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About Bodkin

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    Star Forming

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  • Location
    Watching the sheep in mid Wales.

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  1. My first telescope was the ten inch on a Mark III mount from around the same time. The mount wasn't really up to the job, but I learned the sky and saw most of what was possible from an urban environment. Now that I live under dark skies I can really see what those Fullerscopes were capable of delivering.
  2. The individual parts are often pretty good and the mirrors can be excellent if you get the 'A-class' versions made by David Hinds. My 10 inch and 8.5 inch are both 'A-class' and I am sure that getting replacement optics at the same quality would be very expensive.
  3. I managed to get half an hour of observing yesterday evening, just after sunset and just before yet another band of cloud and rain hit mid Wales. The scope is an early eighties 8.5 inch F7 (ish) newtonian that I purchased last year. It arrived in a near mint condition mechanically, which soon became understandable. In fairly typical Fullerscopes fashion the telescope had been put together incorrectly and I wasn't able to get anywhere near focussing my eighties vintage eyepieces, or indeed any other eyepiece, even with the longest extensions I could find. It is sad to think that a succession
  4. Excellent skies here in mid Wales, though it was just the binoculars for me. M101 was clearly visible in 10x50s and the Veil was a lovely sight in 11x80s. The nebulae in Sagittarius jumped out from near the southern horizon like they used to from my old observing site in France. It was one of the darkest nights I have had since moving here and for some reason I enjoyed it all the more for sticking to binoculars.
  5. Back in the eighties I bought a Celestron Comet Catcher (small Schmidt newt). It was advertised as being suitable for cradling in the arms and was just about usable in that fashion. Under really dark skies the Milky Way was spectacular, but it was never stable enough to spend time with with individual objects. The view with a small photo tripod was far superior and it was not much extra to lug around. I certainly miss having such a simple and satisfying scope and may well be inspired by your project to find a modern version of the Comet Catcher for myself.
  6. I had one of those experiences last night, but I've been observing for thirty five years so I know that I'll get past it. I almost fell off the scope ladder twice, clattered around the house and woke my wife and somehow managed to misalign the finderscope resulting in failed attempts to find anything for at least an hour. I finally managed a success with Caldwell 17 and packed up before I risked my life any further. What made the night a success ultimately was not C17, but spending ten minutes just sitting in a chair and taking in the sky with the naked eye before going to bed. Spending so
  7. An old Losmandy GM8 for sale. I bought it used from Telescope House in the late nineties and it has seen little use since then as I prefer alt-az. Not used for the last ten years and will probably required a little fettling to get it working well. It is not the Go-To model and does not include any tube rings. Initial price of £300, but I want to stop it gathering dust, so I will pass it on for any offer I get after a week or so. Collection from mid Wales or just outside Cardiff (Penarth).
  8. A lot of this seems to be personal preference it seems. I have owned 10, 12 and 14 inch dobs and the ten inch was best for me. I gave away the 14 inch last year because I preferred the portability of the 10 inch. Also I found the higher quality of my smaller dob outweighed the increase in brightness in the 14. I would caution against going for something really large unless you are quite sure. I have a 20 inch and it only gets used very rarely whereas the smaller scopes are regularly under the stars. My personal perspective, but I am sure you will have great enjoyment whichever way you go.
  9. It is a new challenge for me. It is good to have something to consistently fail at in the autumn before I can get on with failing to find the Horsehead in the winter.
  10. This was my first proper observing night of the season, which says something about the weather in mid Wales recently. Just a short session of a couple of hours, but it was great to get back under the stars and build some enthusiasm for observing again. I only used the F6.5 ten inch dob with a single 24mm eyepiece. Object targeting usig David Ratledge's book and star hopping using Stellarium on a tablet. C44 - A barred spiral in Pegasus. Easily visible with a strong elongated form, but no sign of the arms. A good start. C15 - the blinking planetary in Cygnus. Very bright and easy to
  11. The 14 inch has gone to be used by an astronomical society. I am very happy with the outcome!
  12. I managed an unexpected few hours of observing last night between twilight and the clouds arriving. I got out my 'goldilocks' scope which is a ten inch, longer f-ratio (6.5) dobsonian and set to it. First to Coma Berenices which was nicely placed due south. A couple of globulars to start; M53 which was bright and easy with a few stars and nearby NGC5053, which is much fainter but still clearly seen. I know that if I can see 5053 at all the skies are very good so I pressed on. It is some time since I was out with a scope so I the aim was to drift wherever I fancied. A few degrees to th
  13. I would happily throw in a couple of starter eyepieces to help a beginner get started.
  14. Hi all. Does anyone feel able to house and use a 14 inch dark star dobsonian? It is available for free to a good home as long as it is picked up from Llanwrtyd Wells. Fairly barebones; simple focusser and telrad base. My ten inch is my grab and go scope and this one is just too big for quick sessions. It would be nice if it stays in Wales so I am offering it here first. If you are interested PM me. Jonathan.
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