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Posts posted by Daz69

  1. 11 minutes ago, Garethr said:


    My gut feeling is the iPhone app is nowhere near accurate enough to even get you close.  They are fine to point at the sky and tell you what constellation you are looking at but as for individual stars I think you will find it really frustraiting.  A red dot finderscope or telerad is much easier with a basic planisphere.  Look on eBay I'm sure the cost won't be a lot different for one of these rather than an iPhone bracket.



    Hi Gareth. I've just looked at what you suggest, and someone else said it may not be the best way to go using the iphone idea being strapped to the tube on another thread, but there is a big difference between a £7.99 red dot finder and the Telerad retailing at forty odd quid. However, that being said, I am new to this so outlay at the beginning needs to be fairly low (already spent more than the scope cost in 4 days!), and although I'm not tight, will the £7.99 red dot finder be sufficient, or should I wait for the £42 Telerad? 

    2 minutes ago, Marci said:

    Tried this... issue is thus: magnetism. Soon as I mount my iphone running SkySafari to an OTA it goes nuts as the presence of the OTA & tripod throws off the magnetometer used to drive the compass, and north stops being north... so the app no longer reliably points.

    Works fine in hand, but not on scope.

    Hi there Marci. Yes again someone else has written that the metal OTA and fixings can affect the internals of the iPhone, so I don't discount what is being said, and like any beginner we want to try and get sound advice before spending more money. I will probably go with what Gareth (above) and others have said on other threads about the phone brackets, and stick with a finder scope. I do have one fitted on the telescope, but apparently it's more a gimmick than a useful tool. I have the Celestron AstroMaster 130 with attached red dot finder, but I read that they are not very good, and many have ditched them in favour of an aftermarket one. 

    I've got no problem doing this, as I want the best chance to enjoy this fascinating hobby, and not be disappointed believing my telescope is not up to scratch for a novice. If and when I progress I will probably look at getting a Skywatcher Dobsonian, but that's some time away. If I can get what I have working to its (and my) best ability then I don't mind spending.

    Thanks for your advice guys. 

  2. I just ordered a few bits. a 9mm and a 32mm Celestron Omni Plossl EP's, and a 2x Barlow. As and when I progress further, these will be replaced with better EP's, but they have got to be an improvement over the 10 and 20mm ones supplied with my scope? I'd like a couple of filters for planetary viewing, but they can wait. 

    Photography is what I'd love to do. I own a Cannon 60D and a 500D, but I understand that these are not the best to use for this kind of photography. I'll see how well I get on with general observing first before splashing out.

    p.s. How do I get to write a signature under my posts? Cannot see the place to do this in my profile page???

  3. AJ, until I learn what I am actually looking at, I just thought that by using the app, it will give me the general direction. The rest will be down to slight adjustments thereafter. Having the phone securely held at 90 degrees to the scope should be more precise than standing next to it holding the phone skyward as I have been trying to do.

    I totally understand what you are saying, but for a beginner I need as much assistance as possible :)

    • Like 1
  4. I'm surprised that nobody has said this yet, but an old sea fishing tip is to wear a pair of thick ladies tights (colour of your choice of course!). Stockings can be ok but the suspender belt can be awkward so I'm told :D 

    I've worn the tights on many a winters fishing trip either on a boat or pier, and they are really warm. You only need one good pair of socks too, Merino wool socks are good but a good pair can be expensive for what they are. A silk balaclava from my motorcycle days is also in my fishing kit. I tend not to wear gloves but have one of those hand warmers in each jacket pocket. A neck tube is a must, and one made of silk is best, but Go-Outdoors do some some nice ones (avoid the fleece ones) which look thin but are really good.

    I suffer with Trigeminal Neuralgia, which is a severe disorder of The trigeminal nerve. This is the fifth cranial nerve and its function is to send pain messages to the brain. When the nerve malfunctions, pain messages are sent at inappropriate times and the pains can be of great severity.  In fact, TN is regarded as the most painful condition that is known in the medical world. The cold or a breeze can trigger a severe attack which I cannot control, so I need to be warm around the neck, face and head. For this I wear one of these thin neck tubes from Go-Outdoors, which is long enough to be pulled up over the top of my head and face if needs be, and on top I wear a Thinsulate wolly hat. 

    For my body i just wear a thermal long sleeve base layer, T-shirt and Berghaus fleece, then a hooded wax jacket. For fishing in the winter I'll wear the same but ones that I've dedicated to that purpose, and a fishing coat. 

    Use one of those foam garage floor tiles (B&Q £10 for 4 large tiles at the mo) or a wooden platform to get you off the cold floor. Nothing worse than fatigue caused by a cold floor. I use them in my workshop too, brilliant. 

    • Like 1
  5. Yes, that's them! Wasn't sure if my idea was stupid, but more likely that I wasn't explaining it correctly. Yes, to use my iPhone as a star finder scope instead of the silly one that's stuck on mine. 

    Once I learn the positions of the main constellations I may not need it thereafter, but that will probably take years to learn, and taking star maps and books out in the field might cause them to end up getting wet and damaged. I will get one of those round star maps that are plastic coated and you spin the disc blah blah, but to have the app set up will be a big bonus for me at least.

    thanks guys!


    • Like 1
  6. Hi Popeye.

    Yes, you're right. I've seen that they too can be out of kilter, but the one coming has the 3 adjustment screws at the back, and I have a natty little tool ready for the job of aligning the laser perfectly. I scratch build large scale model aeroplanes and have a propeller balancing rig that has 2 large roller discs that run on bearings. I will place the laser tool on these discs, ans slowly turn it whilst pointing the beam to a white wall. The precision of the roller discs will ensure that I get a perfect laser beam. It balances my props to perfection, so it should be a good tool for this job. 

  7. ............ as an iPhone mount to use it as a star finder? Or am I being silly? (more than likely!)

    I was using my new telescope and rather than using the star finder thingy stuck to the casing which is rather gimmicky, I was using my iPhone and SkyView app to locate stars, but even with holding that in the same direction proved a little difficult. So I was wondering if there was a mount to fit onto the camera mount on top of the the tube ring that I could attach my phone to? If not then I'll have to fabricate something from ali.



    • Like 1
  8. On 28/12/2016 at 19:05, barry_m2 said:

    Ah, so the reason I'm seeing that 'cross' is just down to focus? 

    And by collimating, you mean (in basic terms) that small black circle needs to be dead centre?

    Hi Barry.

    My Mrs just bought the same scope for me for Xmas, and if yours is anything like mine was, then it will need collimation for sure. My secondary mirror was totally lose, blowing in the breeze so to speak. I've manually set mine for now, but I've got a laser collimation tool on its way to me. 

  9. 6 minutes ago, Ant said:

    Welcome to SGL :)

    Shame the secondary was lose, mass produced scopes always have the possibility of something slipping the QC net. But Celestron is a good make :)

    It's great that your a tinkerer - that will be extremely useful in this hobby :)


    Hi Ant.

    Lol, I'm always tinkering with something. I gave up smoking and started vaping, now I make my own liquid and built a variable speed magnetic stirrer rather than shaking the liquid to death trying to mix it, and I'm so happy with how that came out. I do a lot of fishing, especially night fishing, and so I made my own portable 12v power supply which will also come in handy standing over a field using the scope to power my tablet and red LED lamp that I built yesterday etc.

    I'm going to have a look at my EQ mount today and try and take out the slop when it is loosened to pan round. Might see if I can also get some Teflon rings made for the mating surfaces rather than using grease just to keep things free from mess. 

  10. Good evening all.

    My name is Darren, or Daz for short, 47 years young (big kid still) and I'm the lucky recipient of a telescope for Christmas from my dear wife. 

    I made a fleeting comment some time ago that the night sky at my parent's house on the NE Lincolnshire coast was amazing and I,d love to have a telescope, and so it was a surprise on Christmas morning. It is a Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ-MD. I have a few other hobbies - cycling, fishing, guitars and keeping budgerigars (yes budgies!) so she didn't want to spend too much in case I didn't take to it. Strangely enough I did like the look and read of this particular telescope when I had an evenings readings and watchings of YouTube etc. Most reviews are good for a starter scope, and the negatives seem to revolve around the cheap eyepieces, finder scope and the tripod. However, like most things they improve with better accessories. I've already ordered a laser collimation tool as the secondary was just loose and wobbling around, which I think is quite disgusting seeing as Celestron make some good scopes and you'd like to think that it will be set as good as possible when it leaves the factory, and only needing minor collimation when you set it up due to shipping knocks etc. I've set it manually for now, but it will need proper alignment. Celestron sell a set of Plossl eyepieces, barlow and filters for around £150, so I'll order them on payday. 

    I'm a big tinkerer, and love building things and improving things, so I'm already looking at the nasty tripod to EQ mount securing bolt. Nasty design with too much lateral movement when loosened to pan round. The finder scope appears to be very low standard and the LED's inside could be better positioned, however as I progress I will probably invest in a better finder. The wife has already said I'll be building an observatory shed soon, but I'm running out of garden space LOL. I already have a 20x10' workshop, my bird house with aviary and a gardening shed.

    Well that's me, and I've a lot to learn about this fascinating new hobby, so I'll be asking loads of questions as I go.

    Kindest and warmest regards



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