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Everything posted by DaveL59

  1. I've tended to use treetops around 150m away, centre in the scope then set the finder a smidge above which seems to work reasonably well for me. Fun when its a windy day tho and the trees swaying about. After that I'll tweak a little if needed once looking at the stars but found in the main little need to do much tbh
  2. can't say if they're the same but no harm in asking RVO as they'll likely know the answer...
  3. A monopod and bracket for the bino can help a lot and not add much cost or weight if you want to try the bino route first A parallelogram rig for binos can make things even better tho at a cost, of course. Add a lounger type chair so you aren't craning your neck esp now its getting colder and you're started out at reasonable budget till the right scope comes along...
  4. I'll be honest here and say I'm new to scopes myself so not long into the hobby, moved up from binoculars after collecting and restoring a few (lot). But a chunk of reading, looking at what's out there and checking forums and reviews, then taking a punt based on that... Most of mine are TAL, they're v solidly made and low cost with some restoration needed on the reflectors (paint in the main). The refractor on the other hand is in v nice condition, all are 2003 vintage or earlier and likely in 20+ years will still be going strong. I'm sure the skywatcher will be fine too but feels so thin in comparison lol. Another thought springs to mind, not wanting to be too personal or intrusive, but have you considered the tripod legs relative to your situation? Could be that they get in the way a bit for comfortable access to the eyepiece where a pier type mount may work better for you?
  5. depending on how high you are seated relative to the scope, a refractor/SCT/MAK may suit better then, tho a refractor can have a big range of movement when looking higher toward azimouth, depending on the length of the OTA. My refractor is 1M long so essentially 45-50mm from the pivot point to the eyepiece to give an idea. MAK/SCT are much shorter so less of a range to swing through.
  6. you often see pics on the bay where the little finder scope is fitted pointing the opposite way from which it should be. The finder should be the other way round from what's shown in that pic
  7. see that so often lol Otherwise, probably a nice scope but I've no experience of the dobs. Quite a way from you tho. Depends how much of a hurry you're in really, some decent binos might help tide you over till something more local turns up, perhaps. You can pick up good 10x50 waterproof porro's for good money from time to time, I landed a pair of minolta's that were under £25 and mint, for example.
  8. only thing in that case would be how well its packaged up and then the carrier handling it "nicely". Any loose items in the package might find their way into the OTA and damage the mirror, or for a refractor the main objective. Assuming the seller has the original packaging it was shipped in you might be ok but it does increase the risk. Disputing condition when it arrives makes it your word against theirs etc. Bear in mind that a scope plus tripod is large and heavy, not to mention the OTA can be quite long (1m) so shipping may not be cheap. Insured shipping may not cover any optical gear either. Given that, best to get a quote from the seller first then decide, might be better to go new from FLO or another where you'll have warranty if it gets damaged in transit. Where are you based tho? could be worth waiting until something nearby comes up, all but the TAL100RS I was lucky to find not so far away, that one was a v long round trip but one I felt was worth making.
  9. wasn't aimed at you john, in fact you replied as I was writing mine Agree about looking at FLO and others to see what's good and get a general idea of what may suit, also helps to better know if the bay price asked is reasonable or not. Seen quite a few ads for scopes where its not much less than new with warranty, but claimed to be unused even if a year or more old.
  10. can understand why many would prefer to go elsewhere than ebay, but I've bought all mine from the bay with no issues, but I did collect each of them in person so they were transported home with care. I've not tried AP via the scopes so far other than mobile to eyepiece, fiddly to achieve a nice image so will one day sort something to fit the EP to go further. I've the skywatcher 130EQ2 with clockwork drive that seems to track fine for visual, and also a Tal100RS on EQ5 with SynScan which is nice to use. The 130 can be had for under £100 often, the TAL was quite a bit more but I had to have it Probably best if you want to go ebay/classifieds route to stick with better known brands like skywatcher/celestron and aim for larger aperture (mirror/objective lens) but the short tube reflectors maybe less useful for AP? Others who know way more than me can advise better on that front but they tend to have a corrector lens in the focuser to compensate the shorter tube length and not sure what that does for the image with a camera rather than a regular eyepiece. Makes collimation fun too I gather. Should add - if you are able, go check the equipment before bidding or committing to buy, check for fungus on optics, scratches on mirrors, that bits that should move do and all the components are present etc (not that I did lol, but did exchange messages with the sellers to verify stuff beforehand)
  11. I have 2 EQ5's, one sticks here and there on RA where the other runs freely. So I transferred the SynScan gear across to that one so it works smoothly. Not got around to stripping the other EQ5 down yet so can't say what the internals are like, suspect it'll need cleaning out and new grease to get it running smooth once more. Does yours run free without the motors installed or was it always that way? I guess if the SynScan is working fine and tracking accurately it may be fine as-is and perhaps have less slop than if the axle was looser. On mine where the RA catches the motor sure didn't make nice noises and would just stall.
  12. general concensus is anything higher than 10x will be harder to hand hold and keep steady, most go for 8x or 10x, avoid zoom ones. You might be able to go to 12x but more you'd need a means of stabilising (mono/tripod). There are stabilised binos but they're pretty expensive and heavier. Choice will be between porro or roof designs, if roof find ones that are phase coated prism for sharper image if you go above 8x mag, also largest aperture objective you can afford if you plan to use at night or low light.
  13. yeah hence am sorta following that route too, I have a thread "El cheapo sky camera" if you can find it, shows what I put together. I'd say at £96 that one's pretty expensive for what it is, given a cctv IP board camera is in the £24 region with a fisheye lens, would just need the housing. OK you can't pan/zoom but would you need to? Mine stay in a fixed aim unless I decide to adjust that manually and give 150-170 degree view from a 2.5mm or 2.1mm lens. That lens likely would only go to 120 degree and the extra elements to enable the zoom range would probably not be good for astro, too much loss if nothing else. If that one is something you think worth a go, factor in swapping out the dome for a clear one if you can find a suitable one, else you'll see almost nothing at night
  14. Would depend what you'd like to see, daytime sky or night and stars. Likely it'll not be able to slow the shutter below 1/25s so would need video capture and stacked to get much of an image. 3.5mm won't give a wide fisheye and the lens likely will be relatively slow (f2.x or slower). Add that the dome is tinted and that'll wipe any chance of capturing stars other than the really bright ones at best. Also and perhaps more importantly, CCTV domes aren't intended to be used dome upward, even if IP66 rated, so you'd probably need to adapt it to suit to ensure it resists water ingress. I rebuilt a pendulum dome type and so far that's working pretty well, tho the smaller dome similar to this is now showing condensation inside after I moved it recently, one more job when weather permits.
  15. saw that one too and was tempted for a brief moment, tho for the Tal100RS I'd need to buy a diagonal too. Given funds are tight at the mo and that likely the tal 40mm 1-1/2 EP I have would be more than enough somehow sanity took over for a change and I passed
  16. not bad, bargain price even, tho I'd think an extra layer of foam might be needed to stop them moving about , but that's not expensive to do
  17. you can also get some of the plastic cases in various smaller sizes if you don't need the expense of a larger flight case right now. Foam isn't too expensive and you can buy that already pre-cut in various size cutouts to you can select appropriate ones to suit the size of the EPs, worth a search on the bay and amazon and see what suits what you're looking for. For sure keep the dust covers on and also add some silica gel packs to keep moisture in check. Having said the above tho, you may find you want to also have somewhere safe for the finder, hand control (if any) and any other small bits you want to be transporting, in which case a larger case might be worthwhile. I got an ally flight case reasonably priced (was for a game system or something) and bought foam to fit it out to suit. Carries the EP's, diagonal, barlows + filters, finder and RDF, hand controller + cables as well as blower and cleaning bits. Buying one pitched for astro would likely be more expensive for much the same thing...
  18. doh, maker Atlas, ok here you go https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/367880-atlas-multiple-eyepiece-binoculars-info/ tho not a lot of info, know I've seen other mentions but not finding them for now
  19. I have but of course can't locate the details now so can only suggest a search. Ideally if the maker can be ID'd that may help too. I've seen only a couple pairs come up when I was collecting so they don't seem to be that common, but a neat way to have dual magnification and not have the penalty of zoom EPs
  20. they don't seem to come up often, should be ok tho if a good make. try checking on cloudynights and birdforum to see if there's any reviews or more details
  21. I'll take a guess that you mean the tube rings have broken? You may be able to find a way to fix it or alternatively buy a replacement pair of the correct size. If you have one good one left as a spare that's maybe no bad thing as you can mod it so the OTA remains in the correct balance point each time you re-mount it or while rotating it to get a better EP position. Can't comment on the focuser, but if you've found a way to get visual images into focus and do plan on trying photography, perhaps save the cost and stick with the one fitted, given the prev owner was using it for this purpose? However, you might consider adding a counterweight so that the OTA is balanced with the weights further up the bar to reduce oscillation when imaging. What was the solution by the way? might help others in the future...
  22. the 222 is quite easy to strip down and give the internals and ball and socket a clean etc, just don't lube the ball/socket or the brake lever that acts on it or it'll just slip all the time. It's a nice solid unit, just need the appropriate allen keys and work methodically. Once adjusted its very nice to use and a bargain S/H. If the paint is worn that's easy to retouch too and makes it look like new again, think I used satin black to touch the wear out on mine. Replacing the bubble level is a pain but can be done tho its not so useful for star gazing, did that on mine just to make the mount "complete" as it were. Also obtained a couple extra quick-release plates for it so can quickly swap camera, binos etc
  23. depending which model, the 222 this may help: https://enzocontini.blog/2017/10/09/how-to-make-your-tripod-head-manfrotto-mod-222-work-again/ or the 322: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3066927
  24. which model is it, was it new or used? They're quite easy to overhaul (I did my 222 recently) but either way there's usually an adjuster that adjusts the amount of play, maybe its too tight and slackening it will give easier motion for you.
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