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BazMark

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About BazMark

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    Star Forming

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    Basildon, Essex
  1. Lidl's have a money back guarantee so if your not satisfied you have a couple of weeks to get a refund I believe. I have a pair of Rocktrail binos purchased from Lidl's over a year ago and they are better for stargazing than some expensive ones I once owned.
  2. Yep, I managed it too, just before midnight. SW 127 Mak, 6mm TS planetary HR, exceptionally clear skies and nice focus. Clearly discernible Cassini Division. Looked like banding on the rings. Great stuff.
  3. Went out this evening from 10pm - 12am, and had fantastic time. Got Mars at 250x clear as a bell with markings on planet and Ice cap just visible. Did some Bino Viewing whilst waiting for Saturn to rise. Even whilst low in the sky I managed some good viewing but boy when it rose to a nice height just before midnight I managed excellent focus with my 6mm TMB clone. I even managed to clearly see banding in the ring system. I then tried the 10mm SW plossl barlowed to 5mm. I managed reasonable focus but lost clarity and could no longer make out the banding on the rings. I tried my 16.8mm ortho barlowed to 8.4mm and got a nice crisp image and though a much smaller image could just make out banding in the rings. So all in all a good evenings viewing.
  4. Yep, your right. I didn't read your post right. Apologies! You were still viewing at a much higher mag than the Meade though. 166x compared to 38x. That will magnify the atmospheric disturbances as well, so it could still be down to too much mag for the conditions. You could wait for Saturn to rise higher so you will be viewing through less of it. Don't forget the cool down time that te Mak needs too. I find that mine needs between half and three quarters of an hour to cool down and it makes a dramatic difference to the quality of the view.
  5. If I'm not mistaken the ETX 70 has a much shorter focal length. 350mm? If this is the case then you would have only been viewing at around 78x even with the barlow. With the 127Mak you would have been viewing at about 333x with the 9mm and barlow which is pushing the 5" mak too far under UK skies. The 9mm without the barlow is about the limit most of the time, but even that will vary with atmospheric.
  6. To clarify my earlier comment, I usually get my best (detailed) views between 90x and 180x, depending on the atmosphere, with my scope (127 Mak). I don't want to give false expectations if anyone is considering purchasing one. Don't forget Ainsley, that to get a similar magnification with an 8" SW Dob though, you would need a 4mm EP as the Dob's focal length is almost half that of Zaine's scope.
  7. I deffinitely agree with your comments on the exagerated views some expect when you look through the EP. Sadly it appears that many are under the impression that they will see huge Hubble type views of the planets and even stars and are very dissapointed when, having spent fairly large sums of money only see pee sized or smaller (at arms length) images. Personally, Saturn thrills me even when clearly seen at only 25x. A couple of weeks back on one exceptionally clear evening I mannaged to push my 5" Mak to 416x with a 3.6mm EP (the only time I've ever mannaged it) and got a view of Jupiter not too dissimillar in size to your example of Saturn viewed on my laptop placed on my lap (for refference). Unfortunately, by the time Saturn should have been visible the sky had become murky and I couldn't even see it with the naked eye. As for the GoTo, I quickly got fed up waiting for the scope to slew to targets. I just wanted to get viewing as quick as possible. It did help me get to know the skies. But it could be argued that you can do that with skymaps and a pair of binoculars. Another consideration for a potential buyer would be if they are buying for a family who are likely to be viewing together. There could be advantages to the GoTo scopes in that they track objects once set up correctly and you haven't got to keep nudging a Dob between viewers.
  8. I have a Celestron C70 and after 30 minutes of cooling Saturns rings can be clearly seen at just 25x as can Venus' half moon phase at the moment. Jupiter with it's moons is pretty cool too but you need a little more magnification to see the banding.
  9. I did that on Sunday. Had a cracking early evening just after sundown with unusually clear skies. Got my scope up to an incredible 416x with a SW 3.6mm super plossl, on Venus , Jupiter and Mars still with worthwhile views and good focus. I was amazed considering the negative reviews the higher powered SW plossl's seem to get. I'd like to have tried a quality high power eyepiece to see the difference. Anyhow, I stayed up late to see what I could see of Saturn only too find it had fogged over. Everything was milky and washed out and I couldn't even see Saturn. Patience is the word in this hobby.
  10. Atmospheric conditions can be a funny thing. I had the best views I've had in a long time this evening. I set up quite early though and was viewing Venus and Jupiter just after sundown followed by Mars a little later. The seeing was so good here for a while I was able to push my scope right up to 416x and still have a good view of all three of my targets. Unusually good was Venus with a clear half moon presentation and even mars presented as a clear disc at 416x. I was amazed! All fogged up now though. (
  11. Same here now. Thought I was going to get a really good shot at Saturn tonight but it's fogged up quite badly. Can see a few stars straight up but that's it. No sign of Saturn though.
  12. Is it me, or are the skies exceptionally clear tonight in SE UK. I've just been out observing Jupiter, Venus and Mars and had the clearest views of all three I think I've ever had. I was even able to achieve pretty good focus with a 3.6mm SW Plossl on all three planets which is saying something as I don't even get to use my 6mm TMB clone that often with my 127 Mak. I was out three nights ago and I couldn't even achieve decent focus with a 10mm plossl on mars. Though I was able to get good focus tonight even with the 3.6mm there was next to no detail to be seen on Mars, though I was able to catch a glimpse of the ice cap briefly. Jupiter and Venus were just amazing with a crisp half moon phase of Venus and clear banding with subtle colouring on Jupiter. M42 was real clear too with all the stars crisply defined within. Can't wait to get out later and have a peek at Saturn.
  13. My experience with the SW 10mm EP has been similar to this but with the Skymax 127 like yours. I don't have a better 10mm EP to compare it to but I seldom have a problem focusing it most times I use it, which isn't that often I'll admit as I tend to favour my Kson 16.8mm ortho both on it's own and also with a 2x Barlow. But the view it gives me fits nicely in between the 89x and the 178x I get with the Kson. The longer focal lengths of the Maksutov's usually make them more forgiving of the budget EPs.
  14. I also have the SW 127Mak. Two years ago I got some really good views of Mars including it's ice cap when it was overhead using a 16.8mm orthoscopic EP both on it's own and when barlowed 8.4mm with my SW 2x deluxe barlow. So far this year I've also been unable to see detail. I was trying last night to no avail. All I could get was a small bright pale orange ball.
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