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ronb

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Everything posted by ronb

  1. Many thanks John, this is the sort of information/advice I was hoping for. In spite of your preference for the O-III, from posts elsewhere on this site, it would appear that the UHC is more often recommended. Perhaps it's a little more versatile than the O-III? So I'm now decided on either the Lumicon or Astromik. Decisions, decisions..... And, do I buy now while the weather is too bad to use it or wait for better weather and risk even more wrath of the gods?????
  2. Many thanks for your comments, much appreciated and most useful. I am looking for a UHC but am trying to find out how much better the likes of the Lumicon or Astronomik perform than the Skywatcher or Baader at half the price. Posts on SGL suggest that users of all makes are happy with them but no one appears to have experience of UHC filters at both ends of the price spectrum. I currently use a 1.25" EHC filter sold me by OOUK for LP. It works well on M42 but I want a 2" UHC for my larger EPs. The EHC is also unbranded so I don't know its spec.
  3. Many thanks for your comments, much appreciated. Very encouraging reports on the top end filters. From other threads here it would appear that people are also happy with both Skywatcher and Baader. It would appear that few if any on SGL have experience of these filters at both ends of the price spectrum which is what I was hoping to hear. I currently have a 1.25" EHC filter that OOUK sold me for LP. It isn't branded so I don't know its spec but it seems to work well on M42 so I want a 2" UHC for my larger EPs. One consolation if I go for the Lumicon or Astronomik is that at least the wife won't know I have paid twice the price of one of the cheaper ones.....
  4. While searching for advice on which UHC filter to purchase I came across the following article which may be of interest http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1994JBAA..104..231B/0000231.000.html By the way, what is an EHC filter? How does it differ from UHC? Thanks.
  5. I don't want to highjack this thread but I'm looking for a 2" UHC filter. Is there a noticable difference in performance between the Lumicon/Astronomik filters against the cheaper ones (eg Skywatcher/Baader) or is any difference marginal? I am aware that whether the extra cost is worth it is my decision.
  6. Many thanks Rob. I was unsure as to which method is easiest and more accurate so I'll give the Celestron All Star method a try first. I strongly suspect my polar alignment needs improving - as well as my mount's polar alignment!
  7. Sorry about that - I copied and pasted the link without testing. Please try either www.allaboutastro.com/Articlepages/iterativemethod.html or http://www.cloudnet.com/~dsastro/PolarAlignIT/PolarIterative.htm I was wondering how it compares to drift alignment and whether it is worth tryng.
  8. Other than use with Astroplanner I have not seen anything on iterative polar alignment on this forum eg as per http://www.allaboutastro.com/Articlepages/iterativemethod.html. Has anyone tried it or have any comments on its accuracy?
  9. Thanks for the ideas guys, I'll give them a try. A commercial dew shield is just under £50 - OK, not much compared to the price of the scope but makes a DIY one worth a try first.
  10. Friday evening I got the clearest view of Jupiter through my C11 using an XW10 (x280) that I have ever seen. However my 7mm Axiom (x400) just pushed things too far for the conditions. I have been wondering whether it would be worthwhile investing in an 8mm eyepiece to give magnification around x350. Or is the x50 difference just not worth it? I'm wondering whether to look for either an 8mm LVW or an 8.5mm XF. I would also probably use this eyepiece with an Equinox 80 and Solarmax 60. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
  11. Like many I have made a dewshield for my C11 using an old camping mat. While a snug fit on the scope I find that the front end tends to droop into an oval section with the vertical section being about 3 or 4 inches smaller than the horizontal. Has anyone else had this problem and got over it? Does it really matter?
  12. Hi Kev, I should have said yesterday that I did consider self build and/or getting a local joiner to help before deciding on Alexanders. Nick has now built several hundred observatories and has overcome various problems and made design improvements along the way. While self build is an interesting and probably more rewarding way forward I just decided to let someone else do the hard work and avoid pitfalls. Ron
  13. First of all, I am sure I will not be the only one to offer my sincere condolences on your sad loss. Nick erected my Alexanders observatory about 12 months ago and, apart from requiring another coat of Ducksback next Spring, the only real problem I have had was when the roofing felt blew off one night because of gale force winds. The roof was refelted and then battened to prevent a recurrance. If you were reading our posts some 12 to 15 months ago you will know that Nick was behind with deliveries last year and his quoted 12 week delivery became 6 months. I don't know how he is performing this year but have not heard any grumbles about him for the last 12 months so sounds like he is back up to speed. I will say that I doubt you will be disappointed by the quality of his work. Unfortunately I probably live about 100 miles from you but you are more than welcome to have a look at my observatory if you wish. I did find someone in Morpeth (Northumberland) who builds ROR observatories. Their verbal estimate worked out at about the same as Alexanders but they refused to deliver to Lancashire and erect. The only other suggestion would be to sound out some local joiners. Hope this helps. Ron
  14. Thank you for your help gentlemen, your comments are most useful and have reduced the size of my list. From your preferences I guess it's a case of deciding how many pennies to part with then taking it from there.
  15. Thanks John, I will give the Revelation serious consideration. Other than cost, are there any advantages or disadvantages in going for a shorter focal length/wider field of view over a longer FL/narrower FOV?
  16. I'm toying with the idea of getting a "finder eyepiece" for my C11. One reason being that now having an observatory, because of the walls, I am unable to see any terrestrial objects on which to align the scope and RDF. The last time I refitted the RDF it took ages to ensure I had both scope and RDF aligned on the same star. I'm looking for an eyepiece which will give a wider TFOV than my 23mm Axiom at 0.67 deg. I appreciate that exit pupil size can become a problem at longer focal lengths and do not want to spend too much as I don't see this eyepiece being used for " serious viewing". Can anyone out there advise what to consider or what to avoid? So far I have been looking at eyepieces ranging from the 30mm Ascension UWA through to the 56mm Meade Superplossl. Many thanks in advance.
  17. The end hinges down to give a lower view to the south. Hope Nick doesn't mind me giving away his "secrets"! A strip of plastic DPC (damp proof course) is fixed to the roof. On closing the roof it is necessary to ensure that this strip lies outside the south wall. Easiest done by opening the flap, close the roof making sure that the two ends of the strip are outside then close the flap. Only takes a few seconds. Two pieces of the same DPC are used on the other end of the roof over the roof rails. At Nick's suggestion I also cover the rails with guttering when the roof is closed. This reduces the chance of rainwater running along the channels. The guttering is held in place with bungees.
  18. OK, the rain has stopped so managed a few photos. Not much room between scope and roof when closed (Celestron C11). Obs is 12' x 8' with a 4' warm room (for future use). Ron
  19. Sorry for the delay guys, only just got around to looking at this thread again. I will post some pictures as soon as I get a bit of DRY weather.
  20. You might give HC White & Son at Morpeth, Northumberland a call (01670 513660). I have seen the outside of one of their ROR observatories at Hauxley Nature Reserve, Northumberland (but not the inside). I spoke to them while waiting for my Alexanders. Their prices seem comparable to Alexanders. The downside for me was they refused to deliver to Lancashire so I would have had to collect. Ron
  21. At last! I have my observatory up and (weather permitting) running. My comments basically echo all other reports I have read about Alexanders Observatories on forums and web pages. Despite the quoted 10 to 12 week delivery my observatory arrived 4 days under 8 months from placing an order with AO. Nick told me that he is particularly unhappy with his work backlog this year and an enforced absence from work recently has not helped but he is doing his best to catch up. He admitted that, with hindsight, while unavailable he should have left suitable messages on his answerphone and web site. However he didn't and has suffered adverse publicity and probably lost orders as a consequence. He also commented that he prefers to work alone to ensure the quality of his product. As for the observatory itself, it is built to a far better standard than all but the most expensive timber buildings I have seen. The floor and walls have 3 x 2 timber frames while the roof is based on 2 x 2's. All joints are well made and close fitting and are held together with two screws. If anything the roof construction could be said to be overkill. Nails are only used to fix the cladding and roofing felt. The various sections fitted together perfectly during erection as should be expected after building some 200 observatories. Nick left home at 3.30 am, arrived an hour late and worked straight through without a break finishing at 6.30 pm. Having been associated with tradesmen throughout my working life I can safely say that he works hard, does a good job and I have full confidence in his work. And he is good company. Fortunately he brought the wrong pedestal adaptor with him which gave me the opportunity to have a custom one made up for my CGEM mount (I wanted a little more clearance between the latitude adjustment knob and the top of the pedestal). This arrived from Nick within two weeks. Bottom line I suppose is would I order from him again? The answer is yes. But! He is let down by his delivery time and communications (lost contact for a couple of weeks in July then again in October when he was out of circulation) but his work is excellent. As everyone else says, if he would just address these two issues... Ron
  22. I would agree with Adrian, avoid switched mode power supplies. I had problems using a Vixen GP2 mount with a switched mode PSU a few years ago. Orion Optics (who supplied the mount) suggested that there could be noise on the output from the PSU and recommended trying a different unit. A regulated PSU or battery should be much safer (electronically).
  23. Hi Ron, Thanks for your detective work on York Uni. I can understand Nick giving York priority - good publicity for him, but he has never excused himself for not working on my obs because of this job. But working on one job for 3 months? Not being available on his mobile available for more than 3 weeks? Not responding to messages left on his landline answering machine? Shutting down the answering service on his mobile (he did have one earlier this year)? I can think of several reasons for the loss of communication - probably switched off his mobile while trying to catch up on a busy workload (he has admitted to being a lot further behind than normal) and doesn't want interruptions or he may be ill or on holiday etc. However none of these really excuse him for not having some form of contact available at some point in the week. Surely he must rely on his mobile. I am now getting even more determined to go down and try to find him. Ron
  24. Regards emails, looks like Nick isn't using his computer. An email I sent him Monday still hasn't returned a delivery notification. If I haven't managed to make contact before next Monday I think I will go and try to find him next week. I'm trying to avoid this as it will be a 500 mile round trip.
  25. Ron, don't know whether this helps but during July/August Nick told me he was doing an installation at York University. At one stage I did consider trying to contact the university to ask. Also, at another stage Nick did seem to offer quicker delivery and return later to erect. I wonder whether it's the erection side which is holding things up? When I met with Nick in March he did mention that he shares a workshop with someone. This other person was planning to leave. This meant that Nick couldn't afford to rent the workshop on his own and would need to find somewhere else. He said that ultimately he would like to build his own workshop in his garden. I have no idea whether this has added to pressures on his workload. It is however reassuring that Nick still advertises on S@N. He told me it costs him a lot of money each month to pay for the ad. I assume that if things had gone pear shaped the ad would no longer appear or at least disappear after a month or so. Ron
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