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About ghostdance

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    A wanderer in the flux of stars...Call me Ishmael...

    Interests include a severe addiction to playing records on my Linn LP12, everything from Alkan, The Doors,The Dead, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Sibelius, Pharoah Sanders, Terry Riley, Puccini and Hendrix to Zappa. I have a near total blindspot for most AOR stadium bands and saccharine mainstream country ( give me Rosie Flores or Handsome Family anyday)...Bike riding, reading and mixing a mean Daiquiri take up a fair proportion of my time when I'm not slackjawed looking skyward...I'm still learning my way around up there. Feels like home :)

    SCOPES: Orion Starblast 6i Intelliscope 6"/F5 reflector. Orion ST80 and Skywatcher Heritage Virtuoso 90mm Mak taking turns mounted on Manfrotto tripod/fluid head. Acquired an EQ2 recently but now heading back to a nice, simple alt-az,
    Orion/SW 9×50 & 6×30 RACI, Rigel Quikfinder, Orion rdf etc...still waiting to try my Baader SkySurfer V. Too much darn grey wool up there....

    EP's: TeleVue Plossls: full set in 1.25, 8 to 40mm; TeleVue Radian: 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 & 14mm; TeleVue Panoptic 15mm and Nagler 9mm, Televue 8 - 24 Zoom, Celestron Axiom LX 10mm; Vixen LV 4mm; ES Maxvision 16mm & 24mm 68deg; Vixen NLP 20 & 30mm; Orthoscopics: Circle T 7, 9,18mm; BGO 9 & 12.5mm.

    BARLOWS: TeleVue Powermate 2.5×; TeleVue 2×; Orion Shorty Plus 2×

    ORION STARSHOOT II - bought used and purely for messing about and hopefully getting a few shots of the Moon. I'm no astrophotographer! Heck, I can barely see or sketch :)

    FILTERS: Baader UHC-S, OIII & Neodymium; Astronomik UHC-E; Lumicon polariser; full aperture solar-film filters, Baader Solar Continuum, Semi Apo and TeleVue Bandmate Planetary. Plus a couple of colours, somewhere.

    BINS: Nikon Prostaff 7s 8x42, Helios Quantum 15x70; Helios Aquila HR 10× 50; Tento 20x60 and 7x35; Canon 8x23; Vixen SG 2.1x42; lovely little pair of Rand Royal View 3× (utterly useless for astro!) Manfrotto 222 trigger grip on 680B monopod and a 'neckpod' thingy.

    And too too many floaters to count...
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  1. A new R4 drama presentation, not Welles' ( tho that was fun!) I have to recheck the listings for times etc, but I think it is Saturday afternoons.
  2. R4 has been broadcasting a lot of Mars related programmes recently, fiction and fact. Interesting one earlier today on the tales of Wells, Burroughs et al. And Wells' WOTW drama serial on Saturdays, makes great radio! I'll be tuning the dial @ 9
  3. Check Amazon for the Manfrotto 222 pistol grip, or the Neweer (Neewer?)copy of same (£29.99 so a bit cheaper). The Manfrotto is a solid bit of kit and will handle your 15x70s easily. I imagine the Neweer would be similarly OK. You don't need the additional ball head for either as it's already there
  4. So long as you initially carefully set the scope absolutely level ( on first set up, with a spirit level), my understanding is likewise that your observing surface (ground, decking, concrete whatever) is not a factor in getting a good low reading. I've managed a couple of 0.0, but usually not! Good enough to get (for example) Uranus in my eyepiece, even if not centred. Persevere - it's a good (nice and) simple system
  5. I too use mine sometimes, sometimes not ( I tend to forget I have them! Sigh...old age....) They help a bit as I recall - but I sure as heck wouldn't spend £80 on em. Blimey, that's a good 0III's worth!
  6. My personal experience ( nuthin scientific I'm afraid!) is that my 90 Mak is *great* for Lunar gazing, but the seeing in my sky has to be superb for it to match my 6" reflector on, say, Jupiter or Saturn. Being a bear of little brain, I ascribe this to my skies not being up to the magnification that the Mak offers - although I do wonder if the small aperture doesn't exactly help. Which is why I lust after 102 or even, hush!, a 127... Thus, the reflector gets more eye-time in Chez Ghost - but I do adore the *tiny* size of the 90, although my ST80 supplanted it as my grab'n'go, much bett
  7. Late to this flat-out gorgeous video too....*utterly* beautiful and captivating, my utmost congrats and thanks to all involved. I never realised/appreciated the sheer speed difference in the belts, and ...the 'little red spot' below the GRS - I don't think my eyes/scopes can resolve that, but I'm sure gonna try! A *big* ghost-thanks for posting
  8. Good suggestion. Going by my Prostaff 7 8x42, the Nikon could be a very viable option indeed - my 8s are very light bins with excellent optics almost edge to edge. I love em - handling is so sweet ( they really seem to fit my little paws like a glove) and their size is very manageable for travel.
  9. Total cloud here, so no Mak ( or indeed mac ) for me and no penumbral treats I look forward to seeing any images by the fortunate!
  10. And I thank'ee kind sir Was just irresistible!
  11. If it's raining, I'll be out with my mac too! ( er, I'll get my coat...no, really....)
  12. Another Moonlight fan here too Tho I don't get to experience it on walks much, in the back 'garden' it is a pure joy in the late hours when all the neighbours are sleeping ( so lights out )...that beautiful soft grey light: really is a soul-recharge. Love being followed by a moon shadow!
  13. http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-slow-motion-cable-set.html My cables are pretty much identical to the link - only mine are different lengths ( one approx 10", the other approx 12"). The review in the link states that they worked in a Porta....not sure about yours. Let me know if any use, Stu. No cost.
  14. My mojo's still risin'.... Been a Doors fan all my life ( well, since 13)! But back on topic - my mojo isn't scope specific. Any glimpse of stars, planets has me goggling up( out?)ward, whether I have glass or no. It's just utterly captivating. However, I certainly could use more impetus to set up my scopes during winter especially as I don't get home from work til late most days.....but losing interest? Nah....too excited by whatever I can see! And if I can't see squat, a photographic lunar/star atlas can hold my attention for ages!
  15. Stu I'll check the length and get back to you - they're the standard SW ones AFAIK, where you tighten w/ a screw. If I can get a pic I'll post it here. I don't know how ( or if) they differ from Vixen or Sky Tee 2 slo-mos, but at least you've got two options (hopefully)
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