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Everything posted by kev100

  1. Hi there, I have a pair of 20x80s. I mount them on an old Manfrotto 190 tripod via a quick release camera adaptor that I got from Amazon for about a tenner. When I want to look higher in the sky, I sit on a drum stool between the tripod legs. I would start by looking at the brighter objects (moon, Pleiades, bright stars), so you get used to using the binoculars and finding your way around. Also, Stellarium on a computer does a pretty good job of simulating what you can expect to see. This is how I've got Stellarium set up to show what to expect ... Kev
  2. Hi @Nyctimene, I was inspired to try for Hickson 44 after reading your post, and last night I went for it with the 10-inch. I started with my 20mm Myriad (x60), and easily found the brighter two galaxies. Once in the right area, I switched in the Explore Scientific 8.8mm (x136), and, just like you said in your post, the third emerged after a couple of minutes. The last one (3187) took longer, but after about 15 minutes of letting the scene drift across the FOV I spotted it ... then it was gone ... then back again Really thrilled to have nabbed this little cluster (and from the back garden!). It's a cracking target. Kev
  3. Hi Steve, Thanks for confirming that there's actually nothing wrong with them, that is good to know, and thanks for your feedback on my review. I'd better start saving Will you be send them to the address they were collected from? Kev
  4. It certainly is. I had a cracking session from the back garden the other night. The Beehive cluster was a clear, bright patch, likewise the double cluster. Even managed to view the flame neb (with UHC filter) for the first time
  5. Good plan. I'll arrange something for she gets back.
  6. Hi all, thought I'd post an update on my contact with Longhorns (first my email): Hi Sally, I'm sure I and a number of other local stargazers would be keen to take you up on your kind offer. How do you see it working? Would it be for organised public sessions, would sessions be organised for the to perhaps help being campers to the site? Would access be available to one or two stargazers to turn up (once checked that it's okay with you) for a quiet few hours by themselves? All of the above? Could I, for example, pass on your details to others in the area? In the meantime, I've put a post on a stargazing forum, mentioning that there are a number of possible sites available for astronomers in Dorset, and there seems to be a good level of interest. We really are very lucky in this part of the world, in that once out of the towns, we do have very good dark skies. And Longhorn's reply: Thank you for your email, we are open to suggestions to work along side you, perhaps more organised events which could be open to campers if you felt that this was appropriate. I am away from Friday until next Thursday , but more than happy to meet at Longthorns and show you what we have to offer. I wonder if Longhorns might be something better suited to formal stargazing sessions, perhaps organised by the WAS, than to single or small groups of stargazers ...? Any thoughts o that front? Kev
  7. Hi again, I guess, if those who are interested just follow this thread, then we can use it to suggest times and places for meet ups and take it form there. I'll follow up on the Longthorns site later today, and will report back. Kev
  8. Hi there, So, here’s what I’m thinking (apologies for the ramble). A few things came together to prompt my original post. • The first was that I was out at one of my sites on Friday last, the sky was super dark and glittery, and I thought I really should let others know about this place (the land owner’s happy for me to bring people up there (it’s just off the main Dorchester to Sherborne road, between Cerne Abbas and Piddletrenthide where I live). I do like to ask whenever I plan to go up there, but he’s always happy for me go go ahead. • The second thing (and bear with me): Last year I did some public stargazing sessions as part of a local initiative called ‘Try This’, based in Dorchester. The sessions were very popular, and, as a result, I was asked to come along to a meeting in preparation for this years event. I met someone there who said I’d be welcome to use her farm for stargazing sessions (apparently it’s super dark, though quite near to Dorchester. I haven’t been able to check it out yet, but again, she said she’d be happy for me to bring people up there. • The third thing was that, again via Try This, I was contacted yesterday with this: “Thanks for the information regarding your two stargazing sessions. I will check the diary for our availability. In the meantime I am sending this e-mail to yourself and Sally Mead who is the co-owner of Longthorns Farm. We met her a few weeks ago at a tourism networking event and she would be interested to offer you the use of some space that is light pollution free for stargazing. They have a barn and bar area too, plus toilets which may be useful to you and your stargazers. Let me know how you get on. I am sure if you e-mail Sally she will be pleased to hear from you.” I’ve had a look and Longthorns looks like a fab place (and even has a bar and toilets!). • Fourth, as a result of my post yesterday, a fellow Dorset SGL-er suggested this place (which looks amazing): "Don't know if you have this one, but I used to go over onto the Purbecks. There is a great car park overlooking Steeple (just before you enter the Lulworth firing range). Head out of Wareham towards Swanage and take a road on the right that has a massive junction. It's called Grange Road/Grange Hill. Then just keep going until you go up the very steep hill and the car park is on the left as you get to the top. The car park is indicated on the attached map as the "bus stop" like loop just before the switch-back. You have a clear view south which drops away quite steeply, so all the village light (such as it is) is well below your line-of-sight and there is very little traffic on the road behind you (especially when the ranges are closed). https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Dorset/@50.6344791,-2.1417033,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x486d80aaedabf177:0x33a1f481bada6d5f!8m2!3d50.7487635!4d-2.3444786 • Finally, I’m still doing public sessions (I’ve got two this weekend - weather permitting). One at the New Inn in Cerne Abbas on Friday, and on at the Piddlehinton Millennium Green on Saturday. Both are free sessions, and people are welcome to bring scopes, binoculars, etc. Saturday is looking like the better night so far. When doing these I post details on a little Facebook group I set up following the Try This sessions last year. It’s called ‘Dorchester Area Stargazers’, and is open to anyone to join. So, as I see it, all we need to do now is to decide how we can arrange meet ups, and set dates. Could be here on SGL, or on the Facebook group, or some other way. I’m quite keen to try out Longthorns and the site in the Purbecks . If anyone can make it this weekend, esp Saturday, that would be awesome (hoping for a good turnout!) Kev
  9. Hi Dave, Thanks for that. My sons both have the Opticron 10x50s (I think these retail for about 50 quid, though), and I'd say they're better optically than the Helios. I'd really just like a second opinion on mine, though, as others seem to rate them highly. FLO has kindly agree to have them back and check them for me, so we'll soon find out how representative they are. Kev
  10. Cracking report Neil, and a real achievement with the 130 - you're gonna be beside yourself when the dob comes! Kev
  11. Hi all, not sure where else to post this, but I've managed to secure access to a handful of pretty good observing sites over the years I've been at this, and wondered if anyone in the Dorset area is interested in sharing them or perhaps arranging meet-ups/stargazing sessions. I don't want to post the locales publicly, as a couple are on farms to which I've been granted access. I kinda wish there was a Dorset community sub-forum, but I don't think the mods are too keen on expanding that section of the site. Anyway, let me know if you're interested. Kev
  12. Hi Alan, I can't really comment on better quality optics, as I've not really tried anything particularly high-end. However, I would suggest more aperture as another option. I really enjoy the views through my Celestron 20x80s, and they weren't madly expensive. Kev
  13. @BinocularSky Thanks Steve. I've been looking for the Sky at Night group test I read, but I can't find it now (though I have found mention of it: http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/forum/helios-binoculars-t78861.html). The Naturesport were definitely recommended (and form memory were quoted as the 'best sub £120 bins' available. It's just that, seeing others saying how great they were, started me thinking that, perhaps, mine were a duff pair. Kev
  14. Hi there, Baader Wonder Fluid is great for getting rid of eyelash marks : https://www.firstlightoptics.com/astronomy-optics-cleaning-protection/baader-optical-wonder-fluid.html Kev
  15. Hi Victor, Yes! I think it was seeing them mentioned in your signature, and reading one of your posts that prompted me to write. Until I read your report, I figured that that's how 80 quid binoculars were going to be. I don't think it's a collimation issue, in that I can get both eye views to a single image. It's just the distortion that affects the outer third of the fov. I actually wrote a review on FLO's website shortly after receiving them, but, being them a present, and not being very expensive, I didn't think of sending them back (and it didn't bother me too much at the start anyway). Now, though, they're hardly getting any use at all because of the 'issue'. Cheers, Kev.
  16. Funny enough, I was prompted to write my post as a result of reading one of your previous reports ...
  17. Hi, I got a pair of these a couple of years ago, and straightaway noticed that stars in the outer third or so of the fov were stretched, and there was a definite ballooning/pin-cushioning of the view as I panned across the sky. The centre of the fov is great, and so I figured that, for the price, they were as good as they were going to be. However ... I had bought them as a result of reading a Sky ay Night review that placed them as the best sub-£120 10x50 binos in the test. I've also read lots of very positive reviews of them here on SGL, at least one describing the optics as very good. Do I have a bad pair? Kev.
  18. Well, that little adaptor works perfectly! Well happy
  19. Good plan ?. I've ordered the adaptor, with next day delivery, so will report back soon. Kev
  20. Cheers. Seems obvious now that I've seen them, but, not being a photography buff, I didn't even know that such devices existed! Thanks! Kev
  21. Hmmm ... this one looks more like it ... https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00P63E1XS/ref=psdc_1330832031_t2_B00Y0K2NAG
  22. Hi Charic, I agree, Steve's site is a goldmine. As for the opticron part, I'd prefer not to use a bracket of that type. What do you reckon to this, though: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andoer-Universal-Adapter-Release-Compatible/dp/B01LZ87MLK/ref=sr_1_19?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1518282756&sr=1-19&keywords=head+quick+release It appears to be what I need .. in that there's a plate to attach to the tripod head, and a quick release bit that I can leave on the centre bar of the bins ... Kev
  23. Hi Steve, Charic, Do you have links to those? A C bracket and the opticron mount? Cheers, Kev
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