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    Astronomy :) , biking (mountain and road), reading, gaming (PS4).

    And laughing!
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    Long Eaton, UK

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  1. Agreed! In another thread I was about to look at a new focuser and was advised to check the laser collimator's collimation! I'm glad I did, it was pretty off, easily tweaked and got my newtonian collimated quickly and easily! I made (well my better half made) one out of two double hooks into a block of wood. Electrical tape used to cradle the colllimator without scratching and then clamped to a table and pointed at a wall the other end of the room.
  2. Thanks for that! I have just seen an interesting article on how to build a deluxe model laser collimator collimator here so will get some nails and a block of wood out!
  3. Hi Again Everyone, I have been attempting to laser collimate my Orion Optics UK Europa 200 Newtonian. So (apologies for the detail): Insert collimator, turn on. Tweak secondary mirror to get laser point to the centre of the main mirror (I put a small paper holepunch strengthener thing there to aim at). Tweak primary mirror to centre the laser return. I saw this on YouTube and it was fairly easy process. However.... My focuser on the Europa has a single silver holding screw. It's a 1.25" focuser. If I rotated the collimator the laser describes a circle on the primary and there would be a teensy amount of play while it was in the focuser. I'm now wondering if it should have a second screw (there's a hole) to fix the collimator and eyepieces from two sides or if I should consider a new focuser. If so are they easy to fit? The one I have is unnamed, I'll attempt to attach an image. Thanks! Adam
  4. To the best of my knowledge with 2" eyepieces you get a larger field of view (which also allows lower magnifications) and also better eye relief.
  5. Thanks James - downloaded SharpCap and had a quick go - works a treat! Happy-kat - I didn't flash the camera. I installed the SPC drivers and when I plugged in the ToUcam Pro it came up with 'unknown device'. I told the system to update the driver, choose 'find a driver' then 'choose from list' and chose Philips -> SPC900NC. It gives a warning but I clicked through it and up it came!
  6. Hi Everyone Just thought I'd let people know that my ToUCam Pro II is still working after Windows 10 upgrade (W10 64bit). I had to go to device manager and tell it the unknown device was a Philips SPC900NC but it works in Skype etc. I think I'll need a better video capture program - Spotlife doesn't seem to like Win10. Adam
  7. Hi Everyone, I'm thinking about adding in a low-magnification eyepiece for DSO viewing for my scopes and initially thought about a 40mm focal length but then I get confused when looking around. A lot of the longer focal length EPs are for 2" barrel sizes and indeed on FLO they recommend: "30 and 40mm: due to the 1.25" barrel size the 30 and 40mm eyepieces show almost the same area of sky so, for visual use, the 30mm is the better choice. The 40mm is however useful when a compact camera is positioned over the eyepiece for afocal photography." Do many people do afocal photography? I'm now thinking 30mm is the way to go. Your views? Adam
  8. Hi John, Yes that was my thought. I'll keep the 26mm Meade Superplossl and just replace the 10mm no-name with the 12mm BST, with the no-name 25mm plossl kept in the box for emergencies. There isn't that much eye relief on the Ultima but it will do for now until I find my feet. IIRC I will need low magnification for the DSOs so perhaps a 32mm or slightly larger in the future. I think the barlow I have will give me an OK spread at this time at 6/7.5/12/13/26. Next: hunt down Alan (anyone know his username here?) to discuss a decent moon filter. Adam
  9. Thanks for the info! Based on the answers and a bit of sneaking looking at sigs I have just ordered a 12mm BST Explorer from "Skys the Limit" on ebay. I'll be interested to see just what a difference it will make compared to the no-name plossl I have! Once that's done I may invest further in that range. Though I have a hankering for a decent moon filter. I bought a Celestron one but it was complete and utter pants - it appears to be made of polypropylene and just would not screw into the eyepiece barrel.
  10. I have two scopes, an ETX-125 which is f/15 and an OrionOptics UK 8" newtonian which is f/6. I have some eyepieces but am considering replacing the no-name ones I got with my scopes. I already have a Celestron Ultima 7.5mm Plossl and a Meade 26mm SuperPlossl. I have a 25mm no-name and a 10mm no-name. I intend to observe planets and the moon to start but move on to try to grab a view of DSO I also have a Celestron Omni Barlow x2. I am thinking about replacing the 10mm no-name with either a 10mm or 12mm Meade Series 5000 HD-60 or similar and also getting something like a 32mm-40mm EP for more DSO. Am willing to spend around £100 ish on each. I eventually want to do astrophotography but want to do baby steps in learning first; finding my way around and going 'wow!' a lot First - do you think my idea of a Meade Series 5000 HD-60 is a good one? Second - do I have to worry about the speed of the scopes when buying? Ta! Adam
  11. I have an unflashed one running under windows 8.1. I simply installed the SPC drivers onto Windows and when I plugged it in and it couldn't find the drivers I told it 'Look on my hard drive' then 'let me choose' and I chose the SPC model. I recommend you get 'wcctl' (webcam control) as it can manage things like exposure and shutter speed - the first time I tried to get a video of Jupiter it showed the planet and its moons as completely white spheres. Changing the shutter speed suddenly brought the bands into view. I wish it was USB2 though.
  12. We're in the beginners observing forum and I do intend to concentrate on the moon for some time as I find it both beautiful and fascinating. And it is so very easy to find in a clear sky! Did you mean scientifically to go back there as a species?
  13. Hi Sub Giant, Yes it is an ETX-125. I do have a flexi-focuser. The focus was very precise last night. Any time I go near the scope it seems to wobble the field of view, but I guess that when you've got a lower focal length eyepiece in it is bound to happen. Using the AutoStar 497 to shift the view slightly also causes wobbles and I had to get used to the latency between me pressing a direction and it responding (and then stopping!) Thanks for the info about the finder. I'll make sure I take extra care now. Brown Dwarf - I guessed the other two Galilean moons were in front/behnd Jupiter but have yet to remember which one is which. My words above didn't come out to clearly. It was Jupiter itself I found to be quite bright. :
  14. What an excellent report. You have a way with words. Chapeau to you!
  15. Hi Everyone, I managed to get out into the back garden a couple of times this week to have a look at the sky. As ever with me, it was a comedy of errors but still fun! Yesterday I aligned my ETX finderscope. I also trained its drives and calibrated the motor. All was well. I tried to take a look at the 8" reflector but couldn't easily see anything far enough away to align it. Also it has a wooden tripod and no matter how hard I did up the butterfly screws one of the legs would invariably start to retract! Come the evening I put the ETX outside in the shade to cool and set it to start position. Dog walked and it was near 10pm. Halfway through unscrewing the front cap it stuck, cross-threaded. Solid! It's never done that before. "Oh bum!" I manage to take it off after much huffing and puffing (it is *NOT* going back on!), then take it back outside and set it up again and switch on. The finderscope alignment was ok, not brilliant but ok. I sent the go-to to point at Jupiter and got it in the finderscope and then eyepiece. Excellent. Strange thing was that Jupiter seemed, well, "bright". The other week I made out the bands fairly easily and the four Galilean moons. Last night I could *just* make out the bands and the two moons that were visible but they seemed difficult to make out. The sky seemed clear - can anyone hazard a guess what was up? I then checked out the moon and, as ever, it was astounding. A waxing moon is always an amazing sight through scope and binoculars! My current plan of action is to learn my scopes and make out a list of easily found things to take a look at. Eventually I want to do some photography and have a look at some DSOs. Oh, and learn how to use the setting circles on my newtonian! And learning to collimate the newtonian. I think the newtonian is my future but the ETX is good for a quick blast when you don't know that much. Adam
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