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About daveintheshire

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    Nr. Wolverhampton
  1. daveintheshire

    H V 38 in 15x70

    Right then. We've had some cloud recently and I'm silly busy with work at this time of year so capitalising on the clear spells has been difficult. However, I have managed to get my little mak to somewhere near where I want it (I'll be sewing up a dew shield after this post). I have got it mounted on a homebrewed pipe mount on top of a Leica Geosystems surveying tripod. This set up is more stable than I could ever have hoped. It still (for me) classes as grab and go. The pipe while solid as a rock is lighter than it looks. For maximum "grab-and-go factor" the scope lives inside the house while the tripod and mount lives in the shed - to look at it no self-respecting thief would be interested, and even if they did pinch it I could just build another one for cheap. Stiction is less with oil than with grease and I suspect something that is specifically good at low temperature would be even better than the rather thick bicycle chain lube my eyes fell on first in the shed anyway, I digress... I've been really enjoying my doubles with this little scope. I've made a little adapter so I can fit my Rigel Quickfinder to the finder dovetail, which all works well. I have added the EPs from my TAL-1 to the supplied EPs. The TAL 25mm Plossl is a lovely thing and while the stock 25mm is not at all bad given it's price-point, the TAL does seem to show off colours better. The TAL 15mm Kelner is also good for a nice "showcase" split on brighter pairs, but you start to loose the advantage around Mag 10. The stock 10mm EP is not really much use except for lunar stuff, but given its price-point and the scope's aperture it's hardly surprising. From my notes: 09/10/2018: Seeing: V.good. Transparency: 6 ( https://www.astroleague.org/content/seeing-and-transparency-guide ) ɩ Cassiopeiae A/C: 4.6/8.7: 7.4" Easy split, colour difference (orange/blue) noticeable but not as pronounced as most web sources claim. C faint, but clear with direct vision in 25mm. Unable to detect B even at higher powers. η Cassiopeiae A/B: 3.4/7.5: 13", Much easier split than iota. Not dissimilar to splitting Polaris (which I "warm up" on most nights). Double cluster occupies the FoV @ 25mm nicely and looked stunning. Chains observed in a lovely view of NGC475. Ring nebula showed some "hollow looking" structure with indirect vision. Dumbbell nebula a big, bright smudge. 18/10/2018: Seeing: V.good. Transparency: 6 γ Delphini: 1/2: 5.1/4.3: 9" Forget iota cas. For me this is "the other Albireo" - an absolute gem. Very easy split and brightness allowed for use of 15mm to good effect. Picked up Σ2725 in the same FoV. Mags 7.5 and 8.2, 6" separation. A lovely little pair that held up well at 15mm, but still a good clean split at 25mm. Just an elongated smudge at 10mm, no matter how much twiddling I did. β Lyrae. Being a variable with a bunch of companions I haven't put the effort in for the numbers! Suffice to say an easy and very attractive split with the two 10th mag companions sitting on the borderline of direct/indirect vision, with indirect making them easy in the 25mm TAL EP. ζ Lyrae: 1/2: 4.4/6: 44" Standing-on-you-head easy split, but bright and lovely to behold. η Lyrae: Hmmmm. I have a poor sketch of what I saw but I'm losing conviction on this one! Σ2474 ( 6.78, 7.88, 15.9")and Σ2470 (7.03, 8.44, 13.8") (Lyr): "The Other Double Double in Lyra"). Very pleased to have seen these. A clear and not too difficult split, but then I realised I was quite dewed up by this point. The fainter one in 2474 needed indirect vision to split, but the numbers show that this was due to the dew and not really representative of anything meaningful. So there we go - I hope that's of some use and not too dull! I really love this little scope for doubles. Most of the ones above are easy splits and this reflects my level of experience, I'll post some more when I get a few closer pairs under my belt. I think a finder scope in addition to the Quickfinder would be nice, but then we might be getting into the realm of the tail wagging the dog!
  2. daveintheshire

    Binocular Sky Newsletter, October 2018

    I spent Saturday teaching myself how to use a router for the construction of my (now finished) 90mm Mak pipe mount - it got quite tiring by the end of it! The skies cleared and I was in need of some quick and relaxing observing - cue the October newsletter and the monopod mounted Apollo. A lovely hour and bit was had with plenty still to go at - many thanks, Steve.
  3. daveintheshire

    H V 38 in 15x70

    Thank you all for you replies and advice on a grab-and-go scope. I plumped for the 90mm Mak, and I'm very glad I did. I currently have it mounted on an old Velbon VE3 tripod with a homebrewed bracket to drop the scope's centre of mass and provide a more convenient point to mount the Rigel Quickfinder. For a temporary lash-up on a low end tripod its working better than expected. A 1.5inch galvanised pipe mount atop my Leica Geosystems CTP103 surveyors tripod is not far off complete and should be far more stable. It arrived in good collimation. I'm as pleased as can be with this little scope which more-or-less gives me a scope with the portability of a mounted binocular. I still don't like screwing up my other eye though! H V 38 split easily at 50X, with black sky visible between with ease. It was still pretty close though - I think my inexperienced eyes would struggle at 15X, but therein lies the challenge. I just about resolved ("split" would be just slightly too strong a word) the components of Ɛ1 and Ɛ2 Lyrae for the first time last night at 125X Happy days.
  4. daveintheshire

    Opticron Adventurer 10x50 vs Olympus DPS1 10x50.

    I'm a bit late to the party on this one - I wonder if you bought your binocular yet @Paranoidsam? I use a Helios Apollo 15x70 as my main observing instrument, but I wanted something easily hand-holdable for those times when there are clouds scudding around and my wife is (correctly) telling me I really should be asleep by now! FLO were kind enough to let me have a look through an Adventurer, but try as I may I could not seem to get a satisfactory single image. Don't get me wrong - as best I could tell they were collimated OK, I just couldn't get the edges of the two images to overlap properly, especially when wearing spectacles. I've been using binoculars since I was a kid and as such am pretty familiar with their use, but this seems to be something that crops up for me occasionally. A shame because I really wanted one after reading Steve's review! Anyhow, move forward a few months and it was anniversary present time! My wife got the hint (or was it the email? ) and I blindly took a punt on an Olympus DPS1 8x40. I am extremely happy with this binocular for the price. The image is crisp and bright to a good way out and control of CA is extremely good for the price point, even off-axis. The expected pincushion distortion is present at the edges. Collimation is fine. The wide field of view is just beautiful and makes scanning around constellations a very relaxed pleasure. The trade-off is perhaps a little loss of contrast vs a 10x50, and of course a bit of magnification. With the eye cups folded back, eye relief is sufficient for me to see the entire FoV with my glasses on. The exit pupils show the vignetting common to BK7 prisms (although I have not been able to find a spec sheet for the unit that describes what glass has been used). I have not found this to be a problem in use. A major benefit is that when scanning around the skies I can hold a pocket sky atlas in my left hand and the binocular in my right (for short periods). Overall I think the build quality is superior to the various United Optics BA1's that are out there. Notably the rubber covering is just that - a fitted slab of rubber rather than a thin coating as an afterthought (such as on my Opticron Oregon 11x70). My biggest criticism is the flex in the eyepiece arms - they are made of plastic and can be deflected fairly easily by thumb pressure. That said, I certainly can't say I've noticed this being a problem in use, even when using the "Tonkin Embrace" (AKA "The Triangular Arm Brace" http://binocularsky.com/binoc_hold.php). I also appreciate the honesty that Olympus have employed in marketing these units: there's no boasting of being "fully multi coated" (they are coated, but I'd be surprised if it was anything like FMC), using "BaK4" prisms or any other form of dubious claim. It's a budget binocular that punches above it's weight but has no delusions of grandeur. I haven't tried the 10x50 yet, but I'm very keen to give it a go based on my experience with the 8x40. Funnily enough, my wife started dropping hints about Christmas present ideas only this morning...
  5. daveintheshire

    H V 38 in 15x70

    Thanks mark81. I grew up in rural Worcestershire and the skies were pretty good there. Then I moved to West Bromwich - all bets were off! The skies where I am now are suburban to semi rural, but nowhere near what I took for granted as a kid. I'd be very interested in hearing how you get on with H V 38 with the ST80. I do a lot of travelling (one of the reasons I love binocular observing so much) so I'm thinking of procuring an inexpensive grab-and-go scope. The Skywatcher ST80 is on the short list, but I have been leaning towards towards the Skywatcher 90mm Mak-Cas for its longer focal length with doubles in mind.
  6. daveintheshire

    H V 38 in 15x70

    I had the good fortune of finding a copy of the September Sky at Night magazine on the first day of my holiday in west Wales over the last week. Monday night turned out to be much clearer than expected and despite the lighting on the caravan park I was treated to very good skies. I got a real kick from setting up the Helios Apollo 15x70 on a mount and working my way through Steve Tonkin's Binocular Tour. I managed M13, 30 Herculis, the Tau Coronae Borealis group (beautiful with it's triple in the middle), delta Boötis and Harrington 7 (my first sighting and a real delight) with ease. I had no problem locating H V 38, but I could not even get close to a split. Two days later I went up into the Elan Valley International Dark Sky Park. Needless to say, it is very dark! One of the very best views of the Milky Way I've ever seen, and the skies were so transparent that the fainter constellations became slightly confusing to pick out. However, despite having looked up the position angle, I still couldn't get anything other than a single point of light. I know its a challenging one and I hope perseverance and favourable conditions will crack it. I was wondering has anyone else had any joy splitting H V 38 in a 15x70? Clear Skies, Dave.
  7. daveintheshire

    Binocular Sky Newsletter, September 2018

    Yes, thank you Steve. Always brightens my day when it lands in my inbox.
  8. daveintheshire

    1/4F to 3/8M UNC Adapters

    You are quite right, Steve. There seemed to be enough “compatibility” at least on the 1/4 inch to more or less get away with it. My first L bracket was a piece of wall plate strap bent through 90 degrees with a vice and a 2lb hammer. This was secured to a borrowed Bushnell 10x42 NatureView with a scrounged Whitworth bolt
  9. daveintheshire

    P-Mount Degrees of Freedom

    The time is nearing for me to build a P-Mount. Naturally I have been plundering every thread and every blog going to see what others have done. Some mounts boast 5 degrees of freedom, but I'm struggling to picture where the fifth is... Azimuth at the thrust bearing on top of the tripod/pier A kind of "linear elevation" (for want of a better phrase) in the beams of the parallelogram Elevation at the binocular head (On the better ones) Yaw at the binocular head Is the fifth degree some form of "roll" for the binocular? In a related question, has anyone ever considered putting a mini ball head as the last link in the chain before the L bracket? (I shamelessly robbed the notion from my current mount: https://garyseronik.com/build-this-simple-binocular-mount/). Thanks All.
  10. daveintheshire

    Frustration with bins...

    Ah yes, I'm on track now! Just looked at the link in your previous post and they are currently showing 129 sterling! I had (and still am) considering a 32mm Plossl - my 25mm Plossl is my favourite eyepiece, but it's just not wide enough! My binocular to scope observing ratio is probably about 10 to 1 so in terms of usage vs outlay I'd do well to stump up the cash and go for the Omegon.
  11. daveintheshire

    What Do You Do About Dew?

    Um.... You sure about this, Steve? I think I might need third party liability insurance to take these off my own property!
  12. daveintheshire

    Affordable binoculars with 45° eyepieces.

    Sorry Grumpy Martian - its not a helpful response, though if you find such a thing then I want one too! I was wondering if your avatar is a Michael Whelan painting? Clear Skies, Dave.
  13. daveintheshire

    1/4F to 3/8M UNC Adapters

    Hello All, This isn't going to bring about a revolution in binocular astronomy, but I hope it's worth recording for anyone Googling along these lines. I like to use my Helios Apollo 15x70 on a generic Chinese trigger grip ball head and Amazon Basics monopod. The monopod has a male 1/4 UNC thread, while the ball head has a 3/8 UNC female, necessitating the ubiquitous adapter. I found that the 1/4 UNC to monopod top surface interface was not sufficiently recessed to accommodate the lip found on the most common type of adapter. The result was that the lip was sandwiched between the top of the monopod and the bottom of the ball head. This means that all of the weight of the binocular and trigger grip is being borne through the threads, adapter and thread/plastic interface of the monopod, rather than the bottom of the ball head bearing on the top of the monopod with the thread acting as a locator. I had considered cutting a washer from something like a plastic milk bottle, but it seemed to be a cure rather than prevention. The answer lies in a different style of adapter: The one on the left is the one - please excuse the photo quality. As it has no lip there is nothing to be sandwiched between the ball head and monopod (or tripod). A screwdriver can be engaged from the inside or outside, but fitting it onto the 1/4 thread first ensures it does not go to far into the 3/8 thread, which would loose you some purchase when attching the monopod. It is also much more tolerant of screwdriver width as it is slotted across the full width of the adapter. The adapters are available for cheap on the usual big auction site. Clear Skies, Dave.
  14. daveintheshire

    White Crescent in Helios Apollo 15 x 70?

    What you describe matches my observations exactly. Its been a hugely useful to to get such detailed feedback in this thread - many thanks for yours, Steve.
  15. daveintheshire

    White Crescent in Helios Apollo 15 x 70?

    Thank you Mark - some real delights to look forward to there. I'm looking forward to getting out to the Shropshire hills with them when there is not a honking great Moon in the sky for a look at some DSOs. Sagittarius is stunning from the top of the Long Mynd in my unfiltered Opticrons, so the filtered Apollo should be a real treat.

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