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RobertI

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RobertI last won the day on February 2

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About RobertI

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Near Colchester
  1. Had a lovely little Mars session just now with the 102ED-R mounted on the Skytee 2 and seated on my new Nadira observing chair. Seeing was really good and at 220x the disc was still sharp and giving up plenty of detail, the most interesting feature being a brightening at the northern polar region, what I assume to be cloud? I spent a good thirty minutes enjoying the views. I was discovered an interesting technique which seemed to really help pick out the detail - if I very slowly moved the planet back and forth across the FOV using the slow motion control, I could clearly pick out more detail than staring at the stationary object. It just seemed to bring details into sharper focus. I know a similar technique works picking up faint DSOs but not sure why it would work on planets? I have placed an order for a bino-viewer and really looking forward to trying this out on Mars. It dawned on me that this would probably hugely reduce the effect of floaters so making high power views more enjoyable. Final thought - the 102ED-R was up and running and giving sharp views of Mars at 220x after only five minutes of cooling from the garage. This same scope is also able to give a nearly four degree field of view for stunning wide fields. What a versatile scope the 4” ED F7 refractor is.
  2. I also bought my current 8” SCT from their Tring shop in 1999. The David Hinds name has been around since I started in Astronomy and will be greatly missed.
  3. In my home town of Clacton-on-sea in the 70’s, the local astronomy club built their observatory, housing an 8.75” reflector, in the grounds of the secondary school. Local Cub and Brownie groups were often given tours of the heavens (including me) and the school itself was lucky enough to get to use it (supervised of course!). In fact I think that observatory was a big factor in starting me on my journey. The local club didn’t quite produce any Sagans, but at least three people I know of went on to study Astronomy and two went on to work in the field. Not bad really! I have often thought about starting a club in partnership with our local school, won’t happen for while now I guess.....
  4. Came home from a day out and, contrary to the forecast, it was beautifully clear with the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all visible in the azure sky. I just had to share these delights with my son, so we dashed out with the 66mm frac on a tripod and had some nice views. Hopefully created some nice memories for him.
  5. If you are not desperate to sell, it would seem to make sense to price it higher rather than lower - if you don't get any bites you can always lower the price. My recent experience of selling is that people are willing to pay alot for used scopes at the moment, but as Olly says, the Questar is in a fairly unique sector of the market.
  6. Thanks for sharing your experiences Stu. It's a difficult one, I initially started looking at the Baader Maxbright II as it does look superb, but concluded perhaps I should start with something more budget and actually see if I get on with Binoviewers (the Baaders also seem to be out of stock and unavailable for some time). I figured if I bought them from FLO I would be able to return them if they didn't suit. Will probably decide by the end of the day as I would like to be able to have a squint at Mars while it's still decent.
  7. Sounds really promising, that 12” under dark skies should be awesome.
  8. Thanks for the suggestions Tim, also hadn’t thought of using a Barlow in that way.
  9. Thanks Louis, yes I did read about that, and the issues with compression rings and undercuts. Odd that the apparently cheaper finished OVLs have the better eyepiece holders. A lot of people seem to be happy with the WOs though. My biggest concern tbh is whether my eyes will be able to converge the image - my eyes seeme to be a bit sensitive to bino collimation.
  10. I probably should have mentioned that I expect to use the binoviewer in my C8 and my 102ED-R. The WO seems to be a no brainer - finger hovering on buy button. I am guessing that with the supplied 1.6x barlow and my Baader 2.25x barlow (which can also be used at 1.3x), I should be able to get 1.3x, 1.6x and 2.25x? Seems like it might be easier to have a selection of barlows than a selection of eyepieces?
  11. Well that's two pretty firm votes for the WO - thanks both. They're in stock at FLO too.
  12. I'm looking to get a bino-viewer as many seem to recommend them. Having done some research it seems like the budget options are pretty good to get started, so I have boiled it down to two options of about the same price: Option 1: A William Optics binoviewer which includes two 20mm 66 degree eyepieces. I have read mixed reviews about the WO eyepieces, some people say they excessivley dim the image and others say they add chromatic abberation, so an alternative option is..... Option 2: An OVL binoviewer, which does not include eyepieces so I would buy an additional Hyperion 21mm 68 degree eyepiece. My understanding is that the two binoviewers are the same under the skin (although the WO has a nicer exterior finish), both come with an optical glass path corrector and both options come out at a similar price. So really it boils down to - are the WO eyepieces that bad, and would I get better views through the Hyperions? Any help appreciated.
  13. That’s a good idea, at least it will give a light free view in one direction.
  14. I just despair for you, I’m so sorry to hear this. A couple of thoughts from the ‘Astronomy Hacks’ books I have been reading which might help - Now you may feel like a complete berk doing this, but an eyepatch and an observing hood/blanket could allow you to retain complete dark adaption even under bright lights - observing hoods are brilliant for cutting out light and before you ‘emerge’ from your observing hood into the light, cover your observing eye with an eyepatch - even if your uncovered eye is subjected to light the covered eye will retain its dark adaption for when you go under the hood again (apparently eyes work independently in this regard). As Peter says doubles are good to observe under light pollution and there are bucket loads of them - especially with a 6” refractor! If all else fails, if you are prepared to get a bit technical, EAA (aka Video Astronomy) is the the antidote to light pollution and you will never have to worry about it again - but it’s not for everyone. I used it successfully to observe in the centre of a town with three very bright street lights a mere 30 feet away. I am back to visual now that I have moved house, but I know that if I ever get an inconsiderate neighbour with a light obsession, I’ve got EAA to fall back on. A final thought - if you need a goto mount, I recommend the Celestron AS-GT or CG5 - known as the ‘coffee grinder’ it’s guaranteed to wake even the heaviest of sleepers!
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