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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. Pulsar Optical still lists the right focuser, but you might want to call them first to check as the focuser is no longer shown on the Scopes'n'Skies website. You will still need to buy the adaptor from Agena in the US though. http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/antares-telescope-accessories/crayford-focusor/refractor.htm John
  2. The main reason that you don't see as many large maks as SCTs is the cool-down problem. Something like a 127 mak cools down in a reasonable time but when you get to the 180 it can take awhile. Hence the number of suggestions to store a 180 in an unheated shed or garage if you can. You can get 10" or 12" maks as well, but they absolutely have to be stored in an unheated place, otherwise they could take all night to cool down. Now the 180 is a very nice planetary/lunar scope, just not so good on DSOs. So if you after a planetary/lunar scope and have an appropriate place to store it than it could suit you very well. One thing that has always amused me is when someone buys a planetary/lunar scope and then complains when it isn't good for DSOs. John
  3. After using 7 for a couple of weeks now I wouldn't go back to XP. The performance improvement is much better than I expected. I was going to replace the motherboard/CPU but I'm now not going to bother for a while, don't feel any urgent need for it. John
  4. If you need something that's a bit longer reach you could get a standard 1.25" to 2" adaptor and add one of the Baader Hyperion Finetuning Rings. They are just a 2" barrel extension and would screw onto the end of the 1.25" to 2" adaptor. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=BhyperionTuningRing John
  5. Hi The handles came from WDS Ltd and cost about £10.00 each. Great company that does all sorts of bits and pieces that come in handy for astro use and very helpful even if you only buying a few quids worth of bits. http://www.wdsltd.co.uk/products/Machine-Parts/Handles/WDS-8532-Handle-177/ The hardest part of installing the handles is making sure that you mark where the holes are to be drilled accurately. I put masking tape on the OTA first. The handle near the focuser was easy as a triangle made from a piece of card can be pushed up against the end ring and a straight line drawn on the OTA. The handle at the other end is a bit trickier. First measure between the mountings on the OTA to get the centre line. Then wrap a large rectangular peice of card around the tube next to the tube mountings and tape in place. Take the card triangle that you used for the other handle and hold it against the edge of the large piece of card and mark a straight line down the tube. The bolts come with the handles and fasten from the inside of the tube. You'll have to remove the mirror cell form the OTA first. John
  6. eBay was cheapest http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/80mm-x-80mm-x-25mm-Aluminium-Ball-Bearing-Case-Fan_W0QQitemZ260442024958QQcmdZViewItemQQptZComputing_ComputerComponents_Fans_Heatsinks_SR?hash=item3ca38debfe It runs off 12v so I just use a telescope powertank or battery. Just buy a 12v socket (photo below) of the same size as any power lead that you may already have. Either 2.1mm (Celestron) or 2.5mm (Meade). John
  7. Hi Any standard 80mm computer case fan will do. The one I used was a fancier aluminium one just because I liked the look of it really. You'll also need an 80mm fan grill and some M4 bolts that go through the fan housing and into the bolt holes already there in the mirror cell. I put some washers in between the fan and the mirror cell so that the air could blow right across the mirror. You'll need a 12v socket.The wires attached to the fan are more than long enough to reach to the socket. There are normally three wires coming from the fan. Cut off the yellow one and just connect the other two wires to the socket. You won't damage the fan if you connect them the wrong way round so just hold the wires in place to test it. The fan should blow onto the mirror. I had a power lead with a 2.1mm plug so I bought the same size socket. I drilled a hole in the side of the end ring on the OTA to fit the socket because it's more convenient to have the socket on the side of the OTA than the bottom. Before you drill the mounting hole use masking tape to completely seal up the end of the OTA so no debris can get onto the mirror. Drill a hole the right size for the socket through from the outside. Now the trickier part is to drill a 10mm hole from the inside and about halfway through to give clearance for the body of the socket to fit. The bigger hole will be at a bit of an angle, but that won't be a problem. John
  8. Cheap couriers don't cover glass breakages unfortunately. You might pay extra for insurance only to find that it doesn't cover the type of goods you're shipping. As to good couriers it all depends on which part of the country. Local depots vary so much that what is the best one in most of the country just may have the worst depot in the country just where you want to send something to. Good packaging is the most important. Pack it well enough so you think that you could throw it off the roof without damaging it and you should be OK. John
  9. I didn't put any washers under the nut as the 10mm x 40mm bolts were barely long enough. I would suggest 45mm bolts if you can find them or shorten some 50mm bolts and use some washers. The locking nuts that I used are fairly large in diameter and haven't damaged the surface at all. John
  10. The castors came from http://www.bearingboys.co.uk/CDTWBHB75GRT_Twin_wheel_castor-1040-p-17217-e I prefer the twin wheel type as they are more stable than the standard single wheel. Also by having twin wheels they are easier to roll about as there is only half the weight on each wheel. You will need some 10mm bolts as well to attach them. There is enough space between the base and the groundboard to bolt on the castors without having to disassemble anything. Just unscrew the rubber feet and drill out the small holes to 10mm. John
  11. FeatherTouch already sells an adaptor to fit the FLT 132 so fitting the 3.5" focuser yourself should be no problem......just expensive! John
  12. No I haven't waterproofed the base. It's really only when the base with it's standard little feet is placed on wet grass that it can become a problem. The casters that I fitted hold the base far enough off the ground so that it shouldn't be a problem. When moved manually the Auto is very stiff. You can't use the base manually for observing, it's really just so that you can move the scope manually (and quickly) to the approximate position that you want and then use the hand control. John
  13. They were designed at Zeiss in the 1960s for use in military binoculars. Don't know why they have never been made commercially.The design doesn't look any more complex than some of the premium eyepieces available. Or did they have other problems perhaps? John
  14. I think that you need one of these 3.5" FeatherTouch focusers. You'll have to find your own bank to rob to pay for it though. John
  15. You'll see that a lot of scopes have two finders on them. A red dot type (or a Telrad or QuikFinder etc.) to get you near, and then a right angle finder to get you right on target. John
  16. Play the Scopes'n'Skies Lottery But seriously, sometimes they do give very good service, but other times it's abysmal. Too bad it's not consistent. There's plenty of threads just on this forum about their service. I have to admit though that while it seemed as if all you heard about Scopes'nSkies were tales about bad service, over the last few months there have been some about good service. Maybe they're trying to improve? John
  17. It's more a case of the two filters are different in what they can do. I use the Baader for lunar/planetary and then use an OIII or UHC-S filter for other things. As to which one to get, to me it comes down to if you want it purely as a light pollution filter for DSOs get the Skywatcher but if you also want it for lunar/planetary as well get the Baader. John
  18. Take a look at the animated tutorial on collimating a newt on Andys Shot Glass.That should explain the basics. Collimating a Newtonian John
  19. I find that the Baader is best as a planetary and lunar observing filter. In fact it's the only one I use now for lunar observing as it gives a nice natural grayish colouration. It's also the best filter I've ever used on Jupiter as it brings out real detail. The SkyWatcher is fine for DSOs though, and at the price they charge for it it's a bargain. John
  20. I'm surprised that the seller didn't put "Re-listed due to time waster" if it was the buyers fault. Anyway we'll see what happens when the listing ends. John
  21. Here's the link to the eyepiece, but curious thing is that the same eyepiece was listed a few weeks ago and the buyer has zero feedback in the last six months, although the buyer left feedback for the seller. Did the fist buyer not actualy pay up or something else went wrong as it seems unlikely someone would have two 17mm Ethos eyepieces to sell? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/TeleVue-Ethos-17mm-telescope-eyepiece-2inch_W0QQitemZ220499336189QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Telescopes?hash=item3356c8dbfd Old listing http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220481249211 John
  22. How about the SkyWatcher 14" Flextrube due out in February? John
  23. The All Star Polar Alignment is very, very accurate and does work as advertised. Here's a couple of links worth reading. http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/2934190/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/vc/1 http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=46511 John
  24. The one warning I would give if anyone is thinking of upgrading to GOTO is that while it makes for a great visual scope it has it's limitations for imaging. The clutches on both axis have a little bit of play in them, which is built into the design of the drive units. While this doesn't matter for visual use, it could cause problems while imaging. An Alt-AZ mount is never the best for imaging anyway, but if you just want to limit yourself to some short exposure lunar and planetary shots it would be OK. Also the GPS mouse from Skywatcher works perfectly so you could have a GOTO dob with GPS for a comparatively low price. John
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