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Dust Cap

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Everything posted by Dust Cap

  1. @barkis Thank you for the welcome @Charic & @The Warthog - Thank you for the tip - I didn't know that! @Nigel G - Sounds like one of those heart in mouth moments. I'm not too far up the road from you in Billericay. Do you do most of your observing from home or do you get out to any local darker skies? I've been meaning to get up to Great Notley with North Essex Astro Society but just haven't found the time.... @rockystar - Pleasure to meet a fellow dustcapper! Haha I love the double drop story - I guess not in the least bit funny at the time. If Benny Hill did eyepiece insertion! Thanks for the input on the mounting option too. @Pig I'd love to know how on earth you melted the dust cap? Sounds like one to avoid if you can share! Haha love the sleeping in the shed story too. I wonder what the neighbours would think as they throw back the curtains and see you emerging from the shed doing morning stretches :-) @cletrac1922 Thanks for that. I'm toying with getting a H-Alpha filter to see some off body activity whilst the sunspots are quiet. @MattJenko - How frustrating! Like the fact that you didn't let a minor technicality get in the way of your viewing though. Nice commitment! @Cosmic Geoff - I like the sound of your mod. I've been thinking there must be something I could pick up from the local hardware store that resembles a handle attached to something like a tube ring but I guess attaching a handle direct to the tube rings opposite the dovetail is the way to go. Do you have any pictures?
  2. @vitruvian - Thank you for the tip my friend, once I have achieved perfect balance and marked up the OTA / plate for future reference, I'll give horizontal loading a go. @cletrac1922- Funnily enough, just last weekend was the first time I had the DSLR hooked up to take pics of the sun whilst using an 8 inch solar filter in place of the dust cap. What struck me as odd was that on previous visual only sungazing, the sun had a few sunspots to marvel over, but at the weekend, the sun appeared to be perfectly calm with not a sunspot in sight. Pic attached. @Kanori24 - Backwards but as intended! The first time I went from only viewing the moon through the smaller cap to viewing the moon through all 8 inches really struck me as to how much strain it put on my eye. It was the first time I really found a lunar filter of use! @Dave Lloyd- Hello and thank you Dave. To go from what was probably in reality a 1 inch telescope with my dust cap "situation" to 8 inches has blown me away beyond all expectations. With Snowdonia on your doorstep, I presume you have some pretty stunning dark sky sites local to you?
  3. @vitruvian I'm definitely going to try your method next time out as it sounds more comfortable. Out of interest, do you load the OTA into the rings in a "home / parked" position, or some other easier position? @niallk Haha thanks for sharing - I remember doing the same with the sun and appropriate filter on the 200PDS and thinking that if I couldn't find the nearest star to us, I had no blooming hope. I tell myself that not being able to use the spotter scope or telrad was the reason why I'm still yet to even look for Andromeda - On the couple of good nights I've been out this year with the new scope, I find myself keep coming back to the beauty that is Pleiades. 1st time I saw it through the supplied 2 inch 26mm eyepiece, my jaw literally dropped.
  4. Thank you @ronl - That's the route I currently go, though I've been thinking more and more that one I have the scope all perfectly balanced, if I marked the OTA as to where the rings should meet the OTA, I could leave the dovetail and rings on the mount head and just load the OTA into and out of the rings each time, which sounds easier to manage compared to locating the dovetail into the mount head and then freeing up a hand to tighten the two bolts that bite the dovetail plate on the mount head. Maybe this one is down to preference rather than a right or wrong way of doing things. Unlike leaving a dustcap on for two years....
  5. I managed to capture some of these by manually holding up an Iphone 6 through various 10 & 25mm eyepieces with a red filter during the blood moon last year. Some were way too bright and funny shapes (I've attached one that's really bright if that looks familiar), but some I was really amazed by. Keep trying! Would love to see what you get if you do go the phone holder route.
  6. @Stu - And you know that whether you could have somehow broken window to gain access, a costly RAC membership that got in and didn't wake the neighbours, or BMW miraculously gaining you access on the night, the moment you had it set up, it would have clouded over and rained!
  7. @Stub Mandrel - Was there no-one who could have just held it for you?
  8. @RichM63 - Thanks Rich. I do it that way so that I never risk dropping the OTA Now's as good a time as any then - This would probably be better with pictures but in essence, I think there are "theoretically" two options for getting the OTA onto, and off of the mount. Option A: The black metal dovetail mounting plate which is attached to the tube rings stays attached to the mount head, and at loading, the tube is carefully positioned into the rings, rings closed and ring bolts tightened. Reverse process for removing OTA, leaving the mounting plate and rings attached to mount head (or optionally remove the plate and rings after the OTA is off if you dont want to store it with the plate and rings attached to the mount) Option B: Leave the rings and dovetail mounting plate attached to the OTA, pick the OTA up and attempt to locate the mounting plate into the mount head recess. Once balanced on the mount head, balance the OTA under one arm whilst using your other hand to slowly tighten the two screws to bite the mounting plate onto the mount head. Reverse to remove. Answers on a post card please! (Sits back and waits for options C, D and E!)
  9. @Stu - I didn't see that coming. I thought you was going to say that you had left your eyepieces at home or something. But to lock it all cleanly away with the keys, how infuriating Thanks for sharing @laudropb - Thank you for the welcome! @Haylz - That's made me smile thinking that someone else out there had that same moment of "ahhhh!!".......I'd like to think that Galileo spent nights looking into the wrong end of the telescope or had a few blank pages in his notebook with no drawings on having left his dust cap on Reece
  10. @JOC By way of pure luck, I must have tried to remove the one cap that doesn't budge first, otherwise I suspect I would have still been sitting here today wondering why I had no better seeing than my 76! @vlaiv It sure was! Dropping the OTA is my biggest fear at the moment, which is why I have this horrible hunch that each time I load and unload the OTA I'm doing it all wrong. More to follow! @DirkSteele Great story It's that moment when you realise your mistake. 805mm, 3 inches, logic seems to become meaningless when excitement to use or fear of it being unusable kicks in. Sounds like a stunning scope though, is it your "go to" scope out of that impressive collection?
  11. Hello all! Long time forum lurker here, 1st time poster, with an anecdote that underlines why I have no business owning a telescope and a request to all forum members who are brave enough to share any equally silly / stupid / embarrassing "learning curves" they have (or an unnamed friend may have had!) Whilst I've long been fascinated with the stars, it was only on my 30th birthday that I first looked through a telescope and marvelled at a new perspective on the universe. I was given a 76mm Skywatcher Reflector for my birthday, and spent 2 years looking at the moon and various stars through the supplied 10mm and 25mm eyepieces, sometimes coupled with the 2x Barlow and filters. Most viewing is from my garden at home in Essex, but it always joined me on car trips to my parents place in the middle of nowhere in France for some amazing viewing conditions. Having slowly learned some reference points to get me around the sky, it was after seeing a very grey fuzzy Jupiter through my 76mm, (that left the eye piece quicker than I could swap position to show my wife), that I finally got the “spend more see more bug”. After months of research on here, I took the step of upgrading to a Skywatcher 200PDS on a HEQ5 Pro SynScan in January 2017 order through FLO. The Anecdote: About two days after it had arrived, having read the instructions from cover to cover, the weather was clear enough to set the 200PDS side by side against the 76. I removed the dust cap from the 76 and then tried to do the same from the 200PDS, sitting proudly on the HEQ5. But there was a problem, I couldn't get the dust cap off the 200PDS. After some head scratching, manual re-reading, it then struck me. For two years, I hadn't been removing the dust cap from the 76......I didn't realise that the whole big black piece of plastic, the entire diameter of the telescope, popped out. I had spent two years, and countless hours in awe of photons entering that small removable cap that sat in the middle of the dust cap. How it had never occurred to me that the hole wasn't anywhere near the 3 inches is beyond me. My wife says she has a good idea how. But that's for another forum! Anyhow, having had the 200PDS for a couple of months, dust cap off, I have never been more amazed and enthused. Jupiter at opposition over the weekend was stunning. I’ve signed up to North Essex Astronomical Society and am looking forward to the first opportunity to get up there to talk to people in the know. So, does anyone else care to share so that we all may have a laugh at your expense and hopefully learn something along the way? PS: I have another thing that I have a gut feeling I'm doing really wrong when loading the OTA onto the mount, but that's for another time!
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