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About GordonD

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    Keynsham, Nr Bristol
  1. GordonD

    Moon Filters for Visual Observation ?

    I find that in anything other than high powers, when the moon is fairly dim, viewing the moon makes eye placement tricky. I wonder if it is trying to line up a smallish exit pupil with a small pupil opening - when the pupil closes down due to the brightness. So I recently bought a 2" variable polarising filter too on a bit of a whim when I was buying some other kit. The idea was to fit it to the objective end of the diagonal so I could still change eyepieces without any fuss. The filter itself works very well, exactly as expected. But.... to be honest it only been used once and then languished in the eyepiece case. Perhaps I'll give it another go if the clouds clear - the moon is certainly bright enough tonight! Gordon
  2. GordonD

    Skywatcher AZ-EQ5GT DEC wobble/play

    Hi Neil Not quite, I'm afraid. My AZEQ5 has significant slop in the RA axis instead. Which affects how well the mount can be used in Alt-Az mode. Went back to the supplier who discussed with SkyWatcher. We even sent a video, but SW said it was supposed to be like that and not a fault. If anyone knows a way to reduce movement on that axis as well, I'd certainly be very grateful. Perhaps I'll have to have a go at the worms one day, when I'm feeling brave. The Dec axis is not so bad on mine and looseness in that one is a bit easier to overcome by slightly unbalancing the scope. But that doesn't work with the RA axis, which is vertical in Alt-Az mode, of course. I generally use it in EQ mode now, where I can unbalance things to help (probably not good for the long term health of the motors ...). But that spoils the point of the mount, somewhat. It wasn't for the slop it would be a great mount, but as it is I can't honestly recommend it. Which is a shame. Gordon
  3. The WiFi module is designed to plug in and replace any of the later SynScan hand controllers. So I imagine the AZ-EQ6 would work just fine with it. FLO or Harrisons will no doubt be happy to confirm. The AZ-EQ5 takes the Skywatcher WiFi module and it can then be controlled from SkySafari on a phone/tablet. Android is definitely OK but there is a question mark over using iPhones, to do with Multi-tasking. You need to run Skywatcher's own app for the actual connection to the WiFi module and control the scope, and then SkySafari actually connects to the Skywatcher app, so they both need to be running at the same time. (I am not sure, but believe some iPhones don't actually multitask, instead putting any background apps to sleep) So as long as the AZ-EQ6 works the same way it would be great. I had previously been finding things manually for decades and was (mostly) happy doing so. Not quite a luddite - I have used a tracking EQ mount (with a 10" newt) for the last 15 years or so, but it wasn't GoTo (older EQ6). That was up until this year when I got the AZ-EQ5 (and a smaller scope). And, whisper it very quietly, I am a convert. The whole set up frequently drives me mad when it doesn't all work, but overall the increase in actual observing, as opposed to grovelling on my knees with maps and charts trying to figure out if I am looking in the right place, has been a massive improvement! A bit of a revelation, to be honest. Reading this back, it all sounds a bit involved, but really it's OK. It's been a bit of a learning experience, but I'm getting there Gordon
  4. My goodness. That sounds like an incredible session!! Great Report too - thanks.
  5. GordonD

    What did the postman bring?

    Rubs hands ..... I think that is all the eyepieces I "need" now. Probably.
  6. GordonD

    A wide-ish view of M31

    I think that is a terrific image! I love the perspective it gives. Great stuff.
  7. GordonD

    Clear skies but rubbish seeing tonight

    Just got in from looking at Mars and the moon. High cloud present, but I actually had good views of Mars from here (South of Bristol). Darker areas on the disk defined better than I have seen them for some time. You just can never tell, can you!
  8. I have the ES82 24mm and the eye relief is short. I use it mostly with the eye guard rolled down, and I don't wear glasses. I know everyone has different face shapes, but I think it very unlikely you are going to see anywhere near the full field with glasses. Once you get down close enough, though, I do find it a great eyepiece! Gordon
  9. GordonD

    I'm in love!

    Dave thanks for a lot for your input - very helpful. I have read elsewhere how impressed people are with the 17.5mm. And the primary use for mine would be in a 120mm/F7.5 refractor, so your thoughts are very relevant. Maybe I need the 6.5mm AND the 17.5mm. Interesting use of the word 'Need', of course .....
  10. GordonD

    I'm in love!

    Thanks for the post Geoff, your impressions are certainly very helpful. I am considering getting that exact eyepiece (spookily, Paul, for my SW 120ED also ...) I am looking for something between my 5mm (180x ) and 8.8mm(102x) and really fancy the comfort the Morpheus' are supposed to have. Wide fields are great ... when you can actually see it all (Explore Scientific 82 degree - I am talking about you ) Gordon
  11. SkySafari Plus for me. I went a bit techno mad and added the SW WiFi adapter to the AZ-EQ5GT, and use the Synscan Pro on a mobile alongside SkySafari and it makes for a really great combination. You can use all the detail you get in SkySafari and then just tell it to point to what you are interested in and away it goes communicating with the mount via Synscan. Setting up observing lists ahead of time is easy as well. I have lists of double stars in a few constellations set up for example, and of course all the normal lists (Messier etc.) are already there. It shows you them on screen, so you can see what is close, check out the detailed info on it and then away you go (to). I am really impressed. Might invest in a cheapish tablet to make it easier to see on screen Of course we are talking about a mobile phone here, and a GoTo mount. So does everything always work? Heck, no. Some frustration comes as part of the package as well. Moving the scope manually you can see on screen exactly where it is pointing in the sky in real time. Which is fun. And helpful , since I do fair bit of manual moving, as the mount seems really quite loud when slewing at 1 am.... And SkySafari Plus cost all of £5.99. Astonishing value, I think.
  12. Thanks very much for taking the time to put these reports together, Chris. They are really helpful. The comparison to other scopes always makes it more concrete I think, too. John, out of interest, how or where do you get that screenshot from? Looks really useful. Gordon
  13. GordonD

    Jupiter Double shadow transit 2 Aug

    I did manage to catch both shadows, which was fun as I had not been aware it was happening beforehand. But I could not see Io itself on the face. My, but Saturn was sharp and detailed that evening though! And pretty good last night too. Managed to catch Mars for the first time last night as well, but could only pick out the polar caps and some degree of greyness in the southern (?) hemisphere - no real detail.
  14. Thanks, John. I would be particularly interested in the comparisons to your 120ED Pro as I am wondering if an upgrade makes sense, not just optically but taking into account the practicalities for what is getting to be a pretty big piece of kit. I am certainly looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the scope. Hope you get to have some fun with it. Gordon
  15. GordonD

    Skywatcher AZ GTi Help

    I have just found this thread. I too have the same issue with an AZ EQ5-GT. I purchased the wireless dongle and use the App. And I had also discovered that Point and Track helps. I have also purchase SkySafari (Android in my case). This is such a brilliant combination. The ability to search in SkySafari is great with lots of good facilities around observing lists and to be able to visualise on screen and then control the scope from there. I love it. But .... after a few seconds it stops tracking. So, not so great after all at the moment. So thank you very much for raising this with SkyWatcher, and getting them to acknowledge the issue. I can't wait for an update to the app. Thanks, Gordon

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