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Everything posted by Tim

  1. Lots of unpredictable variables I guess, the same issues are facing a whole range of unrelated businesses at the moment. And not just on imported goods either.
  2. That's brilliant, just used it to check on a known reflection source in a rig I was testing, and it performed brilliantly. Thank you
  3. We had a visit from one of our suppliers yesterday. He revealed that the latest shipping prices for a single container that they had been quoted were £16,000, and had even heard of another company being quoting £19,000 for one. This is in contrast to their usual fee which hovers around the £2K region. In addition to this, shipping companies have 3 days to dock, unload, and reload, after this time they are charged expensive emissions fees in UK and European ports. As two thirds of Felixstowe is apparently full of empty, unwanted containers the capacity for unloading is greatly reduced, extending the waiting times for the ships, and perhaps accruing emissions charges. Our suppliers are anchoring of the coast in Turkey to avoid these fees, but there is only so much they can do. Again, our suppliers have stated that just to cover the extra costs of shipping, prices are going to rise, perhaps dramatically, at least for the first part of this year. I remember well when the price of a bag of chips jumped from about 50p to £1.25. The local chip shop had signs up stating that the reason was the unseasonably wet summer which resulted in the loss of the potato crop, increasing demand on limited supplies. The only thing is, the prices never went down again when the crop returned to normal, we kind of got used to paying the £1.25, and it continued at that even when the costs from the supplier reduced. I am hoping the same thing doesn't happen with the extra shipping costs affecting so many importers at the moment! Factoring in fluctuating shipping costs is a nightmare. In our trade, a garden centre, we will have additional Plant Health Agency checks this year which may or may not affect a delivery, and which are chargeable. We just don't know whether the next delivery from abroad will cost us the same as normal, or be a lot extra, very frustrating and making it difficult to plan and trade effectively. We are always grateful for understanding customers, and always slightly irked by those moaning about "rip off prices" when they don't understand the reasons why they went up. Hope all at FLO are safe and sound and enduring these times with a smile and with faces to the wind Tim
  4. Very nicely put Steve, you have been in the same position as garden centres, we've had our best year for decades but can't help feeling almost guilty that so many have suffered so badly. The next few weeks are going to be especially awful, but here's looking beyond that to a hopefully brighter summer. Tim
  5. I feel the same Steve, it was always nice to see the Hinds stand at shows, they lent an air of dependability and assurance to them, at least, that's how I felt. Tim
  6. Oh, this all sounds VERY familiar Welcome to the club
  7. To some extent it can depend on the filter itself. My oringinal Lumicon filters in these bandwidths are both nice, but the UHC offers a brighter, sharper view with better contrast on pretty much every nebula I have tried it on. If it helps, I have a practically unused 2" Baader Oiii filter in perfect condition for sale in the classifieds, or message me :) Tim
  8. Foam pads and duct tape! All I can say is, thank goodness I have a very low magnification Nagler in my eyepiece collection, as the night cooled the view holes started rotating
  9. Every year, as a family, we take an extended break which includes the Kelling Heath Star Party. This year it just happened that we were here two weeks earlier. Although the moon was fullish, I was determined to see Mars as near to opposition as possible, and the chance of a clear spell arrived the other night. I dutifully set up my scope, an 18" dob, and went to add the finishing touch, the Telrad finder. Disaster! I only left it at home like a wally. So I had to improvise, and fast as it was getting dark. So here I present my MK1 Kelling Finder. Never mind that it looks like a nail/tent peg, It needs no batteries, is adjustable by simply adding more duct tape, and it doesn't dew up at night........and actually, in an emergency, it worked a treat I did make a generous offer on ebay for one, which was declined, (so had to chuckle when it auctioned for less than I offered ) Thank goodness Widescreen Centre had a Telrad in stock, it was delivered this week Just need the skies now, maybe tonight!
  10. Yep, there's really no excuse for white light anywhere, tents or caravans included. We use two LED colour changing bulbs set to red inside the caravan so my family are not sat in complete darkness, and make sure the skylights and everything else are shut up. Red Lane marker tape available online is great, less sticky than standard insulation tape, it comes off easily, and comes in rolls 75mm wide, ideal for red screening any lights. I'm wondering what Kelling are going to do about the toilet blocks. At the moment they have signs saying all the windows and doors must be open, for extra ventilation. But at the SP they cover them up with black butyl, with the windows shut. I guess they will have something in mind. Last year we were pleased to see that Nick had been round with red/orange film and screened off a load of the lights, which made a real difference before and after the SP, and at other times of the year.
  11. I'm here at the site at the moment. Provisions for safety and management of coronavirus regulations is first rate, i'm really impressed. For the star party, rule of 6 will apply to pitches, assuming restrictions don't change between now and then. The toilet blocks are being cleaned 3 times a day, including anti-viral fogging. The staff said that the arrangements worked very well with a fully booked site full of families, so are not expecting any issues with the star party which tends to attract individuals or couples rather than family groups, so less numbers overall. As for booking next year, with the usual queuing being a potential issue, they have a plan to alleviate this, that I think will please most attendees, that you will hear about soon. The site itself was battered last weekend by a gale that has brought hundreds of trees down in the area, and around a hundred on the site! The light cone from Holt area seems worse than I remember, but not too bad from Sheringham way. Tim
  12. You will never regret buying the best mount you can afford is the only advice I can give. Once your mount is solid, stable, and reliable, the rest just comes together so much more easily. Hope that makes sense? Tim
  13. Hi all, I have for sale a Celestron Axiom LX 23mm 82° - 2inch eyepiece, original box, excellent condition. Have hung on to this for years, reluctant to let it go, but as I have a 21mm Ethos now it is unlikely to ever see the sky again in my hands, which is a shame. Good heavy EP with adjustable eye relief that makes it very comfortable to use, hence my reluctance to part with it, solid rubber grip. Looking for around £150 Baader UHC-S nebula filter 2" SOLD Baader Oiii 10nm 2" visual filter £85 in as new condition, only used a handful of times to compare against a few Lumicons. Postage extra, or collect from Kelling Heath SP next month, or Coventry anytime. Any questions, feel free to ask Tim
  14. Although my 150 Esprit is one of the earliest, (as I had it for a review and couldnt part with it ) the optics were perfect. I have noticed a "trend" though over the last couple of years for some refractors to have dust between the lenses. One example even arrived with a hair lodged in there! Although it will make no difference to the view, it would be nice to think that there is enough QC process in place to eliminate the issue. The more telescopes that get rejected by the consumer, the more likely some change will occur, but will take some time. Hope you get sorted in the end Rich1980 Tim
  15. Lovely sets John, like you I find the Delos EP's very comfortable to use and have a couple in my limited set. Do you exclusively use the refractor set with your refractors though? Every now and again I really enjoy the wide open view of my 21mm Ethos in a nice refractor, even in the local skies. My only wish for the Ethos EP's I have is that the 13mm would take a 2" filter to save faffing about attaching filters to my Paracorr. Could always get a filter tray I suppose. Tim
  16. Sadly, I think this is going to be the case for quite a number of regulars we have got to know over the last decade or so of autumn star parties Let's face it, a lot of us are wonky old crocks with more wrong than right with us! We have our pitch booked, since last year obviously, and have added an extra couple of weeks before hand, as it seems unlikely there will be any other holidays this year, and we quite literally haven't been anywhere except to work since the start of March. Assuming it all goes ahead, one thing I will really miss will be sharing views with others and a large Dob, either mine or theirs. This interchange of experience really makes the nights go well, and have greatly added to the star camp experience. Pretty sure i'm not the only one to feel this way. At any rate, let's hope we can all get there at least, but it isn't the end of the world if not, would rather be relatively healthy and locked down than catching and spreading Covid-19. Keep safe guys! Tim
  17. It wouldn't make much difference when observing under typical conditions John, as you say, but in newts used for imaging, which typically have LED's, and laptops etc around, stray light entering the rear of the scope can actually go through the mirror, and appear in an image as a large donut shaped anomaly. It took me ages to figure out what was causing the issue, on an old GSO 8" I had. Since then, if using a newt for imaging, I always put a cover over the rear end. Tim
  18. Hope everyone at FLO is OK and able to continue. Seems like FLO has something in common with garden centres, we have been flat out, non stop, and getting supplies of anything is tricky, and a lot of distribution drivers are still furloughed. It is a peculiarly frustrating situation to have an eager market and being unable to supply it. Good to know that there is raised interest in astronomy though, I can't wait until I have enough energy left at the end of a day to actually use my observatory, I had fully intended to provide friends with youngsters with educational live zoom sessions making the most of those beautiful clear skies we had, but was just too busy. The Beatles sang about 8 days a week.....pffffft, part timers! Stay safe and as busy as you can Tim
  19. Hope it went well guys, would have loved to have joined, but had our busiest ever week at work this week topped off by our busiest ever day today, and quite frankly, I'm knackered. This is a great endeavour. Would love to see Paul Money give a Zoom presentation, if you could twist his arm into doing one! Best wishes Tim
  20. I'm not sure about that particular model, and it has been a while since I've used a Skywatcher alignment routine, but the way to get pinpoint precision when I had a SW mount was to do a 3 star alignment using a triangle that encompassed the area of sky interest. When you wanted to observe another area of sky, just clear the align and redo another triangle of stars around the target area. Might be worth a shot????
  21. The Cats Eye collimation system is second to none, and is capable of giving you the precise collimation needed even for imaging with fast Newts. Due to the way auto-collimators work, layering multiple reflections with an offset view point, rotating the auto-collimator 180° gives even more precise results. Probably way more accurate than will be appreciated at the average Newtonian's eyepiece, unless you are into Planetary or lunar observation. Even with a Cats Eye though, your telescope needs to be properly set up in the first place, with focuser and mirrors all nicely positioned and securely held within the tube. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/catseye-collimation-tools/catseye-infinity-xlkp-autocollimator.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/catseye-collimation-tools/catseye-blackcat-xl.html Tim
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