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Ships and Stars

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Everything posted by Ships and Stars

  1. Once I get it set up, this autumn you can pop up for a look if you are in the shire. In the meantime, I hope we have another nice summer!
  2. Thanks estwing, it took some fast work to scrape the money together, it popped up online for a fair bit less than new, but was never used, the original owner fell ill unfortunately and never got to use it. I'll work on it this summer and get everything in tune and ready to roll. When we get some really dark skies again I'll be out the door. Tomorrow and Wednesday night look like 2, maybe 3hrs of moderately clear skies either side of midnight, so might get a quick blast before summer hits. Can't wait!
  3. Hi again John, meant to add earlier I'm holding off on eyepieces until I do some more research and the scope checks out ok. I have the 2" 28mm & 10mm 1.25" SW bog standards at the moment. I'm looking at ES 82 deg or possibly 100deg eyepieces, I wear glasses so hear the 82s are more friendly for that. I picked up some cheap binoviewers, haven't arrived yet, may take some fiddling to get them to focus and still need a reasonable pair of EPs for those, but might get some 18 or 20mm cheapies just to try it out. Once I'm happy I have things collimated etc and I get a few more pennies in the pot, I'll start picking up some better eyepieces over the summer so I'm ready when things turn dark again. I did order a moon ND filter and found a second-hand Lumicon OIII which I'll try for light pollution here. If it's too dark, I'll pick up a UHC. H-beta later in the year for the Horsehead as autumn approaches. As with other astronomy aspects, a lot to learn yet in that department.
  4. Thanks! It was pure luck it came along for a good price, and some frantic selling on my behalf of many years worth of outdoor kit, camera gear and a kayak on eBay! Still can't believe I got my hands on it.
  5. Ah yes, need to check that, but might be putting my sunglasses on for a lunar view. (No ND filter yet). I'll report back with some thoughts! Thanks John, it's quite a structure, surprisingly solid with the trusses, I was a bit dubious at first, but it is rock solid. I stuck the standard collimating eyepiece in there, I shall have to re-read instructions tonight! I didn't get too far with that. Hopefully tomorrow before dark!
  6. Just got this beast fully assembled (my first scope since my Tasco 60mm when I was about ten!). I will do collimation tomorrow afternoon and it is supposed to be clear up until 1am here. GOTO and drive working well, haven't aligned it yet, but slewing like a naval gun ? I'll update tomorrow if things go ok...
  7. Hello all, thanks for the input. Got the big dob assembled today, a monster! Finland wins easily for latitude ?, I've been to Lake Kilpisjarvi, Enontekio in February for the northern lights, absolutely amazing! I'd love to visit Australia, both for southern astronomy and Toyota Land Cruiser 70s, my other weak spot (sold my 70 last year, maybe another one someday) but the piggy bank is a bit empty after my last purchase. Thanks for the H-alpha tip - the moon is definitely on the list, might get lucky with Mars, will see what's around in the skies after midnight. I'll do some research on solar filters, that could be interesting with the right filter - I've seen H-alpha filters but wasn't sure yet what they were for, I'll ordering a H-beta for the Horsehead et al in the Autumn, fingers crossed... Cheers all!
  8. Thanks everyone - scarp I like the painting. Work is really busy this week, so I may not even be able to set the scope up until next weekend, but I've inspected the mirrors and powered up the GOTO system and it slews and does its thing properly on initial inspection. I bought it second hand but completely unused, sadly the original owner fell ill before he could get first light with it and I purchased it from his son in law, so it was a definite leap of faith! No warranty but a sizeable discount, or I'd be looking at a 12-16" tops (still massive scopes). Look forward to more chat and learning here, thanks again all.
  9. Here's one more. It was -16.7C on the digital freezer thermometer I use in winter, and warmed up to a balmy -4C by morning when another front passed through!
  10. Thanks Scarp! I'll attach a couple really high-ISO landscape shots from that night in the Cairngorms with a f/1.8 lens on a Nikon, no filters etc, gives you some idea of the visibility than evening. I think there was some airglow apparent, and Andromeda was visible, unless that's another galaxy? Still some hope then to get some summer time use in, so that's good news. I'll also get some use out of the binos this summer as well. I prefer cold over midges any day though. I'll update when I get a chance with the big dob!
  11. Haha, excellent, Oddball is great. Still one of my top films! ?
  12. Than you Mr Spock! I feel like I've learned a lot here already, looking forward to more. Excellent forum.
  13. Hi Billy, thanks for the information - yes was thinking it's game over until later in summer/early autumn for anything serious. I just bought a telescope so keen on having a go of course before it gets too bright at night. I agree with the 3am part, it still sounds like a good idea at 8 or 9pm, then by midnight bed seems equally appealing! At least you're busy in the summer to keep the astronomy cravings at bay. I'll try and get a quick first light in next two weeks in the wee hours, weather and work permitting. Fingers crossed and hope you have a good season with work!
  14. Thanks all, I'm hoping for good results from home, it says Bortle 4 on the map, but with a small business next door that never shuts off outside lights and a row of street lights on the other side, I'd lean more towards a 7! I've been reading the forum here for a few months when trying to figure out what to go for, and it's already been a big help. Given my binocular background, I eventually want to get some binoviewers and affordable eyepieces, but really want to sort the basic first. I'm hoping other stargazers in the area can have a look through the dob when conditions are right, I reckon people would enjoy it.
  15. Thanks banjaxed, welcome as well! I've a lot to learn without breaking anything, haha. Fingers crossed.
  16. PS Floater - I'll try and make the APR 16 AAS meeting at Robert Gordon, I'll be working in Dundee but will try and slip away a bit early that afternoon. Thanks again!
  17. Haha, thanks! After years of amateur DSLR wildlife photography with fairly large tele lenses, I've had aperture fever before, so when a good deal came up, I sold some things, saved a little and went for it while my back can still manage to shift it. Go big as they say!
  18. Hi Floater! I'm south of Newtonhill, I'd love for the club members to check out the Stargate, it should be quite a view I'm hoping. I'd probably lug it over, my place has some bad light pollution from streetlights and a business nearby, but am working on improving that (the closest streetlight is out, I'm in no rush for the council to sort it!) I will definitely have a look at the website now. Thanks for the hello! Shall be in touch!
  19. Thanks Peter and laudropb, very excited, although not the best time of year now with the longer days. Two months ago I was in the Cairngorms camping on a very cold (-16C) calm and crystal clear night - the memory of the stars visible with just the naked eye will keep me going over the summer, imagining what that will look like through the 500p. Now I am wondering what I can see with the scope going into short-night summer? I'll definitely look at the moon, maybe some planets are worth viewing, but hoping there will be a slight window of acceptable darkness at 56-58N to view some other objects? Thanks again everyone.
  20. Thanks, yes got a bit carried away with the scope, haha, but figured I'd go for it while I'm still able to move the lump around! I'll mig weld up a wheelbarrow fork this summer to move the base and mirror around onsite in Autumn so I don't hae to rethread the drive cable for the GOTO, but the rest is actually pretty light. I will get the hang of assembly in daylight, before I'm tripping over cables and poles at night. I'll grease everything up and check threads/nuts etc, might replace them with some A4 stainless if there is no corrosion issues from mixed metals. I've read about some common issues with primary mirrors, collimation and GOTO accuracy with these, so will do a quick observation session before the nights get too short and see if things are acceptable, though I've no real benchmark to compare it too, other than the 25x100 binos. First, I need to explain to my wife what it is, and how good a deal I got ? she hasn't seen it yet!!
  21. Hi all, just wondering if there is any window of darkness suitable for telescope viewing in summer Scotland? I use suncalc and moon calc, maybe there is a short window of acceptable darkness around midnight-2am at 56-58N? Are planets much better targets throughout the summer than any DSOs I presume, or should I just work on fine-tuning things/accessories for Autumn? Cheers all.
  22. Hi everyone, I recently bought some observation binos for ship-spotting and instead became totally obsessed with astronomy! I spent around three months researching telescopes etc for visual observation after deciding going straight into astrophotography would be too time consuming and distract from direct viewing. I jumped in the deep end and just bought a Stargate 20" dobsonian as I'm not getting any younger and decided I might as well go for it. I haven't assembled it yet, but powered up the Synscan/GOTO and inspected mirrors, etc and all seems ok. I'm under Bortle 4 skies at home, but Bortle 3 is 15-20min away in my van and really solid Bortle 2 is an hour's drive, so am looking forward to some amazing sights. I'm sure I'll have a few questions over the summer regarding fun with potential synscan/GOTO alignment and tracking issues, and the other Stargate 20 mods, etc to secure the primary mirror from changing collimation when adjusting scope altitude. Shall keep you all posted how a newbie gets on with this half-metre dob!
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