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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. Zoom eyepieces can be very good indeed. But do be aware that the words cheap and zoom don't go together if you want a good one. Best zooms: Televue Nagler 2 to 4 or 3 to 6 as they are as good as any Nagler for contrast and sharpness but do have just a 50 degree field of view. Baader Hyperion 8 to 24 Zoom. As good as the regular Hyperion eyepieces but it is a fairly large eyepiece. In general stay well clear of the eBay stuff priced at about £50.00 or so and save you pennies for something better. I've gone through a number of zooms but now just own the Nagler 3 to 6 and the Hyperion, definately keepers. John
  2. Telescope House usually has a sale over a bank holiday, so maybe the August bank holiday? John
  3. I've found that it isn't usually worth importing Televue eyepieces, at least not at the moment. When you add up all the charges UK prices are about the same as US prices. Although if the pound goes up against the dollar any more that could change. I wonder when Telesope House will be having their next 5% or 10% off weekend sale? John
  4. I just did a quick check and to buy the 13mm Ethos and 31mm Nagler it works out to aproximately £895.00 delivered with taxes , customs clearance fee etc. from B&H v £886.89 delivered from Telescope House. So it's actually cheaper to buy it from a UK dealer, as well as getting it in 24 hours. John
  5. You're comparing a mass produced dob with a hand built to order one so they're not really that comparable. There are a lot of observers that are happy with their 16" Lightbridges, but they will tell you that the optics could be better and the scopes need a lot of mods to get them working right. Most owners also only paid about £1,000.00 to £1,200.00 for theirs which made them a good buy at the time. However the recent price increase to £1,800.00 must be putting a lot of buyers off now. The cheapest OO with the 1/4PV mirror is a bit better than the Lightbridge, but it's when you go for the premium optics that they get interesting. The 1/10PV mirror is as good as anything that comes in an Obsession etc. you just can't get anything better at any price. The biggest difference between mass produced mirrors and premium mirrors is that the premium mirrors give more contrast, sharper images and will let you use far higher magnification. It's not unusual with 1/10PV optics to be able to use several times as much magnification as with a mass produced mirror. I had a 16" Lightbridge and replaced it with the 14" OO with the 1/10PV mirror. The OO is just so much better in performance, and also is more portable and easier to manage. I'm not against mass produced dobs, I've just bought a 10" Skywatcher dob with tracking that replaces an older Skwatcher one that I've allways been very pleased with, but my long term plans do include replacing the Skywatcher mirror with an OO 1/10PV one. John
  6. I haven't had chance to check out the tracking properly yet, but in a short test it seems OK. Bring on the dark nights! The solid tube OTA is actually about 2.5Kg lighter than the FlexTube so no problem there. The truss components weigh more than you would think. I have added some small counterbalance weights to the tube as I have added a heavier focuser and finderscope. John
  7. Make sure that they do one that can handle a northern latitude setting typical of the UK. I have heard of problems with this brand with this one particular point. John
  8. OK so Skywatcher doesn't actually make a solid tube Auto dob (at least not yet) but it is possible to come up with one. Just take a FlexTube Auto dob and a solid tube dob and swap the bases. The only change needed is to swap the tube mounting parts from the sides of the OTAs. The holes drilled in the tubes are identical so no mods needed, just a straight forward bolt on job. Everyone in the UK was out of stock of the solid tube 250PX so I got one from a German dealer, and it turned out to be one of the new ones in the Black Diamond finish. While I was at it I changed the focuser for a proper dual speed crayford and added a RA 8x50 finder and a laser finder and a mirror cooling fan. The carry handles on the tube came from WDS Ltd. The balance weights on the lower end of the tube are the Astro Engineering ones intended for their SCT balance system. The dual wheel locking castors make it easy to move arund. Very pleased with the end result as I prefer the solid tube and it looks as if it came that way from Skywatcher. Now all I need is some decent observing conditions.................................... John
  9. Solid tube Skywatcher Skyliner 250PX Black Diamond Auto dobsonian Details to follow....... John
  10. That loud crash you just heard is the price of the Meade ACFs hiting the floor. John
  11. EdgeHD Pricing Did some checking around and in the US the EdgeHD 8" for example is 14% more than the regular SCT. John
  12. Rother Valley Optics is still showing the Celestron Dual Axis Motor Drives at £97.87 http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/celestron-dual-axis-motor-drives_d3277.html John
  13. Re: MetaGuide and Hyperstar Have you tried joining the Yahoo group? http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/AstroGeeks/ Or contact the author Frank at freestar8n@yahoo.com John
  14. MetaGuide is the best one I've found, and it's free as well ! You just need a webcam. http://www.astrogeeks.com/Bliss/MetaGuide/ "MetaGuide is a web-cam based tool for precise collimation of the in-focus diffraction pattern of a star. MetaGuide also autoguides and has several novel features that allow optimal guiding of mid-range mounts under typical seeing conditions. MetaGuide can provide insight into both the optics of your telescope, and the tracking behavior of your mount." John
  15. What is the date shown on the package? Royal Mail 1st class isn't a guaranteed delivery service, and if you read their fine print 1st class can take up to 10 days before it's considered overdue. John
  16. I've had both and the WO SPL is just in a different class completely, well worth the extra. Lots of eye relief, very sharp and with very good contrast. The SPL just feels and performs like a more expensive eyepiece than it actually is. Very highly recommended. John
  17. While sunspot activity should be picking up later this year, at the moment there's hardly any activity to see. Here's a solar image of todays activity that I've downloaded. John
  18. 300x is the max magnification under perfect conditions for your scope. 208x should be OK, but it all depends on what the seeing is like and what you are trying to observe, some nights you can only use half the theoretical max magnification or much less. Try using the Televue eyepiece calculator. http://www.televue.com/engine/calculate3b.asp?NoBack=True&_2in=yes John
  19. The big advantage that the CG-5 has is the software, better alignment options and a bigger object database and a heavier duty tripod with 2" legs. The CG-5 is only noisy when slewing at high speed, when tracking it is silent. The CG-5 is normally the more expensive mount, look at the price of buying it on it's own. The special offer while it lasts on buying the CG-5 GOTO with the CN-6 OTA puts the EQ-5 right out of the running. The All Star Polar Alignment of the CG-5 is such a major step forward as you can do a proper polar alignment with any bright star. You no longer need a polar alignment scope at all as you do with an EQ-5 and therefore no need to crouch down and sight through the polar alignment scope to align the mount on Polaris. So right now it's no contest, the CG-5 wins by a mile. Of course you could always pay more for the EQ-5 with less features and a lighter duty tripod if you want. John
  20. There's an Astro Engineering holder that should do. http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/Astro-Engineering/Handsetholder/skywatcher-AC806.html John
  21. Have a look at this, it covers the cable wiring very well. http://www.nexstarsite.com/PCControl/RS232Cable.htm John
  22. The Meade cable won't work with the NexStar, you do need the Celestron cable. The Celestron cable isn't a straight through cable but has 2 pins crossed over. Pins 2 and 3 will be reversed at the DB-9 connector. John
  23. While it sounds like a power supply problem there is another possibility. I had an 8SE that had a similar problem when I first got it and I was going to return it but I had the chance to try another HC and it worked perfectly with the borrwed HC. I updated the firmware in the original HC even though it already had the latest version and after updating it worked perfectly, no further problems so you might try updating your HC firmware. John
  24. Just keep in mind that most prism diagonals are really for low powered use. For any high powered observing and in particular for use with reflecting scopes such as your SCTs go for a mirror diagonal. The real advantage of a dielectric diagonal is that the coatings are really tough and won't scratch or degrade over time so it is well worth getting. Quartz will cool down faster, but with such a small mirror any advantage is hard to dectect. I've used both and really haven't noticed any diference. WO diagonals are very good, if not quite the best. Televue, Baader and Stellarvue are a bit better but more expensive, and most observers probably wouldn't notice the difference. John
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