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  1. Looks a lovely scope Jonathon, nice one. Look forward to hearing your first light.
  2. A skymax is collimated at the factory and should keep its collimation due to it's construction. However, if it's needed you can adjust the collimation. I haven't had to worry about the collimation on mine.
  3. telskop service appear to have 350mm in stock, they are OO dealers in mainland europe http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p4997_Orion-UK-Dobsonian-mount-for-350mm-aperture-Newtonian-Telescopes.html try contacting them before you order, they're usually quite quick with emails. shipping never been too bad to sweden, not sure what UK would be edit: i should add i'm not sure what the set up between the 2 companies is. dunno if ts just orders of OO. however if they do and the production stream is set up that way it might be quicker than a personal order
  4. Yes Jules. I did buy it from you. It's a lovely eyepiece, which you told me at the time. I was just starting out in astronomy with my first good scope and knew from reading that a kellner would be ok in my long fr mak. But wow! It made me start seeking out vintage Japanese optics I was so blown away by it. I forgot to mention earlier that it's also my favourite eyepiece for framing the moon in my scope. I often use just that rather than go higher mags.
  5. I have a 25mm circle t kellner Dave, I can't describe it fully but it is so sharp and bright compared to anything else I own. I love looking at M42 with it through a f12 mak. I can tell the difference between using it and a 25mm ortho which surprised me. So I know what you're getting at! I will never sell it, even though I have other 25mm.
  6. Yep, that's why I suggested the same exit pupil, all 80mm scopes so at 2mm exit pupil 40x mag. In the 2 achros like Mr Spock said you'll see differences in CA which will kill sharpness and differences in eyepiece corrections and curvature like Ronin said. Longer FR should be more robust against bad seeing conditions so maybe another test for the ED80 and 80M. Both should have good CA correction but if you can sort out a 0.8mm exit pupil with same range eyepieces on Jupiter on an average night it could be interesting to see if you can tell there's a difference.
  7. It would be good to see a comparison at ~2mm exit pupil using your televue plossls. Then you're really taking it down to just focal ratio if you do that comparison. I suppose 11mm with st80; 15mm with ed80; 25mm with 80M. Not exact but close enough
  8. I have the Skymax 102, it came with an eq2. The good; I think it's a great scope, it can handle high mag (for it's aperture, I never really take it below 0.8mm exit pupil due to floaters in my eye). No CA. It's light and small. Very comfortable viewing position. Perfect for balcony observing due to size. Can fine focus with clothes peg. Easy on eyepieces The bad; You are limited to a small tfov with it. It doesn't really bother me as 95% of my observing is planets and the moon. Despite being small it can take a while to cool down (I keep it in a warm front room though, so it needs to go out before I start). You're never going to be able to get much bigger than 2mm exit pupil The ugly; eq2. I have a love/hate relationship with the thing. It's a great budget mount. I wouldn't like anything heavier or larger on it (although I have no experience of anything larger on it). Even though it is lightweight I don't consider it grab and go (point north, counterwight etc). You can set it up as alt/az though which is cool but you still need a counterweight on it to be sure that it won't topple so it weighs the same. However, I don't think I will ever get rid of it because I think it will come in useful one day. I put my mak on an AZ4 for everyday use (a bit over mounted but solid!). The eq1 is a light version of the eq2 isn't it? So if you're thinking of putting a 4 to 5 pound scope on an eq1 I would have reservations as to whether it would be an enjoyable experience (not sure what the st102 weighs though). If you can get a motor for the eq2 it helps stability but after some use I could keep things steady whilst tracking objects. If you could keep it somewhere cold then the mak can be grab and go but definitely don't get the mak if you like wide field viewing!! If you're thinking of putting something on an eq2 and you're exposed to wind at a dark site then I think you'd need something to add a bit more weight to the tripod. I used to notice strong wind with the skymax on eq2 on a relatively sheltered balcony. If I just wanted something as grab and go i would probably look at a small refractor on an alt-az
  9. It's normal to not like the cold, it's just unfortunate that cold nights coincide with good astro nights this time of year. Before you go out make sure you have eaten something before hand; all the layers in the world won't keep heat in if heat isn't being produced. Maybe have some of your favourite nibbles to hand? You could also try planning to observe some objects that don't require your eyes to be be dark adapted such as the planets, moon, some bright double stars, clusters rather than galaxies. That way you can escape inside for a warm cup of something and pop out again when you feel you can brave it again without having to wait for your eyes again. As others have said you haven't got to be out every night. Your astro gear is a long term investment in enjoyment. I was out having a look a Jupiter last night but that was the first night in months that I've had a chance. I loved it! All the times I wasn't using my scope didn't matter then, after that 1 hour (with an in the warm kitchen tea break in between).
  10. I don't own any 2" eyepieces so can't help there.... but regarding taxes, in Sweden if you buy from EU and have paid the taxes in the country you buy from it's all good. Some places like Amazon UK for example will apply Swedish VAT if you buy from them. I have never paid additional fees when buying from Teleskop Service based in Germany, even when it was hundreds of Euros, just the german 19% tax. All the packages have been through Swedish sorting offices so I'm sure they would've been picked up if they were liable. Like most places in EU you will be liable for tax if you buy from outside of EU like US or Japan if it's over a threshold value (it's 1300 SEK according to tulverket). For example when I buy CD's through Jersey based retailers on Ebay they come with customs declarations on them.
  11. its just occured to me; could it be light going in the eyepiece and reflecting off the back of a baffle? is your longer frac baffled too?
  12. I see what you're saying about the baffle position, couldn't you test that out though by making a longer dew shield and trimming the light cone that way? What gets me wondering about eyepieces is if the thing isn't properly baffled then it could be scatter from unsufficiently baffled light cone hitting shiny bits on diagonal or eyepiece. In the higher fr scope it would be reduced due to the area of the light down the eyepiece end
  13. Apologies if I'm preaching to the converted Ant but have tried different eyepieces and diagonals? Do you get the same torus?
  14. Depends on the tripod; eq2 no, az4 yes. The az4 has retaining holes for ep whereas the eq2 hasn't and I think why i prefer using the tray. Safer in the dark.
  15. I'll second what Cathalferris mentions re distance. I've checked collimation with a bodged up artificial star indoors before and if it's too close you'll see some nasty spherical abberation. When I've done it on a real star the spherical aberration is much better corrected. You can check if things are lined up ok though. Just don't go over analysing about optics correction as you need your point source at infinity focus (or as close as you can get it) to make reliable tests of qulaity of the optics. Adding other stuff like mirrors to increase probably isn't the best tactic unless they are 'perfect' as they could affect your results **edit** thinking about it you probably want it far enough away that you at least don't need to use that extension tube to achieve focus
  16. Nice one Mick, I'm glad I bet you weren't expecting that, good thing you were persistent
  17. Skymax 102 mak. It's funny talking about similar gloows, last night I noticed the same arc as well in mine albeit from a streetlight as i was moving the scope. I'm not too bothered about it at the moment, not too worried about taking it apart just want to get another scope so I have some redundancy if it takes longer than expected (thinking about collimation here more). I've read that maks aren't the best baffled scopes (certainly the chinese ones) although I think it's hardly the fault of Synta when they make things so cheaply. It's a balance between sufficient baffling and providing full aperture illumination. When you focus by moving the primary therefore continually changing the angle of the light cone there's only one focus position that it would be optimal. Different eyepieces and diagonals etc make it an impossible task. I worry about doing the exit tube though as I only have 21mm diameter as it is there although I like what you've done with the secondary baffle The Russian maks are better baffled although I've been informed by my better half that I'm not in the market for an Intes Micro . Not new anyway...
  18. That's a great shot, best out of the ones you've posted here
  19. Definitely worth doing, I get the same glow as the top left pic on my cat
  20. Good job on the flocking Cath. re materials today, I doubt you need a recent material that does what you say. It's just a price/profit thing. Bending sheet metal or extruding is probably cheaper and more consistent than working with resins.
  21. Not all of them are marked but they suggest serial numbers and focusser positions are the marks on some http://www.celestron...barticleid=1655 Although not sure if this is to do with matching them. If you can buy stock plates and replace them that's good but I still can't see how they can get such a high order curve spot on every time so that its radially equal curve. I'd bet my last kroner that there's an optimal orientation for any corrector-mirror pair
  22. Yep I would still mark the orientation as orientating the plate on a production line wouldn't be that hard a thing to do fast and maximise profit. It's a non-trivial curve on the SCT corrector plate unlike a maks spherical meniscus. Maybe they've change what they're doing nowadays regarding forming the corrector plate and finding/grinding a mirror that gives lowest spherical abberation and they've sorted the accuracy of fabircation. I'm looking forward to how you get on, when I use my mak in the daytime I can see that it could do with some flocking. Just waiting to get a new scope before I start dismantling my only one!
  23. I'm sure you would do all the relevant research before taking it apart but make sure you mark the orientation of your corrector plate, they're unique for each scope and are orientated for optimum correction. Check out the 'even teddy wept' threadin astro lounge too
  24. Hi Cath, There's been some discussion about this over the pond. It appears the baffle is the main culprit. There was a more recent thread but I can't find it, here's an older one. Will try and find the more recent one http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/2563881/page/291/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/all/vc/1
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