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Everything posted by LMC

  1. I never said Panoptics were rubbish or if I did it was the Percodan typing. I have 4 (2 19s, a 24 and a 27) and they never stay in the box for long. If you'll take time to re-read the post, I expounded briefly on why Taks were rubbish and I stand by that. I have never had a Tak that didn't have something VERY wrong with it which made it unusable. All were bought new, at a hefty price. If I'm paying North of $8000 for a TOA 130, I expect it to be spider-proof. The tube also let in water and dust and was poorly collimated. It had to go back to Japan (at my expense of course),I mean how DARE I question the quality of their scopes! In fact, short of a Saxon blue tube, I've never had a scope with worse fit and finish! The Mewlon focuser squeaked and cross threaded itself. Fixed under warranty - 3 months later. My TSA 120 arrived so badly damaged -in its factory packaging, so it wasn't a post office mis-handling - I refused to pay the balance and had to sue Takahashi for my money back. Scopes at this price point should be out-of-the box perfect, and the buyer shouldn't have to pay (postage) to have an obvious factory fault repaired. In my book, this makes them RUBBISH, and I'm happy to tell all and sundry - "Save your money and buy a Skywatcher instead". If you're willing to put your money where your fingers type, and buy me a perfect TOA 130 - I'll gladly take it. Ta! But until you've been on the receiving end of a rubbish Tak and had to go through the dog and pony show that they pull for a repair under warranty (all of a sudden no one speaks English) you really don't know what you're talking about.
  2. Don't worry about getting a single fl eyepiece yet. My advice (its free!), would be to get a decent zoom eyepiece in the 7mm - 21/24mm range and spend some time observing with that. A zoom e.p. in that range will give you an excellent idea of whether you want to go up or down in magnification, or FoV and, if the eyepiece is good enough(Baader, Celestron, Orion) you may find yourself sticking with that!
  3. Either the TV Plossls or the Brandons should give you excellent views. Not sure how to quantify how much (or not?) better they are over the Celestrons, but you should see a difference on a good night My EP collection has been governed by availability : TVs, Meades and Orion/Celestrons are pretty much all I can get my hands on - and I mean 'Hands-On". I insist on trying before buying,(I live 3 hours away from the nearest dealer so its not a quick shop),and of this bunch the TVs hit the right spot for me. Took a punt though on a 24mm Brandon and FWIW its the best eyepiece in this fl I've ever seen! Fantastic thing. I'm buying more!
  4. No. Same APM. The owner gets around a bit. He'll be down-under next month and I'm trying to get him to smuggle me some lovely stuff. :-D The Stellarvue 80mm scopes use / or used the Lomo optic as well as other less expensive glass. However the ones that used the Lomo glass were advertised with vigour as doing so. They were also about $500 dearer. In either instance, both 'scopes pop up fairly regularly on the 2 big U.S. sites and the pound / dollar exchange rate is pretty good right now. The Ozzie dollar / pound rate is even better. You could probably buy everything I own for the price of a monthly tube pass. :-(
  5. Lomo. Lomo. Lomo. Taks is rubbish. Never had a Tak that did what it said on the tin. Convinced that people that shell out the extra dosh for a Tak are delusional. ;-D Lomos are near perfect. Compare the second hand market. Taks hang about forever Lomos go like "that". Also Lomo optics tend to be housed in very nice tubes. Taks are considerably more 'agricultural'. My TSA 120 arrived so badly damaged I had to claim the insurance. It took 6 months to sort out. My TOA 130 was so badly sealed a spider got in. My Mewlon had a focuser that SQUEAKED!!!! Never had a problem with an SV/TMB/APM or any other guises for the 80/480. Ymmv, but why take the chance.
  6. Not boring at all. After many years I still get a charge out of viewing Jupiter with binocs or a low powered spotter. You go girl! Errr....figuratively speaking of course.
  7. Yeesh! The number of EPs I've owned, borrowed, viewed with! After going through virtually al the eyepieces on the OP's list, I've settled on the following for both my planetary (f15 8") and wide-field (f6.5 4") 41mm Panoptic - in either scope its a winner. Flat field, "contrasty", easy viewing EP. A great "finder" eyepiece in the f15. 24mm Brandon - I plan to buy more Brandons. The 24s go with anything. IMHO, they are every bit a match for the Zeiss Abbes at 1/4 the price. 19mm Panoptic - x 2. I use these in my WO binoviewers, my spotting scope, just about anything that will take a 1.25" EP. Splendid! 16mm Nagler - Perfect 'planetary' in the f15. And a perfect mid-range wide-field in the f6.5. Same FoV as the 19mm Pans but closer. 13mm Nagler - First "proper" EP I bought. Not the sharpest in this fl, but it has sentimental value. Takahashi LE 7.5mm - near useless in the f15 if there is the slightest breeze, but a stunner on good nights in the f6.5 . TV 2x Powermate - for REALLY good nights. As I.ve said, this collection has been 10 years in the making and while its quite "me specific" I don't think anyone would be ill served by any of these. The only eyepieces I regret parting with were a couple of Pentax XWs. I could not for the life of me get a comfortable viewing position with them. I found them very demanding of eye position and I always wound up pulling them after 5 minutes. A
  8. Save your pennies and get the Alt/AZ package. Unless you are doing a lot of AP, or particularly like the "GEM Dance of the Wounded Snake" when viewing near Az.,I think you'll find its much easier to spend the night observing with the Alt/Az go-to engaged.
  9. Great idea!!! I had completely forgotten about this site and how good it is. My EQ6 hasn't been running at all the last few weeks, and I was about to flog it for small change. Then I followed the directions on how to adjust the worm gears and - voila!! Works like a charm. Thanks for reminding me, and a big up for Astrobaby.
  10. The Telegizmos 365 is one of those "Top 10" accessories. Mine has been through hell (Australian summer - 40c+) to a Canadian winter ( -30 odd) and almost everything in between. Its kept everything nice and dry and clean. Doesn't matter how much duty/VAT you have to pay (plenty in OZ!) You want one! LMC. PS: I don't work for them and don't no anyone who does. Just a product that does what is says on the tin.
  11. I use the WO binoviewers + 2 Televue Panoptic 19mm eyepieces in an 8", f15 Mak-Cass. No idea how much weight it adds to the OTA, but, when balanced properly (there's the rub!) it rides happily on an ancient HEQ6. If your C8 is fork mounted, it should easily bear the extra weight. If you are using a GEM, then a little fiddling with the position of the OTA on the mount should yield results. The only real caveat being that you will want a mount that will remain steady under load (EQ6,Ioptron iE45, Losmandy G8 etc.) Remember: There's no such thing as too much mount! Hope that was helpful. LMC
  12. Have to agree. An EQ6 in whatever guise would be a sensible minimum. Not that the scope is particularly heavy or long, but a "6" will hold both it and the 120, without too much fuss. A CF tube, 8" newt sounded great to me, but in practice was too light to hold steady on my "5", even on the six I had to wrap the scope with a bicycle tire inner tube filled with lead shot Granted where I live is much windier than "average" but I don't believe you'd regret going for a more robust mount.
  13. While I don't live quite at the end of the world, you can certainly catch the bus from here. Having only just stumbled across the Moonraker brand about a week ago, I was all excited and determined to have one, as my bucket-list scope. Alas, I've had some not-so-satisfactory dealings with overseas scope makers - that means everybody -and if there's any hassles it takes an age and lots of cash to sort it out (are you paying attention T********i?) Long story short, I had a telecon with Mark last night and came away feeling like I was the only customer he ever had. He had no issues me an 'off-stock' refractor based around the spectacular 123 f6 LZOS lens. Heck, if he was female, I'd have proposed! A fantasic bloke to chat with and he's gone above and beyond to help me spec' my dream scope. Many thanks to him, and 5 stars for the effort! P.J.Hexter, S. Gippsland, Australia
  14. Radians are rubbish (IMO of course). Soft, yellow-cast views and impossible to maintain eye position unless you want a closer relationship with your chiropractor. Get your eye position wrong and you'll spend the rest of the night trying to adjust for blackouts and kidney-beaning. Get the Pentaxses (sp?) instead. I found them to be almost as problematic with regard to eye position, but at least when I got there the views were wonderfully, sharp, flat and colour-free. Oh yeah. Televues comprise 95% of my EPs so I don't think I'm slagging them off unfairly.
  15. Or here: http://telescopeoutlet.co.uk/index.php/telescopes/intes-micro-mn86.html Heck, you don't need BOTH kidneys do you?
  16. The NEQ 6 will handle it easily, but balancing the OTA is critical if you want the rig to stay upright. A Mak Newt is very back heavy so you might need to add another counterweight. Try these guys:http://www.apm-telescopes.de/en/telescopes/reflecting-telescopes-ota/maksutov-newtonian.html Intes Micro, IMHO, make best compound scopes in the world (Mind you I have one of their 8" Mak-Casses so I may be biased) Cheaper than importing from the US and you avoid any warranty hassles. Good luck! PJH
  17. My experience with the PST was not a happy one. Actually, despite living in one of the most sun-drenched countries on earth, my solar viewing has been quite limited. Largely because when the sun shines I take cover as it will toast my pasty English hide in no time. I really like the idea of the quark, but am waiting on a good review or two before I go down that route. A possible alternative could be the new Lunt 50mm at around $800 USD, its quite a bit cheaper than the quark (at least down here) and its designed with AP and Video in mind-or so I'm told.
  18. Hi Matt. Yes, yes...lovely scopes, blah, blah. The real question is; how well does the Argo Navis work with the T Rex?
  19. I await your verdict with interest. A quick question: Isn't the BV a little OTT. I've looked through a number of dedicated HA scopes, more than a few were Binoviewered, yet I could see no difference. Could easily be my eyes but interested in your opinion. The quark EP costs a fortune down here - about $2300 or 17'/9p in old money - so there's not many independent reviews. We have sun tho'. Lots of it.
  20. Unless desperate , very few owners of high-end 'scopes will sell on flea-tray. Most will post on some reputable site such as this - CN, Astromart etc. Re: the price of new, top shelf gear : some 20-odd % of the price is going down the toilet in VAT (hiss-boo). Same down here really so I tend to buy gear second-hand and local. With our "Pacific Peso" worth about 17&9pence, anything else makes little sense.
  21. Fixed by Jimminy! Had to take it apart -not so daunting as it sounds -but the two very, teeny, tiny screws that hold the ring onto the baffle tube had come loose. Might opt for a Moonlite or Feathertouch focuser and "lock" the primary just in case.
  22. Good vid. I can recommend the 'Howie Glatter' laser collimators. They aren't cheap, but are very well made and in my SW 300 showed no signs of slipping or slopping. Takes maybe 2 minutes including ciggy break. Well worth the money, IMHO, especially if you move the scope around a lot. PS-I don't work for nor have I met Howie Glatter. It's just nice when something does what it says on the tin.
  23. Such was my theory. Fortunately a good old fossick here and on CN has yielded some excellent info on how to disassemble the 'scope without breaking anything. Pray for us!
  24. My hitherto flawless Intes 815D has developed a new and strange hiccup. Literally overnight! When I rotate the focuser at either end of its travel, it also sets the threaded tube that holds the adaptor (standard SCT 1.25 - 2") diagonal twisting. Thus spinning the diagonal/adaptor assembly This tube is part of the optical path -as on any cat - but has never exhibited this weirdness before. I can't see a good reason for this other than the primary has somehow become fixed or stuck to the central tube!??? Last nights obs. were perfectly normal with everything snapping into focus" just so". The weather was cool, but not cold. I bought the scope in and put it in its case per usual Living room warm but not hot -about an 8 degree Farenheit difference between outside and indoors. I've done this hundreds of times with no problem. A visual inspection reveals no clues. I'm reluctant to take it apart as in the 4 years I've had it, it has required collimnation only twice and has otherwise had no "issues". Can anyone think of an explanation for this oddness? Thanks in advance. PJH
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