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Everything posted by timefortea

  1. Thanks for the advice and the link Archie, plenty of food for thought. Unfortunately my thinking head has been mislaid for the moment. Cheers Ian
  2. Hi All, Have just seen a second hand Nikon D100 body for sale for £100, would it be any use for astrowork on my skywatcher 150pl EQ3.2 set up. Apart from a T-ring would I need anything else? Would I need to get it modded and how would this improve its capability? The Spec is: 6.1 effective megapixels rendering 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images Compact and lightweight (weighs approx. 700g/24.7 oz.) Low-noise CCD sensor 3D Digital Matrix Image Control for precise exposure control, adaptive auto white balance and optimal color accuracy High-performance built-in Speedlight with D-TTL flash control Three color modes offered for different workflow environments Five-Area Autofocus with Dynamic AF operation High-speed image processing provided by new one-chip system LSI Top shutter speed of 1/4,000 sec. and flash sync speed up to 1/180 sec. Plug-and-play USB 1.1 interface for quick computer connection On-Demand Grid Lines can be displayable in viewfinder Custom Settings can be selectable in the LCD monitor Compatible with CompactFlash™ cards Type I and Type II including 512 MB / 1 GB IBM MicroDrive™ Nikon View 5.1 software (supplied) enables easy transfer and viewing of images on your computer also includes rudimentary RAW file manipulation and conversion Optional Nikon Capture 3 software for excellent image management and remote operation Optional Multi Function Battery Pack MB-D100 accepts six 1.5V LR6 (AA-size alkaline) batteries or one or two Li-Ion batteries for extended shooting capability. Features voice memo recording/playback function, vertical shutter release button, Command and Sub Command Dials, AF start button and a 10-pin remote terminal. Thanks for taking the time to plough through this
  3. Update: The only down side is that it seems to eat batteries or maybe I spent too long just aimlessly slewing around. Still if I'm only using it for limited periods it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
  4. After I finally got fed up with messing around collimating,balancing, polar aligning etc. my Explorer 150p only to have clouds roll in (yet again) I decided on a little grab 'n go. The Skymax 102 won purely on size & cost, I didn't want to get anything bigger or I would be tempted to leave the other 'scope tucked up in its box. So a dinky little 4" Mak duly arrived from FLO less than 38 hrs after ordering, astonishing service again, thanks Steve. Had to endure the usual new 'scope manky weather for a week before I could get outside with it. This left plenty of time to decipher the instruction book and learn the idiosynchrasies of the handset. All fairly straightforward, I even managed to update the software without too much difficulty. So 1st light time eventually arrived, had the 'scope set up and 2 star alligned in no time at all. I was surprised at the clarity and sharpness of the view even though the tube was nowhere near cooled down. The Airy rings on both sides of focus formed perfect circles. So far so good. Mars at maximum magnification was great, I think I got a glimpse of an ice cap. Saturn as always was glorious. When the scope was fully cooled I decided to split some double stars, Algieba and Castor were no problem in the 10mm eyepiece, in fact both were easier to resolve than with the Explorer which tends to have diffraction spikes in inconvenient positions. No such problem with a Mak'. On to faint fuzzies, which, to tell the truth I held out little hope for especially with a 45% Moon bathing the sky. Surprise, surprise sent the scope to find M65 in Leo and there it was a faint smudge and just on the edge of f.o.v was its companion M66. Next I tapped in M87 and when the whirring and beeping stopped up popped the giant elliptical galaxy as requested. Tonight was all about familiarisation and assessing the capabilities of this set up, and I was slightly taken aback by just how good this little 'scope actually is for visual work. OK it's never going to show massive detail in galaxies an nebulae but I suspect this instrument is going to give me a lot of viewing pleasure for a long time to come. It certainly seems to complement my Explorer 150p really nicely.
  5. Great news Jason. Shame you had to go through all that in the first place though! On a lighter note, what equipment are you taking on your cruise? Would be a shame to be under warmer, lower latitudes and not make full use of them. There I go spending yet more of your money. Cheers Ian P.s. I think Mrs BearClaw deserves a big group hug, she sounds like a real star (Ooops!)
  6. Don't forget to plunder your local library for astronomy books, and don't forget about inter library loans. If you are lucky the reference section may have a copy of Astromomy to read. It will help pass those cloudy nights when you aren't lubricating and polishing your mount!!! Who knows what gems can be unearthed in charity shops!!!
  7. Hi Steve welcome, hope you are having a bit more success. Just a couple of things, if you were observing between Christmas and about 5th Jan then moonlight would have washed a lot of stuff out of the sky. Also you need to let your scope adapt to outside temp. and your eyes to the dark, about 30mins for your eyes possibly longer for the scope. Were your lenses misted up whilst you were out observing? Various threads on here offer advice on dew protection (please dont wipe the lenses!!!) Keep at it, actually FINDING stuff up there is more than half the fun.!!
  8. Thanks Ken, I didn't think there would be, but as I said I had seen an article somewhere on the interweb thingy about low f ratios, so I thought it would be good to get a second opinion. I think I'll get on and order the filter. Thanks Leegsi but I don't trust my practical skills enough to risk my eyesight to it. You should see tangle I can get into with a piece of kitchen foil.
  9. Can anyone give me some advice please? I'm considering buying an Astro Engineering solar filter for my Skywatcher 150p Newt. However I seem to remember reading somewhere that low focal ratio (mines f5) scopes aren't recommended for solar work. Is this true? Would I be better off using my old f8(?) 114 mm newt instead? Happy New Year to all.
  10. Ignore previous message, found answer on another thread. How do I get this thread removed ?
  11. Bad news: Busted my binoculars last night Good news: I'm due a small tax refund soon so I can afford about £50-£60 on a new pair!!! Looking for some 10 x 50 s, any advice please? Cheers
  12. Great sketches Paul, I really like the impression of depth you've given to NGC1746. How do you produce those perfectly circular points for stars, when I try it looks as if my pencil needs collimating . I think the name "Crab Nebula" refers to the resemblance to a crabs claw that Lord Rosse originally saw through his 36" telescope. Keep up the good work.
  13. This is probably a dumb idea but..... Just seen an adv. for a cheap digital microscope from Lidls, was wondering if any of the relevant gubbins from it could be used for astro imaging. ? (please don't laugh, I wuz only wunderin)
  14. 700l Harcostar??? what size mount does that use?
  15. Like Mark I've just fitted a Rigel finder with 2 concentric rings rather than a dot. The design of the Rigel makes it stand 3-4" proud of the scope body, this makes it ideal for my my less than flexible neck. Also the "normal" view on the reticle and the double ring targeting system make it really intuitive. I think my ordinary finderscope may soon be made redundant. Got my Rigel from FLO and the service was superb (grovel creep grovel )
  16. There is nothing like a truly dark sky for producin g a WOW!! moment. I stopped in a layby on the coast road just outside Sidmouth a few years ago, looked up and nearly fell over. I couldn't identify a single constellation, the sky was thick with incredibly sharp steady points of light. The longer I looked the more confused I became. I eventually got a few patterns worked out but it was incredibly disorientating at first, would never have believed there could be too many stars.
  17. Doh!!! just found the message about FLO promo codes, 24hrs after ordering a Rigel Finder from them I'll know better next time Ian the Dumb:bunny:!!!!
  18. Hi Jim, Welcome. Just bought the same scope and so far I'm dead chuffed with it. The focuser is so slick compared with the rack 'n pinion on my old tube. Have hours of fun with it mate. If Santa is generous you might get a nice cosey hat to keep you head warm too...
  19. timefortea


    Hello Colin, hope scope choosing doesn't cause too many headaches. There are just too many goodies to choose from!
  20. Hi John, welcome they're a friendly & knowledgeable bunch in here. Hve fun.
  21. Hi Folks Thank you all for the welcome, what a friendly place this is.
  22. Was clear but "dewy" in my bit of Pembrokeshire last night, caught sight of 11 meteors (I wasn't even watching for them) of varying colours and speeds between 8.30 and 10.30 (when the dew/frost finally made me pack the scope away!!!) Went out again several times after midnight to look for more, did I see any? did I heckerslike!!! Still enjoyed the naked eye view of Mars at 3.30. Cloudy tonite Ian
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