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Everything posted by scotastro

  1. Blinky Hope I'm not too late posting this Did you shine a torch down the tube - never recommeded as it alwyas give you a fright. If the mirror is only dusty I would leave it be. The dust always looks far worse that it really is and it hardly degrades the image, but if you scratch the mirror cleaning it then you will have a problem. Only when the aluminium coating is going do you need to get it recoated. Scotastro
  2. Johnnyc I have you considered Skywatcher) ST102 f5 - I bought on several years ago under the Helios name. I took it to a star party a couple of years back also there was a TV Pronto (70mm) and most people though the ST102 view was equal or better and it cost a third the price new. The ST102 does run out at about x110 where as some of the high quality smaller scope keep going. Second hand the ST102 is going for under £100. If you have or get an EQ3-2 mount (the EQ1 it came with is too flimsy) you get a great grab and go scope with a good light grasp. There is a built in 2 inch adaptor threaded for a T mount. I live in a dark sky area and have easily seen the Leo triplet (M65, M66, NGC3628) and M51 as two fuzzy discs. Scotastro
  3. Hi I have owned a ST102 since 2001 as a grab and go scope and camping holidays. With the purchase of bigger scopes it has not seen much light. I saw a good 2" diagonal on the Net a while back and as I had a 2" Moonish for the Dob wondered how the two would match up on the ST102. Last night I finally got round to using them together. As the EQ1 is a bit rubbish I used an EQ3-2 which is much more stable. The FOV worked out at 5 deg across and magnification x17. The view was much better than expected. The down side was about 15% of the FOV showed distortion. The field is so wide you almost don't need a finder. In this config I had a quick look at Comet Holmes which is now very faint but quite easy to find near Algol in Perseus. The only cloud covered M42 so that was out. M31 showed up well with M32 and M110 easily spotted. Because of the large field you could see more of the galaxy in one go than in the dobbie. With Hercules just rising M13 was a large fuzzy blob which made me want to hunt down M92 - just pointing roughly in the right place and a very short sweep brought it in as a smaller fuzzy blob. Ursa Major high up made M51 easy with both galaxies showing star like cores surrounded but nebulosity. All three of the Leo triplet galaxies (M65, M66 and NGC3628) were easy to see too. I should say I have a dark rural location, but even so the 2 inch diagonal allows more light to the eye than the cheap 11/4 inch diagonal and is a fun way of sweeping up lots of bright objects even if you cannot always see the fine detail.
  4. Hi All Has anyone who owns an AstroMaster 130 checked the collimation. I ask as have been checking one for a friend and the secondary mirror was positioned more than 1/4 inch to high in the tube. I used cheshire and laser collimators and a lot of patience to get the mirror into the centre of the focuser. If you don't have either of these collimators then an old 35mm film canister with very small hole in the centre of the closed end will do. The canister will fit into the focuser and will ensure your eye is kept central in the focuser. The secondary should appear circular completely within the bounds of the focuser. If it does not I would suggest you do not try re-collimating yourself usless you really understand the technique. In all reflectors particularly small, fast ones collimation is critical. With a relatively small aperture you don't want to lose any light that getting in. On another point a couple of suggestions regarding the slo-mo control. I hardly ever use them, if a scope is well balance it will sit where you point even with the RA and DEC axis locks unlocked. So unless you are working at high power the gentlest of nudges will keep the object in the FOV. Alternatively, if you check out DIY stores you can find small knobs that can be modified to fit. Without the extending rods they don’t catch on each other. I did not get a chance to see the night sky through the scope, but for the price it is well made except for the rather cheap EPs and the red dot finder (but I have a personal dislike RDFs). Scotastro
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