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Everything posted by kev100

  1. 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.
  2. Well, that little adaptor works perfectly! Well happy
  3. Good plan ?. I've ordered the adaptor, with next day delivery, so will report back soon. Kev
  4. 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
  5. Hmmm ... this one looks more like it ... https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00P63E1XS/ref=psdc_1330832031_t2_B00Y0K2NAG
  6. 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
  7. Hi Steve, Charic, Do you have links to those? A C bracket and the opticron mount? Cheers, Kev
  8. Cheers Charic, That's the sort of thing, except instead of an L-bracket, something that fits onto the centre bar fitting, rather than the end ... Kev
  9. Cheers Steve, I was thinking more along the lines of, perhaps, some sort of a quick release thing, with a base I can leave on the tripod, and a 'shoe' I can leave attached to the centre bar of the bins. It's off-putting to be messing around with screws every time. Kev
  10. Hi, I have an old Manfrotto tripod that I use for my Celestron 20x80 binos. As you (hopfully) can see from the pix, I use the screw in the tripod head to directly attach to the bino mount. Is there an adaptor I could use to make it easier to get the binos on and off? I don't know what the tripod model is. Cheers, Kev
  11. Hi all, I'm really looking forward to this, but will have to hold off on booking it till closer to the time. Be great to meet you all there. Kev.
  12. Hiya, how about a second hand 6- or 8-inch skywatcher dobsonian ... like this one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/skywatcher-200p-dobsonian-telescope/273047872965?hash=item3f92ebe5c5:g:4roAAOSwUd9aXmui Kev
  13. Hi Neil, There's a 12 inch OTA on Astroboot.eu (but with a 10in base): Would your DIY skills be up to modding the base, or building new one? With regard to the Lunt 20mm, that's (AFAIK) the same as a Skywatcher Myriad 20mm, which can be had for a lot less ... (and is amazing!). Kev
  14. Hi Neil, I went for a solid tube. I think flex-tubes are ideal for scopes larger than 10in, but I like the solidity of the 250PX. The primary mirror never dews up, the secondary only very rarely. With the solid tube you don't have to think about getting a shroud either. Looking at the EPs in your signature, I do feel you'll be looking to change them at some point of you go for the faster 10 inch. It is hard on plossls, and I have tried starguiders with mine, and did see distortion around the edges of the fov. I had a 24mm ES Maxvision for a good while, and though a great EP, I did tire of the pin cushioning after a while (Skywatcher Myriad 20mm is an amazing replacement!). Can't comment on orthos as I haven't tried them with a 250PX, but given the focal length and fov, I shouldn't think edge-of-fov-distortion would be an issue. Kev
  15. Hi Neil, I'm sure you've already done this, but just in case, I'd recommend adding the settings for the 10in and the 12in scopes you have in mind into Stellarium (diameter, focal length), along with the eyepieces you have, and comparing the 'views' on some familiar targets ... The extra focal length of a 12 will give more mag with a given eyepiece than you'll get with a 10. That also means a reduction in true field of view. With my 20mm Myriad in my 250PX, for example, I can see pretty much all of the Beehive cluster, and likewise with the Pleiades. With a 12in scope, though, they don't fit in the fov. In my experience, from a dark site there'll be little to choose between the performance between a 10 and a 12. In fact, I recently did a brief side-by-side comparison between my 250PX and a 14in dob with an OO mirror. I only got to view the Whale galaxy, but I felt it looked better (sharper, clearer) in the 250! Further, in light polluted skies, I'd suggest a 10in would offer slightly better contrast due to the lesser aperture (it would be slight, though). Having switched up from a 130/900 Skywatcher Explorer to a 250PX myself, I feel pretty confident in saying that you wouldn't be disappointed making the same leap; the difference is mind-blowing. I've had my 10inch for about three years now, and absolutely love it. Sometimes I think I would get a 12 if buying again, but only ever briefly. Kev
  16. Hi Neil, You can't really go wrong with a 10inch dob. It's easy to move (in two bits or even for short hops as one). BST starguiders seem to work fine with the f4.7 ratio, but there are lots of alternative EPs if you so desire (the Explore Scientific 82 degree range is very good). 12 inch Skywatchers are also manageable, but are pushing it a little. 10-inchers seem to come up for sale regularly, for around £300, leaving you plenty in budget for a nice ES eyepiece ... Best advice would be to see of you can take a go on one, as it were, at a star party / club night. Kev
  17. Hi Paul, I've been to 'the Welsh one' I think 7 times, maybe 8, and can definitely recommend it. Great fun, great atmosphere, ace people, and, sometimes amazing skies ? Kev
  18. Hi Paul, there's the Astrocamp in South Wales in April : http://astrocamp.awesomeastronomy.com Kev
  19. Cheers guys, Whilst I was lucky enough to stick with the hobby, despite a couple of crappy 'beginner' scopes that almost put me off the hobby, I do wonder, though, how many Xmas beginner scopes are headed to attics/charity shops/ebay/gumtree, when they could be being used, and inspiring people instead of putting them off. I know there are books and magazines (not to mention fantastic forums like this one), but there is a lot of often conflicting information out there ... and it's really hard to get it right, or even partly right. I just think that if manufacturers set a minimum beginner setup (like I said, alt/az only, no EQ, decent finder/red dot), they'd end up getting more business in the long run. Although no-one ever gets the right scope for them first time, i reckon there'd be a lot more people engaged with the hobby, joining forums and clubs, campaigning about light pollution, etc if they weren't so put off by 'not-fit-for-purpose' scopes. Anyway, just my 2¢, Kev
  20. Hi all, I'm sure the more experienced of you will have already encountered this, but I felt I had to raise it (it's that time of year). A work colleague was given a telescope for Xmas by her husband (hadn't asked me first, by the way). It's a Celestron 114EQ Power Seeker, on an EQ2 mount (not cheap!). She'd tried looking at the moon over Xmas, but couldn't find it. Anyway, I spent an hour after work on Friday getting her started, setting it up, balancing it, polar aligning it, aligning the finder, explaining general issues as I went along. */rant/ Honestly! Why do manufacturers produce and market items like these. An EQ2 is useless for astrophotography, and more hassle than it's worth for purely visual. The tripod is wobbly, the finder awful, the EPs poor quality. Most beginners will want something to set up/put down/look through/see stuff easily (basically, something manageable on an Alt-Az mount, with a decent finder and sturdy legs/base). Most beginners will be given a telescope as a gift, with little research done, and only manufacturers specs and descriptions to go on (for example, the 114EQ on Amazon boasts of x675 magnification!). /end_rant/* I understand that the argument might run that quite a lot of people will give up the hobby anyway (for any number of reasons), and a scope like this will give just a taste of the hobby/experience, but I feel that it's equally true that a scope like this will put off more people than cold/late nights, the dark, light pollution, etc. Not being able to set up easily, and see things (even if it's only the moon) will be very disappointing. Grrrr. Kev
  21. Thanks everyone for contributing to this, ands sharing your experiences - it turned into a very entertaining thread. I was a bit upset at having had the police called, but I'm over it now (hearing others' experiences has helped a lot). Cheers, Kev
  22. Well, this happened to me last night. I was packing up at around 11 (a combination of chilly breeze, being a bit tired anyway, and the sky being a bit hazy). I was at a spot (the Cerne Abbas Viewpoint), where, on average, I must have been at least once a month over the past five years, when I saw a car approaching, fast, from the direction of the village. Something about it made be stop getting into my car and watch it, and, as I sort of expected, it swerved quickly off the main road, and swept into the car park, pulling to a stop right behind my car, blocking me in. A police officer got out and immediately a spotlight in the roof was shone in my face! The police officer asked me what I was doing, to which I replied 'stargazing', and opened the back door to show her the dob across the back seat. Immediately, the atmosphere changed. She said, 'oh ... would you look at that! See much? See anything nice? This is a good spot, isn't it? Well you can't be too careful, what with this being a secluded spot and all ...' Anyway, she then asked me for my name, and where I lived, and that was it ... she got back in the car and they left! I've been left feeling very odd ever since. Clearly they were on a mission, and came right to the car park (it definitely wasn't a case of just passing by and noticing me). Someone definitely called them, having decided I was up to no good! Anyway, as I said, it feels odd now, the police having my name and address as a result. Kev
  23. Weather underground offers quite a lot of info : https://www.wunderground.com I find it very reliable. Kev
  24. Hiya, I hold a monthly stargazing session at The New Inn in Cerne Abbas, if that's not too far. Next one is on Sunday, December the 10th. Kev
  25. Hiya, I saw it on Friday night (250PX, 20mm Myriad EP). Quite big, at x60, but very faint. Really just an indistinct smudge. Kev
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