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About spaceman_spiff

  • Rank
    Proto Star

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Astronomy; Astrophotography; Computational Neuroscience; Horology; Classical music; Hiking; Jogging, PS4!!!
  • Location
    Bury, Lancashire
  1. I was planning on a night out with the scope getting more hours on M51 but I just don't have the energy :sad:. I fell over a week ago and my back is still not quite right...My mount looks heavier than it used to.

    1. cuivenion



      Don't always need a mount!

    2. spaceman_spiff


      Finally...someone who knows who spaceman spiff is!

      Sometimes with all the complexities of astrophotography it's easy to forget the simple joy of looking.


    3. trynda1701


      Indeed. Plus, you can't beat reading some Calvin and Hobbes!

  2. WHich Binoculars will be right for me?

    No problem Jon, The 10x50 and 8x40 sizes are the most popular and easiest to use. For me the 10x50 are the biggest I can handle comfortably while observing, 8x40s will be very easy to hold for extended periods. Make sure to have a look at FLOs binocular site (the Opticron Adventurer 10x50s are well regarded, cheaper then the Nikons and they are fully multicoated!). Both 10x50s and 8x40s will give very pleasant wide views of the sky, large targets like M31, M42, M45 and double cluster in Perseus and the Moon will fit nicely into the field of view. I think the best thing to do is to visit a telescope/camera shop (if there are any left in business!) and try out a few different models (10x50s/8x40s/7x40s/Porros/Roofs...etc) for yourself. There is a wide range of personal preference when it comes to binos and my choice may not be the best for you. Unfortunately I am totally ignorant about IS binos, I heard they can make you sea sick! Hopefully someone else can fill you in on those. Good luck! Dan
  3. WHich Binoculars will be right for me?

    Hi Jon, 15x70s are big...too bulky to hold steady and probably not the best choice for a first pair of binos (I'm happy to be corrected here). I would go for something more manageable. I really love my 10x50 Nikon Aculon binos. I'm sure there are better binos out there but they are solid and work great for astronomy and terrestrial activities (bird watching and hiking). Dan
  4. Moving Terminator 25/02/2018

    That's great! A nice smooth animation, loads of detail and good colour balance.
  5. Skymax 150 star test

    Ahhh...Ok I understand you now. Use a shim to push the ep out and get extra focus, then focus, then remove the shim and get equidistant intra-focus...I like it. I have been doing the star test with only a camera but it is attached to the scope by a removable holder and I think I can use a shim there. As a test...I will try both methods (the shim method and the filling camera screen) and post them here. We can compare the results. I also found a bunch of ball bearings so now I need to wait for the Sun. Thanks for the help! Dan.
  6. Power Options for EQ5 (Non-Goto)

    It should work...My old batteries were also 1.2V (I think...) and they worked. The only issue is capacity. I used the motors only for short periods when I was purely observing. If you wish to do imaging then you will need something a bit more heavy duty. There is another option if your are worried...you could look for a 6v Lead acid gel battery. Here's a link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/PS6100-10AH-NonSpillable-Rechargeable-Battery/dp/B00LZV1C5U/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1520862365&sr=8-11&keywords=6v+Gel+battery Of course you will need a balance charger and electrical clips to connect it.
  7. Power Options for EQ5 (Non-Goto)

    Exactly! They look way better than my old Energizers and have 4x the capacity.
  8. Artificial Star Collimation

    I have been star testing my scope recently, and distance is an issue for me. I found I need about 54m (about 30 focal lengths) between the scope and the light source to do a fair star test! The issue is that my scope (and yours) use a spherical primary mirror which will generate different amounts of spherical abortion depending on the distance to the artificial star. If you have a short distance then the primary mirror will produce a smaller amount of SA and the corrector will seem to over-correct it. I think that's right... Dan
  9. Hi from Dundee, Scotland

    Welcome Ronan, The 200p Skyliner is a great scope, a friend of mine got one as his first scope and still uses it frequently. Dan
  10. Skymax 150 star test

    Hi David, thanks for the feedback. The artificial star was definitely far too close to the scope (closer to 15m than 20m). This corresponds to only 8.3 times the focal length of the scope (1800mm). I read that I need a distance around 30x focal lengths (54m!) to avoid introducing spherical aberration into the star test (or cancelling out real SA). I am going to try using a bright glint off a distant car next time. I measured the focus distance simply by measuring the diameter of the defocused star on the camera screen. Your suggestion of using shims to move the focus knob a set distance is interesting and may be worth a try if I can make them...I had the idea of counting the diffraction rings each side of the focus and making sure they are the same. The Airy disk looks very close to the central peak. I can just about see it on the shorter exposure test (see below) but I am using prime focus video to do this so I may not be amplifying the image enough to see it properly. I have a 2x Barlow I could use...
  11. Tell me about LP FILTERS please

    I use a Baader UHC-S filter. It helps reduce LP sky brightness, increase contrast on emission nebulae and in my opinion, helps bring out star colours.
  12. My first ever DSO image :) M51 Whirlpool Galaxy

    Really nice! You managed to get the connecting arm as well, impressive considering the exposure time and light pollution (Manchester Airport pumps out tonnes of LP).
  13. M51 and a few fuzzies

    Very nice! I'm hoping to get a few more hours on M51 tomorrow night...
  14. Power Options for EQ5 (Non-Goto)

    Good to know! AC power supplies need to be well regulated - producing a nice smooth DC current in order to get stable movement from the motors. Cheap ones (i.e. the little plug in ones with the multiple jack attachments) just don't cut it. If you want to be completely safe then go for the battery solution. I used to have the dual axis motors and I just bought some beefy rechargeable D cells and they were OK. Dan
  15. Power Options for EQ5 (Non-Goto)

    Are you using the EQ5 pro or just the basic motors? I have the EQ5 pro and it works well with a 12V 17Ah motorcycle battery.