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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. I owned a pair but made the stupid mistake of selling them to buy some other equipment. Definately want to get another pair. They have great contrast. Also very sharp to the edge as they have built in field flatteners. I found that they were more like a pair of 80mm binos in the amount of detail that could be seen on Saturn for example. Very, very highly recommended. The best price I've seen this week is £189.00, although some dealers are charging £299.00 for them. John
  2. I was thinking in terms of getting the new premium eyepieces and then selling off any eyepieces that you already have that were too close in fl. Take a look at this SGL thread on the UWAN eyepieces. http://stargazerslounge.com/members-equipment-gallery/88325-my-new-eyepiece-collection-set-uwans.html John
  3. Take a look at the SkyWatcher Nirvana / William Optics UWAN eyepieces. The 7mm, 16mm and 28mm would make a great set of quality eyepieces at a reasonable price. The 7mm will be fine on your dob for your higher power observing, the 16mm is a ideal mid-power and the 28 a great low-power eyepiece. The 4mm would be ideal for lunar observing where you can push the magnification up quite high. The other thing you would also need however would be a coma corrector. Essential for the 28mm. The Baader MPCC is excellent and very light weight (less balance issues) and the Televue Paracorr is also excellent, although quite heavy. Televue Naglers are great eyepieces, but not cheap, but on an f/5 scope the Nirvana/UWANs will be just fine. A set of the Televue Ethos eyepieces would be great (££££££ !) but not on your budget. John
  4. The best source is in the US. They do quite a range of caps. http://www.eyepiececaps.net/servlet/StoreFront John
  5. It depends on what brands of eyepieces you are comparing. The name Plossl is often put on eyepieces that aren't actually Plossls (typicaly found on eBay for example). The SkyWatcher SP Plossls (Super Plossl) are true Plossls and are are surprisingly good eyepieces and are closer to a Televue Plossl in perfornance than you would expect. One of the best bargains out there right now at the new reduced price. John
  6. Re: 114 ED Triplet There is this 115 Triplet now being imported from the far east by a German company. Could SkyWatcher be thinking of selling a version of it as a 114 ED Triplet? Astro-Professional APO 115 Triplet Refractor http://www.astro-professional.com/html/apo115.html http://www.startelescopes.co.uk/Telescopes/astroprofessiona.html John
  7. As far as I know SkyWatcher isn't intending to release a solid tube Auto dob, although they could easily do it as there aren't any new parts involved or any modis needed. SkyWatcher was supposed to release the upgrade option a little while ago to make the Auto into full GOTO but they pulled the upgrade at the last moment. Apparently it was delayed in order to make some changes to the handcontrol firmware but the latest version of the firmware seems to work fine. There are all sorts of rumors on various forums about the "real" reason for the delay but google the subject and make up your own mind. John
  8. It was a Flextube Auto but I preferred the solid tube so I swapped the Flextube OTA for a solid tube OTA. The only change needed is to swap the tube mounting parts from the sides of the OTAs. The holes drilled in the tubes are identical so no mods needed, just a straight forward bolt on job. John
  9. There has been a lot of discussion about GOTO with the SkyWatcher Auto dob on several forums. Officially SkyWatcher has delayed the GOTO upgrade stating that the firmware needs more work before the GOTO upgrade is officially released. The upgrade simply consists of unplugging the standard tracking hand control and plugging in a standard SynScan handcontrol upgraded to v3.07 firmware as fitted to the Skymax AZ-GOTO mount. As it's unofficial at the moment it's a do it at your own risk type of thing. Although as it doesn't involve altering anything on the scope you could plug the standard handcontrol back in if the scope needed repair under warrantee I suppose. Here's part of an earlier posting I made on the subject. ----------------------------------------------------- 10" SkyWatcher GOTO GPS dob I've been testing out the 10" SkyWatcher Auto with a SynScan hand control and so far so good. Updated the HC firmware to V3.07, plugged it in and it worked perfectly first time. I also plugged in a SkyWatcher GPS mouse, and again no problems and it works perfectly as well. I will have to wait for some better weather to test it out properly yet but I think GOTO accuracy is about the same as the Celestron SLT. Here are a few things I have noticed about factors that will affect the performance. Balancing the OTA properly is absolutely essential to minimise any play in the ALT drive. Replacing the standard focuser with a decent dual speed crayford will greatly reduce any movement of the OTA while focusing as the fine focusing knob takes such a light touch to move. Or fit an electric focuser, which should work particularly well if trying some imaging. From reading various reports it appears that there is some variation in the amount of play in the AZ and ALT movement present in various scopes. I suspect that there is some variation in how the clutches are set when the scopes are shipped. Overall while I'm very pleased with the results so far you have to keep in mind that it's still a relatively low budget scope with compromises. Great for visual (very nice optics) but for imaging the compromises in the design will start to show. Should be capable of some nice lunar/planetary imaging though just so long as you are prepared to live with the limitations of imaging with a low budget GOTO system. John
  10. The 10" OTA is about 44.5" long and weighs about 14kg and the base weighs about 17kg. I've added a new focuser and added some counterweights so mine weighs slightly more. I added carrying handles to the OTA which makes it very easy to carry, in fact the OTA can be carried one handed using the main handle. The OTA drops onto the base and just one knob secures it in place. The Auto drive system is built into the base and must be used to observe with, as while the OTA can be pushed to a new approximate position without affecting tracking the movement is too stiff to observe manually. But using the hand control movement is so smooth you wouldn't want to do it any other way. With it being an Alt-Az system astrophotography is really limited to short exposure Lunar / planetary. I'm using a SynScan hand control for full GOTO and a GPS unit as well. The GOTO is not yet factory approved, but so far has been working perfectly and is simply a matter of plugging in the new handcontrol that has been updated with the latest Alt-Ax firmware with no mods needed. John
  11. The Skywatcher dobs are very good with excellent optics, and the 10" has the advantage of a Pyrex mirror that cools down a lot quicker than the plate glass mirror of the Lightbridge. The 10" Flextube actually weighs a couple of kg more than the solid tube. The truss system of the Flextube adds more weight than the equivelent length of solid tube. I have the 10" Flextube Auto and swapped the OTA for the solid tube as it keeps colimation better and there is no need to buy a light shroud. The Flextube is shorter when collapsed so if storage space is really tight it can be an advantage. John
  12. There are a lot of good things about CN with some very knowledgeable people and a lot of useful information on it. Of course with such a wide range of people using it you encounter all types from the lunatic fringe element to those calm, considered and helpful ones. Being American based with the largest percentage of its users being American it's inevitable that it reflects a mainly American point of view and concentrates on what is available in the American market. Still though I would like to see a more outward looking viewpoint that reflects what is going on outside of the US. Perhaps some gentle encouragement and humour to "expand their universe" so to speak might help, although be aware that the American sense of humour is well..........American, and British humour doesn't always translate very well into American and can be taken the wrong way (windups in particular). John
  13. One of the best eyepiece bargains right now are the SkyWatcher SP Plossls which were recently reduced down to £19.90 for most fl. They're closer to the Televue plossls in peformance than they have any right to be considering the price. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/products.php?cat=121 John
  14. The Orion Megaview are the same as the UWAN / Nirvana but way overpriced in the UK. http://www.scsastro.co.uk/it030033.htm :eek::eek: Orion 4mm MegaView, 12mm Eye Relief - £179.00 Orion 7mm MegaView, 12mm Eye Relief - £179.00 Orion 16mm MegaView, 12mm Eye Relief - £219.00 Orion 28mm MegaView, 18mm Eye Relief - £379.00 John
  15. It's very easy to check that your laser is collimated. Simply rotate it while it's in the focuser and see if the spot stays in the same place on the primary or moves in a circle. It can be a bit difficult to collimate the Baader laser due to the shape of it. I simply put mine in a small bench lathe so that the red spot projected throiugh the hollow headstock onto the wall as I rotated the lathe by hand, and then collimated it. Do you know anyone with a small lathe? If not use a 1.25" to 2" eyepiece adaptor placed into a 2" hole in a piece of ply or thick cardboard and clamped onto something. John
  16. The UWAN 28's eyecup is the main reason I went for the Nagler 26 instead. I liked the performance of the UWAN 28 but just couldn't get on with eyecup. On the smaller UWANs the eyecup is just fine and I find them comfortable to use. Ultrawide FOV an insidious thing, once you get used to it you just don't want to go back. John
  17. It sounds like it is the lack of a coma corrector that is causing the comet tails that you're seeing. The main indicator that this is the problem is that it gets better in the short focal lengths and worse in the longer focal lengths. I found that over about 13mm the coma corrector becomes more effective. John
  18. I've found that the good dealers such as FLO, Ian King, OpticStar, Telescope House, Rother Valley Optics etc. always give me consistently great service, and if on the very, very rare occasion something does go wrong, it's sorted out immediately. I have to admit I still buy a few odd bits and pieces from Scopes'n'Skies, but it's a case of I couldn't find them elsewhere. For more expensive items I stick to the dealers that I can depend on. John
  19. Cloudynights does have many good points, but can also be home to some truly "unique" characters whose grasp on the real world is tenuous to say the least. I too find the moderation to be totaly inconsistant and heavy handed sometimes when it's simply not called for. I've found that you will get on just fine on Cloudynights if you follow these "rules" The only good telescopes are those made in America. America invented everything. Another thought.....How many Americans even know that the Herschel Space Telescope exists, let alone that it's mirror is nearly twice the diameter of their puny Hubble. John
  20. Same opinion here. Optically good but otherwise poorly constructed, and when there are other choices that are just as good optically but better built for the same money why bother. John
  21. The only problem with the Orion XX14i v the SkyWatcher 14" is that Orion is imported from the far east into the US first, and then sent on to the UK, hence the high prices charged in the UK. SkyWatcher on the other hand comes directly from the far east to the UK and so the prices in the UK are usually a fair bit less than Orion. I'm betting the SkyWatcher 14" will be a fair bit cheaper than the Orion 14" when it eventually is available here. John
  22. I used to have one and it was pretty good. Not quite as good as the Ultima, but not that far behind in performance either. For the money it's a good buy. John
  23. The tripods are different. While they both have 2" legs one has an CG5 top and the other has an EQ6 top. John
  24. Yes it's quite easy to do so long as you plan exactly where you want the foam removed. There's a bit of usefull info from one of the foam suppliers here. http://www.efoam.co.uk/pickpluck.html The Peli cases also have the same foam and are a bit better quality than the B&W cases but more expensive. Still it's a cheap price to pay to protect expensive eyepieces. John
  25. There's a very good article that goes into real detail on how to make a homemade dew heater on Dewbuster's website. http://www.dewbuster.com/heaters/heaters.html http://www.dewbuster.com/ They do make the best quality dew heaters avaiable, real industrial quality compnents used throughout. John
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