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Posts posted by DaveL59

  1. 23 minutes ago, jammyg said:

    So I guess the question is - does anywhere stock Hubbles and how much are they !


    Will have a proper look through that link thanks.  I have no huge expectations, and haven't given the kids any either.  I think the moon alone will enthuse them for a while.

    Please could you share a link to the mount you mentioned to make the phone screen the eyepiece ?


    Many thanks


    One that gets good comments is the Celestron NexYZ but again stock is a problem or could be. You fit that to the eyepiece and align the phone camera. Very similar to the Starsense carrier which was based on the NexYZ by the look of it.

  2. just a thought, have you taken a read of this thread:


    worth setting expectations as other than the moon everything else will seem quite small and nothing like the glossy pics you see on the box or the web. Nebula will not be big colourful objects as seen via Hubble or photos posted here and elsewhere, more like faint whispy smudges etc.

    • Like 1

  3. The issue with the LT range is the lightweight wobbly mount but once you get it focused and lined up it gives good views. I expect the LT80 will be very similar but a bit brighter being a larger lens. I was tempted to get the 80 but mainly bought it for the starsense unlock key so didn't feel the extra £40 worth it since I have bigger scopes to use.  I've not tried the eyepieces that came with it as I already had better ones to hand, but have used the scope a few times since it arrived, weather permitting and its quite competent especially considering the price point. Nice views of the moon and Jupiter/Saturn. Mars less so but weather hasn't been the best when I've had the opportunity.

    Tracking a target tho means small and gentle movements as it has no slow motion control on the azimouth. A bit beyond youngsters perhaps esp a 5YO but you never know till you try. The Starsense is good, works very well unless its very cloudy when it may struggle.

    For the youngsters it may help to have a phone at the eyepiece so they can see while you then track the scope, tho that would mean 2 phones unless you swap the phone from the starsense mount to another at the eyepiece, but again you can decide what's the best approach as you go. 

    You can improve the experience (view) by getting better eyepieces and star diagonal later on, I use an SVbony diagonal and 7-21mm zoom on the LT70 which work well and are reasonably inexpensive at the moment (discounted on Aliexpress via the svbony store).

    • Like 1

  4. 6 minutes ago, jammyg said:

    Thanks for the reply, I've just stumbled across the Celstron StarSense explorer LT70AZ now and it looks perfect for what we need, and the phone integration is perfect for finding things to see quickly!  Now to find somewhere in stock ...


    be worth having a read of this thread then

    Also do check your phone is compatible before plunging in.

    Stocks are scarce everywhere so worth registering with a few and then you'll get notified when they come into stock. I got my LT70 via Harrisons who happened to have it in stock a couple weeks ago but I think most are out at the moment.

  5. Many thanks Bill. I don't know Gary but I know he's at East Cost and would refer him and have done here. I'd definitely send the better more important gear to him to overhaul should that be needed. While I may tinker I don't plan on wrecking something that is a quality piece. Most of my gear I've picked up at low prices so within my limits I've been happy to have a look at them, went a lot further on those HR/5's where I rebuilt the broken arm but again dirt cheap so was worth a go and a good result in the end as you know. 

  6. yep I can't claim the skills to do proper collimation, first to admit that. I'm wary to advise someone to dismantle stuff the way I do not knowing skill or equipment level etc. Where I may be willing to have a go to repair/improve others could just wreck a useful instrument. Then of course they have to be able to achieve a working alignment which is another minefield. Getting collimation in the proper sense well that's an area I've read a little and of course your various posts elsewhere, but have neither the equipment nor the expertise to be able to share or offer that sort of service to others. So far I've managed well enough on my own gear for my specific needs but I'm a very long way from being an optical tech. Has been a lot of fun and very interesting rescuing older binos and making them fully useful again tho 🙂 

  7. Having a closer look at the DX130 on their website I'd say it seems quite good, decent focuser on it so either that or the DX102 should serve well. One thing with reflectors tho, you'll need to learn how to collimate it especially if travelling a lot with it to the coast. That can seem daunting at first but time and patience its a skill that can be learned and becomes second nature. Just don't fall for laser collimators, a simple cap or cheshire eyepiece would do the job more than adequately and less cost/hassle.

  8. 19 minutes ago, MrZuiko said:

    Hi all,

    Quick update Nikon UK support have emailed me asking for some photo's so that they can identify my binoculars........hopefully they can help and you never know send me a file with a pattern so I can recover them easier! or better still sell me the leatherette already cut would be great! 😉

    Keep safe.


    if really lucky they may even be able to supply original coverings to restore them back to original look, they were after all a higher end model I believe 🙂 

  9. For this recovering I think we are only talking about separating the two side at the hinge rather than a full dismantle and moving the prisms. That shouldn't affect the alignment much if reassembled correctly should it?

    I'll bow to your expertise if you feel it would after all you are the optical specialist where I'm a mere fiddler 🙂

  10. No reason not to try the SPC webcam. I hooked mine into the LT70 some days ago and was able to get mars into view, ableit struggled to focus etc and its non-tracking so that fast became a chore. Not got around to trying a more modern webcam so far as I ended up using that for the skycam instead but when prices get back to more sensible levels I might give that a go too 🙂 

  11. 30 minutes ago, Pixies said:

    Celestron appear to have chosen a selection from their range of beginner - lower-intermediate scopes and added the StarSense setup to them.

    StarSense is much more than a gimmick. It isn't a basic star-map app with a compass/accelerometer to detect direction. It is an actual plate-solving system, which uses the mirror in the phone holder to direct a view of the stars. The app analyses the star patterns and works out where it is facing. A few on SGL have bought the cheaper models, removed StarSense for their own scopes, and passed on the remaining scopes to family members. The app requires a license key that comes with the kit. I recon that if Celestron marketed the StarSense kit seperately, it'll make a killing.


    So, if you really want StarSense, these scopes are what is available. If it's not that important (ie. you are happy to learn how to find things in the night sky and locate them in the scope yourself) you should be looking at other options. Although there are other GoTo systems available (at a price).

    So true Pixies and I'm guessing only a few have tried out the scope supplied given the dearth of comments on it 😄 

    For me I was curious and while I left the supplied accessories in the box other than the diagonal, I was pleasantly surprised. Using my TAL and Vixen eyepieces and the SVbony zooms the scope gave a creditable performance for such a low price point. Little false colour and quite sharp and I pushed it to x200 with reasonable views. The wobbles in the mount are the biggest detractor really, plastic focuser does work just fine but can be improved with a little DIY. Tempted to try mount it onto one of my EQ5's to give it a stable mount and see what it can really do, but then as it stands it's the easier of my gear to just pick up, plonk in the garden and start viewing so as a result I have used it quite a few times since it arrived given the brief non-cloudy periods between the endless rain lately.

    I believe Celestron also do a more expensive starsense setup that's in-built to the mount using its own camera, or at least used to. A big up-step in the price curve tho.

  12. 16 minutes ago, Sluke321 said:

    So the DX model may be better build quality but the telescope itself will be the same quality as the LT models? 

    no the DX models will have better quality scopes too. The DX130 I don't think is a BJ type from a quick look at the specs tho I can't be certain there.

    For the refractors, take the LT80 for example

    Same all plastic focuser as my LT70. On the other hand the DX102 is very different

    The focuser looks more substantial. Sad to see the same plastic diagonal pictured here tho so a better scope but mediocre accessories. Notice too the levers on the DX model for SloMo control, absent on the LT model other than the altitude control attached to the scope tube.

    So the DX will be smoother to operate but then I'm comparing the LT80 at £179 to a DX102 at £349 so you would expect the DX to be a lot better 🙂 

  13. 17 minutes ago, Sluke321 said:



    thanks for the reply. Why is that one more expensive than the DX 130? And what makes these so much better than the ones I previously mentioned? Thanks again for the help

    The DX models are on a more stable and expensive mount. Plus that 102 scope is a better build quality - focuser alone from the images is a non-plastic type where on the LT70 for example is all plastic and has a degree of flop as you adjust. So a chunk of that price uplift will be for the better quality components. The 102 aperture will be good for light gathering but more expensive to manufacture than the DX130 which uses mirrors. From what I can tell tho both the DX130 and DX102 are similarly priced with variation depending on supplier.

    If using by the sea, the salt air and spray might not be so good for a reflector scope over time being it is an open tube so both mirrors will be exposed to the elements, others may have experience here and be able to comment on that aspect. A refractor is closed so only the main objective lens would need occasional attention to carefully clean it.

    edit - I should add tho at this price point you could also look at something else on an AZ-GTI mount , a SW MAK 127 for example which others have good experience with. I can't advise there as I've no experience of those scopes

  14. I have both the SV135 (7-21) and SV171 (8-24) zooms, they are nicely made and perform well optically from the brief outings they've been able to have so far 😉 The SV171 is huge and heavy but potentially better optically but the smaller SV135 works very well and is a more "normal" size and weight. Adding a good 2x Barlow they still perform very well so to me they are an easy recommendation. Going direct to their store on Ali current retail is USD 49 and arrives in a week ish so they are a bargain at the moment.

    I'm sure the Baader will be better, but £100 better? Can't comment as I don't have the Baader to compare against but others will be along I'm sure.

  15. quite a bit above your budget but this one should do very well and looks to be of good quality build unlike the lower end LT70/80 will be

    Will give good light grasp and images of the planets etc and not need upgrading for some time if at all, other than perhaps eyepieces. It can be a slippery slop as you're likely realising, chasing better equipment and hoping to see more etc. Had I not already had the TAL100RS I might well have gone for this one 😉


    PS - shhh that site says in stock 😮 

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