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Everything posted by laser_jock99

  1. I tried the Deep Field Challenge once- as you say, it's amazing what you can pick up with amatuer gear these days. 180 second single exposure with 12" F4 Newtonian & Lodestar mono guidescope camera https://live.staticflickr.com/4319/36141877845_63d667f15b_h.jpg
  2. In Warwickshire the night time crime went down 30-40% with the switch off......
  3. I don't know where you are based- but Mid Wales might be worth a look? There's an astonomy biased glamping site near me: https://www.wigwamholidays.com/hafren
  4. I wouldn't go as far as 'expert'! I have certainly fettled these things to try and get the best performance. There is a bit of fun/sense of acheivement to be had from modding scopes - but there is also a slight chance the main mirror is a complete lemon and you won't get anywhere with it. At the end of the day though these are 'budget' scopes and I would set my expectations accordingly.
  5. Free to me- one of our subsidary companies is an engineering shop. I cashed in a few favours!
  6. Quite right. I'd avoid the 'leveling bolts' approach. So many times we see good solid piers sunk into x tonnes of concrete- only to have the entire scope balanced on some M12 studding!!!!! Another issue to be aware of with wider brake discs is the possibilty of the scope clashing with mount. This could become apparent when pointing the scope close to vertical. A better solution is to get a local machine shop to make a custom, drop in puck for your steel tube. A drawing I made for the puck.
  7. I remember Hale Bopp well. Best comet I've seen. Wouldn't mind another like it!! My best shot- 300mm lens, Kodakchrome 400 film & homemade tracking mount.
  8. ....and still relevant! And my pier is still there!!!
  9. Nice image and great town- love Cartegena!
  10. Do the rain detectors detect snow? I left my gear going once and came back outside to a near blizzard!
  11. Stack of five, three minute exposures- trees don't stack well!
  12. ....four years ago today (according to Facebook!).
  13. Worth a look if you haven't seen it already.
  14. Here's a picture of my 6" F4 scope on the outside pier. The 80mm refractor is the guide scope (or an alternative imager). Note though how I use a top & bottom dovetail bar for extra stability. You will also notice they are 2x longer than supplied dovetail bars- this is important to reduce tube flexure in the Newt's steel tube. If you can get Lossmandy type long dovetail bars- use those. Much stiffer than Skywatcher type. The 6" F4 optical tube assembly is quite cheap- but I found it requires a bit more investment to get the best out of it.
  15. Working at F4 isn't too trying- F2.9 is a different ball game. Only go down that avenue if you like being told 'it can't be done'! I have bunch of F4 Newtonians and use the 0.73x Coma Corrector on all of them at times. So the 12" F2.9 scope is interesting.....M51 in just 140 seconds.
  16. These fast Newts are 'interesting' scopes and capable of good results but probably not 'out of the box'. Be prepared to modify & fettle the scope to get the best results. A good laser collimator is a must and these are not cheap. A good coma corrector is also required for best results. Think about the following mods- stronger primary collimation springs, longer top & bottom dovetail bars. Be prepared to re-check the focus and collimation of the scope as it cools during a session- at F4 small changes in teperature can have big effects in the focus position with metal tube Newts. Now- if you're a complete nutter add one of these 0.73x coma corrector reducers to your scope to make it F2.9! NGC7000 in 159 seconds with a 6" F2.9 Newtonian
  17. Sharper- but colour balance looks a bit on the green/yellow side to me?
  18. Nice - wonder what F ratio?
  19. Don't remember if it was the exact same display- but here's some Aurora images from Warwickshire in the 1990's
  20. They probably can't turn the street lights off at night. The generation 'system' needs a 'load'.............
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