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Cosmic Geoff

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About Cosmic Geoff

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Bucks, United Kingdom
  1. Cosmic Geoff

    150 vs 180 Mak

    You can certainly use an alt-az GoTo for planetary imaging, and it doesn't even have to be particularly stable. But you will need something like the AZ EQ5 or an EQ-5 GoTo for the ED80 and deep-sky imaging, so you might as well use it for the Mak and the planetary imaging too.
  2. Cosmic Geoff

    hand controllers

    I can't say, but if both controllers are Celestron Nexstar then they should be interchangeable. OTOH your post implies that the controllers differ. If you need more information, please post photos of the controllers and indicate the exact model and firmware revision involved.
  3. Cosmic Geoff

    Celestron Couterweight bar kit

    You can buy the counterweights from many suppliers (though at a price for a lump of mild steel that may seem annoying), and as a last resort the bar and safety cap are simple enough to be made up from stock bar if you can get the thread size.
  4. Cosmic Geoff

    Jupiter, 15 Feb 2019

    Here is an image of Jupiter, taken around 6am on 15 Feb with my C8, ASI120MC, +ADC, processed in Registax6 from around 30% of 3000 frames. I am fairly pleased with it considering that the altitude of the planet was only about 12 deg. and the seeing looked bad when I tried to focus on a star. And it shows the Great Red Spot.
  5. Cosmic Geoff

    Eyepiece caps.

    The cost seems disproportionate to the cost of manufacture. Astro suppliers seem to be missing a trick by not giving these caps away with their names printed on them, Plastic milk bottle caps (65p with a free plastic bottle and pint of milk ) will work as a temporary eyepiece cap.
  6. Cosmic Geoff

    First time telescope Advice

    The second link (130mm Newtonian) seems a reasonable choice. The mount is a recent design with slow motions. Despite your expressed dislike of Dobsonians, I would point out that a Newtonian telescope on a table-top mini-dob mount offers the most telescope for your budget dollar. A 130mm aperture should reveal the detail you hope for.
  7. Cosmic Geoff

    Transporting telescopes

    You could pack it back in its original packaging, which is designed to resist the rough handling of sullen minimum-wage courier employees. But I realise many people will discard the packaging. I pack my C8 for travel in two plastic crates, with bubblewrap and expanded polystyrene packaging, with the tripod left unpackaged. Transit cases are available for SCTs, but they are rather expensive. AFAIK, some people transport their Dobs unpacked without harm. The mirrors are the last thing likely to be damaged.
  8. Cosmic Geoff

    Mars and Uranus close pass

    I saw the near-conjunction last evening (13th) with my 127mm Mak. Could not get it all in the field of view of my 32mm eyepiece, but the view was as in the Stellarium image from Gfamily above.
  9. Replies noted. I see that the cheap batteries have lithium-ion 3.7v cells, and the Tracer batteries have different technology and characteristics - for instance a LiFePo cell has a terminal voltage of about 3 volts and a lithium polymer about 3.5v. These devices seem cheaper in the USA, where a 12v 85 WH LiFePo battery (from various suppliers) costs in the region of $100. My sealed lead acid 7AH battery is looking tired, so I'll probably replace it sometime with a LiFePo battery.
  10. There are some 12v lithium batteries around that are far cheaper than the Tracers, See here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Rechargeable-Batteries/48619/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=lipo+battery+12v The range of output of these things (12.6 - 10.8v) seems on the low side. (Presumably represents the output of 3 cells in series.) Asides from that, has anyone any informed comment on whether these batteries costing around £20 are any good for powering a GoTo? As a piece of context, when I needed a replacement laptop battery I found that if I didn't pay the silly price asked by Dell for a new genuine one, the 3rd party offerings cost between £12 and £25 or so. The cheap one I bought is still working...
  11. I have a Skywatcher 9x50 RACI finder as described above, bought a few months ago. I managed to adjust the focus but it was a bit of a faff. It is set so that it is in focus when I wear my glasses.
  12. Cosmic Geoff

    Which telescope. A telescope pilgrimage.

    I would have thought that your C5 would be tough to beat for this purpose. Even if the C8 is too big - I have taken my C8 down to Devon a couple of times.
  13. If you want to look at the moon and brighter planets on a budget of £200, then you don't need a GoTo, even if it were within budget. The Moon looks interesting through any kind of telescope, But for the planets, you should expect the satisfaction to lie in identifying them and seeing them with your own eyes. Same goes for deep-space objects. The GoTo comes into its own for serving up large numbers of fainter hard-to-find objects. But don't expect too much of the actual view. A faint grey blob is a faint grey blob, even if it is huge and 10,000,000 light years away. Similarly a double star is two points of light. TBH, I found planetary views unexciting with a 203mm scope, and even less exciting with the 127mm, till I turned to planetary imaging, which produced some nice results. But if you bought the kit I was using at R.R.P. you would have little change left out of £2000.
  14. There is an astronomical society in Bedford which I believe has a 16" Meade. The Abell observatory at the Open University also has one. Having seen the latter, I can see why there are not many of these in amateur hands. It's the kind of kit a University department would buy (and house). The handbook says there is a tripod version (as opposed to pier/wedge mounted) but I imagine you'd need a team of porters to erect the scope.
  15. Cosmic Geoff

    Comet C/2018 Y1

    I failed to find the comet in the early hours of 11 Feb, using a 102mm Startravel refractor (manual) and 127mm Mak GoTo. Urban skies, no cloud.
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