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Everything posted by Commanderfish

  1. So Herstmonceux have come back and said the grounds are shut at night. I spoke to them on the phone and they recommended going up to The Downs or Beachy Head. I might try Beachy Head - has anyone been up there for viewing?
  2. Ah I see the barrier now. Cheers Davey, that's a nice offer - though I think the festival is on a different weekend isn't it?
  3. Nigel is the real name of Neil the hippy in the Young Ones http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0686539/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t3. Tony... don't know about that one
  4. Wow those actually look quite good. Very much like a Redsnapper only funkier. The most impressive thing is they are quoting a 20Kg load on a £149 tripod. My £110 Redsnapper quotes a 12Kg load.
  5. I think Googlemaps has answered the question for them: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.8689424,0.3458465,98m/data=!3m1!1e3
  6. I emailed them using the form on their website... no reply yet To be honest, even if the whole estate is locked up, I'd be very surprised if there isn't somewhere like a grass verge near the gate or a car park where I could set up.
  7. I've always found the Stellarium App (available in App Store/Google Play) extremely useful. It's like a Planisphere but better, because you don't need to enter the time and date, it adjusts itself and shows you what you should be seeing in any direction from your location. Even better, there is a little phone symbol you can click which makes the phone display the sky immediately behind the phone - and the view on the screen now moves as you move your phone! This is genius because now you don't even need to know which compass direction you are facing, the app shows you the right bit of sky o
  8. Hi everyone, I've been told by a fellow astronomer that it's a great idea to head up to Herstmonceux (site of the Royal Observatory) and set up my own scope on a clear night. I'm intending on doing this shortly (not during the upcoming festival). Has anyone else done this? Is it right that you can access the grounds (but not the buildings) at any time of night? Cheers Fish
  9. Nice one Mark - I have a similar case (without the impressive bespoke work) for my main eyepiece/counterweight/spreader tray/Finder box! The Explore scientific ED80 comes with an alu flight case, it may not fit as many 2" eyepieces in as I'd like though
  10. I've just chosen an ED80 myself. If you're interested in a triplet but want to keep the costs down, then seriously consider the Explore Scientific ED80 Triplet. Users seem to be very happy and ES have worked hard at keeping the price down and the Quality Control up. The bare bones Alu Essential version without flight case is really cheap for a triplet (just below £500 new): http://telescopes.toptenreviews.com/beginner-astrophotography-telescopes/explore-scientific-80mm-ed-apo-triplet-refractor-review.html http://www.cloudynights.com/page/articles/cat/user-reviews/telescopes/80mm-90mm-ref
  11. I've just looked into this with regard to Portugal trips. After some months of investigation, I can find no way to rent gear, and no economical way to take my main scope (9.25" SCT). The solution is to buy a smaller travelscope. The general consensus for a travelscope is to go for a small refractor, usually an 80mm or smaller. These are small enough to go in hand luggage, and light enough (2 - 3 Kg) to be mounted on a collapsible, portable camera tripod mounts. Being refractors, the light throughput is higher in percentage terms than a reflector, SCT or Mak. The ED (extra low dispersion) r
  12. Ah that makes sense. I've gone with the Manfrotto Geared Head for stability and the Redsnapper RSF324 for portability and load bearing. I'll see how I get on. I might add a spreader tensioner if I it turns out a bit rough.
  13. Thanks Piero, That looks interesting, the video heads do look easier to use. The issue is that my set up is a lot heavier - the ES ED80 Triplet is 3.4Kg, and some of the eyepieces are close to half Kg, plus a red dot finder so we're looking at 4Kg of load. I wonder if the video heads could take that load?
  14. Was going to buy a Manfrotto Junior 410 with a 5Kg payload limit when I saw this very useful review which I recommend watching: Clearly the bigger Manfrotto 405 with it's 7.5Kg payload limit, is an excellent bit of kit and I have no doubt it would hold any ED80 steady at any angle. You can see it's very smooth to operate. Only issue is the cost which is massive at around £330, but luckily I managed to find a used unit at Wex Photographic for £160. It's a slightly weighty travel head at 1.6KG but that ought to help the stability. So what do I go for on the tripod? I might look for second
  15. Yes I saw that thread - interesting approach. My concern there is that my rig is going to be a lot heavier than he's using, I don't know how stable it would be. As I want the rig to be stable and secure, am I better off going for a geared head like the Vixen Porta Mini or Manfrotto geared junior? The cost will be higher than a combined photographic tripod and mount, but the head will be solid.
  16. Interesting Big Sumorian. The Redsnapper tripod I'm looking at is rated for 12Kg and has 4 sections. No centre spreader though: http://www.redsnapperuk.com/camera-accessories/RSF-324_Alloy_4_Section_Tripod.html
  17. Hi Dave - I can see why you like the DV7000. I'm guessing it's easier to use the handle to pan/elevate the scope than it would be to use a geared head - is that right? I think the spreader plate is probably an advantage too. Just wondering how you mount a scope with a standard dovetail to the tripod head - must need some kind of adapter?
  18. Ah right, thanks Dave. So for visual do you just use the head that comes with the tripod? If so do you need some kind of adapter to attach your scope?
  19. Thanks Dave. That DV7000 looks pretty good - seems to have an Alt Az head built into the tripod, right? Only thing is, at a minimum of 70cm folded, it doesn't pack down anywhere near as much as the Redsnapper and Manfrotto. The claimed max load is 4.5Kg, it's great to hear your 5KG rig is stable on it! Tinker, NEQ6 looks great but the rig needs to be small enough to fit into hand luggage, or main luggage at least. Weight is also a concern (flight allowances). The DV7000 and the Redsnapper/Manfrotto combo each come to about 3.5KG total (mount and tripod).
  20. Thanks Binocular Sky. Do you mean Tripod max height + Axis height of head MINUS length of scope from centre to eyepiece needs to exceed height of eye? Height of eye is probably 157cm (175cm total height), relevant scope length around 30cm, and head axis around + 8cm, so I think the Tripod needs to be 157 + 30 - 8 + 179cm?
  21. Hi, I'd like your advice on a mount and tripod for my new Explore Scientific ED80 F6 Triplet. Scope is on the heavy side for an ED80, at 3.4Kg plus eyepieces. Some of my eyepieces are 454g televues so the total load is about 4Kg. Now for the mount and tripod - need to be light enough for travel but hefty enough to carry the weight steady for decent visual use. Will Manfrotto Junior Geared head give a stable view? It's got a safety payload of 5KG. As this is for visual only I wonder if this is just enough for a stable view with a 4KG load? What about the tripod - Redsnapper? How tall
  22. Ok so I've ordered it! Explore Scientific ED80 F6 Triplet, (not the Alu essential one), with the longer dewshield, heavy duty 2 speed crayford focusser, 2" di-electric diag and Alu case, just professionally collimated, for £395 inc postage! Very excited about this. I've ordered an RDF as well. Now for the mount and tripod - need to be light enough for travel but hefty enough to carry the weight. Scope is on the heavy side for an ED80, at 3.4Kg plus eyepieces. Some of my eyepieces are 454g televues so the total load is about 4Kg. I think the Manfrotto Junior head should give a stable view -
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