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Everything posted by Dixie

  1. The 9.25 is a very nice scope, as is the C8. I've had both. Just one point about the former though - whatever it's optical advantages one is not that is has smaller central obstruction - it is actually larger than a C8 - approx 35% v 32% of diametre. I found planetary performance very similar with both. The 9.25 does drag in the expected slight boost in DSO brightness. Cheers Richard
  2. Adding my thanks to Steve, Mike, Lesley and Ralph. Really great place. Richard
  3. This event is now fully booked, thanks for your support as always. The main day is on 29 October at Kielder Castle (11am - 4.30pm) with talks and vendors including Widescreen, Ian King, Astronomica, Aurora Books and Astrodevelopments. Rother Valley will also be showing a new range of scopes on the campsite. People are welcome to join us on the main day or on the observing field at any time (red light rules apply). We make no charges, this is free to everyone. Richard
  4. Rother Valley Optics is only an hour drive away from York and has a real and extensive show room with plenty of stock. It does pay to see scopes and mounts in the flesh as it were if you don't go to star parties and Ian and Adam are good people to deal with. Not heard the news about Green Wich opening a Leeds store. That is good news - Lee who is involved with them is also a top bloke. Other than that there's Optic Star in Sale, which apparently also has a decent showroom. Richard
  5. I'll back up the good things said about RVO. They also seem to carry a lot of in-stock items. Rich
  6. Nexstar is a pretty basic handset emulator on your laptop. Somewhere out there I gather someone is looking at including Nexstar within EQMOD, but not heard anything on this for a few months. Rich
  7. I've got an NEQ6 and it's a smashing mount. I use mine for imaging with a C8 and 80mm refractor on top - adds up to the same weight as a C11. Does a great job and the only limitation is me. If you were to use a light guide scope or better still off axis guiding I'd go with it over the CGEM. Just my view. I'm no AP expert, but as a Celestron veteran I really like the Synta. Rich Kielder Forest Star Camp
  8. Look forward to seeing you Colin. Call round for a beer. Rich
  9. Sorry for the teaser .... I'll say more if and when! Rich
  10. Yes we have a few more hook ups to play with this year, but it's always best to a few spare just in case any go down (although the electrics were upgraded last year). We may release a few more electrics nearer the event. I was up at Kielder the other week and you forget what a really dark sky looks like, pretty dazzling - you couldn't see the cloud banks come in 'cos there is no orange light for them to reflect. Look forward to seeing the Dob, Tom. We have around 150 people booked in, plus more staying round and abouts. May have a few astro-VIPS calling in too. Rich
  11. Finally got the main day of the 9th Kielder Forest Star Camp sorted! It will be on Saturday 29 October at Kielder Castle, Northumberland. It is free to everyone - whether or not you are staying on the Kielder Campsite. The event itself is almost fully booked - but we do have ten extra non-hook pitches we can offer this year. Drop me a line sharpish. MAIN DAY 11am to 4.30 pm. Vendors Ian King Imaging, Widescreen Centre, Astronomica and Astrodevelopments. Talks 1pm Astro-historian Martin Lunn on his work with fellow researcher Lila Rakoczy to re-date a massive stellar explosion (Supernova remnant Cass A). It's a story that has NASA interested! 1.40pm Dave Williams is mastering the art of narrowband imaging. Learn how to take stunning deep sky images from the city. 3pm GP and amateur astronomer John Lockett tells you how to make your eyes work harder for better views of the heavens. 3.30pm Graham Darke de-bunks moon hoax theories by the appliance of science! You can check out Kielder's night sky by logging onto need-less light pollution Clear skies, Rich starcamp@richarddarn.demon.co.uk
  12. Add my thanks to all those who work so hard to make the Astro Fest a great event. No one can control the weather and next time we might have wall to wall clear skies and the wonderful view of the Milky Way that Dalby does better than most star parties. Excellent friendliness and organisation as always, Richard
  13. Got around to sorting all the pix from previous star camps and putting them online. Check out Picasa Web Albums - Richard Darn to see if you - or your image - is there! Cheers, Richard Kielder Forest Star Camp
  14. John There's a new blue route for more relaxed mtb-ing starting from Kielder Castle and the Lakeside Way is now fully open, all ability route going around Kielder Water (26 miles). Something for everyone. Great place to ride. Richard
  15. Jason I do webcam so have a similar issue and there's plenty of people with laptops. The key is to make sure they are well filtered with red gel, and if poss have your back to an area without observers behind. Also why not put the lappy in a cardbox/plastic box - which is what I do to shield glare from the sides? Hope you can make it. Cheers Richard
  16. We are down to a few non-hook up pitches left for the 9th Kielder Forest Star Camp - 26 to 31 October - so book soon if you'd like to join us under the dark Northumberland sky. All electrics and hard standing now reserved. Full event details and booking form at Kielder Forest Star Camp Vendors will include Widescreen, Ian King, Astronomica, Astrodevelopments and possibly Rother Valley. Four talks on the main day - 29 Oct - all free. Clear skies, Richard
  17. Yep on a good night you can see the Crepe. It's a bit tough at the moment as the rings are still fairly closed - look for a charcoal gauze type effect. Seeing this side of the Pennines pretty poor tonight. Richard
  18. Kielder is already taking bookings for Autumn - 26 to 31 October 2011 Generally, we know the dates a year ahead, but we open the bookings after the spring event is over and done with. Cheers Richard Kielder Forest Star Camp
  19. I use a Thinkpad X60s ...refurbed and an absolute steal at 220 quid. Bullet proof, dual core, 2gig of Ram. Only downside is just 80gb hard disc, but that is fine for capture. Got a 12inch screen and wee light to illuminate keyboard. Same price as netbook but more powerful. Battery life is good on mine. cheers richard
  20. I own the 17AMP version and I've also owned/still own numerous leisure batteriers. The Halfords power pack has been outstanding , still holds a really good charge despite being about 5 years old. rich
  21. Ron Dalby is part of the same process as all the other publicly managed forests - including Kielder, Sherwood, Forest of Dean, Cannock, New Forest, Haldon, Grizedale, ect, ect - most have been owned by the public since the 1920s. The Govt has said the FC must sell off 15% of publicly owned woods in the short term (no one knows which apparently), and then future ownership of all 800,000 acres is under the spotlight - although the Govt has said it will consult the public first (probably from later this week). Who would buy Dalby? Could be split up between timber firms / lesiure businesses / shooting interests / estates - who knows? If you don't like the sound of that make your feelings known to your MP and/or sign the national petition. If you agree with the Govt - then just sit tight. Oh, by the way, Star Fest is terrific event, you have to book first and it now always sells out, and there are just a few trade stalls, mainly Astronomica. Well worth a visit with skies easily as good as Kelling, perhaps a bit better. Cheers Dixie
  22. Astrodevelopments is John Rose and he's based near Chesterfield. His stuff is good - bought a fair bit from him and he has serviced my mounts. He's a proper astronomer and a regular at Kielder star party. Many of us use his EQ6 replacement Alt/Az bolts. Cheers Richard
  23. Surprised to see the EQ7 included as the word was it had teething problems, wasn't going to appear and would be called the EQ8 when it did hit the market. Anyone throw light on this? Richard
  24. As a C14 owner on a CGE and with an EQ6 the former is barely adequate for the big tube, good enough for webcam but really tough for deep sky imaging, whilst the latter is excellent value but in no way would I even try to put the C14 on it. It's surprising how the weight mounts up - ie telrad, diagonal, eyepiece, dew shield, crayford .... and that's just for visual. Richard
  25. Yep, my thanks too. Stunning countryside and a sky that rocks. Richard
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