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About OscarTheGrouch

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    Capel le ferne, Kent

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  1. I'm new to astronomy too and I have both a Refractor (90mm aperture) and Newtonian (130mm aperture) scope. I also have two mounts; a GoTo and an Equatorial. Everything is made by Celestron and I can interchange scopes and mounts as I please. The only reason I got the refractor was that it was cheaper to by the NexStar GoTo mount with the scope than without it!! Having said that, the views of the moon through it are great and I'm really pleased with it. The 130 Newtonian is a good all-rounder and if you aren't sure what you'll use a scope for (planetary or deep sky), I'd go for a scope with
  2. Dry eyes from wearing contact lenses can be caused by no blinking enough. Try pretending you're fluttering your eyelids at your scope before lining up on your eyepiece.
  3. Putting a rubber end on your equipment could mean everything gets a bit moist - I know that may sound vaguely rude or crude, but what I'm trying to say is that if you cap it off, dry it and add a desiccant.......... errrr....... give it a rubdown first and then put your gel sack in....... Silica gel that is....... I'm not doing very well here am I? Last try: If you've not erected your scope for some time you may find that you're a bit rusty....... oh [removed word]!!!........
  4. Do you wear glasses? Lots of people squint because they have an astigmatism and wear glasses because they think contact lenses can't correct this. They're wrong and this may be something to consider. Additionally, I see that you've listed your location as "Croydon" so I presume you have a significant amount of light pollution to contend with. It may be difficult, but you need to find a location that's not only out of direct light but also shielded from the orange glow of street lighting and all those annoying people who have security lights that come on whenever a cat/dog/fox/rabbit/hamste
  5. I have the Astromaster 130 Newtonian scope and my trusty towel. When not in use, the scope is pointing gently downwards and covered with the towel. To keep it neater, I use a length of Velcro to secure the towel in place so it's securely wrapped around the main tube. It not only absorbs moisture, but keeps the dust out and protects the tube from minor scratches when I'm moving it outside. I always try to take my scope out at least an hour before I want to use it so that it has a chance to cool/warm to the ambient temperature; still protected by its towel. If the sky clouds over, I put the
  6. I'm going to see what I think of the location, then I'm thinking that some ground spikes for washing lines angled to allow the tripod to be slid in may be the way to go - the floor tiles will be needed for the calor gas heater, camping table and deckchair; who says you can't be comfortable whilst doing a 20 minute image!! Additionally, I've bought myself some ovaltine, mint chocolate and white chocolate drinks. I'm not sure they will go with brandy, so may have to switch to whiskey going forward.
  7. I know what you mean about "checking the focus" - I put my 130 Astromaster Newtonian scope on the NexStar mount to get some pictures of the super moon. I made sure everything was in focus before grabbing two sets of 20 shots to stack later. I'd forgotten to put my glasses back on before refocussing, so although the viewfinder was in perfect focus for my dodgy eyesight the pictures were useless!! Of course, I didn't discover this until the following morning. Perhaps I should be looking to change back to contact lenses!!! I like the idea of the camping mat - I've loaned the scope to my fathe
  8. If you've read some of my previous posts, you'll know that I don't like to spend more than necessary on my equipment - mainly because that way I don't lose too much if I make a bad buy. So when I came in to some money recently, I decided that I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to buy a NexStar 90GT for next to nothing; especially when Celestron had confirmed to me that my 130 Astromaster would be compatible with the mount. I'd read some forums that mentioned the mount would soon run out of power if you tried to run it off AA batteries, so I also bought myself a battery pack. When the new
  9. I have to say that at someone who has the exact same telescope as you, but with the motor drive I love the scope. I do, however, find that the motor drive gets in the way for everything other than astrophotography!! I want to be able to slew the scope around in any direction (once aligned) but I find that when the motor drive is attached it knocks against the fine adjustment arms of the EQ mount. I've removed mine and having just bought myself a GoTo mount, I don't think I'll be putting it back on for a while!! I got in touch with Celestron and they confirmed that the Astromaster 130 tube i
  10. I'm a firm believer in finding cheap (or free) alternatives to everything, provided the cheaper version will work as well as the expensive one!! Firstly, cleaning cloths are easy to come by. Next time you make your opticians appointment, ask if they have any spare cloths. They'll usually be nice and give you a couple. Secondly, pretend you're a smoker and use a Zippo lighter. They use lighter FLUID not the stuff in the pressurised container. It still evaporates at room temp without leaving any residue, but it also dissolves grease and dislodges bits of grime. You pour some on to your lens
  11. Hi Dan. This is a great place to learn. Could I suggest you download "RegiStax"? It's a free programme that lets you stack your pictures to get a clearer image. I'm not sure how much you can do with a Bridge camera (obviously, the zoom is good enough to get you close to the moon!), but if you can override the ISO and set this to 100 and the shutter speed to 0.125, take a series of 10 or more photos as quickly as you can (with the camera on a tripod of course) and run them through RegiStax. You may be surprised at the results!
  12. Welcome. There are lots of good starter scopes on the market. I deliberately avoided "goto" mounts so that I was forced to learn my way around the sky (an ongoing process). I'm glad I did it that way.
  13. Hi Andrew. Welcome to the forum. Everyone is really nice here and you have a great setup for stargazing.
  14. Hi and welcome. Everyone is disgustingly nice on this forum and even if they are jealous of your scope (like me), they will offer advice and tips. You mention that you're reading extensively. The book that everyone here seems to rave about is "Turn left at Orion". I've just got my copy, so I can't say how good it is yet (I've looked at the cover and gone "Oohhh!" but not opened it). Another book I tried was "Astronomy for dummies" but I couldn't get on with it. Fortunately, that one came from the local library so didn't cost me anything!
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