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Posts posted by Andymarrison

  1. At the moment I'm thinking of an OOUK VX12-L with 1/10 wave mirror, and a Gemini G53F or Mesu, permanently set up in a roll-off roof obsy. I like the Avalon linear fast reverse, too, but not sure it'll handle the payload with enough "headroom" (the OTA alone is 16kg) for when I want to do some imaging. I'll probably change my mind several tens of times before pushing the button, though!

    • Like 1

  2. Thanks for this topic Neil - I'm having almost exactly the same conundrum - same budget and same as you in that visual will be my main activity but DSO imaging definitely going to happen in the near future - I'm not aiming to win any awards though, I hasten to add. I have an 8" SCT now and I wouldn't want to go with a longer focal length because of the limited fov, as Olly points out, but I would certainly like some more aperture...due to the f10 of the bigger Celestrons, I'd discounted these.

    For that reason I was thinking about a newt - the OOUK vx-12l (f5) or even vx-14 (f4.6) look good, especially with one of the upgraded mirrors. Have you thought about this type of route and come to any views?

  3. Thanks everyone. Am I right in thinking a Mewlon's a Dall-Kirkham? I know they're pricey, but it's a once in a lifetime purchase (at least that's what I'm telling myself/my wife now!) so as long as what I see through the EP knocks the socks off what I'm already seeing through my 8" SCT, preferably in terms of both brightness and crispness, then I don't mind spending a bit of money on it.

  4. Any views on the OOUK 10" ODK scope - would the (presumed) better optical quality result in appreciably better views (visually) than a C11/C11 Edge? I'm a bit wary of being unfamiliar with the Dall-Kirkham characteristics vs. a standard SCT - would've want to spend that money to end up with something visually not a big improvement over a C11, say.

    Regarding a Dob, I have been tempted in the past but if I'm honest with myself I don't have the time or inclination to set up, collimate, track etc - I'm afraid I'm probably just plain lazy!

  5. I'm faced with a nice problem in that, as part of extending our house, I've "found" some budget for a roll-off roof obsy and a new scope/mount...the problem is I'm not sure which route to go regarding upgrading my current CPC800. I'm almost exclusively a visual observer, but might want to do some light photography in future, so I thought a pier-mounted AZ-EQ 6 mount would keep my options open whilst providing a decent payload capacity for a bigger scope (I prefer alt-az for visual observing, but can also switch to EQ if I ever decide to take any pictures). I'm not sure how best to upgrade the scope to get the best to improvement in my views. I enjoy mainly deep sky observing, with the odd gawp at Jupiter and Saturn, so on the one hand a bigger aperture SCT (C11 maybe) seems logical, but I really want to make sure I get the crispest optics I can afford, and not just a bigger mirror. Are there any alternatives I should be considering? I've looked at the OOUK ODK series, but not sure if they're suitable for mainly visual use, nor whether or not they need a lot of attention (collimation etc), which I'm not willing/able to provide. As always, advice from the old-hands out there would be very welcome! Thanks!

  6. I saw something similar - I thought it was the ISS and the path of ISS in SkySafari looked plausibly like what I saw, so thought nothing more of it. Extraordinarily bright, though, and by the time I'd swung the scope around manually to see if I could spot it in the finder, it had gone, more quickly than I'd expected the ISS to disappear.

  7. I take it the deck is wooden? I'd have a look at how much it moves when you move plus the weight of even a lightweight biggish scope. You only need a small movement on the boards of a deck to cause huge movement at the eyepiece. I'm not trying to put you off or throw a spanner in the works it just may be something to be wary of.

    My mate has an 8" CPC and no longer views off his deck as any movement he made made the scope wobble and move off target. His deck went round 3 sides of his house and someone walking on the sides caused vibration to his scope at the back.

    I used the wrong word there Digger1895 - it's really only a deck in the sense that it's a flat area in a very steeply sloping garden - it's actually a patio, i.e. stone slabs on a thick concrete base, so hopefully no issues (or at least fewer issues) with vibration, thank goodness.

    Found twenty quid in my jeans pocket yesterday, so I'm already 0.5% of the way towards being able to buy the scope! Now then, how many other pairs of jeans have I got...

  8. Thanks Steve - since I've no experience of using either, I'd be really grateful if anyone who has been lucky enough to own, or at least look through, a good ultra compact and a good "standard" truss Dob, could give me an idea of what the differences "at the eyepiece" might be. I wouldn't class myself as a dedicated observer - my job and family commitments mean I'll never be able to get out as often as I might otherwise like - and I just "love the views", rather than aspiring to make any serious observations. I enjoy it a lot, though, and have done since I was six, and so I'm happy to spend the money to bring the glory of M13 that little bit (or hopefully, quite a lot) closer! In other words, if the impact of the "wow" I'll get with a 14" or 16" compact is significantly less than with a more conventional truss-tube Dob, then it would certainly impact my choice. Any thoughts and experiences gratefully received - I'd like to get this one right!

  9. Yikes!! Looks like the missis is going to have to wait a while longer for the new kitchen...

    Are there any useful threads on the forum on "How to explain to one's other half that one needs a 16" Dob and associated equipment"?

  10. doesnt have to be 3K. i picked up an excellent 16" mirror on ABS for £400. if you want more information just pm me

    I'm ashamed to say I don't have a practical bone in my body - I can barely tie my own shoelaces so I'd be lost knowing what to do with a 16" mirror! Even collimating for the first time has me worried...but I guess I'm getting ahead of myself there - haven't even placed an order yet!

  11. Well after canvassing everyone on here it became clear that perhaps I didn't really need the best optics with a 16".http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/223685-big-dobs-planets/ I eventually got it so to speak when someone explained its a bit like looking through a honeycomb, and with a large aperture getting good seeing through enough of the honeycomb windows in the UK to take advantage of the optics is very rare. Having said that I went for an OO 1/10PV because it wasn't much more relatively than an 1/8 and I just didn't fancy trying the 1/6PV. In for a penny..... Btw I'm not trying to convince you, just showing the option, I have no first hand experience of them and know only what I've read and heard. Fingers crossed... -:)

    ...and I appreciate you all sharing your experiences - I know you weren't trying to do a selling job, Richard, "being convinced" was just a figure of speech - no offence intended if indeed any was taken!

    I feel like you regarding the optics by the way - for the price of the scope, the difference in price moving from 1/6 to 1/10 makes the 1/10 seem like the one to go for. When does yours arrive?

    • Like 1

  12. Andy, have a look at these, I have a 16" Canopus on order. Eyepiece height is 162cm for the f4.5 and the recent scopes are lighter than the older ones. The nexus set up weighs hardly anything and he'll fit encoder arms in the build.http://www.sumerianoptics.com/en/

    Yes...they do look very, very nice! I quite like the look of the Alkaid, as well. The only think that put me off a little bit was how exposed the primary mirror is, although I guess a shroud would cure that pretty quickly. Out of interest, Scooot, what made you go for a Sumerian as opposed to another premium Dob manufacturer, and why the Canopus over the Alkaid? If I can understand your thought process it might help me make up my mind what to do!

  13. It's a double door, so should be no problem there. I'd thought about a purely manual solution, but to be brutally honest I'm just too lazy and get frustrated too easily to learn any serious star-hopping! I've got used to Sky Safari on the iPad with my CpC 800, hooked up through a serial to wifi box, so wanted to keep that functionality for the new push-to scope - hence thinking about the nexus system, which seems to have a good reputation? And thanks for the Paracorr tip umadog (quietly adjusts budget without wife noticing to include more Televue kit!)

  14. Thanks umadog. I've been thinking about what I'd really like out of the next scope, and where it's going to be kept and used as you suggested. It'll be in an unheated "log cabin" right next to the deck I'll be using for observing, so I should have few problems either with cool down time or with wheeling the scope out (I've just caught on to the idea of wheelbarrow handles for large dobs, and they look like they'll be just the ticket for moving the thing from cabin to deck). Very occasionally I might want to put the scope in the car to head off to a properly dark site, but it's a big car and I don't think that should be a problem. So really it probably comes down to aperture and observing height at zenith. I also think this will be my "once in a lifetime" scope, so I want to get the best I can afford. With all of this in mind I'm currently thinking about either a 14" (f5) or a 16" (f4.4) 1/10 wave David Lukehurst Dob. I've got a few green and black EPs so the fast f-ratio hopefully won't be an issue with those. Time to start saving....!

  15. Thanks chaps - yes, I was just looking at the weight of these things and you're dead right that, given the limited time I have to observe, anything that's too heavy is just going to put me off getting the thing set up. So I think a 12" is indeed probably the way to go. I'm now thinking about getting one from David Lukehurst with the nexus encoders etc fitted, although that will take me a while longer to save up for...thanks for the advice!

  16. Hello all

    After a bit of a break due to new job, moving house etc, I've managed to get the tackle out again and put in some observing hours, which I'm really enjoying. The new place is in a pretty dark spot, and last night I found myself wondering what all those lovely Messiers would look like in a bigger scope...a common affliction, I believe!

    Given that I have limited set-up and observing time, I think I've settled on a 14" push-to Dob - 14" because it should be a meaningful step up from my 8" Celestron, should still just about be one-man portable (I think I'd struggle with the extra weight of the full goto solution), and I hopefully won't need a stepladder to observe at zenith. The scope will be stored in a shed which I don't think will take a fully set-up tube and base, so I'll need something that I can take apart and assemble again before observing.

    At the moment I'm trying to decide whether to get a 350p skyliner flextube, and then retrofit the nexus push-to system (encoders, serial to wifi unit), or whether to go for the Orion 14" intelliscope, which I believe has the same optics as the skywatcher but comes ready with the encoders etc installed. Not sure if there's any real difference between the two - if not then I guess the Orion is the obvious choice since I won't need to use my dubious DIY skills!

    Any views?

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