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Everything posted by Nigeyboy

  1. Hi all, Another week seems to have flashed past, and I am still scopeless lol!! However, I am not too unhappy about it. It doesn’t seem to get dark properly here now, and despite the weather showing signs of improving, I am not missing much I don’t think. That being said, I am of course looking on all the used sites for an appropriate bargain. I have been giving things a lot of thought, and taking advise where its offered (ie on here!!). I said in one of my previous posts that I had decided on a Newtonian – either a 130 or 150p-ds. While the long term plan (when I say long term, I’m looking ahead 12-24 months!) is to get a good AP set up together, the shorter term plan is to just get out under the stars for as little outlay as possible. So, I think I have now gone full circle, and have landed back at my original plan to get a small 4” frac. The reasons are: Small and portable Little in the way on set up required (ie collimation) ‘Grab and Go’ Will be able to use it as Guide Scope when the time comes Used, it’s cheaper than both the 130 and 150 Hopefully a little more stable on the EQ3-2 Money saved on used ST102 can help go toward enhanced drive system for mount to enable some wide field DSLR AP I have seen a used ST102 on ABS for £120. It comes with an AZ3 mount and tripod. I would possibly sell on the mount though to get perhaps £20 quid back!! It doesn’t come with EP’s, but again I can pick up some used to get me started. Can anyone recommend suitable EP’s for a fast F5 frac? I have been looking at the SW Plossl range, but it says on FLO that they are best suited for F6 or slower. Another exciting event has happened – we have booked out first proper holiday abroad!! Since the children came on the scene, we have always holidayed in the UK, mostly in North Norfolk where my mum lived. It was a great way to get away on a budget, and for my mum to see the grandchildren!! We normally spent two weeks every August down there. Sadly, mum passed away 18 months ago so we haven’t been back since we cleared and sold her bungalow last year. So myself and Charlotte decided it was time to have a ‘proper’ holiday, and last night we booked a week in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife for August next year. We are doing it ourselves, rather than through an agency. For a little over £600 we have booked a fantastic 3 bed, 3 bathroom villa on the hillside overlooking the town. It’s got its own private pool, garage, outdoor kitchen and BBQ area and gym lol!! It may seem trivial to most, but this is a big thing for us. Money has always been really tight and every break we have had we have had to really watch the purse strings! Even a package holiday to the Costa Del Sol has always been way out of reach, and we are not the types to bung it on a credit card and spend years paying it all back at 17%! However, things are a little better now, and we can now look forward to next August. Wonder if the ST102 will fit in hand luggage . . . . . ?? So things are slowly but surely coming together! A big thanks to all of you that have read my blog and posts so far. And thanks for all the replies, advise and recommendations. It is very much appreciated, and to know there is always going to be someone here who can answer my questions is a big comfort!! Thanks Nige Post Script – just seen that my blog has had 1001 views!!!! Wow!!!
  2. Thanks for the replies and tips! Being a typical weekend with fair weather and two kids, I didn’t get round to doing it!! Garden needed sorting, and my son wanted to go to the park to have a kick about, so I blinked and it was Monday morning lol!! All being well I hope to start the M.O.T this coming weekend. Don’t have the time to devote to it during the week.
  3. Am sure my other half would love to see me rocket off on a one way trip to Mars lol!!
  4. Thanks for tips! Found plenty of info online and on here, so I think I'll be alright. Just won't rush it lol!!! May well finally be getting an OTA soon (seen a used one on ABS for a good price), so am anxious to have the mount in tip top condition.
  5. Wish me luck - I am this weekend going to strip down my EQ3-2 to get it running nice and smooth! Seen the tutorial thread here on SGL and thought I would give it a bash!! Got it used a few weeks ago, and have noticed there seems to be a fair amount of stiction in the slow mo controls! Anyone got any tips I should know before I get the spanners out?? Cheers Nige
  6. To be fair - thats what a galaxy looks like from 13 billion light years lol!!
  7. Its a nice idea, but I think as Ronin says -they don't even have a launch vehicle! Bit of a stumbling block that! However, I am 38 years old and I think I may live to see men setting foot on Mars before I die! I just don't think it will immediately lead to a permanent base there. The moon perhaps, but not Mars just yet.
  8. There have been many memorable missions in the last 10 - 15 years. Cassini at Saturn, Gallilao at Jupiter, Messenger at Mercury. And we have learned tons about our own moon as well. Seems New Horizons will complete all the main targets. And then on. Dont think that it will visit Makemake. I believe they are still to select a target.
  9. Really interesting link Zakalwe. Just finished reading the letter. He certainly laid out his case well. @Helen - Wow!! That looks like an amazing place to visit. Those mirrors must take some serious amount of skill to make and figure. Some heavy looking hardware there as well. I never really thought about older scopes falling into disrepair etc. I would have expected that telescope time is so valuable, at such a premium that funding would be found! Its a shame.
  10. Thanks for the info! I got my wires crossed there I think!!
  11. I recall being really excited when New Horizons took off, and blasted past or Moons orbit in about 9 hours!! Seriously quick! And then that gravity assist by Jupiter that gave it a further 9000mph boost!! Still taken 9 years to get there though. It gave my son a better understanding of the size of the solar system – told him NH could get from our house in Derby to my old house in Norfolk in about 20 seconds. And its been going at about that speed for 9 years!! The images coming back from it so far are exciting – large details starting to come through, and as it gets closer by 750,000 miles per day it will just get better. Hope it survives long enough to rendezvous with another TNO as was the original plan I think.
  12. Meant to add - 'where does the money come from for this sort of thing?' . . . . I often think that when looking at the set ups some of the users here have!!
  13. For the GMT it’s a consortium of European countries, so as to spread the cost I suppose. Not sure about the others. I think though that spending on science projects like this is significantly lower than other sectors – ie defence etc. However, politics are not allowed here on SGL, so will leave it at that!! Personally, I think the James Webb telescope is proving to be a huge white elephant - $8b and climbing. You could have over a dozen of the GMT for that, and a dozen times the research!!
  14. Found this piece on the new GMT telescope being constructed in Chile. Will be 7 years or so before first light, but should provide some impressive views with its 24.5m (81ft!!!) primary. Interesting too, that they are using just 7 ‘smaller’ 8.4m mirrors – compare this to Telescopes like VLT / KECK etc, where they use a higher number of smaller hexagonal mirrors. Exciting times for astronomy – with the European Extremely Large Telescope, and the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii on the way!
  15. I love a challenge, me!! And indeed I will keep you all posted! Time to just take the plunge I think. I’m off on Friday, and RVO is only 35 min up the M1 . . . . . . . .
  16. Very useful map that – looking at it, the UK does have its share of beautiful areas. Shame that some of the darkest coincide with areas of less than ideal weather!! But you can’t have it all can you!?! My dream is spend a few weeks in the Atacama desert!! One of the driest places on Earth, and at a pretty high altitude as well!! Imagine what you could do from a site like that!!
  17. Thanks for the tips Robp – certainly something to think about, RE the EQ5. As you say though, have fun with the scope first!! There are so many options and things to think about when first starting out, that sometime the info and such can be a little overwhelming – like drinking from a fire hose!! Just when I think I have finally settled on a set up, I get more ideas . . . . . and hesitations!! But I suppose everyone had to start somewhere – if my start is an EQ3 with a small OTA for just visual, then that’s fine by me. I’m sure it could be worse!! My aim is really to have a small set up I can chuck in the back of the car at a moment’s notice, and take a quick drive up to the Ashbourne / Illam area. Its also important it can fit in the car when we go on UK based holidays, along with all the suitcases etc!! I’m thinking that perhaps I should see the limitations of a real budget set up as a challenge!! Get a basic set up and see how much I can squeeze out of it!!
  18. Your spot on Alan – I forgot you recommended those to me earlier lol!! I read somewhere you can mod the basic motor control handset, but for the extra £20 why bother! I’m pretty rubbish when it comes to soldering etc and would probably end up ruining it, and burning myself as well!! I think I may also spend some time stripping down the mount and re-greasing it. I had a look at it last night, and both RA and DC seems a little ‘creaky’ when turned very slowly. I found the link on here how to do it, and I think it maybe within my limited DIY skills. I have to make do with the EQ3 for the time being, so it makes sense to get it working as smoothly as possible.
  19. Nigeyboy


    From the album: Nigeyboys 'Bits-n-Bobs'

  20. I would move to Cumbria in a shot if I was able too!! I’m sure the locals get fed up with the tourists! I grew up on the Norfolk Broads (Hoveton/Wroxham to be precise), and we used to get pretty cheesed off with all the traffic and ‘grockles’!! Cumbria is just stunning – we drove from Ambleside to Keswick on our last day. All the other half, and the kids kept saying was ‘wow!!’
  21. Thanks for all the tips from everyone. Right now, visual observing will be enough for me. I reckon the 130p-ds will win this one, given what everyone has been saying here. I think any AP I try will be limited to only my Canon 400D on the mount for some widefield stuff – maybe a little project to capture the main constellations. Any idea what sub time I could get with a motor on the EQ3 and my Canon at 55mm?
  22. I found that link a while ago John – some stunning work being done by the peeps on SGL!! That’s what got me thinking about Newts in the first place lol!!
  23. Thanks John. As I said in my opening post, this will be a purely visual set up. I am under no illusions that the EQ3 isn’t the best for AP, especially with a 150 atop it! My long term plan will be a new mount in 12-18 months, or however long it takes me to scrape the money together!! That being said, my research on the t’interweb has shown that with some effort the EQ3 can be used for DSLR AP. That is something I will perhaps have a go with. I only have the one DSLR lens – a Canon 17-55mm f2.8, so with a RA motor on the mount I may get some passable results!!
  24. Maybe I should save my pennies for a Paramount ME lol!!! I’ve seen a 150p OTA on ABS for £159 – the same cost as a new 130p-ds . . . Given that many of you think the EQ3-2 is insufficient for a 150, how about the 130? Smaller profile so less of a sail, and lighter I assume? Or should I go back to my original plan of a small 80 or 100 frac?
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