Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

  • Announcements



Advanced Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1,196 Excellent


About DirkSteele

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf
  • Birthday March 9

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    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.

    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. Some of you may recall a thread I created back in May about my Astro-themed wedding cake. I had proposed under the dark starry skies of Namibia with a telescope pointed at Saturn and we decided to keep that astronomy theme going with a cake which featured many of our favourite constellations and a Lyra cake topper. Well my wife surprised me this morning with a wonderful gift that memorialises that cake. She commissioned a Christmas tree ornament modelled on the cake so we will have a wonderful reminder of the cake at the end of each year. Having only put the tree up at the weekend, I quickly moved a few baubles to make room for the newest addition to our tree. The talented individual behind this is Clare Basham and she can be found at http://www.clarebashamdesigns.co.uk/cake-replicas.html The Christmas Bauble The Wedding Cake
  2. Ioptron AZ Pro Update

    I would have tended to agree with you based on some early experience I had with it. However I flashed the latest firmware on to the mount and controller recently and things seem to have improved but to early too say by how much. Some of the issues I experienced should never have been in a product released to the public. At best the firmware originally was an alpha build.
  3. That is a really interesting piece of work. Wish I had an Achro to try it with as the writer did. Be interesting to see if there is meaningful difference for Apos as well, given that some Apos are more Apo than others.
  4. I have seen reports on-line of it being done (with a Tak TSA 102), but they were located at more southerly locations where Sirius was higher in the sky. From the UK it is a rather tricky with so much murky and turbulent atmosphere in the way.
  5. Speaking as someone who did sprain his wrist once picking up the 180mm triplet APM, I can certainly appreciate the cautious approach needed when hoisting one of these big refractors onto a mount! You are certainly building an enviable set of scopes.
  6. There a book on that topic. http://www.willbell.com/tm/refractor-telescope.htm Quite want to read it myself though I doubt I have the technical ability to complete the project,
  7. I own the LZOS 105/650 and am a huge fan as a visual travel scope. I love the 10mm Delos in it. That gives a 65x mag and 1.1 deg field which is nice mid power EP, good for framing some of the larger DSOs like the Double Cluster, and just as a general use EP. For much wider field if you wanted that, the 21mm Ethos is great (but very expensive) giving 31x and 3.2 deg field. More modest is the 24mm Panoptic at 27x and 2.4 deg. For Planetary/Lunar observing I will often use a 4.5mm Delos but this only gives 144x. I have found myself more recently using my Nagler 3-6mm Zoom which gives 108-216x and allows rapid changes in magnification when a moment of atmospheric tranquility allows for boosting the power. All of these recommendations are Tele Vue and not cheap but then neither is an LZOS made lens. However, there are plenty of more modestly priced EPs that will do a decent job in the scope.
  8. High power eyepiece for TAK100DL

    I am a big fan of the short focal length Delos as well, and as others have said, the Delites also have a great reputation but I have not been fortunate enough to use one yet. If you can deal with the small apparent field of view, one of the TMB supermonocentric EPs are reputed to have incredible planetary performance, though only available second hand now. I have had quick goes from time to time with them and they are great, but it can feel like looking through a drinking straw.
  9. I won a pair of these in an astro-themed pub quiz a couple of years ago and reviewed them on my site. They are really good value and even more so at the discounted price. The Review: http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2015/07/04/opticron-oregon-15x70-binoculars-review/
  10. Hubble Image not Possible!

    I always make a note when I am far enough south to check if I can watch the HST pass over ahead. When I was in Namibia in 2016 I was watching one pass with a predicted magnitude of around +2.5 when it suddenly and very much unexpectedly flared to around -5 for a few seconds before returning to normal. Must have been in just the right place to catch a glint off a reflective surface.
  11. I will add that to my Christmas wish list.
  12. Takahashi Mewlon 210

    Like those above me, I have also been intrigued by the Tak Mewlon and look forward to reading more about your experiences with the scope.
  13. Your best ever view through your bins

    For me it is probably scanning the central Milky Way with the Vixen SG 2.1x42 bins in Namibia. It must be what an owl (or Superman) sees when they look to that part of the sky. Simply stunning! I wanted to capture the memory of that so took an Astro-selfie of sorts while doing it.
  14. Very nice report. I have been spending a lot of time with a pair of binoculars over the last month for a review and it has been a lot of fun. I sometimes forget how rewarding observing with bins can be but this was a good reminder.