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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. The one thing I can definitely say on the subject is that you can't go wrong in choosing either the Pentax or Nagler. They're both great eyepieces. Everyone's eyes differ in their sensitivity to colour so while some say the Naglers have a much warmer tone many may not really notice much of a difference. And if you use filters it doesn't matter anyway. They both have distortion, just different kinds. Naglers are optimized for astro use and have sacrificed some pincushion distortion in exchange for improving other aspects of the eyepieces. Pentax were designed for use with spotting scopes and in turn have sacrificed some rectilinear distortion in exchange for improving performance in daylight while panning horizontally. The Televue barlows and Powermates are excellent. I came across a quote from Al Nagler that said for newts/dobs the barlow was just as good as the powermate, but that with refractors the Powermates had a clear advantage (something to do with being used with a diagonal). UK prices on Pentax do vay a lot. For example UK prices on the Pentax 30 XW vary between £420.00 and £529.00 so there's a lot of checking to be done before saying that it's going to be cheaper to import. Also on Naglers Telescope House regularily has 10% off sales. John
  2. I second that. Temporary cables are just that TEMPORARY. I used the right equipment at both ends from where it leaves the garage to were it comes into the shed (proper sockets etc.) and ran the cable behind some bushes against the fence. The SWA cable is very stiff and awkward to handle but it's the proper stuff for the job. John
  3. I replaced the extension cable out to my shed with a permanent one made from SWA armoured cable rated at 31 amps. A bit over the top perhaps, but it is designed for outdoor use (can be buried with no other protection needed) and it will handle far more load than I'll ever need. John
  4. One other scope that would make a great guidescope is the Star Sky 90. A lightweight achro at 1.9 Kg and comes with a crayford focuser and retractable dewshield. Decent sharp optics as well and only £149.00. Not as good as the WO or Equinox but much better than the Startravel 80.and considering the price it's a good deal. http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Telescopes-Ascension.asp?p=0_10_1_6_110 John
  5. Came across this recently. The title's a bit misleading as it actually covers how Barlow and Smyth lenses are used with various eyepiece designs (Naglers, Powermates etc.). Very readable with plenty of illustrations and written in mostly plain English. http://www.brayebrookobservatory.org/BrayObsWebSite/HOMEPAGE/forum/Smyth-Barlow%20lenses.html John
  6. Another scope worth considering, and within your budget is the Skywatcher Heritage 130p Flextube at £125.00 from FLO. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=Heritage_130P&cat=31 Decent optics and very compact when stored away. John
  7. Any of them would be very good, but the refrators's shorter cooldown time would sway me in the direction of one of the refractors. While the Celestron Omni XLT 120 is a great buy at the moment I still would go with the TAL. Of course if portability is important then one of the Maks would be good. You'd just have to allow for the longer cooldown time. Although it's a lot more what I would go for if I had the cash to spare would be the Antares 105mm / 1500mm focal length refractor. Antares 105mm Refractor OTATelescopes | Rother Valley Optics John
  8. Hi They are a genuine company with a proper shop and customers who actually go into their shop say it's a decent shop. Unfortunately their office is an utter disorganized mess and very poor at replying to emails and customer service in general. Telephoning them is about the only way to get an answer. If you do call ask for Neil as he seems to be fairly helpful. John
  9. Telescope House does them, a little bit more but at least their service is reliable. http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/Orion_Winged_Rubber_Eyeguard_1_25__.html John
  10. My experiences in using a SkyWatcher v Meade dob is that the SkyWatcher cools down much, much faster. Ask the owner of a 16" Lightbridge about cool down times. While the 16" LB is an otherwise good scope it does take a long time to cool down. John
  11. The SkyWatchers consistently average a bit better than 1/4PV and are really very, very good scopes for the money. The OO ratings are conservative and the ratings given are "better than" ones so for example an OO 1/4PV mirror is actually about 1/5PV. It should be noted that SkyWatcher checks every mirror. Meade (GSO) checks random samples from each batch of mirrors so there is a bit more variation. Also SkyWatcher uses Pyrex mirrors that cool down quickly whereas Meade uses plain plate glass. OO of course uses low expansion glass. In general SkyWatcher/Celestron Newtonians are about as good as it gets in terms of mass produced mirrors. You have to go to manufacturers like OO that can supply premium hand finished mirrors to get something better. John
  12. Very nice and neatly done job. If you want a fan speed control just pickup a variable electronic speed control intended for a PC case fan. There only a few quid. I've used the following one and it works perfectly. Zalman FANMATE 2 Variable Fan Speed Controller Here's one fitted on a 16" Lightbridge. John
  13. It's from the same factory that made the 70mm scope for William Optics and so will be showing up under a few different brand names as well as the Ian King Imaging (IKI) 70ED. Telescope Service does a carbon fibre tube version http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ED-APO-Telescope-70-420-OTA-Carbon-Fiber_W0QQitemZ390120679648QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Telescopes?hash=item5ad50128e0 John
  14. The black OTAs are simply the latest versions. No different optically though as it's only a cosmetic change. John
  15. A solid tube is actually lighter than a truss, at least in mass produced scopes such as SkyWatcher or Meade. I prefer the SkyWatcher over the Lightbridge as the Skywatcher has a Pyrex mirror that cools down a lot faster than the Lightbridge's plate glass mirror. Otherwise there's not a lot of difference in optical performance, although theres' a bit more variation in the quality of Mead's mirrors as they only test random samples from each batch of mirrors produced. But otherwise the mass produced dobs do deliver amazing performance for what they cost. John
  16. Here's reply to a question about delivery times posted by Barry Pemberton on the Orion Optics UK Yahoo group today. Quote: "Hi Josch, We are sorry for any protracted delays in shipping. The problem, if you could call it that, is simple. We are just overpowered by orders. The response for ODK and AG models is almost 6 times what we expected and it has caught us out. Currently we are training additional staff and recruiting more. All efforts are being put into reducing the backlog and getting relatively up to date. Regards Barry" Unquote: John
  17. The same 102mm triplet scope is available under the following brands so googling them should come up with a few reviews. Meade 102 Triplet Ascension 102 Triplet Astronomica 102 Triplet Omegon 102 Triplet John
  18. I've had a few scopes from OO. Two showed up within a week of the estimated delivery date. One took quite a bit longer, but that was down to problems with their supplier of carbon fibre tubes (OO have since switched suppliers). One thing I can say about their customer service is that they will put things right if you're not satisfied. Also every scope is treated as a custom order, and in the case of dobs/ newts for example you can change just about any aspect of it from the tube length, colour of the OTA, position of the focuser or if you want send them your own focuser and they will fit it for you. Also if say you can't collimate your scope just take it in to them and they'll sort it out for you. Try asking for that sort of service at SkyWatcher, Celestron etc. Also you should realise that OO's order books are absolutely full and so you might have to wait a while to get a scope. And is it such a bad thing if a manufacturers scopes are so popular that they have trouble keeping up with demand? That gives me more confidence in a manufacturer. John
  19. I've found on many items of astro gear it can be a false economy to save a bit by importing, as if there is a problem the good UK astro dealers (we all know who they are) that you bought it from will bend over backwards to sort it out for you. Yes I do import some things occasionally, mainly if it's not available in the UK for some reason, but most of the time I try to support UK dealers. Don't support you local dealer and you may find that that bit of equipment or replacement part that you desperately needed the next day isn't available because the dealer has gone under. Whats that old song lyric " You don't know what you've got till it's gone" John
  20. It will be interesting to see how well the Edge HD performs in general as it is supposed to have a very wide flat field (not so important for planetary I know). If the SkyWatcher 9.25 OTA came out at say £999.00 how popular do you think that would be? Here's the blurb from Celestron. The EdgeHD is Celestron’s latest innovation that will surely be the system of choice for the serious astro-imagers. The new EdgeHD telescope series features an Aplanatic Schmidt optical system that produces pinpoint star images all the way to the edge of the field. Some optical systems currently on the market may produce coma free images. But there is a difference. *The Optical Difference* Not only is the EdgeHD coma free, but it also has a built in field flattener to ensure sharp focus all the way to the edge of the field, producing true Astrograph quality images. This results in pinpoint, */High Definition/* star images throughout your astro photograph. Mirror Support Knobs hold the mirror in place and reduces image shift during imaging. Tube vents with integrated 60 micron mesh filter allowing hot air to be released from behind the primary mirror. Fastar Compatible optical tubes are equipped with a removable secondary mirror for fast f/2 ccd imaging Here's a couple of photos of the rear of the HD. John
  21. In case anyone is not aware the Edge HDs are different to Celestrons old familiar SCTs with different optics, three point mirror locks etc. and have been designed with imaging in mind. They're not just the old ones with a new paint job. John
  22. Here's two alternatives. I've used both and the Star Sky 90 is surprisingly good for an achro and it is a very light weight OTA and comes with a single speed crayford focuser and retractable dew shield. Star Sky 90 O.T.A. £149.00 http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Telescopes-Ascension.asp?p=0_10_1_6_110 Celestron C102mm Wide View - £114.00 This is being discontinued by Celestron and at this price it is a great buy. Don't know why Celestron put this one under spotting scopes as it's the same as the Skywatcher 102. http://www.telescopesplus.co.uk/moreinfo.php/Spotting_Scopes/Clearance_Spotting_Scopes/Celestron_C102mm_Wide_View/3158 John
  23. I think it has a lot to do with Celestron bringing out the new Edge HD SCT series. So now the "old type" SCTs can be sold under the SkyWatcher name as Celestron will have the better Edge HDs to themselves. John
  24. It looks like SkyWatcher is going to be selling the old Celestron SCTs under the SkyWatcher name. http://www.skywatcher-india.com/schmidt_csc279.htm They're shown on the SkyWatcher India website. Wonder what the pricing will be like compared to Celestron when (hopefully !) they are released in the UK. John
  25. Is it possible to remove all the screws and rotate the cell 180 degrees and see if the holes lineup. If the holes then do line up perhaps only putting the screws half way in until all the screws are in might help. John
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