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About WesB

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  1. Thank you, I now understand, yes that was the one I spotted on eBay, which sounds like a good deal if it wasn't so far away. I always thought you had to have the tripod/pier absolutely level otherwise it shows when the mount begins tracking? But what you are saying is if we get the pier there or there about's the alt/azi bolts take care of the rest assuming we polar align correctly. I am drilling the bolt holes in the ceiling as we speak! only joking thanks for the info. best regards.
  2. I think what's confusing me is on the pier I am considering has 4 pillars with no visible adjustment just aluminium tubes, therefore I am assuming (there it is again) that this is for a particular mount with levelling capabilities???
  3. ok Steve thanks, I do understand the alignment as I have set up outside many times with tripod, however how do you level the mount if its not done via the pier? The mount has a through bolt (attaching it to the tripod) which I can use to attach the mount to the top plate but how do I achieve level? I say that I have set my mount up many times, however I have got it wrong many times with the tripod and not quite got the alignment right and I have assumed that I have not quite got the levelling right. Setting up on unlevel grass is a pain so want to get away from this.....
  4. just found another pier on ebay with levelling ability between the two top plates ............I am guessing thats my answer?
  5. Hi I am considering getting a telescope pier for my garden, currently have an EQ5 on a tripod and having set it up every time I go out. I now want to leave the mount in situ and just attach the OTA, quick alignment and off I go. I have found a pier which is very reasonable and it consists of a steel pier with a top plate 4 pillars and another top plate. I understand that when you install the pier (at the base) you can get it relatively level but to get the pier completely level you have to adjust the top plate to absolute prior to fitting the mount. Hence there must be some adjustment between the two top plates...........Please correct this if I have got this wrong. I have been told by the guy selling the pier that the level adjustment is in the mount not the pier, however my EQ5 has no adjustment for levelling...I have only ever levelled my set up using the adjustable legs on the tripod........which is a pain! Therefore my question is should the gap between the two top plates be adjustable for levelling? If the levelling is in the mount how is this achieved? Finally I am hoping to upgrade my mount to something better, I am very keen on sticking with a retractor however I also have a Luton Instruments 10 1/4" reflector and mount (gathering dust) and would love to be able to use both on the same mount but not necessarily at the same time!.......is this possible? The mount I have for the reflector needs recommissioning and some..... therefore I was thinking of something off the shelf?
  6. I know this must all seem like run of the mill stuff to you guys but this post has been a revelation for me. Finally I have a good idea of what to expect from the equipment which in all honesty, for me, can only be seen with my face pressed against the shop window, wouldn't recommend that by the way. Following on from your post John, the only way to get views better than grey fuzzies then is to get into imaging? This has been mentioned earlier in the post, along with the mention of deep pockets. I am guessing that this can be achieved with a good refractor, guide scope, CCD camera, motorised mount and alot of experience and plenty of quiet time along side your scope working it all out, all as mentioned in my original post regarding the Altair Astro 115ED. So I guess if I am still not satisfied I better start saving the pennies.
  7. That's interesting, I AGAIN presumed that the views through a 10" be it a Dob or Reflec would be off the scale compared to my refractor. Although I am taking on board what has been said throughout this post. One of the posts above mentioned joining a local astro group to get a view through other scopes, and I agree this would provide some of the answers I am looking for. Thanks again.
  8. I must admit I didn't expect such a reaction following this post but the comments have been fantastic what a great site! Yes you are right "aperture fever" can strike at any time! I have contemplated a cassegrain because of the light mobility and the erm.... aperture! Assuming that a wand will be wiggled and I will instantly have a 50" flat screen in HD with 3D graphics if I should want to view it!...........I joke of course, however that's how it gets you. You are right the 100ED is fine and I should stick with it and stop looking over the hedge and thinking that the grass is much greener........! Thanks to this post I am now aware of the limitations and the experience one should gain before leaping on the aperture boat!. Having said all of this cassegrains & reflectors are great but there is something about refractors which is very appealing? Thank you Woking for the Top Tickets I will write a list and look for them on my next session. I have an old Luton Instruments 10" reflector that was passed to me some time ago (see my previous posts for piccies) which I have not got round to doing anything with (requires refurbishment on the mount & probably scope). Therefore I was left with the dilemma of new 8" cassegrain onto my mount (EQ5) OR new mount for the reflector (EQ6) OR refurbish the LI mount and get that going! All would cost about the same, however one would take some work and the other two would be plug and play. Its a good dilemma but one I think I will shelve until I have a bit more experience.
  9. Absolutely right Brantuk you have read the same article I read, he did use a Televue Nagler and a £4000 CCD to achieve the images. This is not in my league I am afraid however the Altair Refractor is a beautiful thing. I have some renewed confidence born out of the encouraging comments in this thread, also the fact that I am not getting things altogether wrong. It sounds like a couple of ep's will give me a feel of what I can achieve with my scope. I have just been out and had a look and viewed both the Dumbbell and the Andromeda, both viewed best through my two wide field ep's. The other ep's I mentioned were too dark and I was unable to get any kind of reference with any stars close by. Perhaps it wasn't the best night (seeing) however I have enjoyed it and I am beginning to understand what is to be expected. I have a lots of things to discuss but work in the morning! Thank you all for your comments they are very helpful and fill me with renewed confidence. Best of luck.
  10. All of the posts above are excellent and very helpful. I am going to buy a couple of new eye pieces to bring the system up to date, it won't hurt and I can always continue with them should I decide to upgrade in the future. I was of the impression that size does matter (aperture), more light ......more clarity, however with my lack of experience and gradual gaining interest the ED100/EQ5 is a great tool to begin with. Patience and lower expectations.......wise words and probably the two things I have to work at the most.....in life!. Thank you.
  11. Well I don't feel quite so inadequate now, thank you for your comments it is much appreciated. Could anyone recommend a set of eyepieces that would be ideal and won't break the bank? I have a 25mm wide field that came with the scope which is probably the clearest. However I think I need to update the others to really get the most of what I have. 'Turn left at Orion' is now on my list thanks.
  12. Hi again! I have a Skywatcher ED100 refractor on an EQ5 mount, I have some very old plossol 4mm, 9mm, 18mm & 20mm eyepieces which were given to me by a late friend probably late 70's eye pieces. I have a couple of wide field eye pieces which are probably the best I have but offer very little in magnification. I also have a 2x barlow. I have learned how to polar align and I am viewing the sky with ease utilising the catalogue within the synscan. My problem is that I do not seem to see what I am told that I should be seeing. As an example I read a review for an Altair Astro 115 ED refractor which I understand is a far far better quality than my scope, however the guy used a CCD camera attached (of very good quality) set on 10 minute exposures for 4 hours, taking pictures of the horses head nebula. The pictures were absolutely stunning in colour and with great detail. Granted without a camera or any up to date eye pieces I am not seeing anything like what the sales brochures and reviews are telling me I should be seeing. I also understand that there are allot of factors governing what we see and how we see it, however could somebody put me on the right line here. Is this because I need to update my eyepieces? Buy a better scope? Buy a camera and guide scope and review the sky through a computer? I believe that I am setting the scope up correctly as I am navigating through the sky quite well and getting nebulas in centre of view, however they are just a puff of grey dust rather than producing any detail. Also planetary viewing is very limited. I can tell which planet I am looking at however all planets are far too small to view any detail. In the review mentioned above he discusses the detail in viewing the dark storm belt on Saturn! I cannot get anything like that kind of magnification to view such detail. Could somebody please tell me where I am going wrong and what I should do........or indeed buy?
  13. Update: Last night I set up the scope again and to ensure my set up was accurate I viewed some stars & constellations using the Stellarium software as a guide and I was doing this with some degree of accuracy. Then I traversed some distance from northern to southern hemisphere using the direction keys on the sync scan hand set and it was at this stage the mount went to sleep again. This time rather than switch off and on again I briefly set up the scope again (pointing at Polaris) & 3 star aligned and I was up and running. It would seem that the mount is not designed to traverse across the sky using the direction keys for any great distance. You assume the software knows where it is because you see the co-ordinates race as you traverse. A solution to this is to star hop using the handset catalogue to ensure that the software understands its location at all times. The mount seemed to work fine when I hopped rather than blindly traversing. I have no idea if this problem is unique to my mount or a common problem with the EQ5. Of course this could just be me using the mount incorrectly, however the star hopping is a good solution given that this is a widely used way of navigating around the stars. If anyone has experienced this before then please let me know if this is a problem.
  14. Ok Tinker, to be clear, within the set-up mode there are tracking options within the sync scan, they are referenced; sidereal rate lunar rate solar rate I presume that because the scope has not been moved since initial set up I can just switch the tracking on via one of the options above? I cannot from then on use the object catalogue hence the need for stellarium & the Telrad? When you say "set the solar tracking" does this mean switch it on or set the rate at which it tracks?............again this is a bit above me. I am a novice therefore I need things spelling out sorry.
  15. Hi, not sure if a similar question has been posted therefore excuse me for the repeat, however, having had some difficulty polar aligning my scope which is a 100 ED Skywatcher with an EQ5 mount with Syncscan on a movable tripod, I was told there were some good information videos on astronomy shed! (sorry) and having watched them numerous times to ensure the information penetrated my otherwise thick skull I have found the information absolutely brilliant. A couple of nights ago I set up my scope in the garden and polar aligned for the first time (using the new information) and it worked. I used the Polar Finder program (free download) and aligned Polaris accordingly then 3 star aligned using Stellarium as a star spotter and as I have already said it worked! Without the polar align info and polar finder also Stellarium I am not sure how a novice could reach this point however I have and its lifted me with renewed interest. So I had a look at a few pre-programmed stars etc checking against Stellarium that the star I chose was indeed what I was looking at all was well............I then felt like a celebration!! Now with my tail firmly up in the air walking around wondering what all the fuss with polar alignment is all about.............I went into the kitchen got myself a glass of wine and a cigarette and went back outside, a quick look through the eyepiece told me that all was not right, the star which I thought I had left dead centre in the eye piece had traveled slightly off centre. I understand this could be a number of things such as misaligned polar scope (I was given two when I purchased the scope which should have rung an alarm bell...however I was a kid with a (second hand) new toy. By this time the moon had popped its head up so I chose this on the sync scan and off it went and found the moon........perfect! I finished my cigarette and gulped some wine and thought lets go and get my eye pieces etc and have a look around. By the time I got back the mount had stopped tracking and gone to sleep! The battery pack was showing full and green light on, sync scan handset was still alight and indicating the moons position. So I punched in the moon again and set it off........nothing! now the co-ordinates of the moon were 00,00,00!! also when I used the direction keys to adjust the scope nothing happened.....the mount had dropped off like a baby with a cow pol addiction! So I sat for a moment and remembered when all else fails (with a computer) its Big Red Button Time! so I switched it all off ......and on again and it all came to life pressed the adjustment arrow buttons and it moved accordingly. My question is ........WHY! Clouds has ascended over my garden both metaphorically and in the sky! therefore my night was over (tail not so high). This has posed a few questions; 1. Has anyone experienced this before and how is this overcome without buying a proper mount such as the EQ6 which I would really like to do? 2. When the telescope is switched off and on again the scope has not moved therefore do I need to three star align again? 3. If I don't need to three star align how does the scope begin tracking? Mine has never tracked until you have finished alignment (even when aligned incorrectly) therefore I assumed that this must be done each time the scope is switched on. However if my scope was fixed on a post and set up in an observatory, polar alignment could be done once as long as the clutches were not opened, but to begin tracking surely you would still need to 3 star align? OR is there a setting in the sync scan which switches the tracking on........................I just haven't found it yet. P.S. I know a 100ED is a bit small for an EQ6 however I also have an early Luton Instruments 10 3/4" reflector which I would like 'in the future' to get back in use and the EQ6 is the only one that will take the payload. Failing this if I could sell the reflector then perhaps buy a more up to date scope? I know its an antique but its lovely. I would appreciate your help people best regards.
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