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About kev100

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    Star Forming

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    Stargazing, IT, motorbikes, music, reading, gaming, kids and family (not necessarily in that order!)
  • Location
    Piddletrenthide, Dorset, UK (@CerneAstro)
  1. kev100

    First Light 250 Dobsonian

    Ah yes, observing at zenith on any scope is going to be difficult
  2. kev100

    24mm or 30mm ES 82 deg EP?

    Hi Andy, I'm really sorry. I went with the Myriad 20 in the end, got a great deal on a second hand one here on SGL. Really love the Ep. Huge wide field, minimal pincushioning, great contrast. Can go whole sessions without swapping it out. Kev
  3. kev100

    First Light 250 Dobsonian

    Just a thought, are you using a stool when observing?
  4. kev100

    Brief but good Mars tonight

    Hi, I had a very similar experience with Mars last night (10 Sept), with my 250PX. Only had about an hour, so the scope was nowhere near cool enough, and it was from about 8 till 9pm. Still saw the southern polar cap very clearly, with darker patches on the surface. Best view yet Kev
  5. kev100

    What Would Be Your Answer To This Question?

    I'm afraid I can offer only rather boring answers to this question, and try not to regard what I do with the scope as any different to what others do when appreciating the scenery, or art, or a poem, or an insect, etc. What I get out of stargazing is probably similar to what I get out of looking out the window, or at the mountains, or a forest, etc, and I guess it comes down to losing myself somewhat, and resetting what's important. Kev
  6. Never mind. My son happened to have a very small allen key for adjusting the bridge on his electric guitar, and that fitted. Head's up, though, to all who use these focusers ... especially with heavy EPs. Keep an eye on the fit of those small screws! Kev
  7. kev100

    Couldn't resist..

    I take it back, I misread the focal lengths ...
  8. Hi, just went to collimate the scope ahead of a quick midweek session, and noticed that it was way out ... went to check it with the laser collimator, and the draw tube bit almost fell out. Is looks like the tiny holes in the mounting plate: ... have come loose. Any idea what size they are (I assume they're allen head screws, but can't see them and have nothing that fits). You can just see the little marks on the drawtube housing ring where they screw to. Good job it fell out then, and not later when the 20mm Myriad was in it ... Kev
  9. kev100

    Couldn't resist..

    My OCD's going bonkers that they're not in focal length order ...
  10. HI Victor, I'm not convinced that a small refractor will help. From your original post, it seems that time available to you to set up and sit by the scope is the issue. Whilst a small frac may save you a few minutes of set up time, if you don't have a couple hours to sit by it and observe, then the few minutes saved in set up time won't help. Kev
  11. Hi Victor, As winter is drawing ever closer, you should be able to find the odd hour or two in the early evenings for a quick session. During the periods when I've lost the motivation, I found that heading out with my binoculars for even just half an hour enough to fire up the passion again. There have been times when I took a walk or sat on a bench somewhere and looked with the naked eye, identifying planets, stars and constellations, and that, too, was enough to keep me motivated (it also gave me time to come up with a list of targets to view when I next had the chance to get out with the scope). I doubt a small refractor is any easier to set up than the dob, so why not try a few short binocular sessions first, and see how you get on; I bet they'll soon whet the appetite for some more scope sessions. Kev
  12. kev100

    Which dob?

    Hiya, I went from a 130P to a 10-inch and haven't looked back. If you have the budget for a 10 go for it. It has more light gathering power than an 8, and you won't be plagued by 'what if' thoughts. Yes, EP choice needs care, but there's plenty of advice here on that front. The 8 is a good scope, and easier on EPs, but DSOs will be noticeably brighter in a 10, and the difference between a 10 and your current scope will be very, very noticeable ... Kev
  13. All I'd recommend for now is a decent app on your phone/tablet (stellarium or Sky Safari) to help you find things, and a drum stool/observing chair to make observing comfortable. I find the stock finder scope adequate, but I know several who recommend RACI or Telrad finders. You might want to make up a dew shield for both the scope and finder using camping mat/foam. Those, and a decent low power EP for scanning the sky, and a medium power EP for close ups and you'd be good to go. Kev
  14. Just chipping in again. On the subject of your 3mm eyepiece, I'd say that's really far too much magnification of use with 'normal' skies. Generally, the maximum I use is x240 (5mm EP) on really good nights or x200 (6mm EP) for planets, planetary nebulae, etc. I see someone has recommended BST Starguiders. whilst they are excellent quality, and value for money, they do suffer from pin-cushioning at longer focal lengths in a fast scope like yours. You do have to be careful choosing EPs when you get below f5 focal ratio. Personally, I'd also avoid zoom EPs, as they tend not to be good in fast scopes, and give a reduced field of view ... For what it's worth (and everyone will have a different take on this), I tend to use my 8.8mm EP (x136 mag) and my 20mm (x60 mag) the vast majority of the time. Kev
  15. Hiya, I have the same scope. The answer to your question "If I buy another 10 or 25 piece is it really that much better than the boxed pieces?" is yes. The glass itself will be better, producing a better, 'cleaner', sharper and more contrasty image, and the field of view will be larger, depending on the eyepiece you go for. Personally, I like to have a range of eyepieces, from higher power, through medium, and low power, and I also like a fairly large field of view, so I'd recommend something in the 5-6mm focal length, then somewhere between 12-16mm, and finally, 24-32mm, all with a field of view of at least 68 degrees. One issue which will limit your choice of eyepiece is the 'fast' focal ratio of your scope. At f4.7, it can be a bit too much for some EPs, producing pin-cushioning of the view, especially noticeable in longer focal length eyepieces. Something from the Explore scientific 68-82 degree ranges, perhaps? They sometimes come up for sale on the secondhand market. Kev

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