuminate my widest 2" eyepieces without any problems. Your scope is around F/4.9 which is very similar to the chinese 12" F/5's and they use secondaries of 68mm minor axis approx. Others with more DIY knowledge will advise on enlarging the focuser hole in the tube no doubt. The DIY section on here is probably the best place to ask about componants such as mirror cells, secondary supports etc. Telescope Services in Germany list some but they are not exactly cheap either: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/index.php/cat/c64_Telescope-Making-----mechanical-parts.html
  10. Orion Build-A-Scope 8" IntelliScope Dobsonian

    As far as I can see, the Orion Build-a-Scope concept is the same tube and optics as their standard XT dobsonians (which are the same as Skywatcher dobsonians), their XT dobsonian mount fitted with the Intelliscope "push to" system (which is well thought of) but you get to choose which focuser, finder and eyepiece(s) that you use so you can control the quality and cost of those. If you pick the least expensive options you will still get a good quality and very useable dobsonian. There are many threads on this forum on the virtues of the Skywatcher 200P dobsonian and the Build-a-Scope 8" would be at least as good as those scopes. The math will tell you if it is a good deal over the price of a fully equipped instrument.
  11. Conversation with Al Nagler

    I had a similar experience when I phoned them a few years back. It was David Nagler that I spoke to back then. They are a relatively small family run business.
  12. New Apo on the block

    I'm not sure that it would be, personally. I've compared my ED120 directly with my Tak FC-100DL and my TMB/LZOS 130 F/9.2 triplet, which are both about as good as it gets in those apertures IMHO, and now more fully realise what an excellent objective lens these Synta ED doublets have Interesting remark from Mike re: Canon Optron objectives. I've read whispers that Canon Optron were in some way involved in the development of the ED120 objective lens. The glass used is Japanese and they are rumoured to have aspherical figuring which is finished by hand.
  13. Loads of items for sale

    PM sent.
  14. Buy moon land?

    Not theirs to sell so not to be taken seriously: https://www.space.com/33440-space-law.html
  15. H-alpha filter

    It's not possible for a simple. low cost filter to achieve that I'm afraid. This recent thread on the forum covers a similar query: