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Everything posted by Scuba

  1. Wonderful Dave, truly wonderful. I could have watched several more hours of it. Many thanks and clear skies. Dave.
  2. Hi Ralf. Brianb was correct you do have a "hole" in your eyepice repertoire which would be filled by an eypiece in the mid-teens. You also have a fast scope there so will benefit by having good barlows. I have a x2 and a x3 Televue barlows. Both I can wholeheartedly recommend. Clear skies. Dave.
  3. Hi Sam. I don't know if you've read it but this thread here is informative. My donation is the second last post. http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-help/80371-meade.html A lot of people when buying a goto mount tend to forget the noise it makes when slewing. What seems very quiet under test at three in the afternoon becomes a concrete mixer at three in the morning. As I say in the thread it's very solid and heavy. We both seem to be about the same age, 58 here, and I would advise to strip the setup down to just mount and tripod, minus weights, when moving it. I have definitely not found the Meade mount unstable. At least when mated with a SCT 8". I've taken pictures with a heavy Canon 20D dslr and a DSI camera whilst using a Williams 80mm ZSII FD to guide. An all up weight of 16-17 kilos. This wasn't it's usual configuration but it delivered fine results when asked to. Having said all that I think you'll find the consensus of opinion will be to go with the EQ pro or if poss the HEQ Pro. By all accounts it is quieter and if looking for just a mount and tripod it's the one I'd go for. Ring FLO (top of page this page) and see what steve can do for you. If nothing else you'll get good advice. Clear skies. Dave.
  4. Hi RTB. A light shower hit a friends SCT whilst he left it cooling several years ago. He brought it in and left it C lens down to dry off. Within a couple of days he had mildew growing around one side of the corrector. Not a pretty sight. Dave.
  5. The items in the top picture look like "dovetails" which, if it is attached to your telescope, fit into the bracket on the mount where the dovetail in the second picture is being fitted. Does the fitting you have mate pretty closely to the mount. Looking at it head on it should look like a triangle with the top angle cut off. Or, if you like, a fan shape. The longer side of the fan slides into the cutout as in your second picture. The two securing screws then tighten up against the fan (dovetail). One of the reasons beginners, and I was no different, get confused is that a number of different telescopes with different length dovetails can fit onto the same mount. The manual will reflect this making one think items are missing that weren't there in the first place. As with all things do a search for your telescope and dovetail mounts using Google just to make sure you have it correct.
  6. Hi Astral. Just as a taster, alhough it is a complete tutorial, try here: Webcam Astrophotography Tutorial for Planets Although dated 2005 the methods haven't changed, the equipment may have. It will give you an overall feel for what you can do. Dave.
  7. Hi Colin. A first class job. You put a lot of retail producers to shame. Is it possible to put up a circuit diagram. I have lots of servos hanging around in my other guise as a RC helicopter flyer and could knock myself up a second rate copy of yours. It'll give me something constructive to do in the shed 'till the clouds subside. I'll also be keeping a close eye on your forth coming pier. Welding stainless steel. That sounds difficult! Clear skies. Dave.
  8. Hi. Being a pin point of light only a star can give you sharp "diffraction?" points. Once you have it focussed using a star it is then moved to your target object of choice. Dave.
  9. Scuba

    New telescope

    Hi Col B. I've had my SW Mak 127 for about a month now and it has surpassed my expectations, easily. I bought it as a grab and go scope but I find I'm grabbing this one even when I have the time to set up a bigger scope. It's light, focus snaps right in, contrast and sharpness are excellent. I've had some of the best views of the moon I've ever had with this telescope. I can't remember the surface having so many gradations of grey before, and the inner walls of the multi-walled craters are sharply defined. This Mak has also split a lot of stars, at least those in Stellarium. Saturn is good as is M13. Lets just say it has never let me down with the views it gives. Bare in mind it's only supposed to give a narrow fov, so The Pleides will not all fit into your eyepiece. When your looking through a piece of equipment that gives views this good for such relatively low expense this can easily be forgiven. Before I bought mine I saw a review which called the Mak 127 "the overlooked jewel in Skywatchers range". At the time I thought it was advertising hype. Now I know it wasn't. Clear skies. Dave.
  10. Hi Rosie. Have you thought of employing a first class barlow. A Televue 2x barlow can be used on both eyepieces you have effectively doubling your eyepiece collection. I use the TV 2x and 3x barlows and both are first class. Although I have a wide selection of various eyepieces I find myself pulling out the same 3 and mating them with a TV barlow for more magnification. In a "desert island" scenario were I could only take 2 eyepieces it would probably be my 40mm and 20mm, with a barlow or two of course. A Televue 2x barlow would cost about the same as an eyepiece your looking at. Further info here: TeleVue 2x Barlow 1.25" I haven't any experience of Hyperion eyepieces, though I believe they are good. I do have Televue eyepieces however and can vouch for their excellence. Just a thought. Clear skies. Dave.
  11. Hi Glencree. I have the Meade LXD75 8"SCT which I bought about 5 years ago now. First let me say that although it doesn't get used very often it has never let me down and the optics are very good. However one of the reasons it hasn't had a great deal of use is the loud coffee grinder noise of the mechanics whilst slewing. Even on "quiet slew" it's too loud to use in the garden in the early hours of the morning. I've recently bought a Skywatcher Mak 127 Synscan AltAz setup. This is very much a grab and go scope. It's quieter and just fits my criteria of being not too noisy. Needless to say I'm out every cloudless night now. BTW I'm NOT suggesting you buy a small Mak. This setup suits me. Also, when I bought the Meade, the consensus by the tinkerers was that the metal used in the gears was of "coke tin" standard ie. very soft. I don't know if their still made this way. As I've said I've never had any trouble. I've also "heard", take with a pinch of salt, that the LS with ACF is going to a couple of hundred more than advertised. Without ACF will be at that price. Just something to look into if your going that road. I know it may sound like I don't like Meade but the opposite is true. They've given me many hours of happy observing. Clear skies. Dave.
  12. Hi again James. I don't know that much about Strathspey bins. Only what I learned in doing some research for my TH Revelations. That was about four years ago and have forgotten most of what I learned about the Sspeys. I bought the Revs because of the Telescope House reputation for delivery and integrity. At the time I paid about as much for the Revs alone as the good offer they have at the moment. I bought the bins angle mount as well, so the deal they have now is a good one. However I don't think the tripod on offer will be up to it. I have tried the Revs on two different camera tripods, it was a peripheral hobby of mine. Both were decent £100ish tripods. Both were adequate, but not very comfortable to use. I bought a cheap "mini GEM" mount for a WO 80ED and for the bins. I probably feel more at home with astronomy mounts and what I bought is overkill but they go together well. i have just weighed the Revs on the digital kitchen scales and they come out at 1.6kgs. Not very heavy but the c.o.g is about a third down the barrels. With the attachment point being further back you immediately have an unbalanced instrument. Personally I found with a photo tripod that you could for instance put the moon exactly where you wanted it and tighten down the clutches on the tripod. But when you released the panning handle the weight of the unbalanced bins would take the bins below the moon, then stop about 1 or 2 moon diameters below. This meant putting moon in view then taking it above the moon, tightening and then releasing the handle. It was probably the engineering tolerances on the tripods being adequate for a 1kg camera having all its mass over the tripod bush, but being too loose for a 1.6kg bins with more than half it's mass overhanging its mounting point. I still think the TH offer is a good one. The tripod will get you by and for the price it is decent glass. No matter what you decide on please do let us know what you think of your purchase. If it's the Revs I can swap notes and if it's the Sspeys I'd be interested in a new equipment review. Clear skies. Dave.
  13. Hi Doc. What a tremendous 'scope. Something like this is on my wish, wish list. As an aside, is that the famous Lidl ironing seat I've heard so much about. As you may have guessed I'm in the market for a comfier chair. I tend to baulk at the idea of buying a tubular steel chair for the price of a Televue plossl. Clear skies. Dave.
  14. Hi JamesK, I can vouch for the "Revelation 15x70's" from Telescope House. Very well put together and solid and made like a brick outhouse. They even have the Telescope House name printed on them. Can be hand held for daytime viewing of terrestrial targets but, unless you have the nervous disposition of an android, must be tripod mounted for astronomy use. Your wrists will get very tired very quickly. They are heavy. They come with eye covers for both ends and also come with a hard wearing canvas bag and strap. I've had really good views of our moon. Not too much false colour here around the edge. What little there is I don't notice anymore. Also DSO's eg M13, Andromeda Galaxy, M42. I have taken these bino's to Rhodes Greece on holiday on several ocassions and had amazing views of a lot of DSO objects in the truly darks skies there. A bean bag on a wall taking the place of a tripod. I also have a pair of 8x42's for widefield viewing, but mostly use the Revelation bins. Would I buy them again. Definitely. Mine have absolutely no defects. My neighbour has even borrowed them for his camping holiday and wants to buy a pair. HTH. Clear skies. Dave. BTW the Revelation and Celestron's are clones.
  15. Really excellent work Colin. I can assure you now I can't approach that level of professional workmanship. I will keep on watching your progress though. I can see it's not for the faint hearted to attempt. Excellent. Dave.
  16. Same here Colin. Pics would be great. Going to try this on my month old 127 az goto. If my soldering skills are up to it. Most people call it soldering. I can only manage "blobbing" hot lead around. And thats on a good day. HeHe. Clear skies. Dave.
  17. Hi Adam. As regards eyepieces. I bought an eyepiece set when I first started buying telescopes etc several years ago. It wasn't the Meade set but an equivalent. I can't really fault it for the price and as a "get you started" buy. However knowing what I know now I'd go dwellers route. Over a period of time I've bought three Televue eypieces and added a x3 Televue barlow and a x2 Televue Powermate. This gives you an eyepiece selection of at least 9 different mags. More if you use the X3 and x2 doubled up. Don't know if you can double up the barlows as the magnification would be enormous. Probably unusable. Going this route gives you eyepieces that "you" have chosen and use frequently. Televue equipment, even at basic level, gives you second to none quality. If you ever upgrade and do come to sell it you will probably get back what you paid for it. Eyepiece selection is one of the few choices I've made in astronomy gear were I would have made the same decision now as then. The only time I now use my old eyepiece kit is when I have my grandchildren round for a family star party. Sticky fingers and excitement in under fives don't mix well with optical glass. Worked for me. Clear skies. Dave.
  18. Hi RTB. As the others have said having the very bright moon wont help. That and astronomical twilight isn't till after 11 oclock and add the light pollution. So the faint fuzzys are out for a couple of days. Try Saturn. Its just under Leo and very bright. You can't miss it. After that, as has been mentioned, try a couple of doubles. Before going out with your 'scope run Stellarium and make a short list of what you want to see, taking into consideration seeing conditions. Find the relevant pages in TLAO and bookmark them. I use those "sticky note" things for this. By the way I put the book in a large transparent platic bag with the relevant page opened. Several years ago, when I bought my first "real" telescope I viewed Saturn my first night out and was hooked. Persevere and you will be too. It's all there waiting for you. If all else fails maybe a "red dot finder" may help. It's more user friendly to "home in" on the fuzzies. If you have one as well as a normal finder on the 'scope it's easier to see exactly where the 'scope is pointing. Not usually where you think it is. All the best. Dave.
  19. Thanks all for your very informative replies. Roundycat. Yep, been there, done that. The LXD75 does have a slower "quiet slew" option which has been activated since the day I received the mount, about 3 years now. I don't know who designates these things but "quietER" it is. Quiet it isn't. I can't complain too much about the mount though. It's done everything I've asked it to do over three years without a hitch. I'm keeping it for visits to dark skies away from home. Ollypenrice, your post accompanied by others who answered my query, had made my mind up to hold out for an EQ5. Then my wife came in and told me to buy the MAK as I hadn't bought a telescope for a couple of years. Then she'll buy the mount you all are suggesting as a christmas present. Yes she knows the price!! It's at times like this I realise why I married her 26 years ago this June. What a gem!!!! So, barring a technological revolution in telescope mounts, I'm all set. Thanks everyone for your opinions and recommendations. I've put them all to good use. Clear skies all. Dave.
  20. Thank you all for such quick replies. Unfortunately an HEQ5 is a bit over my budget. I have a theoretical max of about £420. It's something to keep in mind for the future though. As with anything in astronomy all you have to do is look up to be teased into opening your wallet. NOW. I'll definitely keep it in mind. Astro_Baby, I thought you were talking about the Mak setup for a moment. I seemed to remember you writing a review of it on the forum. Unfortunately I was wrong. On further investigation it was your tweaked HEQ5 you wrote about. Just as I was getting my credit card out as well. Further thoughts gratefully accepted. Clear skies. Dave.
  21. Hi all. Can anybody recommend a quiet goto. I have been thinking of a Skywatcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO on; Maksutov I have a LXD75 8"SCT but I am unable to use it in the back garden because of proximity to the neighbours bedroom windows, about 15-20 meters. One of my neighbours even sleeps with her bedroom window open in January. I haven't had any complaints as yet, but then I haven't used the LXD for a long time. Yes I have tried it on "quiet slew", but at 1 oclock in the morning it still sounds like a coffee grinder. Albeit a muted one. So I have been using a "mini GEM" with single drive tracking (absolutely silent) with my Williams ZS 80mm. But I do miss the aperture and goto. The Maksutov with goto seems ideal, and so does the price. If anyone who has personal experience of this scope can give me an opinion of sound volume whilst slewing I would be very grateful. Indeed if anyone has an opinion which may help again I would be grateful. I've read a review for this telescope on this forum. The reviewer referred to the noise when slewing as being quiet. A subjective comparison I guess is what I'm after. Many thanks. Dave.
  22. This any good Mark; Stockport Binocular & Telescope Centre. Mounts and Motor drives Bottom of the page. Dave.
  23. Yeah Phil, you just reminded me. We also visit "Aldi" and am signed up to the news letter. On a recent visit to Aldi, about two weeks ago, my wife came home with a "forth coming attracations" booklet from the store. In it was the item you've commented on. Needless to say it was an "oh pooh... never mind it's bought now." moment. It is exactly the same model as mine without the "Evercharge" brand name on the front. Exactly the same specs. It's silver and "curvy" with a transparent lid with a small three way switch beneath the lid. Only difference is I paid twice as much for mine. Go for it. It's a decent piece of kit. Further info on it can be found by putting "Evercharge" in Google for a UK search. Pity Aldi don't sell the RAM batteries. I'd completely forgotten this item at Aldi before I read your post. If it appears in our branch I'm buying another. Cheers Phil. Clear skies to you. Dave.
  24. Hi Phil, Although through Google Maplins do apparently have them for sale a thorough trawl of their website failed to uncover any mention of them. On a trip to Maplins to buy the battery adapters (AA to C) I and a member of staff looked through a stock inventory and concluded they didn't stock them. This is why I ordered mine via the web. The company I ordered from, Expansys, was very quick on delivery and very quick to answer a follow up email by myself as to why these batteries were not more widely known about. I had never heard about them despite regarding myself as pretty well conversant of electrical "gadgets", and ways to power them. They agreed with me that the huge companies that make the non rechargeable batteries have too much tied up in the old technology to publicise the new. They are slightly more expensive than NiMh cells, coming in at just under £7.00 for 4 type AA. I ordered 4 packs of 4 and a charger. Be aware that you cannot use a NiMh/NiCd charger with these cells. A charger is needed which "refreshes" ordinary Alkaline batteries. I know of two. One of which I was thinking of buying from QVC for over a year. This is the "Rezap" charger. About £30. The one I bought from Expansys is the "Evercharge" at about £20. The "Rezap" is built like a tank and senses the type of batteries inserted and goes from there. The "Evercharge" you have to flick a switch to tell it what sort of batteries you have inserted. Both do the normal NiCd/NiMh recharge, as well as refresh the normal Duracell type. I bought the "Evercharge" because the manufacturers have a UK site which goes into batteries and the charger in detail so I decided to support them. Why I seem so evangelical about RAM batteries is that they supply a full 1.5 volts that most equipment needs even though they are rechargeable, they are long lasting and last but not least nobody seems to have heard of them. Hope this helps. Dave.
  25. I'm just getting back into astronomy after several years out due to ill health. One of the drawbacks of my existing equipment was the sheer weight. LXD75 goto, SCT 8" and of course the "Power Tank" which must weigh 4 or 5 kilos on it's own. Having bought a much lighter GEM with single drive to mount my Williams 80mm Apo on I decided it would help if I could ditch the Powertank when "going light". Ordinary batteries seemed a bit extravagant and rechargeable NiMh only gave 1.2 volts when full. My drive complained when under volted. Ordinary batteries tracked perfectly with the drive. NiMh batteries tracking needed adjustment every few seconds. I was surfing the web when I came accross RAM (Alkaline Rechargeable) batteries. A cross between MiMh batteries and Alkaline. They are multi rechargeable and impotantly have a nominal voltage of one and a half volts. They also don't loose the charge as fast as NiMh. Straight out of the pack they showed a charge of 1.56 volts. After a full charge they show 1.64 volts and slightly above. You do need a certain type of charger. NiMh wont do, however the type that refreshes ordinary alkaline batteries are fine. I've used them several times and they last a long time. I charged mine after about 8 hours usage. Not because they showed they needed it but because I thought I should! I also bought battery size adapters from Maplins to adapt from AA size to C. I thought this would cause an added electrical resistance and thus reduce the voltage but this turned out to be unfounded. The sites which may be of interest are: Expanxe; Pure Energy Rechargeable Alkaline (RAM) Battery Packs: Expanxe; Battery Chargers: EverCharge SmartCharger The ReZap charger on the same page also does the job. You may have seen this one on QVC. AA, C and D Battery Adaptors > Maplin Being a "new boy" to the forum I hope this is the correct section of the forum to post this in. I haven't ditched my heavier equipment but wanted something very easy to handle "solo" in between cloud patches. Otherwise I'd never get out. Clear Skies. Dave.
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