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About Blackheart

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    Star Forming

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    Scottish Borders
  1. **CAUTION** Thanks guys but I need to add a word of caution... The azimuth adjustment screws on the HEQ5 already 'bite' near the top of the 'stop' on the tripod. 2mm of aluminium actually lifts them dangerously close to the top so even though this little device works really well I can't recommend that others try it. Will need to think about it a little more... BH
  2. I hear what you are saying Reddoss but I want to give the bag a good test so I can report back to you guys! And as you know, when you want to test the waterproofing of an item our weather is always ready to oblige! I've been checking the weather reports for my area all day and it said we might be in for a brief spell of rain somewhere around 3pm. It's now been raining solidly for three hours. Ho hum... twas ever thus!
  3. My scope is outside getting rained on! Tehehehe Taking a childish delight in this new cover. But it had better clear up later!
  4. Don't care where it's from it's still a great pic! Although, coming from the Mail I'm surprised the headline isn't, 'Hand of God says NO to intergalactic migrant stars!'
  5. Hi all I know this topic has been covered many times but I thought I would share a new discovery with you. After the latest spell of infuriating weather I decided to look again at buying a cover for my 12" Flextube. I looked at all the usual BBQ and garden furniture covers but nothing seemed quite right. I started to consider an expensive Telegizmo but this just seemed excessive. I then came across a British company called Bags 4 Everything. The name says it all but they also offer a bespoke service at pretty reasonable rates. I asked for a quote for a bag to cover my 12" flextube dob and was quoted a price of £27 plus £6 postage. I thought the postage was a bit steep but the price for the bag was excellent so I went ahead and ordered it. It arrived this afternoon and I have just tried it out. The fabric is just the right weight... not light and flimsy but not to heavy as to be a problem when dragging over finders and focussers. It has a draw cord which pulls in nicely under the base of the dob. The seams aren't taped but don't see that being too much of a problem and it could be easily sorted with a bit of seam sealer. The size I ordered for my 12" dob was 70cm diameter and 120cm tall (deep), 4oz waterproof nylon in blue with a draw cord. This is a perfect fit with a little room to spare. All I did was measure the height of the scope and the diameter of the base and add a little to be on the safe side. Now I don't have to worry about the odd shower when I leave my scope out for a few hours. All in all very happy Here's the website if anyone wants to check it out... http://www.bags4everything.co.uk/bespoke-product-details/test-bespoke-1 Hope that's useful Peter ps. In the third shot I just put a kids' plastic ball on top of the scope to prevent water pooling on a flat surface.
  6. Just incredible. Didn't see this first time round so thanks for posting it Svenito
  7. Thank you Patrick You made my life richer RIP
  8. Thanks for all the replies Quite reassuring to know I'm not the only who who has struggled to bag this particular feature. The best view I ever had of Jupiter was from the centre of Edinburgh with an 8" Meade LX10. The amount of detail was staggering, right down to tiny little swirls in the clouds. I still wonder if I dreamed it! @John... Really impressed that you could see it with an 80mm scope. I often toy with the idea of trading in my big dob for a more manageabloe refractor but then Orion is coming round and I would miss all those beautiful clouds! I can see how people end up with two or three scopes (or five or six!! )
  9. Hi all Don't know about you guys but last night was just perfect here in the Borders. Jupiter was beautiful and the seeing was pretty damn good. I saw the Great Red Spot properly for the first time in my life and I've been observing for years! This was the second best view of Jupiter I've ever had and it was a real thrill to see something clearly that I had only ever 'guessed at' before. So nice to get that buzz that I remember from my early days with a telescope. So, I was wondering just how many people have actually seen the Great Red Spot... I was using a 12" SW Flextube dob, with a 6mm eyepiece and a Mario de Lio baffle to cool the mirror and remove the thermal boundary layer (Never saw this kind of detail before fitting the baffle) I took a couple of pics using a normal digital camera held up to the eyepiece and was really pleased by the results. As well as some nice banding you can see not one but two spots. Not bad for a hand-held, unguided, single shot! Hope lots of you had a chance to enjoy the clear skies to All the best BH
  10. Santa on a test flight Huhuh Aside from alien spacecraft and exploding meteors I might posit an unlikely but possible explanation. Could it be that you saw two shooting stars that just happened to appear in the same point in the sky... One going in one direction and then, just as that one burnt up as second along the exact same line of sight but travelling in different trajectory which, from your perspective, appeared to be at right angles. One hell of a coincidence but not beyond the bounds of posibility
  11. Hey Jas Yep, that's a nice job. Bit more professional than mine
  12. Hi John That is my understanding too. I suspect that drawing the air down the tube would have some effect but not so much as with the baffle. If I get chance tonight I will try and take a vid of an out of focus star. It's amazing to see the difference in thermal currents with the fan switched off and on. Without the fan you can see 'worms' squirming across the image... switch the fan on and the worms disappear to be replaced by diffraction rings. Still depends on seeing conditions but certainly an improvement. BH
  13. Good point Dave Yes, it has a marked effect on dew, namely you don't get any! I use a homemade shroud but even so I normally get problems with the secondary fogging up. However, now I can leave the scope out for hours and so long as the fan is running the mirrors stay clear. It also seems to be extremely effective at cooling. Normally takes at least an hour to cool but I checked after half an hour last night and the image was pretty clear. Just in time to spot Europa beginning its transit of Jupiter. (see my other post in the lounge) Wouldn't have been able to see this before I started using the baffle...
  14. Hey James That was my original thought but I wanted something that I could slip on and off so as not to interfere with collimation. Don't know if you have similar troubles with your 10" dob... BH
  15. Hi all Just wanted to share my experience with a mod that has improved the view through my 12" SW dob. I've had the scope for 3 years and have always been disappointed with the views of planets and I was never able to see difraction rings on a star test due to 'poor seeing'. However, having become convinced that no one is that unlucky I began to explore other possible causes and soon learned about the Thermal Boundary Layer. This is a layer of warm air that sits above the surface of the primary mirror. Big mirrors struggle to reach thermal equalibrium so the TBL is nearly always in evidence. One solution is to fit the scope with a Mario de Lio baffle. This draws air down the tube and over the mirror surface. I've attached a couple of pics of my version, which fits over the rear end of the scope (a further collar is fitted inside the tube a few inches above the primary mirror. A search for the baffle will show you the details). I wouldn't say it was a perfect solution but for the first time in 3 years I can see clear difraction rings on stars and I am starting to see some real detail on Jupiter! If anyone wants to give it a go I have my 'prototype' which I used to tape over the rear of the scope and power with a small battery pack. It's not exactly Astro Engineering but if anyone wants it they can have it for free. It might just help to solve similar problems with your big dob. Anyone interested just drop me a line and I will pop it in the post. Here's a couple of pics of the fan section and the prototype in question... Cheers BH ps. I found the details here (somewhere around page 6!) http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4910402/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/5/vc/1
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