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Everything posted by RobertI

  1. I would definitely try ending alignments in the up and right directions, made a huge difference on my CG5, which I was ready to trade in until tried this! Admittedly this is nexstar not synscan, but same principle applies. I only polar align roughly and do a 3 star align and the gotos are within about 1/3 degree on nine out of ten objects.
  2. Great thanks Chris, that adds some useful flexibility to the mount.
  3. They have missed several delivery dates from what I can see, I was told they would be available early February 2019, still no sign. The scope of the mount (excuse the pun) is way beyond anything else they have produced from what I can see and I always felt it was high risk for them - I really hope they pull it off.
  4. Nice review Chris, that gives a really good feel for what this setup is all about. At £175 that's terrific value IMO. A couple of questions: (1) Does the mount have a standard tripod fitting (3/8"?) and (2) do you think a sturdy camera tripod, like the Horizon, would be any better, or does it need something like a 1.75" leg tripod? Love the beard by the way!
  5. It's just great to see a well run business continuing to innovate and prosper, and giving us even better astronomical goodies and advice!
  6. Great report Martin, those clusters are coming out so well with that setup - I love WBL 692 and 685 - outstanding. I really like the eyepiece view btw, makes it seems more real somehow, hard to explain.
  7. Fantastic detailed report Alan, quite a session - wish I could have been there, almost felt that I was! Some wonderful objects.
  8. For just 72mm of aperture, you've resolved a lot of stars there, looks promising. I can't answer your question about the cameras though sorry!
  9. That's a lovely area of sky you have captured with some really amazing star colours, so many reds. I am frankly gobsmacked that you have captured an image of that quality with a Lodestar! I am guessing the colour rendition provided by Jocular makes it different (better) to other Colour Lodstar images I may have seen in the past. I never knew about the 'window' btw.
  10. Nice report of some interesting galaxy clusters and nicely presented in Jocular. Good to see you back in the saddle.
  11. Amazing report, the Omega Centauri M13 comparison is hard to believe but there it is in black and white (literally). Which scope did you use?
  12. Very impressive Gav, worth persevering for sure. Would be interesting to see a comparison of the same objects with your other scopes?
  13. Thanks Kev, I think your interpretation is spot on, and the 10” dob sounds like a great idea. I’d need to think about storage, in particular the base, but I’m sure I could find room! I’ve always fancied a ‘push to’ dob. I think Orion my do a 10” one?
  14. I often think about what I could do with my scope collection to improve my observing enjoyment. Should I trim my existing scope selection in favour of just one or two higher quality scopes? Or should I get a bigger aperture light bucket? Or something else? So I thought a quick appraisal of my scopes and my observing habits would be in order to help turn these thoughts into reality. This is putting aside EAA for the moment (the RC6 is used just for EAA) and concentrating just on visual. So here goes, starting with a look at my scopes .... The scopes The Celestron C8 comes into its own on planets, lunar and globs, where resolution is key; Jupiter has showed exquisite detail under good conditions and M13 looks oustanding. Its also great for faint fuzzy DSOs with its 8" of aperture and hoovers up the photons. Observing binaries is pretty unsatisfying though - stars lack that crisp sharpness in my SCT - I think one member described stars as "hairy" through an SCT especially at higher powers. Its a heavy beast and built like a tank, but doesn't take too long to set up on the Skytee if I can summon the energy, but the additional time for the dew shield and dew heater (in winter) adds to the inconvenience. The focuser is not very satisfying to use, lacking fine adjustment and needing to finish focus with the mirror against gravity to ensure focus stays. Being a short scope it is easy to balance and the eyepiece is usually in the right place and on the Skytee it is rock solid even in gusty conditions. It does need time to cool and tube currents can sometimes be a problem even after cooling. This really eliminates it as a grab and go scope. The Tal 100RS was an impulse purchase. I was curious to see what a 100mm frac could do. I really enjoy using it, and considering its price, its quite remarkable. The best thing about it is its double star abilities, out performing the C8 on many occasions, giving beautiful sharp stars with lovely diffraction rings. On all other objects though it is no match for the C8 and in truth it is no easier to set up than the C8 and actually less easy to observe with with its long tube. The focuser is very nice to use though, and there is something wonderful about observing with a long frac with a tactile focuser just to hand to get that snap to focus. One big disadvantage of the Tal is that everything looks yellower and I feel I am not getting an accurate colour rendition on stars - I am assuming this must be down to its achromat nature rather than its aperture, as both the 130P and the 72mm frac produce much 'whiter' stars. The long tube makes it a pain in breezes and it really needs a fairly heavy duty mount. Observing at the zenith is not much fun! Despite the differences between the Tal and the C8 I have had a lot if fun mounting them side by side to view different objects. The Heritage 130P was a real surprise giving lovely sharp stars and surprisingly capable on DSOs. On a par with the 100RS, but brighter/whiter presentation of objects and a more portable scope. The stars are not so sharp across the FOV though falling away quite quicky from the centre, due I guess to it being F5. I like the fact that that Newts make it easy to observe near the zenith, which is where the best conditions tend to be, and you can have the tripod much lower than with fracs and SCTs/MCTs. The short tube means the eyepiece is usually in a convenient place. This is a really portable scope that can go on a lightweight tripod and is currently permanently mounted on my Skyprodigy. The helical focuser of the Heritage 130P is abysmal and its main downside. The William Optics 72mm semi-apo is most likely to get used when I have a spare 10 minutes, sitting on the mini giro and transportable with one hand - definitely grab and go. I sometimes carry it in the boot in case there is a clear sky on the way home from work. Its great for easier doubles and wide fields views of clusters and asterisms, but I have also picked out plenty of fainter fuzzies like the Veil and M33 under dark skies on holiday. Stars are pinpoint and clean and the two speed focuser is very nice to use. My observing habits So that's the main scopes. What of my observing? I tend to have quick, unprepared and ad hoc sessions, rarely draw, and rarely spend long on a particular object. I have recently decided to try and do some more 'critical' observing, possibly spending the entire session on one challenging object, and possibly trying to draw it, like I used to do years ago. I think this would require some additional aids like an observing chair and observing hood and the cooperation of my neighbours if I need a dark sky! What type of object? I have increasingly been enjoying doubles, and the challenge of splitting close doubles is great fun. They also have the advantage of not needing super dark skies, but does need good seeing. Coloured and carbon stars are also interesting. But to be honest I enjoy observing anything, whatever is best placed at the time, which doesn't really help with the scope decision in many respects! What next? I feel that having a variety of scopes works for me, but does not always help me in my desire to do some more 'serious' observing. The scopes I have been thinking about are a 130PDS as an upgrade to the Heritage 130P, and a Skywatcher ED100 or ED120 to replace the Tal, but I also quite like the idea of a 6" F8 Newt, which would probably be yet another addition rather than a replacement. So there you have it, thanks for reading this far, I have laid all my cards on the table and told you what I know. What do you think? I welcome any opinions you may have!
  15. Nice first sketch, i hope you feel encouraged to do more.
  16. Cracking images, love the Ha regions
  17. Following in fascination .....
  18. Great sketch! Welcome to SGL.
  19. A quality mount and beautiful looking too. I don’t think they’ll be short of orders (I hope they can meet demand!). That’s a very nice touch, well done. I find it a bit weird that the standard product does not include a saddle as part of its spec - after all its not an accessory, you’ve got to have one! I guess they’re not the only one to do this, I suppose it makes the mount seem cheaper. Minor issue with such a lovely thing though!
  20. Thumbs up for the UHCs. I have a Baader UHCE (economy) filter for use in scopes of 5” and less, works really well in my 130P, thinking that a UHC would be even better though.
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