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Carbon Brush

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About Carbon Brush

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    Sub Dwarf
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    Ollerton/Tuxford Area. Notts.

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  1. You can't be there for everyone all of the time! We (customers) have to be realistic about order handling during holidays and out of normal hours. At work we have had angry emails from middle east customers demanding to know why we were not answering the phone on Sundays We had adverse comments from a USA (Nevada) customer demanding to know why we were leaving so early in the day. Time zones did not occur to him! A Scotland customer thought we were offering a rather slow delivery on an urgent item. It was 7 hours (9am ship, 4pm delivery) for 300 miles. Could we offer anything quicker? Something about keeping all of the people happy for all of the time? Will there be a free Christmas cake included with every December purchase FLO? To help you, I will make an offer. Send me a selection of your finest scopes and accessories. I will ensure they are kept in tip top condition by regular use. Should you have a buyer local to me (50 mile radius?) then I will offer to deliver it, including out of hours if requested. You regularly replenish my stock allowing this service to continue. Hoi! I thought of it first. Anyone else - Form a queue! FLO have had the lions share of my new astro purchases for about 9 years and I have recommended them to others. There never been anything to make me reconsider this. Keep up the good work and happy new year to the team.
  2. If you have half decent soldering skills, then you can easily enough make your own leads. That way you get to choose the type and quality of connectors. And of course cable length/type. A deliberate weak point in a trailing cable can prevent equipment connector damage. Or even pulling over the mount. On power pack choice for holidays. Airlines are getting understandably fussy. The Tracer packs have 'UN38' approval for air transport. You can wave this at security/baggage people in the event of argument. Looking on the FLO site, there is no mention of UN38 for the Celestron power unit. Hope this helps. David.
  3. Marginally off topic. But here goes. In my work, I have designed in, and used lead acid, NiCd, NiMH, lithium both rechargeable and primary. The lithium work has ranged very low discharge primary with several years life. Through to equipment running at 150C. Yes oven temperature. The big benefits of lithium are.... Very good power to weight ration. Easily 3x lead acid. Very good power to volume ration. similar gains. Very good performance when cold. Lead acid and NiCd/NiMH bother suffer the cold. Very good life expectancy. The disadvantages are..... Cost. Perceived risk from self destruction. Don't trust this new fangled technology. So what does this mean to us? Compared to lead acid, If your battery pack is light, you can keep the hand cart for your scope and more. If you don't keep your lead acid topped up regulalry, it will fail in a non-recoverable manner. Lithium self discharges at only a few percent annually. If you want to deep discharge a lead acid to the point of damage, that is your choice. Again if you want to boil it dry with the wrong charger, you can. If you want to wreck it by short circuit, you can. Additional circuits (rarely implemented) are necessary to protect against the above. Why fit them? It is an extra burden on a cost conscious item. If you have to pay someone to do this, then you start to approach NiMH and lithium costings. Lithium packs usually have internal circuits to prevent over discharge, or over heating, and short circuit protection. They are therefore self protecting. A lead acid battery degrades daily, even if not used, stored well charged and not subject to temperature extremes. Lithium is much less susceptible to degradation in storage. If you want a bettery that performs well and looks after itself in a dark cold field, choose lithium. If you want the battery to look after itself between clear nights, choose lithium. If you want minimum cost, protection circuit construction difficulties, degraded performance on a cold night, regular top up between uses, choose lead acid. I have an infrequently used 'Sunday' car that uses an AGM battery. It needs more attention (trickle charge etc) than conventional lead acid. To me, if you have the budget for the inital outlay. The choice is obvious. Hope this helps. David.
  4. Sheds are good for storage. I agree very much with the earlier comments. They don't stand out from the crowd. The casual thief will think your shed contains much the same as any other shed. Lawn mower, spade, wheelbarrow, etc. You do not single yourself out from the neighbours for attention. I have kept my astro kit in a (much modified) shed from a local shed builder for about 9 years now, without any big issues with security, damp, livestock, etc. I have applied various security measures. Both physical and electronics based. The physical measures are very difficult to see from the outside. Huge locks, bars and fortress grade hinges are a bit of a hint of valuables inside. As a general rule, if the 'normal' break in technique hits obstacles caused by the hidden physical measures, the villain will move on to another target. They generally want to get in and out again quickly. For 'technology based' protection. A thin wire running around the walls to pick up on a board being removed (as mentioned in an earlier post) is just one measure. Control using an after market vehicle alarm with key fob control is a good idea. If chosen correctly, these are designed to withstand the condensation and wide temperature range encountered in a car/shed. Many non professional indoor alarms can't cope below zero or over 30C. Vehicle alarms readily accept multiple inputs with an indication or log of the trigger source. Switch inputs for car bonnet, boot or door opening. Now the shed door or removeable roof. Ultrasonic sensors for movement inside the car. Now inside the shed. Shock sensor for car park nudge. Now hammering off the door lock, or prying off hinges. I won't go into too much detail in open forum. But you get the idea. HTH David.
  5. I found this article in an electronics trade publication. Britain’s Most Famous Observatory at Risk 06/01/2016 (May 17, 2016) Britain’s most famous observatory, Jodrell Bank, is currently at risk from a proposed housing estate two miles from the site. Observatory experts claim appliances, lighting, and other electronic products, will play havoc with their instruments. As a radio telescope, it is highly susceptible to levels of interference produced by electrical appliances – indeed the observatory was set up in rural Cheshire by scientists from Manchester University because the city’s trams proved too disruptive. Jodrell Bank director Prof. Simon Garrington said in a submission to the council, “Interference is correlated with human activity, whether due to intentional transmissions or unintentional leakage from a wide range of electrical and electronic devices. The proposed development itself is likely to generate interference which exceeds the internationally agreed threshold for what constitutes “detrimental interference” to radio astronomy observations.” According to, appliances with electric motors such as lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, power tools, and washing machines are regarded as particularly problematic, while tiny amounts of radiation from microwave ovens can also drown out the scientists’ observations. Associate director Prof. Tim O’Brien said, “The electrical and electronic devices in houses can produce radio waves that basically mask our view of the distant universe. This is one of the world’s most powerful and sensitive telescopes and these sort of signals are basically wiping out the data that we’re picking up. It’s already difficult for us, this is only going to make things worse.” Jodrell Bank has already had to stop searching for new pulsars due to the existing level of interference, which it says has been proven to come from nearby houses, rather than cities such as Manchester.
  6. A reassuring DON'T PANIC from me. Yes go through the washing as described. Even if the coating has been damaged in places, a few non-reflective regions on the mirror won't cause any problems with the view.
  7. Yes done that. Offered to a secondary school science teacher who presumably knows the difference between astro -nomy and -ology! Not bothered.
  8. I offered my old mags and CDs to a school. Just not bothered. If it isn't on the curriculum, they don't have the time... Yes amazing. The doctor/dentist waiting room is probably better. Especially if you have several magazines to give away. At a new dentist, I enjoyed reading National Geographic. Well as much as you can enjoy reading, knowing your are in line for someone with a mask to poke pointed sticks in your mouth, mutter strange words to an assistant and take money. Despite this, I thought I ought to contribute to the reading collection. So next visit I dropped in a duplicate copy of Pilot (aviation) magazine. A week later, being a glutton for wallet emptying punishment I was back. Pilot had gone! So maybe doctor and dentist waiting rooms do get regular supplies of quality reading material. But they don't stay around long enough to be seen by many.
  9. The optical axis of a scope is not necessarily the same as the mechanical axis. I once owned an Orion Optics UK scope that had the optics way off the tube axis. At about 20 metres, they were about 400mm apart apart. That was tested by viewing a target mark and projecting a red dot from a laser fastened onto the OTA. My fix (from memory) was to adjust the primary mirror so the optical and mechanical centres were coincident, then go through the usual collimation. Hope this helps.
  10. I don't know this particular scope. However, some years ago I owned a WO refractor. The back part was rotatable by design. This allowed the view to be rotated to frame into a camera, without rotating the tube, which had a dovetail, not rings. This scope dated from the early days of digital cameras, so was probably designed with film cameras in mind. This feature also kept the focus controls the 'right way up' when using an equatorial mount.
  11. Yes Gina. Sell the kit. Who needs a scope? Last Thursday when I got home from work the sky was clear and it was not quite properly dark. Orion was on display with Betelgeuse really red. The sword was visible but it wasn't yet dark enough for the nebula. Just above Orion there was a brief dim streak from a meteor. Pleiades was showing obviously more than seven stars. Then two polar orbit satellites passed overhead in opposite directions - and didn't collide! Then the ISS came over. All this while putting the car into the garage and taking out the dustbin. Multi tasking!
  12. Maybe we need another forum. Something along the lines of 'alternative uses for astronomy kit'. I'm thinking of going out in next next month or two (first dry night with the odd gap in the clouds and less than 30mph wind) to try to remember how all the kit goes together and how the electronics works.
  13. Well at least you got the money in the end. Sadly many companies employ 'bean counters' whose main purpose in life is to make the company appear better financially than it actually is. By paying everyone late, you have more in the bank (or a lower overdraft) and are therefore more successful. Unhappy customers and suppliers are irrelevant to these people as they do not have to deal with them. Time to name and shame?
  14. Surely it would better to swallow something smaller?
  15. Neither! Forget GOTO in this price range. All too often it is more like 'go somewhere in the general direction of'. Do you want to go out and look? Or go out to fiddle with the handset? Spend instead on the optics and the mount. You can always upgrade later. My first 'proper' scope was an Orion Optics (UK) 200mm F4 reflector with manual EQ5 mount. Not that different in use to the Skywatcher 200P on EQ5. This served me well for several years. Alternatively, consider a dobsonian in similar size. However, as others have already said. Take a look through a few scopes before deciding. Also buying secondhand can lessen the loss if you decide you have made the wrong choice ans sell on. The ads on this site (when you get the time/posts) are generally from honest people with looked after kit. Your local club can offer you a look through scopes, and maybe members selling on. Avoid though that certain well known auction site. Hope this helps, David.