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DirkSteele last won the day on August 12 2018

DirkSteele had the most liked content!

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About DirkSteele

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    Brown 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. Turn Left at Orion is also a beginners book that many, including myself, think is a great intro to the hobby of stargazing.
  2. Your collection becomes yet more impressive.
  3. In the public consciousness all telescopes are refractors. Which means eyepiece at the bottom. Next exhibit in the evidence for such a claim. The Iberia Airlines business class magazine from 2016.
  4. Fortunately nothing terrible has happened to my equipment though I have heard scopes crash to the ground at star parties thanks to a sudden gust of wind. However, I did experience one heart stopping moment with one of the university scopes. It was during my masters astrophysics project (photometry of T-Tauri stars) and my project partner and I were in the warm room controlling the data capture. The system was not completely remotely controlled. Pointing was done at the scope but the dome and camera were controlled from the warm room. We had just completed a data run on one star and were moving onto the next. Fortunately no one had gone back to the dome to move the telescope on, but I decided to nudge the dome opening on to roughly the next stop (we had become very familiar with the relative positions of all our target stars). Hit the button to move and the top began to move and then B.A.N.G!!! Sounded like a gun going off. The dome was moved by series of motors and high tension cables and one had failed quite spectacularly. Rushing over to the dome, cables had ripped out all over the place, one even wrapping round the scope. Immediately ran back to the warm room and called our project supervisor who drove in. Took us about an hour to untangle everything and close up the dome. Luckily repairs were made quite quickly and the scope was up and running in only a few days. But just in that moment, our hearts skipped a beat. But I got a first for the project so alls well that ends well!
  5. I would actually like to see the introduction of technologies already in existence, to the amateur astronomy community. Astronomy is all about contrast and we have black paint, knife edge baffles, some flock their scopes. But none of that match the light absorbing qualities of VantaBlack. It’s about time it was used in telescopes. Canon have developed Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics which is an organic compound which allows for better control of deep blue light reducing longitudinal chromatic aberration. Would be interesting to see that applied to refractors.
  6. Just a bit extra magnification really. I bought for my Tak FS-60 which could easily support the extra power, but also used it with my FC-76 as well.
  7. That looks nice. Would quite like to give that a try.
  8. Whoops! Got to love the typos. Even reading it through several times, some still slip past. Perhaps it was Freudian?
  9. That is a fantastic comparison review. Never come across that before. Tom really knew how to test them and write it up.
  10. I guess it goes to show, a bit like binoculars, eyepiece enjoyment is also a slightly personal thing. One observers treasure is another’s trash.
  11. Considering the the Nagler Zooms have been available for almost two decades, there is a real lack of reviews online, though I often see threads asking about them. Having bought the 3-6mm zoom as part of my travel set up with my APM LZOS 105/650 triplet back in 2012, I have quite a bit of experience with it (and the shorter focal length sibling, the 2-4mm which I purchased a few years later), so I have decided to put fingers to keyboard and summarise my thoughts on this unusual eyepiece. Review is on the link below: http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2020/05/16/tele-vue-nagler-zoom-eyepiece-review/ Feedback always appreciated, and I hope those who are curious, find it useful. Clear skies,
  12. I really need to learn to smile. Most people would have a beaming grin the day they took delivery of that scope! Given the weight of the 180, as awesome as the 200 would be, I would never be able to travel with it.
  13. Only attended Saturday this year but thought the presentations were excellent. I was a bit disappointed with the exhibition but as I am not really in the market for any new equipment (other than maybe NV which was not on show) perhaps I did not look as close as I might otherwise have.
  14. Not seen in that photo, a wannabe night vision contingent member.
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