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Jeff Marsden

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About Jeff Marsden

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  1. Altair Astro Starwave 152 f/5.9 V3 refractor. The telescope was ordered on Tuesday the 14th of July 2020 from Altair Astro themselves. Delivery was made on Friday the 17th of July 2020 by DPD following, from usual experience with this company, an accurate time delivery slot text. On opening the box and taking the telescope out, I felt a movement from the front of the telescope and my initial reaction was that it was a very slack dew shield that was drooping. Then a clunk was heard and another. I slid the dew shield up the tube for slackness testing and the dew shield came off the end of the telescope tube to reveal no lens; just the threads as in the photograph. On looking in the dew shield there was the separated lens assembly; the cause of the clunking. To access the lens I would presumably have to unscrew the flange on the rear of the dew shield, something I was not prepared to have anything to do with. Also on further inspection I found that the rear focusser flange was not fully tightened on the rear tube threads and I turned the flange approximately 6mm to tighten it. First contact with Altair Astro was the following Tuesday 21st July after trying numerous times and leaving an unanswered message the previous day. I explained the problem and that it was not reasonable to expect myself to accept a repair / return of same telescope based on screwing back the lens cell onto the tube. This due to possible damage to the lens elements and collimation. This the man agreed to without hesitation and he said that a (1st) replacement would be sent out and the agreed date would be a few days later, Friday the 24th July. The defective scope would be collected at the same time by DPD. The man said that he was surprised that the lens had become unthreaded during transit as they check the scopes before sending them out. Now you have seen the photograph of the threads and that is a lot of unthreading between Norfolk and West Yorkshire. So I waited for the delivery on Friday the 24th of July. Nothing arrived with no text as before by DPD as to the delivery time slot. The following Monday 27th July I rang Altair Astro again. The same man answered and was 'surprised' at the delivery company not doing their thing and would be contacting DPD to see what had happened. He would also be sending out a (2nd) replacement but with no delivery date mentioned. I went along with this with some trepidation. A week later and nothing so I rang them again. A person who sounded awfully like the same person I had spoken to twice before, 'seemed' to have no idea of my issue and I must have talked to another colleague. Ahem. I explained the problem, he checked my order number and said that because the courier had not picked up the telescope, as well as not delivering one don't forget, it had not ticked boxes on their system. Therefore, they had not sent out the second replacement based on this. But I had already told them no courier company had turned up the with the first replacement and collection so they knew that and told me on the phone that they were sending the 2nd replacement based on this knowledge. Did they have the courtesy to contact me to say that this replacement delivery would not be taking place because of non collection? No, if I had not have contacted them I would have been waiting and waiting indefinitely it seems. The man said (again) that a (3rd time) replacement will be sent out, just like before, even though the defective telescope had not been collected and of course therefore would not tick their computer system boxes! Just like before!! A further date of Friday the 7th August was arranged with the man saying that there might be two DPD vans turning up; one for delivery and one for collection. Hmmm. I saw through that one straight away thinking that a collection might happen with no delivery. How right I was. There was a text from the usual efficient DPD for a collection time slot but none for a delivery slot. On DPD's arrival, I did not let the telescope go. On Tuesday the 11th of August I spoke with the same man as previously spoken to who last time claimed he had no idea of the issue. On saying my name and its about a Starwave 152, his straightaway first question was 'Has the telescope been collected' ? Hmm, strange why he asked that question rather than have you received your replacement telescope that you have paid £799 for. No I have not allowed the scope to be collected because the replacement has not been delivered again. That's strange he says, here we go again, it was booked in with the couriers for delivery last Friday. I will get onto them and... Sorry but I have had enough and I want a refund. No problem he says without any resistance. The scope will have to be returned for a refund to be given though. I told him that I was not 100% happy with that situation but that is the way they operate for a refund. So collection was arranged for Tuesday the 18th of August and a refund back into my account shortly after. At this point I sent a short email to Altair Astro putting down the collection date and the refund into my account as we had discussed. Any form of trust to take Altair Astro at their word was gone. Something was down in writing at least. The 18th of August and no collection nor text from DPD. Altair Astro were contacted late that afternoon and they answered the phone straight away. I expressed my annoyance at the whole saga in plain speak. The usual man said that he would get onto DPD (again) to see what had gone wrong but that he would refund my account there and then. I told him that I would appreciate it, if he did just that. He said he would drop me a line later on to make an arrangement for future collection. Again there was no resistance or gruff attitude from the man but that is not good enough. Delivery, excuse the pun, is what counts. On Thursday the 20th August the refund was shown in my account. This has been a sorry shambles throughout by Altair Astro. During the whole time they have never made a courtesy contact once regarding the successful delivery of a replacement; if one was ever sent out. I have had to 'run after' Altair Astro at every stage and waste numerous days waiting for non deliveries / collection. As of Saturday the 5th of September, Altair Astro have still not contacted myself to arrange collection of their telescope.
  2. I saw this post this morning and thought it rang a few bells. The tube cradle looks to be larger in diameter though than when appearing in the Refractor photos. http://www.deep-sky.co.uk/telescopemaking/tm3.htm Jeff
  3. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/404734-new-12-apm-apo-binocular/ $500,000 Dollars area in 2012. I seem to recall that they were for a Chinese billionaire.
  4. I saw these 20+ satellites for the first time at approx. 18:03 Wednesday 22/1/20 going from roughly South West to North East. Not knowing anything about them, I was quite taken aback at the procession to be honest. Someone from Doncaster put a posting on here on Wednesday evening asking what they were with replies saying what was happening. Will we have timings for spotting StarLink as we do Iridium flares? Jeff
  5. I had exactly the same thought before I read your comment. Especially as last week I was in front of the below massive original in Huddersfield Library / Art Gallery https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/joshua-commanding-the-sun-to-stand-still-upon-gibeon-21810 Jeff
  6. In honour of Leslie Peltier's rotating observatory at his home in Brookhaven? If correct can I claim my prize of one gobstopper and a tube of Smarties (not M&Ms) to be left at the Astronomy Centre and I will collect them when next up there. Jeff
  7. I can't help with commercial mounts but if you fancy a DIY approach the Richard Berry Dob mount for refractors is often mentioned. Try this one at the beginning. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/146934-ron-ravneberg-memorial-scope-gallery/ or this cutie half way down the page by Jeff Morgan https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/546728-richard-berry-dob-mount-for-refractor/ Jeff
  8. This account by Thomas Back is interesting re AP lens history. http://www.csun.edu/~rprovin/tmb/tmb1.html Jeff
  9. If you press on the link in my first post it will take you to the program mentioned. On the right hand side of the screen are other episodes to view.
  10. I have just been on YouTube and found a series of vintage Sky at Night programs uploaded by Martin Mobberley. I watched one with Paul Doherty that I remember from 1977. However this episode from 1970, 'Frank Ackfield's Observatory' has that warm glow of yesteryear. Moments at 7:40, 10:00 and 18:00 are rather quaint with the first two also rather advanced. If you have the time, enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq5ImzuJHTk Jeff
  11. Am I right or... Just come back in at 12.20 after picking up Venus with 7x42 binoculars. Sun hidden by the top of my garage and being very careful. Definite crescent phase seen. About 5 degrees above and to the right of the Sun. Jeff
  12. A step back in time with George Hole. Enjoy http://www.britishpathe.com/video/garden-telescope
  13. Brought mine new back in November 1981 from Astro Systems. Drove down to Luton to pick it up from Rob Millar. The scope is in excellent shape and would appear to be a good example optically. Easy & quick to set up and take down on its equatorial wedge. This point helps when the scope has cooled down only for the clouds to have reared their ugly heads; again. Image shift has never been much of a problem with this example. Rob Millar was said to carry out a number of tweaks on the Celestrons that he sold at the time. I don't know whether that included rotating the corrector plate for better performance. The number plate on the secondary cover is apparently supposed to be horizontal in relation to the bottom of the tube. Mine is not and whether this contributes anything I don't know. The Moon is my main area of observation and the telescope does well on this object. I have seen the elusive crater Aldrin with it but so far not the Alpine Rille. When things gel, Saturn is also very good. I have seen the Terby white spot a number of times. When the rings started receding back from their last maximum tilt, I caught a very early reappearance of the globe edge. A few days later someone on Cloudy Nights said they had just seen the same thing. That was remarked upon as a good catch. It has been with me now for 30 years and I see no reason to part with it. It works with minimum fuss and as I and the scope grow older, that quality is not to be underestimated. Jeff, Huddersfield
  14. I have not seen the programme yet but I think the Guardian newspaper article got his name wrong. It was 'John' Hosty who worked with my brother in law at Huddersfield General Post Office. I have a clipping somewhere from The Huddersfield Examiner showing John sat in a dentists chair (?) with the binoculars attached. If I recall they were 'small' battleship binoculars with only one half that worked. Jeff Huddersfield
  15. Zeiss 7x42 BGAT usually; for generally scanning. Early 80's Celestron 11x80s on a Uni-loc Major tripod with camcorder fluid head on top. Then there are a pair of 6" reflecting binoculars made by Peter Drew with a pair of 19mm Panoptics giving x32 magnification. Jeff, Huddersfield
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