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About Alfian

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    Sub Dwarf

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  • Interests
    Astronomy, Walking, MotoGP, WWII aircraft history.
  • Location
    SW Scotland
  1. Isn't it good how threads like this really bring out the passionate enthusiasm that the good people on SGL have for astronomy. I have a liking for refractors but a view of the Leo triplet through a 22" truss dob (wow on both accounts) on an evening of less than ideal seeing left a lasting impression. Size does make a difference! Getting the best out of what we have is a worthy goal in itself but its perhaps inevitable that we always want more.
  2. Ooooooo! I'll be surprised if you will get away with that!
  3. @ScouseSpaceCadet that's a neat setup and a useful list of bits used. I remember doing a focuser transplant on my Tal1 which involved similar surgery. One of those careful "measure twice (or so) cut once" jobs that seemed a bit daunting at the time but not so in retrospect. As to a fixed primary, I have a 114p which I bought mainly for the Skywatcher Avant mount. Collimation hasn't been a problem at all which surprised me as its an F4.3 scope. Even after a few modifications it only needed just a very minor tweak of the secondary. A surprisingly good little scope for the money.
  4. As much as I like Tals, imo £230 is way too much. As said an 8" dob (or even a 6" dob)would be a better prospect and would be my choice.
  5. Yup, I had the Tal1 too. A heavy, and typically over engineered piece of russian hardware but optically very decent. By modern standards the focuser is a bit agricultural but quite usable and a proper r&p with no plastic! Curiously Tal reflectors are left handed which is different. I think the Tal2 has a motorised mount which is also of a vintage design. As well as ensuring all optics are good the electrics need to be in good order. From the photos it looks to be in very clean original condition so if the price is right it could be a nice and quite interesting buy. Worth mentioning that with the pedestal mount and tube assembly it will be heavy and something to consider in terms of moving it around. As an additional thought, the finder scope which is a very good too, is the wrong way round which makes me wonder whether the seller is into astronomy. Might be interesting to find out its history.
  6. No, not yet, but live in hope at some point. I live in south west Scotland. Good skies but less of a chance aurora wise than way way way up north in the NW Highlands and beyond. AstroBuySell is a good source for used stuff too.
  7. It might be stating the obvious, but in terms of budget had you considered buying second hand equipment? Many people here, myself included, have or have had much used 'scopes, eyepieces, etc in their astro' arsenal. The budget goes much further this way and astronomers do tend to look after their equipment. I've never had any regrets. On the geography, "where is Derby" question, I originally hail from Northamptonshire but have spent much of my life in Yorkshire. In the latter, I was seen by most as a southerner. I came to the conclusion that anywhere north of Watford and south of Sheffield fell into a large no mans land, unknown and generally avoided by folks north and south unless circumstance demanded, in which case it was down to the satnav to provide the knowledge. My dear departed mum used to talk to me as if Yorkshire was just south of the arctic circle. Now I live in Scotland I think I must be spitting distance from the north pole. Way way up north. (Currently nicely warm with blue skies and very pleasant)
  8. I'm a visual astronomer only, not into imaging at all, made my mind up early on that I wasn't going down that avenue. The easier DSOs seen either with binoculars or a small scope will be little more than grey smudges. Darker skies, better seeing, better optics, more aperture may gain better definition and some detail but will never match that which are shown in the kind of images seen on line and in books and magazines. The satisfaction, well for me anyway, is appreciating just what is that is being revealed live through the eyepiece into the consciousness. M31, no matter how well or poorly the "smudge" is revealed, will always be a wondrous sight to behold.
  9. Thank you for a very interesting "road test" of these filters, and some interesting comments too. I tried a Fringe Killer in a 80mm F.7.5 achromat. I thought I could see some very subtle improvement in discerning finer luna features, within reason for an F7.5 80mm, the yellowish tint was something I couldn't live with. I've seen good comments about the contrast booster, some people are very positive, and have been tempted to give a try on the ST120 and the Tal 100R although the latter is pretty nice as it is.
  10. Hi Andy, and another welcome - from an ex-Northants resident.
  11. Hi Dave, if its anything like my Circle T, and it looks very similar, then it will be good, certainly a step up from standard issue stuff. Such diagonals are a good match for small Maks. It will be too good to let go for nothing but a good buy for somebody.
  12. Good to hear all is as "normal" as possible. Keep well you guys.
  13. The Tal1 is a very nice telescope with good optics IF its in good condition ie mirrors, mechanics and cosmetics. They are built to last. Check that the focuser will take a 1.25" eyepiece, earlier Tal 1s used their own slightly different format and you were stuck with Tal eyepieces good though they may be. If it is a 1.25" focuser check for smoothness and adjustability. Despite being typically over engineered they can be heavy. When you say a Tal1 telescope I am assuming its the whole OTA and mount. Check the equatorial mount axes for play. They run just a plain sleeve type bearing. Mine had a little bit of play which in practice doesn't make much if any difference such is the solid stability of the mount. If all is good and its been well looked after I reckon, considering what the scope is capable off I reckon £60 is worth the price, less is very much a bargain. Despite being just 110mm and having a f7.3 spherical mirror when most everything else is parabolic a good Tal1 will give a remarkably good account of itself. My experience is visual only - can't comment on imaging.
  14. The Skymax 102 is twice the focal length of the Heritage flextube 130 f5 so it will give half the field of view for any given eyepiece. The Skymax is very good for Luna and planetary views and brighter dso's are doable with good use of a decent finder. With respect to some dso's the Heritage would be better and the extra aperture helps. I had a Heritage 130 for a while and for all its simplicity (the helical focuser I ultimately found frustrating even though it works adequately) it performs surprisingly well. The Mak's build is very different, small, very portable but chunky and solid and for me has a nice feel to it. The two scopes are quite different but in the end they both deliver well enough.
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