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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. There's an Astro Engineering holder that should do. http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/Astro-Engineering/Handsetholder/skywatcher-AC806.html John
  8. Have a look at this, it covers the cable wiring very well. http://www.nexstarsite.com/PCControl/RS232Cable.htm John
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Coatings and glasses have advanced so much in recent years that with quality eyepieces the number of glass elements used is irrelevant now. My favourite lunar/planetary eyepiece now is my 6mm Ethos. As an example recently when searching for craterlets in Plato I found that with a Nagler some of the craterlets were discernable, but with the Ethos they stood out sharply with detail. Never mind the Ethos's 100 degree FOV, it's the sharpness and contrast that have impressed me the most. John
  13. Yes, the platform kit is the most cost effective alternative. As to the StellarCAT, with the pound rising against the dollar so much this week it's looking better for anyone contemplating buying one. John
  14. Hi If you think that £700.00 is expensive take a look at these. http://www.galileo.cc/Belgique-FR/marques_list.php?rub=equatorial&typ=tables_equatoriales I prefer the StellarCAT, but when you include the Argo Navis you're looking at about £2,000.00. John
  15. Hi Nick You won't be disappointed in the 127, lovely little scope. I didn't do much imaging with it, but on purely imaging there was little difference between the 127 and the C5 from what I remember, but on visual the 127 had a slight edge. The one real advantage of the 127 is that it maintains collimation very well are rarely needs collimating whereas the C5 needs collimating regularly. The downside of the 127 is that it takes longer to cool down due to the thicker corrector. When you get the 127 do get a decent diagonal, the standard one is rubbish. A 1.25" dielectric will be fine, or if you do want to go to a 2" diagonal you can get an adaptor that screws onto the back of the 127 and lets you use standard SCT bits. John PS I used the 127 on an SLT mount which was ideal, and now Skywatcher does the same thing.
  16. The Geoptik platform is available from Telescope Service in Germany at 780 Euros. It's the same one that has been sold by Altair Astro. http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p2700_Geoptik-Dobson-Plattform---Nachfuehrung-fuer-Dobsons-bis-60kg.html Look pretty decent, although the product details are only in German so you'll have to do a translation. John
  17. The SCT is the better all-round general purpose design that basically does everything well, but if it's purely lunar/planetary then the MCT would normaly have a small advantage. One other important point in comparing SCT vs. MCT is to compare equivalent quality scopes. For instance don't compare a top quality MCT with premium optics to a standard mass produced SCT. As the MCT design is easier for small manufacturers to produce, you do tend to see some very high quality MCTs form smaller manufacturers. SCT corrector plates are more difficult to produce and require expensive production equipment so most SCTs are of the standard mass production type. I've owned the 127 MCT and the C5 and preferred the 127 (but it was close). However I've also owned the Skymax 150 MCT and the C6 and preferred the C6 on luinar/planetary. John
  18. If it is a green laser you should be able to see the beam at night. Red lasers are hard to see and so aren't recommended as finders. The whole idea is that it is the beam that shows the dirrection of what you want to look at. A legal laser will only have a range of a few thousand feet and also you have to be fairly close to the laser to see the beam properly. If used as a finder it should be a legal one (not too powerfull) and used responsibly. If sold by an astro dealer they should be OK. They are better used as a finder when observing by yourself, or if there are other observers around ask if it is OK first. John
  19. While they seem to be expensive, the Telegizmos covers are also a good value as they are absolute top quality. I don't know of anyone who has regretted spending the extra to get a Telegizmos cover. John
  20. The Meade 5000 2" barlow is probably about 95% as good as the Televue BB so at £100.00 it's the better deal. John
  21. Reading some of the previous posts brings to mind one of the most important points that directly affects ones perception of how good an eyepiece is. The point is that almost no one has perfect vision. Most people have a few little vision defects that may not be noticeable normally, but that can influence how well a particular eyepiece works for you. So it could be true when one person states that the view through a Pentax eyepiece is better than a Nagler, for them that's an accurate statement. But then again when the next person states that the view through a Nagler is better than a Pentax that could also be true for them. John
  22. I agree with Steve, if you buy either Penatx or Televue you can't go wrong. As to preferring the warmer tone of the Nagler or the more neutral Pentax it's probably split 50:50 between users. Some can't stand the warmer tone while some prefer it, personally I'm not bothered either way. Lately my favourite lunar/planetary eyepiece has been my 6mm Ethos, noticeably sharper and more contrasty than a Nagler, and also for those who are bothered about it, colour neutral as well. The only downside I suppose is that you could just about buy two of the Pentax for the price of one Ethos. John
  23. I've found Rother Valley Optics to be very reliable and have always had first class service from them. They are open until 8:00 pm so you could check to see if they have one in stock. The 10" is light enough for most people to carry fully assembled across a flat back garden, but with the 12" carrying the tube separately is the most practical.
  24. Have you tried Rother Valley Optics as they actualy carry the skywatcher dobs in stock instead of drop shipping them. http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skyliner-250px_d13.html John
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