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Everything posted by runoffshed

  1. Great scope. Regarding the springs, I am trying to see how they are held in compression at present - do they press against a sleeve or something? (and the clutch at the other end) If so, is it not possible to make a spacer / sleeve to compress the spring further or am I missing something (I'm sure I am). A bearing of the correct diameter would also make a good spacer. Failing that, you could fit wedges between the coils of the springs - not very neat, I know. I am certainly no expert but the ronchi does appear to show a turned edge. However, am I correct in thinking that AE were Jim Hysom and his brother? If so, Jim Hysom was certainly a very fine mirror maker and it would be surprising to find one of his mirrors with an edge like that. ( I think he did the optics and his brother the tubes/mounts etc... Good luck with the project. John
  2. Apologies, I should have mentioned that! The 25mm is the longer one. I don't know what focal length your scope is but if you divide that by the eypiece in use you get the magnification ie if the scope had a focal legth of 1000mm. then using a 25 mm eyepiece would give a magnification of 40 x's. The 10mm on the other hand would give a mag of 100 x's ...and if the design of the eyepieces was similar, a smaller field of view.
  3. Saturn has the greatest altitude of the three at present...but as already stated, it's very , very low - about 4 degrees from my location near Oxford ( 10.20pm ) For me Mars and Venus have already set. Being on a hill might make a difference of a few minutes but at that low altitude you won't see much due to the atmosphere. Perhaps you'll have better luck tomorrow. Venus can be easily picked up in twilight - you can see it during the day with binos. With regards to the eyepieces, start with the longer focal length and if the image is good, try the shorter one. If you can't see as much detail - even if the image is larger - go back to the longer focal length. Good luck
  4. I agree with Olly that there ought to be some binos in the mix somewhere. Whenever friends ask about a good 'starter scope' I always point them at 7 x 50's or 10 x 50's ...depends how young their eyes are! They are a relatively small investment and can be used/enjoyed outside of astronomy and they also help with finding your way around the sky with their large field of view. It's too easy for someone with a first scope to get frustrated trying to find an object below naked eye visibility when a jump is made from naked eye to a field 1 degree or less across. I would definitiely stick some binos on the shopping list to bridge the gap. Good luck.
  5. I have the Williams. Very nice - and purchased off "UK Buy and Sell" last year. Not surprisingly, several notches above my old basic celestron. I would never buy another diagonal - or anything else - that did not have a compression ring fitting.
  6. Very neat... and nice and simple. An alternative to the large coffee container is a 2.5ltr pot of Crown Kitchen and Bathroom paint. This comes in at around 155 mm external diameter and, being plastic, is easy to clean/prepare. Of course, this may mean undertaking some DIY first so perhaps stick with the coffee.
  7. I am currently ....for about another week ....a member of the BAA and have been for over 20 years, I will not be renewing this year because I have found less and less to interest me in the journal and I don't manage to get to the meetings like I used to. The Winchester Weekend is a fabulous BAA event aimed at practical aspects of astronomy and it was this, along with other section events - Deep Sky, Historical, Variable Star, Instruments and Imaging, Solar etc... that I found the most rewarding and enjoyable. I am really leaving as I can't get to these meetings any more and also find that my local astronomy group provides a more friendly environment. I always found the BAA Handbook extremely useful - although I'm sure the info is all available on the web - but I have found that you can get this from BAA Publications without being a member - it's about £9. Overall, great society but you get a lot more out of it if you can get to the main and section meetings and chat to like minded souls.
  8. Knowing how thorough the rules governing cricket are, I'm sure there will be a section to cover a meteorite interrupting play. It's probably a dead ball. Given that it doesn't appear to have been very hot, could there be another freaky explanation like it having fallen from the undercarriage of a plane ...Uxbridge isn't a million miles from Heathrow.
  9. How about star drift aligning and marking the ground for future set up? If you are setting up on grass you can roughly polar align and note, within a few inches, the position of the feet with the tripod at the height you wish to use. Then get a small bag of ready mix concrete and make some 4" deep pads sunk slightly into the ground( so that you can mow over them). If you then make a small depression in each you can be sure to replace the tripod feet accurately each time. Then you accurately polar align by fine adjusting the azimuth and altitude of the mount and, assuming these remain unchanged and the tripod is replaced each time at the same height it was for the accurate alignment, you should retain good alignment. I realise this is only really of any use if you observe from the same place in the garden each time but it does produce good results. If you are already setting up on a hard surface you can drill depressions and save on making concrete pads. Good luck.
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