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tinvek

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Everything posted by tinvek

  1. first of all hi as i've not logged in for a while anyway last wednesday on the spur of the moment i tried the waterproof panasonic camera through a hyperion 8 -25 zoom on the skywatcher 250 dobs and to be honest the results were better than i expected apart from my misspelling of hyperion on the video end titles, the only other problems being the shaking due to unsteady hands and if you're watching on a large screen a strange effect were some craters move and others do not which i assume was due to relfections, apart from that the detail really surprised me especially on a 42 " or larger screen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA2gmJ0Vn_A
  2. took me by surprise, was first time out with a scope in ages ( hello, been ages since i was on here) i was at the Ex's house to show her saturn and was showing my son when the I.S.S. appeared. I was using the C80 on an AZ3 for portability and that actually worked out well, with one of us aiming whilst the other observed, my son and I managed to both get a decent look at the I.S.S. at about 50X magnification. the brightness washed out details (try a filter next time?) but we could make out the general shape of the body and see the solar arrays. now we've sussed how to do it we'll try again, using a filter and i'll see if i can offset the finder scope, or a red dot, further from the eye piece as it was a bit cramped, but the AZ or a decent photography tripod and mount seems to be a good way of instinctively tracking it
  3. can;t see why some form of counter balance won't work, i wouldn't recomend it but i needed to take a reasonable sized scope to work one night and didn;t wan to mess round aligning an EQ mount durring our half hour dinner break (is it really dinner at midnight?) so i tried my skywatcher 150p on my AZ3 and it wasn't that bad once i'd got it balanced (though i did leave the legs retracted) if you want to just try and see how well a counter balance works, try hanging something from the end of the scope, if it works ok then wrist weights may be a simple answer, there was a post somewhere of how someone made a counter balance rod and bracket for their AZ 3, if you've got access to a drill. saw and a vice you could probably put something together very cheaply.
  4. the one thing that really gets my goat (or any other farm animal) is when the sun or moon either rises or sets going in the wrong direction, i.e. show is in northern hemisphere yet the sun sets going from north to west. of course it would explain why the polar icecap is melting if the sun passes over it each day. BBC really wind me up by doing it on some science shows.
  5. lol, these meade telescope shave many strange properties. there's been one of these for sale on the notice board of the co op where i work for the last 18 months, in that time the price has fallen from £160 to £125 and the scope has changed from an 80mm reflecting and refracting telescope, through a 80mm reflector to now a 90 mm refractor !! i'm almost been tempted to go view it a few times just to see what the hell it really is
  6. if you don't grab these , you'll regret it if you ever get the chance to try some !!
  7. mum was a deputy head in a primary school for years and i help out with the odd project at times. i'd say refractor just for ease of viewing, ideally a goto just because it would allow the kids to find things with supervision ( and it avoids teacher etc looking an idiot when they cant find mars straight away) setup time is also going to be important ( which favours a refractor over a reflector again) but needs to be balanced against the setup being stable enough to stand the childrens stumbles etc. a pernament pier would be ideal even if the mount still had to be fitted to it each time, the setup time will be reduced and the whole setup would be far more stable. maybe some form of padding to wrap round it would help aswell. talking of wrapping up, try and base the club in a warm classroom etc that is a short walk from the scope so they don't get too cold. (though adults seem to feel it far more than kids) on a simliar theme some red lighting would be a good safety idea and a few red light torches. maybe a laser pointer would also help to show them constellations etc. most important thing though is have a plan of what is going to be done with the equipment. moon, jupiter, mars, saturn etc are great for the first couple of times but to a casual observer they never seem to change unless you can prompt them to notice it, maybe get them to drawn jupiter and it's moons each time to they see the difference ? (thats one big splot of paint and 4 little ones plus what looks like the big bang where they knocked the paint over) finally i'd guess that eyepieces with good eye relief would avoid problems both for children that wear glasses and give a bit of a safety margin from them geting an eyepiece in the eye when they lean forward too quickly. finally finally don't forget books but be carefull not to get their hopes too high with fantastic images before they use the scope.
  8. focuser on a 10" solid skywatcher is approx 48" high when looking straight up
  9. GF just saw this thread title and got all excited till she realised it said DOB. i think she's trying to tell me something
  10. +1 about the celestron 15 x 70 being the dog's danglies, you only have to look at the huge thread about them to see how highly regarded they are. http://stargazerslounge.com/sponsor-announcements-offers/110121-celestron-skymaster-15x70-reduced.html the only problem is they are fair size and ideally need to be supported even if it's just by resting one's elbows on something which may be a problem if it's either a relative who is a bit frail / weak
  11. forgot to say earlier the best scope is the one that you will use the most so if you are in any doubts about shifting a 12" round then i'd say go for a small size, it's no good having that extra aperture if you find yourself thinking that it's not worth the effort of dragging it out and letting it cool down because the nights not going to be perfect -, far better to have 2" less but be willing to set it up just for an hours use.
  12. if you're going to get the best of any finder it needs to be consistent in it's alignment with your scope, nothing worse than having to re align it every time you use it or after you've touche dit. why not buy a spare telrad base ? only about £8.00 a time
  13. i've got a 10" dob and i'd say that it's at the limit of what can be regularly carried without seperating the base from the OTA.
  14. just to add that even if you think you don't need a pair of these, get a pair and you'll be surprised how soon they become an essential.
  15. i just caught the end of the second episode on BBC4, this week it was copernicus's diagram of the solar system. from what i saw looks quite good, next week's show is about newton.
  16. if you mean the scopes up and down is not directly up and down the face of the moon and that the moon appears to move left or right as you go up or down, then probably your mount isn't level, if you just mean the features of the moon, then just like jupiter, their orientation alters depending on where in the sky the moon is
  17. i bought a scope for my son a couple of years ago and after some consideration went for something that not only performed as an astro and terrestial scope but also looked like what a young child thinks a scope should look like, additionally a scope of this layout is far more instinctive to aim for a young child. anyway i went for the skywatcher mercury 705 mentioned above, predicatbly his enthusiasm for astonomy was waned a bit but the scope still gets lots of use looking at passing ships etc, something i'm not so sure would have happened with a reflector. i did a review of the scope and it's mount at the time, it's a bit broken up as to be honest i'd set out just to get a cheap portable mount but it'll give you an idea of what the scops like. http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-reviews/74865-first-light-skywatcher-az3-mount-skywatcher-mercury-705-a.html p.s. following on from my closing comments, the mercury still lives in the boot of my car at work, still gets used when i have a chance and still delivers acceptable views
  18. this is always my first object of choice to show someone who's never looked through a scope, i use a 4 point plan to impress them 1, get them to look at it with their naked eyes 2, let them look at it through bins 3, let them look at it through the 10" dobs 4, catch them when they fall backwards
  19. +1 about refractors, i've got a 250 skwatcher dobs and a c80 ed refracto rand despite its smallerdiameter and having half the focal length, the c80ed gives better views of planets anyday ( er any night )
  20. bought my son a HP netbook for his birthday, obviously it hasn't got any astro stuff on it but it seems to cope pretty well with downloading and converting videos off you tube ( blumming i carly !! ) so i'd assume it would handle data gathering and mount control ok. also beware that some netbooks don't appear to be able to power an external DVD drive through their USB ports, obviously not a problem for astro use but worth being aware of the model i bought was HP Mini 210-1000sa Netbook - Netbooks | Ebuyer.com if powered USB isn't a problem, may be worth trying one of these, Zoostorm Netbook - Netbooks | Ebuyer.com zoostorm are usually pretty good in my experience, bought a desktop (does anyone put them on desktops any more ?) a few years ago and despite being half the price of the equivent HP model, it's still coping with the latest games etc and is turning in better frames per sesond on iracing than some of the latest I7 rigs with more modern graphics cards
  21. prinz 500r newt, 84mm d 750 f from about 1971 when i was 8. still have it, sits in my bedroom and gets used occasionally throught the window just before i go to bed. when i came back to astronomy was a skywatcher 150 on an eq 3-2 which had been modified with a meade autostar goto system. mount gets used occasionally, ota gets used a bit more when someone wants me to take a scope to their house etc to see "the stars" usually it ends up on an AZ3 of all things and actually works pretty well like that
  22. saturn, jupiter, the moon, the orion nebula and the pleiades always give me a wow moment when i look at them, anything new has the same effect but those 5 always and everytime but especially the moon. we tend to take it for granted (and moan about it being too bright) but it is so stunning and as you up the magnification there's just more and more detail and there's something about the black and white and shades of grey nature of it that adds to that stand out clarity.
  23. saw this on iplayer ( called secrets of the universe ) when i was looking for something to watch this morning on my phone, haven't got far into it as i was waiting foe less than i expected but looks pretty good BBC iPlayer - Secrets of the Universe EDIT: it's repeated on BBC 3 at 3.15 am saturday 6th november
  24. nice idea, hopefully you can retype a fuller description / details when you feel up to it
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