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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. Baader does a self centering one in the 1.25" size called the Click-Lock. Part of their modular diagonal system. About an 1/8th turn on the locking ring clamps the eyepiece in three places. John
  2. The ADM is top quality, you do get what you pay for, highly recommended. I like the way it holds perfectly but doesnt mark up the dovetail. If you want something different there's also the Geoptik stuff that uses a dual clamping system http://www.bazaarbuilder.com/cgi-bin/nickaltair/myshop.php?catparid=320&merchant=nickaltair John
  3. It doesn't actually take much power to drive a dob, that is when it's perfectly balanced. I suspect that the Skywatcher system will be critical on balance. And also it is bound to be a simpler stepper motor system with basic encoders to keep the price down. When Steve puts up the specs and prices later today then we'll know which dob sizes will be available with it. The ServoCAT is a high end / high precision servo motor system that can handle a lot of inbalance, but then again comparing a £1,300.00 to £1,500.00 drive system to one that's probably worth about £300.00 or so would be very unfair. Still the new Skywatcher system looks promising as it would bring a driven dob within the reach of most users. John
  4. Judging by the carrying handles on the side it seems to confirm my first impression from looking at how the Alt drive is attached that once assembled the tube is not removeable and the whole scope has to be carried around in one piece. OK in the 8", manageable for many in the 10" but the 12" could be a problem for many users, that is if the 12" will be available with the system. Hopefully I'm wrong and they have made it possible to lift the tube off the base. John
  5. Hi Neil Get these handles from WDS Ltd http://www.wdsltd.co.uk/Handles%20and%20hinges/Handles/WDS8517%20Handle They're not cheap but are industrial quality. You will need one of the shortest handles and one of the longest handles. Make sure to order the version that has the black rubber covered centre sections. The long handle fits onto the tube rings so get the one that is longer than you need as they can be shortened to the exact length needed by removing one end and cutting the central "pipe" section. You will also need to get hold of two 8mm countersunk head bolts for the long handle. You won't need to remove the mirror cell but will have to remove the secondary mirror and vanes (easy job). Just keep the tube level and stuff the upper end of the tube with some old towels to prevent any bits going down the tube when you drill the holes for the small handle. Use some large diameter "body repair washers" on the inside for the small handle (available at Focus DIY etc). When fitting the handle to the tube rings just drill an 8mm hole through each ring and then countersink the hole on the inside of the ring so that the head of the countersunk bolt won't touch the surface of the tube. As the bolt is now "upside down" with the nut in the hole in the top of the handle it's a bit tricky to tighten up. I seem to remember wedging a flat screwdriver down the hole while I tightened up the bolt. If you need any more info just ask. John
  6. Hi If the primer is not loose and you can sand it down to a smooth finish then it should be OK to paint over it. However there is a chance that whatever you paint it with could react with the primer or just not adhere properly. You can get a barrier paint that will seal the primer and and any traces of old paint, and then you can paint it with whatever you want. A car paint supplier will be able to supply you with the barrier paint. Just explain what you are trying to do. The other option is to take the tube to someone who strips car paint and have them clean it off. John
  7. My back garden isn't exactly perfect for observing as it slopes downhill with limited places flat enough to put a scope on, and the view to the south is blocked by houses, but compared to your problems it doesn't seem so bad. At least I can't see any street lights from there. The only real problem is a neighbour that has a 500 watt floodlight bolted flat to the side of his house, and when it comes on it lights up the whole neighbourhood. Of course he's an idiot that won't speak to any of his neighbours, fortunately all the other neighbours are quite considerate. John
  8. I'd be surprised if any Skywatcher dealer has a firm price yet, but going on comparision with other manufacturers I would expect a 14" to be at least 1.5x the price of a 12" So maybe £999.00 to £1,199.00, although that's not including the effect that any new production tooling costs for a new size scope might have, but if they can keep it in that price range it should be a big hit. John
  9. Looks great! Bet you can't wait for some clear skies. If I could offer a suggestion to make it a easier to set up, a couple of carrying handles would make it a lot easier lift the OTA into position. Although mine's a dob the problem of carrying the OTA around is the same. On my OD350 I put one handle near the focuser and one on the tube rings. Carrying the tube around without handles is a bit awkward, not really due to the weight but just getting a good hold of it. I got the handles from WDS Ltd. I can give you the correct part numbers if you want. Take a look at the thread http://stargazerslounge.com/showthread.php?t=68594&highlight=od350+argo if you want to see some photos. John
  10. The Manortronics unit shouldn't be compared to a proper DSC system as it simply isn't anywhere near as accurate, but it's cheap, easy to fit and will put you close to what you're looking for, or at least within the FOV of a finder. I don't think you could go wrong in getting one at that price. Just out of curiosity I checked out the cuurent price of the StellarCAT system, and with todays exchange rates it's now £1,300.00 and up with import duties etc. depending on the size of the dob. Glad I bought mine when the exchange rate was about one to one! Add another £550.00 if you want an Argo Navis as well. John
  11. Come the lottery win it'll be an OMI 48" dob for me. Oh and a villa in Tennerife to keep it at. John
  12. All I can say about having a dob with tracking is once you've used it a dob without it feels incomplete. You can see more with tracking as you can take the time to study one little area of the sky without having to keep nudging the scope constantly. I've heard it said that adding tracking to a dob is like adding a few inches of aperture. As to GOTO I found that I wasn't bothering with the Argo Navis so I got rid of it. The StellarCAT system gave me all I wanted as it does more than just track but also does spiral searches (with some variations) that makes it easy to home in on something that you are looking for. I'm happy with he way I've got it set up now. Only takes about 10 seconds to get it set up and tracking. John
  13. The Revelation, Skywatcher etc. are bargains for the price. Not top of the range focusers, but still nice quality and very useable. If you can stretch your budget a bit, the latest William Optics one (Linear-Power Focuser for SCT) is very good, and not that much more at £168.00 or so. Then probably getting out of your budget there is the new Baader 2" SC Steeltrack Crayford focuser at £257.00, probably the best buy out there. In terms of build quality, smoothness and precision it's right up there in Feather Touch territory. John
  14. Have you considered this? http://www.heatshrink-online.co.uk/heatshrink/prod_338706-254mm-Black-Heat-Shrink.html or this? http://www.heatshrink-online.co.uk/heatshrink/prod_340434-25mm-Black-Expandable-Braided-Sleeving.html John
  15. If anyone needed proof that most people (not SGL members of course!) buying scopes on eBay are clueless and can't tell the difference between a real scope (TAL) and a piece of junk there it is. John
  16. I have to agree. SGL could give lessons to about 99% of other forums in how to run a friendly, yet still helpful and informative forum. I dropped out of UKAI, not just down to changing interests, but it was definitely developing too much of the "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" type of thing. Anyway with SGL around why settle for anything less. John
  17. Re: driven dobs It'll be interesting to see how well implemented it is when it does get here. Read on a US forum that their first driven dob will be tracking only similar to the AutoTrak with a similar keypad with an option to upgrade to GOTO. Looks likely to appear sometime later this year with the GOTO upgrade to follow sometime in the future. Looking at the photo and the way the Alt drive is attached, it looks as if the Alt drive unit might have to be removed from the base in order to remove the tube. How much disassembly would be required to remove it? No problem moving a complete 8" and 10" dob but if anything bigger could only be moved as a complete unit that could be a problem for some potential users. Have to wait and see how they've implemented that part of the design. I've got a StellarCAT system on my OO 14" dob, and the ability to track makes it perform like a bigger aperture scope as you can concentrate on what you are observing instead of having to keep nudging the scope to keep something in the field of view. The smoothness with which it can be moved using the handpad beats any manual dob by a mile. Overall makes it such a pleasure to use. I did have an Argo Navis system on it that gave me full GOTO but never seemed to use it so I removed it and sold it on. The StellarCAT does more than just track though with a number of other functions. John
  18. Have to see how the real specs compare when it's actually released vs. these early published ones. The rest of the page on the Skywatcher India site is just a copy from the other Flexitube dob sizes, only the specs section refers specifically to the 14". John
  19. Skywatcher Skyliner 350P (14") FlexiTube Dobsonian Telescope In case you're interested here's the specs for Skywatcher's new 14" dob due out this summer. No pics but assume it will look like the 12". Also no mention of Goto or push to. SPECIFICATIONS: Optical Design Newtonian (Parabolic) Lens Material Pyrex Diameter 356mm Focal Length 1700mm Scondary Mirror Diameter 70mm F/ratio F/4.7 Highest Practical Power 610x Faintest Steller Magnitude ? Resoving Power 0.38 Finderscope 9X50 right angle Focuser diameter 2" with 1.25" adapter Eyepiece(s) 1.25" Super 25 and 10* Mount Type Dobsonian Slow-motion Control n/a Counterweight(s) n/a Accessory Tray n/a Ground Board Diameter 632×740 Ground Board Weight(s) 18.5Kgs Motor Drive n/a Goto n/a Tube Weight 26Kgs Tube Dimension(dia. x length) 450×(920-1400) Shipping Weight ? Shipping Carton Dimensions 106x56x55(cm3) / 78x74x15(cm3)
  20. The moon may have been the first thing I ever looked at through a telescope, but it's still my favourite. You could spend a lifetime observing it and still not have seen everything that there is to see. M42 would be second followed by Saturn and Jupiter. While there is certainly satisfaction in finding something that is hard to find, that's not the same as something that you simply enjoy looking at. John
  21. Well I don't think that you can go wrong whichever one you choose. After having used both the FPL-53 ED and an Orion USA 80ED (same as Skywatcher) I couldn't tell the difference in optics quality. The 6.25 fl will have some advantages for astrophotography due to the faster fl and shorter exposure times, but at the expense of slightly more CA. If the longer exposure times needed by the 7.5 fl are no problem then yes it will give you slightly better images. And of course with the C80-ED you have the crayford as an option later on if you decide that you need it. John
  22. The Telescope House FPL53-80ED has totaly different optics to the old Revelation 80 APO which had FPL-51 glass and is a good buy while it's still at the old price. Going with the C80-ED you could add a better focuser later on, but the standard focuser is not too bad for a rack & pinnion, and would do for now. To me the decision would come down to which focal length better suits you. While both are very good as far as CA is concerned with allmost none, the longer focal length will have slightly less. John
  23. There are so many good choices now. If you were to go for the C80 ED, later on you could get an inexpensive focuser adaptor (C80 screw on fitting to regular synta type) from Agena Astro in the US that lets you fit a GSO crayford to it. Pass the paracetamol !!! John
  24. Remember that both the Equinox 80 or the Telescope House versions have a much higher quality tube assembly than the ED80. The tube dia. is 90mm instead of 100mm and with the retractable dew shield it makes it much more compact when transporting it. Once you get used to a dual speed focuser you just don't want to go back to a single speed. John
  25. Hi I've always found Telescope House to be reliable. and wouldn't hesitate to order from them. I have found that 99% percent of the time they do deliver next day, and if their website says that it is stock it usually is. That's a photo of one that I used to have. Sold it to help pay for an OO OMC140C deluxe. I actually prefer the all black look of the scope compared to the Equinox 80 anyway. John
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