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Everything posted by Andymarrison

  1. I won't be there today either chaps - currently tucked up with a cold next to various packets of over-the-counter drugs! Hope the weather picks up (or maybe calms down!) for you all.
  2. Yes, will do James. I'll be arriving early afternoon I think (driving up from Oxfordshire), and will need a hand putting up the tent if anyone's up for it! Looking forward to it and hoping to get the full quota of nights in next year, instead of just the one.
  3. Not sure yet, but hopefully pitch 20'ish - I'll certainly wander round and say hello! I'll be digging out the tent, stove etc etc over the course of the next few days...
  4. Looks like there are still a few good pitches left - just booked online, and am now looking forward to coming along (just one night, unfortunately). It's been a while since I came along to a star party after a change of job last year, so it will be good to "get my eye in" again (even if I'm just cloud spotting!)
  5. Well thanks everyone - that settles it - it'll be a C11 EDGE HD and Skywatcher AZ EQ6-GT, when funding allows... ...unless the lottery numbers come up and then it'll be the Tak!
  6. I tried a CPC1100 (I.e I picked it up) at the Widescreen Centre on Monday - it's certainly big and heavy, but the clever positioning of the handles means that it wasn't all that much of a problem to pop it on and take it off the CPC tripod with its central locating pin. I reckon it should be fine as long as you're not lugging it big distances (I'm by no means a big strong chap, by the way!)
  7. Hello Matsey! How's things?! That's a very reassuring video - unfortunately it's now left me wondering whether I might go all out and get a C14...so I guess you've got your own back for me showing you the Ethos i was looking at the Edge versions too, but don't know if they offer a major advantage over the standard models for visual observing, which is what I do mainly - can anyone comment on that?
  8. Hmmm, 48kg for the planewave does seem a teensy bit too much for me to set up on my own...nice scope, though! Peter - have you tried putting the C11 onto an EQ mount and taking it off without anyone to help? How did you get on? I'm a 5'10" runner, so upper body strength not particularly good, and am worried that I'd struggle with the C11.
  9. ...this one looks rather nice... http://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/Takahashi_Mewlon_250_OTA.html ...a bit pricey, though!!
  10. Yes, I had the same thoughts about the 9.25 - a great scope by all accounts but somehow it wouldn't feel like enough of a step up from the 8" - probably sounds daft, but I want to be able to see where all my money went! I'm now going to look at the OMC300, Michael, and if I ever end up buying one I'll be explaining to my wife that the extra cost over the Meade is entirely your fault! The fact that you're in the Netherlands might offer you a measure of protection!!
  11. After looking through various larger aperture scopes at SGL8, I'm thinking about moving up a couple of inches in aperture from my trusty CPC800. I'm set on an EQ mounted SCT, because a relatively compact tube is a must for me, but I need something that I'll be able to set up and take down on my own. I took a look at the C11 tube with the new Skywatcher AZ EQ6-GT mount, but the C11 is a monster and I don't think I'll be able to handle it on my own. The Meade LX200 ACF 10" seems a fair bit lighter whilst still delivering a very useful extra 2" of aperture over the CPC800, so that's my current favourite option. Anyone have any other recommendations or experience with using an LX200 10"? I'm mainly a visual observer, but want to try my hand at some imaging at some stage, and I tend to do a mixture of planetary and deep sky observing. My dream view is a bright, contrasty M13, with plenty of stars resolved, to give you a clue as to what I'm looking for. Thanks! Looking forward to hearing your views!
  12. If you need to run any dew heaters then I found that the 20Ah capacity was limiting my observing time, so I took the plunge and bought a 100Ah leisure battery with a "plug in and forget" charger - it's never run out, even on long, cold sessions, but it does weigh more than the scope...
  13. I also suffer with really bad light pollution at home - I live in a town not too far from London and Reading, and to make matters worse there's a car park light nearby that shines straight into our garden. Like Michael I've stopped trying to see any fainter nebulae or galaxies from home, and concentrate on planets, double stars and clusters for visual observing, all of which offer some lovely sights even under skies with bad LP. Also, I can still enjoy the brighter/easier DSOs like M42, M81, M82 etc. I only go to a couple of star parties per year, but when I do the poor conditions at home make the anticipation of the trip and the experience of some properly dark skies even more enjoyable! I agree that this winter's been a particularly rubbish one though - good luck with having some better conditions and a more enjoyable observing session soon.
  14. Not yet managed to figure out how to attach a full sized full res photo...think I need some technology lessons...
  15. It all got a bit lonely on Sunday afternoon...!!
  16. Great weekend, especially last night when the rain departed and left us with some clear skies at last. Matsey and Photosbykev beat me fairly and squarely at the packing away a tent race this morning, so I think I was the last away today. Thanks to all of the organisers - my first SGL star party and definitely not the last. Thanks also to Luke and Sarah for some great views through the mighty 16" Dob; to Adrian for the sharpest views of the moon I've ever seen (1/10 wave orion optics UK 10" Dob with Vixen Lanthanum EP - wow!); to Photosbykev for the company at this morning's cooked breakfast and for showing me how heavy an EQ6 mount is; and to Matsey for introducing me to the Televue Panoptic range! Looking forward to next year!
  17. Great night here too - completely clear and the seeing was the best I've had for a long time. Started off with M35 - stunning view with the 13mm Ethos - then M42, and managed to see the 5th star in the Trapezium clearly for the first time, first with the Ethos and then with the 8.5mm XF. Spent the rest of the evening looking at Jupiter - I also first thought tat I'd got a bit of muck on the diagonal before I realised I was looking at Io's shadow - very cool thing to see! I was able to Barlow the XF so that finally I was at about 400x magnification, and whilst things were starting to get fuzzy by that point, there were still periods of good sharpness, which I guess shows how good the seeing was. Hope we don't have to wait too long for another night like that!
  18. Andymarrison

    2" diagonal

    Hello - I have the same scope as you and have no problem with heavier eyepieces - the biggest EP I have is the 13mm Ethos, and the motors seem to cope just fine with that, though not sure I would want to go too much heavier than that.
  19. Yep, I also managed to omit my user name, and also on my pitch bookings come to mention it...my user name is pretty easy to work out from my first and last names, though...
  20. As anticipated, clouds showed up after an hour or so, but at least I managed a decent look at Jupiter before they arrived. Nice to dust of the scope after a good few weeks now. Dew strip for the EP shorted out, though - think the connection where the wire meets the strip must have become brittle and partially broken when I last used the scope at -5 centigrade! Just ordered a posh dew strip from Green Witch which apparently should survive down at the lower temperatures. Hope everyone else had a bit of clear sky.
  21. Sure! But it's a bit of a drive...and will probably be raining when you get here...
  22. ...no, really, IT'S CLEAR!!!!! :grin: :grin:
  23. Wow Rik! When you get the guiding; exposure etc spot-on you can really see why so many of the constellations are named after animals. First time I've seen "The Otter" in so much detail. Those filaments of nebulosity almost look like whiskers!
  24. I use SkySafari plus wirelessly with the SkyFi module on my CPC 800 and love it. I particularly like the observing list feature which allows you to build up custom lists from the very extensive database of objects, and then use the wifi link to move to each target. There is also the ability to add observing notes to each object. Finally, there's a good amount of detailed information on each object. I also looked at the Celestron SkyQ alternative, but I have to say that, personally, I prefer SkySafari (no observing list feature in the Celestron version, as far as I could see).
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