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Ships and Stars

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Ships and Stars last won the day on September 27

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About Ships and Stars

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  1. I know this sounds overly simplistic, but being a taller scope, is it possible you are holding your head at a slightly different angle than before? Or maybe the focuser is mounted at a slight angle in relation to the secondary and needs some adjustments there? Just trying to eliminate simple things first...
  2. Hello and welcome. I'm a visual astronomer, but the Mesu has an excellent reputation. That looks like an incredible set-up! Hoping you have clear skies soon.
  3. I know what my next pair of binoculars are going to be!
  4. Argh! That looks awful, I honestly feel for you! I'd still say it's possible to have something done. I'm so sorry this has happened. I'd still class it as a statutory nuisance, it's preventing you from enjoying your property. How hard would it be to switch them off while you're out! What about the other sides of your house? Any access for the scope or shielded areas there? I'd consider talking to a solicitor regarding options if he doesn't budge. Is it open land past your property boundary? Put in a small gate and carry the scope away a bit? Just trying to think of other options. Maybe some evening they'll see you out there with a scope and decide to switch them off for a bit. Maybe. One last resort would be to perhaps offer him a view through the scope and just say the lights wash everything out? Don't know... sorry the env health person didn't press them more, the lighting is overkill.
  5. As others have said here, viewing the moon through binoviewers is in itself breathtaking. My best lunar views hands down have been through my 300p flextube with some second-hand Williams Optics BVs and their 20mm eyepieces. I also have some cheap 25mm, 32mm and 40mm Revelation plossl pairs for my binoviewers but I often prefer the 20mm WO EPs unless I'm looking at really faint stuff then I'll drop to 32mm or 40mm. At high mag planetary etc binoviewers reduce the impact of floaters in your eyeballs, something I really notice with one eye at high mag (probably 222x on up, definitely over 300x). Eye strain for me is also greatly reduced using binoviewers as well for extended viewing and I can really settle in and observe with them for longer periods than a single EP. As you mentioned, the 300p flextube has a handy binoviewer setting which allows the use of BVs without a 1.6x or 2x glass path corrector by lowering the secondary down to the first click stop on the truss rods. Apparently the downside to this is the secondary becomes a larger obstruction as it sits closer to the primary mirror reducing image brightness, but you get a considerably wider field of view. I haven't used this setting much - need to try it more, especially on faint DSOs but I keep forgetting! The main drawback for DSO junkies like myself is that the light is halved to each eye making already faint DSOs fainter, but binocular summation makes up for a fair bit of this in my opinion. One thing to be aware of, the exit pupil for EPs in binoviewers is also greatly reduced. It works out a lot different than using a single EP. I was able to see the Horsehead with direct vision using binoviewers in a 20" dob under dark skies but it was still a challenge. I wrote a long-winded report on this below - a tip from @jetstream helped a lot as I ended up using a pair of cheap 40mm plossls to see the Horsehead that night. Normally a 40mm plossl gives a ridiculous 10.6mm exit pupil in my f4 dob with no GPC. However, in binoviewers on the same f4 scope with a 1.6x GPC, the 40mm plossls had an approximate exit pupil of 4.49mm. Otherwise I'd never bother with 40mm EPs in any of my dobs. My suggestion is perhaps find some decent second-hand ones if you can and see if you like them, if not, you can sell them on quite easily, or just pick up a set from OVL etc. It takes a little bit to set them up and get individual focus, but once you've done it a few times it's easy enough to do.
  6. Hopefully you'll reach a resolution! Security lighting does make it easier for people to break in ironically. Motion lights are the way to go, as is a simple switch! Surprised he rejected a switch installation if you were going to pay. That's not a good sign! Hopefully env health will persuade him to go that route. I'd gladly pay for my neighbour to have a switch installed. Sorry to hear that and good luck there, let us know how it pans out.
  7. I've been through this and managed a successful result, though it was with a local business and not a residence. I know that sinking, almost sick feeling when you look outside and see a blaze of artificial light shining right at you. After I was initially ignored, I got the Senior Environmental Health Officer involved who sided with me after looking at my photos. The lights may be considered a statutory nuisance which prevents you from enjoying your home and property and be injurious to your health and well-being. The light can be intrusive, encroach on your property or constitute 'light trespass' - yes, that exists! Don't get into a verbal confrontation but don't be mild or meek in your complaint unless the neighbours are truly frightening thugs. Their lives won't be ruined if they have to use a motion sensor or switch off some lights. They will get over it. Take the gloves off and tell the officer the lights are driving you nuts, interfere with you and your children's sleep and are so bright (in my case), they dazzle you trying to walk down the stairs at night and may cause a fall. Tell then they are utterly ridiculous and extremely bright for the small area they need to light. etc etc. I wouldn't push the astronomy side too far, most people wouldn't understand that or consider it to be a minor factor unless you are lucky enough to have an environmental health officer into astronomy! Take some photos at night that highlight the extent and intensity of the LEDs - use the slider bar on photo developing software to increase the photo brightness until it looks right or mimics what it feels like to look at them, etc. I am sure the environment health officer has dealt with these sorts of complaints before and I would push for shielded, downwards facing lights on a motion sensor that doesn't go off when you walk in YOUR garden. Sorry your neighbour is like that, some people don't care if their actions disturb others, I know that well! Good luck. Let me know if you want any pdfs or data on the topic. I have a few!
  8. Well, relatively speaking, compared to a 30" f5 behemoth with a 2" think mirror...
  9. Oh wow, that's some knowledge gained! I may have some questions for you one of these days Peter. I think my starting point would be to double up my 300p when one appears for a good price. I'd need to do more research first, the OTAs might be the cheap part!
  10. It certainly feels like more than 1.4x to me and the contrast factor definitely shoots up. I think my years of squinting through a camera viewfinder with my right eye has inflicted a bit of permanent loss of sensitivity to a small degree. Using both eyes just seems to boost everything across the board to me while reducing eye strain immensely. I can observe with a high degree of concentration much longer with two eyes than one. I know some don't get on with binocular vision, but it seems to suit me well.
  11. PS Mel Bartels claims the contrast boost with binoscopes is markedly larger than the gain in perceived aperture. Combine those two factos (aperture+contrast), and it starts to sounds really, really appealing. I've been comparing one-eyed views through my binoculars against using both eyes, and the difference of course is massive. I can only imagine what 20" stereo views would look like... even with the mass-produced SW mirrors.
  12. Just need the land, the house and a few other things first!! Land here isn't cheap either... it's nice to dream though. I think a 300p flextube binoscope would be a good starting point to learn from. I could pick up a £500 second-hand 300p, a couple of diagonals and a few bespoke, custom parts to mate things up. I make it sound so easy....
  13. Yes when Mel Bartels says something is very challenging to make, it does kind of take the wind out of my sails. If another 300p flextube or 500p comes up for sale for the right price, I might have a go at it just because I already have one in hand. The 300p flextube would be fairly easy to mate up though because of the simple altitude bearing design. The fine adjustment part to collimate the two views is probably the crux. I may never make one, but I've decided that a 20" binoscope is more realistic for me than a monster dob and ultimately cheaper. I probably wouldn't tackle it unless we moved to a rural location however and I had a permanent observatory. Even my late night treks across the countryside have a practical limit! PS I wonder why Mel says the secondary mirrors have to be larger?
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