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Geoff Lister

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About Geoff Lister

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Railways (full-size and model), radio-controlled model boats, and astronomy
  • Location
    North Somerset, UK
  1. Yes, the rear tube has a long dovetail plate, and the OTA is interchangeable with others on different mounts. The photo below shows a range of OTAs and mounts, all interchangeable, but some with altitude limitations. The Heritage 130P OTA & mount is the second pair from the left. Unfortunately, I do not have the expertise to determine if the Astromaster's mirror is spherical or parabolic. Geoff
  2. I did the same on my 250PX, and am very pleased with the improvement in my ability to get a sharper focus. Geoff
  3. As my second 'scope, I found my Astromaster 130EQ-MD difficult to set up and track, and it almost put me off astronomy. My third one, a Skymax 127, re-kindled my interest. I still use the Astromaster's OTA (with a different finder - the original RDF did not seem to give much of a red dot) on my Skymax mount, to get a wider view than I can get with the Skymax's Mak. Geoff
  4. Geoff Lister

    Best eyepiece for saturn

    The Moon is currently sitting between Mars & Saturn, and at around 80%, Magnitude -11, so should get those cones active; and the DSO enthusiasts will have probably gone home. I also like to view the planets using my binoviewer; my brain prefers similar information in both eyes, and it reduces the effects of "floaters" at the higher magnifications. Geoff
  5. I do not have John's depth of experience, but, over the last few weeks, Jupiter has been at its recent highest, just over 20 degrees altitude, due South at about midnight. My view in that direction is not bad when objects have risen above the trees, but I have struggled to get a good, crisp, view with magnifications above x120, with my 250mm Dob., 127mm Mak., or 120mm refractor, and with my selection of fixed and zoom eyepieces. In most cases, the limit was imposed by the atmospheric conditions causing a heat haze, with a view that I have seen described as "looking down at a coin at the bottom of a swimming pool". Once you have found the best compromise between clarity and magnification, you have to sit (much better than standing for long periods) looking through the eyepiece until you catch that brief moment when the "ripples" die down and you get that clear view. At the turn of the year, I had a hunt for Uranus and Neptune. I would have struggled without good GoTo alignment. Both were visible, and, with magnifications of over x200; Uranus was a blue disc - significantly wider than adjacent stars, and no obvious contrasting detail; but Neptune looked very much like the adjacent stars, but with a hint of blue. The Synscan GoTo will help me to find them again (when in view), it's nice to know that they are there, and visible through modest telescopes; but if I want more detail, it is easier to go to NASA's web site. Voyager 2 sent back some superb views of Neptune, but when Voyager 1 was just beyond Neptune's orbit and was turned towards Earth, our lovely planet showed up as a pale blue dot under 1 pixel wide. Geoff
  6. I have a variable-height office stool, but it is not high enough to sit on when the eyepiece is towards the top. I may well buy a dedicated observing chair, similar to the one in your photo. Geoff
  7. I am 5' 8" and I find the eyepiece position, for viewing close to the zenith, OK when standing. I have the base on the ground, and use a small wedge under one of the feet to level it. Goto is useful for the more difficult objects, and the tracking is excellent for high-magnification viewing. Geoff
  8. I went for the 10". I wanted the largest aperture that would also be relatively easy to store in my garage, and move out, through a standard doorway with single step, to an adjacent patio. I have no regrets, and have not felt the need for a coma corrector. Geoff
  9. Geoff Lister

    Just getting started!!

    Welcome to SGL. Following the advice, above, and having done the daytime alignment of the finder, the Moon is nicely placed at the moment, to get the best contrast at the terminator. Once you have had a tour of the Moon, look south after 10pm, and you should see Jupiter near the horizon, rising to almost due south at midnight. It's the brightest object in that direction, and its 4 principal moons are useful to help you get a sharp focus. I would second Kev's advice about downloading Stellarium. I often use it to plan an evening's observing. Geoff
  10. Geoff Lister

    Suggestions for a first scope

    I had a quick check, using Stellarium, and it looks as though the best pointers for Carlisle, at 01:30, looking SSE, would be an arc between Saturn and Altair, going up and eastwards towards the lower middle of Cygnus (just below Deneb), and flowing down and northwards to Cassiopeia.
  11. Geoff Lister

    12v timer with car socket or USB output

    Yes. It is not obvious from the Amazon photo how to connect it to external wiring, but I would not expect to need a soldering iron. To save extra work, it may be useful to buy a car cigarette lighter extension lead, cut it in the middle, and connect the cut ends to the time-switch. Make sure that the plug incorporates a small cartridge fuse, and double (quadruple) check polarity. Geoff
  12. Geoff Lister

    Celestron v Sky Watcher

    Several of my Skywatcher items were shipped directly by Optical Vision Ltd. I believe that they are the main (only?) authorised UK importer. I have not had any problems with my Skywatcher or Celestron 'scopes, so I do not have any after-sales experience. Geoff
  13. Geoff Lister

    Celestron v Sky Watcher

    The composite photo, below, shows how much they have in common. and a range of interchangeable mounts and OTAs Geoff
  14. Geoff Lister

    12v timer with car socket or USB output

    I had a look at Skipper Billy's link, and it looks as though it is a counter/timer, but does not have an ON/OFF switched output. A Google search with "12V Time Switch" resulted in several possibilities including:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Digital-Power-Programmable-Switch/dp/B00F4MG328/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=RDTRRBPPGS647EGW4NJ5 Geoff
  15. Geoff Lister

    Some Noob-type Questions About Mounts

    Hello Neil, A while ago I measured the current consumption of each of my (Az/Alt) mounts, and the maximum consumption was when slewing at max. rate in both axes simultaneously. I would suspect that the worst-case peak currents would exceed these figures (slightly) for perhaps 100ms during OTA acceleration, at the start of a max. slew. I would expect the HEQ5's consumption to be similar to that of my Skyliner (bottom line of table). These are my various interchangeable power sources. I tend to use the 12V, 2A plug-top supply, in a shoe box, with an extension lead (the box avoids dew forming on mains connections). My preferred portable supply is the pair of 6V 2600mAh battery packs "borrowed" from my radio-controlled model sailing yachts. Geoff

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