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About dlockyer

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    Surrey, UK
  1. I'm in Woking and if I dont want to trek all the way to Ranmore, I go to the bottom of St Catherines. Not a bad site for 5 mins drive outside the town centre.
  2. Hello and welcome from Surrey, UK
  3. Oh nice one. I have been to Denbies once (when it was very cloudy) but thought the West car park would be better as there are trees obscuring the road. Will have to try out Denbies next time. Its only about 1/2 mile up the road from the car park I go to if I'm thinking of the right place.
  4. EDIT: Apologies mods, I realise now I should have posted this is the Observing - Lunar part. Doh!
  5. Well what an interesting night last night at Ranmore Common West car park. 3 cars pulled in and immediately turned around and went again, which was a bit odd. One car pulled up, turned its lights off, sat there for 20 mins then went. But anyway. It was cold, it was windy and it was cloudy. Deneb, Vega and Altair were visible but that was about it, apart from our magnificent satellite. My first impression was "Holy ****, that's bright!", and I started taking photos by simply pointing my Sony Cybershot point and shoot camera into the eyepiece and hoping for the best. What came out was a big fuzzy white blob. So I went to work on all the settings and delved into parts of the Cybershots settings menu I didn't even know existed! Anyway, long story short, after a couple of hours of trial and error I managed to get these, one of which is bound to become my profile pic, as these are my first ever Astro pics.
  6. Considering another impromptu trip to Ranmore tonight. I've not had the chance for a good look at the moon through the scope yet, and I really want to see Saturn again.
  7. Thanks. It was clear when I left home, 35 minutes later at Ranmore it was completely cloudy, so I gave it 10-15 mins, realised it wasn't going to clear up anytime soon, and came home. Got back about 10 mins ago. Tomorrow night looks like a possible, but I don't fancy doing that drive too much if its only 50/50 for clear skies. The road coming from Clandon direction up to Ranmore Common is horrible lol.
  8. Decisions, Decisions. Clear Outside says clear from 10pm - 3am or so The weather app via Windows 10 start menu says clear 10pm Meteoblue says 100% cloud all night Looking out window there is lots of low cloud, but it is moving by pretty fast. It is clear one minute, and completely cloudy 10 minutes later.
  9. As the clouds have started clearing I'm considering going to Ranmore tonight. I've only been once to a quiet little car park, but there are alot of trees. A little further up the road is Denbies Hillside Car Park which looks like it has an unobscured view south (I really want to see Saturn again). I need to make my decision whether to go or not in the next hour or so as its 35 mins drive for me.
  10. Nice report, thanks for sharing. I'm jealous of your working GOTO! haha
  11. I'm using the Skywatcher 12v 7aH power tank, which is what was recommended to me. My budget couldn't quite stretch to the 17aH version. I get nothing, no LEDs (apart from on the cable going from tank to mount), no signs of life at all.
  12. Another thought, sorry cant edit posts yet.......Could I try and connect it up to the laptop via the RS232? I've thought about it but the manual says that the first time it is turned on, it should be plugged into the mount pointing true north, which is why I keep waiting for the rare clear nights.
  13. Thanks guys. I'll be trying it using the car cigarette lighter later today before I get onto the retailer.
  14. So it was an interesting and frustrating night all rolled into one. The Synscan GOTO appears dead on arrival which isnt good. I hope its just the handset that needs sending back and not the whole thing! That aside is was a lovely night. The clouds broke up at around 11pm and I had a mostly clear view. It wasn't the darkest of nights but at times the Milky Way could be seen with the naked eye quite clearly streaking through Cygnus. Due to the broken GOTO and less than ideal seeing conditions, I concentrated more on trying to locate double stars than Messier objects. Mizar and Alcor were an easy find and helped me to align my finderscope for the evening, then onto Albireo which I adore with its large red star and small blue companion.The double double in Lyra was easily viewable as a double, but I don't think it was dark enough to resolve the doubles in the doubles! Finally, I think I found the double in Delphinus, which were really, really close together. My highlight for the evening was my first observation of M13 in Hercules. First through my 25mm, and then through the 10mm. Absolutely stunning and the more i kept it in view, the more it changed from a blur to seeing individual stars in it. With the tracking not working on the scope it was really difficult to keep it in view with the 10mm, as my mount isn't as smooth as a manual dobsonian as it has the motors on it. I also did the, in my view, compulsory viewing of M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. I couldn't make out any structure due to the conditions. I started waiting until it rose higher in the sky but then more clouds starting coming in and the dreaded dew was starting to affect the scope, so I packed up and came home. The other good news is that my idea for a dark spot was fantastic. Lovely and quiet, easy access for vehicles, and very little light pollution compared to my usual spot which is only about 1/2 mile outside of a town centre.
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