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Everything posted by Timebandit

  1. Got it , at Last ☺

    Well for you many DSO faint fuzzy hunter's out there ,this is probably no biggy. But for me a great find and put a smile on my face😀 As you may or may not know i was a frac chap, and concentrated on planetary and lunar , with odd star cluster. But all this changed about year or so ago when I wanted to expand the hobby to more DSO. And the purchase of the OOuk 14" followed to assist in this. Unfortunately due to being by light pollution at home, then some of those faint fuzzy are so faint, that I cannot see them😕 And due to the poor weather and a recent injury then lugging this monster around has been a bit off limits. No matter how many times I have tried to locate the elusive M1 , then no joy. Direct vision no , many times tried adverted vision search in the area it was supposed to be in but no. It gets to the point you start to wonder does it really exist😌 But due to a recent grab and go set up of then OOuk 8" newt , I am a bit more mobile and luckily had a bit more time recently from work commitments. So in the week I took myself off with a trip to a dark site, after going through my preference targets I decided to go a bit freestyle. After going to the area of Taurus mixed in with a sprinkling of other stars in the constellation. I did a sweep across the area with my favorite 20mm nagler in the eyepiece for this kind of task. Then without warning, their it was , no adverted vision ,no searching for ages thinking it does not exist, . A large grey light blob in the fov of the nagler. Just to make sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me. I moved the scope in and out of view of the fov of the eyepiece. Two or three times I moved in and out of the fov of the eyepiece. But every time I returned, their it still was. Unfortunately I did not have my star maps with me to confirm for sure it was M1 ,even though I suspect it was. I made a mental note of its location and shape, and would check with the books later. Well back home my first real star map to me I purchased"turn left at Orion " was got out. And YES it was M1 ,the crab nebula. So happy that this has been located and seen with my own two eyes😀 Well last night at home after a glass of wine or two, the Sky's seem to be in a reasonable state. And with the big 14" getting lonely from not being used for a while. I slid it out of the shed to see if I could eventually find M1 in light polluted Sky's at home. Using the same nagler 20mm I swept the area of the sky it should be at,but with no success at all with direct vision, again was M1 going to defeat me? I then patiently swept the area using averted vision. Still nothing? I went over the same area again with averted vision. Then from the corner of my eye ,there was a very very faint blurry blob of light being detected. I moved it in and out of the fov of the nagler just to make sure. But this incredibly very very faint blob of light was just visible by averted vision only. looking straight at it and it disappeared altogether. So M1 was located at home also, buy boy it is very faint and only just about visible with averted vision It just shows that aperture is important, but sky conditions /darkness are more important IMO. The 8" at the dark site give up M1 easily and with direct vision. The 14" at the light polluted area give up M1 eventually, but with averted vision, and even then only just visible. So at long last M1 had been located twice in one week and I am well happy 😀
  2. Holiday scope question

    Hello For a grab and go then the 130 Heritage would be my choice, so compact but with a very useful 130mm aperture. It is understood that the mirror in the heritage is a quality one. Therefore it is generally accepted that a scope can give 50x magnification per inch of aperture, so if the seeing conditions allow then 180x is achievable. Obviously TV are tested to f/4 so well safe with any of these. And maybe Barlow a longer focal length TV to get to the required 3.5,mm There is also the BST starguider which I understand is ok for f/5 up. They do a 5mm that could Barlow, or a native 3.2mm The Tal maybe may show more CA on the lunar. But obviously you get into the frac v reflector debate. Some prefer the slightly sharper cleaner view a frac can provide on certain targets I hope the above helps
  3. That's like eye candy to us OOUK fans 😵 I am getting as bad as MikeDnight and his Tak pictures If you are under the same seeing conditions and using mirrors/optics of the same quality then the 8" should have the edge. The more aperture allows more light gathering ability and in return also allows you to push the magnification up higher.
  4. The very long focal length newts are known as "APO killers and Planet killers for a reason ". The very long focal newts are obviously best for sharp planetary details. And these are not suited so much for DSO ,where shorter focal lengths come into their own. I think the idea of a 8" newt is a great idea. I have gone down this route recently. More for ease of use for getting out to dark sites. But they really do performance also. I have a OOuk vx8 at f/4.5, and have not tried it on planetary at present. I have tried lunar and it did perform very well ,for a newt at f/4.5. The views of this newt for sharpness of detail on the lunar IMO are not as good as the SW 120ed IMO especially at higher magnification. But I have had limited use at the eyepiece on lunar with the newt so this is my initial thoughts at present. But for the DSO at the dark site the 8" VX has passed all my expectations. It is really a great performer. So good that it will easily beat my 14" based in light pollution sky's. The f/4.5 has been used my AZ4 without any balance or weight issues. And I consider it a great all rounder. Obviously if you are more a planetary and lunar user,then a local focal length newt maybe the answer. Maybe the VX8L. But be prepared for balance issues and eyepiece height issues and a new mount. But my standard VX8 has been a great buy and do not regret the purchase at all, as a great all round scope👍
  5. Firstly welcome back .👍 Don't do it . These are big heavy scopes. And if you intend moving it around all the time to observe ,you will not use the scope and it will become an expensive house ornament . If you need to" carry " it anywhere you are either going to injure yourself. Or dread the task and hassle of getting the scope out of the garage ,and you will give up on the hobby. The only way I would say get this scope. Is that you have dark sky's at your home already,to enable the 16" light gathering ability to be used fully. As in a light pollution area a lot of this aperture will be wasted. Also the scope needs to be on wheels ,so it can be pushed the distance and is far more manageable and doable. Do not even consider"carrying" a scope like this , on the second or third time in doing so you would of had enough. And in the garage the scope Will stay. I hope this helps, aperture is king, but only if this aperture can be used (not stuck in a garage) and it needs dark sky's to really stretch its legs and use all that wonderful light gathering ability😵
  6. Well I love my XW and IMO some of the best eyepieces around. I have never tried the XF, so can't really comment on these . The predecessor to the SLV ,the NLV is a great eyepiece IMO . It was Japan made and with some great sharp Optics to the edge of field. It's sharpness is Ortho like. But with the fov around 50d , feeling so comfortable and wide due to the large entrance eye lens and combined with around 20mm of eye relief. For the price point the NLV/SLV is one of the best eyepieces i have used for overall comfort and sharpness. But why are you basically doubling up on the focal lengths? . If you have already got the XW in my opinion the XF or the SLV is not going to best your XW you already own. Take these XW into the field. But just make sure they are in a well padded case ,and after using each one make sure you put the caps on and put it straight back into the safety of the case( this is what I do). If you take care of your eyepieces there is no reason not to take them with you into the dark site. Eyepieces are there to be used and the XW are some of the best out there, use the best and not alternative. 😵 I hope this helps and has saved you a few ££ , the XW should go with you into the field 👍
  7. Dark site trip ? Part 2

    Well the Sky's were intermittent last night with cloud and clear spells until around 7. And I had no plans to do a second dark site trip in a week. But then I went out about 7.30 to the car to fetch the mobile out to check for any messages. And looking up the Sky's were clear of cloud, clear of rain and clear of mist . No I thought I cannot do another trip out this week? But the Sky's were good and for months and months we have had terrible conditions on the whole. Sometimes you just need to take advantage of when and where and go for it. The decision to go was made ☺ While getting the OOuk vx8 out and putting in the car , I was thinking where do I go ? The same place as last time, to which did not overly impress me or somewhere new. The AZ4 was loaded and my favourite 3 eyepieces for this scope at present, the 20mm Nagler , 13Lvw and 7mm Pentax XW. All loaded in the car in a matter of a few minutes. I have made my mind up to try somewhere new . A spot that I had past before on my way into deepest Wales on my way to the Dob Mob home land dark site. This site was probably less than half the mileage than the darkest site I had ever been to, and half the travel time. So car started, some relaxing music on the stereo on and off we trot. As I was driving out of the town lights, now and again I would slow down to check weather conditions and darkness. The cloud was still holding off and the Sky's were getting darker the further I went away from the city light pollution. After arriving in the rough location i wanted to try , I needed to find somewhere off the road and enough space to park the car and set up the scope. I managed to find a large run off area leading to a farm field. I thought a nice spot, and if Mr farmer came along then I would have no problem explaining what I was doing , and if need be then move to a different location. The spot light was got out of the car (wrapped in a red bag to help cut the brightness) and now I could see what I was doing with some dim light available, the AZ4 was put on a level spot. The OOuk8" was mounted on the AZ4 and caps off both ends and left to cool. While the scope was cooling I got the eyepieces out and sat them close to the scope. With all the lights off now and my eyes starting to adapt to the dark conditions. Then wooow this site was so much darker. The majority of the constellation were mixed in with so many stars shinning around them that they were difficult to see clearly. The Sky's were so much darker than the site earlier in the week. And the amount of new stars that could be seen in comparison confirmed to me the mag difference, that was so clearly different to the previous dark site trip. This reminded me of similar sky conditions that took place in the deepest Wales. Not quite to that standards , but certainly so much better with Mark one eyeballsbthan I had seen for quite a while. I decided to go through the same sort of target range as the previous dark site trip to see if there was a difference through the eyepiece at the scope end. The big W Cassiopeia was located through the multiple stars around it. The targets NGC 559, 663, 457, 225, 129, 7789, M52 . The cluster ranges was seemingly more difficult to see cleanly as the previous site earlier in the week, as these dark sky's were just showing far more stars in the eyepiece than more light pollution sky's. And these additional stars visible now were a distraction from the main targets clusters. On the plus site the contrast of the targets with the considerable dark sky back ground certainly made these targets far more impressive. Then over to an old favourite, Orion. The M42 and M43 was just superb, this nebula was just standing out so much more in these dark sky's, just a cracking view I was receiving through the 20mm Nagler . I was getting the full outer wisps experience of this nebula at this dark site. The best I have seen this target for a long time. These dark sky's were just adding so much more visually to what is given at light pollution area. Then into the target m46 and m47 for a look at these , going then onto m93 and the old favourite of m33. I then decided to a bit freelance and just slowly move to scope through these vast array of star fields that were visible through the eyepiece. Now and again i would find a cluster of stars to which I was not sure what the target was called (no star maps with me 😖). And the same process of moving the scope around also captured numerous grey patches that could obviously be galaxy's, usually in light pollution sky's most galaxy's are difficult or not impossible to see. But here under these dark sky's they were appearing with me , without me struggling to look for them. And due to the dark background they had the added benefit of so much easier to grasp the full experience. As the weather was getting colder now and the wind was picking up, and starting to give me the wind chill factor, then I decided to call it a night. The gear was packed away again in a few minutes. This grab and go set up was definitely a great decision to get me motivated to go out more, so easy. On the drive back I had a smile on my face. As not only had the weather conditions been very good allowing the time and trouble of a trip out to be very worthwhile. But the search for a good dark site was in the bag. This dark site may not be as ink black as the deepest wales. But sky's were certainly very dark comparing them to my home location. And a lot darker in comparison to the dark site I had tried earlier in the week. And I think what had impressed me the most during the evening was that those galaxy's were making an appearance in the eyepiece without me really looking for them. It did make me think if the 8" can produce great results like this at the dark site then the 14" would of been of been fantastic. But it's not a grab and go. I look forward to the next dark site trip , and next time a may try and take some additional information with me to try and figure out what galaxy's I am actually looking at. But then again i may be just to busy seeing how many galaxy's I can actually find at a true dark site 😵 .
  8. Dark site trip?

    Well as the Sky's were reasonably clear and no moon then a dark site trip was in order. The OOuk vx8 my new to me grab and go was put in the boot of the car and the AZ4 also. Nice and light and easy 2min job. A few eyepiece were chosen, 20mm TV , 13mm LVW and the 7mm Pentax XW. From decision to go to getting underway around 5min. So extremely quick and far less stressful in loading compared to the 14" Dob. I had decided to try a local nature type reserve /woodland which consisted of a large amount of land away from the main town and roads . I had never tried this at night but worth a shot. When I arrived the car park was empty and the location I had all to myself. Therefore the car was left in the middle of the parking area and the scope and AZ set up. Within 2min the AZ was up and the newt 8" mounted, easy. Unfortunately the William optics finder sticky pads had come unstuck in the car ,so some remount work needed. The Sky's were still clear of cloud and the stars out, the Sky's were not as dark as I had hoped for. Certainly darker than my home light polluted area , but certainly not the ink black sky's to which I was hopeful for. The first job was to align the finder. So as Orion was in its full glory, then the low mag eyepiece was placed in and Betelgeuse was located, and the finder adjusted. While at Orion went down to the multiple star system sigma orionis. Then down to an old favourite M42 M43. This nebulas certainly was more vibrant under these darker Sky , showing a tint of green. The Trapezium was very pronounced I then went across to the big W , Cassiopeia. Just a constellation that is full of delight. NGC, 559, 663, 457,225, 129, 7789, m52. These clusters are always a pleasure to look at and I never tire of the structure of the Cassiopeia star clusters. Then to the open cluster M45 , just a rich and vibrant site and great in a low power,wide angle eyepiece. I was then unfortunately interrupted by some very bright lights entering the car park, I first thought it was a local police patrol by the slow way it approached, but no . After a bit of a conversation it was the local boy racer's night out. Give the lads their due they did shut off the headlights and park in the far corner. But with the likes of 50cents a bit of M and M and cans of beer being opened and seemingly the smoking smell of some strong type of baky 😋 then it was not exactly the relaxing atmosphere I was looking for. I stayed another 20mins. Said my goodbyes to the local lads night out and started to pack up. Again so quick and easy this grab and go set up. In the boot in 2mins Well overall the trip had some positives . The purpose of getting the smaller VX8 was to make getting out to dark site trips quicker and easier, without the drag of trying to get a big Dob out. So the VX8 is great for a grab and go. So certainly worth the purchase. The Dark site, well it was not as dark as I had hoped and wished. Those ink black sky's were just not there and obviously this is a disappointment. So I will have to cast my net out to a different location or further afield. But certainly worth a try.
  9. Dark site trip?

    Hello. I am surprised how well the AZ4 does handles the newt. When I was originally thinking of the 8" I was considering if I was going to need another mount, more cost😖 But weight wise as long as the newt is balanced (to which I have a little liquid paper to mark the point) then it handles very nicely. I am have only used it a few times at present, but the AZ4 seems more than up to the job with this OOuk8" newt. Thanks Shaun. Even though I love the 14" it is a handful if you have a few hours spare in the evening, and want to disappear to a dark site on the spur of the moment. The 8" newt and az4 is just no effort or time to get in the car and go. Yes I was very brave going out in the cold☺. But even though it was cold ,it was not sub zero ,so well worth the effort. Not as dark as I would of liked, but the ink dark site of the Dob Mob home land is what I was comparing it to. I will have a rethink and try a bit further out and or maybe a slight difference direction next time. Yes. You do meet some different characters when out and about. I suppose it takes all different types to make it an interesting world. But when you go to the middle on nowhere for a bit of piece and quiet, then you don't expect a mobile party to arrive😵 Yes . I went on a week night as I thought I would basically have the place to myself, except the wild life running around in the dark. It is trial and error, you are certainly correct there. And it is only by going out and trying some of these places that you learn what the Sky's are going to produce. But as a kit tester alone it was certainly worth the effort. As the 8" just is no effort to grab and go. So gives me so much more incentive to go again. So little effort in comparison to the big dob. Yes . You live and learn. This has not put me off going out. In fact due to the ease of the 8" and Az4 set up to take out . It has encouraged me more . So even though I am not taking the big 14" aperture with me. A 8" newt at a true dark site will certainly be a worthwhile exercise , as it still has a lot to offer. I am certainly not going to give up 👍 That did cross my mind if it was just that particular night and those particular Sky conditions on that night. So I may try that spot again. But there are a few other sites around that I may also give a go. I am looking for a dark site that is quiet ,with ink dark sky's that is only a short drive away( I think most of us are looking for that) . I think the trouble is I was comparing it to the trip into Wales to the dob mob favourites. And that is ink black dark, but not a short drive away unfortunately. But I do have a few other areas to try also. So I am sure I will find a site that is a reasonable drive , but with dark sky's ☺
  10. New Scope, Same EPs

    I think it was Steppenwolf former scope, a Skywatcher Ota to which he had made a custom built Dob mount for . If you wish to have a better look I think it is in the sold/expired section on the SGL website. Looks nice to me ,with some custom mods , a decent aperture but still manageable to move around. Hope littleguy likes it. Loads more light gathering ability over the 130mm .
  11. New Scope, Same EPs

    Hi . And congratulations on the forthcoming scope, exiting times ahead. I would not rush into buying new eyepieces until you have seen what your existing eyepieces can deliver. It is surprising sometimes how a eyepiece collection can be used universally across a range of telescopes, and still provide great results. If you are thinking of buying a particular eyepiece and have some nagging doubts,then see if someone local has something similar. And then you can try before you buy. Always the best way if possible. Good luck.
  12. Mars - A Travellers Guide Sunday evening at 9 on BBC Four With the dream of sending people to Mars becoming more of a reality. Horizon takes the views of leading experts on Mars where they would go and what they need to survive
  13. On Quest television channel tonight at 9 Stories of Space Crises The account of a cosmonaut who narrowly survived re entry.
  14. Tonight’s forecast - Fri 9th Feb

    Hey you take it easy on those shorts. To much whisky and you will never make it back to the scope.😀 . You will be flat on your back seeing another type of stars 😀
  15. Tonight’s forecast - Fri 9th Feb

    Sorry to be awkward, but it is not Friday the 9th today😋. The weather has been COLD here today💨 Even some snow earlier in the day, so need to wrap up warm Anyway that's the bad news. The good news are the Sky's are a nice clear blue at the moment. Things could be looking good for tonight😀 🔭
  16. I am not sure if OOuk supply the focus extension tubes when the scopes are new and comes in the kit package. If so OOuk did the working out in advance. I purchased my OOuk scopes used. And the longer focus tube extension came with the scope when I purchased them. Obviously the previous owners may of needed to work this out if they did not receive them as stock kit with the scope from OOuk. In both case's luckily for me someone else had done the trail and error/ working out of the appropriate focus length extension tube for me in advanced. So the scopes were ready to go with my various eyepieces when I received them. And the extension I have work in one form or another with all my eyepieces😀👍 Obviously if I did not have the extensions all ready ,then I would need to work this out? How. Easy, I would post the question on SGL forum informing other SGL members my scope set up , eyepiece I want to use. And wait for the answers from other members of what size extension tube would work. Job done 😀👍
  17. You would be better off not messing around with the secondary. If DSO and more photons to your eye are your priority. Then there is one simple answer. You need more aperture in your scope. Therefore a larger primary should be your concern. When it comes to DSO then aperture rules👍
  18. Yep. I have extensions to get the Orion Optics UK to focus with certain eyepieces. Both the 350mm" OO and the 200mm OO both need their little extensions fitted to get focus with some TV , But the focus extensions need to be removed on the OO 350mm to get the Pentax XW to focus. No biggy really , you just get used to putting on/ off focus extension piece to suit eyepiece. Comes as second nature after a few sessions.
  19. New Sky at Night Sunday evening at 10 on BBC Four The Mystery of "Oumuamua" The sky at night team look into the first ever object to visit our solar system from outer space" Oumuamua" Hope you enjoy☺
  20. That sounds very promising Mike We look forward to a more detailed review of newt v Mak. And newt v Stanley. Going to be a very interesting few sessions me thinks. And lots more to debate on. Looking forward to your thoughts in due course 👍
  21. I don't know about that. My shed is like a fridge at the moment. It's probably warmer outside ,than inside the shed😀 All these cooling procedures suggested for a Mak does seem hard work. I am glad I am a frac man and newt man , so much simpler👍
  22. Show us your Solar Observing Equipment

    SpecTakular set up there Shaun 👍 I am not sure of the situation with a Quark. But if you can use binoviewers with them, then I strongly recommended trying some. I am sure it would be of great benefit to solar ,as the viewing with binoviewers are just so relaxing, you can spend so much longer at the eyepiece and get so much detail. The cost is not that great also for a reasonable binoviewers set up. Plus binoviewers in the Tak would be great on lunar and alike, MikeDnight loves them in his Tak☺
  23. AP, a money pit?

    I think it depends what you want out of AP and how far you wish to go , how much of a possible money pit it can turn into. If you want the best images then you need the best quality kit to help enable this , and like most things in life quality always costs more. When you compare the hobby like AP, compared to some annual gym fees or golf fees, which I understand can run into thousands of pounds. Then the cost of AP on the main as a hobby does not seem unreasonable. ☺
  24. Yes and a lottery win would help also 🙌 The trouble with us who like frac views but have to watch the pennies, do realise the advantage of the reflector. You just get so much more aperture for your money and still get good views. A very good size aperture reflector with quality Optics can be had for sensible money. A big refractor and you could be looking at a second mortgage 😖
  25. Don't seem to be able to find any red nail varnish in my man bag. 💅 😱 Can I borrow yours 😀