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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. Skywatcher hasn't given a release date for the GOTO upgrade yet. Last thing I heard was that they were still working on the firmware for the hand control. However the latest firmware seems to work just fine. You just need to plug a SynScan hand control into the mount and that's all there is to the upgrade. You do need to uses a SynScan AZ hand control though as it has a 6 position plug on the end of the cable, the same as used on the SynSCan AZ mount. A hand control from an SynSCan EQ mount won't work as it has an 8 position plug and is wired differently. As the GOTO isn't officially released yet it's a do it at your own risk type of thing. However as you're only plugging in a different hand control and not modifying the mount in any way there's not a lot of risk involved. John
  2. Hi I sold that particular dob but I have another SkyWatcher dob. I took a quick look and measured over the top of the base (same one that comes with the low profile focuser) and I get 85mm on the tube axis and 83mm on the circumference. There is room in the base for the bolts to swing a little bit in the circumference direction which should accomodate a few mm difference in hole spacing. The low profile focuser can come with two different bases. FLO supplies the correct SkyWatcher base. I'm not sure about other dealers. John
  3. The Ethos eyepieces do seem to have a lot of empty space inside, something to do with spacing out the lens elements I expect, so the weight is indeed less than you might expect. There aren't any diagrams of the Ethos eyepieces available, and I'm not going to be taking one apart anytime soon !!! The closest diagram I can find is of the Explore Scientific eyepiece, which although a much heavier eyepiece probably has some similarities. Just out of interest here's a diagram of the Koehler 120 degree eyepiece desinged at Zeiss back in the 1960s for use in military binoculars. John
  4. There are many good reasons that an 8" dob is so often recommended for beginners. It has that combination of reasonable aperture, not too big to move about or store, is fairly cheap and an absolute beginner can have it set up in minutes and be looking up and seeing something right away as there are no electronics to figure out or alignment to be done. Also the 8" mirror cools down fairly quickly. The SkyWatcher 8" dob is only an f/5.9 so it doesn't require expensive eyepieces and keeps collimation very well so it shouldn't need collimating that often. The eyepieces that come with it aren't that great, but the SkyWatcher SP Super Plossls are only £19.95 each and will work extremely well in this scope. Other not too expensive eyepieces will also work well. BTW the 10" dob comes with the Super Plossls. Also the OTA is very suitable for mounting on an EQ mount later on if you want. My advice would be to speak to Steve at FLO and ask him for his recommendations. John
  5. I think it has a lot to do with the resale value and the fact that they're so easy to sell. For some it's a convienient way to come up with some quick cash. If you bought an Ethos last year during one of Telescope House's 10% off sales you will probably be able to get back what you paid for it. My favourite Ethos is my 6mm, great planetary eyepiece and also the smallest and lightest of the range
  6. Was a nice clear day unill now....bands of clouds are moving in again though....not looking too promising. Oh well, back outside to finish painting the window frames. John
  7. At f/4.5 you can tell the difference, the Naglers (and not to forget the Pentax XWs) are just that bit sharper and with a bit more contrast. It's not a huge amount, but it is there, and when you're after every last bit of performance many observers are willing to pay more to get that bit extra. Also with more experience observing you start to pick out subtle differences. One other factor to consider is the quality of the optics the eyepieces will be used with. With premium optics the Naglers or Pentax XWs can show what they're really capable of. Any optical system will be limited by it's weakest link. As I have mentioned before I think that the Nirvana/UWANs are a fantastic bargain that I would highly recommend to anyone, but you have to realise that as good as they are, there are better eyepieces out there if you're willing (or can afford) to pay more. John
  8. The Nirvanas are identical to the UWANs. On most scopes of f/5 or more they would perform about as well as the Naglers. It's only when you get down to a really fast scope that the higher quality of the Naglers starts to show. Nirvanas second hand might go for a bit less than a UWAN, but probably not as much as the price difference new, so you shouldn't lose out in resale value. Naglers of course do retain a large percentage of their value second hand as Naglers have been around for a while and will simply work well in any scope. Observers are really getting spoiled now by the great eyepieces that are becoming available at bargain prices compared to just a few years ago. John
  9. Wall to wall clouds this aft and threatening to rain. Ohhhhhh (fill in the blank) _____________ John
  10. I hadn't posted any photos of the dob with the SynScan hand controller fitted in this thread so here's a couple. I'm also using a GPS mouse with it, and the flat wire that connects the mouse to the HC is run inside the coiled cable that connects the HC to the mount. Helps to keep things a bit tidier. The standard hand controller bracket for the tracking hand control paddle isn't wide enough for the SynScan HC. I used a SynScan bracket that was intended to fit onto a tripod leg and cut the bits that would clamp onto the leg off, drilled a couple of holes in the back of it and replaced the standard bracket. John
  11. Just in case a pair of 16" binos aren't good enough.......how about this pair of 22 INCH binos? John
  12. The owners manual for the 16" binos makes an interesting read. http://www.jimsmobile.com/pdf_docs/rb16_manual.pdf John
  13. Perhaps something like these 16" binos? http://www.jimsmobile.com/buy_rb16.htm John
  14. Fact or fantasy? Here's the BBC weather forecast maps for this weekend. John
  15. Latest forecast shows clear over most of England and Wales this weekend, but expected to rain for most of the weekend in Scotland and NI. John
  16. They're the same type of telescope (Newtonian reflector). A dob is just the type of mount and so the common way to refer to a Newtonian scope mounted on a Dobsonian base is just to call it a dob. John
  17. It's 12v so betteries (power tank etc.) or a mains adaptor are fine. The mount doesn't use much power to operate so batteries will last quite a while. John
  18. What I use is a stick-on cable tie base and cable tie fixed onto the mount next to where the power cable plugs in. You can also use a twist tie instead of a cable tie if you want to be able to easily remove the cable. The photo is of an ASGT mount, but I also use the same thing on my SE mount. John
  19. Re: the above post.......I'm assuming that the castors are to fit an SkyWatcher Auto dob so I recommended the Allen head bolts. If they're to fit a regular SkyWatcher dob then you'll want countersunk head bolts for clearance and will have to remove the groundboard and fit the bolts from the top. John
  20. Yes, you will just need 3 of the M10 bolts, washers and nuts to go with the castors. If you can't find some bolts localy that will do here's some stainless ones on eBay that will do or try to see if you can find something cheaper. I think that you will have to shorten the bolts slightly for clearance. I prefer the stainless as they will be easy to remove later on if you want to. With the Allen cap bolts you may have to get hold of or borrow a hex key large enough to fit. M10 x 40 Bolts http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/M10-X-40-STAINLESS-ALLEN-CAP-HEAD-BOLTS-6-PACK-freepost_W0QQitemZ160288753623QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_DIY_Material_Nails_Fixing_MJ?hash=item2551f447d7 M10 Washers http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/STAINLESS-WASHERS-M10-FREE-P-P-30-pack-20mm-outside-dia_W0QQitemZ350120994073QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_DIY_Material_Nails_Fixing_MJ?hash=item5184d66519 M10 Nuts http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/M10-STAINLESS-NYLOC-NUTS-A4-HIGH-GRADE-MARINE-10-PACK_W0QQitemZ150304015164QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_DIY_Material_Nails_Fixing_MJ?hash=item22fed1433c John
  21. The drive units with their encoders are built into the base unit and the base comes pre-assembled. The OTA just lifts off with the removal of one thumb screw. The auto dob base is different to the standard base as it has specially machined cut-outs to mount the drive units so you couldn't fit the drive system to a standard base. It works in the same way as the SupaTrak mount and does track very well and only takes a minute or two to set up. The first photo shows the Alt drive where the OTA drops into it and and the matching mounting plate on the OTA engages the drive. The second photo shows the Az drive unit. John
  22. Hi The 10" dob would indeed show you more of the fainter fuzzies, but in your case I'd go with the 12" dob as it will show a lot more than the 10" and it's still not too big to move around, although quite a bit heavier than the 10". It all depends on if your budget and just how important portability is. As I already had a 14" dob there was no point in getting a 12" dob. John
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