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Everything posted by Ogri

  1. What are you trying to imply? I am not a retailer (though I have been a retailer, wholesaler, importer, exporter, as well as a manufacturer of various products completely unrelated to astronomy - primarily to do with slates, granites, ceramics, plastics, high technology timber frames to modified and improved Canadian R2000 Standards, plus manufactured high specification custom computers for CAD, Publishing enterprises, Music Studios, etc., as a sideline). I am a customer. I was looking forward to trying something new, something that hasn't been available as yet (nobody has bought those collimators yet, even off 'ebay', and as I understand it, they are 'not' copies of Hotech ones). Just like I did with the Castell UHC filter, because a) I needed something to help with contrast anyway; and people on SGL were curious about them to the point of chatting about them, so why not. I had never even bought anything off Sky's the Limit before (I'll repeat that just so that it is clear, NEVER!). But I have now. As I needed something sooner rather than later, I bought one of these lasers Collimators instead, with the 2" adapter. It arrived promptly, in good condition, and seems well made. I rotation checked the alignment and found it didn't need any adjusting. There's a nice dot even on the first setting (I didn't need to use a brighter setting), and it's very bright at the top setting (position 7), with the steps in between being positive increases in brightness. I had got fairly close with my initial attempt with the Cheshire, but outer 9 ring rather than the 10 ring, which I was a bit chuffed with given I had no focus on the crosshairs plus problems with the circles (due to my eyes, not the Cheshire). Fine tuning is now a piece of cake for me, and the star test I just did was good.
  2. Somebody has just permanently lost a customer, and it isn't Sky's the Limit.
  3. What's nice about binoculars, is you use them with what they come with. But that doesn't build up an eyepiece/filter/etc range over time. I get on really well with my old pair of Russian 7 x 50's. Dad picked up a cheap pair of 10 x 50's on offer at Lidl, and they are surprisingly good. Then I got him 15 x 70's for his birthday, equivalent to these Celestron - Celestron Skymaster 15x70 , and they are very, very nice indeed! I have a short tube Skywatcher ST120 refractor on an AZ3 mount Startravel - Skywatcher Startravel 120 (AZ3) which is a lovely 'scope, very nice for DSO's, not bad for moon and planets, and absolutely awesome as a daytime spotting 'scope. Tough to drive much magnification over 150 x though (which is ok, within its limitations I more than got my money's worth). It's capabilities as an 'all rounder' 'scope helped swing me to getting it as my first 'scope, plus the travel possibilities, as I can get it packed onto my motorbike. The old adage 'The only bad 'scope is one that doesn't get used' rang very true for me. Then I recently picked up one of these secondhand off here at a very decent price Dobsonians - Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian . A very nice 'scope, and I'm enjoying getting to grips with it - having the ST120 allowed me to get a selection of eyepieces and filters started prior to getting it too. So what to recommend? Well it depends on budget. Binoculars are always useful, but you don't have to spend a fortune to get 90% of the benefit or better (in fact some of the expensive ones can be a bit dire, I've seen dreadful optics in brand name pairs that should know better). Are you more interested in DSO's than moon and planets? Or vice versa? Or a bit of everything? You could do worse than get a reasonable pair of binoculars that aren't very expensive, and something like this Dobsonians - Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Dobsonian ? Excellent value, capable of many years of good service, letting you get into the hobby and build up those little essentials, while having something very competent. I was sort of after a 10" dob myself, then Johns 8" came up for sale and I couldn't resist it. Frankly though, I'd have been quite happy with the 6" (apart from it being a bit close in performance to my ST120 - and when I got the ST120, I was torn between it and the 6" dob, and it was the size, portability, and daylight usability that swung me to the ST120). It sure is difficult deciding, isn't it? There are some very poor value 'scopes out there, so if you post a link here to what you are thinking of getting, the very experienced hands here (far more experienced than myself) should be able to put your mind at rest. Hope that helps, and best of luck gearing up with equipment that will give you many years of highly enjoyable use. There's a lot of wonderful kit out there these days, and we are more than a bit lucky to be so spoiled for choice. By the way, once you have a clear idea of what you are going for, don't rule out picking stuff up secondhand (nearly all my eyepieces I bought off here secondhand too - the For Sale section becomes visible after you have managed 50 posts).
  4. That is drop dead gorgeous, well done all. My favourite bit of the sky.
  5. It really is weird, every time my sister comes to visit, the weather is fantastic. PS she's going back to London Tuesday.
  6. Weeeelllll, some sucke* I mean 'brave soul' had better volunteer to get one of these to see what's what with it then? I can't see Alan getting anything naff and not being more than above board about things (look at his description of the standard adjustable laser collimator he sells, for example - which I was going to get), so this muggins is prepared to put his hand up and go on the waiting list. Let's be honest here, CNC's can spit out precision components faster than 20 to the dozen these days, and at negligible cost. I think some people might be a little shocked at how little it costs to make stuff any more. Just because we pay a lot for stuff, doesn't mean it's worth it. I found that out the hard way, which was why I became an importer myself at one point (selling very superior, genuinely certified gear for a lot less than other people were selling trash with forged certification). I think Alan's a very safe bet, and I'll put my money where my mouth is, no problem. Which would be the one to try? I'm not particularly bothered about crosshairs, but is it worth going with the 1.25"/2" single dot model? Or would the plain jane 1.25" one be good enough to check things out?
  7. Another thing that may well work, is go to start>accessories>command prompt - right click on command prompt, and run as administrator. When you have the command prompt, type in: chkdsk /f and hit return; Usually you have to follow this by typing in Y and hitting return. Restart the machine, and it will check and fix any broken links, etc.
  8. Norton writes itself everywhere, and doesn't exactly do a lot after it has. Download superantispyware (free version) and do a full scan with that. Then after superantispyware has cleaned everything up/out, download Ccleaner (free version) and run the registry cleaner. Let it do a backup of the registry first before letting it fix things. Norton does so much in the registry, once it is out, it can leave a right mess behind it, that can take a few days to start throwing a real wobbler. HTH
  9. Rich, if you sell your HEQ5, and get a secondhand EQ6 (should be lots coming on the market soon, with the launch of the EQ7?), as well as the 190MN, wouldn't you still be inside your budget? eta: In the same boat, I'd probably pick up a cheap secondhand ED80 and sell the 200mm newt for fundraising, use that ED80 on the HEQ5 until a nice secondhand EQ6 cropped up, then sell the HEQ5 and maybe the ED80 to fund the 190MN. How might that work with the budget?
  10. Well the good news is, once you've got the basics, they stay with you. I did a fair bit years ago sailing, which was very good for teaching you things like keeping a weather eye open, etc. Thanks to that, when my satnav charging system conked out somewhere east of Budapest last year, and with no maps on me (I wasn't bothered really, could have hit Vienna and aimed for the Med, and followed that to the border with Spain, then headed North), I was able to get to the campsite in the Czech Republic no problem, and from there across Germany, through Belgium, etc. Just using the Sun. The bad news is, even when you've got it, you can have fog close in like it just has with me! lol! Still I had a nice view of the Dumbell Neb just before it closed in, so no complaints. That 38mm has got very nice contrast on a night like this, fair play. Well impressed.
  11. Well a cheap compass will get you pointing into the right area, the book will help you find places to start, Stellarium shows the bright stuff (as you zoom in, so the visibility numbers decrease) to use as a guide, and with the finder and a low magification eyepiece, or a pair of binoculars, you can see the layout of the targets for you to go for. The more you do, the easier it gets. PS. Oooooh no clouds! Runs out to put telescope out to cool.
  12. 2 down, 200 billion to go to the end of chapter 1! Get a book like 'Turn Left at Orion'? Have you got a compass at all? I find that one of those is great with Stellarium, so you know where you are with it. I got dad a birthday card which had a nice small compass in it, and as soon as his birthday was over, I pinched it (it's a great help). Basically though, relax, enjoy the views, have a go trying to find some stuff, and when you fail (almost bound to at first, I think), try again next time, and often 'There it is!' and 'How the heck did I miss that before?'. A lot of it is learning how to see, and then spending time in the same area of sky so you get to know what's actually there. We have the season of fabulous views coming (I can't wait for the winter views of the Orion Nebula again personally), and you will quickly get to know some views that will become personal favourites (like the Orion Nebula is for me). I've now got one of those little netbook things, which will run Stellarium, and I can take that out with me when observing (if I can get signal from the wifi, look out, I'm going to be boring you all stupid with OOoooh's! and AAaaaaaaaah's! and Woooooow's!, I can see it now . . . ). That's going to be a help too. There's bucket loads of stuff to see out there, and both of us have now got nice little light buckets to see it all with. It's going to be a heck of a Winter, imho. I never thought I would live to be an auto-guider interfaced between a netbook and a telescope though, that's for sure. lmao! PS have you got a decent wide field low magnification eyepiece? If not, one of them will be a massive help for finding things. I've got a cheap secondhand 38mm 2" EP, with a 70 degree field of view, and giving 31.5 x mag, it's really great! I don't know how right it is, but Stellarium says it's giving me a 2.2 degree field of view.
  13. John:"Be interesting to see if they actually are the same." Won't it just! {not that I'd know any different, not having a Hotech personally} I'm very tempted to try one of his new range of Flat Field eyepieces soon too. Might just order the 16mm next week (as much as anything I'm curious about the contrast with it).
  14. I was just browsing to see what Alan offered in the way of collimators, and spotted that he has self centering ones coming in soon. They look very interesting! Collimators
  15. I'd like to go back in time and see who left the modern human type footprint in some slates (it was in clay then) I got from India, from circa 65 million years ago. They were so crisp you could almost make out the sworl patterns (it was phenomenal quality silver grey slate, easily split again and again down to sub 1mm thickness, flexed like a sheet of steel, and rang like steel when struck). It was a size 43/8.5'ish foot, and my own foot fitted into the print perfectly. No hair at the side or back (their weight had pushed up the surrounding material into a gentle curve away from the print, and any hair in range would have definitely left a mark), and the toe nails were 'manicured' trim and short. At the heel, behind it, were the little triangles you get from walking, like the scuff in sand on the beach our feet make. It was an incredible experience just holding the thing in my hands, let alone putting my bare foot into the print (eta: and it really was 'into' the print, it was very 3 dimensional, with the print sinking into the slate and the cutting of the slate peeling the layer out of the print, so to speak). As an aside, that foot normally wore shoes. Feet that don't wear shoes, look very different to that. It 'might' be explained by time travel I suppose, but I'm more of the mind that we have been around for far longer, and have been far smarter for far longer, than we give ourselves credit for.
  16. "Would the weekend of the 8th/9th be better? " If it's any help, Sis is home that weekend. Whenever she's home, the viewing seems to be great, but her schedule of visiting friends is so full, she can only rarely take advantage of having a look through the telescope (she's just managed once, last visit, I think it was the night I got the 200p dob!). PS But fingers crossed for the 1st for you anyway.
  17. Nice! I hope that high altitude haze doesn't hang around with you Geno. It was a right pain here from mid-March to early September (for a Nebulae nut like me anyway).
  18. Why not get a secondhand ED80, and also get a dob base for your reflector? Then you can spend time viewing while the ED80 is taking piccys?
  19. What is recommended for your Course? I would be surprised if what you have turned out to be unacceptable though. A Skywatcher Light Pollution Filter - Light Pollution Reduction - Skywatcher Light Pollution Filter - is very nice to have, even if you don't have light pollution. A red led torch/head light is pretty indispensible. A Cheshire collimator? Some thermals . . . eta: I get on well with polarising filters too. I use two separate ones, so one can go on the diagonal, and the other can go on the eyepiece - then just rotate the eyepiece to get the degree of light reduction you need (I do have particularly sensitive eyes though, and it may not be of such use to you).
  20. Ogri


    Yep, and even colder today. The stove is full of logs and ticking over nicely.
  21. Both 'scopes out cooling down. Not saying another word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  22. They were going to forecast 430mph, rather than 429mph, but they didn't think anyone would believe them.
  23. From what direction? I wouldn't want to dig the bunker with its orientation all wrong . . . .
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