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About strayring

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  • Interests
    Orion XT8 Dob.
  • Location
    Cape Town
  1. That's definitely a future plan, getting fine focus is one of my bug-bears. I had been looking into a Svbony helical focuser I saw on Ali express which is much cheaper, but I'm not sure that it will work the Orion XT8. I couldn't find any confirmed success reported on any of the forums. An added problem here is import duty is charged on items over $100 US which pushes the price up considerably.
  2. I down loaded off the net, Google scope type and setting circle. Had it printed on one sheet (A2) and laminated at the local copy shop.
  3. Accessorising my xt8 dob continues: I have added the Lazy Susan bearing which came in the mail and it makes the world of difference to moving the scope easily, I'm enjoying this tweak very much. Another new thing is adding a setting circle for azimuth coordinates. Using the Sky-safari app. for the coordinates, I am finding targets bang on, a much easier than star hopping hunting method that I've used up to now. For altitude its been a guess mostly but having the right azimuth setting I can search up and down on that bearing and find the target with a low power EP. (I have meantime ordered a little digital inclinometer that has a magnetic base I can mount on the OTA). The XT8 is a great midsize starter scope all the little add-ons just make it even more fun to use.
  4. I am quite fascinated by this advert having never seen anything like thos before. Variable vintage turret binoculars.. Very interesting but I wonder what the quality will be.
  5. Hi. So what do you think of my accessories mostly home made for my scope. Some for convenience like a handle on the ota and a crate platform to raise it so I don't strain my back, others to improve viewing from light polluted home base. Made a dust cover that converts to a padded carry bag. Dew shield flocked rubberised outside with cut out finger grip hole, also for the raci finder. RDF mounted on top of RACI. Flocked opposite the focuser and 6" round the primary. Glued the flock fabric to magnetised vinyl so easy to remove. Little fan running on a 9V battery, they last several nights. Next project will be fitting a lazy susan bearing on the base. Velcro fitted handle and sliding weight belt on the bottom end.
  6. Thanks Freddie, Very innovative of you. There is an Afrikaans saying in our country (n' boer maak n' plan) , which means - "a farmer always makes a plan". Maybe we have a little farmer blood in our veins Ray.
  7. Totally trial and error, I have no idea what I'm doing! Tried various configurations of lenses facing each other /facing same way /facing opposite ways. Followed Red Henry's design ideas for the 2", some people call it a di-plossl, I'm really not sure though. The 1.25's are easy as the bino eyepiece is in like a little pod, I just wound few rounds of electrical tape till its thick eough to fit in the 35mm film canister with its bottom cut off... no design required. Bino eyepieces are usually good quality due to short focal length binoculars have, so they work very well in a telescope
  8. I haven't had a 2"eyepiece so decide to try make one. Salvaged objectives from 2 sets of old binos 50mm and 30mm. Just used right size plastic pill containers for barrel. Used all four lenses, the two 50mm close together at the bottom with two 30mm for the eye end with about 20mm gap between the 2 sets. Pretty nice low magniofication about 20x and pinpoint stars, looked at Jupiter very small at 20x but could discern surface lines. This will be great for star hopping wide field and deep sky searches (when there's no moon). Also got a couple of 1.25 eyepieces that work very nicely (16mm - 17mm I think) remounting bino eyepieces in 35mm film canister and pvc tube. Results photo from 2" with Samsung phone 2nd photo with adjusted contrast.
  9. Hi Geoff. I haven't done anything about fine tuning my focuser yet. I am still wondering about those Chinese helical types that you're using. Could you possibly send a photo of the one you have, it may be the answer I'm looking for on my 8" f5.9. Thanks Ray.
  10. hi Ian, Yeah I need to fix my signature. My scope is an Orion XT8. That is a photo from a previous star party. There are a couple of guys that work at the SALT South African Large Telescope https://www.salt.ac.za/ will probably be there tomorrow night, should be interesting. Whats worrying me a bit is I read some star party reports that say public viewers have difficulty with using dobs for the first time at these events. Thanks, Ray
  11. Hi all, I shall be joining a star party/outreach with these fine folk at Paarl about 50km from Cape Town tomorrow night. First time I will be taking my scope with, I hope I'm up to showing public the right things. I think I will target 47Tucanae its the most impressive object at the moment I think, but I'm sure I will be able to get advice from some very experienced people. Looking forward to an interesting night! Cheers, Ray.
  12. Hi, I have a single speed Crayford on an Orion XT8 f5.9 dob. Would a helical focuser work with this scope? And, would it make fine focusing easier? Any opinions or help appreciated. Ray.
  13. Welcome Wok, you are going to get a lot of enjoyment from that 8 inch scope, Have fun.
  14. strayring

    New member

    Hi there from Cape Town, South Africa. Have been reading some great posts on this forum (and learning a lot) so I have decided to join and maybe learn even more. I caught the bug about 2 years age when I bought a 127mm Bird-Jones type reflector at an auction house, the views astounded me but I soon started hankering to upgrade. So I now have a Orion XT8 dob that I am loving. Can't get enough of the skies even with all light pollution in out suburb.
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