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Everything posted by Minotaur

  1. Hi CK I have a lense pen and a decent glass cloth in my box, plus a smal aerosol of compressed air - very handy for blowing away any dust or whatever from eyepieces. Then there's my mobile phone, portable TV, comfy chair, slippers, umbrella.............just kidding. Rick
  2. Hi Philip, welcome to the forum. Help me out here.....what's a scopebuggy exactly? I know what it sounds like (telescope on wheels kinda deal) but that doesn't seem right somehow. How do you find the Meade? I was torn between Meade and Celestron when I was considering my first scope recently, eventually went for a C8 but I bet that LX of yours is a peach. Rick
  3. Minotaur

    Hi from Devon

    Hello Harriet, welcome to the forum. You got future plans for a student loan and a scope of your own? Rick
  4. Hi Glennbech, I used to hang around in Norway a little bit - Kristiansand and Stord - when I was in the offshore industry. Beautiful place. Is it still the most expensive country to get drunk in?? Rick
  5. Minotaur


    Welcome to the forum, hope you have fun with that 130. Rick
  6. Hi Richard, welcome to the forum. You'll have to tell us what you think about the OU course - speaking for the noobs, it's something that I know I would be interested in. Rick
  7. Hi all, I believe there will be a solar eclipse next year in July (?) with the path of totality travelling through eastern China. As luck would have it, there is a good chance I will be working near Shanghai at the time and I will obviously be trying to have a look at this wonderful spectacle. Question: What equipment would you recommend I use for observing / imaging the eclipse sequence? Thanks in advance. Rick
  8. Hi Wayne Light pollution is a real pain isn't it? There are filters available which should help a little but in your shoes I think I would accept that the back garden is going to provide compromised viewing and start looking around for a darker site nearby. Is it worth asking the care home to fit a shade to their security light so it only shines where they need it and not into your garden? It must be really difficult to balance the convenience and portability of a small scope against the better images of a bigger one. Personally, I find that portability isn't too big a problem, my C8 packs into 2 largish boxes plus the tripod plus 2 flight cases for eyepieces and the power supply. Ok, I have a Land Rover which swallows them very easily, but they will fit in the wife's mini too. A 10" newt will be fairly long I suppose but should still fit in the back of a car. Bite the bullet and get it done I say the images from a 10" will be worth the hassle I bet. Good luck either way. Rick.
  9. Minotaur

    Hi There

    Hi Dave, welcome to the forum. Good luck with the new scope and don't forget to post a first light report if you get a clear night at the weekend (fingers crossed). Rick
  10. A gross violation of the code of conduct
  11. Hi Cartmin. I'm thrilled that you found a hole in the clouds for your first look, I can't seem to find one! I'm a noob myself but I believe that you are asking about an erecting prism - these are designed to re-invert the image from the telescope so it has the correct orientation. This is only important if you want to use the scope for terrestrial viewing (houses would be the 'right way up' etc). Moving to a 2" eyepiece is useful for wide field views, upwards of a 32mm eyepiece I believe. The reason is that above 32mm, the field of view is wider at the eyepiece pupil than the body of a 1.25" eyepiece will allow. Hope that helps. Excellent first light report by the way. Rick
  12. Hello & welcome John. That rig of yours is gonna be sweeeeet! I've been trying to post a first light report for a week now, closest I got was setting up and then watching a dirty great cloud hide everything... Good luck. Rick
  13. Hi Rodolfo, welcome to SGL. Which part of Uruguay are you in? Montevideo / coastal or inland somewhere? I bet you can get wonderful dark skies. Rick.
  14. Hi Wayne, welcome to the forum. I'm sure you'll have a blast. Buying new toys is ALWAYS fun. Rick
  15. Hi all, I just spent the weekend at a wonderful dark sky location: An old hunting lodge in a North - South box valley near Martindale in the lake district. No electricity, not much light pollution (at the cost of a fairly tall horizon) and an observing platform at a reaonable elevation so trees weren't a problem. Saturday was a wash out with a thick blanket of cloud all day and all night. Sunday afternoon was sunny with broken cloud which steadily cleared as sunset approached. You can imagine my excitement as I started ferrying the gear outside and setting up (bearing in mind that this would have been first light for me and my newly acquired C8 (shouldn't it be called 'first dark'?)). Working carefully, I got everything assembled by about 8pm; just waiting for the skies to darken a little more and a stubborn bit of cloud to clear polaris so I could get the mount aligned. I could even see Jupiter standing brightly just over the head of the valley (at least I guess it was Jupiter - bright thing low in the sky a couple of points East of due South?). I really wish I could go on to tell you all about the wonderful night of observing which I felt was sure to follow. Sadly, the meteorological powers that be decided this was not to be my time and punished me for my hedonistic life by sending an infinitely large, infinitely dense bank of cloud across the valley from the SW which obscured with chilling efficiency all of the wonders I had so recently imagined viewing at greater than eyeball magnification for the very first time. Had there been any network coverage I would have hit speed dial 1 (Samaritans) for an antidote to the suicidal tendencies the cloud brought with it. In the absence of technology I resorted to an older and more basic therapy. After a couple of pints of gin & tonic and a gossip with my friends around the open fire, the atmosphere had cleared considerably (psychologically that is, the actual atmosphere was about as transparent as a coffin lid). I gave it until about 3am just in case there was a miracle in the wings and then bounced off every doorframe between the sofa and my bedroom, hiccupping quietly as I went. I'm sure this is a regular scenario for Stargazers everywhere and I apologise for moaning about something I'm sure I will accept with good grace in time, but right now I feel the need to rage against the celestial machine. Tell me it won't always be this way, or should I just move to Arizona? Rick
  16. Minotaur


    Hi Sunshine, I was born in Manchester so I know exactly what you mean about the clear skies. Welcome to the forum, you joining should improve the 14:1 male : female membership ratio (though only a bit). Can't help you with your questions I'm afraid (noob), if you don't get any responses in here you could try re-posting the question on the beginners help & advice board. All the best Rick
  17. Richie, you mentioned your Chinese colleagues....I work in China most of the time. What are you involved in? I generally find myself in the steel industry which is just bags of fun :? By the way, don't the clouds look lovely through a brand new, just assembled, can't wait to play with it C8??? Me? Bitter? Rick
  18. I had a feeling I would end up measuring it for myself - just hoped that someone on here might know and save me the trouble - wot a lazy git I turned out to be
  19. Hi all - I have a tricky question or 2 for you.... What is the base current consumption of a C8 SGT when sidereal tracking in RA only? What is the peak current consumption during a GoTo? I could do with knowing fairly precisely because I'm trying to achieve a balance between capacity, observation time & solar recharge time for a neat little set up I have just acquired. It's basically a sealed 12V 7Ah lead acid battery with a 10W solar panel for charging. I am going to be out in the wilds this weekend with no mains electricity and would like to work out in advance whether or not I will get a decent amount of observing from a full day's solar charging. If the capacity is marginal, as I suspect it will be, I can increase the battery capacity by about 30% and still get a full charge from 12 hours of sunlight. Any more than 30% and I will need to throw more solar panels at it. Everything depends on how thirsty the scope / mount combination is.....hence the questions. :? Thanks in advance. Rick
  20. Pete, yes I'm very pleased to report that I have a 2007 Repsol Fireblade (complete nutcase of a bike) and a 1997 CBR900RR Fireblade track bike which recently got a good thrashing round Croft racing circuit near Darlington. Nice to meet a fellow biker - even if you don't currently have a bike, it's in your blood. Not convinced that biking and astronomy will be very comfortable bedfellows - mentally pictures a Fireblade with a scope bungee'd to it :shock: Rick
  21. Hi Adrian and welcome to SGL, home of the best and friendliest astronomers on the planet. Unfortunately, I am in no way qualified to address your aperture issue but there will be plenty of opinions and advice arriving soon. The experts in the forum will be much better able to help you if can define more precisely what use you have in mind for the scope - planetary / DSO / observing / imaging etc... Rick
  22. You could do with a few more wires on that rig couldn't you Steve? Rick
  23. Hi all I'm in Redcar which used to be North Yorkshire, does that count?
  24. Hi leejfc, welcome to the forum. I used to drive through Norwich in a past life on my way to Great Yarmouth for the pool competitions. It's nice round there if I recall. Rick
  25. Hi Pete, welcome to SGL. I'm heading over to the lakes myself this weekend - friend of mine has the use of a victorian hunting lodge which apparently Kaiser Bill used to visit prior to becoming exceptionally unwelcome around 1914. I'll look for you at the top of Kirkstone cos the weather is going to be fan-flamin-tastic. Positive mental attitude is the key.... Rick
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