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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. An important point to remember. The Chinese dobs/newts are very good indeed, it's just that a hand built scope with premium optics is even better. John
  2. The SkyWatcher dobs / newts are definitely great value for money, but they also have their shortcomings, and as Brian says it's in the mounts where the biggest compromises are made. I had a 16" Lightbridge but it was big and cumbersome, and while the optics were OK, they suffered in comparison to premium optics. I sold the LB and replaced it with an OO 14" dob with OOs best optics and added a StellarCAT GOTO system. The OO matches the LB on DSOs despite the smaller aperture, but on Lunar / planetary etc. it's in a whole different league. The 14" OO is also nearly as light as a 12" Skywatcher d
  3. I'd say get the 10" dob. Yes it's a fair bit bigger than the 8" but it's still easy enough for most people to carry around. It only takes a few seconds to remove or put the tube back onto the base so you don't have to carry the whole setup at once. BTW the 12" is a lot bigger and heavier than the 10" and that's the point where some people struggle to carry the scope outside. John
  4. I was ordering a couple of small bits from TS so I've also ordered one of the EbonyStar rings for my OO dob. I'll see how much it improves the Az movement, although the OO dobs are pretty good anyway. John
  5. Yes, that's it. The little squares of teflon that are stapled onto the groundboard of the dob are a bit small and tend to be distorted and I don't think that they're the best quality, so it's worth putting something better on while you're at it. The 3mm teflon should be thick enough. John
  6. Better than the lazy susan approach. Take the groundboard off your scope and measure to see what diameter ring would fit on top of the teflon pads. It might be a good idea though to get some more teflon as the "teflon" that comes with the scope isn't the best. John
  7. Came across this from Telescope Service. They now stock Ebony Star laminate for dobs. They do different size pre-cut rings ready to glue onto your base. They also do the teflon sheet as well as strips of Ebony Star. http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/de/info/p3875_Ebony-Star-Ring-D-50cm-zum-Selbstbau-von-Gleitlagern.html John
  8. Nooo....just stick the mirror in the dishwasher. John PS Although I'm just joking I wonder if anyone has actually put their mirror in the dishwasher?
  9. I've dealt with them a couple of times and have had no problems at all. I deal with Albert, who used to run Astrosource, and has now gone into business with someone else to create a new business under the name StayFocused. Albert is well known on SGL, and quite a few members have bought from him in the past. John
  10. OK here's a view of the end of a 250PX solid tube. It's actually the German "Black Diamond" solid tube version, but is identical to the white tube except for the colour of course. The fan was added as it doesn't come standard, although the mounting holes are there. John
  11. I'll second the Baader Steeltrack focuser. Probably ONLY 95% as good as a Moonlite crayford. I'm very happy with the one on my TS triplet. You'd have to move up to something like a Feather Touch R&P focuser to see a significant improvement, and I do have a FT R&P on my FLT98 to compare it with. John
  12. Yes a great pity about the price. I'd probably be willing to pay £499.00 to £599.00 for a really top quality Alt-Az mount like this, but £1.299.00.......... no way. Not when I could buy an iOptron IEQ45 GOTO mount (due out this Xmas) for just £300.00 more. John
  13. Way too expensive I think, but still an interesting piece of kit. http://www.kkohki.com/English/T-REXmount.html John
  14. I see from the Orion Optics Yahoo group that OO will be dropping the basic versions of their Newts / Dobs by the end of the year and the ranges will now start with what was the old deluxe but with the 9 point miror cell and fan included. They also mention that other less popular lines will be dropped. I suppose it's only natural that a company that's experiencing such high demand for it's new higher end scopes (ODK,AG, CT etc.), but that has a finite manufacturing capability, would choose to concentrate on it's more profitable lines. Actually I think it's a good idea to drop the basic scopes.
  15. Very disappointing and also a bit surprising as the Baader eyepieces are normally very good. I upgraded from the MkII zoom to a Pentax zoom a while ago and couldn't be happier with the Pentax, no quality control or any other problems there. John
  16. I haven't really done much observing with low power bins but I did once use some Swift 8x42 Ultralites that were really, really nice for low power wide angle use. I'd like to get a pair myself but they are a bit on the pricey side though. Other than that I think the 7x50 is the most commonly recommended type for low power observing as they usually have a wide FOV. John
  17. Yes the TS80 FPL-53 triplet is indeed quite a bit better than the Megrez 72 FPL-51 doublet, but it costs £550.00, although at that price it is still an amazing value. Very close to a TMB optically but a LOT cheaper. It's funny how things work out sometimes. If I hadn't sold the Megrez 72 and then later on in an example of false economy tried to save money by getting the 70 I would never have ended up with a great little scope like the TS80. John
  18. I believe that the Zenithstar 70 and the IKI 70 have the same optics. I had spoken to Ian at IKI before I bought the Megrez 72 and he said get the Megrez 72 rather than the Zenithstar 70 as it uses better glass than the 70 and was well worth the difference. I really did like the Megrez 72, lovely little scope, although I sold it to finance some other equipment. I bought the 70 later on as a cheaper replacement, however it just wasn't as good as the 72 and left me the feeling that I wished I had spent the extra to get another 72. How ever it all worked out OK in the end as I in turn replaced t
  19. I've owned both the Megrez 72 and the Telescope Service version of the IKI 70 so I can give you my opinion of the differences. The 70mm was good, but sufferers in comparison to the 72. The 72 was noticeably sharper with a bit better contrast, although I didn't see much difference in CA. Overall buld quality and finish was also better in the 72, although I'd rate the focusers as being of similar quality. It all comes down to the fact that while the 70mm is a good scope it's always going to come off second best in a head to head comparison to the Megrez 72. Yes there's the price difference but I
  20. I've found that while some of these focusers will respond to that type of fix, some never work that well no matter what you do to them. Differences in manufacturing tolerances and the amount of wear I suppose. John
  21. The SkyWatcher Nirvanas / Wiliiam Optics UWANs are close to Naglers, but much cheaper, and with the focal length of the FLT98 you probably won't notice the difference. Unfortunately they only do a very limited range. The set of the 4mm, 7mm and 16mm Nirvanas/UWANs plus a SkyWatcher AERO 30mm would give a great set to start with. The 28mm Nirvana/UWAN instead of the Aero would be nice but more expensive and a LOT heavier. I use a couple of Ethos eyepieces and a Pentax zoom with my FLT98 with a 35mm Panoptic for widefield, but that's something you can build up to in the future. John
  22. I agree the 102 is good value for money. The optics are actually fairly sharp and CA isn't a real problem as long as you don't use high mag. The focuser is the real weak-point of the scope, but with cleaning out the heavy grease and some adjusting it's usable. Here's a simple afocal Moon image taken with a 102 which shows a small amount of CA on one limb. It's really not too bad at all. John
  23. TS really know how to look after their customers and it seems like nothing is too much trouble. I'm never concerned about ordering from them as I know that if there was a problem it would be sorted instantly. I've bought a few scopes, eyepieces etc. from them over the past few years and they've given the same high level of service every single time, no matter how small the order. John
  24. The Meade triplets are good, but the TS FPL-53s are in a different class and are surprisingly close to a TMB optically. The TS prices are very good on the smaller FPL-53 triplets but their 130mm is quite a bit more expensive. TS also does their own versions of the Meade FPL-51 equivalent triplets and they will therefore be similar performance wise. John
  25. With a £300.00 limit then a second hand 80ED doublet looks like a good bet. Although the standard focuser is not too bad, you would be able to get the scope and upgrade to a decent dual speed crayford and still stay within budget. The Megrez 72 is also a very nice scope, and has better optics than the Zenithstar 70 or IKI70. John
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