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Carbon Brush

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Everything posted by Carbon Brush

  1. My two pennorth. Buy the biggest mount that your wallet and your back can handle. That will give you most options on scope choice now and in the future. Think about carrying, set up and put away. for example EQ6 weight is OK from garage to garden. But not down 3 flights of stairs. Having spent (nearly) all of your money on a mount, buy a smaller or lower spec scope to get started. For visual, you just look and smile. Most of the 'proper name' brands from the astro retailers will be more than adequate. Avoid ebay entirely and only buy a new scope from an astronomy retailer, whether web or High Street. Not from a department store, or computer shop, etc. For photos, start out with simple 30 second time exposures. Then you will start to discover tracking errors and everything else. If you get into the learning about photography and stick with it, then you will get a better idea of what sort of targets you want to photograph. That will determin what sort of more expensive scope you ought to buy. Keep asking the questions and enjoy the journey. David.
  2. Hi and welcome to SGL. You have a good choice of scope there. Good advice about contacting your local astronomy club. Where are you? For your first spend, why not a copy of 'Turn Left At Orion'. An excellent book with realistic viewing targets and how to find them. EDIT - timebandit got in there first! In terms of scope upgrades. Finder first. Some Skywatcher finders aren't that good. I have seen them with tinted plastic that blots out anything dimmer than Jupiter. also the LED too bright and can't be dimmed enough. Whether you go for a red dot finder, or a true finderscope is very much a personal choice. My preference on a Newtonian is a right angle finder with 50mm objective. BUT it is a peronal choice. Don't forget, any finder (or eyepiece) you buy is transferrable to your next scope. Enjoy the journey. David.
  3. Hi Louise. Rather than trying to correct the errors, why not look at simple improvements to stop the bed going walkabout. For example, if adjusting thumbwheel screws work loose, why not add locknuts? Or buy plastic thumbwheels with too small a thread and half heartedly tap them out so they have a tight fit? Or a non setting thread locking compound? HTH, David.
  4. That does sound a bit near. If you think you are running out of focus travel, slacken the eyepiece and back it out by hand. I have been known to hold eyepieces in mid air when trialling different focus mechanisms or scope setup. HTH, David.
  5. With an EQ mount, speed can be an issue if there is a meridian flip to handle. It takes an exceptionally long time - or seems to when you want to get back to the eyepiece.
  6. Yes a great scope shed! I saw it last year. Suggestion Luke. Maybe a bit late now? Have you looked at pond liner rather than bitumen and roof felt? It is now very much accepted by a lot of people. My (albeit sloping roof) observatory has been in place since early 2008 and the roof is still sound. Should I have said this with storm Dennis on the way? David.
  7. Thank for sharing this with us. Looking forward to the next installment.
  8. We are fortunate to live at an enlightened time. We can measure and discuss these things without fear. A certain telescope builder in Italy (Galileo) once got into serious bother with the authorities. He reported that certain night sky objects were not perfect spheres and changed with time. The powers that be made him stay at home and say nothing.
  9. That is absolutely amazing. Both your commitment and the end result are astounding. Speechless.
  10. Went last year. Excellent day. Good spread of exhibitors from shiny new stuff I could never afford, right down to used bits for a few quid. Met a few interesting folks. Enjoyed the Sharpcap talk. In the diary for this year.
  11. Almost on topic. A couple of months back I lent my old 3D printer to the Finningley radio club. It has since made a couple of dozen protection cases/sleeves for the nanoVNA. Obviously popular devices. David.
  12. It is interesting to hear how various members make their plans to locate good dark sites and how to handle the dew problems. There is some very good advice in the posts. It is though a sad statement on the state of UK light pollution when many of us have to travel long distances to find a dark sky. Phil's comment 'the convenience of a two hour straight run' sums it up for me. A short run (20/30mins) to a dark site allows a trip out if it looks (at short notice) like it might be a good night. But two hours each way. Then setup and pack away time. Not when you have to be up early for for work the next day. David.
  13. You aren't the only one surprised. They are in effect £6.50 per item and a free case.
  14. If you have some rings that are just a bit over size, then you could look at 3D printing some reducers. HTH, David.
  15. Optically and mechanically TAL scopes are very good. Whether this 20 years old scope has been looked after is another question. I bought one a few years ago for about £30 if i remember correctly. I gave it to someone new to the hobby. Like Wormix, I think £60 is a bit much. Unless of course it is like new. Can you post any pics? David.
  16. If the 'Raph' trade doesn't work out, put me in the queue. Thanks, David.
  17. At work, we get involved in the opposite process. That is equipment being sent to us for repair and return to foreign parts. The exact rules obviously vary with the countries involved. The USA sometimes want someone in the USA to have power of attorney on high value items (even though they items are not people!). Russia require bribes. Yes we once had a package held at Moscow airport because nobody would pay. After 3 months we brought it back and told the equipment owner to arrange his own shipping. India require wheel barrows to handle the paperwork. Some countries accept an electronic paper trail. Others need real paper with multiple signatures in blue ink to stand out against a black print page. Etc, etc. A further complication is the UK rules seem to vary with time. I have checked and they are not related to lunar phase, wind direction or anything easily measureable. Add to this identical numbers or certificates get different names each year. The best way we have found to minimise problems is to use the same carrier for inbound and outbound shipping. Further, when preparing your paperwork, the declaration must state something along the lines of.... SBIG camera model ABS, serial number 1234 being sent to SBIG for repair and then return to the UK. For these reasons I would suggest you use one of the international carriers. UPS, DHL, etc. Ask that the camera be returned using the same carrier. If you use an agency (Interparcel, Parcel2go, etc) it is often cheaper than approaching the 'big name' directly. But make sure you know which carrier is going to be used. In the UK, this is not a problem. When your camera gets held up on the way back, you can easily remind the import desk that it is the same camera you sent out on tracking number abc1234 on whatever date. The carrier then has easy access to the data. Trying to link data between UPS & TNT or UK post to US post is fraught with difficulty. A further problem is the value for insurance. No easy answers here. I have argued with carriers about this. If you put a low value on the item and it gets lost, you will be paid a low amount. You really need to be able to state the value for loss is the price of a new camera. But the customs value is a non working scrap value camera. This is not easy. Further, some carriers are awkward in their small print about paying out anything on secondhand or faulty items. Make sure the insurance value is agreed beforehand. Yes I have had big arguments (particularly with TNT) on this. We use our company, not carrier, insurance. Finally, when shipping, the carrier may require you (an unknown person to them) to leave the parcel open for inspection by their staff. This makes sure you are shipping what you claim. If an open parcel is required, make sure you are standing by with the roll of parcel tape and photograph the contents - and driver. If they don't trust you, why should you trust them? Yes things have got 'lost' from unsealed shipping containers! Good luck with the repair. David.
  18. I can only think of one positive in this. There are plenty of complaints. Not just the amateur astronomy community. The problems caused by light pollution are becoming known to many. Surely grass requires a daily light/dark cycle for proper growth? Any biology experts out there?
  19. Hi Damien. Welcome to SGL. The worlds best astronomy forum. The scope is not one of the best. But usually this sort of scope can benefit from a few 'tweaks' that don't involve reaching far into your wallet. Looking at your list.... 1/ Finderscope alignment. Maybe slacken the screws in the tube and move them a little to help you align the finder. 2/ Focusser. Take it to bits and have a look. You might find a sliver of plastic (cut from a milk carton) can be used to tighten things. 3/ Drift. You mean the scope slips, rather than the object moving across the sky. First look at the scope balance. With everything loose, it should ideally be balanced. In practice it will be a bit off. But there should be enough stiffness in fixings to allow for this. Have you looked at which bit is sliding? 4/ Eyepieces. Yes regard a 4mm eyepiece as something to fill the box, rather than something to use. A 60mm dia lens will, in round figures, allow up to 120x magnification. This assumes a lot of other things are right. The magnification formula is lens focal length (700mm) divided by eyepiece focal length (20 or 12.5 or 4mm). This means you can obtain 35x, 56x or 175x magnification with your eyepieces. 175x (the 4mm eyepiece) is beyond the limit for a 60mm scope in this optical quality price bracket. A useful small spend might a 6mm or 8mm eyepiece to get you more magnification that is within the scope limits. But high magnification means having a steady mount! 5/ Other viewing targets. I am no expert on the southern sky. Never having been south of the equator. Others may wish to contribute. However, this scope will, without problem show you Jupiter with some cloud bands and the 4 Galilean moons. Saturn's rings will be viewable. The phases of Venus will be seen, but no surface detail. Mars will be discernible as a red dot. If you download the free software Stellarium, it will tell you what is 'on show' for your location at any time of year. Keep asking the questions and enjoy the viewing. David.
  20. Maybe I'm talking rubbish, maybe I'm cynical but..... The 60s rush to get there was basically to make sure they did it before the 'other lot'. When you look at the technology available, they were lucky to get away with killing one crew in a stupid ground mistake, and a near miss in Apollo 13. After achieving the goal with Apollo 13, the US public (and politicians) lost interest. Launches were no longer live on TV. There was no need to defer re-runs of the Lucy show. The 'other lot' didn't keep up the effort so they could follow a year later than Apollo 11. The race had been lost. There was nothing of interest in the suitcases of rocks and there was no sign of ET.. Half a century on, the reasons to place boots on the ground are much less clear cut. Instrument missions from orbit, or on the ground are much easier, productive and affordable. Remember early Moon and Mars probes had very limited capability. The first images from the far side of the moon were essentially film camera, developing tank, then later show the film to a camera tube and transmit to earth. Just look at how long Spirit and Opportunity drove around Mars. Look how long Cassini kept orbiting and providing data. Look how much data was gathered at Pluto to be sent back to earth over many months. These are just a few examples. These low cost (compared to crewed) missions are just to satisfy the curiosity of scientists. They are of little real use to politicians. If you can't recover coal, oil, rare earth materials, or fire missiles at your enemies, it is wasted money. When any instrument mission reports finding valuable minerals in a concentrated area, you may need something more than a probe/sampler. That is when a crewed mission moves up the importance list. The other time a crewed mission moves up the list is if a science mission conclusively reports primitive life in the outer solar system. For the politicians, what an opportunity to develop biological weapons, or medicines, take your pick. Alternatively, if a probe found evidence ET had visited Mars/Europa/Callisto/wherever.... The country who were the first to personally inspect the site, or establish communication, would be perceived by some as the most powerful or advanced on earth. OK. Ready for the onslaught. David.
  21. Thanks Baz for sharing the experience. It is difficult to name a single event. There have been many events that created happy memories for one reason or another. Usually those where the experience has been shared. But I guess an early one was when I picked up a cheap 2nd hand 4.5" reflector while waiting for my 'proper' scope to be delivered. I pointed at the sky, towards a bright 'star' and aligned the finder to the scope. At low magnification my alignment star didn't seem to focus properly. It was slightly oval and wouldn't focus to pin point. Oh no! I had heard about cheap mirrors with astigmatism that you can't correct. Then I tried with a higher magnification eyepiece. Suddenly Saturn complete with open rings was presented to me. Floating in a dark sky. David.
  22. You have no doubt noticed the 'Vixen type' dovetail bars have profile differences - but you can usually cope. 'Losmandy type' bars have a similar situation. When I made my first attempts to use Losmandy fittings, around 2007/8, I found certain parts did not fit together very well. But which part to hacksaw or file? After making enquiries of different bar manufacurers, and retailers, I got somewhere. First of all, there does not appear to be an agreed standard dimension or dovetail angle for the profile. Second most retailers and manufacturers gave vague responses about the dimensions of their offerings. The exceptions to this were ADM as a manufacturer and FLO as a retailer. Thanks to these helpful companies, I ended up with a copy of an ADM manufacturing drawing. Attached. I now use the ADM supplied drawing as the standard for width and profile if I need to trim other bars on used kit. Any new parts are ADM (via FLO). By the way. Going to Losmandy fitting is big step up on bar/clamp weight. You will be fine with your NEQ6. But don't try it with an EQ3 or there won't be any weight capacity left for a scope Quality will be remembered every time out. Long after price is forgotten. David. DUP7.pdf
  23. Alan's push away suggestion reminds me of a Norfolk SGL members solution. A Tardis! Open the doors and push the 'shed' backwards on rails to reveal everything set up and ready to go.
  24. Very good advice from the above posts. One thing missed (by us scope enthusiasts) is the appearance. There are certain non-astro folks who don't want a stick with a bag on top in the middle of the garden! Somewhere (I don't remember where) a few years back I saw a fibre glass ornamental dovecote used to cover a mount. I think it had been hacksawed in half and a weather seal on the joint. It made it easy to lift off or replace each night. If you don't want a dovecote, then I'm sure you could fit an ex children's playground cartoon figure or whatever David.
  25. You are not alone finding the idea of thousands of satellites disturbing. Professionals and amateurs have expressed concern.
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