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Everything posted by JulianFR

  1. I'm looking forward to seeing Jupiter, and the other planets higher in the sky later in the season. It was quite amazing seeing Orion climb above the horizon as well, with the belt, Betelgeuse and Rigel prominent. It was like a sleeping giant raising itself from slumber
  2. Thanks all for the comments and the advice. Nero, that Sky & Telescope site showing the Jovian moons is great: so I must have seen a small star right next to Callisto; I thought it was odd to see a fifth moon. Qualia, I was aware of the bands on the disc but no detail. Proves your point also that I need to take time observing through the ep, not just taking quick looks. It was easier to view through the 10mm stock SW; the Celestron 6mm showed more of course but it was more tiring to use and I don't yet have the fluidity of nudging to keep the planet in view. I can't afford better eps yet so will persevere, maybe with a Barlow.
  3. Jupiter looked spectacular tonight (well, this morning really)... And I saw five (I think) moons. And I thought it was going to rain tonight. I used my Celestron 6mm Omni ep, which was pretty good, but eye relief limited. So quite a buzz for my son and I as this is the first planet we have seen in the 8" Dob. I imagine a filter of some sort might have helped show more detail on the disc. Out of interest how much more detail would I have seen with a 10" Dob? Would there be much difference?
  4. What a great guide to flocking, Steve ... I almost feel confident enough to try it, though collimation from scratch scares me! I'm interested in the replacement primary and secondary adjusting screws you have... Where do you get them and is it easy to replace the original screws? Julian
  5. Thanks all ... Appreciate your replies. I'll look for previous posts. I think I'll try flocking when I'm a bit more confident. More generally, any other tips for pimping and improving (if that's the right word) my Dob? Anti-condensation maybe; it's becoming a nuisance now. My Telrad fogs up really quickly and becomes unusable. I've had a Telrad condensation guard on back-order from FLO for weeks but no sign yet.
  6. Hi... More beginners' questions I'm afraid,,, would I notice much difference if I flocked the inside of my SW 200 Dob? Is it a worthwhile exercise on a beginner's telescope? And is it actually difficult (I'm pretty cack-handed!)? Thanks, Julian.
  7. Many thanks for the advice everyone. Must admit I'm unsure if the filter IS worthwhile given some of the comments, but I think I'll try one and see. I'm learning a lot on this site ... And it's all fascinating!
  8. Ah yes, I was planning to look for M27 tonight with the help of Turn Left At Orion but it's turned cloudy after being perfect earlier I'll give the 6mm a go when it's clear... I thought that size was only for planets (shows I'm a novice)! Thanks for the filter tip ... Would you recommend any other filters (I only have a moon filter)?
  9. I was really excited last night in clear skies to find M57... my first 'proper' deep sky object. It looked like a tiny smoke ring and although it was faint, by averting my eye it popped into view quite well. However, I was surprised it was quite so small in my 8" Dob with 15mm Celestron Omni eyepiece, and not much different in the 10mm stock Sky Watcher ep. So, my question is can I make M57 and other sights I eventually find (where IS the Andromeda galaxy!?) stand out more with a filter? If so what type ... And which other filters would you recommend for a beginner? Thanks, Julian
  10. Just an update ... Using the above advice I decided I did need to collimate. I found the the first part, with the secondary, tricky but it was easier with the primary. Not sure it's that well done but it's sharper than it was. So thanks again to all.
  11. Thanks again umadog. I will try that on the next clear night here. I have noticed the out-of-focus effect on stars on my previous observing sessions but I have not attempted it methodically, as you describe above. I've noticed the stars didn't show quite the concentric circles you describe but had a tiny black dot in the centre with bright circles around and tiny dark rays linking said bright circles. Not a very scientific description, so I'll do it properly next time. Julian
  12. Many thanks for all the advice ... And the links. I've visited the Astro-Baby site a couple of times and, yes, I know it's a super explanation but I'm still not looking forward to my first time. I know I will have to learn very soon and I'm going to look again with renewed confidence thanks to your advice. Umadog: yes it was a vague statement, but I honestly DON'T know what I should be looking for as I'm a beginner, though I have had a refractor previously. As I said, the stars seem sharp and the moon detailed ... My concern is (was now thanks to the advice) 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Thanks again all. Julian
  13. Apologies for another basic collimation question, but I'm trying to put off the 'evil' (for me) day! But when do I actually need to collimate... What would I notice if my SW 200p needs doing? I've been using it out of the box for a couple of weeks, gently moving it into the garden and back to view. It SEEMS pretty good: the brighter stars resolve pretty well, though with small spikes/rays, and the smaller ones are quite sharp. The moon also is quite detailed through both the supplied 10 and 25mm eye pieces. I haven't seen any planets yet. I have a Cheshire but I just know if I start adjusting I'm likely to make things worse Thanks in advance, Julian
  14. Thanks for the advice all. Really helpful. It confirms my fear that optics is a difficult topic for me so I was right to ask for help. Great article on eye-pieces Ron ... Thanks for the link. That's my local astronomy society in Swindon so I plan to join with my son (hope they will put up with me!) Any preferences on the two red laser finder brands? Julian
  15. As a telescope beginner I find the subject of eye-pieces quite complex. I have a Sky Watcher 200 (f 1200) Dob, which came with 10mm and 25mm eye-pieces. Could anyone advise me on what range and what type of other eye-pieces would be useful to cover general viewing, while not breaking my small bank! On a different point, the finder-scope is difficult for me to use as I can't get my head and eye close enough to the tube to look up it! Any thoughts on whether I should try to find a right-angle finder ... Or should I go straight to a Telrad/Rigel finder? Many thanks in advance, Julian
  16. John, thanks for the picture. Your Orion does at least though have the three-armed metal structure behind the mirror. I must admit I would feel safer with that extra bit of protection for the mirrow... even if it doesn't really make much difference :-) Julian
  17. Excellent advice Jake (and all). Many thanks. I have emailed FLO and Martin there has found a shower cap for me. It will be a telescopic comfort blanket for me... I can see it gives no real protection as such J
  18. What is the shower cap you mention? Is there a technical name for it I should search for on the FLO site? Also (sneaky second question) should the factory settings be ok for the moment? I'm using the telescope straight out of the box and the moon seems pretty sharp... I haven't dared look into collimation yet!
  19. Thanks all. Your replies have set my mind at rest. I was concerned that the open end could expose the mirror back to nasty accidental knocks when moving the telescope. Psychologically I think I will be happier with some kind of end cover, so I'll look into your suggestions. J
  20. Hi... I've just joined the forum and I'm a beginner so I hope you don't mind me asking a specific equipment question. I've just taken delivery of a Star-Watcher Skyliner 200p Dobsonian from FLO and although I've only had the chance to use it once, briefly, I'm very happy with it. But I'm concerned there may be a bit missing! The base of the tube is open to the rear of the primary mirror. To me, that makes the mirror vulnerable to any knocks... Or worse. A small illustration in the instruction manual seems to show a three-armed assembly over the base, where the adjusting screws are. But my telescope doesn't have this, though it does seem to have spare screw holes. Further, while looking up collimation on the Astro-Baby site, I read that Sky-Watcher Dobsonians usually have a round metal plate screwed to the base, which of course I don't have. Does anyone know if the 200p SHOULD have either of these base plates to protect the mirror? I have contacted FLO to enquire but have had no reply as yet. Many thanks in advance for any advice. Julian.
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