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About A_N_other_beginner

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  1. Tired fingers, tapped out M31 instead of M13. I meant Hercules.
  2. Couldn't sleep so I've been having a mooch in the back garden. Being truly rubbish at locating anything I gave up and (don't judge me) just bimbled around with one of the only two EP's I get on well with - a 5mm SLV. This is on a 6" newt, so 150x mag. Whilst looking roughly ESE roughly between Vega and Arcturus I came across a globular cluster or galaxy. In the finder (9x50 RACI) this was the corner of a boomerang shape with a couple of stars, with the cluster above the two stars but no bright stars were in view, which made it tricky locating it again after I knocked the scope. This was in the UK and between 6-7am. I spent a while following the cluster/galaxy, it was really quite impressive and took up a decent chunk of the FOV in the EP. I spent a few minutes trying to work out what I was looking at using Sky Safari; my best guess from that was it was M31. Anyone care to confirm or correct me based upon by (admittedly very flaky) information?
  3. That makes sense, cheers. Think I'm pretty well settled on the Flextube then. I'll consider a shroud nearer the time but for camping on fairly dark sky areas (Lakes/Peak District/Snowdonia) I'm not going to worry overly.
  4. Thanks for all the replies. I think having been through everything I'm pretty much back to the very beginning - the Flextube. There seems to be little doubt that I'll see more with that than a similarly priced refractor from the comments above. Whilst the form factor is somewhat bulkier it's still relatively compact, and the idea of mounting it on a camera tripod with a vixen clamp as shown above is an appealing one. My tripod ballhead is rated up to 8kg; even being conservative with that figure, the Flextube shouldn't trouble it too much. But given the kids will also be using this, knowing it'll sit on the ground happily and I'll just need to bend slightly from a seated position whilst they stand is actually quite desirable. My one question though is the leftfield option thrown up by Alfian - a 102 Mak such as the Skymax 102 would be fractionally over budget. How would that compare to the Flextube? I'm aiming to use this in relatively dark areas away from the worst of the light pollution and would like to have my options open, with DSO's, planetary etc doable with whatever I settle on.Sk
  5. How much would I need to budget for a diagonal and what would I need to mount it on a camera tripod? And any take on the AR80S vs the Flextube 130p?
  6. At some point before the spring/summer months arrive I'm looking to pick up a cheap travel scope to take on family holidays camping away from much of the light pollution I'm used to at home. Taking my 6" newt and AZ4 isn't practical in a full car. I'm considering two routes - either a travel dob such as the SW 130p Flextube, or a compact refractor (in the latter case, something second hand through the classifieds of ABS.) In the latter scenario I believe I can use a photography tripod potentially - is that correct, and if so would it involve removing the tripod head (I currently use a ballhead and Swiss-Arca system with my DSLR and binoculars)? I'm trying to work out the pro's and con's of either route. I also know very little about refractors, and if I do look at a refractor could someone suggest what I should be looking for - be it focal length, specific models etc? My budget is around £150-170 total, if I can't reuse my Manfrotto tripod then something else would need to be budgeted for. Does anything jump to mind? ETA: One consideration that's just come to me - if I go for a tabletop dob, it'll likely be placed on a camping table - not likely to be the most stable. I'm not sure how much that will affect things.
  7. I've got a Celestron C6N 150mm newt that I currently store stood up when not in use, with the AZ4 that goes with folded up nearby. To keep it out of harms way and save some space I've been thinking about wall mounting it - it's not hard to find a stud to affix a mount to. Has anyone done something similar and can recommend a clamp or similar that would do the job, or an alternative that's worked as well or better?
  8. I'd already ordered the Mistral 8x42mm before your post but they've arrived and seen a bit of action last night (and during the daytime.) Propped against a wall I was able to have a fair look at the Pleiades, but for childrens use they were right on the upper limit of what I think most kids can manage handheld. I have got a tripod mount adapter en route too so I don't think it'll be an issue either way, but the comments about weight really are worth considering if anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation. I'm going to read up on how to check the collimation on them having never owned a pair of binoculars before, but on initial daytime (and brief nighttime) use I'm really impressed. And my eldest seems happy too with the FoV, commenting on how much more can be seen compared to the 6" newt. So I feel like we've done alright with them.
  9. Just the hot glue gun seems to have done the trick - it made a mess of the threads filling them in but a bit of time scraping the worst of the excess away seems to have done the job nicely. On a quick daytime glance it all looks to be optically where it was before, I'll just have to be a bit more careful with it. Thanks for the advice.
  10. That's the part that's broken, thanks. And I've tried a bonding the split together, it's not worked unfortunately - the split is along the smaller of the two threads (it's not snapped entirely in half, but on the thread was about the worst point for it to happen.)
  11. I'm still not entirely sure how, but I've managed to pull the mount for my Skywatcher 9x50 RACI off the OTA, causing it to hit the floor. One part is obviously damaged - there's a slightly conical piece of plastic connecting the main body (OTA?) of the finder and the diagonal, threaded at either end. The larger thread has split; I've tried glueing and taping it in place but I can't repair it. That said, when I connect it all up optically it still looks fit for purpose - it's just the plastic connector. Does anyone know if that connecting piece of plastic is available seperately to avoid buying a new finder? I've seen some adapters for using it as a guide scope that would appear to be the right thread at one end, but I'm not sure what is needed at the 'diagonal' end - i.e. what thread. It's a long shot, but does anyone know if I can save myself the cost of a new finderscope?
  12. That's a good point, and one I hadn't considered. I've taken a quick measurement ('it's to do with your telescope, don't worry about why I'm holding a ruler across your nose,' being the only explanation proffered) and it seems that we should just about be okay. I hit the time limit for getting them ordered with a chance of them arriving before Christmas so I went with the Mistral WP3 8x42mm; it was a judgement call, but lighter is better seemed to be the sensible decision. It may be at some point in the future we add a heavier duty pair on a tripod but as a cheap and cheerful set hopefully they'll do.
  13. Thanks to a last minute drama in the next couple of hours (if they're to potentially arrive in time to go under the tree) I need to work out what binoculars to get for a youngster to use. Something that can be used unsupervised when the seeing is good but I'm not about to get the newt out. Given age of the user, weight is a big consideration. And from a bit of mooching through this part of the forum, I gather going for 7x over 10x with the exit pupil advantages is likely to be a case of 'less is more,' - have I understood that correctly? Budget is under £70. This is my shortlist currently: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/modern-binoculars/helios-mistral-wp3-42mm-binoculars.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-binoculars/helios-fieldmaster-8x40-binoculars.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-binoculars/opticron-imagic-tga-wp-7x50-binoculars.html On the weight front it looks like the Helios Mistal WP3 8x42's or Fieldmaster 8x40 are a good amount lighter than the next alternatives - 625g vs. 805g for the Opticrons. Anything else I should consider?
  14. In the not too distant future I'll be looking to fill a couple of gaps and replace some EP's I currently own but don't get on with. I'm trying to make a decision as to what to go with. They are for use with a Celestron C6N (f/5 750mm.) I've got a bit of a mix of EP's - I started with the stock 20mm plossl, added a 10mm BCO, then a Vixen NPL 30mm and most recently a Vixen SLV 5mm. As a glasses wearer I don't get on with either the stock 20mm or the BCO; I find the latter good optically but neither comfortable nor easy to use. Conversely, both my Vixen's are a joy to use. I spent the extra on the SLV 5mm on the basis that at top end usable mag I want the optics to be as good as I can afford. I'm looking for a 15mm EP particularly for DSO's, and to replace my 20mm (I'm aware that BST don't do 10 & 20, but do 18mm.) I'll probably replace the BCO too at some point with whatever I go for, but to start with will barlow the 20mm. The BST Starguiders are raved about on these forums, and seem to have a similar eye cup design to the Vixen's so they're a clear contender. But I really like the SLV's. So my questions are: Is the additional cost (about double) of the SLV's merited in terms of additional performance? Is it worth going for the BST on the basis of 60° vs 50° FOV? Is there anything else I should consider?
  15. I can see Polaris fortunately. I put the weight underneath to see if it would make any difference to stability - and it didn't. I took it off a few days ago, but I at least know what sort of weight I can manage to cart about now. I've no problem with longer setup time as I believe that on balance it'll mean I spend more time looking at the things I want to with a GoTo. I do plan to get a smaller scope (maybe a small dob like the Flextube 130) for instant gratification/travel use, but for looking beyond the easy subjects I think a GoTo is worthwhile. An EQ5 GoTo is what I'm looking at now - and thanks to those who mentioned the classified ad, but I won't be able to treat myself to anything this side of Christmas.
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