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Everything posted by BeerMe

  1. I have the 250px (solid tube...it's my avatar), upgraded from a 130p which is similar to your current scope. If you are able-bodied then you will probably be able to lift the tube and mount together. You can get some excellent deals on it if you are willing to wait til one comes up 2nd hand - they do so fairly regularly. I got mine for £155 on ebay - nearly 1/3rd of the new price and it's in very good condition. Patience is key, but if you're going new then there are usually some discounts around in a month or so on a lot of astro sites so it might be worthwhile holding off for now and doing some more investigation. As for EPs, you should obviously be mindful of whether they will work in your upgraded scope. I've heard before that the LX's aren't great with fast(er) scopes and the BST Starguider range, although a bit cheaper, actually perform better. Again, there are many better quality EPs around the 2nd hand market, some going for great prices. 2nd hand astro gear tends to be well looked after, but obviously be cautious as you would with any used buys. Clear skies :-)
  2. It wasn't a dig Olly, I've no doubt that what you posted is entirely correct as you obviously know your stuff, it was more just a general comment that these type of posts fly right over my head every time. I've tried to understand a few of them over the months, but all I end up with is a sore head. I really doubt that I'll ever 'get' AP.
  3. This is how I envisage my observing reports to be in 10+ years. For now, I'll mostly waffle....:-) Great report John, as always!
  4. Glad you got sorted Paul, this place is an absolute gold mine of information. Enjoy what you have for as long as you can, but beware aperture-fever. It's rife around these parts ;-)
  5. I've no idea where I first came across it but I saved it and refer to it often mate. It's easily one of the best snippets of info I've come across ?
  6. I've got it saved on my phone, Dropbox, pc etc just in case :-) It's very handy.
  7. I got a smudge on my 15mm gold-line, from watering eyes. I thought it had dewed up til I got it in to the light and realised. Knowing what people are like with optics I was a bit frantic...it only cost £20 but still, I'm on a budget and I like it...so I got to googling. Eventually came across a discussion (on CN I'm sure) where people recommended wrapping a cotton bud in a spectacle cleaning cloth and very lightly wipe it using small cicular motions outwards from the centre to the edge. After the first try, the centre was free of grime and only a small bit remained at the edges. Another try with a clean part of the cloth and and all of the residue was gone. Had I damaged the optics? The proof was in the pudding next time i took it out...it was in A1 condition optically again, stars were pin sharp. Basically, anything non-abrasive and plenty of care should be enough.
  8. As an aside, I always like to add this pic to posts of this nature (even though the OP is well-versed with how magnification works in respect to EPs, FL, etc...)
  9. I love posts like this. They remind why I will never touch AP with a bargepole :-P
  10. Thanks for the replies everyone, I'll hold off for the 9x50 RACI. It'll be my next purchase anyway so it'll be Christmas or earlier, and my Rigel and 9x50 are perfectly fine for now. I realised also that the views through finders in my books are always illustrated using a 9x50, so it makes sense to not step down as it'd only confuse me ;-)
  11. At the moment I'm using the stock 9x50 straight through finder on my 250px. I've been wanting to upgrade to the 9x50 RACI, but yesterday I came across these Seben 6x30 RA finders for £13.99 (!!!!) brand new from Seben themselves. Has anyone got any experience of these? Would a 6x30 RA be better to use than a 9x50 straight through? Also, forgive my ignorance, but does an RA finder always show a corrected image or would it be identified as RACI rather than RA?
  12. For sure! And a certain John Dobson (RIP) who was a real pioneer in opening up astronomy to the masses. Such simplicity, and yet had he not discovered his diy mount would this hobby be as accessible and widespread as it is today? Someone eventually would have designed something similar, but I can't help but feel it'd still be in its infancy and out of my reach. I didn't even think there'd be a big market for 2nd hand optical equipment for exactly the reasons you've described @davyludo. I was extremely apprehensive before I took the plunge on my 10". There is such conflicting information about how much dust is acceptable on mirrors, etc and you can only see so much from photos. I then started hearing about people who use mirrors with cracks and chips that they simply black out with Matt tape and I had the realisation of how simply the optical train works in Newts - if it can show you a reflection then it can show you a DSO, basically. It'd need a helluva lot of grime before I'd go near the optics now. Us amateurs tend to be very careful with our equipment. I'm not the most careful person in general if truth be told but even my wife remarks about how I treat even my most basic astro equipment like a precious China doll. These days, I'd have absolutely no qualms about buying 2nd hand from a member on here :-)
  13. A Skywatcher 250px :-) I still pinch myself that I got it so cheap lol.
  14. We're all on a budget, right? Some more than others, but still.. I started with a realisation that astronomy was within reach, and have slowly built from a basic 2nd hand reflector to a 10" Dob. From stock eyepieces to a couple of nice 2nd hand purchases from other amateurs. From a book to a small library, all again 2nd hand. My 10" Dob cost me £155 plus petrol to Manchester. I'm proud of my kit, and amazed that it has given me so much. Astronomy doesn't need to be financially reaching for the stars :-)
  15. Sorry if this is a daft question, but is this a RACI finder? Only, the description mentions only right angled....
  16. I should be receiving a copy of Nortons sky atlas within a few days from another member on here, which I think will complete my book collection...for now :-) Between that, TLAO and my Astronomical Wonders book, I should have enough to keep me occupied and going in the right direction this Winter.
  17. Dave, if it isn't already taken can I have the 17th edition of Nortons please. PM me payment details :-)
  18. Just to clarify.. I love Winter for the long nights, and the increased possibility of getting some observing in. Summer is a washout at 56° N, so even on the occasional nice Summer evenings that we get, we just don't get close enough to astro darkness to make observing worthwhile. This Autumn has actually been pretty good so far, but it's been lucky snatches of weather so far where the forecast has been a case of 'maybe' - I can't drive 20-30 miles to a dark site with my 10" Dob on a 'maybe' most nights. At least in Winter, the forecasts seem to be a bit more definite, even if it's mostly crap.
  19. I love my Rigel :-) That said, I really want to invest in a 9x50 RACI and I think it'd make a BIG difference to the regular 9x50. So much stuff (maps, charts, photos, etc) is oriented as we view the sky with our eyes. We need uniformity! ;-)
  20. Thanks @Stu I'll remember that for next time rather than guesstimating and hoping I'm in the ballpark :-)
  21. Last night was supposed to be clear, so I set up around 11pm and the sky was quite stunning at that time. Came indoors for a bit to let the scope cool and went back out at half past. A few wisps of cloud visible but nothing that looked interfering. Straight away, I pointed towards the North where Ursa Major was just slipping over the tops of neighbouring homes. The LP was pretty horrendous - every single neighbour seemed to have left their security lighting on in the past half hour...maybe they seen me creeping about with my big scope lol - but I had to make do as it was far too late to go asking people to turn off lights so I could enjoy some observing! Anyway, from Phad to Dubhe and on the same distance again.. Setting it up in the Rigel is a cinch, so within a few seconds I had skipped the 9x50 and went straight to my 24mm. I came in to focus on a bright star and there was nothing in the FOV that looked like a galaxy. Aware that I had over compensated my jump probably, I began making small movements down and to the left, in the general direction of Dubhe. After perhaps 3 or 4 of these 1° movements, I detected a wisp on the RH side of the view. Over to the left just a tad and there was the unmistakable fuzzy halo that could only be a galaxy!! Feeling pretty elated, I quickly realised that if this is what it should be, there should be another detectable wisp of fuzziness fairly close by. With M81 in the centre of the view there was nothing obvious so, knowing that M82 should be down and to the right slightly in my EP, I pulled M81 over to the left and there it was, a small faint streak in the lower right! Hurrah! I spent the next few minutes centring each in the EP in turn, trying to eke out some more details and then keeping both in the view and enjoying the majesty of what I was seeing, even if the details were scant. Remembering that the Astronomical Wonders book suggested 90x as a good magnification for M81, I fumbled in my bag for a bit for my 15mm gold-line (66° AFOV). I checked in the 24mm again to make sure it was still centred and it was just a haze. Huh?! Instantly I thought of dewing but tried changing the EP to check. Another look and nope, still a haze. It was only then I decided to actually look UP, to notice that practically the whole sky was now covered in a blanket of cloud! Damn, where did that come from?! I had a scan around the sky and waited a little as the clouds were moving fairly quickly, but they were just followed by more and more so I packed up and was tucked up in bed for half 12ish. I'm a bit disappointed that I waited so late to go out but the Moon would have interfered too much earlier in the night, and the CO app promised only a little cloud all night so I thought I'd have got a good session in. As it was, I was able to tick 2 objects off of my list, and viewed only my 2nd and 3rd galaxies so that has to be viewed as a successful half hours observing :-) I'll definitely be returning to these 2 in the future, even in my back garden.
  22. Even buying new, this book is surprisingly reasonably priced considering the amount of work that must have gone in to writing and producing it. It is very well written, and aimed at the amateur to intermediate astronomer in much the same way that Turn Left At Orion is, however the Astronomical Wonders book has a better range of targets. They also provide lots of handy little nuggets of info, some of it completely new to me so I can say for sure that I'm thoroughly enjoying them :-)
  23. @andrew63 I received the book this morning, it's better than I expected! 500(!!!) pages is going to keep me occupied for lots of clear and cloudy nights :-) Many thanks for the suggestion, and for selling (practically gifting) me your copy. It's found a good home and will be well used!
  24. I'm not getting at anyone in particular, but it amazes me how often this is overlooked when giving advice. Especially with people whom it is obvious that English isn't their first language (not a dig at the OP, whose English is fine for its purpose) as it usually indicates they have much better seeing conditions, never mind latitude :-P
  25. This will only be my 3rd Winter since I first bought equipment that actually lets me see things. I still check myself when I bemoan the long and light Summer nights. It wouldn't be so bad if our weather was a bit more settled, but I'm really only wishing for a wet and mild Summer to end so we can get to a wet and freezing Winter. But still, those few good night's in Winter when Orion rides high and the sky is alight, still seem to make it all worthwhile again. Bring it on! :-)
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