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Skiddins

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Everything posted by Skiddins

  1. Looks ok, provided the optics are in good condition. It's the sort of thing I was looking at when I bought my (first) scope If you do buy second hand I would only ever collect yourself then you can take a good look at it to check for anything not mentioned in the listing. Skiddins
  2. Welcome to SGL. Jupiter starts to appear mid evening and is directly above around midnight. You might be getting up too late. Try the evening before instead
  3. Silica granules work well, but only in a sealed environment, and it takes a while for them to have any effect. Skiddins
  4. I've found that the best thing is not to try and plan an evening's viewing. I find/have other things to do in the evening, I'll then look outside from 10pm onwards and see what it's like, if it's clear I'll set up the scope and away I go, but because I don't plan it in advance, if it remains cloudy then so be it. I've also been caught out a few times by setting up while clear and then having a cloud bank move perfectly over. But... sometimes when the cloud is intermittant you get very good views in between the clouds. I think in those circumstances the cloud absorbs some of the light pollution. Skiddins
  5. I thought that using a camp bed etc was supposed to be a bad idea as the cold air can circulate underneath it? Skiddins
  6. Admittedly I use a 'Goto', but M57 is almost always clearly visible to me and I live between Heathrow and Slough
  7. I bought a Hotech laser collimator to do mine after a couple of months or frustration with collimation (my neice knocked my telescope over onto a stone floor:() If you have the 'doughnut' on your primary mirror it's easy peasy. Mine had no markings at all so it took the mirror out and added my own centre spot. I very carefully adjusted the secondary to line the laser up with the centre spot, then set about the primary. I also have a Cheshire collimator but found it a pain to use, as oce everything looked perfect in it, the laser showed that it wasn't. I used this video to get an idea of what to do; I know some of the more experienced users frown at the use of a laser (as they can be out of collimation themselves) but I found it made things instantly much easier. You can use this the check that the laser is collimated properly before you start; http://www.youtube.com/user/astronomyshed#p/u/15/bE09_X43UUQ Skiddins
  8. I ordered some online, can't remember where from but if you Google it there are plenty of places that can sip it too you. Skiddins
  9. What scope do you have? I have been a bit frustrated with the level of detail I see through my 130mm scope, but I do see a sharper image than that. I can make out the two main equatorial belts even at low mag with moolight etc. Is it properly collimated?
  10. I have watched Jupiter a few times now, but around 100-140x I have real trouble getting sharp focus and clearly defined edges for the planet. At lower mags it seems very sharp and bright. I can see the equatorial belts at all the mags I've tried but not much else. The scope is properly collimated. Is it because it's a bit low in the sky at the moment for truly clear viewing? I do have a lot of light pollution etc but I'm sure I managed sharper views of Saturn. Skiddins
  11. Would probably look like one of those group photo's of the SAS where they all have a black line across their eyes so we can't identify them. lol
  12. Having now owned both the 'washing machine' style pads and the correct astro type from Meade I can certainly concur that while the white goods pads do help a little, there is no comparison with the Meade versions I bought. The white good pads are of a uniform very hard rubber material. The astro versions are made of a hard plastic main outer cup, a thin (few mm) of what appears to be very soft polyurethane, then the inner cup that the telescope leg actually sits in is again, hard plastic. The astro version's slow any vibration down within a couple of seconds where the white good versions certainly take a lot longer. I have yet to try adding a bag of sand to the accessory tray which has also been recommended. Are they worth the extra cost, that's something only you can decide, but they certainly work. Skiddins
  13. Having now owned both the 'washing machine' style pads and the correct astro type from Meade I can certainly concur that while the white goods pads do help a little, there is no comparison with the Meade versions I bought. The white good pads are of a uniform very hard rubber material. The astro versions are made of a hard plastic main outer cup, then a thin (5mm or so) of what appears to be very soft polyurethane, then the inner cup that the telescope leg actually sits in is again, hard plastic. The astro version's slow any vibration down within a couple of seconds where the white good versions certainly take a lot longer. I have yet to try adding a bag of sand to the accessory tray which has also been recommended. Are they worth the extra cost, that's something only you can decide, but they certainly work. Skiddins
  14. Having now owned both the 'washing machine' style pads and the correct astro type from Meade I can certainly concur that while the white goods pads do help a little, there is no comparison with the Meade versions I bought. The white good pads are of a uniform very hard rubber material. The astro versions are made of a hard plastic main outer cup, a thin (few mm) of what appears to be very soft polyurethane which feels very soft, then the inner cup that the telescope leg actually sits in is again, hard plastic. The astro version's slow any vibration down within a couple of seconds where the white good versions certainly take a lot longer. I have yet to try adding a bag of sand to the accessory tray which has also been recommended. Are they worth the extra cost, that's something only you can decide, but they certainly work. Skiddins
  15. If you can move the entire focusser it sounds like you need to tighten up the mounting bolts. I had the problem on mine where the rack and pinion system was a bit loose, but after tightening up the four screws on the adjuster section it works far better.
  16. My Celestron has a red dot type finder on it which suffered from the same problem. You're supposed to use both eyes at the same time with it so one has the actual object and the other has the red dot in it. I found this to be a bit hit and miss, particularly with the high brightness of the red dot. So I've changed the way i use it. I now look through the finder, then lift my head slightly above it towards the object to check left and right alignment. Then do the same but moving my head to the side of the finder to check vertical alignment. I've found this to be at least as quick and more accurate. Skiddins
  17. Kept checking out the window last night but every time i did the visibility got slightly worse Last chance was around 12:30am this morning, but no, still poor visibility. The frustrating part being I could still just about see Jupiter through the thin cloud. Hopefully it might clear a bit this week. Skiddins
  18. It's fine if you already have the solar film on the front of the scope as I do
  19. Surely you must have to use it with the webcam, because each time you change an EP or in this case add a webcam, you are changing the focal length? slightly so you will have to refocus Skiddins
  20. As well as using the 'minimise the shadow' technique, i also found that leaving my dust cap in the focuser (it's one of those opaque plastic type) meant that when it was lined up I have a small unmagnified picture of the sun that is projected onto the inside of the dust cap which allows me to completely center it before putting an eyepiece in.
  21. I haven't tried any of the above mentioned apps apart from Stellarium, which is fine on a PC but pants on the iPhone (too much of it is removed in the phone app and it's clumsy ) I like Distant Suns 3 and must confess I always have it on when I'm using my scope to check what I'm looking at but it is a bit expensive around £5, but it's easily the best I have seen so far. If you do get any make sure you come back and tell us what you thought, either good or bad, to help others decide what to look for. Skiddins
  22. Having moved onto a 12V supply fairly early on on my 130 SLT (it was killing rechargable AA's very quickly) I discovered that there was a problem whereby the slightest difference in size of the plastic insulator at the tip of the DC power connector meant it broke contact with the slightest movement. The bit I meant is at the top left of this picture; When I measured some of the various DC connectors I had around the house with a vernier, the tip section varies in size from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not by much at all, perhaps just enough to be noticed when they are held side by side. But it's enough to stop the scope working. In the end I routed around at home until I found a DC cable that reliable made contact, then cut it off and re-soldered it onto the power cable I made up for the scope. I even tried a replacement socket from Maplin and soldered it into the scope but found the best combination was the cable I found and cut, along with the original socket. Skiddins
  23. Hi. There is an astronomy club in Eton which is just over the bridge from Windsor. Might be available by train. Herschel Astrosoc, Astronomy club covering Maidenhead, Slough, Windsor and the Thames Valley Being a newbie I haven't been there yet, I think they have their meeting over the winter. Skiddins
  24. I think part of the problem with the Alt movement being noisy is that the gearbox is closer to the outside of the scope, the Az motors etc are buried further inside. The Celestrons also have that aluminium arm that I believe resonates slightly with the vibrations from the mechanics. It might be worth looking into self adhesive sound proofing material to stick to the inside of the plastic casing on the side of the arm. I might also look at using very stiff rubber bushes on the motor mounts etc to reduce the noise. All this talk has now made me a bit self conscious of the Alt function of my 130SLT. I have a sound level meter so I might try some experiments with sound proofing to see what difference it makes. Skiddins
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