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Everything posted by JimBobs63

  1. Hi, Following on from a forum discussion I started asking for recommendations for a wider field low power eyepiece to match to my f5 scope without breaking the bank, I thought I'd post a wanted on here first before turning to buying a new one. Has anyone got an APM 30mm UFF that they'd be willing to part with? Clear skies, Jim
  2. Thank you everyone for the replies. I think I will spend the extra and go for the APM. Jim
  3. Hi, As you will see from the signature below, I have a 150P (f5) scope with a range of X-Cel LX eyepieces from 25mm to 7mm, and two Powermates at 2.5x and 5x. So now I want to choose a wide angle low power 2" (or 1.25") eyepiece to suit my scope. I recognise that for exit pupil limitation I can only go up to 35mm. Given that the Tele Vue Naglers and Panoptics and other such quality eyepieces at £300 to £600+ are out of my league cost-wise, I would seem to have two options: I could pay for an eyepiece in the same sort of cost bracket as the ones I have - I could get a OVL Aero ED / TS UFL 35mm 68-69degree (I think these are essentially the same eyepiece re-badged), or a William Optic 33mm SWAN 72degree, which are all available in the range of £95-110. Or I could stretch (and perhaps sell the Ultima 2x Barlow) towards buying an Explore Scientific 34mm 68 degree eyepiece, or perhaps a Celestron Luminos 31mm 82 degree, at double the price - around £210-230. What are your thoughts on the difference in quality for my relatively fast f5/6" scope? Is it worth the extra cost to go for the ES or Luminos eyepiece? Any help and advice gratefully received! Jim
  4. Thanks for the replies - I had a look through both the Powermates and the Ultima barlow with my X-Cel LX eyepieces and you're right! The Powermates are noticeably better! I may well sell the Ultima 2x to help pay towards my next purchase (see separate post - I'm after recommendations for a wide field / low magnification 2" eyepiece). Jim
  5. JimBobs63

    I'm back!

    Thanks everyone for the lovely welcome (back)! Jim
  6. Hello! As you will see from my signature at the bottom, over the years I have acquired a range of Celestron X-Cel LX eyepieces - 25, 18, 12, and 7mm to go with my 150P Skywatcher. I have also gathered three Barlows - a 2x Ultima, and two Powermates at 2.5x and 5x. So my question is: would I get better viewing if I replaced these with an X-Cel LX Barlow, either 2x or 3x? Given that they were in the same manufacturer and product range, do you think they'd be better matched optically? If the answer is yes, I guess I could sell my current Barlows on towards the cost....! Any opinions gratefully received! Clear skies! Jim
  7. JimBobs63

    I'm back!

    Hello everyone! After years away doing other things (my other hobbies include having an allotment, and being involved in amateur dramatics) I am turning my attention back to astronomy. This is not least because we are in the middle of moving out of London to the relatively dark skies of Dorset - the middle of Covid lockdown not being the easiest time to be trying to buy and sell a house....! Anyway, I'm going to feel very much a beginner again when I get out there for the first time, making almost as many mistakes as I did when I first started! Clear skies to you all! Jim
  8. Hello Baz, Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been away for part of this week for work, so I've only just seen your message. You're welcome to them. I did have one other guy from SGL express an interest, but only in one particular issue and the free software on the CD, and I didn't want to split the collection. He may contact you asking if he can have or borrow that CD from you. Anyway, I'll check the cost of postage - you appear to live in Rossendale, which I seem to remember is up in Lancashire, but if you wish you can send me a Private Message with your address. We can then sort it out. Thanks, Jim
  9. Hi, I have a set of Sky at Night Magazines that I got some years ago, ploughed through and would now like to pass on to someone in the group. It is a complete set of Issues from number 1 in June 2005 to issue 72 in May 2011 and comes with all the CD-ROMs that were attached to the front. Happy to send for the price of postage/packaging (quite heavy!), or they can be collected from SW18 in SW London. Anyone interested, please let me know! Jim
  10. Hi, I bought LX eyepieces so I guess I'm in that camp...! They seem to work very well in my F5 Scope. I saw your ad in Uk Astro B&S and thought it was an interesting choice to make..... But it seems that you are not the only one switching to the LX!! Regards, Jim
  11. Hi, I have no experience of this scope, however I did have a quick look at the instruction manual you linked to, and was thinking about the best way forward for you. The first thing to say is that it is not at all obvious from the manual whether the primary mirror is parabolic or not. This will have quite a significant effect on whether it is worth perservering with the scope. Secondly, what diameter are the eyepieces and barlow? Are they the currently most common 1.25" or are they the much less common (nowadays) 0.965"? If they are 1.25" then you can always begin to purchase some more decent eyepieces and a decent barlow to try out on your scope, knowing that if you do decide later to upgrade to a better scope then the eyepieces will still be useful to you. However, if your current eyepieces/barlow are the old 0.965" then that option won't be there. Thirdly, you might chose also to upgrade the mount/tripod. If you decide that the scope is worth it, and you get much better seeing through better eyepieces, then it may well be worth considering getting a more sturdy mount/tripod combination. I hope this helps! Jim
  12. Hi, I had a set of these until recently when I upgraded to X-Cel LX eyepieces instead. I have to say that for the price they were very nice in my f5 SW 150P reflector. Only fault I found was with kidney-bean shadows on a few occasions - not entirely sure why... Jim
  13. You're welcome! That's what this forum is all about! Clear Skies, Jim
  14. Hello Algie42, I've got the Maplins version that you linked to in your message above - it works fine. Looking at the Halfords one, it seems to be the same spec (up to 5 Amps at 12V) so will also work fine to cope with the maxmium 2A that the Synscan draws. Although the Maplins is normally £24.99, they currently have a deal on, selling it for £14.99, so I'd go for that one if you have the choice! Best Wishes, Jim
  15. Hi, I know this thread is supposed to be moved, but I thought I'd just reply to state that I think you are supposed to use CTRL +1 to move to the cross-hairs, not ALT +1. Best Wishes, Jim
  16. I agree totally with that dobbie - well said! Jim
  17. I agree, and have now got the 7,12,18 and 25mm with my scope, together with a Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow. Very happy with the views I'm getting! Clear Skies! Jim
  18. Hi Malc, These two articles may help: Starizona's Telescope Basics Magnification They are both based on rules of thumb at around 50-60x the diameter of your scope in inches - e.g. 6" reflector -> 300 - 360x max mag. If you do a search on the internet there are more in-depth articles that give the physical concepts as to why these rules of thumb hold. But also remember - they are absolute max mags in perfect seeing conditions! Clear Skies! Jim
  19. Hi, Adding my tuppenceworth, when getting down to such short focal-length / high mag eyepieces, when using the 150P/Eq3-2 combination, I found the biggest problem to seeing was the time it took vibrations to settle down - any slight touch of the focusser or eyepiece led to big shakes in the FOV for several seconds! I agree with what's been written already - 150 - 200x should perhaps be what your routinely aiming at for max mag for your set-up. I guess that a 7 or 7.5mm with 2x barlow will give you magnification around the 200x mark which might be sensibly achieved. Clear Skies, Jim
  20. Hi, I seem to have found a clunky way of aborting CTRL + 1 type slew commands in Stellarium: Make sure that in the "Slew Telescope To" Menu you have the co-ordinates set to your park position (say) at Polaris and that your telescope is selected (as opposed to "virtual reticle"). Select the object you want to move to in the usual way. Press CTRL + 1 (or whatever your telescope is listed as). The telescope starts to move. If you think you are going to go past a limit of movement, hit CTRL + 0, and the "Slew Telescope to" window will appear. Now hit the "Slew" button and the telescope will immediately start to return to the co-ordinates you have set as Park position. See what I mean by clunky...?! May I suggest you try it without the telescope mounted a few times to see if it works for you? Good luck! Jim
  21. ....ah, I've just realised why my suggestion is so silly! You're problem is when you're using Stellarium to move the mount to an object, not when tracking it, hence your rush to hit the power button (on the Synscan motor controller) if it gets close to a "limit" - i.e. risk of collision. In that case, unless you have been told anything different, I can't think of a command in Stellarium that stops the goto completing its move.... Jim
  22. Hello Mike, Did you ever get an answer to this question? I have just installed a synscan upgrade on my EQ5, and I am intending to try out Stellarium to control the mount. It may be a very silly suggestion, but would hitting the "Pause" button in (the latest version of) Stellarium stop the slewing? Best Wishes, Jim
  23. Hi, I have just spotted this on the BBC News Website: BBC News - Venus and Jupiter to pass in the night sky Hopefully that will get a few people out this evening looking up at the sky. And at least Venus and Jupiter are so bright that they can be seen in the most light-polluted skies.... Jim
  24. Hi DC, I had a first look at Venus earlier last month through my 150P, and yes - I wasn't disappointed either! As you say, I could quite clearly see that there was a "phase" to the disk - somewhat less than a "full Venus" as it were, but more than "half-Venus". And the light seemed to be a bluey-green. All together a lot more interesting than I had been led to believe...! Best Wishes, Jim
  25. Hi, I've just used these instructions/photos to help me install a synscan upgrade on my newly purchased (secondhand) EQ5 - worked perfectly! Thanks so much!! Jim
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