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Carbon Brush

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About Carbon Brush

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Ollerton/Tuxford Area. Notts.
  1. The observatory is an absolute giveaway at the original price, never mind £140. Having gone to the bother of building my own some years back, a much modified shed, I have some appreciation of the technical issues that you have solved in your build. This was my best astronomy spend - despite it going over budget. The benefits of shelter and permanent set up...... You have a working observatory that will just need a bit of attention to enable it to give many years of enjoyment to a new stargazer. Even after transport, repairs, etc, it will still cost much less than buying new. A nice summer project. Now we are allowed away from home, I really hope you find someone to take it. Good luck with the sale., David.
  2. Mirrors can have a lot of muck on them before you notice image degradation. One slip in cleaning can do a lot of damage. If in doubt, ignore and look again another day. I always keep these statements in mind before thinking about dismantling a scope. Having said this, I have cleaned a few mirrors over the years. HTH, David.
  3. Hello and welcome to SGL. I don't have experience of that particular mount, however I assume it is a similar construction to those I have used. In general 'a plastic knob headed bolt' is going to be fine. It is usually steel bolt with a head (often hex) that has a hard plastic moulded over. Maybe a large washer under the head would be useful? Depends on the tripod top profile. Keep asking the questions. HTH, David.
  4. A bit of a long shot. Does anyone know of a list of paint colour codes (RALxxxx) that are or have been used on astronomy kit? Or maybe their automotive equivalent names? Or maybe colours used on particular scopes? For my own use it is to tidy up small paint chips and scratches. Though others might want to spray an OTA or mount. This has been prompted by me looking for some white paint for a Vixen OTA. Though I do have other scopes with paint chips. Having seen paint jobs by others that would struggle to pass colour match inspection on a dark site, I would like to be able to buy a small brush touch up quantity getting it right first time. Rather than making multiple visits to the car spares shop or ordering loads of model paint online. If individuals know good colour matches, it might be useful to collate them as a resource on the SGL site. Any thoughts? Thanks, David.
  5. It feels (to me) so wrong that someone may drive a long way to pick up something, and I can't even invite them in for a cuppa, chat and demo the kit. That is the courtesy that has usually been extended to me when I have been buying. I have a couple of large items to sell, but will wait until things ease off a bit. If things are not significantly improved by the autumn, then I will think again about how they can be safely moved on. Anything small enough for a parcel, is though no problem for post/UPS/whoever. Strange times for us all. David.
  6. Thank you to @Adam J for your comments. I have read through both threads again. Taking care to note not only my comments, but those of many other contributors. My conclusion is that I don't think that my comments were harsh. Probably they represented what some others were thinking, but did not state. I do not intend to hijack the thread will the lengthy explanation. That is on the way by PM. David.
  7. Hello Niko and welcome to SGL. David.
  8. I have dabbled with one or two of the 80s 'long' scopes and the glass has been great. With a half decent focusser (nothing about this in the product description) these should be worth a look through. I'm guessing FLO will be revising the spec/description as it is sparse and includes the odd typo. Next question. 80mm and F15 makes it around 4ft long + dew shield. Will it fit in my observatory? Will I have to stand outside with the scope inside?
  9. A couple of additional comments on the electronics if I may. I don't think you can reasonably compare automotive electronics to scope electronics. At least not in the cost conscious goto mounts. Those that cost a few hundred pounds. If you want some idea of how tight the build budget is on mass market mount products, just ask why so many do not have a real time clock with battery backup. The component cost of this facility is about £1 or a little more. But instead you have the faff of setting the clock every time you go out. Unless you pay extra money for wifi/gps boxes to obtain the time! There is a similar argument applicable to the awful DC power plugs on most mounts. Why do so many people replace them? Take a look around your car power connectors in the engine bay and behind light fittings. Perhaps ugly, but definitely reliable. RJ45/RJ11 (network/phone) connectors used on the mount curly cables are really intended for indoor applications. You don't see these connectors in headlamp tilt circuits. Automotive components work over a wider temperature range than commercial grade. However, of equal importance is reliability or lifetime. For example. Commercial grade components cannot be repeatedly temperature cycled without risk of failures. The next consideration is the PCB material and construction methods. If the base material is a paxolin tytpe, as seen in toys, this absorbs moisture and changes size with temperature and moisture absorption. The size changes impose stress on soldered joints, leading to failure. Not a problem with a toy car for Christmas that will be used indoors and thrown to landfill in a few months. If the manufacturer uses fibreglass, this is more temperature stable and does not absorb moisture. Next is the damp proofing. Any electronics intended for use where there is risk of condensation is laquer coated. The type of laquer being determined by the budget. Some areas cannot be coated. Connector pins and push buttons on to a PCB for example. If you want your scope electronics to last for years, have a look inside the boxes and think about connectors. If you have the skills, consider what changes you can make to improve lifetime. Anyway. Enough said. I'm off now to look at a new Skywatcher scope package. My blue tube scopes stopped working when black diamond paint came out, so I upgraded. Now my black dovetails no longer fit correctly. Must get something in green. I'm not Skywatcher bashing here. Just change colours/model names etc. and insert Meade, Celestron, etc. Yes all of the mass market scope manufacturers, one way or another, really want us to buy the new shinier product every year or two. HTH, David.
  10. You will know from your daytime photography that you can use a camera handheld in daylight. But as the light fades, or you use a long lens, a monopod, then tripod become essential. You will also know about using cable release or delayed shutter in these circumstances. Taking fraction of second exposures for moon views means you need a steady tripod. So while you can get some decent results with a good quality fixed tripod, it will show its restrictions. A half degree shift in camera angle due to balance changes when moving the camera to photograph a landscape has no effect on the image. In astro terms, half a degree is one side of the moon to the other. If you own a good photo tripod, put the longest lens you have on the camera and see what you can do. HTH, David.
  11. I have the 10" scope. Well actually it is on loan to a club and locked away until the virus situation improves. A great scope that should blow your mind when comparing to 4" tarnished mirrors! It is a bit of a handful. Weight you can handle. But it is a big fat base which means you have to hold the weight some distance from your body. The tube can be detached in seconds, making things easier. In my case, at the club there are no steps to negotiate, so I put it on a wheeled trolley. For home use separating is a good thing. You can treat the base as a one handed lift and not worry about handling delicate stuff. Don't forget you need to add a battery, charts, eyepieces, etc to your setup journey. I use a small 12V lithium battery. It is supposedly a car jump starter, but smaller than most and weighs next to nothing. HTH, David.
  12. A couple more things to think about. The lunar disc is about 1/2 degree, Or 30 arc minutes. Jupiter is about 30 arc seconds - 1/60 the size of a full moon. Mars is smaller. OK these numbers vary depending on the positions relative to earth. But they are near enough. You can see that you need a very narrow field of view to get (say) Jupiter covering a good number of pixels on your camera. This is where a long focal length scope comes into play. Now consider the Andromeda galaxy. A BIG deep sky object. Much bigger than a full moon. But a definite faint object whose size depends on how good your skies are. It is observable by eye from a dark site. But most people in the UK have probably never seen it. In moderate pollution you will pick it up using binoculars - that are far too low magnification to show Jupiter as a disc. What I'm getting at is there is no 'one size fits all' astrophotography package. How about this. I assume you already own a DSLR, and a lens or two. Buy an equatorial mount. EQ5 or HEQ5 size with motor drive, or full goto. Sit the DSLR on top and take 30 second exposures of stars. Look at what you get and work from there. You immediately have some enjoyable wide sky views. Different lenses get you different size images. This gets you started. The mount is going to be good for many scope types (visual or photo) and should serve you well. This size of mount is a 'keeper' if you stay in the hobby. But is very saleable should you leave. At some point you will want more. You may want an 'astro modded' DSLR to see more long wavelengths. You may want to use other filters to enhance certain objects. You may want to fit a scope instead of the DSLR lens. You may want a separate imaging camera. The important thing is that you have got started for the cost of a mount only. Anything you spend afterwards is your choice. Keep asking the questions, David.
  13. Hello and welcome to SGL. Excellent advice from @scitmon Adding that astrophotography can be like tearing up £50 notes for a hobby. Why not just look and enjoy first? It takes a while to get used to equipment setup and running it in the dark. Doing any photography (beyond a smartphone in front of the eyepiece) means you have more things to think about and look after. Just my thoughts. Enjoy the journey. David.
  14. Well I hope the thieving wotsits breathed in the fibres while cutting and they stuck in their lungs. I hope they got splinters in their hands, eyes and worse. I feel the anger. On a practical note. If you think the repair goes beyond what you are happy to do yourself, have a chat with a car or boat repair shop. As you are into using a trailer or similar to transport the dome, it is easy enough to drop it at a repair shop. We (the uneducated and unwashed) know how to bodge something using a pack of materials from Halfords. Those who earn their living at this work should be more familiar with the different materials, pitfalls and techniques. They can even do you a 'good as new' spray job. I hope it all works out well for you. David.
  15. Thinking about UV/IR cut filters when 'building a solar scope. I may be talking rubbish, so please feel free to correct me. When we buy 'odinary' scopes, they are intended for looking at a night sky, or terrestrial targets. The scope designers and manufacturers are not thinking in terms of the scope being subject to a lot of UV & IR, whether on paint or lens coatings. We have all seen anodising and paint fade. Plastic becoming brittle, etc. Not quite the same. But I have seen spectacle lens coatings craze from heating on a car dashboard. If you use an 'ordinary' scope as your solar scope, do you risk this damage? In particular bombarding the objective and tube internal paint with lots of UV? This may be an argument for fitting a UV/IR cut filter in front of the scope, even if it is not deemed necessary. To the best of my knowledge, reasons for the 'rusty' Coronado PST objectives were never fully explained. The same goes for the cloudy blue glass filter in Lunt solar scopes. Maybe I'm paranoid. But when my LS60 is on the mount, but not being looked through, I use a cheap push on lens cap. This reduces UV exposure significantly. Literally one second to fit or remove. Looking forward to hearing informed comments. David.
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