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Jim Steele

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About Jim Steele

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    Berkshire
  1. Agreed with the points the OP has made here. It is a minefield to navigate scopes and the traditional high street shops like Jessops (are they still going?), John Lewis & Maplin tend to stock sub par Newts or Refractors and sadly the high street lacks *decent* astronomy stores and the shops that do sell them usually are not educated as to what they are selling! I researched my first scope pretty carefully, and I am happy with it; though I have a craving for more aperture!! Is there a cure for this aperture fever?
  2. Did John ever get around to putting these through their paces? Would be interesting to know his thoughts on the AZ5 and if it is robust enough to handle a modest F10 Frac. Jim
  3. I have a Tal100RS and they are really crisp scopes. Sure there is some CA (as you would expect) on bright objects like Vega but for the price it was a bargain. Jupiter is stunning and at F10 its pretty kind on eyepieces.. As others have mentioned, second had might turn up a bargain as I believe they have stopped making them. The nearest equivalent is probably the Starwave F11 but they are more expensive and don't come with a finder like the TAL.
  4. I'd also be interested if still available.. I live in Newbury but work in Salisbury so geography might work??
  5. You can find some good buys in astroboot.com. Also keep an eye out for a Tal1 they can go for as low as £50 but have very good optics providing they are in good second hand condition and are built like a Russian Tank. The SGL classifieds are also a good place to find second hand bargains.
  6. I have a geoptic bag for my Tal100RS it fits very well although I do remove the finder and put that in my maplin padded case. I would recommend them and they are sovietski red too
  7. My first view of Jupiter was through a 6" Tal circa 1990 vintage with a blue tube. Solidly built scope they were great for our uni Astronomy society virtually indestructible though you'd definitely need a car for transportation since they weigh a ton in their wooden coffin box. Very agricultural in build but top quality optics for a budget option back in the day (before the Chinese got their acts together). As others mention the focusers vary so I would check it can take regular eye pieces and if it comes with a "sun filter" chuck it in the bin!!
  8. TAL pitchforks at dawn, now that I would like to see ;-) Optically they can't be much between the Tal and the starwave I can't imagine it is worth the extra cost. I would like to do the comparison but my Tal isn't going anywhere unless prised from my dead corpse.
  9. I bought my Tal a couple of years ago and then only a hat full of vendors had stock.. It shipped directly from ovl but I suspect the stock was just being wound down. A great shame! They are such a wonderful enthusiasts scope great to use and very scientific in feel.
  10. Welcome to the Tal owners club, I personally love mine (Tal100rs) super crisp on doubles and planets, don't get me wrong there times I wish I had more light grasp but for the money they are excellent and a bargain is to be had second hand. I am tempted to get a 100rt just for the tripod and dew shield (modern rs models use a plastic 'plant pot' which take the shine off an otherwise classy instrument). I think you have done a good job in shortening the tube, I wouldn't have attempted it eeek. As others have mentioned sort out the baffles, check the focuser isn't impinging on the light cone, and get some flocking material. Orthoscopic eyepieces give a lovely crisp view, and the 25mm stock plossl is excellent. I hope she brings you much enjoyment. Ben
  11. I bought mine for around £25/30. Decent Barlow and love that it matches my Tal scope fetish.
  12. My nephew has a herritage 76mm, a good entry scope for the money though its secondary is easily knocked out of kilter; the build is 'ok' but not fantastic. Refractors are generally less maintanance, (important for use by children) but cost a little more. Ben
  13. I have a geoptik for my Tal, fits like a glove and is sovietski red too have to remove the finder though and no pockets for 'stuff'
  14. I would have severe resevations about getting anything above 5mW; purely from a safety point of view but there is very little legislation on what you can buy in the UK. The should all be compliant with the current British Standard, BS EN 60825-1:2014. but many laser pointers available to the general public have been assessed by the HSE and found that a significant proportion of these products are incorrectly classified and often dangerous. The natural aversion responses are unlikely to provide adequate protection from an eye injury to such laser pointers. A lot of the imports from China dont have the correct labeleing and as such could be dangerous, if you accidently shine one in your, or someoene elses eye.. 1mW is classed as safe providing you dont magnify the light (or focus it), since the eye can be averted long enough not to cause permanent damage. 5mW is usually safe, at 5x the blink reflex limit you may cause injury if you get hit by it
  15. I would keep it somewhere dry and well ventilated, like a garage for instance. A shed is probably not ideal since the temperature can fluctuate wildly within sheds unless insulated thus making cool down times longer or damageing the mechanics of the thing due to expansion/contraction. Sheds also have a habit of leaking or getting broken into. Ben
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