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About Ricochet

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  1. If all you saw was bright light over the whole field of view then you could not have been in focus. Turn the focuser so that the circle of light becomes smaller. Once it reaches its smallest size it will be in focus. You should be able to see surface features whether or not it is a full moon. As your finderscope is not necessarily aligned with your telescope you should align the finderscope on a distant object in the day first. This will get you in the general area but you will still have to tweak it at night. Move the telescope around a bit when you think that it should be pointing at the moon in case you are actually only seeing some sort of reflection off the walls of your telescope. It will be obvious if the light you were seeing was a reflection and suddenly you see the actual moon.
  2. I think the 130 will probably be the better all round astro scope. The 102 is more of a transportable lunar and planetary scope.
  3. You can't just go by brand unless you go really high tier. Most brands sell eyepieces across the full spectrum of quality. What are you aiming to observe with the new eyepiece(s) and what sort of budget do you have?
  4. I use barlowed XWs for my DSO high magnifications but for planetary I think binoviewers are the way to go. Smaller eyepieces are the order of the day and, assuming that you need a barlow to reach focus, eyepieces like orthos are ideal as the long focal lengths mean you get decent eye relief.
  5. The 3.2-12mm (maybe 15mm) Starguiders will be good enough in terms of correction I think. I've looked through them at f4.4 and don't remember any atrocities. However, the 3.2 needs fine focus control to get a decent image. When I had both 7mm Xcel lx and 8mm Starguiders I thought the 7mm was a touch ahead of the 8mm. (at f6) Using a 2x barlow with the 7mm will probably be better than the 3.2mm, if the atmosphere supports that magnification.
  6. As someone who hasn't seen the review, how many of the 5 focal lengths were you given to test? With respect to the nuances an advanced user might notice, what issues did you find? Are we talking abberarions across the field or coating issues resulting in lower transparency or reflections? I'm not criticising, just interested as these eyepieces and their clones are on my radar for possible BV pairs. Would I be better served by SLVs?
  7. If there is enough of the screw sticking out to get a pair of vice grips on it I would use that. I don't think you will be able to use a screw extractor on such a small screw.
  8. Yes, they can. I've got an 818C (I think, no model numbers on the tripods or packaging) that I use with a fluid head for my spotting scope. If the head az friction is set too high you can induce a little bit of twist into the tripod but this might be the same with all the options. I have used it at night and thought it would be nice to have a lightweight head and scope to go on top for grab and go but I've not managed to decide which scope. With regards to the tripod, I bought mine through eBay. I think it might have been shipped directly from China but the original price was cheaper than Amazon, plus the seller had a % off offer on, and eBay also gave me a % off voucher so I only paid £65 for it.
  9. I think you would have to try both to find out which is better from your location, but buying either will show an improvement compared to the unfiltered view.
  10. All you need is a 12V PC cooling fan, available fairly cheaply online. buying one with decent bearings is a good idea to lower vibration but you should also mount the fan in such a way so that vibrations are not transmitted to the telescope. My solution was to replace the screws holding the mirror cell to the tube with longer ones so that hair bands could be looped over them. Connection of the fan to the bands is via P clips, available from a DIY store. To power it you will need a 12V power source. If you're already running electrical components you might have one, otherwise a lithium polymer battery will do the job. You will however, have to do a bit of diy as the battery will have a 12V jack and the fan will have a fan connector. You may also want to add a controller at some point so that you can vary the fan speed.
  11. In my opinion Neodymium filters are not effective against light pollution. What they are though, are the best filter to improve contrast on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn, so you may still want to add one to your collection. A light pollution filter that I have found to work, but that will become less effective as LED lighting increases, is the Astronomik CLS filter. However, the Explore Scientific CLS is manufactured to a lower price point and has a wider band pass, meaning that it lets in more unwanted light and contrast will be lower. I've not tried one to know if it is still effective or not. As the Orion nebula is an emission nebula, it is an object that UHC and OIII filters will be useful for. There is a well known comparison of filters on nebulae which gave UHC the lead but with the levels of light pollution that I have at home, I have found a good OIII filter to actually be the best option. I think that the key here, again, is to choose a high quality filter that has a narrow band pass as this filters out the most light pollution and gives the best contrast. Astronomik are again the current top tier choice, but the Baader OIII, which has a band pass that is "too narrow", is going to be a much better choice than the brands that have band passes that are "too wide".
  12. I agree with Geoff. The focal extender (better than a barlow) that you have bought is very good and you should keep it. I know from experience as I have the old Meade branded version. 2" barlows are big and heavy, as are 2" eyepieces so you are better off buying mid power 1.25" eyepieces and using the extender for high power. You mention both camera adapters and processing software, but a manual dobsonian is a visual only scope. Your best bet for photography is probably holding your phone up to the eyepiece (or using a phone adaptor), but this only works for the brightest objects. If you really wanted to do astrophotography not visual astronomy then your best course of action wold be to immediately return this telescope and buy something else. DSO photography requires the opposite of this, a massive powered EQ mount and a small(er) telescope, while planetary is more in between.
  13. How many telescopes were the authors of this old advice expecting their readers to be able to buy? These days lots of people own multiple scopes, but when scopes were relatively more expensive was it the norm that people would only own a single telescope? Perhaps we should split the question into two: What is the minimum aperture that a telescope has to be to for it to gain regular usage when you have larger options? What is the minimum aperture that you would choose if you could only own one telescope? I suspect that these answers would not be the same.
  14. The TV plossls will be fine, but if you're going to spend £100 on a 50° eyepiece I'd probably go for the Vixen SLV and get decent eye relief at the shorter focal lengths. At just under f5 there are probably a fair few other choices than TV. The shorter (12mm and under) Starguiders/X-Cel LXs are probably going to be ok, as will the Baader Classic Orthos. How well corrected is the NPL you've already got in your scope? If you can't see problems with the star shapes (particularly near the edge of field) then another focal length from the range might be just as good.
  15. I would guess that the "green" filter is a UHC/nebula type, the "blue" filter is a CLS/light pollution type and the clear filter is a skylight filter, so that if you have the filters in a filter wheel you can switch from a filtered view to an "unfiltered" view (using the skylight) without needing to refocus.
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