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About Astro_Baby

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    Red Star Rising

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    Astronomy, Rocketry, Marxism and the invariable demise of capitalism, overthrowing tyranny, justice, truth and freedom from oppression, bringing comfort to the destitute, investing in dreams
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    Far from the madding crowd

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  1. Same for me.....I have to be mobile as I live in a flat so when its clear and I am free its a treat. I dont want to spend 2 hours packing and unpacking plus an hour in the car each way and then get to see nothing much. if I lived in the country with a large backyard I would do it different.
  2. You should read my comments on this topic as related to my Maksutov. The focal length will be increased but its marginal, especially as regards viewing. The light path reduction by vignetting can easily be tested. Take a look here http://www.astro-baby.com/reviews/Skymax 180/Skymax 180 Review.htm the light path test is described about halfway down the page. image shift can be a massive pain at high powers and like others I find the strictly theoretical issues about FL and light cone clipping are as nothing compared to the stability of focusing. A wobbly or irritating scop
  3. Wait till you get in a solid sized field with the right conditions before being sure about not having a problem with dew
  4. Just so people are aware it is available - went offline for a while while changing hosts etc. http://www.astro-baby.com/collimation/astro babys collimation guide.htm
  5. Thanks everyone - some of you may know I had some pretty serious health issues and the organic issues led to severe depression. Its pretty depressing after all when you suddenly realise you can't hardly get up a flight of stairs or get out of a chair Anyway I am back on my feet again now but astro has taken a back seat as I try and get myself back into shape - I have been doing a lot of bushcraft, hiking, walking etc out in the wilds of the UK (well as wild as Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire can get) plus some serious walking in Crete and Kefalonia. I do feel the interest in astro c
  6. Hi all just a quicky to let you all know that my website is back up which contains the famous/infamous collimation guide and other useful resources. Took eye off the ball for a while and our host has messed us about so now with new providers. Polar Aligning the SkyWatcher HEQ5/Orion Sirius Mount A comprehensive tutorial on setting up the polar scope / finder for the popular HEQ5 mount. Invaluable as a guide to this topic which can be very confusing. The set-up process can also be used with the EQ6 mount and Orion equivalents.Using an EQ Mount - Simple Polar Alignment for BeginnersYou
  7. Hi Astrobaby (Sorry, I don'y know your real name).

    Recently I followed your excellent HEQ5 strip down and service guide, thank you. It solved my problem of severe backlash in RA which started after my HEQ5 took a rather nasty fall. However, I have a new problem. The RA has become stiff, so much so that balancing is a pain. The axis does not swing free. I am not able to understand what I have done wrong. My friends online told me to loosen the "collar", but again, I am too daft to understand what collar they are referring to. I'd be very thankful if you could please advice what I may do to set the axis swinging free again.


    1. SteveBz


      Hi Astro Sathya, Namaste, Did you get this fixed?  I imagine it was the collar under the Polar Finder.  On my CG5, I can unscrew the whole polar finder including lens, three collimating screws, two black collars and thread assembly revealing a collar held on by two grub screws.  This can be loosened.

    2. astrosathya


      Hi Steve, I simply love your Namaste touch. :) 

      The problem was that the RA bearing, ( which sits between the RA worm wheel  and the taper bearing on the rear end of the axis) was broken internally owing to the fall. However, while reassembling the mount after the fall, two years ago, I had placed it back in its original position, all by sheer luck. But then, when I removed the same bearing for regreasing this season, I missed the original position and the dent in the bearing caused the axis to stiffen. I checked well and then purchased an SKF 6006 bearing and discarded the old one. Works well now. Haven't been able to field test it owing to Monsoon season here.

  8. My first serious scope was a 4.5" Tasco Refelector back in the day when Tasco made some decent hardware (I am talking early 70s here - stranegely I found an actual pic of it a few weeks back while having a clear out but have misplaced it again - it may have been 5" and not 4.5" - anyway I digress). It was a sweet thing with its .965 eyepieces and worked well and at the time was something of a treat. Bought for me by a would be boyfriend. It lasted sometime but eventually I was blessed(?) with kids and it got stored and then damaged and then wrecked. When I came back to the hobby after
  9. That top nut is a perisher to shift. I have only ever managed it once on an EQ6. I have no idea why its so hard to shift - perhaps they use some kind of glue on it or maybe just put it on under massive pressure. Theres not much to be gained from removing it to be honest. As to your knackered hex screw you might find if you ram a cross head screw driver in you may be able to extract it. Hope thats of some small help.
  10. Well quite a few things have been discovered by amateur astronomers of late - some exoplanets, comets, meteors etc. The hit on Jupiter from Hale Bopp (?) fragments was imaged by an amateur as far as I recall and missed by the professionals. Don't forget the big boys in the Atacama and at Mt Wilson, Palomar etc are focusing (pardon the pun) on really distant stuff with highly specialised gear. They arent often looking at the local neighbourhood. Its a bit like being a good neighbour - the MoD with their submarines, jets and tanks wont take much notice of a beer can lobbed onto someones lawn,
  11. Could it be slop in your focuser causing this ? I found the best collimation solution I ever invested in was a solid focuser. Whats the focuser on the scope like Do the eyepieces lock with a compression ring type or just a side screw ? Do the eyepieces fit snugly or with loads of slop Does the focuser rack in and out without slop ?
  12. I used to have a lot of aggro like the OP describes. I found the problem was two fold. 1/ The scope is not perfectly round which can be a headache which cant be fixed really. THose Russians with their TAL scoipes machined from a length of gun barrel probably never have this issue. 2/ The felt that Skywatcher use on the inside of the rings is not very nice, its not slippy (which under normal circumstances is a good thing) but worse its sometimes peels back under damp conditions and create a sticky pad for the scope to get stuck on. My solution was the classic hoop round the scope as a retaini
  13. Glad its all looking good with the EPs. The 180 is a cracking scope which makes almost any EP work pretty well. I have found with mine that some ultra wides can be badly...... behaved the worst I have seen with mine was the ES 30mm 82' which produces vignetting but also a 'ring of fire' round the edge of the EP which is very distracting. From memory the exit portal on mine is 25mm. I rarely use widefields on it and prefer orthos in the main. I have never tried the Pentax XW30 in it so cant say how that would perform. Sounds like you are having great success with the scope though which is
  14. Problem with the Pentax XW is they are probably as rare as hens teeth. Sorry but as far as I know I bought the last new one in the UK some time ago. Its been used once only and was rather nice but unfortunately I cant say more than that not having used it much. It was vert flat in the field and had very good correction at F5 and was also very comfy to use. Thats about the limit of what I could say - it was hardly an exhaustive test
  15. Probably Orion for me - it was the first one I ever learnt from my Dad plus its also got so much in it - Betelgeuse , Rigel and M42 plus smaller nebula - theres quite a bit to se in such a compact area.
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