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Geoff Lister

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About Geoff Lister

  • Rank
    Proto Star

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  • Interests
    Railways (full-size and model), radio-controlled model boats, and astronomy
  • Location
    North Somerset, UK
  1. The 6SE manual indicates that even the batteries are not supplied, and everything else is "optional".
  2. Geoff Lister

    Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200p

    Welcome to SGL. The usual, sage, advice, is to get to know your 'scope, with its supplied eyepieces, before spending any more money. I have found, with my 250px, that a 32mm Plossl is an economical way of getting a wider view (than you get with the supplied 25mm), and a Skywatcher/Celestron/Synta (all same company) 8-24mm zoom will enable you to optimise the magnification/visual clarity compromise. A x2 Barlow lens will effectively double the number of eyepieces. Geoff
  3. I use a short section of A4 spine binder strip glued to each of my mounts. It holds the cable very well. My various power supplies Most of the time, I tend to use the plug-top supply, at the end of a mains extension lead, with the socket and supply in an old shoe box to keep off dew. I also did some current measurements for my various mounts Geoff
  4. As I see it, this would be equivalent to observing from the equator. I'd be interested to know if it works for you. Geoff
  5. Geoff Lister

    AA batteries not working

    You should be OK with an 8x holder, as is supplied with several of the Skywatcher mounts. Otherwise, you will need to supply the mount from an alternative 12V source, as, I believe, the handset is powered from the mount. You may have a lead with a plug designed to go in a car's cigarette lighter socket, and with a 2.1mm ID/5.5mm OD power jack on the other end. Provided the inner sleeve is connected to the pointed end of the car connector you should be fine. Alternatively, I use the 12v, 1.5A or 2A mains plug-top supplies, often sold to go with the LED flexible lighting strips. This is my selection of alternative supplies Geoff
  6. Geoff Lister

    AA batteries not working

    The battery pack has 16 battery connections (8 +ve, and 8 -ve). If any of these are not really clean, the pack will not supply the mount properly. If there is any contamination left on the contacts, it can form a secondary battery, and will usually reduce the overall voltage of the pack. As you put each cell in the pack, rotate it several times, and if the full pack does not seem to work, rotate each of the cells until it does. Vaseline is an insulator, but a thin coating adjacent to the contact surfaces should stop further corrosion. Geoff
  7. My 127 Mak in portable mode Geoff
  8. If you want to make your own, have a look at this site. https://www.superpoweroptics.com/make-collimation-cap/ and https://www.wikihow.com/Collimate-a-Newtonian-Telescope-Spending-Zero-Money And Skywatcher's own quick guide http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/documents/203.pdf Geoff
  9. Most car accessory shops will have something suitable.
  10. For a simple, intuitive, setup, avoid the equatorial mounts, and stick with the azimuth/altitude (as in pan & tilt) type mounts. I initially went for an equatorial, the Astromaster 130EQ-MD, and it was a pain to set up. As mentioned above, the two "Heritage" 'scopes have table-top Dobsonian Az/Alt mounts. I own both, and use them both, often on the same evening. The 130p has a collapsible Newtonian main tube (easier to store and transport) on a simple manual mount. At dawn, a few mornings ago, my wife asked me what was the bright star towards the south-east. In a couple of minutes I had my 130p set up on a patio table, in the conservatory, and I was able to show her the crescent shape of Venus. The image was slightly distorted by the double glazing; I could have set it up outside, but it was too cold to observe wearing a dressing gown. The Virtuoso 90 has a Maksutov optical tube, about the length of 2 cans of beans joined end-to-end, and weighing about the same. It gathers less light than the 130p, but has a longer focal length, so gives a higher magnification with the same eyepiece. The mount can be used in manual mode, as with the 130p, but it also has motors for autotracking. This facility is very useful at the higher magnifications as it keeps the object still in the eyepiece, whereas with manual operation, the object will drift out of the field of view. The autotracking is easy to set up as long as you can find North, and know your latitude (Salisbury is roughly 51 degrees N). This gives an idea of the relative sizes, with a 30cm/1 foot ruler for scale. The 130p is better for wider objects, particularly star clusters, but the 90 has the edge on the Moon and planets. Geoff
  11. I bought a Meade 2" 56mm super Plossl for wide views with my 250PX. The 250PX's focus draw tube has a fairly short travel, and I found that I needed a short 2" extension tube to get out-focus (conversely, I need a x2 Barlow to get the in-focus with my DSLR). I also found that the weight of the extra glass made the overall OTA front-heavy, and I needed to add a balancing weight at the primary mirror end. Most of the time, my 1.25" 32mm Plossl gives me wide enough views, is much lighter, and does not require an eyepiece adaptor change when I ramp up the magnification using my other 1.25" eyepieces. Geoff
  12. Geoff Lister

    Budget grab'n'go

    I use my 15 x 70s with a monopod. It gives almost the same flexibility as hand-held, but without the shake. Geoff
  13. Not sure about the SCT, but the Skywatcher 127 MCT is very robust. I have 2, one in the UK & one in France (by car + plane + bus + train + tram + bus + 1km walk), and have not touched the collimation on either. As for transport, this is my Skymax 127 with Synscan GoTo in a handy transportable form, and about 11kg with eyepieces and a couple of sets of batteries. A series pair of 6V 2600mAh battery packs lasts all evening (although your winter evenings may be a bit longer than mine at 51.4 deg N). Geoff
  14. Geoff Lister

    Budget telescope & eyepiece combination

    +2 for the Heritage 130p. As you will see from my signature, I have the 130p and the Astromaster 130EQ-MD. The Astromaster was my 2nd 'scope, and I found it difficult to set up. The Heritage is simple and fast to set up, and as mentioned above, will work on the ground, or as I tend to use it, on a small patio stool or table. The photo, below, shows the mount on a patio stool, and with a few of the simple additions that I have made. You can use the telescope on a photographic tripod, when fitted with a suitable dovetail clamp, but it rotates the tube by 90 degrees, and most tripods do not have the smooth operation of the dedicated mount. Geoff
  15. Geoff Lister

    Eyepiece Advice?

    Agreed. I use this one with all my OTAs for initial centring and widest views. Although I have a range of fixed focus EPs, I have found my Celestron/Skywatcher/Synta 8-24mm zoom tends to follow the 32mm, so that I can optimise the magnification vs visual clarity compromise, without having to change eyepieces. I either continue with the zoom, or replace it with a fixed focus EP having the same focal length as the reading on the zoom. Geoff

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