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Everything posted by Andymarrison

  1. Yep, pretty much the same here, although did get half an hour or so of clear sky to look at Jupiter. Seems to be lovely and clear in the day then cloudy at night, at the moment. Hey ho.
  2. I have the 17.3mm Delos and it's an absolute cracker. I prefer it to the Ethos. You'll love it!
  3. Both look good choices to me, Liz! Both have equatorial mounts, though, which can look a bit daunting if you've never used one before. I've got a friend who is interested in getting into astronomy and her boyfriend bought her the Celestron model, but she's so put off by the techie-looking mount that she's never managed to use it! If you think that might be a concern then I agree with some of the others on the thread who suggest you look at a Dobsonian model - they are dead easy to use and deliver a lot of bang for your buck. Whatever you get, I'm sure he'll love it - good luck!
  4. Hooray! Booked!! Cheque's in the post, James! Now to buy an oil-filled radiator...
  5. Thanks James - I might give the Lifecam route a go - it'll be fun fiddling about with the various bits anyway!
  6. So does anyone have a view of what's the best planetary imaging webcam that's not the SPC900 (since they are now like hen's teeth, and probably more expensive!) and is readily available right now for £50 or less?
  7. What magnification were you using, John? I was at about 115, so fairly modest I guess.
  8. Ah yes, the Almost Invisible Salmon Pink Spot, it all makes sense now! Thanks Ags!
  9. I wish it did look like that! It's only an 8" scope though!
  10. ...big break in Jupiter's bands towards the bottom left of the disk ( I'm using an SCT with diagonal, so left-right mirror-reversed view in the EP)...is that the Great Red Spot I'm looking at?
  11. I've also only just seen this, so shame I couldn't come to the first one. I'm a few miles north of Reading, so should hopefully be able to come along to the next one, work permitting. Great idea!
  12. I've got both but I tend only to use the 2" - you can just wrap it in a spiral-type style so that it covers more of a 1.25" EP.
  13. I use the same Astrozap dew strip with my CPC800, and I was also surprised that I couldn't detect any warmth at all. It works, though! I also have a small Astrozap strip for my 2" EPs, and when I put my eye to the EP I can detect some warmth, which gives me some comfort that the strips are indeed doing something! Also, with the two strips on at once they ran down my 20Ah power pack very quickly, and I needed to upgrade to a leisure battery as a result!
  14. That's great advice thanks everyone - I definitely won't go for the leviathan TV Panoptic 41mm, but will certainly check out the 35mm and maybe also the Vixen 42mm. I really like the idea of trying a 55mm Plossl, too - I hadn't thought of that, so will have a look at that one too. Must remember in future not to take the mickey out of my wife for shoe shopping in future...it strikes me that my EP shopping is not too dissimilar...
  15. It's a Numax 100Ah leisure battery - got it from Tayna batteries (online). It's a sealed lead acid job - I think the gel or AGM ones are meant to be better, but they're a bit pricey. This one was, I think, seventy-odd quid.
  16. I know what you mean Dave...I enjoyed the amateur electrics stuff (building a 12V distribution box) a bit too much I think BUT at the end of it all I do have a nice neat little weatherproof enclosure with a Hella input plug and four fused cigarette-type outlets! Now, what else can I plug in...perhaps I STILL need a bigger battery...
  17. Thanks Alan - I was slightly concerned about the weight and, since I was in that neck of the woods yesterday, popped into the Widescreen Centre in London to look at a Panoptic in the flesh. It is indeed massive, and weighs about 1kg. I believe the Vixen is significantly lighter, so if so that would be another plus. Otherwise I could drop back a few mm and go for a 35mm of some sort. Hmmm...
  18. I'm looking to finish off (for the time being, anyway...!) my EP collection with a really long focal length EP for all those lovely open clusters. Does anyone have any experience of how these two EPs compare, e.g for sharpness to the edge; contrast; comfort of viewing (I don't wear glasses); and (gulp) weight?! The Vixen is about £100 cheaper, but then neither EP is inexpensive so this isn't really a big factor in the choice. Thanks!
  19. Had a good couple of hours of nice clear skies here, and the seeing was not too bad. First time I've been able to use the Ethos in decent conditions and it did live up to the hype - the open clusters in Cassiopeia looked spectacular, and also the double cluster, although couldn't quite fit the whole object in the FoV (perhaps unsurprisingly for a 13mm EP!). Also had a lovely view of M31 and M32, and Jupiter with four moons very clear and crisp (this time with the 17mm Delos - too low in the sky and too much wobbly air to use a high mag). All in all worth braving the bangers, though I did notice a few pained-looking brass monkeys wandering about!
  20. That's a lovely Avatar, by the way, Foundaplanet - a nice thought.
  21. If you really want a work-out then there is an amazingly comprehensive set of physics lectures on iTunesU from Stanford University, including one on cosmology. The lecturer is Leonard Susskind. I don't know how they manage to put this stuff on there for free - if I was a paying student at Stanford I'd perhaps be a little hacked-off! There's also some stuff on there by Brian Cox etc under the title "Physics - the Edge of Knowledge".
  22. I recently bought a set of Astrozap strips/controller for my SCT and did a lot of asking and hunting around for advice on positioning etc. I think the concensus is to put the tape around the OTA immediately behind the raised bit at the end of the scope that holds the corrector plate. I've also found that I need a tape around the larger EPs in my collection, becasue I had a lovely dew-free corrector plate and a completely misted up eyepiece. For me, the setting on the controller is a bit trial and error - I usually start with the power at around 50%, then turn it down if there is any detectable distortion (which I've found fairly easy to detect, unless it's just my imagination!). I use a dew shield as well, and this combination has fully solved all of the dew problems I used to have. The Dewbuster website has a few good photos showing strip positioning.
  23. Tried out the new battery and homemade distribution box for the first time tonight. Very cold and damp, so dew heaters on pretty high, but after 2 hours I packed in before the power did, due to my toes and nose being freezing cold. Put the battery back on trickle charge afterwards and it was still showing 100% charge, so well pleased!
  24. First clear night forecast here for a while, but the view might get disturbed by the odd blinding shower of bright sparks...I'll risk it anyway. Anyone else braving the bangs and flashes?
  25. ...also The Sky at Night at 12.10am tomorrow morning (Monday 5 November) is all about "The Story of Stuff" - dark matter; atoms; fundamental particles etc.
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