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Everything posted by Nigeyboy

  1. I first fell in love with astronomy when I was perhaps 5 years old. I remember my dad showing me some of the constellations one winters evening. I even was allowed to look through his 10x50 bins!! Since then, it has always been a major interest in my life. It culminated 10 years ago, when I got my first telescope - a Helios 150 reflector on an EQ3 mount. Unfortunately, living in the middle of a city, and at the time not being able to drive, the scope got very little use. I used it perhaps half a dozen times, and it just started to gather dust . . . . so i sold it . . . . Move on 10 years, I now have my driving license (didn't pass till I was 30 odd!!), and a renewed interest in getting back under the stars - this time properly, and with a lot more knowledge than I had ten years ago. I can now get out from under the LP dome of Derby, and head out into the Peaks - only a 30-40 minute drive for me - and I can be under dark skies!! So, the current plan is to equip myself with a basic EQ mount, and a small 3 or 4 inch frac for visual observing. I have decided on the frac from a purely practical point of view. I can check a 80mm frac in the back of the car quite easily!! This will hopefully just be the start. My end aim is to have an 80ED on a HEQ5 and begin a quest into AP . . . . but thats years away yet, back to the present!! So - phase one is complete!! I am now the proud owner of a barely used Skywatcher EQ3-2 mount: Shiny lol!! So I'm off the blocks. Next purchase - a SW 80 or 102ST. Not yet decided on which. It will be ordered over the weekend, as I need it for when the family and I go up to the Lakes on 25th May! One really stupid question though - do I need to get a dovetail to fit in here: Cheers all
  2. Thanks for all the replies - I will see if I can get up to RVO in the coming week and have a proper look. Its all well and good looking on interweb, but to actually get 'hands on' would be waaaaay better! Thanks Nige
  3. Thanks for the link John – makes very interesting reading! The ST80 seems to be a cracking little scope, and for about £90 I can’t really go wrong can I ?!?
  4. Thanks both - appreciate your help. Manchester is about 90 minutes away from me, so not really a quick jaunt! Perhaps best to stick with my original plan of the Skywatcher ST's. I can use the base OTA and 'pimp' it with a better focuser, diagonal and finder.
  5. Thanks Michael - the build quality does appear to be a touch better (hard to say in photos lol!), along with the higher quality focuser. Just one question - who are 'TS' that you refer too in your post please? Cheers Nige
  6. Hi all As you my previous post, I am looking for a short tube frac to use on an EQ3-2 / EQ5 mount (visual only). In my endless surfing, I have come across Opticstar in Manchester. They seem to do a range of fracs that fit in my price range. The one I’m interested in is HERE. Trouble is I can’t find many reviews on any of the range. Does anyone here on SGL have any experience with these scopes? Or should I stick with my first choice of Skywatcher 80 or 102 shorties? Thanks in advance Nige
  7. Thanks again for al the welcome messages! I really wasn't expecting so many lol!!
  8. Wow!! What a fantastic welcome!! I'm loving this site!! Not heard of Astroboot John so will have a look. I have been looking on AStrobuysell, but some kit I have seen is not in my area, and posting a used EQ5 would be a tad expensive lol!! I will keep looking! Expect the questions to start soon - I have a ton of queries I can't find answers for!!
  9. Thanks Damnut - I will check them out. Belper is only up the road from me! @toilandtrouble - wow!! Galloway . . . .that will be something!!
  10. Yeah, the Helios 150 was a good set up - I'm just gutted I sold it, but it was not getting used so it had to go. However, you live and learn, and as I said, now I am mobile with a car (didn't actually take my test till I was 30!!) I can now make proper use of any equipment I decide to get.
  11. Thanks for all the welcomes! I'm really quite excited to be getting back into, what has been a life long interest in astronomy. I remember my dad showing me the constellations through his Green Cat 10x50's when I was about 5 years old. @Michael - that was my thought RE the EQ5. I know its planning ahead, but hey what the hell!! I am looking at a 150 newt at some point in the future, so the EQ5 would be best I think.
  12. Hi all, I have been a ‘lurker’ here for a while, but thought now was a good time to join the community! A little background first – I live in Derby in the East Midlands (originally from North Norfolk), and live here with my long suffering partner, and our two amazing children (girl, 14 and boy, 7). About 10 years ago, I owned a Helios 150 reflector on an EQ3-2 mount. I never really got the use I wanted from it, being city bound and not able to drive at the time, and ended up selling it. As time has progressed, I am now a little more affluent, and now have a car, which means I can get out of the city to find a dark site. I now want to get back into astronomy, and am planning to get a little portable set up together to allow me to get back into observing. I have two holidays planned this year – both in the UK. A trip to the Lake District at the end of this month, and then a week near Pembroke at the end of August. It was this that reignited my interest. The thought of going to some really dark areas and seeing the sky in all its glory!!! My son has also shown an interest, and if he wants to learn then all the better!! I have tons of astronomy books gathered over the years, and he often enjoys looking through them with me – he loves the idea of Supernovas, and recently at school told the teacher all about nuclear fusion within the Sun!! That’s my boy!! So, my current plan is as follows – I am looking at getting an EQ3-2 or EQ5 mount and either a Skywatcher 80 or 102 shorty. Nothing to write home about, but I think these are as good a place to start as any – I’m sure they won’t be the last mount and telescope I purchase either!! The need for portability narrows the choices somewhat, I don’t / can’t spend a fortune on things. I’m browsing Astrobuy and Sell, waiting for the right kit to come up for sale!! So I am here on the site to re-learn a load of stuff I have probably forgotten, and to share my experiences along the way. So ‘Hi everyone!!’ – I’m here for long haul lol!! Cheers for reading Nige
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