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About tosh

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  1. Just to confuse matters even more. What do you recommend I build the parallelogram out of? I've already machined and drilled 4 pieces of 2x1 walnut. Been in the loft space in my garage for the past 2yrs. its got 10mm steel bolts passed through all the holes keeping everything true, square and flat. But on Friday I managed to scavenge 4 lengths of 2x1 aluminium box section. I can work with both, but can't decide which to go for. Any advise??
  2. Hi Olly Cheers for the reply. That scenario you described had indeed crossed my mind. The whole reason for this is to allow both me and my young son (6yrs) to view the night sky. I had grand plans of making this a dual purpose, in that I could use both a scope/refractor or swP for binoculars. But as you rightly pointed out the bin's would cause no end of problems. I'm just trying to envision another linkage based on the parallelogram principle that would correct both axis!!
  3. Well I just won and collected what seems to be a used but never used EQ mount for.....99p off ebay. Came complete with both flexible control thingys?? Plus counter balance and a separate counter balance too. The tripod itself is very very cheap looking and split from where some ham fisted previous individual tightened it up to tight - but it's 100% salvageable. But the EQ unit looks to be made from cast, doesn't appear to have any weakness as such and is far better than what I could possibly expect to knock up without spending an astronomical sum of money - which defeats the whole purpose. My query is why can't I attach a parallelogram to the cast fixing designed for the telescopes main tube. I'm totally naive when it's comes to things like this, but my logic says if the parallelogram was actually running parallel to where the scope would normally be attached whats stopping me from incorporating the EQ movements. I'd like to design and build a tripod out of 100mm diameter steel tubing. The legs will again be steel tubing (40mm), how I intend to fix them is still undecided, but as I'm working for a engineering firm, pretty much anything is possible. My main priority is to ensure the heavy oversize main tube sits very low to the ground for obvious stability reasons and rather than the 3 legs being attached near the bottom, I intend to attach them near the top so it becomes bottom heavy. The EQ mount will then be attached to the centre column and any difference in height required would simply involve utilising the movements available from the parallelogram. So what am I missing?? I just know its something major, otherwise it would have been done before. Any logical problems in laymens terms would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Tosh
  4. Hi Thanks for the advice. Seems both my ideas were not too good. As for the parallelogram mount - I actually started building one 2yrs ago - was working in a joiners shop at the time. Its basically all cut ( hardwood), brass bushings were purchased along with a few sheets of PTFE teflon for the washers needed. Also picked up a BNIB dewalt laser tripod for £20 - basically the same style as a surveyors but without vthe price hike. But, constantly thinking how it would all come together dragged on and on needless to say its still unfinished in the garage. I've seen the slim metal ones that are available, they actually appeal more to me than my own.
  5. I went out a few nights ago and looked up at the night sky with my binoculars. You certainly see more that's for sure!! However, as a total newbie I soon gave up trying to find my bearings, has anyone set binoculars onto a EQ mount or better still a GoTo mount? Also,, I've since read about the Binoflex St50. Are they any good and where might I get one from?? Anybody??
  6. Arrived home this evening to find a drop card ... Ahh' my Budget Ostara E/P, The courier was kind enough to leave it with my neighbour - top guy!! Just then my neighbour knocked on the door with it!! Top neighbour!! 10 mins later I'm ripping the jiffy bag open. Oh my, it was Meade Erecting Prism I ordered yesterday from Telescope House via amazon. that's pretty amazing delivery speed I think you'll agree. 5 mins later the Towa is outside with it's new Prism fitted pointing at the nearest testing target - in my case the gargoyles on the church roof next to me. First eyepiece was my biggest 1.25" the 12.5mm. Took me a few seconds to focus it, almost fully racked out. Well it was certainly brighter, sharpness wise...... erm, Okay, tried the next size down (9mm). slightly darker and possibly a little sharper. Just to note I haven't properly cleaned any of the eyepieces. Apart from blower brush and canned air. I was semi-satisfied, told myself it was the poor ep's. Whilst the scope was out I decided to to try out the old .965's that also came with the Towa. Opting straight for the 12.5 (HM 12.5mm Japan ???) I inserted it into what I assume is a metal sleeve designed just for that (that too came with the towa). And took a peek... Oh my God!! The difference was startling. Jeez, the clarity. could easily pick out the midges hovering around the gargoyles nose!! lol - I'm smiling now. I swung the scope round and focused on the large tree next to the church. BANG!! insects feeding on the decaying leaves snapped into focus. Oh yes, this is more like it. Stayed out for a while trying different ep's - the 12.5mm .965" is without doubt my best one. Interesting to note that I could see no colour fringing when looking at the gargoyles with their relatively dark stone against the bright evening sky. Considering I've had the front cell off, and not collimated it whatsoever, plus the fact the scope is what?? 40yrs old ?? - I am impressed, can't wait to compare the 831. (I hear you Jules - I'm not touching anything on that!!) I'm pretty much expecting the Ostara to arrive tomorrow. Also, I've accepted that the new prism is really suited for terrestrial viewing, so hopefully I'll pick up a 90 degree star diagonal (mirror version this time) at the end of the month. Tosh
  7. Just to let everyone know - I've ordered a star diagonal off amazon. From Telescope House?? Meade Hybrid Erecting Prism .96"-1.25" 45* hopefully that along with the new eyepiece Ostara 20mm will make a difference, a BIG one I sincerely hope. I'll keep everyone informed how things progress!! Tosh
  8. Thanks for the (long) list Philip and the warm welcome, I didn't see your reply until I just sent my last post - my heads beginning to hurt trying to work everything out and then answer my sons never ending barrage of questions to which I don't even now the answers yet! If anyone can help me with this Star Diagonal, I'll order it tomorrow and report back on what I make of it and the Ostara 20mm lens that's hopefully here soon. TBH I really don't want to spend more than £40. I'm really trying to keep it all a bit of fun at the moment. Last thing I want is my son too scared to use it - or more like me too scared to let him use it!! lol Thanks to everyone Tosh
  9. Thanks to all. @Nightfisher - just clicked the link you sent, unfortunately they are out of stock. No timescale is given as to when they'll next be available. So the hunt goes on........... @Proto Star - the Towa came with a straight plastic .96"-1.25" adapter. I dismissed the idea of using that combined with a readily available 1.25" star diagonal for fear of creating more problems, I (maybe wrongly) assumed it would be vastly inferior for the light path as opposed to a dual fitting version. Does using to many adapters create sag? Thus diminishing the optical path? Given the Towas pretty feeble spec' compared to many modern scopes I just assumed I would need to squeeze every ounce out of it. Would I be right in guessing it creates havoc with collomation? Tosh
  10. Well, my Towa arrived Thursday and since then I seem to have done nothing but clean it and search for bits that I need. For ease of viewing, I've decided on a 20mm 1.25" ep, (ostara 20mm plossl £14.99) that should arrive sometime this week. All I want now is the .96"-1.25"star diagonal preferably 45* and with a prism rather than mirror. I'm guessing the prism would actually give me a fully corrected view rather than simply the reversed view from a mirror?? Unfortunately I don't have buckets of money available and if I'm totally honest I don't really want to spend too much just yet. Rather, I'd like to see how far both me and my young son get on with it all. Incidentally, my son today peered through the towa for the first time at ... Yes, those chimney pots again!! I fitted the biggest eyepiece I had (12mm). I'd already focused on the chimney pots and asked him to take a look. The grin on his face said it all, but he asked (why is it upside down??) lol, at least it proved he could actually look through it - he's only just turned 6. I bet to him that was magical, can't wait to get it outside pointing up at the moon!! I've done a web search that has come up with nothing really, I can't check the classifieds as my score is still relatively low. Does anybody know where I might find what I'm searching for? Thanks Tosh P.S the 20mm ep will only give 60x magnification on the 1200 Towa, can anyone recommend something other than the moon that will hold a 6yr olds attention - I'd really like him to be bitten by this. It would make those coming dark nights fun, rather than staring at the tv.
  11. Thanks nephilim I've actually just printed that off this morning!! along with the Towa user manual - That's how I now know I need the cheshire EP's. It looks to be relatively straightforward instructions...ahem...., just need the Cheshire and hopefully I'll be on my way. p.s is it possible to buy lens caps for both ends. The Towa came with a plastic tub shoved in the end!! Fits great, but I'll add a proper one to the shopping list if I can find one. Thanks Tosh
  12. Hi I've just removed the front optic from my recently purchased Towa 339 for cleaning. I now need to collimate. The focuser accepts the old .96 EP's. I'm guessing that I wll need a Cheshire EP with the same .96 fitting to ensure exact alignment. Only trouble is I can't seem to find one, plus the fact I don't really know where to look apart from typing " .96" Cheshire eyepiece" into the search bar, which has so far revealed nothing. I'm beginning to suspect they are only available from the popular 1.25" and above. I'm also after 2 other items :- Star Diagonal I think 45 degree would work better for me than the 90 degree. Are Antares any good?? £29 Basic starting eyepiece. Not after anything spectacular, just something that's relatively bright and clear. Can anyone offer me some advice please. Thanks Tosh
  13. I've just taken some more pic's - its actually quite nice!! I need to clean it properly and fit a new level. Any ideas where I might get one from?
  14. It's been quite a morning. The Towa was purchased to learn on - it isn't my holy grail. Yesterday I viewed for the first time and was greeted with a very poor image, dark and grainy. I've slept on it and this morning decided to take the bull by its horns!! Having removed the dew shield, I began to wonder if this hadn't been opened before. There appeared to be marks on the underside of the front cell. I inscrewed and removed the focuser and peered down. The front element was simply filthy, covered in smudge marks, hairs and god knows what!! Obviously it HAD been opened up before. Sod it!! I removd the front cell. All you purists please leave the room..it gets worse....much worse!! I'd already decided that the Towa was just a cheap way of getting into observing the night sky - nothing more, nothing less. If everything went pear shaped I'd simply break it up into it's basic components and list it on ebay. Okay, blower brush out, canned air out, spectacle wipes out - I can see you all shaking your heads in total disbelief. 5 mins later, we're done...gleaming glass!! The cell was screwed back on using 3 of the 6 screws, the remaining 3 were put in and simply nipped up so as not to loose them. Right now the equatorial mount.. Far too much wobble on the balance weight shaft - couldn't work out why it wouldn't come off after removing the 3 screws, a quick check on the web (towa manual) and realised it was simply screwed on and the 3 screws there to keep it on. Brute force..off it came!! Old grease had acted as glue, I refitted the shaft and attempted to remove it again, again it was stuck fast. so brute force and off it came. I've re-fitted the shaft using an M12 washer to act as a bearing. With the 3 srcrews refitted there's now no wobble whatsoever. Focuser refitted, legs attached to EQ mount, tube assembly put back on. Hmm, super smooth. It was then that I made a remarkable discovery, one that I was not expecting at all. I peered down the tube checking that everything was clear and was greeted by a razor sharp image of a leaf and berries. So sharp was that image I could clearly see the almost saw teeth on the leafs edge - it was crystal sharp. I normally wear glasses for reading and driving and put them on and peered down again, could see nothing, raised my glases and the image returned. The leaf was actually just outside the french doors 8-10ft away. I'm still puzzled as to why it was in focus and wonder if the front cell has actually been dismantled?? Anyway, EP fitted, the biggest that came with the scope 12.5 .96. first look...god awful !! I rotated the EP and so did the dirty view. EP removed, unscrewed and blown, dusted, and wiped and then refitted. Ah, that's more like it, the image is still dark and grainy but has improved 10 fold from what was viewed first time round. So, everything seems to be working regarding the EQ mount. The front cell looks to be far better than I had originally anticipated. The Wooden legs are actually very stable once clamped and screwed and also very very light. I do like them. So, where do I go next. I suspect I'll need to collimate the front lens. The ep's want either binning or cleaning and possibly a star diagonal .96"-1.25" either 45 or 90 degree added. If anyone can give me some advice on where to go next it would be much appreciated. Thanks to all Tosh
  15. Morning Nightfisher Your offer is very gracious thank you. To be fair to the previous owner - ebay purchase, it only arrived 2 days ago! I think the problem here is that the former owner actually got stuck in and used it.....a lot!! It looks to be very well used, yet all parts seem to be present for basic viewing and more importantly - as far as I can tell, everything still works!! it's got it's own charm, a story to tell shall we say. I'm actually very excited about the prospect of putting this scope back into action! Best wishes Tosh
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