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Posts posted by DaveL59

  1. finally got a clear night when its not a skool night and my first view of saturn tonight too, with the Tal100RS 3x barlow and 20mm Vixen NPL. Visibility seemed very good so a lovely clear view, could clearly see the rings and a moon (I think). Jupiter was in view earlier and also nice and clear so a good night and well pleased 🙂

    Almost tempted to stay up and see if I get a view of neptune but with the moon just ahead of it I doubt it'll be worth it...

  2. just to update re the MA40, the 0.965 to 1.25 adaptor arrived, but it shifts the EP back away from the tube by around 4mm which wipes the far focus ability 😞 Can focus real close with that in place (like 20M) but kinda isn't what we have a scope for huh... Perhaps a bit of further tinkering to adapt the MA40 and adaptor so the whole EP can sit further in and it may work, but perhaps not worthwhile, given this with the 2x barlow would give the equiv of a 20mm? One for the back-burner for now I think :) 

  3. so far am loving the 100RS, I do tend to go for more vintage gear with the possibility of restoring a little 🙂 There is a sticker on the foot of the finder but its blank white so I guess the serial number has come away over time. Also noting that the securing screw for the finder foot is loose in the thread on the focusser body. Guess I'll need to re-tap and find a suitable larger thumb screw at some stage. With care I can get the finder secure so none too urgent.

    So today I received this nice set, TAL-1 EPs, 25mm 15mm and 3x barlow. They're 1999 vintage I believe, was hoping they might work better on the TAL-M but seems not. Would have been after TAL modified to 1.25 inch fit so was not hugely surprised, works fine with the TAL-M barlow so that's fine. They'll work fine in my RS  and 130EQ2 scopes anyway 😄 Gotta stop or slow the buying tho, I now have 3 TAL 25mm plossl EPs! This one and 2 newer, one greenish and the other purple coatings...

    Tal-1 EP set.JPG

    • Like 2

  4. I think the USB ones would give you more flex with exposure times but worth checking what the specs are. The IP CCTV type tend to go no slower than 1/20-1/50s but with a fast lens they can still give an image, at least the starvis sensor ones at least. Question is what's the budget as that'll determine the options.

    You also need to consider ancilliaries like:

    • suitable housing that'll need to be water tight, regular dome CCTV types aren't meant to be mounted dome up like I've done. Gina here has made her own housing so a look at her thread would be worthwhile
    • heat/cooling - painting the housing white will help a little
    • cabling - USB has a length limit of 5M and you'll need some way to link the camera to your network, Raspberry Pi, PC etc. IP will need a network cable, you may be able to use PoE or as I've done a passive splitter setup with a regular 12V PSU at the switch end
    • expectations - FoV and image clarity etc
    • patience - tweaking the camera focus and settings to suit the conditions to get best compromise of viewing
    • do you want to be able to remote focus or pan/tilt...
    • curious critters/insects
    • access for cleaning the dome, regularly

    The fisheye lenses don't seem to go down to below F1.8 and prices rise the faster the lens. I've seen some nice 1.8mm F1.6/F1.8 lenses but they were in the £90-200 range. The ones I'm using were around £10-12 each so smaller front element and F1.8-F2 M12 or CS mount.

    Astro cameras (USB) with a good lens will probably give the best image and show more stars but won't be a low cost setup. 

    I went the cheap route as I had a couple spare IMX starvis CCTV modules. Wasn't expecting amazing star images but one day I hope to try stacking some video streams off it and see how it does. Meantime I do see bright stars, Jupiter and Saturn tracking across the SE of the image, aircraft blinking lights crossing overhead so am pretty pleased with the result overall 🙂 

    • Like 1

  5. tend to agree on spraying the cloth and not the lens, with multi element setups the fluid can find its way between the air spaced lens elements, then you've a potential complete dismantle to clean it all up properly and reassembly can be "fun" getting it all set back into correct order and orientation...

    • Like 1

  6. thanks all, I'm well chuffed with it as I was wanting a nice refractor and this certainly fits the bill nicely. Could well be an earlier one before they went to the crayford so you've confirmed what I was thinking there. I'll have to get some slo-mo cables for it as it gets a bit wobbly when tweaking the adjusters directly but can always nick the ones off the SW130 newt in the meantime. Almost tempted to get the motor drive for it, one day perhaps, the 130 newt has it for RA but so far haven't used it and just manually tweaked as needed.

    I'll admit too I'd have liked the wood tripod setup but heck, this one was too perfect as a complete rig to pass even with a v long round trip to collect it was well worth the effort, can always pick up the wood tripod later down the road if one turns up :) 

    • Like 4

  7. that's great folks, thanks for confirming what I thought from what I had in my hands and had read 🙂 

    It is indeed a lovely scope, complete with 25, 9 & 6.3mm EPs, barlow & reticule. A few paint chips on the OTA plus sort an EP tray for it and one of the leg spreader fixings has cracked are the only things to sort. Before I'd noted the broken part I had it out in the garden for its first light, view of Jupiter was the goal tho it was playing hide and seek behind the old dead oak to my SE. Got some nice clear views with the Tal 25 & 9mm Eps tho the 6.3 seemed to be pushing it a bit far but then I've no option here other than to be viewing over nearby rooftops. The vixen NPL 20&10mm  got their first light test too and they too were well worth the price paid :) 

    • Like 1

  8. I hear ya re the mortgage tho it is possible IF you can manage the large deposit requirements these days. in the same boat there tho am lucky the place I rent is a small house and the garden is reasonably dark and astroturf so the gear doesn't get muddy 🙂 Bigger problem is the swarm? of slugs that seem to come out of nowhere every night and the wee hedgehog has gone walkabout so there seems to be more of them around lately :( 

  9. thanks Dave, did wonder too that none of the EPs or diaganol carry the tal mark like yours does, tho the 25mm super plossl does have the lovely purple coating where the other tal one I have is more light green. All seems good just some paint chips on the main tube, tho I did find tonight that one of the rings on the leg that link to the spreader stabiliser has cracked, hopefully I can find a replacement part or do a suitable repair.

  10. oh no! :( 

    Had my own little setback with the new TAL, saw Jupiter and made out 3 moons ok which was nice tho couldn't push the mag too far, so settled with the 10mm vixen NPL and had nice views. Then I noticed one of the stabiliser rings on the main leg had split so decided to play safe and pack it away for now till I sort a repair or replacement, didn't fancy it toppling on its first real use ;)



    • Sad 1

  11. hi all

    recently picked up this scope, in nice condition and on an EQ5 mount rather than the wood tripod. Came in a cardboard carton with wood plank to secure the OTA and a set of EPs. Seller was advised this was a TAL100R tho the box and manual say 100RS, the lens shows a greenish tint rather than the purple that the 100R seemed to have from reading elsewhere. Sadly other than a TAL sticker on the tube there's no ID plate on the OTA itself.

    From what I see it has a 2-inch R&P focuser with long travel, the diagonal fits into the 1.25 adaptor ring and is of a regular 1.25 nosepiece so am wondering, is this a RS version , it seems to be but I've no idea how to confirm this?

    Am happy with the scope but as yet not had a chance to view the night sky with the weather we've had lately, hopefully tonight...

    Any info gratefully received 🙂 


    • Like 1

  12. thought I'd add a comment on the eyepieces after a lucky purchase:

    Still not moved the main mirror back to its original location and thinking about the finder issue with newer 1.25 EPs I considered adding a RDF once I get around to the refurb. Then I came across a Meade MA40mm 0.965 inch EP on fleabay and as I was chasing a vintage scope I bought it. Of course that sank the other auction for me and I didn't get the vintage achro, oh well. So this EP arrives, nice solidly made and weighty and it has a lens low in the nosepiece, hmmm wonder if it'll need less in-travel... Offered it up to the TAL-M with the finder in play, no barlow and... lo and behold, it focuses!😄  So I've ordered up an adaptor for it to fit a regular 1.25 tube and see if it'll still focus. Will mean I can return the mirror to original position and use the scope unmodified, with this 40mm and its original 15mm and barlow and have use of the finder too.

    A nice accidental result I think, might help others who obtain a Tal-M and find it short on EPs 🙂 


    Meade MA40mm 0.965.JPG

  13. mine are being left alone on the side of the shed, no way I feel like fiddling about with them in this sun. Seems a spider has taken a liking to the smaller one tho, keeps wandering across the dome and I can see signs of a web on the bracket underneath

    • Haha 1

  14. still clear here but then was pretty ok yesterday too till as light faded there was cloud everywhere. Till just as I was ready for bed of course when it was nice and starry, but by then Jupiter was behind the oak tree. Bummer as I was hoping to test the TAL100RS I went and bought last weekend and the vixen NPL EPs, pretty much rained ever since lol.

    Agree re the A/C it sure makes a difference, wouldn't have a car without either, is no fun stuck in traffic on sunny days!

    • Like 1

  15. fingers crossed that works for you Gina 🙂

    How you planning to seal the dome to the casing? I used a large flat seal rather than silicone it on mine so I can open it up for tilt/focus tweaks, plus any maintenance would also need it removable being its a cctv housing and that's the only way in.

    • Thanks 1

  16. thinking about it... wonder if water-cooling would work, if you are able to put the cooler part in  permanent shade...?

    That way you could seal the in/out hoses with grommets and not have to be pulling moist air thru the unit for cooling.

  17. 3 hours ago, Gina said:

    Maybe there's something to be said for starting again on the casing as I might have some different ideas.  As I recall, I wasn't doing very well in the past with sealing it.

    that's kinda why I went with existing outdoor cctv housings, tho they're not really meant to be set with the dome pointed skywards. The larger housing does work ok but I may order another dome with a wider flange that hangs over beyond the casing. Not convinced that the nitrile gasket I got will cope well in the long run with the existing that is just under the diameter of the main body. So far its ok but one I plan to address down the road as the pressure of the dome bolted down causes it to dish upward, a nice little rain catcher, hmmm not what I planned for.

    Cooling tho is a different problem, as the dome is essentially a sealed unit or there'd be risk of condensation otherwise. Of course the camera generates heat plus the heat from the sun just adds to the problem. I did consider finding a way to have the lens side sealed to the dome side and then set up some sort of venting and fan assist with baffling to direct outside air over the heatsink fins to cool the camera module, hopefully that'd reduce the condensation issue inside the dome affecting the image but figured I'd test as-is and see how it fairs. So far mine seems to be coping ok but I did paint the casing white to reduce a little the heat soak from the sun.


  18. 49 minutes ago, Rusted said:

    At the risk of starting an endless argument:

    Modern piping is often plastic. Rural homes are almost certainly fed by miles of plastic hose.
    Connecting the indoor metal pipes, if any, as an earth, will be lethal and based on a lack of basic electrical knowledge.

    Discussions on forums, which have US members, suggests that the rules for earthing are as varied as the soils on which the building stands.
    I claim absolutely zero knowledge and nobody should ever follow anything suggested on a forum.
    Your "expert" advisor might be a trolling, psychopathic, serial killer!

    ALWAYS seek EXPERT advice from a local, fully qualified electrician with experience of your local conditions.

    Your having moved on from your own installation leaves those who follow on in a very precarious position.
    Which through their own ignorance, of what they only think they should trust, might easily kill them.
    This doesn't even begin to deal with the matter of lightning and adding extra earthing rods to an existing electrical system.

    I don't disagree re getting expert advice, that's generally a good way to go if planning some new works and esp so if you've no relevant expertise yourself.

    In terms of my past installations, they were all done to building code at that time and in some aspects to industrial above domestic at that, so I've no worries on that front. They all passed inspection by the relevant authority on hand-off or you wouldn't be able to connect to the main supply into the building 🙂 I have however seen several dodgy installs that have been inherited when buying another property too, like main power and lighting cross-connected, regular ring wiring run to outbuildings in garden hose just inches under the edge of flower beds etc, scary the way some have done installs and a new unsuspecting owner is put at risk...


  19. hehe yeah has gone that way here for the most part where apart from "repairs" you're supposed to get someone who is part-P certified to do the work or have them check and certify your work afterwards. Back way back when, I've rewired houses from the meter, laying in new rings and main RCD/MCB distribution board etc. Ran the earthing down into the basement where I installed said spike as it was just a few turns of bare wire around a metal supply pipe (water or gas) in the old setup. Even installed galv trunking to protect the cabling that ran from the distribution board in the garage that was all earth bonded between sections etc. So a couple years after I left the ex had builders in doing other works and to see how they left it all was shocking, just trailed wires around, opened the trunking and didn't bother to re-cap it etc., what a mess. No wonder I'm usually reluctant to get a "professional" in to do works where I know I can do it at least as well myself 😉


    • Like 1

  20. ouch 2.5 T&E sure wouldn't cut it for earth  I'd say, is that direct from the fuse board or a spur off the ring? 

    An earth spike (4ft) is relatively easy to do so long as the ground isn't littered with rocks under the surface. A 4lb hammer should drive it in ok, maybe easier if the ground is wet. Then fit the clamp on the end and 10mm earth wire back to the consumer unit to bond that to earth and the obsy should be fine.

    I would suggest for the ethernet cable that you fit surge suppressors, I used these on the hard link out to my shed which is a lot closer but does have CCTV gear linked back to the house and now the sky cameras.



  21. that'd require a multi-user license on a server grade OS rather than end-user winwoes. Did used to work with pro till W7 IIRC and as I recall there may have been a trick by substituting a component of the OS software. Server gets 2 users as std I believe but not a cheap option for home use. If you want the remote PC to continue with the console session you have to revert to remote control via VNC etc rather than RDP.

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