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Everything posted by kev100

  1. I have viewed Saturn when higher, three or four years ago. I agree there is a difference, but, and it has to be said, the view I got on Saturday just gone has to be one of the best views I've ever had of it. A little soft, sure, coming and going as it drifted across the fov, but the Cassini division was very clear, and there was definite banding on the planet itself. I tried x240, x200 and x136, and it was great even at the top end. I'm very lucky, of course, in that there wasn't anything blocking the view to the south.
  2. Totally fair point. I was responding to the OP, though, who's in Essex.
  3. I was out on Saturday till about 2.30, and kept coming back to Saturn. It was spectacular. Certainly, its location in the sky was nothing to worry about.
  4. I just had a look at Stellarium, and Saturn's set to be pretty low for at least 5 or 6 years yet ...
  5. Hi there, have a look at skeye (on Android) ... it has 'push to' functionality : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lavadip.skeye
  6. Hi Wookie, as it happens, I've already done that, a couple of years ago. It did make things better for a while, but lately I've found that the drawtube is slipping more and more, and, when the dob is pointing low down, for example, there often isn't enough grip to raise the drawtube when there's a larger EP in the focuser. Adjusting the tension screw only works for a while, and then it starts slipping again. I definitely think it's time to retire the stock item (plus I'll get a fine focus option). Cheers, Kev.
  7. Thanks guys. I had considered the Lacerta item, but i want to get rid of the stock draw tube. It seems to be worn in the middle, and is difficult to adjust for smooth focusing. Ordering the low profile item today, and will report back when I use it. Kev
  8. Thanks everyone, i really appreciate the feedback. Gonna go for it ? Kev
  9. Thanks Luke. Presumably that sag will be present with a reasonably hefty eyepiece? I'm unlikely to be using a camera on it, so that's not an issue. Kev
  10. Thanks Steve, the main thing for me is that it's better than the stock item. I've soldiered on as long as I can with the original one fitted to my standard, white, 250PX, as I can't afford a top end one (like a moonlight). As long as I can achieve focus, and don't need additional EP adaptors, etc, I think I'll go for it. Cheers, Kev
  11. Hi all, I've been thinking about a focuser upgrade for my 250PX for some time now, and recently spotted the above (link: http://www.tringastro.co.uk/skywatcher-dual-speed-low-profile-crayford-focuser-3948-p.asp ), which I like the look of. Opinions seem to vary, with some users reporting focusing issues and fitting problems. I know the focuser is claimed to suit DSLR users, the low profile nature allowing the camera to achieve focus, but is it also suitable for purely visual observing? Some users seem to be saying 'yes', by use of the inbuilt extending tube, whereas others suggest 'not'. If it is suitable for visual use, would I need anything else (eyepiece adaptor, for instance)? Anyone got any direct experience? Cheers, Kev
  12. Planning to, though I'll probably check out the forecast first ...
  13. I was dealing with exactly this issue, I'm 6ft, and the tripod I mount my 20x80s on isn't tall enough. The other night I thought I'd try sitting on my drum stool, the one I usually use with my scope. It's perfect. Comfortable, easy on the neck even when viewing near zenith. Cheaper than buying a taller tripod.
  14. My regular site is the car park overlooking the Cerne Abbas Giant. Normally, it's pretty quiet, with only the odd car going by (cue hat down over the eyes/hood up till their gone), and back to the eyepiece. On a couple of occasions, though, a car has pulled in to the lay by, waited a while (with lights on pointed directly at me), before pulling away; clearly, by the sound of the haste with which it's done, somewhat p***ed off. I've often thought, "Oh ho, I've just ruined their amorous evening ..." On one occasion, and I posted an observing report here on SGL: ... things were altogether more 'exciting' ... Kev
  15. Hiya, I'm not too far from Swanage, and would be more than happy to come along. Security in numbers, and all that ... Kev
  16. Hiya, I went from a 130P to a 10 inch dob and haven't looked back. The difference was chalk and cheese. The 250PX as a great all rounder, and I've seen things I never could have with the 130. Wouldn't have any hesitation recommending it as an upgrade*. Kev *mileage may vary, other scopes are available ...
  17. I use a Baader Mk3, which the company says, doesn't need collimating (there don't appear to be any screws to do so in any case). When used alongside a collimation cap and cheshire, they all confirm one another. As it happens, the cheshire hardly gets any use these days at all, and I usually just use a collimation cap, and a final tweak using the Baader. Kev
  18. Looking again at Den's image, I actually think I did see it last night. Having given up on it thinking the seeing here just wasn't good enough, I had a pan around looking at galaxies in the area, and, sure enough, had a look at M108, right next to which was a fuzzy patch which I thought was a poorly resolved (again, because of what I thought was poor seeing) owl neb ... Because I wasn't expecting the comet to be there, I assumed it was the owl, but I'm increasingly sure it was 41P. If I'd known for sure I'd have spent more time on it. Might try again tonight. Cheers!
  19. Fantastic pic. It's clear now why I haven't been able to find it, though. Been looking in the wrong place. Stellarium on my phone puts it way north of Ms 97 & 108 ... Doh!
  20. Hi all, I appreciate that it's a long shot, but if anyone has one of these gathering dust somewhere, I'd be mucho interested ... Cheers, Kev
  21. Thanks guys. Still waiting for a chance to check it again.
  22. Hi Peter, Thank you. It's true that I wasn't able to leave the scope to cool completely. Will try again when (if) we ever have another clear night. Cheers! Kev.
  23. Hi again, I thought I'd update this thread. I was growing increasing dissatisfied with having broken primary mirror retaining clip screws in my scope, so took the plunge and had the remaining ones drilled out and replaced with some nice stainless steel ones. I replaced the mirror, with all 12 screws set to the same tension, checked the collimation and tried out the scope on a star test. No more vertical/horizontal distortion at all. Very happy. However, I then had a look at Venus, and was a little surprised to see this odd view when defocusing ... the crescent shape split into several versions before becoming a circular, out-of-focus disc ... looks a bit like this. I've never noticed this phenomenon before. It's very odd that on a star test the scope performed perfectly (Aldebaran defocussed to a circular disc without splitting into several versions), but Venus behaved like I've shown here in the image. I rechecked collimation using a collimation cap and a laser, and it's definitely spot on.
  24. Hi Pete, it's been pretty awful down this way too. The only consolation for me is that the moon's out anyway, so I wouldn't be observing in any case. As for seeing M33, M1 etc, from what I've read, 10x50s will give somewhere between 4 and 5 magnitude gain over naked eye. So, if your skies are mag 4, say, then M33 (at mag 5.7) should be well within reach. M1 would be at the limit under those circumstances. I believe, though, that with low surface brightness objects like M33 and M1, aside from clear and dark skies and dark adapted eyes, it's also a case of knowing what you're looking for, and getting your eye in, as it were. I've seen M1 with my 10x50s, but it's very easy to miss with them. As for Albireo, I've split it and seen the colours with my 20x80s, and I've told myself I've split it with the 10x50s, but it was very tight. Holding the bins steady and getting decent focus were the more important issues ... Do let me know how you get on with R Lep. Kev.
  25. Good luck. I saw it with my bins a couple of weeks ago. I seem to remember it taking a couple of attempts, hopping from μ Lep, but once I'd seen it I was able to go straight there afterwards.
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