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  1. A suggestion about the grinding - it'll only take 2 mins to check out and rule out. My 250px had a slight grinding in the focuser. It turned out that it was caused by one of the 2 big focuser knobs rubbing something inside the focuser. There is a tiny hex bolt and if you loosen it the knob comes off. Then I put it back on but a mm or 2 further out on the spindle. Grinding noise gone. Mike H
  2. Had the same problem with the same telescope last year. You do have to force the knob onto the spindle but the spindle is very toughly engineered. Got the first one on in the end and then noticed the second knob had no metal lining inside so it would not grip the spindle at all. Called Telescope Planet and OVL but a month later I still hadnt received the replacement so I sent the scope back. I ended up buying the 250px Dob for the same price. Turns out I prefer using the dob mount. Locating stuff with the EQ5 was more trying than I expected. With the dob I made a setting circle and bought a Wixey and finding stuff is easy. Hopefully you will be more patient than me!! Mike H
  3. Is your 254mm newtonian on a dobsonian mount? I was getting very frustrated trying to find DSOs then I put a setting circle around the base and bought an altitude guage. Now I can use Stellarium for the coordinates and move the scope there in seconds. Do a search on this forum for "DIY setting circles" for the instuctions. Takes an hour to make and saves much time and frustration. Mike H
  4. I used to get a lot of neck pain trying to find stuff in the sky. Finding some things used to be time consuming too but then I made a setting circle for my 250px dob and bought a Wixey. Try the search function above and search for 'DIY dobsonian setting circles' to see what I did. I don't think you will regret it at all. Mike H
  5. I agree entirely with John. The pentax is great, but not 10x better than a £25 plossl. It is nice to know that you are viewing thru a top quality eyepiece but the limiting factors to getting the best views are nearly always weather, atmosphere or darkness of sky rather than the eyepiece or telescope. Mike H
  6. P.s I compared the Pentax to the 10 mm supplied wth the scope. The Pentax beat it easily (as you'd hope!). However, I also bought the £69 Long Eye relief bundle when I bought the 250px. The 20mm eyepiece from this set with a 2x barlow gave a respectable (initially alarmingly good) performance against the XW (to my rather untrained eye). Obviously the FOVs werent comparable but the barlowed 20mm didn't produce to much more coma than the XW and gave decent contrast and resolution. Moral of the tale: a budget eyepiece with a 2x barlow seemed to perform much better than a budget eyepiece with half the focal length. eg if I wanted a 10mm plossl I'd be tempted to buy a 20mm and barlow it. Just my opinion. Mike-h
  7. I have had this eyepiece for a couple of months now. I've been meaning to write a review for a while but felt a little inexperienced as I dont have a vast amount to compare it too. I wanted to treat myself to one great eyepiece and the 10mm in my 250px Dob gives a useful 35' FOV with 120x magnification. I bought it for £243 from FLO. Steve said that no-one has ever returned an XW. Delivery was prompt as always. It was very well packaged. Initial thoughts were that it was very well engineered with top notch build quality. I'd read this in many reviews and I can now appreciate what the reviewers meant (tho it is difficult to describe). The materials just seem pleasing and it seems built to last forever. It works exactly as expected. Sharp stars across the 70 degree FOV it a great feat in an f4.7 scope. It also seems to offer more detail and resolution than any of my other eyepieces. Eye position is a little fussy but I got used to it quickly. It barlows well even in my cheap (£30) Meade 126 2x barlow. You get a bit more dispersion (i think) with the barlow but not enough to justfy £80 for another barlow. It cost nearly as much as my telescope but feels like a good investment. I dont regret buying it at all and usually I suffer badly from buyers remorse. However, unless I come into some money, I won't be buying another. This is no reflection on the value of the eyepiece. Simlpy that 10mm does me for the vast majority of what I want to observe. I couldnt justify another £279 now for a 3.5 mm to look at planets or a 20mm one to look at the relatively few objects that are bigger than 35'. I get decent views of these things with my cheaper eyepieces. Buying a Pentax (or Nagler but the eye relief was a little short) was an itch I needed to scratch. I'm a satisfied customer and the 10mm is the jewel of my small collection of eyepieces. Mike-H
  8. My first telescope was a Tasco 50mm refractor. Paid £100 in 1993. It was very poor. Put me off telescoping for 15 years. Eyepieces were small and nasty. The mount may as well have been made of jelly for all its sturdiness and precision. If you want good value useful equipment then Skywatcher does the job. I bought a 250px dob for £312 this year. In a completely different league to the Tasco (okay the SW was more expensive). How time and technology moves on. You did well to get good use out of yours. Mike H
  9. An excellent find. Newcomers who havent seen this before will find it a great help. Mike-H
  10. Hi, I have the SW UHC filter too (I bought it a couple of months ago). I was disappointed to find that I prefered the non-filtered view on M57 when under a dark sky in Wales. However, I used it last night in my light polluted garden for the 1st time and it really made both M57 and M27 appear brighter and easier to see. Be interesting to try it on M42 in Winter When choosing between the UHC and OIII I liked the fact that the UHC doesnt dull the surrounding stars too much. Mike H p.s. so far I do think that you forfeit a bit of sharpness for the extra contrast though.
  11. Thanks Keith. I think you are describing what people call "focuser slop". I get that too. I'll try the 2" adapter in different positions and see if it helps. However, in this case, the sideways movement isn't caused by movement of the laser in the focuser. It seems more like the drawtube changes angle ever so slightly as I wind the focuser -particularly fully out or in. Mike
  12. I have a skyliner 250px dob with the standard crayford focuser. When collimating recently I noticed some slight sideways movement (left to right with reference to the drawtube) of the laserbeam dot on the primary when the focuser is wound in and out. It is very slight except when the focuser is wound fully out or particularly when it is wound in its final couple of mm. I thought it may be that the secondary was not directly facing the drawtube or that the focuser was not square with the tube. I tried playing around with the alignment of the focuser but the same pattern of movement occurs. I'm guessing now that it is the focuser mechanism itself rather than any alignment issues. I haven't gone to the trouble of removing the secondary to square the focuser yet-I wanted to ask for ideas first before I mess around with it. I doubt it is too detrimental but is there anything I can do to improve it (besides buying a better focuser). I already collimate with the focuser wound halfway out which helps. Thanks in advance if you have any tips. Mike H
  13. I ordered a 6mm TMB planetary eyepiece yesterday for £49 (FLO didn't stock it or I would have instinctively bought it from there). It arrived today safe and sound. That's pretty good service (still wish they would pick up the phone more often though). To be fair I've used them a number of times with no issues. Mike H
  14. Ha!! Thanks very much Mike P. Now for my second wish-make them damn clouds disappear. Mike H
  15. I think I might give the 6mm TMB planetary a go. Decent eye relief, a useful FOV for my Dob and a good price. Not quite an orhto in performance but I only observe planets and the moon maybe 5-10% of the time. Can't really justify another pentax for this. Wish I could change the spelling on the title (premiun!!). Thanks for the feedback everyone. Still can't wait to use the Pentax. Damn clouds. Mike H
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