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Everything posted by johninderby

  1. Nowadays I never rely purely on emails if I want to contact a company. If I don't get an answer back to an email after 1 business day I'll give them a call to see if they actually received my email. Also one big problem that affects businesses in particular is quite a few of their replies will get blocked by spam filters which will be much more aggressive in their blocking with business type emails. John
  2. It looks like more of the UWAN compared to Nagler type of thing. Very close in performance, and in slower scopes nothing to choose between them. If onlly the ES14 wsn't so big and heavy as that could put someone off buyimg the ES14 and instead go for the E13. John
  3. Having dealt with RVO for a few years and received the best possible service every time, I would give them the benefit of the doubt on this and put it down to an honest mistake. If a new batch came through they may not have realised that this lot were made in China. Based on my experience with them and the way they treat their customers you don't have to worry about a full refund. I'd be surprised if they don't apologise to you for the mistake as well. John
  4. I think that one factor that is often left out of these discussions is the differences in peoples vision. What is the best eyepiece for one person may not be for someone else. Nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism etc. may mean that one eyepiece design is uncomfortable for them to use and so a supposedly inferior design may actually work better for them. I suppose you could say that "No one eyepiece fits all". John
  5. I never actually used the barlow element with the Paracorr as I got the MPCC just after I got the barlow and had only checked to see if the barlow element would clear when used with the Paracorr and sold the Paracorr before I had the chance to test it. I agree with the previous post. You don't have to try and take in the entire FOV when looking through the ETHOS. Just look straight through and then if something catches you eye off to one side just look over in that direction. To me it's more natural and more like normal vision without a telescope as if you see something out of the corner of your eye you just naturally look in that direction to see what it is. John
  6. Hi You have to remove the 1.25" eyepiece adaptor and replace it with the 2" adaptor (should be packed in accs. box that came with the scope). Here's a photo of a focuser from a 10" Skywatcher with the 2" adaptor in place. John
  7. The Orion SkyQuest XX12 is only a push to dob (digital setting circles) not motorized. In the UK it is way overpriced for what it is, as it is imported into the USA from the far east and then imported again into the UK. SkyWatcher is imported directly into the UK from the far east hence the lower prices. There are other options, the best being the StellarCAT drive system, but that's about £1,500, not including the Argo Navis DSC needed to make it GOTO. The Dob Driver is much cheaper but somewhat limited. Otherwise consider an equitorial platform, only an hours tracking but better for astro photography. John
  8. The AC710 barlow element adds 20mm. When I had the Paracorr I found that to use the barlow element with it a standard 1.25" to 2" adaptor was needed. If you had the 13E you could leave the 8E out as the 13E+barlow would be 8.6mm. John
  9. Debit cards are not covered. Only credit cards. John
  10. I see that D.Hinds (telescopesplus) has 10% off this weekend on the Celestron Axiom LX and Ultima LX eyepieces, powertanks and some of the Advanced series GT scopes etc. John
  11. Don't get fooled by the "Meade Speak" as used in their ads. It can be misleading. SkyWatcher mirrors are NOT made in the same factory as Meade (GSO). SkyWatcher's quality control in mirrors is better than GSO's so The SkyWatcher optics are consistantly very, very good. The Meade (GSO) mrirors are a bit more variable, so you may get a mirror that's as good as the SkyWatcher or one that's not quite as good. This is because GSO only tests a few samples from each batch of their mirrors, not every one. A 12" dob is a huge step up in performance compared to an 8" but it is big and heavy so make sure it's not too big to handle easily. The 10" may be a good comprimise. I have a SkyWatcher 10" dob, but then I also have a 14" dob so the 10" is almost a grab'n'go scope in comparison. John
  12. The 10" does come with some fairly decent and useable EPs. The 8" comes with much cheaper EPs. As far as portability goes the 10" isn't that much bigger or harder to move around than the 8". However the 12" is a LOT bigger and heavier than the 10". I think the 10" is a good compromise between aperture and portability. John
  13. Hi I just use the Supreme barlow element on it's own and it does just screw into the eyepiece's 1.25" barrel. It gives a 1.5x magnification. I only use it on the 6mm as with the 10mm it would give a 6.6. I sold the 8E and replaced it with the 6E. One thing I really like about the 6E is that it's not that big or heavy an eyepiece, more of a "normal" size which makes it very convenient to use. The APO lens element is made in Japan and is as good as any 1.25" Televue barlow, costs a little more actually. In use it just "disappears" in that you can't tell you're using a barlow, except for the increased mag of course. I also use it with my 3-6 Nagler zoom as it makes it into a 2-4 zoom with no loss in performance. I sold my Paracorr and replaced it with a Baader MPCC as it works just as well and fits completely inside the focuser and is only a fraction of the weight. Yes you do need to use different spacer rings for most eyepieces, but as it's only used with the 17E and 26mm Nagler it's no problem. The 17E and 31mm Nagler would use the same spacers by the way. I find it's just not needed with a 10mm or less eyepiece, and even with a 13mm it's not really needed either. When I chose the eyepieces in my collection I based it on what eyepieces I actually used the most, which were something in the 3 or 4mm range and a 5mm, 9mm,16mm and 25mm. John
  14. Also: OpticStar Very knowledgeable and 1st class service every time. John
  15. The OO 300SPX f/4 OTA is much, much lighter than the Skywatcher OTA and should be managable by one person. The only downside is that at f/4 you will have to use premium eyepieces to get good results. Such a short focal length is very demanding on eyepieces. I would go with either Naglers/Ethos or Pentax eyepieces. The cheaper William Optics UWAN eyepieces while great in a bit slower scope will struggle at f/4. And don't forget a coma corrector, essential at this focal length. John
  16. For those of you who didn't get the email here it is: SAVE 10% OFF EVERYTHING AT TELESCOPE HOUSE THIS WEEKEND Bank Holiday offer save £££’s – The discount will be automatically deducted at the checkout Offer applies to all in stock items ordered before midnight Monday 31ST August Save in store too – open 9 to 5 this Saturday Offer starts from 4pm Friday 28th August John
  17. You want one of these as your ZS66 has a tripod adaptor thread on the bottom of the mounting foot. TRIPOD ADAPTOR PLATE FOR AZ3 1/4-20 Adaptor Plate to allow the attachment of equpment via a standard tripod bush Prod Code 999 SRA £13.99 John
  18. Definately worth it. With the cheap diagonal you're just not seeing what your scope is capable of, no matter what the eyepieces used. A ommon complaint is why do manufacturers persisit in supplying a cheap diagonal with an otherwise good scope. This applies to many brands of scopes, even some costing a few thousand quid. I'm sure you'll get other replies to the same effect. John
  19. Glad you decided to keep the scope, you won't be disappointed. The diagonals that are supplied with these scopes are cheap and poor quality. A decent diagonal can transform the scope with brighter and sharper views and is the cheapest way to improve the performance of your scope. Money spent on better eyepieces will be largely wasted until you've replaced the diagonal. John
  20. The 127 AZ GOTO is an excellent lunar or planetary scope, but its long focal length means a narrow field of view so it does limit it on DSOs. The diagonal that comes with the scope isn't very good so the first thing to do is buy a better one as it will greatly improve the performance of the scope. 1.25" dielectric diagonals aren't too expensive. What would make a great addition to the 127 AZ GOTO a bit later on when you can afford it would be to get a good little APO refractor such as a William Optics 66mm APO or Revelation 66mm APO or similar as they are very lightweight and work beautifully on the AZ GOTO mount and the mounting foot that comes with the scope fits right into the AZ mount. Cost would be about £240.00 or so and you could use the same diagonal as the 127. They are great for widefield use. One thing you just have to get used to in this hobby is that there is no one perfect scope that can do everything. John
  21. One other thing about the amount of weight needed to balance the OTA. It might actualy be less than the weight of the eyepiece or camera. You might have to experiment to find out. John
  22. I used some small balance weights made by Astro Enginering and made a bracket that fits near the bottom of the OTA. I can remove or add weights to get the balance right. You can just see the weights in the photo of the scope above. You could also use any other small weights that you can find localy. I found that to get the balance about right it is easier if you rermove the OTA and hold it by the plastic parts where it fits into the base so that you can feel how it balances. Just add or remove weights until the OTA balances. Once you have it balanced without any eyepiece then you can add weight equal to the eyepiece or camera to the bottom end of the OTA when you are using the scope. John
  23. Hi Dave The GPS isn't needed, but I thought I might as well see if it would work with the latest HC firmware. Very convenient though. Hopefully over the next few weeks I'll be able to test it more completely to see if I can dig up any real problems or limitations. John
  24. 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
  25. I was speaking to one of their suppliers last spring about Scopes'n'Skies poor customer service, and he told me that if Scopes'n'Skies didn't do something abouit it he would "Take matters in hand". Their service seems to have improved a lot in the last few months though, could it be a coincidence? John
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