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Dixie

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Everything posted by Dixie

  1. 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
  2. I had a chat with Damian Peach after a talk he did down at Walsall AS - what a nice bloke. For the record there's no mystery about what he does. He has two C14s (one Edge), always uses Winjupos and ADC, plus electric focuser. I've not used an ADC yet but I can see (as Piotr suggests) it will become a necessity whatever OTA you use. We can get good seeing in the UK - but you have to put the hours in to benefit when it comes along. Always thought Selsey might be quite good in this respect being surrounded by water on three sides.
  3. The Celestron OTAs are lighter than Meade and in my experience exhibit less focus shift - but optically not much to chose. The top guys do seem to use Celestron and read into that what you will.
  4. Perhaps I should get the dates right!!! 18 – 23 FEBRUARY 2015 Rich
  5. Four electric hook ups have become free (two with hard stands) so if you fancy sampling the skies in Europe's biggest dark sky park drop us a line on lynnhenderson@blueyonder.co.uk The Spring Star Camp runs from 21 - 26 February in Kielder - besides pitch fees nothing else to pay - all the talks on the main day are free. Clear skies Rich
  6. Aye I think there will be a few of us there! Don't forget to bookmark the new KFSC website http://kielderforeststarcamp.org/ A new warm room is being built, further work to drainage and at last more hard standing put in. Rich
  7. Heads up - this event will take place on 14 - 19 October 2015 in the heart of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. Bookings will open late February and I'll post more details then. Clear skies. Rich
  8. I think guiding will be your number one issue. I've used the CGE and C14 for a long time and tried astro-photography. Anything over a slight breeze is difficult to cope with. That doesn't stop me - but it does mean the number of nights you can achieve worthwhile results are relatively few. But hey that's a challenge. I use a FR which brings things down to 2.4 metres and also used a Canon 1100D. Guiding via DMK, ST80 and Ascom through Phd. Balance is critical - the mount is really maxed out. On good nights I can get to six minutes or so guided. But you may have a better CGE - their guiding abilities are quite patchy.
  9. The walk from the campsite to the obby is about 40mins up and less coming down. It's about 1.5 miles away, but peched at 1250 feet. Kielder campsite is your best option and on a clear night a good place to observe. There is a bus up to Kielder - but check timetable. Enjoy, Richard
  10. Have you replaced the cables on your CGE between the pier and motors? Mine were very flakey so I modded it using the Gary Bennett kit. There was a thread on SGL a few years ago about the improvements made to the CGE (they did indeed revert back to using the older CGE Pittman motors). http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/164622-celestron-cge-pro-enhancements/ Not sure how long Synta will sell two mounts pitched so closely with each other - ie EQ8 and CGE Pro. Rich
  11. Sounds a solution - but can't help wondering why they made the rig so darned high? Do you have a pix? That Meade is quite a bit heavier than the C14 so well done everything together. Richard
  12. I'll try that - I was messing the other night and could not get AstroTort to move the mount - the error log said not aligned. Thanks, Richard
  13. Some of the early CGE Pros had poor periodic error - as did the mount's predecessor the CGE. They CGE Pros were revamped a bit a few years ago and that apparently improved things somewhat. There are reviews of the mount kicking around - check Cloudy Nights. I seriously considered buying one when they came out for my C14, but took one look at the height of the dovetail saddle and walked away - the mount sits far too high for anything but refractor owners in my opinion. Try lugging 60 lbs above 5 foot 10" in the dark. The multitude of levers has also come in for a bit of stick - but they are no worse than the hard to tighten dovetail bolts on the EQ8. You really need to compare like with like - the EQ6 is a much smaller mount, comparable with the CGEM. The CGE Pro and EQ8 sit in direct competition - if that's possible given they are produced by the same company. Of the two I'd probably go with the latter, but as with all mounts at this price point nothing is perfect. If you are into AP, the EQ8 interfaces with EQMOD, a much better remote option than Nexremote. My opinions only!!! Richard
  14. I have the CGE and it requires GOTO alignment to be done by the handset as far as I'm aware. The sync feature in some planetarium programmes which works well with Skywatcher etc does not work the Nexstars. I'm happy to be contradicted, but I tried to plate solve with AstroTort the other night without Nextar alignment and No Go. Richard
  15. I've had my C8 for 20 years - it spends some of the time on its original forks and often decants onto an NEQ6 for imaging. It is the one scope that will never be sold - I keep coming back to it. Perfect compromise between aperture and portability. I do DSO, bit of imaging and webcaming. Even thinking of getting a second OTA so I can leave the C8 on the forks. Be surprised if you regret going in this direction. Richard
  16. To mark the advent of the Northumberland Dark Sky Park we are staging a beginner's event the week before the main Kielder Forest Star Camp. Sort of a "People's Star Camp". We'll provide hands on advice and guidance if you are setting out in the hobby, together with colourful talks. Hard standings and electrics available. The dates are 17/18 October and the venue is the community run Kielder Campsite, who are going to handle the bookings direct for this. Email: kieldercampsite@btconnect.com Telephone: 01434 250291 Great chance to experience a really dark sky with experienced amateur astronomers. Any question please ask. Richard
  17. We now have a flash new website for the Kielder Forest Star Camp - http://kielderforeststarcamp.org/ All the latest news.
  18. Yes I can confirm that currently hard-standing and electrics sold out and we now have a waiting list for both. It is worthwhile going on the list - we always reallocate some nearer the event. We may have a few more electrics to play with too. Non-hook ups still available. Thanks, Richard
  19. Very pleased to say that the Kielder Star Camp has at last migrated to a new purpose designed webpage - you can check it out at http://kielderforeststarcamp.org/ We also have a new bank account so booking payments are now once again being processed. A reminder that the event runs from 22 - 27 October 2014. Some great pictures from last Autumn's event at http://tinyurl.com/onvhmch Clear skies, Richard
  20. Mark Be great to see you again. Chris We use the Kielder Campsite. Clear skies Richard
  21. Be good to see you Kenny. Widescreen, Green Witch and Ian King all slated for the main day trade stands. Rich
  22. Wooden nuts - very comfortable, stayed in one myself. Easy take two people. Just bring cooking and sleeping gear, not tent needed. They have electrics. cheers
  23. Nice shots Robbie. That EQ8 is performing well. You must get that C9.25 on board to see how it does at longer focal lengths. Richard
  24. Or it could be that the SCT's optics just are not as good and you compared it with an optically good dob . There are always variations. I'm sure there are better SCTs than mine - but well collimated and thermally stable it is very nice. Star test looks rubbish though!
  25. The star party will take place from 22 - 27 October 2014. Bookings now open. If you want electric hook up please BOOK EARLY. We will not be letting some which are on pitches prone to flooding until much closer to the event and only if the weather permits. So a few less hook-ups to go round. Star turn at the main day (25 Oct) will be Andy Newsam from the Liverpool Robotic Telescope. A fantastic speaker. Ian King imaging amongst vendors. Bookings to Lynn at lynnhenderson@blueyonder.co.uk Bookings for the Hobbit Hutches direct to the campsite - Steve on 01434 250291. New star camp website coming. Cheers Richard
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