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About paulastro

  • Rank
    White Dwarf
  • Birthday 15/05/55

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  • Location
    Oakworth, West Yorkshire
  1. 200p or not 200p that is the question

    Peter is quite right, a big yes. In answer to your second question, there is no suitable alternative that will give you the same performance in a smaller size and anywhere near your budget. Years ago, such a scope would be much more highly regarded than it is now and would be kept for years once purchased if not for your entire astronomical 'career'. Nowadays people are too easily seduced by more exotic and pretty scopes with lots of electrical gizmos that, if they are honest, most people don't need. These scopes are a real bargain and it should give you years of pleasure.
  2. Spiral Cluster

    That's a wonderful drawing Richard, I recognized it instantly as I was observing the same object myself a few days ago in good conditions with my 120ED. I love open clusters and will look forward to seeing any future drawings of some of the clusters you mentioned - and others please!
  3. No dew heater tapes in use? Your thought please

    Stu, I hope my previous post answers your question, I meant to mention you at the start of it and forgot! Sorry, how rude of me.
  4. No dew heater tapes in use? Your thought please

    Alan, the SP (Super Polaris) doesn't need any surgery, but the GP (Great Polaris) does. The bit that needs to be hacked off is the end of metal stirrup shaped bit of metal you can see in the picture below. It's the bit of metal sticking out to the right, on the right hand side of the mount above the elastic bands. It's the bit of metal one of the altitude adjustment bolts is screwed into to retain the altitude. If the end isn't cut off, you can't move the mount over enough to get the axis in a horizontal position. The black long bit of metal held in place by the elastic bands is for the stirrup bit of metal to rest on, and stop it going lower on that side if the load and weight are unbalanced, for instance when adding or removing the telescope.
  5. ES 24/68 vs Hyperion 24

    I use the Hyperion 24 with my Equinox 120ED which is f7.5, and it works very well, some edge distortion but nowhere near enough to bother me in use - though we all have our own standards of what is acceptable. It worked even better on the Tak 100mm which was f9. From memory I also found it satisfactory on mikeDnights 100mm f6.4 Tak, and I'm happy using it on my Equinox 80ED which is f6.25 or there abouts. I would think it's worth trying with any telescope over f6 if anyone considering buying one so you see what performance you'd be getting. I'd expect the ST80 to be a step too far. The Hyperion 24 is my most used eyepiece with the 120ED for sweeping, giving a mag of around x36 and field of 1.8 degrees. Very comfortable for spec users also. I wouldn't mind a second one for use with my binoviewer!
  6. Show us your Frac

    Best telescope up at TAC - not that I'm biased or anything!
  7. Show us your Frac

    That tripod looks really fantastic, a job well done. The whole setup looks cool too .
  8. No dew heater tapes in use? Your thought please

    Stu, I find the GP is excellent in altaz mode and although you need a saw to convert it, it is still usable in both modes once you had done the 'mod'.
  9. No dew heater tapes in use? Your thought please

    Yep, no dew heater for me either. Like Mike I always used an extended dew shield, wrapped round the built in one. Can't remember the last time I had a problem with dew. I do have a DC powered small hair drier I keep indoors, but it very seldom gets used. Here's a pic of my Equinox 120ED with secondary dew shield in situ.
  10. It is a nice book Stu. I've had a copy for a long time, in fact probably since 1969 - I was more than 20 days old! A happy birthday to you in about three weeks time Stu.
  11. It's a well overdue reprint. A fabulous read, full of information regarding my favourite era in astronomy. I bought my copy on November 14th 1998 at the Leeds Astromeet. If I recall correctly, they were the first copies available. Allan always attended the Leeds meeting (unfortunately it was cancelled this year) and the books were delivered to coincide with Allan's talk on that day. Yes - Allan was kind enough to inscribe my book on the day . Blimey, it was 19 years ago yesterday!! If anyone is thinking of buying a copy, don't hesitate, it's a wonderful read with lovely illustrations. Worth every penny of whatever it costs! If I had any spare cash I'd buy a copy of the new edition to go with the original!
  12. SW 9 x 50 RACI. SOLD

    Hello. I'll have this if it's still available please, I presume I'm correct in thinking its the right way round finder. How would you like me to pay? Best regards, Paul Yates
  13. Thank you, I hope I do too. Mind you, I'll enjoy it anyway. As Kerry said, I'm looking forward to it also. Looking forward to such an astronomical event is like planning a special holiday, even if you don't get a sea view when you arrive at your destination .
  14. Coo, I wish the altitude was over 80 degrees here, alas in darkest Yorkshire it will only be something like 10 degrees 42', more of this later. I'll be using an Equinox 120ED refractor on a GP Equatorial mount kindly converted by Peter Drew to a GP Altaz, which I personally find more convenient for comfortable observing, I'm purely a visual man. For those who don't know, whilst the older Vixen SP can simply have the altitude adjusted to perform as an altaz, to convert a GP requires a good saw and a file, plus a couple of bits including elastic bands in my case! I'll be using an extended dew shield, (though this shouldn't be necessary at opposition in July!), my Baader Maxbright Binoviewer, two Baader Mk111 zooms and a x2 barlow element screwed into the nosepiece of the binoviewer. I'll also have a four inch aperture stop available for the 120ED if it should be necessary. This isn't as strange as it sounds, at such low altitudes in the UK, the seeing may sometimes be better with four inches aperture than five. I'd also suggest those using telescopes of six inch and over have some suitable aperture stops. A twenty inch dob won't be a lot of good at such low altitudes unless the seeing is very good indeed. Bigger is not always better I wont be able to get Mars from my observatory, so I'll be using this mount as a portable option. I'll also have some sites I can travel to at various locations both locally and across the country where the horizon will be better, and in some cases more amiably weather than Yorkshire. If I should come into some money before next July, I'll be many miles away from Yorkshire!!
  15. Just come in from re-appearance of gamma Tauri, but missed it - it was so faint I never noticed it come out until it was a little way away, overwhelmed rather by the Moon (and the fact I used too low a magnification). So few Hyades stars visible (using Equinox 80) it looked very underwhelming, I don't think I'll go out for Aldebaran either Pete. Some nice detail on the edge of the Moon made up for it a bit .