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About A_N_other_beginner

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  1. Sorry to keep spamming this thread with more questions. The RACI and barlow have arrived, and after setting up I had a quick look around but other than getting used to the different mag of the finder I wasn't able to have much of a look. I left the scope outside, and returned about 3 hours later. As best as I can tell the secondary mirror has either misted or frosted over - there's frost on the outside of the tube, and nothing visible when I look through the EP. Taking the EP out I can see the mirror (and can down the open end) but nothing when it's all put back together. The finder is also misted over. I'm more than a little disappointed as it's a beautifully clear night. How do I avoid this next time? ETA: I've been looking at dew heaters, I think I understand the basics - strap for the EP, strap for the main scope. Control is a little mystifying though. It seems recommended to get a controller, but the ones I've been looking at (Hitec astro single channel dual output) take power from a cigarette lighter. I'd be looking to use a mains power socket (I've got an external one.) With a cigarette lighter->mains power converter on top, plus straps for scope and EP the total cost is hitting about £115. Is that what's needed? I should add that doing anything home-made is beyond my abilities. I don't own a soldering iron and don't trust myself to mess around with rewiring things.
  2. From a purely security point of view, I'd rather have my garden lit up like Wembley Stadium given the choice. People are much more visible - and they know it too. There's usually enough ambient light for burglars to see what they're doing anyway, and jemmying uPVC patio doors doesn't require careful placement and execution. Lighting isn't the last word when it comes to security - there are many factors involved - but if a street light was shining over my back garden, potentially increasing my security (at no extra personal cost) but decreasing my enjoyment then it wouldn't be an easy call for me to make. Oh, and as an aside - I've lived in areas where they've (through cost cutting) turned street lights off beyond a certain point. It's A LOT more difficult to see anyone walking down the street, even if they aren't trying to hide.
  3. My 30mm NPL has arrived and it's a pleasure to use - I'm still not au fait with eye relief and nose piece comfort, but in simple terms it's very comfortable to use. One of the household is a glasses wearer and has commented on how much easier it seems to use than the 20mm plossl that came with the scope, or the 10mm BCO (which isn't great on that front.) Optically I'm very happy with it, it's certainly a good one to start a session with. Having explored a few different options to get me into the 185-200x range the 8mm BST SG plus a 2x barlow/focal extender which gives me 188x. Adding a 3x barlow/extender down the line gives me a choice of 150, 188, 225 & 281x between the BCO & SG. I can see the appeal of a focal extender over a barlow but that's a decision for another day. I am however currently waiting on a Vixen 2x Barlow with T2 thread arriving - bought for lunar photography with a DSLR, but it should give me something to play with. Of much greater interest though is the planisphere and TLaO - I suspect they'll do much more for my viewing than the other bits turning up in the post.
  4. My reason for trying to learn the bigger constellations are to achieve that end - for example, I could follow directions to find M42 because I can pick out Orion any day of the week. But Orion is the only constellation I can say that about. And my emphasis is firmly on the 'cloudy nights,' part - when I can go out hunting things, I will, but when I'm stuck indoors and socked in it seems sensible (and relaxing) to be able to pick out some of the bigger ones. I don't but that's an interesting way to frame it, thanks.
  5. Having recently started with this hobby I've got the scope, I've got a growing collection of EP's, I've got an RACI en route, and perhaps most importantly both TLaO and the Phillips Planisphere are in the post. I've also got both Stellarium and Sky Safari on various devices. I'm keen to make the most of the time when observing isn't practical learning the major constellations to make life easier when it comes to star hopping and finding my way around. So far I've found Daniel Johnson's series of posts on 'Meet xxxx' really interesting and useful: https://www.skyandtelescope.com/author/daniel-johnson/ What approaches (if any) did you all use to cement in your heads the map of the constellations - and are there any techniques you'd recommend for those nights when getting outside isn't an option?
  6. Newbie question that Google hasn't helped answer - what is a micro-focuser, and how does it help?
  7. Right, 2x Barlow en route. Should keep me occupied for a bit.
  8. I didn't realise that. I'm probably going to get a Vixen 2x barlow with T-thread, I'm guessing it'll be marginally better than the Astro Essentials equivalent (which is only a fiver less.) If it gets me a few lunar shots for minimal expenditure I'll be happy. And it keeps me occupied until I can pick up either a higher end barlow or Powermate clone that has been suggested in another thread.
  9. I shall check them out, thanks. It was due for release on Amazon today. I'd pre-ordered but it's now shown out of stock, so who knows when it'll be released. I gather it's not the first time it's been delayed. Thanks both, I shall check them both out. I'm still planning to get a copy as it's less faff than taking some sort of screen outside but I'm sure that'll be useful.
  10. What's the view on barlow's - do you get what you pay for, or would it be overkill with the mix of eyepieces I have?
  11. Fair enough, I'd thought for Jupiter 180x was a good target but for Saturn I'd been thinking around 250x. But I have read some quite contradictory views on that subject so I'm certainly open to lower powers (which will probably be more use more of the time anyway)?
  12. I've taken the plunge with a Vixen NPL 30mm and am anxiously waiting for that to arrive. I'm aiming to add the SW 9x50 RACI at the end of the month. I've been having a play with a FOV calculator and doing some reading on different threads about planetary viewing, barlows etc. I feel like it's actually starting to make sense. But getting kit that legos together well and fills those numerical holes in magnification seems important if I'm going to have to be a little selective about how often I pickup new EP's or barlows. Right now I'm thinking that a good target would be 250-300x as a rough upper limit for UK conditions. I'm thinking planetary viewing - specifically Saturn, but I'm sure there is some benefit for DSO's. Should I look at a BST Starguider 8mm plus 3x barlow (281x) , a 6mm BCO plus 2x barlow (250x) or some other combination? And on the barlow front - the photographer in me is drawn to sinking money into a good barlow, knowing it won't limit subsequent EP performance. But I've no knowledge. Would something like a Televue barlow at £112 be a sensible long term investment, or will the difference between that and something like the Antares Achromat's mentioned above be marginal?
  13. I've recently acquired a Celestron C6N with an AZ4 mount through these forums and was advised early doors that astrophotography isn't something I'd manage at the budget end of things. Which I still understand. However a couple of nights ago, despite less than ideal viewing conditions the moon was breaking through the clouds and I was able to get a decent view with my 10mm Baader BCO. Holding a smartphone up to the EP and I got a couple of photo's that with a tiny bit of tweaking in LR looked very respectable to my eyes. It got me thinking about rigging up my 70D. If I can do it cheaply as an occasional indulgence I'd be happy with that, being mindful that lunar photography could well be the limits with budget gear. I was considering picking up a Vixen 2x Barlow with t2 thread and a Celestron EOS T-Ring. Total of £45. Would that amount to a significant upgrade on a trying to grab smartphone snaps through the EP? If so, how do the logistics work - does the camera connect directly via the adapter to the barlow, or does the T-Ring connect to a lens first? And does it all go directly onto the EP or do I need to support the camera with a tripod? Finally, would lunar be the upper limit? I'm a little wary of even posting because I can see it being a slippery slope.
  14. Having recently picked up our first scope through these forums one thing that was mentioned was picking up a copy of Turn Left at Orion. I note that the 5th edition is due for release shortly on Amazon (although FLO are shown having stock.) I was about to order before noticing that finder views are still inverted for this edition. My next purchase is likely to be the SW 9x50 RACI, so I'm guessing that I'll find it quite counter intuitive using a corrected image finder with this. I will still be using Sky Safari and Stellarium but I like the idea of having something of a guide of what to try and find, and how to do it. Should I consider an alternative, and if which are the strongest contenders?
  15. I know I'm flitting all over the place with my posts - but I've now got a shortlist of those items I want and the order I think I should get them. That order consists of 32mm EP->RACI->Telrad->Barlow's->travel Dob (maybe.) I'm trying to choose between the 30mm Vixen NPL vs. the 32mm GSO Plossl. I've got some Amazon vouchers I can use towards the former which means that in real terms it'll cost me less than the GSO (and nothing else on my list is on Amazon.) I've heard good things about the NPL EP's, particularly the 30mm when reading forum posts here and elsewhere but likewise the GSO seems well regarded too. Any views on that front?
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