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About Tim

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  1. Copernicus at 761x

    Nice report Gerry. Have only once been able to view at over 700X in the UK, and that was on a 24" driven dob. The stars were a mess but the small planetary nebula showed some nice detail. Without a hands off approach we couldn't have gone that high, and it was that experience that started me hankering after a driven telescope. I'd put the idea to bed for now but your report has just roused it a little Tim
  2. Try stacking in Pixinsight using the latest local normalisation routines? http://www.lightvortexastronomy.com/tutorials.html
  3. I'd snap this up if I didn't have three dobs already, the GOTO is very accurate and takes the guesswork out of the equation if skies are less than perfect. Actually, I think I might know just the guy, i'll tell him
  4. A moon occulting a star....

    Hah! That will be some night to remember, if it ever comes! I will try for this though if clear, thanks for the heads up.
  5. I feel your pain Steve, having been there myself. In the end I used the technique Ande described, checking on Stellarium, as I didn't have a clue which star was which and if I was on the right one. As long as your time and date settings are correct, the handset should give you appropriate stars, but will assume flat horizons. I read this advice once: Choose three stars in a triangle around the object you wish to observe/photograph. This will make the system more accurate for that patch of sky, making it more likely your target will appear in the right place, centred in the eyepiece or camera. That makes sense, most handsets will choose three widely separated stars if they can. Anyway, stick in there, you will soon get the hang of it, and the list you need will be in your memory
  6. Yes they do. At the moment I only have a couple of dobs that need collimating, but have owned and used several fast Newtonians over the years. Without hesitation I can recommend the Cats Eye tools by Jim Fly. They are super accurate, far more so than a standard chesire, due to the unique design. They are expensive, yes, however they are a one time purchase. The problem with using a laser, even a perfectly collimated one, and even assuming your focuser will hold the laser perfectly accurately in place, is that it is possible to introduce rotational errors in the secondary, which are then sometimes incorrectly adjusted for, and the error can increase incrementally each time, leading to all sorts of weird and wonderful light paths. For visual use only, probably the Cats eye gear is a bit too good, the eyes wont appreciate the level of accuracy. But pop a camera in there, or just be slightly OCD about collimation, and they are just the thing. Used in conjunction with Vic Menard's book you have a winning combination. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/catseye-collimation-tools.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/new-perspectives-on-newtonian-collimation-vic-menard.html
  7. 20" truss dobsonian

    I hope it goes to a good home Mike
  8. Aint that the truth! Nowt as queer as folk, as they say.
  9. Oh, I totally agree with you, we are an old old business, and still keep the handwritten records of transactions and little notes to customers from the 1950's. We have the luxury of an actual outlet, a real place to visit, and so when people do phone, I invite them over, to discuss face to face. I try and drum into our staff, even the saturday and sunday boys and girls, the importance of establishing a relationship with every person that walks through the door, look them in the eye, smile, make them feel that they have had a one to one interaction. We have customers that have become firm family friends this way. Sadly though, we are harking back to old fashioned business ways, and it is hard to go further into it without verging on the political. I will say this, it isn't easy to make any money doing things the old fashioned way, the economy is not set up for it :/
  10. I cant speak for other businesses, but as a retailer, making sales anywhere between 50 pence and 50 grand, I would MUCH rather people contact us via email. This way they can ask concise questions appropriate to their needs, and both parties have a record of the "conversation" and transaction. There is no ambiguity. Many of the suppliers I deal with now have installed telephone recording equipment to protect themselves against claims such as "but your guy promised me that you would etc etc..." Congrats on the Tak Skipper Billy Curious as to your job now, sounds a bit like our gardening based workplace.
  11. This is one of the reasons there isn't a Tak in my stable as yet. Too many questions without straightforward solutions. Takahashi reputation for quality, coupled with FLO's reputation for customer service make for very powerful magic, and could be exactly what is needed to make Takahashi gear more accessible to those of us who like things to "just work." Exciting news FLO
  12. I used to go through hubs as well, then somebody pointed out that they need a beefy enough power supply to properly power each socket and all the gadgets etc. Since I upgraded to one with a more powerful power adapter it has been ok for a good while now. Somebody cleverer than me will know what sort of Amp supply rating to look for.
  13. Probably at least one of the mounting holes in the Losmandy plate will need to be the slotted variety. Of all the bits of kit that comes with the Quattro though, the SW dovetail is probably the weakest link, maybe not worth planning other stuff to fit around it?
  14. New Lens 1st Light Wierdness

    Sooooo jealous of your clear skies...... Looks like you'll make the most of them with that setup too, nice!