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About Ricochet

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  1. Optisan star 70076

    I started out with a similar size scope but upgraded as soon as I had determined owning an astronomical telescope was something I wanted. I think the aperture is really a bit too small for my liking. It will work best more for wide field views of an area of sky rather than detailed views of specific objects other than the moon. As @Demonperformer says, more information, particularly budget, is needed to give specific advise. The 8" dob is a great scope for those who can store it on the ground floor and transport it to darker sites in a car, but not so practical for anyone living at the top of a tower block where the lift often breaks down and who get around on public transport.
  2. Vixen A62SS refractor

    Did you read the sky at Night review linked to on the Vixen page? It looks like quite an expensive achromat. The SW 72ED or WO ZS61 would probably be higher on my list.
  3. That or the DGM NBP are probably the best UHC style filters. If you bought one it could be the only one you would ever need to buy (until a new scope opens up 2" eyepieces and filters) but they are expensive and the cheaper ones will still give decent results. It is similar to buying eyepieces where you can buy ever more expensive options for diminishing returns.
  4. Bino advice

    You have the same problems with an astro scope where you need an oca to account for the extra light path inside the binoviewer. This means that you can only use long focal length eyepieces with a restricted fov. I have a Pentax spotting scope and a Starguider binoviewer and the only way I can get anywhere near infinity focus is to use the (poor) supplied oca marked as 1.85x (but looks like it might be the 3x!) and the supplied Plossls, which are essentially eyepieces built inside a 1.25" eyepiece barrel with an eye guard on top. Changing to any other eyepiece with a normal focus position beings the point of furthest focus much closer in which makes the system unusable.
  5. With regards to the Astronomik and Baader filters: OIII is the narrowest, only passing the two (or one) OIII emission lines. The optimal width is around 12nm. UHC passes the two OIII emission lines and also the H beta line. Optimum width is about 25nm. UHC-S and UHC-E look like different marketing terms for roughly the same thing. The OIII-Hbeta passband is widened to 45nm (perhaps more for UHC-S?) and there is also an additional passband in the red part of the spectrum although I don't know how this works visually as the dark adapted eye loses sensitivity to these wavelengths. In addition you have the Explore Scientific and Skywatcher UHC filters which have wider pass bands equivalent to the UHC-E/UHC-S filters. The short answer is that your first filter should be a UHC, but finances will determine which one. The link given in the post above is well worth reading. With regards to the passband widths, the smaller the width the higher the contrast but also the dimmer the image. To counter the dimmness you will have to increase the exit pupil which means viewing at a lower magnification. Even with a small telescope you can use the tightest filter if you pair it with the right eyepiece so I wouldn't worry too much about suggested telescope sizes for a particular filter.
  6. Bino advice

    I would be inclined to keep the 66mm scope with a single eyepiece to keep the weight down for when you need a scope that will be carried long distances and to convert the 80mm to bino use for prolonged observing from a single location. I would also seriously consider shortening the tube so that the scope focuses with as low a power barlow as possible (optimally no barlow).
  7. A 30mm eyepiece in an f5 scope will give an exit pupil of 6mm. Under urban/suburban light pollution this size exit pupil may not darken the background sky sufficiently. You will have to judge this based on the brightness of the background sky when using your current 25mm eyepiece.
  8. Barlow vs GPC

    I know what you mean about those OSCs! Everything tinged blue and noticeably blurry compared to the barlow I'm using instead. Two votes for the SW, definitely need to test it.
  9. Barlow vs GPC

    I've had a similar experience comparing eyepieces. I look forward to any conclusions you can draw from extended comparisons. Thanks, I'll have to give that barlow a go and see how it compares to the AE nosepiece I'm currently using.
  10. Planning your ideal eyepiece collection

    No. I don't feel like I'm missing anything in between. Most things are quite small and fit in the XW FoV when I'm after a detailed view. Magnifications work out at 43.5X and 87X which in astronomical terms isn't a massive gap, the only issue would be in terms of exit pupil with nothing between 2.3mm and 4.7mm so possibly a 20mm might give a better exit pupil when using an OIII filter. 1.4X steps were in my initial plans so there was a space specifically for a 20mm eyepiece but when it came to it I didn't buy it leaving me with 5,7,10,14,28. I think (!!) the sale price dropped to €199, and coincided with the US "Black Friday" sales.
  11. Barlow vs GPC

    Has anyone here done a comparison between using a barlow element and a gpc with binoviewers? If so was there a noticeable improvement with the gpc? Finally, does anyone know if this applies only to the Baader gpcs or if cheaper variants such as the TS GPC and Barlow also produce such results (or is it a barlow simply marketed as a gpc?).
  12. Planning your ideal eyepiece collection

    I think @Piero has/had both so is probably in a good position to advise. In my 8" dob I drop from a 14XW to a 28mm Nirvana with nothing in between. I was very close to buying the 20mm HDC during the sale but in the end decided I didn't need both it and the Nirvana (that I already owned).
  13. Binoculars advice - newbie!

    For £80 you can buy either 8x42 or 10*50 Opticron Adventurer T binoculars. 8*42 are probably the safer bet if you are not sure how much you will enjoy astronomy as they are slightly smaller, lighter and easier to carry for daytime use.
  14. The things that I think you will need are probably things that you haven't even thought of yet: Some sort of height adjustable chair so that you can comfortably sit at the eyepiece. I use an old drum stool I happened to have but you can also buy ironing chairs, musician's chairs, observing chairs or find schematics online to make your own observing chair. Warmer clothes. It gets really cold sitting/standing outside for long periods at night. The sort of things you would buy if you were going skiing will serve you well.