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About Lakewitch

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  • Interests
    Skywatcher 200p Dob.
    6,10 and 25mm EP's
    Baader barlow 2.25
    10x50 Bins.
  • Location
    Cumbrian Coast
  1. Hi, we tried the BAS..but as my wife is disabled with RA, she could not even attempt the steps up to the observatory.....also the room was very cold and she cannot stand being that cold. So we went to Cockermouth club instead and found it excellent and well worth the journey (almost 60 mile round trip). The knowledge base is fantastic and the room is warm and large enough to host evenings where the public can see scopes and such set up. The BAS if fine, if you can climb those steps.
  2. My wife and I joined a local Astronomy club, which has proved the best way of learning and meeting others who share our interest.....there is one in ~Carlisle, Cockermouth (ours) and Kendal ...maybe others? Also Cockermouth is hosting a public viewing through members scopes this coming Friday and Saturday (weather permitting) to follow on from SGL on tv. Don't worry about the brains, ours must be left at home some evenings when we are out stargazing and freezing and waiting for those clouds to break. Best wishes
  3. Baader classic 2.25 does the job on my 200P, and with the 18mm BST Eyepiece is crystal clear. As this is the only one I have ever tried, then this is obviously a limited 'view' of Barlows.
  4. I cannot find this particular question on the forum, so apologies if it is out there and I have missed it.......... I have an Olympus E1 Dslr and a 200P Dob and a 127mm Skywatcher Mak/Cass (goto & synscan) , and despite reading various sites and perusing adverts, I am unsure about the best way to start trying some imaging. I realise the limitatons of the Dob due to lack of tracking, but reckon I should still get some decent lunar shots maybe? also thought the Skywatcher may prove handy for (perhaps limited) tracking, My question is: What exactly do I need to connect the E1 to the scope/s? Just an adapter, a T Ring or a Prime Focus kit??? I want to connect in such a way that the scope becomes the lens and focus is done as with an EP fitted. Any clarification would be appreciated, as I would like to gain some experience of this field before saving up for a CCD if that would prove better. Initially I would be happy for Lunar/Planetary images to work with). (it is not the micro system on my camera, rather the original 4/3, as I have seen both fittings advertised). Many thanks Frank
  5. We were in your position just a few weeks ago, and after perusing many reviews and seeing the good reports regarding BST Starguider Eyepieces, bought the 18mm as a starter. What a difference this has made, especially to the 200P....so much so that I have just today ordered the 5mm as well. I Barlowed the 18mm last night (Baader 2.25) and Saturn and Moon were beautiful. The stock eyepieces are fine to start with, but you soon realise just how much better the views are with an improved EP. I am sure that others will have their favourites, but for me having to save up each time before buying, these BST's are an excellent first step up. Frank
  6. My wife and I only got our first scope a couple of months ago, followed by a new one this weekend....(One each??) and as we are new to Astronomy, we are finding our way around from Sky to SGL. Have visited Border Astronomical society in Carlisle, and Cockermouth Astro club too (we will be members of Cockermouth soon). Excellent talk given and a lot of enthusiastic and very knowledgeable people. We live on the coast, near Wigton...and luckily have quite dark skies. If anything is organised where we can attend (my wife is not too good at standing and having Rheumatoid Arthritis, she hates the cold) we would be happy to help if we can. Hoping to meet others locally at some point..... Dark and clear skies ( ok I am an optimist) Frank & Lynda
  7. Wife and I have had our 200P for just a few weeks now, and at first, like you I was initially disappointed with what could be seen. But perseverance, despite our terrible weather and cloud, is the key. Whilst still using the supplied Eyepieces plus a 6mm wide angle (and now a Baader barlow) we have found that a really 'good' night is rare at present. Cloud seems to know when the scope is out...and Jupiter is not that big, but when the conditions are right, it is very clear and lovely. I have found that it takes time to even get to know how to look through the EP. As an ex professional wedding photographer I have a lot of experience of using lenses, so realise that it will take time and practice to get the best out of the 200P. 'Turn left at Orion is a must', not only drawings as seen in a Dob, but also lots of background info. on what you are looking at. Don't despair, just get out as much as you can....we are, and learning our way around the sky and hoping for some good viewing conditions. Things I now realise that are really important..... set up the scope and leave it for 30 minutes before trying to view. Lots of warm clothes. A folding table for the book and torch etc. is good. Save up for some quality eyepieces. (and maybe a Nexstar 4SE so my wife and I can both look at the same time) Have you an Astronomy club/society you can get to? a lot of interesting/knowledgeable people to be found there. Good viewing... Frank
  8. Just use the base as is: also handy when packing up to put things in to carry. So far had no problems with stability due to the weight of the Dob. base and scope. Tend to us it upside down so giving a broader base. There are two different types of base, this is the slightly smaller and cheaper one, and as I say, so far no problems. Have used it on grass in the garden (level-ish) and in a layby near us where it is really dark. Light and strong enough for the job. The foldaway picnic chairs can be slung over the shoulder in their bag, so hands free. Good luck whatever you choose. Enjoy..
  9. (we) Don't use a stool, we put the Dob. on a water butt base (BQ ..£11) and it means being able to view comfortably whilst standing. If we need to sit then a picnic folding chair ( £9 Tesco) solves that..not for everyone I know, but it works for us. Frank
  10. Hi Miranda, I go with foundaplanet on visiting a shop to get a feel for the size and weight of a setup. We opted for the 200p Dob, but needed to get an idea of just how big/heavy it was before committing. ( Trust me, given your criteria, ours would be more than three handfuls). But if you can attend a local astronomical society then that too will provide lots of advice. It has to be 'hands on' one way or another before spending hard earned cash on it. Good luck and enjoy the 'shopping' Frank
  11. I found that the clips were in view at the half-way focus point... and then putting a sheet of card between the secondary and primary, along with a piece of coloured paper behind the secondary, made assessing the secondary mirror position much easier. Guess that collimation gets easier the more you do it. (Hopefully). Frank
  12. Re checked the collimator, and when inserted and rotated, the dot remained a dot in the centre of the doughnut, so looking good. Despite the cloud cover, we got a lovely view of the Moon, with Aristarchus very bright. All in all, it seems as though I may have managed to get it collimated ok. Will ask the Dob expert check it for me next meeting, one of the benefits of an Astronomical society, such helpful folk and being able to watch someone do a new task makes it much easier fo rme to learn. "Send in the clouds, don't worry they're here" .... I always thought that those were the lyrics, and now they seem more relevant!! Frank
  13. did make a rough cradle and tried to see if collimated.....but to be honest I need to do that again, so shall have a re-read of the instructions about collimating the collimator, Just waiting to see if I have some clear sky and can go have a looksee. But thanks for the reminder, as I am a complete novice I appreciate any help or advice. When I looked down the scope again, I think it was probably no more than an inch off centre as I hadn't tightened the screws on the focusser initially,,,luckily there is a bright light about 4 miles away from us over the estuary, so if no stars visible, I may see if that will show me an Airey disc ? It is a learning curve, and one I think that is best achieved through practical (very slow and careful )experiment. Worst case scenario I will ask some of the guys at Border Astronomical society to have a look at it next Thurs. If I cannot manage. Thanks for the reminder. Frank
  14. Managed to collimate the 200P Dob. Feeling quite pleased with the process (as long as the star test shows a good result). I was surprised at how far out the secondary was when I saw the laser about 2" away from the doughnut....got that sorted and then had slight problem with the primary.... 3 Allen keys supplied with the scope, none of which fitted the locking nuts. The smallest was too small, and the middle sized one was too big. Luckily I have a set with my archery equipment, and had a perfect fit. Once unlocked collimation proceeded easily, making sure the laser stayed central whilst tightening the lock nuts up. Kept the tube horizontal whilst working on the secondary, just in case I dropped the key or the screwdriver (horrible thought). So hoping for a clear sky to do the star test, and give my new 6mm wide angle EP out. This is one procedure where my wife draws the line....I do the work, she gets to enjoy the benefits. Hmmmm? Frank
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