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About JOC

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    Deepest Essex, UK

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  1. NB. if the ironing board stool has a fabric seat a shower cap fits nicely over it to keep it dry.
  2. I've got an ironing stool here too, the slight issue with mine is that to change the height requires me to undo a big hand tightened screw and put it back in again after height adjustment. However, it is great when I want something high. In fact for £10 each I also got a couple of adjustable height white plastic bar stools from ebay - they are respectably weather proof, I have one set low, one set high and the ironing stool set very high - I just then sit on the most appropriate one for the viewing target.
  3. OK, I'll try the Barlow to see if I can achieve focus without the diagonal. That's easy enough to try - I thought it probably had something to do with focal length So 45 erecting prism and 45 degree dielectic (which I think refers to the coating type, yes?) diagonal will both put the image the right way up (not so bothered about correct L to R, but the birds not on their heads would be great.). So here we have an example of someone calling something a prism and someone calling something a diagonal and both report that the birds will stand on their feet. The telescope comes with a doofer that has a 45 degree mounted reflective surface in it which bends the image around a 90 degree angle - I am currently calling this a 'star diagonal' - yet putting this in place causes the flowers to grow in Australia (upside down) so if I go 'shopping' will it specifically say that the doofer will stand things up the right way up. If all things calling themselves a 'prism' not a 'diagonal' were to do this I'd be OK shopping, but Dave calls his erecting doofer a 'diagonal' too. If I want something for terrestrial use how do I know it will do what I want. Happy to go shopping if I know what to buy. NB. Just spotted Dave is talking about a 90 degree diagonal not a 45 degree one - is this the difference?
  4. NB. Been looking through the window. It still turns things upside down. Is there anything that can be done about this so that I could use it for bird watching. Also, should it be possible to use it without a diagonal i.e. in straight through mode - I can reach focus with the diagonal in place, but without it the image won't come to focus - is an extending doofer needed to get the focal length correct if the diagonal isn't present?
  5. OK, please don't have a dig and find the post where I say I shall be unlikely to ever own more than one telescope - it's this forum, it does things to your bank balance that it shouldn't! So in the post this morning came a Vixen 80S - this one: So I now have what I think qualifies as a 'grab and go' telescope that I can use from my top floor room and take camping. Now I am not a whimsy type, but there is no other description for it apart from being just the cutest combination of size, practicality and build quality. This feels like a serious instrument - it isn't just a 'plastic toy' despite its diminutive size - on its own stand its 54cm high to the top of the finder and 40cm long across the scope! It will even take my RDF in its shoe (which is the same shoe as on my Skywatcher) - so if I don't get on with he existing finder I have another option and sit crews directly onto my taller sturdy camera tripod which has a twist and position grip - so loads of stuff here is going to be compatible. Debo kindly provided an adapter which will permit the use of all my existing 1.25" EP's as well as the diagonal and the smaller diameter EP's that came with the scope. The thing with the 1.25" adapter is that is sits before the diagonal which is one compatible with the smaller diameter supplied EP's. So if I want to use a 1.25" EP it would have to be in neck craning straight through viewing mode. Is a practical solution to buy a 1.25" diagonal to place in the adapter or given the 'scope's dimensions and type is there a reason why this would not work? Or any reason why the use of 1.25" EP's on a diagonal would not be practical in use, i.e. maybe vignetting occurs etc.? If a 1.25" diagonal sounds a good idea are there good ones and bad ones - do I need all metal construction, do cheap plastic ones work, should it have a glass or a metal mirror etc. Basically given the scope what sort of diagonal would be best please. Also, does a scope like this ever need collimating?
  6. I went down down the camping mat dewshield route. Its a lot of fiddling to get it to fit and then you may find that the added weight prevents the system from driving vertically. In the finish after an exhaustive search for alternative cheap materials I managed to source an 8" Astrozap. Once I had it I wished I had had it from the start. However, it still isn't light and if you have a heavy EP or camera attached it may still affect the vertical drive. I found what helped more was my home made collapsable baffle to fit aound the three trusses. It also had less effect on the weight. Since making it I've used it each time where the Astrozap gets less use esp. If I have the weight of the Mopheus on the go too. N.B. Putting the plastic baffle with the small hole in place helps enormously with the glare.
  7. Well if its got the same sort of tech onboard as my mobile phone charger you might be pleasantly surprised. I got mobile phone boosters last year. About as big as 3-4 packs of playing cards and a fair weight for its size it reckonned it gave 18000mAhrs. All I know is it did stirling service keeping the kids two mobile phones charged for a whole week. The only draw back is from fairly empty it can take over a day to recharge! However it is that good that I got anothet for my bro to take to festivals!
  8. Bump I've found and read this thread with interest as I have one of these in the post (Vixen 80S). As I've read some questions have occurred. Achromat - I've read that it is an additional lens that is needed to correct chromatic aberration - which I understand makes all refracted colour wavelengths line up and hit the focal plane at the same point so that colour slews aren't evident. Is there any disadvantage/advantage to a scope that needs such a correction. Useful during the day? - So this is a telescope that can turn an image up the correct way - is this what a diagonal does? It might be useful for bird watching as well as star watching! Will it really not do for the planets? What sort of maximum practical magnification can I expect it to deliver in the UK? Many thanks for any answers.
  9. If you have one a mobile phone running SynScanInit 2 should show all the necessary values in the correct format. Don't forget the leading zero's if needed in the Lat and Long setup. On mine you put in the Greenwich meantime and then add in an offset time value depending on how many hours you are distant too. Also mine requires that the telescope alignment starts with the telescope aligned to Pole Star North (rather than compass North) so I have to find this and then lower the telescope to flat horizontal and then commence the alignment process from that start point. Now my telescope is probably different to yours, but this sounds like something that maybe other scope types might have in common. I had huge issues with calibration until someone in SGL pointed out that I had probably glossed over that instruction in the manual.
  10. It is very easy to get date wrong on the setup. Get the app. Synscaninit 2 n your mobile and turn the phones GPS on whilst you setup. This will give you all the details in right format for the setup. Also make sure that the first time you try you don't have anything 'extra' on the telescope i.e. dew shields etc. I find my own telescope is incredibly sensitive to weight distribution and won't correctly drive vertically if I unbalance it too much.
  11. I live in a household that winces if I start making a noise after about 10:30pm. I often go the bed and think that I'll just take a peak out of my bathroom window and see that the interesting things are up there and rue the fact that the telescope is in the porch. So I'm going to keep this one upstairs and see if I can set up to use it from the open bathroom window. I also might be able to take it camping if we go to somewhere dark or even to the alps if we suddenly find we have space. I might also see what sort of tripod fitting it has as I also have a full height respectably sturdy camera tripod with full movement through a twist and grip handle which might also find a use. I guess I'll have to learn to star hop though, it might even help me learn what is up there and where it is!
  12. Hi Debo, could I have it please? I'll PM you.
  13. Well done Terry - doesn't it feel fearsome when you undo those nuts for the first time?
  14. It is very reassuring to read that I wasn't alone in feeling about doing it to the point of prevarication and avoiding the job. I thought it was just me!
  15. That's a good set of pictures. However, it's easier to say that now that I've done the process once. Until I stuck a Cheshire in the EP holder and took a look at things myself and (as Dave in Vermont noted) realised what I was looking at and then it dawned on me how it all hung together as a functioning unit, I was a bit non-plussed. Nothing like doing it to make things make sense and a Cheshire is certainly the way forward IMO - I used the Laser afterwards just for the satisfaction of seeing it bounce back accurately to know that I'd done a good job. TerryJ it is also well worth watching some UTube videos of people doing it to realise that things can get very loose and not to worry. I wouldn't follow UTube instructions - use Astrobaby's guide for those, but watching videos of folks shifting their mirrors will give you the confidence to try if you are very iffy about undoing nuts as I was.