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About Astro-Geek

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    Star Forming

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    Norfolk, UK
  1. Thanks for asking the question Palazer, I've found the replies really interesting, actual user feedback in detail with images. To get the very best within a specific budget, have you considered buying eyepieces secondhand ? I've amassed an very nice collection from adverts on SGL, AstroBuySell and Ebay. Many at around 50% of new cost. They had all been very well looked after, indistinguishable from new. I now have a really good appreciation of why there is such a variation in price . I'd always wondered why the best ones cost even more than good quality telescopes, but now I know.... I started off with a set of Meade 4000 Plossls which I was quite happy with, until I tried (genuine) ultra wide angles and 2" eyepieces. The difference in the perceived fov and clarity was amazing. The targets aren't simply bigger, you actually feel that you're nearer. My latest acquisition, a 23mm 2" Celestron Axiom LX 82 degree is now my favorite, it's ridiculously bulky and weighs half a kilo, but the views it gives through my 200PDS and 300P makes them seem like completely different scopes. It cost me £85 via an SGL classified advert from a very conscientious first owner, less than half retail. ...and a word of warning, .... don't buy or make an eyepiece case, you won't be able to resist wanting to fill it !!!
  2. When I bought my 10" Dobsonian, I wrestled over the choice of different makes too. The Bresser did appeal with the dual speed focuser and the rings, (which would have made conversion to a big EQ later easier and cheaper). The Skywatcher flextube appealed because of the more compact size for storing and carrying, and it could also "retract" slightly giving more in-focus travel, enabling a binoviewer to focus without a Barlow. In the end I bought a GSO deluxe, because it had the dual speed focus, adjustable balance on the ALT, and a proper "lazy susan" az bearing. I was very pleased with it, very well made and excellent optics. It's past tense now though, because I've now gone up to a 12 inch flextube goto, and no-way could I contemplate moving a solid 12".... This Astronomy Gear is a damn slippery slope, so much choice, so much grass that's always greener on the other side of the fence....
  3. I couldn't resist a 300P flextube goto, so my 250/1250 GSO Deluxe Dobsonian has to go, (so SWMBO insists... ) Apparently I can't keep filling up the conservatory with telescopes...... I bought the GSO last Autumn, direct from Astroshop DE, for just over £500. https://www.astroshop.de/teleskope/gso-dobson-teleskop-n-250-1250-dob-deluxe/p,23750 It was my first 10 inch Newtonian, and I was stunned at the difference the aperture made, (hence now going for an even bigger one !) Consequentially it's literally "as new", as can be seen by the photos, taken today. I keep it in my double glazed conservatory under its fitted cover. The mirrors are completely unmarked. The standard fit-out of the deluxe model has some nice touches: Dual-speed two inch low profile focuser adjustable Alt pivots 12v cooling fan under primary I've made a few mods/additions: A tailor-made waterproof nylon cover A dew shield, that stores conveniently around the trunk of the OTA. A decent sized handle, (it was like cuddling a damn torpedo without one, now so much easier to lift on and off the base). A rotating 12 inch azimuth scale in the base. I re-coated the interior with "Black 2", much better than the standard flat black. I carefully added three ball jointed rubber feet to the bottom flange. I'm surprised at the way the mirror adjusting knobs and locknuts protrude from the bottom flange. It means that when you lift the scope off the base and stand it on end, it sits on the rubber feet rather than jarring down on the hard adjusters. There are no eyepieces included, but it does have the 9x50 finderscope, dew shield and fitted cover. Due to size and fragility, this is collect only, even though I do still have the original sturdy cardboard boxes and shaped foam spacers for the OTA. Pickup is from Ludham, on the Norfolk Broads, near Wroxham. I'm advertising it here on Stargazers first, as I've benefited from quite a few nice pieces of kit bought on here. As it's only 6 months old, I'll try for £290 first.....
  4. It is with these Damn eyepieces.... I made the mistake of making a nice fitted case with SPARE spaces....
  5. Thanks for the reply Ron, but I'm hoping to find a source for a rigid cap, rather than the fabric shower cap type. The reason is that I store my 300P flextube in the conservatory, and the nice "flat looking" circular top could be very tempting for someone to put a cup or glass on, being at a convenient bar-top height ..... Even though I also cover the whole thing with a tailored pvc cover as well, it still leaves the rather large diameter hollow top vulnerable to something heavy sagging down onto the secondary mirror.
  6. I've tried searching everywhere on the web for this, and have drawn a blank, so here goes...... Does anyone know where I can obtain a second dust cap/cover for a Skywatcher 300p Flextube Dobsonian ? I keep the supplied one on the solid part of the OTA to protect the mirror from dust and spider cr*p, and I'd like to put another one on top of the scope instead of the extremely flimsy shower cap as supplied. People appear to have searched before, and the only firm result was GSO spare parts, which is a slightly different diameter. I guess someone must supply the original Skywatcher spare part as they're still current, and very common.
  7. I use a cantilever flight case because it's convenient to have open on the ground next to the telescope. The trays are therefore raised up and easier to reach into than a flat case. You have to choose carefully though, most of them are fairly small, this one was the biggest I could find, and cost about £45 on Amazon. I shaped foam rubber for some of the compartments to stop my lenses rolling around, but now they've multiplied too much (a common problem I believe ?), and the now have their own Peli case, with a wooden framework to space them apart. I still use the cantilever for everything else though.
  8. Thanks John, I'll Google pressure tuner greasing...
  9. That's excellent news though ! Such a relief, it means it's not me or my new scope...... ? Thanks for all the very prompt and informative replies chaps. I was sitting out in my conservatory for a couple of hours, trying out all of my eyepieces, with no luck. I didn't imagine it could be a lack of activity because a few days before I'd been trying out my Baader filter on my Skymax 127 and had seen quite a few sunspots. Yes, tricky to focus too, with just the edge. When some clouds "whisped" across the front of it, they looked sharpish, and it had me wondering how wide the depth of field was, ( 5 miles to 92 million miles !)
  10. I couldn't resist them any more, so I took the plunge and bought a used Lunt LS35. As the seller stated, it's in really good condition and I'm very pleased with the build quality as expected from the Internet searches I'd made before choosing that over a PST. It's the very basic model, with the B400 filter. I've been trying it out today and so far I've only been able to view the red disc, with no sunspots, edge flares or surface texture. I'd found some simple instructions on the web, eg, centre the helical focuser, then coarse focus by adjusting the protrusion of the diagonal, then fine focus of the Sun's edge with the short travel helical focuser. Then the instructions for "tuning" the HA front filter are a bit vague. It said turn the knurled ring fully to the right, then back "five full turrns" then fine tune when the detail appears. My knurled ring has 15 half turns from stop to stop, which tilts the filter from zero gap to about 2mm. I've tried turning it fractionally, very slowly, from end to end, pausing at each quarter turn to view, but haven't so far seen any edge filaments or surface texture, just the sharp red disc. So my Solar Newbie questions, are there times when there's zero surface activity for this base level HA scope ? ...and what's the approximate "sweet spot" gap in the HA tilt mechanism ? almost closed ? almost wide open ? are roughly in the middle, about 1mm gap ?
  11. The title of this thread sounded interesting, and I was quite shocked when I read the OP's comments about the Binoviewer. Because I'm the author of the 'optically fine' comment regarding the Binoviewer's internals in the ebay listing. I've been a non-business user of Ebay for 17 years now and have made over 2000 transactions, (of which 107 were as a seller), and I have maintained a 100% positive feedback score. I take great pains to describe my items honestly with detailed photos to avoid misleading anyone. My weakness for trying out "stuff" has extended over bikes, boats, photography and computers as well as Astronomy, and the ability to sell on afterwards with minimal loss helps greatly with SWMBO, so I would not risk losing positive feedback to sell rubbish or trick anyone. The purchaser contacted me about his disappointment, I therefore agreed immediately to an Ebay return with a full refund, even though I was completely at a loss to understand how they had been actually broken inside, and I've certainly never opened them. I had been using them right up to the point I bought an upgraded pair, which is why I then listed them. ( In fact there's an old thread here on SGL where I had been asking about low power Barlows to use with them).
  12. Great to hear personal comparative experiences, thanks. I do agree about the professionally made option, Solar viewing is the one thing that even stingy me wouldn't begrudge a bit more expense on. Thanks for the direct comparison photos Ant, that clearly confirms the helpful replies I've received on this thread. My further Googling has prompted another question, what about HA filters on a conventional scope, like my Dob ?
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