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Everything posted by Nigeyboy

  1. Wow – lots of replies, with lots of good advice, so thanks for all the feedback so far. There are so many pro’s and con’s for every step you take in this hobby!! I suppose it’s a matter of weighing them up. I haven’t the budget to get a new mount right now, so I will have to make do with the EQ3-2. I will pimp it as best I can to improve the stability. Thought I had this sussed lol!!
  2. Really? I was under the impression that the 150 would be ok on the EQ3-2 for visual? I am planning on filling the legs with old .22 lead pellets to help damp it a bit . . . .
  3. Hi all, Another noobie question, so apologies if this has been asked many times before!! I am slowly getting myself a little set up together. I already have the mount (EQ3-2), and am looking at various OTA’s to put on it. After lots of research and thinking about my long term plans, I have decided to get a Newt. So narrowed that bit down! I have now narrowed down the choice of tube. Please bear in mind this will be for visual only to start with. SW 130p-ds SW 150p-ds SW 150p My questions are: Apart from the dual speed focuser on the pds versions, are the 150p and 150p-ds basically the same? Can the 150p version be used for AP in the future (with a coma corrector of course, but the p-ds needs that too) The 130p-ds is obviously 20mm smaller than the 150. As I’m planning visual for the time being I am guessing that the extra aperture on the 150 would benefit me more in the long term? I want to get my choice right. Long term plans are to save for an HEQ5 / EQ6 in about a year or two. Is a 150 Newt OTA manageable for AP on these mounts? Thanks in advance Nige
  4. Thanks for the link! Seen some images taken from where are will be staying, in Manorbier. Also from the nearby beach of Barafundle. Looks like a beautiful area, and hopefully I can partake in my landscape photography during the day, and observing by night – here’s hoping clear skies!!
  5. 4 mins would be amazing!! If I could manage half that I'd be happy - as you say, the start of a slippery slope!! You have given me some valuable info here, so thanks very much. I am leaning more toward a Newt to be honest. I have previous with a 150mm Newt way back. I think you can pull more out of a 150 newt than, say, a 102 Frac. Plus the frac will have CA . . . . I live in Derby and when I get time I intend to visit the East Midlands Astro club over in Belper. Thanks for the link - will have a read!
  6. Thought the same when going to bed last night – 10.45pm and still what I would call light outside! While the stars are hiding, what about trying to complete the Lunar 100? Stumbled across it over the weekend (here on SGL in the Lunar Observing Forum).
  7. Hi Robp. Yes - I have a Canon 400D with EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 lens. And, no, I don't yet have motors for the EQ3. I think I see where you are going, and yes I had planned on doing some simple wide field shots with just the 400D on once I get a set of motors. Seen a set on ABS for about £40 which is not half bad!! I reckon with a decent polar alignment, and the 400D at about 20mm I could get a minute or slightly more unguided to stack. What do you think?
  8. Thanks for the promise of good weather xtreemechaos!! I will hold you to that lol!! @Beulah - that is partly the reason we chose the area. I really want to show my son the wonder of the Milkyway arching across the sky, and to know its part of the galaxy we live in. Can't wait!!
  9. The time since my last blog entry has been a little turbulent. Some close to home family problems have had my entire focus and energies. Coupled with a week in the Lake District, the time has flown by! I had really hoped to have a scope to take with me up to Windermere, to make the most of the dark skies on offer up there. However, due to circumstances this didn’t happen. My EQ3-2 is still scopeless in the dining room. That said though, and with hindsight I didn’t miss out – the typical weather, while ok-ish during the day was pretty wet through most of the evenings. It also doesn’t really get dark now here in the UK at this time of year, and with the solstice still 3 weeks away, that won’t change anytime soon. But, hey! The stars have been there for a few years, and they aren’t going anywhere are they?!?! So I can take stock for a few more weeks, and read, and reread as much info as I can before laying down my Sterling on a OTA to adorn my lonely EQ3-2 mount. But what OTA to get – that’s the million dollar question. The more I read, the less certain I am!! I started out with the plan to get a SW 80 or 102 ST. That then changed to a SW 130p-ds, after seeing the thread here on SGL about its imaging prowess. But I am not getting back into Astronomy for AP- at least not yet. One must walk before one can run! I have plenty of time to build up to AP if and when it takes me. I can settle for looking at the great images here on SGL for the time being. I want to immerse myself in the visual aspect. I want to be able to find those fuzzies by knowledge of the sky, and not have to rely on a computer doing the hard work for me. Sure, I would love to go out and buy an EQ6 with imaging and guiding OTA’s, and all the bells and whistles that go with it. But here’s the thing – I am a keen photographer, and have learnt that you don’t need all the latest camera bodies and lens to get on with the hobby. You make do with what you have, and use it to its full capability. Give a novice a £10k camera and lens set up, and they will still take novice photos. Give a £40 compact camera to a master, and they will still turn out the goods. The same is true for Astronomy, and especially the AP aspect of it. Only when you have outgrown what you have, should you even consider upgrading! And for those of us starting out in this amazing hobby think about this – don’t jump in and get what could possibly be thousands of (insert your currency here!!) on equipment that you may well not be able to make the most of. Even worse, it could put you off for life! While the eagerness is always there to get that huge mount and photon hoover, can you really, really use it to its full potential? Astronomy teaches us the wonders of the sky – and it also teaches us patience. Learning curves can be step, but you can make it easier on yourself by taking it one step at a time. Thanks for reading – Nige
  10. I spent last week, camping in the Lake District. When I say camping – we actually stayed in a Teepee, at Low Wray near Ambleside. My plan had been to get a scope before travelling up there, but as some of you may have seen from my other post in ‘The Lounge’ page, I didn’t end up getting on, as I had other things to sort out!! However, I am not disappointed I didn’t have a telescope to take along. While the days where ‘ok’ with a fair amount of blue sky, the nights where decidedly wet!! I also realised that we are now (in the UK at least), in a period of no real astronomical twilight, so even if I had a scope, I may not have had very much use from it!! Next holiday is August, when we go to Pembrokeshire for a week. Will defo have a scope by then, and all being well, some clear dark skies in which to use it! Roll on the solstice on June 21st and the night’s drawing in lol!! Nige
  11. Nigeyboy


    Just booked a holiday to Tenerife for August 2016, and have been looking into this very subject! Seen that Mt Teide has a good rep for dark skies. Its the highest point in the Spanish territories, so you are above most of the weather and LP. Can't wait to get up there!
  12. Thanks for the comment Robp. I really appreciate your advise. I am trying to curb my enthusiasm - I think after a week out, I'm now a little more focused on what my long term plan will be. These things take time - no point rushing in, and spending money on things I won't need or use.
  13. Anyone seen THIS The OWL Telescope concept - Overwhelmingly Large Telescope with a primary of 100m!!! The secondary, 26.6m!!!!! Now that's just crazy!!
  14. So, not bought any further equipment since the EQ3-2. I have been spending perhaps too much time browsing the forums. This has its positives – it gives me other ideas to consider, and on the negative side – it gives me other ideas to consider lol!! But in all seriousness, it has stopped me rushing out and getting stuff that I either won’t need in 12 months, or will not be suited for my needs. A lesson there for others I think – when you have decided what you want, stop and rethink!! Saves money and heart ache in the long run. Plan was for a SW ST80 or 102. However, I found the thread here on SGL about the little SW 130p-ds and am now thinking this may be a better choice. Long term I would like to get into AP, and the 130 seems to deliver very high levels of ‘bang to buck’. I am well aware that I won’t be able to use the EQ3 for AP. However, a new mount such as the HEQ5 for the AP, and the EQ3 for ‘grab and go’ seems to be the way forward, and they will complement each other quite well in this regard. I can then slowly build up the HEQ5 in to a decent imaging system. At this point in time, I may splash out and get the 130 and the ST80 together. When I get to a position where I can get my grubby mitts on a HEQ5, I will then already have imaging and guiding OTA’s, and will have one less thing to worry about buying. It will also give me time to get used to a newt again. I already have the camera – my trusty Canon 400D that I have had for just over 7 years. Its never let me down, and with the battery grip I have attached, can take an amazing amount of pictures on one charge. I have been a keen photographer since I got my first camera when I was 7 – a Halina 110! I favour Landscape photography now. I enjoy the peace and solitude of getting to a site at 4am during the summer to catch the sunrise over some hills. Living next door to the Peak District I am spoilt for choice. You really have the world to yourself at that time of day, and if you are lucky the lighting will have that perfect hue and contrast we photographers yearn for! I would like to add that I am a published photographer! I had the following image published in The Sunday Times travel supplement some years ago!! Go me!! I use the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 for all my shots – its now my only lens. I don’t need anything else to be honest. I am hoping to use it next week for some wide field fixed tripod shots when I go up to the Lakes (Staying at Low Wray nr Ambleside). Given the darkness there I should be able to get some decent 20 second subs to play with when I get home on the Friday. My first foray into AP lol!! I would like to sign off this entry by saying, the quality of advice and guidance here on SGL is amazing. Likewise, some of the images in the gallery (and on the 130p-ds thread) really give people who are just starting out something to aspire too. Maybe in a week or so I will be able to post my first Milkyway shots here!! Thanks for reading, and Clear Skies!! Nige
  15. Nigeyboy

    80101 1346917737

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

    Happisburgh Lighthouse (pronounced Hays-borough), on the North Norfolk coast. About 7 miles from Hoveton where I used to live.
  16. Have a look at THIS link about the little SW 130p-ds. I am in the same boat as you - was considering either a 80 or 102ST. But when I found that link, it changed my mind completely!!
  17. Blimey - that was quick. Had a gander at work and there it was. Checked back the following day and gone!!! I must be quicker off the mark next time!!
  18. Hi all Damn, damn and blast it!! I really regret finding this thread!! The images you lot have been posting on this thread are amazing –I mean REALLY amazing! And to think they come from a sub £200 OTA is all the more incredible!! I doff my hat to you all. The time and dedication that you must put in to get these images is off the scale. I salute you all, and keep them coming. Now, to rethink my new set up – I was going to get a SW short tube frac, but looking at these images I may punt for a 130PDS instead! I am not heading into AP just yet, but I may as well spend the money on the 130 OTA to future proof myself! Cheers Nige
  19. Thanks all - some really good advice here. I will be patient and use what comes with the scope first.
  20. Thanks for all the replies – I think I will telephone the order to double check. Think I will be getting it from FLO. Getting excited now!! Still, weather forecast here in Derby is rain, rain and then some more rain . . . . . hope it clears up for my trip to the lakes next week!
  21. I will be putting a SW 102 Short Tube on it if that helps!
  22. Morning all, Quick noob question that I know you SGL sages will be able to answer! Over the weekend I picked up a use EQ3-2 mount off ABS. Its barely been used, and picked it up for only £100, so am pleased! Question is - the gap on top of the mount shown in the pic below - do I need a dovetail bar to fit in here: Sorry if its a silly question!Thanks in advanceNige
  23. Thank you all for the tips! That link was very useful Damien, so thanks. I will make do with what I get for with the scope for a while, apart from the diagonal. I think I will get a 2" when I order the scope today. Excited now!! got a used EQ3-2 off ABS over the weekend, so getting there slowly but surely!
  24. Morning all, Can anyone recommend suitable EP's for an F5 achro? I am ordering a SW 102ST tomorrow all being well, and may have some spends left for some better EP's. I have looked on line, and the amount of different types baffles me!! If someone here could give me some basic pointers on what to consider when making potential choices? I may upgrade the diagonal at the same time, as I have heard the 45 degree supplied with the 102 is not that great. Oh, and I don't want to end up with EP's worth more than the scope and mount combined lol!! Thanks in advance! Nige
  25. Post Script: I should also add that this mission I have undertaken is to be carried out with a tight budget in mind! If I can make it myself I will - if I can't then I will buy it used as cheaply as I can!! The EQ3-2 was £100.00 cash from ABS. Total investment so far: £100.00
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