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Everything posted by Hangar34

  1. Cheers for confirming that, I'll try it out the next opportunity I get. Steve
  2. Ah, I haven't even looked at these settings. When does one go about using them? For example, would I slew to the moon using the 'Goto Object > Solar System' and then select the 'Lunar' tracking option? How do the various options work? Thanks for the pointer! Steve
  3. Funnily enough I updated the hand controller to v3.07 (is that the latest?) just this week, but I didn't realise that prior to that I would have had to levelled the mount and pointed in north anyway - learnt something there! And, yes the date format has caught me out a couple of times already so I've committed that feature to memory as something to check when setting up, but thanks for the reminder. I hope it's clear tonight so that I can have an another attempt. Steve
  4. Thanks for the guidance folks. I actually went inside and warmed up a bit, then went out for another attempt and found that I got a better result. Alignment was somewhat better than previously, although I got somewhat overly-obsessed about levelling the mount and getting the spirit bubble dead centre so that may have helped. When I auto-slewed to the moon it was pretty near centre and auto-tracking also seemed to be working just fine. When I swapped the eyepiece for the 10mm and had to manually re-adjust the view the auto-tracking did seem to carry on working as it should. So... I guess I messed something up during the first attempt, but now you have confirmed what should/shouldn't happen then at least I know what to expect next time. Anyway, despite failing batteries, I managed to manually slew to the Orion Nebula and was blown away as I've never seen it through a scope before and was somewhat humbled! Appreciate your patience, Steve
  5. Anyone who owns a Sky-Watcher 130P (or similar) will already know that the manual leaves alot to be desired when it comes to detail, so I'm hoping someone here may be able to shed some light on my problem... I had some issues tonight properly aligning my scope with 2 stars (that's a different issue!), so that when I used the SynScan to automatically slew to Jupiter (or the moon) the object was not aligned in the scope and I had to manually slew slightly to bring it into view. Now, as I understand it, if you 'go to' and object using the SynScan hand controller, it will continue to track the object automatically. However, once manually adjusting the slew, even though the object is still active on the SynScan's display it would seem that the auto-tracking doesn't continue to work. Am I right? Is this the experience others have had? Or am I doing something wrong and the only way to auto-track is to make sure the scope is 100% aligned right from the outset? Thanks for any advice offered, Steve
  6. Thanks all - a very warm welcome from everyone - I feel very much at home already Steve
  7. Superb, managed to get a new 5mm sorted through FLO - hopefully it'll stay clear tonight and I'll get to test it out Thanks Steve, really appreciate the advice and the eyepiece. Steve
  8. Thanks for the replies Capricorn and Steve. I am very near Exeter and if it is no trouble, I'd really appreciate dropping by. You were my first thought, but I didn't want to presume anything at this time of year and as you are an online business. If you don't mind though, I'll give you a call and arrange something with you this afternoon. Thanks again, really appreciate the help folks, Steve
  9. I have braved the snows and icy conditions to travel down to East Devon for the holidays and have brought my father's 130P with me, hoping that I may get some cold, crisp clear nights with a lot less light pollution than back home. While I am down here I would like to pick up a 6/7mm eyepiece to complement the 10/25mm eyepieces that came with the scope. However, I realise that ordering something from FLO now is probably out of the question because of missing the last post before Christmas and I wouldn't want to make unreasonable demands, so can anyone recommend somewhere I can just drop into and maybe pick one up before the weekend? Thanks in advance for any advice, Steve
  10. Hi all, I feel a bit bad and somewhat rude because I jumped in with some posts asking for advice recently before properly introducing myself. So, here's a belated introduction... My father has recently purchased a Sky-Watcher 130P AZ GOTO and has kindly allowed me to borrow and use it whenever I wish - which at the moment is nigh constantly I'm impressed with the quality and optics of the 130P, so much so that I am considering purchasing my own in the new year. I am a complete novice when it comes to astronomy, although over the years I have come to know the names and positions of the major constellations and planets from using Stellarium and just observing. My interest in using a telescope is to investigate the myriads of other deep sky objects and views that can be had. I apologise in advance if I ask some ridiculously obvious questions or am caught asking repeat questions that have already been answered - I promise to make use of the forum search facility first though! Anyway, nice to meet you all and I hope I can add something useful to the forum. Best regards and happy observing, Steve
  11. Just a quick update to say that I borrowed my father's mount this evening and although I am unable to test it for real (i.e. there is cloud cover this evening ), I have successfully managed to setup the mount so that it is directly controlled by Stellarium. Interestingly, I am also able to connect to the hand controller via the firmware update software and read back the current firmware/database versions but am unable to update the hand controller with the latest version. Still, it's a definite success otherwise. How did you get on in the end Jason? Steve
  12. Vlebo, I think you are correct, those are the options I assumed Astro_Baby meant too. And thanks BrantUK for the extra advice about drying out the mirror - all useful stuff! Steve
  13. My father was under the impression that the Alt/AZ GOTO mount on the 130P was auto-tracking when he bought it, yet despite poring over the documentation for ages, neither of us could see the specific term 'auto-tracking' anywhere. I burst his bubble by claiming that I didn't think it was and that was only a feature on the more expensive mounts... ...however, I was proved entirely wrong when using the GOTO to point to Aldebaran and then after disappearing inside for several minutes to make a brew finding that the scope was still pointing at said star when I returned So I think Astro_baby has just made a typo when trying to explain that the 130P comes in a range of options that might be more comfortable for my budget is all. Steve
  14. Jason & Astro_Baby, Thanks for the additional advice. I've done some reading today and I can confirm that I think my father made a very wise purchase as the 130P does seem like value for money. I'm tempted by the 150PL, but at nearly twice the price it's probably too far a leap for me at the moment. As you say Jason, I've used the scope and had some experience of what can be seen already. But your additional comments about the nebulas and planets provides some helpful insight (and persuasion!). My father is telling me I can save my money and borrow his scope anytime, but I know that I'll be itching to run out into the garden with my own before the year is out. you know what it's like, you want your own kit to configure your own way. Thanks again for the pointers, Steve
  15. Thanks for the additional assistance and confirmation Peter. Since posting, I did some additional research and reading and came to the conclusion that the Celestron unified drivers was probably the set to opt for. However, as I don't have the scope with me I'm just itching to try the whole thing out. I'll attempt to visit my father again this week and hook the laptop up and have a go. Much appreciated and good luck with your efforts BrownClaw, Steve
  16. Hi Mikea, Having got all excited about using my father's Sky-Watcher Explorer 130P last night for the first time, and being already a user of Stellarium, I am keen to investigate the possibility of controlling the scope from Stellarium. Can you advise which ASCOM driver(s) you use to drive your 130P and anything other than installing software that has to be done to connect and drive the scope from Stellarium/Stellariumscope. Thanks, Steve
  17. Just stumbled across this. Thank you for putting it together. Not only have I learned something from it about the phases of the moon, but it will very easily explain the concept to my son - excellent work! Steve
  18. Phew! - Thanks everyone for your replies and reassurance True as you say, after around an hour or so the mirror was almost back to normal and the condensation was a nicely contracting patch. I think I was overly worried as it was my father's new scope and I thought I'd damaged it in some way. I'm very impressed with the scope for the money it cost and have been inspired into looking at purchasing my own. I haven't yet seen any planets, nebulas or even the moon through the scope so I have no idea how they will appear. I think everyone woud like to see 'text-book' quality images that are jaw-dropping, but I think I would have to keep my expectations reasonable. Would you recommend I also purchase a Sky-Watcher 130P, or should I be looking at something else around the same cost bracket? Thanks again for the advice - it lowered my blood pressure! Steve
  19. Hi stargazers, I'm *very* new to astronomy and therefore am probably asking a rather foolish question, but I'd like some advice if possible... I set up and successfully used my father's new Skywatcher 130P telescope this evening (newtonian open ended type, with parabolic mirror). After bringing the scope inside and allowing it to warm up after having it out in the cold air, I've noticed that the mirror hasn't dried back to it's fully reflective state. It seems that where the moisture of the cold night air has dried on it there seems to be what I can only describe as a pattern like a wet plastic carrier bag has dried on it... Is this normal? Will it eventually clear or will the mirror require cleaning/polishing again? It would seem a huge downside to owning this scope if a single use has rendered the mirror unreflective. Could someone offer some advice please? Many thanks, Steve
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