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Everything posted by digital_davem

  1. First light! I have added the following to the stuff that came with the telescope: - tube rings and a 200mm Arca swiss plate so I can fit the scope to my camera tripod - a 0.965 - 1.25 adaptor - a 1.25 diagonal - Antares 25mm plossl - Antares 12.5mm plossl - a lens cap made form a licorice tin lid Tried it all out last night. I learnt a few things straight away: - my Sherpa carbon fibre tripod really isn't up to the task. The slightest touch on the eyepiece puts so much torque through the head that legs mounting plate flexes - So I switched to my Manfrotto 55c aluminium tripod. This thing is too heavy for me to want to use for photographic fieldwork, even so it is barely adequate. Once again, touching the eyepiece leads to a fascinating display of star spirograph patterns that seem to go on for about 30 secs until it calms down. - Manfrotto make quality quick release photographic ballheads but they are not the greatest idea for telescopes - 4 and a half feet of scope flopping around on both axes soon as you loosen the knob ain't great... - London backgardens don't offer the best views... - pointing a telescope without a finder is difficult although I managed to find Capella (at least I think I did...) - Knowing where to point the telescope is one to ponder. I had Stellarum open on the PC as well as some star charts but puzzling out the correspondence between chart and sky is tricky. Where was the moon when I needed it! - it's really difficult to know what you are looking at through a narrow FOV telescope. Easier with naked eye. - it keeps getting cloudy ;-) I haven't tried the diagonal yet, been using the 0.965 prism that came with the telescope which seems to cause a partial vignette with the new 25mm. I'm hoping the new diagonal will solve this, just hope it will still focus as its a mirror rather than prism.
  2. A bit more info... Just tried the brass thing on my 3 eyepieces. On the 6mm and 4mm it doesn't seem to do anything much (but they are so dim, it's difficult to tell) but it dramatically improves the 20mm "H". Without the extra lens, there is a very narrow field of view which looks vignetted with a raggedy edge around the image circle. With the brass attachment, the image circle seems about twice the size with a nice crisp circumference to the circle. It clearly does something quite important on that eyepiece!
  3. Hi The brass mounted thing contains a clear lens, not a filter. Kind of like a tiny magnifying glass. Here is the other way up:
  4. Hi Thanks for the reply! Can I expect the Antares plossls to be better than the old eye pieces? Re: pictures, does the forum have a gallery function or do I need to use my own server? Cheers Dave
  5. Hi there First post from old but absolute newbie (although I've done a lot of reading...) I've recently acquired a Prinz optics model 660 3" refractor kit for a few quid. The kit was not complete but there are many parts. I'd appreciate some help identifying the function of what's in the kit and what isn't! Things I understand so far: 1. The big wooden coffin box (er, the box...) 2. The long white metal tube with a heavy glass lens at one end and hefty metal rack and pinion focuser at the other (the OTA) 3. A chromed metal arm with a big lump of iron on the end (a sticky out bit, part of the mount) 4. A triangular thingy with glass prisms inside (the star diagonal) 5. A metal drum shaped thing with offset tubes at front and back full of glass prisms (terrestrial corrector?) 6. Three eye pieces with screw on chrome barrels (magnifying eye pieces) 7. A black cyclinder 4 inches long and about 85mm in diameter, with some green baize around the inside (lens hood/dew shield) 8. A couple of tiny filters that appear to screw on to eyepiece barrels marked "moon" and "sun" (ND filters - the sun one which should never be used) 9. A screw in adaptor tube - one end that matches the interior thread of the focuser inside tube, the other into which the start diagonal/eyepieces fit What seems to be missing: 1. Tripod 2. Main part of the telescope mount 3. Rings or other mounting hardware 4. Finder Some other bits I can guess at by looking at pictures of complete scopes: 1. Two cable release-like things with knobs at the end (slow motion controls?) 2. A flat metal plate, the size of a postcard with a fixing bracket (sun projection screen?) 3. Chromed arm with collar that fits focuser barrel (mount for sun viewer screen?) Things that baffle me: 1. A black metal tube about 3" long with an eyepiece set screw at one end, a chromed eyepiece barrel screwed into the other, then another black metal tube about 2" long screws into that. No optics inside. 2. A small brass mounted lens that was screwed onto the inside end of one of the eyepieces and can be unscrewed (some kind of teleconverter perhaps?) 3. An unmounted doublet glass lens element pair sitting in a small white plastic eyepiece container 4. What the "H", "HM" and "Or" markings on the eyepieces mean My initial experiences: Cleaned up the tube and inspected the objective which seems in good nick. I set the tube up balanced on chairs and cushions in a field in scotland. With the 20mm "H" eyepiece and ages messing around, I was eventually able to see the moon. The terminator seemed crisp and sharp and craters were clearly visible. However, the view was very narrow and dim and murky - not at like my cheap spotter scope which lacks magnification but which is crisp and clear and much brighter with a sharply defined circle edge. I put this down to the old eye pieces and possible deficiencies in the diagonal (athough dispensing with this and viewing straight down the tube didn't seem any better). The other two eyepiece (4mm "Or" and 6mm "HM" didn't show me anything at all other than a patch of light full of dust and hairs!. I also tried it indoors at home in daylight pointing at the trees across the road. The view was narrow fuzzy, dim and frankly awful. Again I blame this on the old eye pieces. What I'm doing about it: 1. I've purchased a 0.965 to 1.25" adaptor 2. I've order a 25mm and 12.5mm antares plossl on the advice of Rother Valley optics 3. I've order a couple of knock-off Canon telephoto lens tripod collars which I think are the right size to act as tube rings 4. I have a decent Manfrotto camera tripod with a heavy duty pan and tilt head with quick release plate. I'm thinking I can use a bar of some kind to cobble together a cheap and temporary alt-az mount. Questions: 1. What are the various unknown bits and pieces above 2. What size of "real" mount do I need to set this up properly 3. What brand/type and where do I source something (bearing in mind this is a classic scope restored on a shoes string. I really don't want to spend a lot of money in hope - if I wanted to so that I'd buy new gear! Look forward to any insights and advice Cheers Dave
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