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Moonshane

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Everything posted by Moonshane

  1. haha yeah I remember that. I still cannot star hop as well with an eq as I can with an AZ!
  2. Here's the mount in position (just plonked for effect).
  3. LOL I am guilty of that too. I did the whole thing in a day which didn't help. The bucket is an attempt to prevent water going down the side of the concrete (i.e. inside the tube walls) as it might sit there and then split something when the colder weather comes. I'll take some pics over the weekend no doubt.
  4. If you are concentrating on solar system objects then I'd suggest that the scope is a secondary consideration. From my perspective, what transformed my planetary observing was a combination of a tracking mount and beginning to sketch. Either an equatorial platform for a dob or a tracking AZ or eq mount would be a great investment. An eq5 with drives would be fine with eg a 120mm refractor or 150mm Mak. All that said, the planets are great but have seasons when they are in and not in accessible positions and it might be worth thinking more generally. In such a case then if funds are tight, you won't go wrong with a manual 8" dob but start saving or making an equatorial platform and it will enhance your observing experience no end.
  5. hi Alan The pier is poured! See above. It's rock solid. I'll be using a 120mm Equinox and a 100mm PST mod on the pier and will have 16" and 12" dobs on the other sides. Hope to get the other two frames done this weekend along with painting the frames and then sorting out the mechanisms. Plus the final trimming of the floor and fixing down (after bringing conduit and wiring through of course.Then I can clad etc. Should be finished by the end of October with any luck although I should be able to have a few trials before then.
  6. my own pier cost about £20 in hardcore and recycled materials and freebies from friends. It's 140cm high and 10" in diameter.
  7. In my. 100mm pst mod with binos I get visual images far sharper than the video both of proms and disk. I usually use 68 or about 68-85x occasionally 115x which is right in ratio for aperture re Peter's 150mm.
  8. Yep totally. I think sometimes we obsess about getting as low in declination as possible but for visual observers in light polluted areas surrounded by houses there's often no point. Higher in the sky is darker and more stable. I have decided to accept my (somewhat self imposed) circumstances and make the best of it.
  9. PS I like trees and think there's a balance between a garden to enjoy and maximising observing.
  10. I have an issue with trees and the fact my garden drops about 25 feet over its length. I have accepted that there's no point looking north as it's toward Manchester that way and light pollution rules out anything worthwhile. Towards the house and uphill is the best sky looking south, east and more or less west. There are a lit of trees and I cannot see anything below a 30 degree angle on the scope. However, even in these circumstances I feel an obs is worth it as I can access more objects than I'll ever get bored with and will not be (or should not be) affected by affected by local lights and will therefore have better quality of opportunity. I'd reconsider whether or not the patch of sky visible would be worth it to you. Here's my (in progress) obs
  11. to my mind it totally depends on the scope being used. In most slower scopes (f ratio of maybe f7 or more) pretty much any eyepiece will give decent views. Slower scopes f6 or less will start to challenge the cheaper ones. Other than extremely faint or subtle detail at the edge of seeing, no eyepiece even an ultra expensive one will show you something that a cheaper one will not (assuming the object fits in the field of view). However, the journey might just be a little more pleasing to the eye with a more expensive option. I did a comparison a while back which might explain my own findings.
  12. Will definitely need a central back to front cross member made of 2x 3x2s. I'll make it removable as it's only needed when snow is likely. Plus it will be blocking sky if fixed! The frame albeit bare is actually a lot lighter than expected. Getting excited now......
  13. Between showers managed to make one of the roof frames.
  14. There's lots in the forum often as starred permanent entries at the top of sections e.g.
  15. For me at least I have limited time and I'd sooner spend it doing what I enjoy most. That is finally tracking down that faint object or that planetary/lunar/solar feature with my own eyes, relaxing under the skies. What has spoiled it for me is inconsiderate people and specifically poorly sited and directed lights. I can cope with ambient/domed general light pollution but other more local lights coming on really destroy the enjoyment. This is the main reason I have recently begun work on an observatory in the hope I can observe in (darker) peace. I think Stu's point about communication is very apposite. Given the popularity of astronomy I suspect the numbers of visual observers is probably more than there has ever been but maybe they don't showcase obs as often and maybe as a percentage of total observers (also surely extremely high comparatively) the number is smaller than usual.
  16. Some progress today. Not as much as I hoped but I have a pier! Original length Cut down by about 500mm Also cut down the girder that's in the block. Made some rough levellers Fitted small brackets to bottom to prevent shift and lift when putting concrete in. And in position. Pretty level. Close enough. Made a fixed length piece to allow checking for centralisation Used the sun at solar noon to confirm north position. Luckily bone of the frame uprights was in just the right spot Checked with a plumb line to be sure Marked position both sides and filled! Also painted the whole frame black. Next will be the roof. However, I may add the breathable fabric to the sides and front so I can use it (sort of). The pier will be painted with hammerite or similar. I'll probably powder coat and the top.
  17. I had a similar issue but could always see a reasonable amount of detail which was improved by changing the ITF as above. Not the end of the world and it's a consumable item (although the Meier one is a lot longer lived I understand).
  18. hi all I was going to use this for making my pier but have not got an alternative solution - a steel tube which I can leave in situ. The tube is about 2.5m long and has an ID of about 8 inches or so. I was going to spray it with WD40 before filling as it's not waterproof. It has to be collected from Stockport area and I'll gladly cut in half if you want - or do it when collecting. Free to anyone that can collect and use. Cheers Shane
  19. This is one reason I have never thought about selling my 1/10PV 6" f11 even though I hardly every use it now I have the 120mm Equinox. It's not worth much and is a great option to have.
  20. One of Saturday's planned 20+ obs jobs is to make the frames for the three roof panels. Having used an impact driver last weekend (borrowed from Ken) I could not really face the idea without one this weekend and one now forms part of my project costs! A cheapish 18v but with two batteries should be good enough for my purposes https://www.screwfix.com/p/mac-allister-msid18-li-18v-1-5ah-li-ion-cordless-impact-driver/220fx Jobs planned include paint frames all round with black paint, create concrete pier, fit roof panels, make door, fit breathable membrane all round, fit roof finishing sheets and all the various bits that go with it! If I get half done, I'll be pretty happy.
  21. Really well written Stu - I felt I was there with you! Looking forward to gazing again once my obs is operational. Might be sort of usable with a dob by Sunday (albeit not finished).
  22. Yes sorry Dave I didn't think you meant erect image prisms. They are a bit more variable and (I believe) can sometimes result in star spikes at night.
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