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Everything posted by Ricochet

  1. I would avoid using a plossl at short focal lengths as the eye relief is very short (something like 2/3 or 3/4 the eyepiece focal length, can't remember which) making them impossible to use with glasses and uncomfortable without. BST Starguiders/Explorers (£50) or Celestron X-Cell LXs (£60) are pretty standard recommendations for an eyepiece that is a step up from a plossl and/or the supplied eyepieces but neither are available as a 4mm.
  2. If the existing finder is a non-magnifying red dot then replace. If the existing is 8/9x50 then compliment. If it is something in between then I'll leave it to others to debate.
  3. If you think you can manage manually finding things then of the options listed I would go for an 8" dob as it will give you the best deep sky views. For planetary views all of those listed will be able to give you the 200X magnification the UK atmosphere limits us to so the difference isn't so important. None of those options are really suitable for photography but if you do get into photography at some stage then you'll probably want a second scope anyway so that you've got something to look through while babysitting the camera scope. You might also want to consider something like this http://www.tringastro.co.uk/sky-watcher-star-adventurer-astro-photo-bundle-6844-p.asp as a cheap intro to astrophotography as it just sits between the DSLR you've already got and the tripod I assume you've also got. Also, when you pull onto the little industrial estate that Tring Astro is on turn left, drive all the way to the end where you'll find some spaces ahead marked Tring Astro and then the showroom is up the stairs to the left.
  4. What material is the tripod head made of? Could you make some nice wooded legs that would befit your 70's scope?
  5. It's a mini dob so there is no alignment needed. Put it down with the mount facing whatever direction you feel like and point the scope at what you want to look at.
  6. I think it's worth noting that the 100p is one of the models fitted with Skywatcher's "collimation free" primary mirror cells that lack standard collimation screws and are claimed by the manufacturer not to require collimation. However, I don't own one to be able to give any first hand perspective on how true the claim is. Also, for what it's worth, the supplied eyepieces are MA rather than H but I expect that is what you meant and the sentiment still stands. All in all I would suggest that the 100p is a good little scope that the kids should be able to handle themselves and that won't break the bank or require significant storage room. However, given that the kids have expressed an interest in the planets something with a longer focal length is probably better just so you can get some higher magnifications out of the supplied eyepieces, a 90mm Celestron Astromaster perhaps. (But then that's an extra £50 that could be spent on whatever the shortest BST Starguider EP is).
  7. Thanks, that was exactly the information I was looking for.
  8. Although you haven't tested the Delos yet, what do you feel gives better results out of the 6mm WO and the 12mm BST + barlow?
  9. I don't think the Skywatcher Sky Discovery is suitable for astrophotography. The instructions do mention using it with a camera (for terrestrial photography) but only if you remove the scope and attach the camera directly to the mount. The focuser on the scope is its weak point and only 1.25" when you want 2" and the mount is alt/az when you need an eq mount. If you want a Skywatcher Newtonian for imaging then you need something from the Explorer -DS line.
  10. Sorry, I had logged out and didn't see your reply but thankfully there are lots of helpful people who were able to step in and link you to the Dobsonians that FLO sell. Even though you have ruled the Dob out at this stage I feel that it is worth reconsidering. The Dobsonian base is both cheap, so your money goes on a bigger (better!) mirror, and very stable. In addition, it is the easiest mount type to set up. If you definitely don't want a Dob then the 130p suggested by brantuk is probably the best choice. However, you should be aware that because this uses an equatorial mount, the telescope rotates around the RA axis and the position of the eyepiece changes relative to the ground. It can then require a bit of contortion to use or stopping to rotate the whole tube and get the eyepiece back to a usable position. If you're just looking in one area of the sky then this isn't really a problem but if you like to look at lots of different areas of the sky it is more of an issue. If you don't like the sound of that then the motorised version of the 130p might be a better option: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p-supatrak-auto.html. It's a bit over your budget but because the mount is different the eyepiece doesn't go wandering around the tube. However, it will also need batteries and/or a power supply and even though it's motorised it's not go-to so it won't find targets for you.
  11. For under £200 I would go with a 6" Dobsonian as this gives the biggest aperture for your money.
  12. If you start with the focuser fully extended and then wind it in as you look at a star you should see a blurry disk that contracts to a sharp point at the focus and then expands to a disk again as you continue winding the focuser in. If you try this using the 10mm do you see contraction and expansion with no sharp focus point or do you just see contraction until the focuser cannot be wound in any further? If it is the latter option try reducing the amount that you are extending the main tube by about an inch/25mm and see if that allows you to find the focus point with the 10mm.
  13. Is there somewhere that you can go to look at these scopes in the flesh rather than buying online? I found that looking at two brands/designs side by side polarized that issue although definitely knowing whether an 8" or 10" suits you best requires actual use.
  14. Would you say the focuser upgrade is a requirement or just a nice option? Shame about the quality of the ep and rdf, I was hoping to get some use out of them when mine arrives.
  15. I would think that the Cosmos 60 is really too small. Even though twice the price and over the stated budget a 90mm Celestron Astromaster/Skywatcher Evostar would be a much better beginner scope if getting something that "looks like a telescope" is a major consideration. Otherwise, a dobsonian like the Heritage 100p is a better choice in my mind as it is better to have something that behaves like a telescope when you look through the eyepiece than to have something that looks like a telescope when it is sat in the box.
  16. Have you set the telescope control plugin to run at startup (configuration > plugins)? It sounds like you are changing settings in the oculars plugin which just simulates the view through your telescope.
  17. How did you manage to get it out? I've never had much luck getting out sheared screws when the break point is flush with the surface.
  18. The best place to start that I've found is just to go out and look at the sky with your eyes. In order to find the things that you will want to look at with your new telescope you need to know where to point it first, and that means learning to recognise the constellations. As suggested above, installing Stellarium is a great idea as it will show you the position of each constellation at the current time as knowing which direction to start looking in is a great advantage. If it is planets that you are after then Jupiter and Venus are your best bets at the moment (and Mars but it is much smaller and dimmer) but you will need to be out observing at 4-5 AM before the Sun rises and ruins the view.
  19. I would think the tube wouldn't be held in a very stable position by only one ring. Hold a pen between thumb and forefinger and wobble it, you would probably see the same movement with a telescope. If you want to use the rings to mount the tube have a look at this design, you could probably make something similar: http://www.bresser.de/en/Astronomy/Messier-8-Dobson.html
  20. There must be a lot of these old Prinz scopes still hanging around. I've got a 500R (Newt) but my EP holder thread is ~30mm.
  21. Anyone know anything about the Bresser Messier 8" Dob or Bresser optical quality vs Skywatcher?
  22. If by considered you mean "googled" then yes I have, but I've not got any further than that. It looks like there are three in Hertfordshire so I guess it's a case of cross checking thier meeting dates with the weather forecast to try to go along on a night when there is a chance of getting to look through some?
  23. There is actually a shop reasonably close to me that rents them out but the current weather forecast makes any comparison at this time purely theoretical.
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