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About BiG JiLM

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    Sth Warks, UK.
  1. IMO forget these pretty costly 1st plossl upgrades & first off try an Astroboot 8-24 zoom (actually I think its prob 7mm-23mm in use) £25 almost new cond: vg optics generally (Im pretty sure its on a par with +£50 plossls, min) v solid quality, eye relief is v good/ none of that peeping thru a pinhole 8mm nonsense, and a wider field of view too. Bit of a lump and v edges of view are not perfect (it is a zoom) but hey imo you cant go wrong. I just use this- all my EPs inc a 8mm & 32mm plossls are redundent.
  2. I have one and I think its a decent scope. I dont really agree with above comms on it- too harsh (apart from the tripod middle section which is too flimsy yes) Ive made a nice solid wood tripod to replace all below the head section. The main bits tho are fine & unlilely to break with normal care/ unless you throw it around: its well designed/ clearly from a good US Co & considering its only £150 its adequately made and the optics are good. The RDF I can use just fine, with a bit of practice, and the motordrive works great IMO too. Its just fine.
  3. I'm throwing a small spanner in here re EP's (for beginners' 1st upgrade type EPs that is).. I upped my cheapo 10mm/ 20mm ones for next step up types so a Vixen NPL 8mm and a 25mm meade super plossl; so £55. Tbh they were in quality no different at all to my bog std 'came-with' cheapos as I may have mentioned b4- really a waste of money. I'll put it down to a beginer's mistake, but after all the info suggested.. mm Im not quite sure. Anyway going on instinct & nowt else I plumped for an Astroboot 8x24 zoom ('from a spotting scope') a complete shot in the dark as Id no idea how a "8x24" spotting scope EP relates to scope EP numbers (ie 8mm-24mm??) or if suitable at all really. Now this is -miles- better made.Its also a bit crisper & brighter than the Vixen npl (darker than my cheapo 10mm/ eh? & uncomfortably short eye relief too) very comfortable with vg eye relief/ good solid rubber eyecup, plus a wider field of view too. Approx 7mm-23mm Id say. Only £20 so an absolute bargain surely.
  4. I just marker-penned the end of my AAA mini maglite, seems to work ok! nail varnish or a bit of red diffuser sounds a plan if i can find.
  5. Well I saw it for my 1st time on sat night via a pretty basic 130 reflector, in good seeing cnds Id say, so I assume yours will be a bit better, but for an idea: with a 32mm plossl + 2xbarlow I saw it quite clearly and about 3cm wide (that being call it 'about 20cms away from my eye' as it were) so maybe expect about 3/4" wide? Thats probably completely useless spiel but it makes sense to me as a newbie so it might you too! a fun galactic goose chase finding it, as much as it was viewing it. Its a mere small smudge-with-glowy-middle for me, but a mighty interesting one.
  6. I have very little knowledge compared to all here. I did spot something today tho which might fit your bill: Ikharos 70mm ED refractor + its case/ would fit in a backpack & apparantly VG for dso. It looked serious quality (compared to my big cheapo-but-fine newtzilla then) the focuser esp so. S/h £200 + a 90*EP mirror thingy + small finder thingy. Ive no idea if a good deal but so compact ~10" long. It looked and felt like an item made of proper solid stuff/ made to last. japanese made- i think. really very nice indeed.
  7. Lordy even these monster-dobs look so (relatively) simple in construction/ design: DIY has to be the way to go. I hope whoever lands this godzillascope will share it with (responsible) kids on occasions and not burrow themselves away on their tod.
  8. Ah ok- was just a hunch. I will go with the focus into and out of object to check as a basic (primary mirror) collimation test. Interesting that if one is nerdy enough one can tell precisely which of the world's big-gun scope the image has been taken through, IE the Keck's 6 vanes! that's proper astro-nerdy-nuts.
  9. Thats interesting I'll test that idea when I focus- may be a useful trick to save some faffing/ time. And 'Diff spikes' is a far more experienced expression than 'star cross'. Great- It will make me sound more impressive. Cheers Moonshane- glad the MonsterDob is doing the biz, must've been hugely satisfying to focus your 1st object- I can only equate to s'thing like getting the 1st notes from a guitar valve amp build, thats pretty special.
  10. Aha thanks Moonshane- yes I did notice it when I switched to Venus the smallest object I was viewing and Betelguese. Quite like it tbh. Btw Ive yet to trawl your 16" dob build.. but help me cut to the chase- how goes it? has it blown your noggin/ as expected etc?
  11. I still wonder why I only saw it once, does it not only occur when conditions allow? or do you expect to see it on Newts most times you observe with this design of scope? Im not asking how to be away with it at all- I rather like it, but only seen once: as said my Q is why.
  12. I noticed early this Am that on a V bright star, Betelgeuse I think it was, or Venus or maybe both.. I got this rather nice star '4 cross' effect from the object a bit like one sees in a hubble pic for eg (or from fillum lights iircc, fresnels? anyway I know the reason cos Im clevererer now, that being light diffracting around the scope's 4 spider vanes, but I wonder: as nice an effect it is, can it be seen in any way as an indication/ a barometer if you wlll of the scope being well collimated? And/ or an indication of good seeing conditions? or just a flare so not much more than just a nice effect. Just a thought- noticed for 1st time only after my 1st efforts at collimating you see. thanks JiLm.
  13. Hi chaps- thanks for the replies, Moonshane your bigboy thread is a bigboy itself all of 18pages! but very interesting, I shall peruse when Im more atuned to the very basics, such as your 6" build -very much the idea I had a rough formulation of- and burucen's link too. I am still slightly confused on the principle of the side bearings (the base rotator plates are straightfwd to see) in Brucen's link, and perhaps these then the std model for smaller dobs. Bearings is a term I can only ascociate with balls, in grease, and smooth metal sections moving against each other etc etc. But these simple side 'bearings' are what two lamnate faced wood pieces directly rubbing against each other? surely there must be more to it than that- I just ant see how that would work due to friction and jerkyness etc. Thanks JiLm
  14. Another term for the scope's 'dob brace' / to help ID what I mean might be "Princess Leia Hair Buns".
  15. Hi- Ive been trawling through here hoping to see a diy dobsonian mount build (maybe for a 10" or 8" SW150/ 200 say, along these lines). In diy terms they seem a relatively simple thing to make. Can anyone point me to a thread if Ive missed it? As Im a newcomer, but already setting sites on upgrading as I know Ive found a stalwart new hobby (should've done 15yrs ago!), can you tell me.. can I buy say a std SW 150 'just the OTA w'out EQ or dob braces' (ie just a bare tube with optics) and assuming the pivot sections on the OTA for a dobsonian are relatively simple, is it poss to buy a 'dob brace' to attatch around its midriff? ie for the two pivot points either side of OTA that attach to the dob mount. If this is possible maybe therefore then build a dob base. I ask as it seems the very best bang-for-buck plan on paper, my funds are tight- but my DIY skills pretty good. Sorry if terms are not correct such as 'dob brace' but I can only describe as best what I mean w'out a heap more knowledge. cheers JiLm
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