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Everything posted by ronb

  1. Having decided to extend my range of Axioms with a 15mm while still available browsing suppliers web sites revealed that f1 Telescopes were £40 cheaper than the nearest competitor plus no delivery charge on orders over £70. A call to f1 on Monday afternoon was answered immediately by a pleasant lady who left me on the phone to check stock. She returned in less than a minute saying they had 4. She could not accept phone orders so my order was placed on line. As promised on the phone the eyepiece was dispatched yesterday (Tuesday) and arrived by 9.30 this morning (Wednesday). Fortunately I did not suffer Moonshane's problems and found them particularly helpful. Perfectly satisfied with their service and will consider using them again in the future.
  2. When after the widest view I could get with my C11 Opticstar suggested their Ascension 38mm SWA with a 70 deg fov. Probably not the best available ep but I am happy with it and it only costs £65. In fact I probably use it more often than my 23mm Axiom. If my maths is correct it gives a tfov of 0.95 deg.
  3. While in Norfolk for a few days last week I called in at the Altair Astro shop. I'm not sure who was in the shop but he was very helpful. No rush or pressure and perfectly happy to answer all my queries and let me handle anything I was interested in. I was also impressed with his respnse to my question about their Lightwave eps. Having given me the sales pitch he advised not to take their word for it but to read independant reviews before commiting myself. Need I say that I ended up spending more than intended.
  4. Wanting to ask if they still had any 19mm Axioms in stock I tried yesterday afternoon to phone Green Witch on both numbers and gave up after about 3/4 hour. Lines engaged every time. So at 3.13 I emailed the question to Lee. He replied at 3.36 saying they had one left. I read the email at 3.40, placed an order and emailed him again at 3.48 to tell him. Lee replied at 3.50 to tell me the Axiom had been packed and shipped. Arrived first class post by 11am this morning. Pity there was no one here to receive it. I will now have to colect it tomorrow from the delivery office.
  5. I got some thin felt from a local sewing shop. I think Hobbycraft also stock it. Don't know whether it will be the same thickness as you will need.
  6. Martin, will do but could be a while before I get to try it for guiding - the wife has just nicked my laptop!!!
  7. Unable to get a good balance with an Equinox 80 and C11 mounted side by side and unable to piggy back because of the observatory roof I decided to look for a light weight guidescope which would mount directly on the C11 and eventually settled on the AA 10x60 finder and their guidescope focuser. I have not yet had chance to use it for guiding and have only had two available nights to use as a finder alongside the rdf I normally use. As mentioned by others it is well made and as is to be expected gives clear brighter viewing than the 9x50 finder supplied by Orion Optics a few years ago with their Europa 200 (same as the Skywatcher?). Considerable CA was present on Saturn but minimal or no problem with stars. I won't go into how the scope is focused or aligned as this has been adequately covered here in other posts other than to say I find the slightest touch to either eyepiece or illuminator can knock it slightly out of focus. As an inveterate tamperer the first thing I did was to find how to change the battery in the illuminator. It took 3 attempts. First I unscrewed the knurled end which screws into the eyepiece. This only exposed the LED. Second attempt was to unscrew the switch end. This time I discovered the switch/brightness control - but it also showed that the wire from the battery to the switch had not been soldered onto the battery tag - soon rectified but a potential cause of problems. After some head scratching I found that the illuminator actually unscrews at the centre between the conical end with the switch and the cylindrical bit that screws into the eyepiece, the joint being so good that it wasn't immediately obvious that there actually is one. Again, as mentioned by others, some form of instruction sheet would have been helpful here. Otherwise AA's description of the finder on their website appears totally accurate and it looks as though we are going to have a happy future together.
  8. Only had chance to use this for one night since getting it but am impressed by its performance. Not as easy to use as the Baader CLicklock as it needs more turning to safely grip or release the ep but it is only about 1/3 the price. I find it easier to use, particularly with cold hands, than a compression ring adaptor and it grips the ep more firmly. The reducer is well made from aluminium and uses a split plastic (well, not metal anyway) olive to grip the ep. The adaptor adds about 7mm in length when clamped meaning some refocusing is necessary but refocusing is invariably needed when changing ep's anyway.
  9. I also like the Ascension from Opticstar - but then I only have a 1.25" Celestron diagonal to compare it with. Having said that I had to retap the ep clamp screw hole to a larger size yesterday after stripping the thread - probably due to overtightening when using heavy ep's!
  10. Perhaps of use to anyone having problems with this torch. I recently started having trouble with the torch, only one white led working until brightness control reached full on, the red not lighting up as bright as it did then the white gave up all together and the red faded to a dim glow. I thought the battery had gone so opened up the torch and replaced it. No difference. I traced the problem to dirty contacts on the on/off switch on the brightness control. A quick clean and back to normal working without needing a battery change.
  11. Many thanks for your responses guys. Good point Dunkster, I'll go with the 3.25 and if I ever need the focal reducer I can use my existing back. If I can pluck up the courage to upset the wife I'll get the diagonal as well. Sorry Alan but I can't justify the cost of the Moonlight at present. Some day perhaps.
  12. Thanks faulksy. While my problem is really with the back your other post is tempting me to go for the diagonal as well....
  13. Being fed up of the diagonal keep working loose I'm seriously thinking of going for a Click-lock visual back for my C11. It currently has a 2" compression ring back on a 3.25" to 2" reducer. Anyone have thoughts on whether there is any advantage in using the 3.25" Click-lock over the 2" version? I appreciate the 3.25" version would present difficulties if using a focal reducer.
  14. Having just bought some screws myself, I find that the 3/16" UNF quoted above is wrong! There are two sizes of screw on the C11 - #10 UNC (= 3/16" UNC) and what I now believe to be #8 UNC. The other screw coming with the scope measures 0.156" diameter x 32 tpi while the #8 UNC is 0.164" diameter x 32 tpi and is the closest match I can find in screw tables.
  15. If it's the same as the C11 it will be either 3/16" UNC or 3/16" UNF
  16. Ah sorry, my mistake, I had forgotten about your post. Many thanks. Am still wondering though whether anyone has any experience of them. AA told me last March that they were "getting some good eyepieces in" - no disrespect to AA but they would wouldn't they? Then yesterday Peter at Opticstar said he believed they were good.
  17. I think I need(?) a 12mm ep and was considering either a Pentax XF or a NLV (I have both in other fl's and like them) until yesterday when someone told me the Altair Astro Lightwave Premium ep's are good. I can't find any reviews on them so has anyone out there used one or had chance to compare it with other ep's? Field of view is not a main consideration and I don't really want to go to the expense of a Nagler or LVW. Thanks.
  18. Correction, the plate is bent to about 100 or 120 deg not 155!
  19. When I got my Equinox 80 Peter at Opticstar recommended the Manfrotto 405 geared head as a lightweight mount. The problem with this photographic head is that it only tilts from -90deg to +30deg which is fine for it's intended use. To achieve the angles needed for astronomy I initially used it "back to front" ie with the alt knob facing away from the user giving +90deg to -30deg and which meant groping at arms length around the front of the mount. The next stage was to make up a bracket from two pieces of 6mm aluminium plate bent to an angle of around 155deg screwed and superglued together which made use of the mount much easier and now goes from horizontal to past vertical. For some time I used the geared gead on my Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod which made for a reasonable portable system but it only came into regular use when I got my Solarmax II 60. However the tripod does suffer from considerable vibration especially in anything other than a light breeze. Mounting my CGEM on a pier had left me with a spare Celestron tripod which to my surprise only needed a 2" x 3/8" Whitworth screw and washer to fit the Manfrotto head. I now have a very stable mount for either scope and can easily revert to the Manfrotto tripod if I really need to go lightweight. Originally I mounted my scopes using an Ascension mounting platform and Vixen dovetail bar - hence the size of the bracket - but I have recently changed to a 1/4" Whitworth screw fixing which I am finding just as easy to use. The Manfrotto 405 geared head will carry up to 7.5kg. Manfrotto also provide the 400 geared head carrying up to 10kg and the 410 up to 5kg.
  20. Interesting. Is this a mistake or a special offer? According to FLO's website az3 + tripod + Mercury 705 scope for £99 while the az3 mount + tripod, no scope, is £110. An excellent offer methinks. Sounds rather like the boiler programmer I bought this week, programmer + room stat for £127, programmer on its own £135.
  21. Haven't used either of these filters but http://www.astrosurf.com/buil/filters/curves.htm shows the transmission curves for both the Lumicon DSF and Baader UHC-S. The transmissions of the filters are similar so there probably won't be much difference. Hope this helps.
  22. John, as mentioned, I have had an OOUK EHC filter for several years and never used it until recently so I don't know how often I would use a larger one. Jiggy67, you may be right, Telescope House list them on their web site (http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Light_Pollution_39.html) but I haven't yet checked whether they are in stock. I also found http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Number/4774938 dated August last year which infers that they were in short supply across the pond. Mind you I don't yet know about availability of the Astronomik either. Space Dragon, must admit I had not thought about TV. (Logs out of SGL muttering to self.....)
  23. A daft question, what do you do with the boxes your scope and accessories come in? I try to keep mine in case I ever need to return anything. Or, if I decide to sell anything, it will have its original box, possibly a good selling point. There is no problem storing empty boxes for ep's or smaller accessories but what do you do with the box for a C11 or larger scope? It won't go under the bed, it won't fit through the trap into the loft, the wife complains about it on the spare room bed.....
  24. Have a word with Steve at FLO. See theCustome-made Astronomy Adapters post in Sponsor Announcements on this site.
  25. Yet another recommendation for Opticstar. As already mentioned they wont sell you anything they dont think you need (they talked me down from buying an A&M at £4k to an Equinox 80) and offer sound, free advice - I've always been happy with their recommendations and with what they have sold me. If you do visit make sure you have plenty of time as, when they have no other customers in the shop, you can soon pass a couple of hours and feel guilty for leaving early. They are my first port of call for anything within their range.
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