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About GavStar

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  1. No but they don't tend to come with fine focusers and I find that I need one for high magnification viewing. Also Tak focusers do have a bit of a marmite reputation. In fact a few years ago Tak offered the tsa102 and tsa120 with a feathertouch focuser rather than a Tak focuser which potentially indicates even Tak recognise for some people a feathertouch makes sense.
  2. I started with strategy 3 and bought an FC100DF but have now replaced the focuser with a feathertouch crayford (I ordered it from flo and you need to specify that you want the adapter for the FC100 since I think it is different from the fc76). So starting from scratch I would now go for Strategy 2. I tried the mef-3 Tak fine focuser but prefer the feathertouches on my other telescopes and hence in the end changed to a full feathertouch and have not regretted it. i haven't weighed my scope with the feathertouch installed but seems pretty light to me, lighter than when it was a DF! Drawtube lengths for DF and feathertouch are similar at 2.5 inches but I have needed to buy a 2 inch extender (I chose a Televue one but can use any I guess) to get enough back focus for my diagonal. My DF did reach focus with ethos eyepiece since it has a bit more extension built into it than the feathertouch. i have used Ian king and trutek to buy Tak telescopes and both have been excellent. i prefer the parallax 95mm tube rings to the Tak cradle since it just feels a bit more secure to me but I think it's just personal preference. Fantastic scope!!
  3. I have refractors ranging from f6.3 to f7.4 so use very similar eyepieces with each one to have similar exit pupils. I also have a small astigmatism and prefer viewing without glasses so try to keep the exit pupil not bigger than 3-4. For mono viewing I find the Leica zoom excellent. I use the Leica 1.8x extender permanently attached and this gives a zoom eyepiece of 5mm to 10mm which gives a good high mag range for my fracs. The Leica with the extender is I think the most compact Barlow solution for the Leica and also has little impact on the focus position of the Leica (I tried the baradv with the Leica but the focus position changed so much I found it difficult from a practical POV). To get additional magnification I also have a 4mm delite and a 3.5mm Pentax xw which I use as needed. My travel kit is 3 eyepieces, the ethos 21mm, Leica zoom with 1.8 extender and 4mm delite. This gives me a range of 30x to 150x with my travel tv85 which works well for me. This is also the combo I use in SW London with my AP130GTX to give 40x to 200x. For my dark site on the iow I have the Tak FC100DF and use ethos 17mm, and Delos 10mm, 8mm, 6mm and 4.5mm. However it's the E17 and D6 and D4.5 that really only get used so only 3 eyepieces again. This is for mono viewing, for binoviewing it's all different. I also have Pentax xw from 3.5mm to 30mm which rarely get used but I can't bring myself to sell them. I use a powermate with the 4mm delite for high power double star viewing. So I would keep your existing eyepieces if you can particularly the ethos for the lovely widefield views. I have the Es 92 12mm and 17mm which have great eye relief but at the moment my preference is for the ethos due to the extra fov.
  4. Yes I can see that it would potentially impact all filters and it's the nebulousity that is key. I just find the impact on star shapes more distracting with my npb than my lumicon oiii.
  5. I think filter choice is more dependent on individual preference than many other Astro equipment. I read lots about filters on the net including David Knisely's reviews and so bought a uhc filter (the Dgm npb which is David's favourite filter). However I've hardly used it since I didn't like the effect it had on the stars (I saw ghost images but I know many people don't). I do need to give it another shot. Then in the pub Stu mentioned to me how good the Veil looked with an oiii filter. This prompted me to purchase a lumicon oiii filter (thankfully an old version as per a previous thread) and the views were fantastic. It was the first time that a filter has really worked for me (thanks Stu!) I then tried to source a (old version) lumicon uhc filter but had no success. Since there is no way to be sure in advance whether it's a new or old version I actually ordered one from three different European vendors hoping one had new 'old' stock but none did- so all three went back for a refund since the transmissions specs for the new lumicon uhc were not good. I did further research and in the end ordered a astronomik uhc which had a transmission of 97% and from what I have read both the Astronomik uhc and oiii filters have recently had the bandwidth tightened up so that they are basically the the same as the old lumicon uhc and oiii. I haven't had the chance to compare the astronomik uhc with the dgm npb and lumicon oiii but hope to do this soon. So for me (taking account of how personal filters are) I would get the astronomik uhc AND oiii (since seeing the veil with a good oiii is amazing). I also like getting widefield views using uhc and oiii filters so have gone for 2 inch rather than 1.25 inch filters but that is out of your budget.
  6. Olly I have wondered how the locking screw on my feathertouch focuser work. Is it really as simple as a screw with a nylon tip or does starlight use a different approach? Gavin
  7. Off topic, but I just was wondering what finder bracket you used on the tv60 to attach the finder to the scope?
  8. Reduced to £90
  9. I purchased the 1.25 filter recently since I could not find the 2 inch version. I've used it once and it provided great views of the veil nebula. I've now found a 2 inch version so no longer need the 1.25 filter. It's on astrobuysell for £130 including postage but I'm open to offers.
  10. The original thread on cloudynights has now disappeared!!!
  11. John, I agree with you that the focus on holiday should be spending time with our families and taking a break from normal life. I'd only take some telescope stuff with me if I thought there was the likelihood of seeing objects that I either couldn't see or were low in the sky in the UK. I was in Barbados earlier this year and from there some Southern Hemisphere objects are visible which was a real incentive to take some gear with me.
  12. Impressed by DirkSteele's think tank backpack I decided to buy a thinktank accelerator backpack for my tv85. Just received it today and everything fits well. Just a bit bigger than my ultra portable tv60 which has previously been my aeroplane travel scope. With the mount going into my hold luggage I think this will work. I like planetary viewing and with Saturn so low in the UK it seems that I'm going to have to go abroad to get a nicer view. For this the tv85 will be much better than the tv60. Plus for widefield dso hunting the tv85 should be a lot of fun. I've got trips to southern Portugal,Cyprus and Gran Canaria over the next 9 months so all I need to do now is persuade my partner that it's fine for me to use up my hand luggage allowance on telescope stuffs Her comment this evening was I still needed to take the nappies in my hand luggage!! Contents of the bag are: Televue 85 2 inch Televue everbrite diagonal 21mm Televue ethos Leica asph zoom Leica 1.8x extender 4mm Televue delite Hitec Astro dew controller 8ah tracer lithium polymer battery astrozap dew tape Petzl tikka headtorch Unihedron sky quality meter Giotto air blower
  13. The Oiii looks good to me! I used my new 'old' one last night on the Veil Nebula and it gave great views. I'm very happy with it.
  14. Fortunately we have a house on the south coast of the Isle of Wight which makes it cheap to visit and I can be in bed within 5 minutes of packing up since the garden has a good aspect for viewing. It's been a great day today on the beach and swimming in the sea with my daughters. However, I hope to join Stu on his South Downs trip - I've certainly got a taste for dark sites now!
  15. Not yet Stu. I'll add it to the iow viewing list!