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About bish777

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    Liverpool, UK
  1. I purchased this focuser to replace the terrible focuser supplied with my Startravel 150. Out of the box the weight of the thing surprised me. This is one big chunk of ally! It is much heavier than the original focuser which on the 150 is a blessing as the scope is very nose heavy. It shifts the weight back and whilst the overall weight increases makes the scope far easier to handle. It is finished a wonderful gloss black and on the surface the machining looks very neat and well done. The focuser is rotatable by slackening off a knob on top of the unit and there is a tensioning knob on the bottom for heavy loads. The fast and slow knobs are very nice, giving a very smooth focusing action. There is a little notchiness when the draw tube is extended quite a way but when using a diagonal it is not noticable. The draw tube and the supplied 1 1/4"adaptor use compression rings. Fitting is easy, undo three bolts at the end of the scope, pull off the old focuser and fit the new in the reverse order. All in all very pleased- great upgrade for the startravel and evostar scopes.
  2. I did get the startravel in the end, review in the equipment section!
  3. The focuser makes all the difference-the slow speed knob really helps on the bright stuff combined with the filter. I just love the huge field of view and the way faint fuzzies leap out so easily even with some light pollution. I had struggled with my previous maksutov (starmax 102) which was the complete opposite, not easy for fainties but winderful on the planets.
  4. I bought the skywatcher branded unit, superb starter -probably one of the cheapest ways to get a genunely useful telescope.
  5. Hi guys, I am after a tripod to mount my Giro III + Startravel 150 (7-8Kg+4.5kg counterweight) setup that is nice and steady. Any recommendations? Budget is up to the £100 mark.
  6. Are you thinking of the flextube?
  7. Hi all, A few months ago I purchased a Startravel 150 as my main form of transport is a motorbike and reflectors didn't seem to like the bouncing and vibrations much, necessitating a lot of collimation! I hoped that a refractor would stand up to the pounding better. Since I've owned the refractor it seems to have stood up very well and I haven't noticed anything untoward. The scope itself is finished in a very nice metal flake black on the tube and the lens cell is in a satin white paint. The paint on the tube itself seems very strong and wear resistant, however the paint on the lens cell is soft and flakes where the dew shield mounts. The lenses look very nice and have very nice looking coatings (not that I have any idea what a great coating should look like ). The inside of the tube is well blacked and the baffles dont intrude into the lightpath as far as I can tell. I had heard this was an issue with earlier incarnations of this telescope. My main gripe with the telescope as it came out of the box was with the focuser. To be frank it is Rubbish. It is a basic rack and pinion unit and it very notchy and sloppy. I was also unable to stop the drawtube from slopping up and down and side to side quite a bit. I quickly replaced this with a crayford focuser-skywatchers own but there are also several more available should you want a fancier one. Optical performance is generally pretty good-no noticable vignetting even with a big 42mm eyepeiece and the field seems reasonably flat with no serious distortions that i could make out. The 42mm Plossl gives a huge field of view, so much that a finder is almost unnecessary! Stars are nice sharp pins, with only a little CA on bright blue'uns. Seems to work nicely on DSOs with lovely contrast. I had been warned that such a fast achro would produce some nasty CA and it is there-it isn't bothersome on the moon with only a slight fringe and tint. Jupiter is quite badly fringed and covered in a blue haze. I purchased a Baader Fringe Killer and this does get rid of most of it. Whilst the filter does impart a yellow tint, the result is good and details can be made out. The fringe killer also improves things with the moon and I can't wait to try it out on the other planets! I mount the scope on a Teleoptik Giro III-as the scope is fairly short and nose heavy it needs careful balancing, but once done is beautifully simple to swing around and point at the night sky. The tube weighs 7kg ish as is and is not a bit heavier with the more substantial crayford focuser. The heavier crayford does help the balancing by moving the centre of gravity rearward a bit. The cope is supplied with a 2" star diagonal and the usual 10mm and 25mm Skywatcher SuperMA (kellner?) eyepieces. The 25mm is actually very nice but the 10mm is a little mushy. To sum up: The Good- Wide field of view Great for DSO Easy to point The so so- Viewing the planets really needs a filter, Baader Fringe Killer for example. Paint on the lens cell is a bit soft-the dew shield interface isn't great. The Bad- The focuser is junk. Replace it with any of the available crayfords to save your sanity.
  8. I used to, may have to invest in another!
  9. Looking at the big Skywatcher Startravel 150 myself, fracs stand up to being lugged around on a motorbike better mirror jobbers it seems.
  10. Hi all, Relative newcomer to amateur astronomy, living in Liverpool. I've attended the Liverpool AS a few times and like to get out under the stars when I can! Currently in the process of buying a big refractor!
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