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About JOC

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Deepest Essex, UK

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  1. Yes, just the tracking is all I am looking for. It was wether you could ask it to track without calibrating first that was really the question. I.e. could I find the sun manually and then just say. Now track please. Cheers.
  2. How should m13 look?

    I nearly gave up on getting a decent view of M13 with my 8" F6 Dob. All I was getting was an undistinguished grey splodge. Then I thought, eell ut won't be much worse and stuffed my 15mm Meade 4000 into the 2X Barlow. Then I just sat and looked at the larger undlstinguished grey mass. As I looked I could see stars gradually appearing like an old B&W photo in a developing tank. Looking for a long time and upping the magnification certainly worked for me.
  3. OK, easy tracking it is then. Tomorrow, was me believing what mum was saying she had heard on the TV an/or read in the newspaper - I think she had the wrong end of the stick - Still Monday isn't so long to wait and gives me a little while to play with the Dob's SynScan unit. It would just be so much easier if I could get it to track for a little while rather than resort to nudging it. NB. In case it is of use I have also discovered a fairly easy way to get it centred on the sun without a solar finderscope. I put on the sun filter and then roughly point it in the right direction. I then take the EP out of the system and just look at the view by looking directly at the secondary mirror - with the magnification removed it is far easier to spot when you are getting close, and then when I have the big orange sun circle dead-centre in the primary I add in the EP. I only need to look for moments without the EP, and there seems nothing painfully bright about the view I see - it feels quite safe for the few moments that it takes and is so much easier than using an EP.
  4. I fancy trying to see the eclipse tomorrow with my solar filter (assuming its not cloudy). I've never been entirely certain if it is possible to make my SynScan track without doing a star type calibration. Does anyone know if it is possible to set up the telescope tomorrow and make it track at solar speed without doing any other calibration please?
  5. How about a StarTrek style transporter to get people there from a long way away and a cloud sucker?
  6. I made one and put it on my 8" Dob - it wasn't difficult and much cheaper. If you want to look at the sun take a trip over to the solar observing forum area and find out what you need to do so safely. Here's a thread on home-made ones:
  7. Beginner Scope

    Yup, that's the set-up I've got - in its collapsed for it takes up about as much floor space and height as a regular dining chair to store and you just lift off the tube with a single grub scew to move it - about 30 seconds to split and put the two back together again.
  8. Then I do understand it, because that's the conclusion I had come to when I read that. I'll use the compass the next time and benefit from the added speed of setup. I've found that I can place the edge of the compass against the edge of the square stand so when it points North I shall know I'm OK. The horizontal bit is easy as the mount has a scale on it and a pointer on the moveable bit so when it points zero I know its starting off flat. Thanks all
  9. Thanks all. It seemed easiest to click on Andy's links as I know my OS for my area is a few years old. Magnetic-declination.com says that the setting should currently be -0"14' If I understand things correctly that is scarcely nothing is it? 1" would be just a small movement 1/360th of the circle, but 14 minutes is hardly worth bothering with for observing purposes or for setting up the Goto from a starting position facing North. So the position of Polaris is roughly North Pole North - yes? The direction that, if there was no adjustment, would be the top on an OS map. I've never really stopped to think about it too much - I've never walked in conditions I can't see in and always assumed that I'd work it out based on adjusting each reading if I ever needed to - rather than adjusting a compass. I know the adjustment is necessary, but its always seemed easier to work it out as I go rather than confuse matters further by changing the compass itself. However, I'd hung a compass onto the telescope and thought that I may as well adjust that one as it will always be in the same place, but if its only 14 minutes I don't think its worth bothering with is it? I am now also confused by the fact that its a minus figure (I am in the East). So if I could twist the compass by that small amount does the minus mean that I'd twist the dial clockwise? That's what I think the second website link says, but the more I read the more I am confused.
  10. It occurs to me that I could save time when setting up if I used a compass to align the telescope with Polaris North. Rather than setting it up on Polaris which I sometimes can't see. Given that I am about 0"42' East and 51" 41'N how many degrees will I need to set a magnetic compass (marked in standard 360" not in military radians) to in order to account for the difference please, i.e. So many degrees east or west of magnetic North. I've tried asking Google, but the answers weren't clear and there is bound to be someone on SGL who will know the answer easily.
  11. Beginner Scope

    You could get what I've got - a collapsible Skywatcher 200P Dobsonian F6 with a Goto base - then you have the best of all worlds, aperture, portability/storage wins and Goto ability enough to take some semi reasonable photos if you want to. How deep is your pocket!
  12. I'm no expert, but I have shifted my stuff twice now. The EP's are in one ali box, the finderscopes etc. in another. The mount goes on its side in the boot (which I am sure does it no good at all), the OTA on the back seat wrapped in a sleeping bag, the powerpack in the boot, the cables and other griff in a plastic tool box anything else I need goes into a laundry basket. It all comes back higgledy piggledy everything in wrong boxes and takes ages to sort out. It has put me off doing observing anywhere apart from the back garden where I get in a similar state, but can leave it all on the lounge floor until the next day when I come back in. I have bought an Vixen 80S to try and simplify things so I have something I can take out with me if we go somewhere - this all fits into one tool box and I can take my camera tripod for it. However, I suspect I will miss the hugeness of the 8" when I try it. On the whole I don't think astronomy is a 'portable hobby' unless you are going somewhere for a special event. It's a shame as I'd like to star watch with other people and my own telescope, but unless I can persuade folks to visit me it won't happen.
  13. Paging Gina - I think your expertise if required judging by the pictures above! LOL Seriously, I bet Gina can help - check out her 3D printed long case clock thread
  14. I hit a sweet spot with my 8" Dob at 7-8mm, it will go to 6mm, but by 4mm it get unusable in the UK - if you elsewhere in the world maybe the seeing if better, but in the UK, I think you would be best sticking at 7-8mm. I get a lovely view of the planets with a 15mm 2x barlowed Meade 4000. NB. You know you won't get planets to fill the EP don't you? - have you read this: At the very least scroll down and look at the pictures on the first page!! :-D