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Everything posted by chrisrnuttall

  1. I would have thought you will be fine with the 10"SPX on an EQ6. I have an 8" f/6 on an HEQ5, and the mount is nowhere near its weight limit, my last scope was a lot heavier and it was still fine. I honestly think that for visual observation my mount would handle a 10" SPX okay, the SPX's are really light weight, in fact i slightly regret buying the 8" now, but it is a great scope, and one day i will upgrade to a bigger one. Let us know how good it is optically and how the mount copes will you? It is a similar set up to what i will get next i think. cheers
  2. Bish at least you got an observation out of the evening, i find it sooo anoying when it clouds over just as you get going and you have to put everything away again. I just checked the weather forecast (assuming you are in the UK) and it looks pretty cloudy and unsettled until the weekend, also the jet stream looks like getting stronger in the next couple of days. I think i might devote my time to trying to finish all the christmas booze instead! Hopefully i might get another mars observation in on sat or sun morning.I might have a look for saturn too, haven't bothered since conjunction.
  3. I have just answered my own question. i got this from this web site Mars Oppositions march 2012, same size as 2010 april 2014, same size as 2010 may 2016 slightly better size, but low down july 2018, big diameter, but very low october 2020, big diameter, and quite high up december 2022, medium diameter, very high up. so only eleven years to wait for a half decent aparition. Also all the properly perihelic oppositions will ocur in the northern summer for at least the next 50 years. Since i cannot contemplate moving to the southern hamisphere i think i will simply content myself with what we have. Or maybe when i am a millionaire i could have a nice holiday to new zealand......mmmm, yes.
  4. 4 AM ?!?. Did you go back to bed again afterwards? Mars seems so tiny at the moment, it suprises me how much can be seen in those still moments. Makes me wonder what it would be like if Mars could be big and high up at the same time. Does anyone know if the perihelic oppositions will always be during our northern summer, or will it change in the future?
  5. I too have been getting up early to observe mars, if you can be arsed get out of bed at 5am, the seeing is much better then than at 6 or 7, i think it might be to do with the sun starting to warm the air later on... anyway, i have had 4 sessions on mars so far this year and the two when i got up earlier were fantastic, i went straight to X375 (that's the max i have on my set up). Red or green filters really helped with dark areas on the disc. You can almost watch the seeing deteriorate at about half six as it gets light. it was -8C in my garden one morning though, i think i need a kettle in the shed! I have attached some sketches. regards, Chris
  6. or there is mars previewer II, it shows you a picture of mars for any given time, it is very acurate. i used it last tuesday and my sketch was spot on to the priview.
  7. the frequent switching on and off of the dew controller can cause the voltage to fluctuate on the supply lines. if the mount is a goto then then it has a small processor running it and the fluctuations can make is malfunction if you use the same psu for both items. i have a goto mount and a dew controller, and i use two batteries, one for each. Also, you need to check the current ratings of the power supllies - it should be written on the casing for each one. Then if you look up in the mount's manual the amount of current it needs you will know if either is suitable. Likewise for the dew heater strap, the manufactures website should tell you what current it needs to run. If your psu's can't supply enough then you will get poor performance, and the psu's may expire prematurely. hope this helps.
  8. okay here are my results so far Opt corp $14 shipping and i can only find 1.25" dust caps Agena minimum order of $30 plus shipping, but they do sell all the sizes. teleskop service - only do 1.25" size hands on optics - i can't find them on the website so i don't have a magic answer, the only place i have found who does a good range is agena but they are too expensive. I will try to find them in the uk i think, it's either that or make them somehow. thinking hat on again!
  9. Agena are just sitting ther like a coiled spring waiting for emails! unfortunately they have a $30 minimum order excluding shipping -thats a lot of dust caps.
  10. Iv'e never known anyone be that unlucky with new laptops, they are usually fine at least for a while. If you keep on like this eventually you must be due a massive dose of good luck to ballance it all out, perhaps you will win a large sum of money, or maybe a meteorite will land at your feet tomorow! good luck chris
  11. the agena ones look perfect, i am about to send them an email to ask about shipping. i will also email teleskop service to ask them. no answer from optcorp yet, mind you it's only monday lunchtime there at the moment! as for printing them, i could get that done through work for not much money, i use a company who does selective laser sintering from 3d cad models, and i simply hadn't thought of doing it! I might use it as a back up plan. I will let you all know my findings...when i find them!
  12. steve the AE ones are terribly posh but it looks like they only fit in the focusser on a telescope, and the SnS ones are the dipped rubber ones i am trying not to buy (call me a dust-cap-snob - actually i do need a couple of sizes besides the snobbery!) I did email optcorp after i wrote my reply earlier today, i read it back and thought 'that's really pessimistic, hopefully they will get back to me tomorow, and if you are right John, then i may be in luck. thanks for all the help guys
  13. i reckon you will struggle welding that, it's not very big and it will be horrible casting alloy, i would do as said above by andy and make a new bit. But i would do it this way; file the stub flat, make a new bit from steel (same size as the original piece) with a couple of tapped holes in it, and bolt it on. If you get really stuck you could post me the broken off bit and I'll make the bit of steel for you one day at work.
  14. oh well, thanks for posting. It looks like i dont have alot of choice. I reckon it could expensive to import from the US, I've done it before on other goods. Shipping must be at least a fiver and then there will be GST, VAT, import duty and a trip to the post office to pay them some charges too. I think it is all to do with stopping people from europe buying from the US now the internet is so popular - that way they can keep prices in the EU high. ......I can't understand why no-one sells them in the UK though. thanks again
  15. Does anyone know where to buy eyepiece caps? i need a couple to fit the 1.25" barrel end, and some slightly bigger to cover the tops too. I have already found a couple of places selling the rather cheap-looking dipped rubber things, but i want the proper injection moulded ones you get with a new eyepiece, in a variety of sizes. thanks in advance
  16. Karlo They weren't going to do much good in a carboard box in my garage! Let me know if you make any progress, maybe i can have a look through it at Dalby forest next year? chris
  17. just keep trying, sometimes planets can give better views than other times, usually down to the atmoshphere at the time. Jupiter is low at the mo so it wont be as easy as it will be in a few years when it will be higher. Try to observe later at might too, the air is usually more calm. Jupiter is a bit tough in a smaller scope as the contrast between the orange and cream areas is not high, so you struggle to see the details, a bigger aperture helps a lot (sorry!) The phase of venus will be is easier to see, as will saturns rings when it re emerges from solar conjunction (xmas time i think without checking) If you time jupiter right you can watch the shadow transits of its moons easily, theyre fun. regarding one of your original questions, you will dim the brighteness by magnifying more, but you will need a good night for this (still and calm, possibly a hint of mist), and a good quality eyepiece. Televue plossls and Edmund RKE's are cheap and pretty good for plantets in my experience. good luck chris
  18. i really should read my posts before uploading them - either that or type slower. dammit! chris
  19. I have and OO SPX 200, with the free upgrade to 1/10th wave optics. I had a few phone conversations with barry before ordering, he was very helpful and answered all my questions. They tailored my scope for visual observing since i never do imaging, they moved the focal plane in near the tube and used a smeller secondary than normal. It was built pretty quickly (within their quoted lead time), and i am absolutely thrilled with it, i think it is beautifully built, it weighs nothing, the focusser is lovely, the finder is good with adjustable illuminated cross hairs, the cooling fan brings it equilibrium quickly, the images delivered by the scope are tack sharp, and it stays in collimation without needing adjustment. The only fault was the electric focusser handbox which looks like it was made by a totally different set of people from those who built the scope, it is frankly poor, and i made one myself in my lunchtime at work which is better. Couldn't do that with the telescope though, it is excellent. I agree with the comment about finding Mr skywatcher too, i broke a screw in my HEQ5 recently and it was only by luck the greenwich had one in that i wasn't without a mount for several weeks while the new part came by boat from somewhere thousands of miles away. You can pop into Orion for tea if you want! chrisa
  20. John I used to own an 8" carbon tube cape newise. They are not all the same as most of the telescopes peter wise sells seem to be 'works in progress', what i mean is that the design changes rapidly. This could be seen as a good thing as he is always improving them, but its only good if you get one of the improved ones. I can only tell you about my telescope, which i bought second hand. It went back to peter about three times in the three years i had it, once for a new mirror as the original was damaged when i got it, once for an internal dew heater, and once for.....i can't even remember now! Thing is i was constantly taking it apart and trying to sort the performance out. Peter told me it was not one of his latest ones. But that the only differences were a different front end housing to make fitting an aluminium dew shield possible, and a new focusser. When he went bust i bought a new front end and a new focusser from him. He is a really nice guy and he gave me his mobile number so i could call him if i had any problems - which i did and he had plenty of time for me. The front window is glued into the cell with silicone (he used to use epoxy but silicone isn't brittle so lasts better) and is not easily removed. The central obstruction assembly is screwed into the window by its outer ring, it is easily removed if you make a tool to unscrew the ring, there is some silicone used to stop it turning in the glass window too but it doesnt exactly glue it in, you can get it out. It is a good idea to make a jig for re-fitting the central obstruction assembly as it needs to face the focusser pretty well. Cleaning the secondary mirror is not easy at all, as it cannot be removed from its tube once the little lens has been bonded in the end. I used to clean the secondary mirror and the lens next to it with acetone in a little squirter bottle (PW's idea). The aluminium is anodised and the glues are not affected by acetone either. It works pretty well as acetone will disolve greases and water based marks too. the main mirror was bonded to a 3mm thick spun steel dish (with a flat base), this was what was used for a mirror cell. There were three small pieces of plastic wedged inbetween the sides of the mirror and the cell wall, not sure why, but in cold conditiond the steel cell contracted and the plastic wedges pinced the mirror badly, creating triangular star images. I removed them and the main mirror was pretty good after that. The whole point is that its a spherical mirror and therefore easy to make to a good level of acuracey. This also has to be cleaned with acetone as you can't wash the whole thing in a sink or it will rust! The last bit in the train is the focusser which i thought was okay, there is a lens in the bottom of that too, and again it is possible to get to it to clean it, but you have to take the focusser off to do it (or the front window) So in short, yes you can take it all apart, but every optical element it glued into its holder and cannot be taken out easily. I think the concept is a nice one, but it suffered from manufacturing techniques and mechanical design flaws. That said my scope did give very good performance once it was sorted out. You have to get the height and alignment of the central obstruction assembly just right or you get astigmatism. One of the three different front windows i had was defective and that had astigmatism ground into it. And of the two focussers, two windows and 1 mirror i ended up with, only one combinations of these was acceptably free of spherical aberation. This telescope taught me everything i know about optical aberations and how to detect and cure them! I suppose this is why there are so many people who report problems with theirs, and some who say they are great, they are a bit hit and miss! Don't bother with the internal dew heater, it's just a kendrick band velcro'd to the inside of the tube, and it creates such massive tube currents that you have to stop observing. I bought some nichrome wire and made a heater which fitted the tiny amount of space available around the front end of the tube. In the end i was pretty happy with my newise but it took three years of messing around with it to get there. By the way i found that the weights peter claims for the scopes were wrong, mine was several KG heavier than claimed, and the central obstruction also measured closer to 30% than the 25% claimed by the website. In the end i sold it at quite a loss (especially if you include the amount i spent sorting it out) and i bought an orion SPX 200, which easily outperforms the newise in every single respect, like having a proper mirror cell, a cooling fan, only 2 optical surfaces, just about the same field of view, a smaller central obstruction, a sharper brighter image etc etc. and i will only sell this one when i can semi permanently mount a 10 or 12" version. By the way I still have a front end, a focusser, the tool and jig i made for the secondry, and the internal dew band if anyone is interested in them. Oh and a cold, which you can have too best wishes chris
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