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Everything posted by Dixie

  1. Is anyone here using a xagyl filter wheel successfully through a USB hub? I've got the 5 slot 1.25inch version and tried it with 3 different powered USB hubs with no success. The best that happens is the wheel starts and then grinds to holt and I get an error message. Also used different laptops. Rich
  2. No mount is perfect. And at its price point the EQ8 has no competition. I strongly suspect the mount will be improved over time in the same way as the EQ6 which was much lambasted in its early years.
  3. At some point they will need replacing - but at least Skywatcher has listened.
  4. It would be good somewhere to list the fettling done by Skywatcher on its EQ8. I've just got one and I'm please to say those tough to tighten bolts on the saddle (to retain the OTA) have been recessed with an allen socket. Previously you risk slicing your fingers apart trying to get a grip in the confined space. Pix attached. Just buy a T handle and even getting the C14 on board is easier.
  5. Dave I have a ST120 and bought it for public outreach events under dark skies in places like Northumberland. It excels at wide field views and is really easy to use. Mate it with an expensive wide field eyepiece and the effect on big objects like the Andromeda Galaxy is jaw-dropping. But here are few points to consider. If you want to look at planets and the moon a five inch mak would be better. In the synscan flavours you get tracking which makes viewing at higher magnifications much easier. Yes you will have to provide power and use a good dew shield/dew controller. Also the AZ3 is not a good match for the larger ST120 tube, especially if you start adding a heavier diagonal and eyepieces. Not only is the whole thing shaky but you will find it very difficult to adjust the altitude bolt to the right tension. Do yourself a favour and plump for the AZ4. I picked up a mint condition second hand one for just £80. The tube balances really well. One more suggestion. I also have a Celestron version 80mm ED scope (F7) - come up second hand for about £170 - also used with the AZ4. Very little false colour, good on solar system, but still wide field enough to get lovely views. Rich
  6. Kenny I've inspected the 127 but have not used one - I gather they are adequate in terms of stability. Which for £350 is about what you would expect. But you can track which is a very good bonus. Plus the fact you don't have to mess with collimation. As I say if you doing this at Kielder or Galloway I'd suggest the wide field refractor route, but for Jodrell the mak is a good option. Good value too. Rich
  7. Kenny I think the 127 is a good match for your needs - esp if it's solar system targets. Meniscus will dew so a good shield is a minimum. I've been using a 120mm StarTravel for outreach on an AZ4 - works well under the dark skies of Northumberland. But not instrument of choice for planets and the moon. It would work well enough on its mount for your purposes. Rich
  8. until
    Five nights camping in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. More details http://kielderforeststarcamp.org/
  9. Yep they were back on form tonight. Must try to get hold of some helium balloons. What fun. Miss the back to earth extra time. Full credit to the Beeb for doing this for 6 years - the only broadcaster in the world that would? Even noble try to do some live astronomy.
  10. I like Stargazing Live - it's done a great job for the hobby. Always enjoy Dara. But the ISS thing was overdone - must confess I find it a dull subject in any case - and you did get the sense this year the budget has been cut limiting their ambition.
  11. Very big thanks from me to everyone connected organising the event. Great campsite and great skies.
  12. Well all be back at Kielder for the spring starcamp from 2 to 6 March. You are very welcome to join us. Bookings now open and coming in fast. All the details can be found at kielderforeststarcamp.org
  13. Hello James Great images - mind if I used some of them for starcamp publicity with a credit? Richard
  14. Highlight of the bi-annual Star Camp and takes place at Kielder Castle, Northumberland, 12 noon - 4pm. All the talks are free. Check out http://kielderforeststarcamp.org/
  15. Some good points and I would not overly dispute many of them, but many SCTs owners criticise their scopes without ever really understanding their requirements in terms of cool down and collimation. Personally I've used most kinds of scope - but always happy to get back to my couple of Cats. Given a choice between a five inch refractor and say a C8 Edge I'd take the latter every single time as an excellent all rounder. Visually when it does come together the planets can be stunning.
  16. The UK can have good seeing conditions. The key is being out there to take advantage of them. Just look at the fantastic results posted on this forum from the last Jupiter apparition - the vast majority taken with well collimated SCTs.
  17. Steve I have the same problem - do you have a link to a safe place to download the earlier driver? Rich
  18. Last year we ran a novices star camp the weekend before the main Kielder Star Camp and it went down so well we are doing it again. Dates are 9 and 10 October at the improved Kielder Campsite (we now have warm room and much better drainage). We'll be deploying our telescopes, offering guidance and staging talks up at Kielder Castle. If you would like to come along bookings are via the campsite (who are the organisers with our help) - http://kieldercampsite.co.uk/peoples%20star%20party%20october%2015.html
  19. No that's the same - all the work has been done to the top field which in fairness to the campsite management has been the big problem area. They are planning on putting a few more electrics in the lower field.
  20. New drain at Kielder - a real thing of beauty and a headline in itself! Seriously looking good. We are releasing a few more hard stands as a result of the work. http://kielderforeststarcamp.org/
  21. Lovely inside - arms chairs, red lights and electric points - designed for us by Newcastle University. But no telescope!
  22. Drainage and other improvements have been completed on the Kielder Campsite – home to the Kielder Starcamp. User reports are that it's made a major difference to the site's wet weather resilience. More hard standings have also been created and a really comfortable warm room created which will be open for starcamp – 14 – 19 October 2015. For booking information contact us onlynnhenderson@blueyonder.co.uk or pay a visit to http://kielderforeststarcamp.org/ Richard
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