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Everything posted by Sponcom

  1. Hi Peter, nice to hear from you. Thanks for the comments, that is a great idea for those cloudy nights! Paul
  2. Hi SGL Looking for some advice and suggestion please, maybe someone has done something similar. Last year I started running some astro sessions for my daughters brownies for some badges. It went down so well I started doing them for the school and a couple of cub packs. This year I'm starting to do it again as it's proved popular and been asked extend to adult groups. I'm happy to do this when it fits around work and previously I've used my own kit which requires a lot of setup etc. This year I've got hold of a couple of cheap refractors that people have pretty much donated and these are great as no collimation for example but still need to be put on a mount that needs to be setup and equatorials are not god for the small kids and they are a bit dangerous! Oops says a 9 year old who flips the clutch and not being balance properly it come crashing down in the tripod legs. So first things first, I'm trying to get hold of some smaller 6 to 8 inch dobs as I feel these are fool proof and I want the kids to be hands on and they are about the right height so ergonomically perfect. I'd appreciate any suggestions for any other cheapish kit that might be useful. I want to be able to leave it in the church hall where I do most of the sessions and to maximise the time. I had some equipment stolen last year that I left at a location which was mine and not so cheap! Also I would appreciate some suggestions for topics to cover, what to look at etc. and what to view bearing in mind that I have to do these sessions quite early - anywhere from 4:30pm to 7:00pm depending on the ages. Some of the evenings have been terrible weather wise so I've brought in globes, and posters and we've discussed tides, equatorial system, orbits, the nature of the universe and all sorts. Anything you could suggest to talk about or material to help illustrate a point for 'wet play' would be great. I'd like to point out I am not a teacher in any shape or form! I am amazed at what they ask once engaged, the thirst for knowledge is incredible once you get into the groove and they get so exited. So sorry for a bit of an open ended question but any suggestions would be more than welcome. Thanks Paul
  3. Hello SGL I wonder if anyone could help and advise where I could obtain a replacement gear for my LX50. In the recent stormy weather I forgot to bring in my 10" LX50 and it blew over in the wind and damaged the plastic gears on the delineation as shown in the picture. I have read that there was a upgraded version of gears that could be obtained once upon a time. Can anyone help sourcing replacement gears or the number of teeth on the cogs? Many thanks Paul
  4. Hello SGL I haven't been very active for a while but I think I have the record for the youngest at a SGL event in Salisbury. I am to be married 23 Sep and I see there is an SGL gathering in October in Herefordshire. Is this still on?
  5. I've just reread what I just posted an I must stress this is astronomy related! no prague or hungary suggestions please!
  6. Evening SGL I've ben lurking for a bit due to work and new members of the family so haven't been very active on the forums let alone pointing anything up to the heavens but I may finally have a chance! I am travelling quite a bit in Europe and Russia over the next few months and can stay weekends. I can't take any equipment with me so wondered if anyone has any tips or friends that could entertain me for an evening? I know Ollie for example has a place but anyone been to any places they could recommend.
  7. Thanks for the heads up! I didn't realise it was on. Better send the mrs on a spa day or something to soften her up and explain why the children will go hungry for the next 3 months....
  8. Thanks Pete, that's the page I'm looking for. Didn't realise it was in the manual!
  9. Hello SGL I have misplaced my lead for my skysensor 2000 I have on an old vixen mount. I'm looking to make another one up but I can't find the pinout details anywhere on the net. I'm after the pinouts for the IDC connector marked Motor on the back of the unit. Anyone have the information anyway? Many thanks Paul
  10. Hello all has anyone seen or heard from Jeff (AKA Astronut1982) recently? I haven't been able to contact him by phone or mail since end of September Thanks Paul
  11. Hi Jeff I've been trying to contact you via email and stargazers messaging. Could you please contact me about the DSI. Thanks Paul
  12. In October last year I ordered spent £525 with Scope n Skies on a telescope. Upon arrival it was found to be faulty and I returned the scope. Despite many calls scope n skies have still not refunded me the money and give me the run around on a daily basis. They do not return calls and I have been desperately trying to find out who I should contact regarding legal action. Scope and skies are saying that the purchase was from the astronomy and nature centre and they are no longer trading and went into liquidation at the end of last year. All my emails and receipts say the scope was purchased from scope n skies. I have therefore lost my money and will now have to take legal action. The warning is anyone who purchased from scope n skies last year I suggest you should contact them to check on the status of any warranty or guarantee as if they decide you purchased from astronomy and nature centre then it will not be honoured. I would also be wary of any further purchase form them unless you are clear who the company is supplying the equipment and that you have confirmed details guarantees and returns procedures.
  13. Evening Not being familiar with Vixen drive motors I picked up a couple of vixen motors that were described as MT-1's for my vixen GP. I hopedI might be able to get hold of a cheap skysensor handset or dual axis controller and in my search found out that the skysensor only works on MT-4 motors. My motors are not marked in with any identity numbers but they do look like the images of MT-4's I have found on the internet such as the attached one below. Is there any way to tell a MT1 from an MT4 visually? The motor has an 8 pin connector of if that helps. If I can identify that they are actually MT-4's I may continue my search for a used skysensor controller otherwise I will investigate building a stepper controller as the vixen dual axis controllers seem a bit on the steep size. Any info appreciated. Thanks, Paul
  14. Can't find the space news section anymore on SGL but I thought this short time lapse video from the space station was wonderful. Rarely do you see the stars and earth due to having no long exposure cameras on board. The milky way 'rising' is pretty impressive Northern lights time lapse form space station Sorry if it's already been posted!
  15. I had a startravel 102 (well the celestron equivalent) bought secondhand for £50. I wasa quite impressed with the bright view from such a cheap refractor although there was quite a lot of false colour/CA. I used it as my grab and go and as a guiescope. I decided to use a manfrotto tripod and head for travel purposes rather than a cheap EQ1 or 2. The ST80 is nont a bad little scope but I think if you can find a 102 used then you'll appreciate the extra aperture. One other thing to consider is the weight - I was suprised at the weight of the 102mm so this may be something to consider if you want to use your 200p for imaging on a EQ5 - once you start adding cameras etc it can potentially reach the limits of the mount.
  16. have the blooming guiding setup, Use it!! Ha Ha, you won't look back! Find yourself a cheap Meade DSI and use with PHD or something similar and then kick yourself for all that time you spent levelling the mount, polar aligning to the nth degree etc. etc.! Once you guide you can then get some decent exposures and the spend even more time in the imaging section that you did worrying about star trails. It takes even longer to process the images!! @Olly. for two years I have been loving your panoramic view and dying to come over! My daughter is now 3 and far more transportable ! I hope to be contacing you about spending sometime in France in the near future!
  17. The drift method if you get the hang of it can be fairly quick and more direct than software methods. A minute out of my EQ6 still used to give me some trailing but not sure how much trailing we are talking about. How about posting an example exposure. I would guide as Olly says if you have the means - you will never look back. My EQ6 was treated to every luxury such as filing down gears etc. and still I was not satisfied. When I started guiding I realise I could have saved so much time rather than faffing around with the mechanics of the mount!
  18. I'd second star map pro. I particularly like the list of objects that are currently on view and when they rise and set. Found it very easy to use even the advanced features. Also supports wireless control of most mounts through most common protocols with a wireless to serial converter. Haven't tried it yet but love the idea of controlling it with my ipad. Just wish it was available for the android operating system as I've recently changed most of my kit to Android.
  19. Yes, google EQMOD. There's a ton of information on the web site how to do it. It can be a bit confusing at first but all the info you need should be there. Have a read and if you have any particular queries then I suggest you direct them in the equipment help section on SGL. There's a ton of people who use EQMOD and ASCOM and should be able to help.
  20. This question would probably get more views and responses if you asked it in the imaging equipment section. Ans as bizibilder says, give a bit more information on what you are looking for - DSLR or CCD type. It may be that you haven't thought about CCD imaging vs DSLR so the guys there will probably give you a good steer or point you in the right direction to material that will help you in a coming to a descision.
  21. Thanks for that. I managed to get some used ones after placing an advert on astrobuysell. I bought three assemblies in the end for £25 each ! Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
  22. In your situation I would go for the 200mm dobsonian. Being completely new I think you would get most enjoyment out of it in as shorter time as possible. Equatorial mounts can be confusing initially so I would recomend the dob mounting. Many people have at a later date used the actual optical tube asembly (the OTA) on an EQ5 or EQ6 or similar mount and that would give you basis for imaging. At this stage I would go for aperture and experiment with eyepieces. Many people are particular about eyepieces and personally I have bought and sold several eyepieces secondhand as some I liked, some I couldn't get on with and some were not suitable for the current scope setup. Buying them second hand generally gives you the ability to do this as you can normally resell for what you paid for it. If the for sale section (where I bought most of mine) comes back it is a good place to to do this however astrobuysell is a good source. and last but not least welcome to SGL!
  23. There is nothing like dark skies but also appreciate the binoculars as well. Instant viewing, portable and convenient. I use mine more than the scopes now I've moved to a really light polluted area. I think many people miss dark skies because they dont have their telescope on them but a pair of 80mm binos will give asounding views. I also think many people should be encoraged to purchase a pair of binos rather than a cheap telescope on a (relatively) complicated mount as their first venture into astronomy. Paul
  24. Would anyone be able to suggest where I might find a replacement motor for an LXD55 or LXD75 EQ autostar mount. I wondered if anyone knew of a source for the motors themselves rather than having to approach meade in the USA direct for a replacement assembly or a repair which will probably be a few weeks turnaround. If anyone has a spare one lying around I'd be interested! Many thanks Paul
  25. A star wars book about robots on Mars (Viking landers) made me serious about being an astronaut and growing up in the seventies the conditions of entry were fast jet pilot and doctorate. After obtaining sponsorship from RAF for Uni I had an accident which screwed my back and put paid to that. Therefore the telescope was the next best thing (although ejecting from a harrier is a thrill in itself!) I'm going to find the book - it was fantastic. Superimposed images of C-3PO and R2-D2 on Mars!
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