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Everything posted by jonathan

  1. I have a refractor in a set of CNC rings which have screw holes already present, I think these are probably for mounting a guide scope however I'd like to mount a red dot finder instead to complement the 10x50 finder. Does anyone know what finder mounting bracket I could get that would fit these holes, or what I could do to make one fit? It needs to be low profile so that the scope will fit in its case, I will remove the finder when storing the scope so a quick release type is what I'm after, something like this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/finders/finder-mounting-shoe.html but preferably in black. Here's the scope: I want to avoid using a single screw as this seems like it could easily lose alignment. Also not sure what size screws I will need, I have some but haven't tried them yet (and don't have a finder mounting bracket to test with).
  2. Forgot about astroboot, will have a look, thanks!
  3. No, sorry, that is totally different to what the 8SE comes with. This is what it looks like (except I would want the bracket only and with a flat edge instead of curved). https://www.astronomics.com/images/Product/large/3941.jpg Hmm, looking at the second bracket there it does appear to have a flat profile underneath, I might investigate that whole Red Dot Finder as an option just to get the bracket if it's cheap enough.
  4. I'm looking for a mounting bracket similar to the one that comes with the 8SE for the supplied basic red dot finder, it is to go on a tube ring which already has five screw holes in it along a flat section (presumably for guide scopes etc). The holes seem to have odd spacing, from centre to centre they are 11mm, 19mm, 19mm, 11mm, and between holes it is 5mm, 12mm, 12mm, 5mm, according to my approximate measurements. I just want to be able to fit my existing red dot finder to this scope as well as my 8SE, but for the life of me I don't seem to be able to buy that little mount that comes with the 8SE, curved base or not (I need a flat base or one that can fit either style). Thank you in advance!
  5. I like it, however how do you carry a few at once securely, how do you store them, and how do you know what's in each bag?
  6. I bought it from a car boot sale for about £5, bought the foam for £8, bargain. Just need to decide on layout now. I may just put in the eyepieces, filters and star diagonal for now.
  7. My current eyepiece case has become rather crowded, the other day I came across a potential replacement case which I thought looked slightly larger so bought some new foam for it, now I have the opportunity to lay out my eyepiece collection in a more organised manner, just thought I'd run this past my fellow eyepiece case owners for a bit of advice. The new case came with a foam flap in the lid which I thought I might be able to use for observing notes, instruction manuals, maybe a few tools. I'll probably need to cut the foam to fit my A4 documents or small books. I can't decide whether I should put some bits that I wouldn't use at most observing sessions such as the extension tube in a different case (maybe the old case with new foam), or try to squeeze it all into one case. I would likely place the dew controller vertical which would save some space, maybe the smaller black cable could go next to it. The foam isn't pluck or cubed, I'll be cutting out the shapes all the way through as there is a separate 20mm layer of foam underneath this one.
  8. Are you kidding? I saw loads tonight - stars, starbursts, rockets, whizz-bangs... I was quite amazed at how well the bonfires stood up to the frequent passing heavy showers, I stood at the top of the garden with a view across the valley for a while under an umbrella. Doubt there is much chance of a dry night here in the East, showers coming down all night and all tomorrow from the looks of things.
  9. Thanks, I really like the cool bag idea, otherwise very similar (same battery too, just about) to what I had in mind. The converter you bought probably just contains the same circuit, the metal casing will be for cooling.
  10. I'm wondering about using a 12V battery with my CG-4 (EQ3-2), and came across this tiny circuit that should be able to supply 6v 2A from a 12v battery, has anyone experience of using these types of step-down circuit? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/POLOLU-2575-2A-6V-Step-Up-Step-Down-Voltage-Regulator-S18V20F6-uk-stock-/191925035657?hash=item2caf9fa289:g:g1EAAOSwtnpXi-A3 Seems like it would be a good idea even for 12v - 12v to have such a circuit in-line, no more sloppy power problems when the battery runs out of volts. I don't normally run any additional items with the CG-4, but if I did then they would be 12v (e.g. dew heater) and could be run directly from the battery for maximum power.
  11. Looks like the Explore Scientific gets the thumbs up then. I think it may be time to re-foam my eyepiece case.
  12. I am seriously looking at this Baader Hyperion 68 degree 13mm eyepiece as a high power for my SCT and in-between power for my 150P Skywatcher newtonian and the refractor, seems like a good solid eyepiece that should work in all of my scopes, even if the 'quality' is more than is necessary for the SCT. I have a 10mm but often that is unusable in the SCT due to sky conditions. Thoughts?
  13. I got out tonight with the binoculars on some nice easy clusters and such around Cassiopeia. Forecast was for occasional rain and then cloud coming in by midnight so I didn't get the scope out, so far it's been beautifully clear and now the forecast has changed to zero cloud all night. Oh well, call me a defeatist but I can't be bothered now, at least I got my binocular targets.
  14. To be honest it's been fairly quiet this summer, last year was busier. A good sunny day in winter can be interesting still though, but the observing window is smaller due to the sun never getting that high.
  15. I congratulate you on your choice. I never really got into observing named sunspots etc, I just look at the fancy patterns and coo when there's a big prominence! Maybe I should start to take it a bit more seriously...
  16. My tuppence worth... I did loads of research as well before making my one and only solar scope purchase, I don't regret it for a single moment and know that it would cost a heck of a lot more for diminishing returns. Check my signature for the Lunt I have, I can say this works very well on a CG-4 mount and with a Baader Zoom eyepiece. I appreciate people have different budgets but I say if you can spare the cash then just splurge on the best you can afford. If you have to get in line and wait a few months I think it will be worth it, mine came with the feather touch focuser (or maybe Crayford, I think they are almost the same thing) and a nice case which does help quite a bit, you should add some budget for a solar finder and a vixen dovetail bar - 180mm is fine for the 60 Lunt, this is the one I have http://www.altairastro.com/altair-tms-vixen-synta-dovetail-bar-blue-anodised.html Note I tried the 'official' Lunt 60 short black dovetail bar and found it wasn't possible to balance the scope properly, perhaps this works for the B600 without pressure tuner / Crayford (dual-speed) focuser and zoom eyepiece, I can't say, but certainly not with my setup. My scope came with the clam shell bracket which makes mounting very easy. You may also need three standard camera thread screws to mount it to the dovetail bar, I will get the info on the ones I have.
  17. Ha! Yeah, I made one of those for the recent eclipse, the small image of the sun wasn't nearly as big as in that picture and it was a box about that size. But the darkness inside the box is probably what I need to aim for... some sort of enclosed viewing scope like Spock uses on the bridge in the original series. Just one question - do I need to style myself on Fred from Scooby Doo?
  18. Sun spots? I thought 8' would be big enough for that, it's about as long as I could get for a tube. Failing sunspots then partial eclipse would be good, although I have a proper solar scope so the tube would be for an alternative view / just for fun. Maybe I need to consider some optics as well to increase the size of the projection?
  19. Could be difficult but I will try. I wasn't aware there was a correct hole size, I thought the smaller the better?
  20. Hmm, OK... maybe a small hood around the viewing hole to block out some of the light may help, big enough to put your head up to to form a good shield. *thinking time*
  21. I've made a pinhole projector out of a carpet roll tube which is about 8' long. I made a small window in the bottom end, added the white platform for the projection in the bottom, and covered the top with a small patch of tin foil with a hole in it. I have tried pointing it at the sun so that the shadow is at its smallest but I cannot get a projection of the sun on the white plastic surface I put in the bottom, what am I doing wrong? The only thing I can think of is that the projection is too dim and cannot be seen, if that is the case then what is the answer? I'm thinking maybe I need more shade around the viewing window, or maybe I need to use paper instead of white plastic to project onto (can't see why though - white is white). Any pinhole projector experts here who can advise please?
  22. Been a very long while since I got the Big One out - NEQ6 with 8SE OTA (it never agrees with my back even though I am in good health), been using my CG4 with the reflector or refractor due to laziness. I have been wondering for a long time about a large reflector to put on the NEQ6, perhaps that would be better than the 8SE? So many scopes to buy and try, never enough money! So tonight was mostly about brushing up on how to use this setup again, have to say in that regard it went well, appears that I left everything in good working order. I did manage to see a few night sky objects - a pretty double star, a few clusters, and random areas of starfields. The dreaded dew began to form on some of my glass surfaces including the eyepiece, no trouble for my dew heater tapes! I have a small one just for the eyepiece, on it went and about five minutes later the dew was gone, magic! It was a real pleasure to see this part of the setup actually working as it should, just unlucky that both finders didn't have the luxury of a heater tape for their eyepiece sides (8x40 finder has one on the objective, that remained dew-free). I was also very happy that I managed to use the red dot finder and 8x40 straight-through uncorrected finder to locate a few targets, even if one of them eluded me (a galaxy, well it was quite bright out there with the 2/3 moon), I always had trouble with them in the past, perhaps my skill level has risen since then. A large wispy blanket of cloud began stretching across the sky signalling that it was time to call it a night. What has become obvious is that the 8SE is a different beast entirely to my refractor or reflector, both of which are closer to one another in terms of eyepiece range and capability, I was only able to use my 25mm and 10mm (though this was rather fuzzy) in the 8SE; I may need to be much more selective of which targets I choose for the 8SE and have them all planned out ready for the next opportunity to use it. The refractor and reflector seem happy to observe almost anything under most sky conditions which is probably why I have been using them a lot more. Shame I missed the best of Saturn, just didn't seem to get that clear sky window when I was able to observe.
  23. Light cloud here but it's enough to prevent any kind of meteor viewing.
  24. Sunny blue sky all day here, I was also at work 9 - 5 but managed to catch the end of it at home so was about as good as it could have been for me. Had I been at home I wouldn't have sat out all afternoon watching it anyway, probably just the first hour and the last.
  25. I missed out on the transit of Venus, not practical for me being so close to the horizon and it was cloudy. This time I had clear blue skies all day, and despite being at work I sneaked out with my 70x15 bins with freshly-made solar film filters to get a few minutes in between emails, also watched some of the esa broadcast. When I got home it was time for the Lunt LS60, cracking views through that right down to the final moments of the transit, got quite a bit of heat haze off buildings by that time but just managed to see it go before the sun went down behind some trees. Top show! May or may not get to see the next full one, but there will be partials so it's not all bad.
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