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Cosmic Geoff

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About Cosmic Geoff

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    Proto Star

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    Bucks, United Kingdom
  1. I used to have an EQ-2 clone mount and I found it irritatingly wobbly at higher magnification even with a 70/700 refractor.
  2. The AZ-4 is a good AZ mount. I recommend avoiding the flimsy lightweight mounts unless you really need something portable. For my vintage 70mm brass refractor, the AZ-4 and the EQ-5 are the minimum AZ or EQ mounts. Avoid EQ mounts unless you are willing to incur the bother of aligning it each time you use it and the headache of figuring out how it is supposed to work.
  3. Cosmic Geoff

    Venus - Oct 19

    I did try a deep red filter at all the planet positions. It did help with Venus but I could see it quite clearly anyway. Mercury and Jupiter were probably masked by slight haze as I saw them in daylight under similar circumstances on 9 Oct. They should have been centred in the eyepiece today like Arcturus which I also found as a test. A red filter helps when trying to see the Moon in daylight.
  4. Cosmic Geoff

    Unknown Tripod needs repairs

    If you don't want to buy a new tripod (and probably a matching mount head) the cheap answer is to make new brackets (or have them made). The design of the brackets is not at all critical and they don't have to mount to the same holes in the tripod. A more substantial tripod would of course be better.
  5. Cosmic Geoff

    Venus - Oct 19

    Aided by GoTo, I observed Venus in daylight this afternoon. It is only a few days from inferior conjunction (26th) and appears as a large thin crescent. It's in an unfavorable position for Northern nocturnal observers and appeared almost below the Sun. I could not see Mercury (which should have been accessible). And before you comment, I checked carefully where the 127mm Mak was pointing before putting my eye to the eyepiece.
  6. Light pollution is critical - I saw satisfying numbers of galaxies with my 127mm Mak and my 102mm refractor from dark rural locations, but could see very little from my home on an average night. One night here I even scored Nil with my C8, when M31 was not accessible.
  7. Cosmic Geoff

    Unknown Tripod needs repairs

    It might be a Helios telescope - they became Sky-watcher later. I have a Helios 200mm f5 reflector. I saw a picture of one on an aluminum tripod something like yours. I doubt that an aluminum tripod is really up to the job - mine is mounted on an EQ-5 with 1.75" stainless steel legs and that is just sufficient. Cheap answer - if you are handy with metalwork, make up two new brackets from metal angle. They don't need to look like the original brackets - just have the right size holes in the right places. Expensive answer: EQ-5 type tripod - ~£100.
  8. This seems like an artificial choice. If you want a 102mm f10 refractor, then get one. I have a 102mm f5 refractor and I rarely use it, as it is mainly suited for looking at large star clusters. If you are limited by budget, Newtonian reflectors are generally cheaper, even in small sizes.
  9. Cosmic Geoff

    Motion of telescope on a wedge

    I advise you not to spend your money on a wedge for the C8 SE. I assume you have deep-space astrophotography in mind, since an equatorial mount is not essential for planetary astrophotography. While the C8 SE is great for visual, its deficiencies for planetary astrophotography soon become apparent. The drift, vibration and backlash effects are largely covered up by stacking software, but I anticipate that if you buy a wedge and try deep-space astrophotography you will soon be wishing you'd spent your money on a different setup. The recommended telescope/ mount setups for deep-space astrophotography are well known, and the SE mount does not figure in them.
  10. Cosmic Geoff

    My first telescope...

    200p dobsonians are popular, and when one can get the whole outfit for the cost of an ummounted smallish refractor or catadroptic, or the cost of a good mount for a small scope, one can see the attraction. But the Dob is not IMHO an all-rounder, because of the basic mounting, which makes various operations more awkward than they would be with a more sophisticated mount. And in the GoTo variant they are no longer a cheap option. The basic Dob mount, apparently made out of chipboard, probably costs only a few pounds to manufacture, (hence the low cost of the whole outfit) but you could spend £1000 or so mounting the same (or shorter F-ratio) Newtonian OTA for astrophotography. The point I am making here is that you get what you pay for, and that the type of mount chosen will tend to constrain what you can do with the telescope. And maybe how often you take it out of doors.
  11. Cosmic Geoff

    My first telescope...

    What's your budget? I have a Startravel 102, and I advise you that it is not good as a general purpose telescope. It is best suited for widefield use (star clusters etc) and has problems with chromatic aberration when used for anything else. Filters will reduce this, but why go there when you can buy a more suitable telescope in the first place? I assume you want a small general purpose setup to start with, so I suggest you consider a long-focal length refractor, or a small Newtonian, or a Maksutov. For the mount, an alt-azimuth, or a mini-Dob for the Newtonian, or if you have a bigger budget, get a GoTo so that you can find stuff more easily. Particularly if you live in a city.
  12. Cosmic Geoff

    RS232 to WIFI

    How would you use a RS232 to wifi adapter? Modern laptops (and, I assume, smartphones) do not have a RS232 port. But they often have built-in wifi.
  13. Cosmic Geoff

    Ross Telescope Advice?

    It seems safe to assume that this is a genuine Ross and not a replica. I had some notes tying serial numbers to dates of manufacture, but can't find it right now. A Ross telescope that looks right but has no serial number will be Victorian, not any date later. This looks like a single draw "Officer of the Watch" type, which were the most common, and used to be the most common variant turning up on ebay, selling for the lowest prices. Similar telescopes were manufactured for many decades. Ross telescopes generally have a characteristic finish to the eyepiece cap, with concentric grooves on the rear end and a swiveling central cover (which is where more photos would have been helpful). But on the earliest ones the back of the eyepiece cap is plain, not grooved. On the fake front, I once returned a "Ross" I bought on Ebay on the grounds that it looked over-restored and altered, and the engraving looked almost right but was far too fresh and bright for an instrument that was supposed to be over 50 years old (though some of the instrument might have been that old).
  14. Cosmic Geoff

    Ross Telescope Advice?

    It could be a Victorian antique Ross - the earlier ones have Ross, London in Italic script (sometimes looking like 'Rofs, London' ) and the earliest ones don't have the 5-digit serial number that all later Ross telescopes have. Yours probably is a genuine antique Ross, but some better quality photographs would help. Also if you measure the overall diameter and length. If you look on Ebay you will see Ross telescopes offered at some fancy prices (and not selling), but a tatty example may not achieve a high selling price. I don't advise trying to restore or over-clean it before sale, as this is a specialist job. There are a lot of fake ROSS LONDON telescopes from India, but these are easy to spot if one knows what to look for.
  15. I understand that the EQ-5 and CG-5 are mechanically similar (I don't know to what extent). If the EQ-5 drive motor kit fits on the CG-5, then presumably the EQ-5 GoTo upgrade kit will also fit. I imagine the ~£300 cost might be a deterrent, though. What's this? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EQDrive-UPGRADE-KIT-EQ-5-CG-5-MEADE-LXD-and-others-GOTO-telescope-control-system/222674984533?hash=item33d8769e55:g:qs4AAOSwI2xbWrjS:rk:13:pf:0

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