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DirkSteele last won the day on August 12

DirkSteele had the most liked content!

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About DirkSteele

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Astronomy has been a part of my life since I was 3 years old, so I have been looking up for about 30 years, and using telescopes for about 25 years. My education followed a similar path and I left University having studied Physics and Astrophysics at both Undergrad and Masters level. I was also a founder member of the University Astronomy society and held the position of president in my last year of undergrad and continued on as treasurer in my masters year. My interest now is primarily visual astronomy.

    I currently own 7 telescopes, and the list clearly shows that I am a refractor man. The pride and joy of the collection is a 7" Triplet Apo (f/7) from APM in Germany, as well as 2 smaller Triplets (TMB 115 f/7 and the APM TMB 105 f/6.2 which is my primary travel scope). I also own three ultra portable Takahashi fluorite doublet Apos, the FS-60 CB & FS-60Q,as well as the FC-76 for those times when the 105 is a bit too large to take with me. Rounding out the collection is my oldest scope, the Celestron Nexstar 11 GPS.

    As well as writing reviews and other astro-related content for my own site, Alpha-Lyrae.co.uk, I have also begun contributing content to Astronomy Now magazine, with my first equipment review appearing in January 2018 issue.

    I love to cook (and eat!), and also collect retro video games, though prices recently have gone through the roof, so that has taken a bit of a back seat.
  • Location
    London, UK
  1. What is the minimum length of the OTA for transportation? Wondering if it could be a good travelling telescope.
  2. DirkSteele

    Takahashi FC-76Q Review

    Thanks! Glad you liked it.
  3. DirkSteele

    Takahashi FC-76Q Review

    Never one to tell someone how to spend their money, but....
  4. Perhaps a bit of fun here, as it is not exactly an off-the-shelf scope (though Takahashi did sell 30 units in 2016 to coincide with the Mars opposition) but it is something that can be put together by using the 1.7x CQ module from the FS-60Q and the FC-76 DCU (split tube version). I was quite surprised by this as I thought the CQ module was specifically designed for the FS-60, but had I actually read the manual that comes with the FC-76 objective unit, I would have discovered this was possible long ago. But now during 2018, I have spent quite a bit of time and aggregated my thoughts into a review which is on the link. http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2018/12/07/takahashi-fc-76q-review/ Feedback always appreciated.
  5. DirkSteele

    Where to mount a red dot finder?

    Great. Sorry about the delay, been incredibly busy. Glad you found my reviews useful. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
  6. DirkSteele

    Where to mount a red dot finder?

    I will measure it all later and let you know.
  7. DirkSteele

    Where to mount a red dot finder?

    As @Stu mentioned I have used a single tube ring which matches the diameter of the feathertouch to provide a base for the finder. Means I can rotate in to position. See photo.
  8. For cool down concerns, the alternative to keeping in a cool garage for example is to insulate the scope. Some good success stories on line about that.
  9. Wow, that is what you call a write up. Sounds like an amazing night. Every time I read one of these NV reports, I find myself thinking about a purchase!
  10. DirkSteele

    Takahashi FS-60Q - worth it or not?

    I cannot add much more than you have read in my reviews but I will say that several years later, I still love them and stand by the opinions and conclusions. The only combo I have not reviewed yet is the FC-76Q (with the extender) but I do have a half written review sitting on my hard drive (spoiler it is also quite good). So your plan would serve you well I think.
  11. I use the Princton Tec Remix, always starts on the low red setting regardless of last setting used, and so long as you wait 2 secs, a second button press switches off. So no danger of white light. http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2017/03/26/princeton-tec-remix-red-led-headlamp-review/
  12. DirkSteele

    2018 Astronomy photograph of the year winners.

    Hard to pick a favourite out of those shown. But the winner of "Our Sun" did make me say "wow" out loud.
  13. When ever I plan holidays which will include some stargazing, I try to time them between 3rd quarter and 1st which maximises the hours of darkness and at the smaller phases it is less intrusive when in the sky. However, in climates with less reliable weather, I will take what ever I can get, full Moon or not. There are other targets which are less impacted by light pollution, natural or otherwise, such as double stars.
  14. DirkSteele

    Your thoughts on a scope thinning please.....

    Keep the 103 and the short tube 80mm in addition to the 10" scope. My thinking is that the 103 is a good compliment to the 10" but the ST-80 is portable in a way that none of the other scopes are, and even though it would be optical inferior to the 80mm f/11, it can be the ultra portable scope you can take away (fitting in a back pack) when you have no capacity to take something bigger. I might have come to this conclusion as I quite like small scopes and also travel a lot for astro so value the small size.
  15. I agree. Sometimes even a Google does not find the answer. In the process of reviewing a scope at the moment and while I did find one site with the info it was wrong, so I resorted to subtracting the difference of me holding the scope and not on the bathroom scales.

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