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About Callan

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  1. Decided on Lightquest 16x70 bins. Ordered them today from FLO. Looking forward to getting the best out of them. Callan. x
  2. Thanks for the clamping idea 25585. Will experiment with this when I get them. Callan. x
  3. Hi Martin. Thanks for the feedback. Almost certain now to go for the Lightquests. I have a decent monopod and tripod which I have for photography and might experiment with a ballhead and trigger grip on them. Callan. x
  4. Hi,Spike. Good advice on the hand holding issue. I’ll probably go for the Lightquests and will research the methods of support for them. I will always be tempted to use them handheld on impulse for short periods, so the lighter weight of LQ’s will help. Looks like they will be supported mostly to get the best out of them. Thanks again. Callan. x
  5. Hi Commanderfish. Food for thought again after your recommendation for the Apollos. I shall research the best method for support to suit me as it seems, after general opinion, handheld should only be for very short periods. I realise more to be seen in steady bins. I’m unfortunate in that nowhere in Scotland is either of these models stocked. So in the blind a little so to speak.Thanks. Callan. x
  6. Thanks for the feedback. I was probably tending towards the Lightquests before I posted. I was also considering the Lunt 16x70 bins but can’t find them on sale in the UK. I’m not too worried about not having filters on, so it looks like the Lightquests for the lighter weight. By the way, I had read Stephen Tonkin’s reviews during my research after finding the link on SGL. I’ll start saving the extra pennies for them. Thanks again. Callan. x
  7. Sorry folks, wrong button touched! Hi folks. I have Skyliner 10inch Flextube Synscan GoTo Dobsonian. I love it. (Although clear skies are rare here in west Scotland!) I now want to buy a good pair of Observation binoculars for quick and casual observing when time might be limited to set up my scope. I have done some research and I don’t think I can go far wrong with either the Helios Apollo 15x70 or the newer Lightquest 16x70 bins. I want to be able to hand hold for short periods, but also use them on a monopod and if need be a tripod. I don’t really want to discus the merits of different monopod and tripood mountings just now as this can be a further research once I get the binoculars. There is quite a difference in price at £329 for the Apollos and £420 for the Lightquest. The Apollos are 2.5kg against the 1.93kg of the Lightquest. The Lightquest have a slightly smaller exit pupil at 4.37mm against 4.66mm of the Apollo. (I am a retirement age and my pupil dilation might be slight less than in the past.) There is next to no difference in the FOV of either. The Apollos 4* and the Lightquests 4.1*. I realise the Apollos have 1.25 thread to attach filters to the eyepieces, albeit with some light reduction. I know most objects will basically be almost monochrome and filters might be a waste of time with the reduced light input. Is there any advance on the image quality of the Lightquests to warrant the extra money? To me the biggest advantage might be the lighter weight of the Lightquests for short periods of hand holding. Looking forward hopefully to opinions and advice.
  8. Thanks John. Good to know about off axis night time viewing possibilities. As you may have gathered, I’m a beginner at this astronomy pursuit. I’m doing a fair amount of reading and research on the hobby, especially SGL. I’ve sent for the Baader A4 size filter sheet, so I’ll see how it goes. Only drawback is the big solar thing is getting lower in the sky at this time of year, so more atmosphere to look through! Hopefully still bright enough to not matter. Callan. x
  9. Some great tips for construction. I forgot to mention I have a shroud fitted to my scope. Good idea to maybe remove finder to compensate for the weight of filter. You can be rest assured I will make sure no unfiltered light will enter the scope. I will first try an offset filter to see how I get on, and then might consider one at full aperture. Thanks again. Callan. x
  10. Hi. I have a 10 inch Skyliner Flextube Synscan Dobsonian. I am thinking of making an offset solar filter with Baader AstroSolar Safety Film (OD 5.0). I reckon an 80mm dia. hole might be ok for the light on the primary without it catching the spider or the secondary mirror. Is this the best way to proceed or will there be more benefit from a full on filter? (A bit fragile using the Baader stuff for full on!). I realise I must follow all safety procedures for this setup. Check for pinholes, make sure it is fixed against removal by wind gusts, cover the finder optics etc. How will the image appear at the eyepiece with an offset filter? Effects of coma? I have Explore Scientific 82* 14mm and ES 68* 24mm eyepieces. I also have the Skywatcher 10 and 25mm eyepieces supplied with the scope. Anyone use a solar filter on a 10 inch Dob? I’d be very grateful for any feedback. Thanks. Callan. x
  11. Hi.David. Sorry for the late reply. Some great info you’ve given. Lot to think about. Atik are beta testing their new CMOS Horizon camera at the moment. I gather it has a 4/3 inch sensor and might be available in November. The Infinity software will be included. Price is forecast to be about £1400 for the mono and slightly less for the colour. A bit expensive but might be worth a look. Also I’m not too fussy about getting M31 in full view, but like you, I’m interested in other galaxies and DSO’s. I may also consider another set up with maybe a Skywatcher EQ5 PRO Synscan plus suitable scope.(Slightly easier to handle and transport than the EQ6. Realise lower weight limit for chosen scope.) Again a lot to consider and research here. Thanks again David. Callan. X
  12. Hi Davy. Thanks for the feedback. Great to have the calculator. Gives me other options to research. Good luck with your new camera and I hope you get clear nights. Suspect your nights are similar to here at the moment and good viewing is rare! Callan.
  13. Hi. I have a Skyliner 250P Flextube Synscan Goto Dobsonian scope. I would like to use a camera on this scope for near live time viewing. I live in Ayrshire Scotland in suburbia with some light pollution. My main interest just now is DSO’s. The Goto on my system is ok. (When set up properly!). I realise this 1200mm f4.7 set up might not be the best for this, but I was hoping I could achieve better than eyepiece viewing. I have done some research and have come up with a selection of cameras which may or may not fit the bill. As I am a complete beginner in this aspect of astronomy, I’m hoping you guys might give some guidance on the camera choices. I realise I will need to get to grips with the software for any camera which may be chosen. Also some of the sensors may be too small to give a decent FOV with this set up, but even so if they still can be rated against the cameras chosen I would be grateful. Obviously no one person will have experience of all cameras and have their own favourites, but hopefully any feedback will be great. I don’t want to get too technical discussing pixels etc. as I just want a near live time view in colour if practical and keep things as simple as possible. If it has to be mono, so be it. The cameras I am considering are as follows. ZWO ASI-1600MC (Panasonic MN34230 sensor): ZWO ASI-290: ZWO ASI-224MC: Mallincam Sky Raider DS2.3 Plus: Mallincam Sky Raider DS16C: QHY 5III-224: Rising Tech 224: Star Vision: Atik Infinity (I gather software is good and user friendly?): Altair Hypercam 183c: I realise everyone has their own personal choices and may suggest other cameras to consider , so any guidance will be much appreciated. Thanks, Callan.
  14. Hi. I have a Skyliner 250P Flextube Synscan Goto Dobsonian scope. I live in the west of Scotland in Ayrshire in suburbia with a fair amount of light pollution. I am considering a camera for giving me a near real time view of the night sky. My main interest is DSO’s. After some research I have some cameras I might consider and was hoping for some feedback on my choice. I realise with this 1200mm focal length f4.7 scope I might need a fairly large sensor for a decent FOV. A couple of my selections might be considered too small in sensor size but will they still give me a better view of some objects than looking through the eyepiece? My Goto accuracy is probably typical for this scope ( when I manage a good set up!) and realise it is not suitable for long term imaging. I also realise that I will need to get to grips with the computer software needed to control the output from any camera I decide on. I also don’t want to get too technical as I just want to know if I can get a better view and also show family and friends the night sky in colour if possible. I am a complete beginner in this aspect of astronomy as you probably realise from my ramblings! The cameras I’m considering are as follows. ZWO ASI-1600MC (Panasonic MN34230 sensor). ZWO ASI-290. ZWO ASI-224MC. Atik Infinity colour. (Software seems very good by all accounts). Star Vision. Mallincam Sky Raider DS2.3 Plus. Mallincam Sky Raider DS16C. QHY 5III 224. Rising Tech 224. Altair Hyprecam 183C. Hopefully you guys can give me some guidance on my selection. I also expect I will have chosen units completely unsuitable for what I am after. Remember it is for near real time viewing and not long period imaging. (Although after some experience at this, you never know!). Thanks, Callan.
  15. Thanks Stu. Sensible advice. The ES filters will be coming my way! Might replace my SW 25mm EP with ES Argon purged 24mm 68* 1.25" when finances available. I want to stay clear of 2" lower magnification eyepieces because of 1.25" filters. Also less costly! Thanks, Callan. X

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